566 Comments

Thank you for this summary! I laughed out loud at the image of McCarthy's speech, "listening to a cover band playing yesterday’s hits."

Jeffries's alliterative alphabetical list of contrasts was clear and clever (and, no doubt, SO irritating to the other party) - he really seemed to enjoy what he was doing, too.

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He is a beyond fantastic speaker, and a more than promising leader.

Additionally, he made the other guy wait even longer for an already phyrric victory, making it his big moment instead. Total unabashed boss move, of the type Republicans use at every opportunity, and Democrats way too rarely indulge in.

The alphabet gimmick was great because you can tell what is happening pretty quickly, and you know just how long it's gonna be. Sweet sweet xeniality. More, please.

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Xenial was a new word for me, but I will now be slipping it into conversations whenever needed!

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EXCELLENT use of ye olde lexicon! Xenial is certainly not part of the vocabulary of anyone that I know.

Jeffries is a shining example of the benefits of PUBLIC eduction: Midwood High School (Brooklyn), Binghamton University (part of the State University of New York system - and *ahem* my alma mater... for whatever that adds to the conversation). And then, Georgetown and NYU Law - not public, but the foundation was there in taxpayer-supported education. Such a contrast to any number of other legislators.

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Yes Binghamton University - about 30 minutes away from where I live, too.

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And to DeSatan ...

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I was wondering what he was going to do with X. I pretty much knew that Xmas wasn't going to cut it.

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For a hot second all I could think of was Xanax. Which, to be fair, would be applicable considering the situation.

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Xanax would have been hilarious! To save other readers of these comments the trouble, here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of Jeffries’ deftly chosen “xenial”:

xenial: [adjective] of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities.

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Thanks for that definition. Really appreciate not having to look it up!

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In making sense of Merriam-Webster's reference to "different cities," it may be useful to recall that ancient Greece was never a unified country. The main political unit was the city-state, which in the corrugated topography of the Aegean and points inland meant a city and the farmland that surrounded and fed it, typically bounded by mountains and/or ocean. Think of Lauren Boebert's hometown of Rifle, Colorado as its own sovereign state, and you have something of the right idea. Whether a Greek felt xenial toward a citizen of a different city-state generally reflected the two city-states' status as either (a) allied against a third city-state, at least for the moment, or (b) related as mother and far-flung colonial daughter.

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Too funny!

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Laugh-out-loud funny!

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True! 😆 Lol

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Xenial new to me too. Looked it up. Love it.

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It's Gallagher in Irish.

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It makes the word xenophobia much more understandable, right?

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Actually, that worked in reverse for me. His opposing it to xenophobic made it’s meaning so much clearer 🙂

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I looked it up - the Urban Dictionary's definition might give you pause

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Hmmm... yeah, I get your point... however, given his love of word play, I assume (and defend!) that Jeffries meant the original definition.

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Yes, of course!!!!!!

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If I looked up the meaning of words in the Urban dictionary before using them I might have a vocabulary of a few hundred words

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HA!

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Urban Dictionary is one of the sites that shows up pretty close to the top - not my go-to for definitions- I was reading all of them & struck by the UD slant on xenial - I can’t believe I’m bothering to make this comment- HRC’s letter was such a good one- NOT about this!!

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I can’t help but find this all hilarious. I mean, Jeffries has done all of us a HUGE favor by introducing a word most of us (and by “us,” I mean the country) have never heard/read before, with the added “value” (please note the reference to VAT, Value Added Tax!) of a different meaning brought to us by slang. English is indeed a living language.

Sorry, not sorry for all the fun. We will, I fear, need more innocent and maybe useless entertainment over the next couple of years.

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I would have expected "xenophilic", naïf that I am; alas, words ending in -philia seem even more subject to having had fetishist readings imposed on them.

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I think there's nuance between loving strangers (xenophilic) and welcoming them (xenial). In any case, am grateful for the vocabulary stretching: one of my Literature professors at Binghamton admonished us (in the late 1960s) that our generation only used 10% of the English language... he might still have been teaching when Jeffries was a student at BU. I immediately thought of that erudite gentleman when I heard this speech - it's such a delight to hear intelligent, clever (in the best sense) and joyful use of language.

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Logophiles of the world, unite! And let's hope that neither "logophile" nor "bibliophile" ever are fetishized.

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If more Democratic candidates had campaigned the way Hakeem Jeffries spoke Saturday morning, perhaps there still might be a Democratic House. But assuredly, there will be in 2024, as the Republicans return to their MAGA ('Make America Gullible Again') pitch, devoted to demolition of government, rather than its successful operation for the benefit of the country.

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Let's make it so.

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I think he did enjoy it! And isn’t that when we are at our best? When working for something or someone we love, it doesn’t feel like work? He is working for all of us. That love is reciprocated, it births determination, perseverance, and creativity. The qualities of leadership most needed to sustain a historic effort to defeat these anti democratic factions and forces.

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Ted,

I think we have a Democrat we can all coaelesce behind for President now.

However, I am am OK with Biden running again. At first, I thought he was too old.

However, I saw his speech on the border yesterday or day before and, you know what, it was one of the best speeches I have EVER seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUVsaoigOZw

Sounds a bit like he is getting over being sick, but, a blockbuster speech.

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Jeffries broke the spell of their spectacle. Calling them out the way he did, in mocking them, he weaponized the truth to combat their lies. We can expect QOP spectacle after spectacle the next two years. Nancy chose wisely. While it’s serious, Dem leadership should have fun countering their nonsense.

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Thanks for sharing this link. Every time I listen to President Biden, I like him even more for his honesty, his very human delivery, and his humor. So what if he has a stutter that sometimes gets in the way? His heart and his head are in the right place.

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For those who don't want to spend 25 minutes listening to the President--who spoke very well, by the way--here's the transcript of his speech.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/01/05/remarks-by-president-biden-on-border-security-and-enforcement/

And although there was much to like in his speech, IMO there were several things conspicuously missing.

He did not propose a national, mandatory E-Verify. That's something which could stanch illegal immigration, and stop visa overstayers. If they can't get jobs, they won't come. Such a law--which came within about 25 votes of passing in the House in '17, but didn't make it because TFG and Speaker Paul Ryan did not support it--should include severe penalties for CEOs of companies that hire unauthorized immigrants. And pushing for E-Verify would have made a favorable impression on a lot of GOP voters.

He also did not propose to cap immigration at a low number (The late Barbara Jordan, Black Dem from Texas, who made her name on the Watergate Committee, ran a commission on immigration reform in which she would have capped it at around half a million).

Immigration is now the driver of US population growth. We need to cap it for environmental reasons (climate change is greatly reducing the US' carrying capacity), to stanch the spread of sprawl, and to prevent the stagnation of workers' wages, which mass immigration has caused for the last 40 years, and indeed, throughout most of US history.

See: Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-Year History of Immigration Surges, Employer Bias, and Depression of Black Wealth.

Nonetheless, there was a lot to like in his speech, and he spoke well. Biden is probably going to be the best rated president since Roosevelt. As for age, Pelosi, the best House Speaker ever, did her best in her 80s.

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Good suggestions for Congress as well. I agree about Biden

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E-Verify…Look what happened in Florida. DeSantis initially campaigned on preventing employers from hiring undoc immigrants. Surpise…big biz pushback!

Law quietly passed requiring public employers to use E-Verify…because these immigrants are all applying for gov jobs. Not. Did I mention former Fl Senate Prez and now Ag Commisioner made his millions egg farming…Somthimg tells me he may also have invested in our lucrative tourism industry.

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I'm not sure what you're getting at. But big biz definitely likes cheap, easily exploitable labor, and unauthorized immigrants definitely fall into that category. And when they get hired, American and legal immigrant workers suffer fewer jobs available, and lower wages if they get jobs.

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Great speech! IMHO, and I vote!

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Ruth, your 'SO irritating to other party' observation never occurred to me, I ignored it. I read down another 50 comments until it sunk in. Jeffries was giving the GOP a good slap across the face to let them know he will not be punked. THAT may end up being the most significant event of the evening, long term.

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The speech that is being quoted and discussed is his, not McCarthy’s. It was a victory for sure.

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I can imagine it is. I admit, I didn't listen to McCarthy's. He pretty much just makes me cringe and after last week I've seen and heard all I want to from that guy and his damn Freedom Caucus who appear to be just loud, noisy, bags of hot air.

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Yeah. Except it'll never penetrate the thick skulls of the MAGASSes. Only time will dilute their delusions. Can't wait til they get to become preoccupied with the upcoming UAP report.

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Jeffries’ ABCs in graphic form to share widely:

https://twitter.com/gailwaldby/status/1611928377711276032?s=46&t=V81tBSJRWB5Zg7_OlZT1Bw

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Thanks, Ellie! I believe that Jeffries' ABC's (in schooling seditious extremists hard) will be put to music by many generations to come. This is our new anthem for cult-following- extremists to ponder as they choose the dark or the light from now on. And on which good Americans can find solace and re-build our strength and power to overcome our battered, but still, standing stars and stripes. Our country will be usurped by the Mephistolic souls of seditious traitors no more. Do not give them excess in platforms---just move ahead with the changes we need and stop listening to their immature squabbling, narcissistic din. Keep our eyes on the positive prizes which Jeffries so eloquently elucidates in the most simplistic, melody of goals of our imperfect but potentially Great Nation and Experiment of living together in One Boat. He kept it simple so any American can understand the choices and actions they must make.

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So true, as wonderful as it was to hear Jeffries say it, I kept hearing it Lin Manuel Miranda’s voice - the power of music will give that speech a life of its own!

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Me, too, SAT12!

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This version of Jeffries's ABC's uses the word "xennial" instead of "xenial" (which is presumably the word in his speech) - according to Merriam-Webster "xennial is a word that refers to people who were born on the cusp between Generation X and the millennials". The Urban Dictionary definition of "xenial" is disturbing, and clearly not what Jeffries meant.

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I was thinking he meant “xenial” as in hospitality — see: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xenial

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He probably meant genial, but needed an word starting with x.

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Out of curiousity (I love word origins), I looked up both words. I think Jeffries chose Xenial (the spelling that appears in the house transcript) quite deliberately, as others have pointed out- as a direct opposite to Xenophobia. Genial has a different kind of meaning, one that applies simply to general demeanor. Xenial specifically refers to welcoming strangers. I found it fascinating. As others have noted, it illuminated the meaning of xenophobia for me. Both have been around for centuries, tracable to ancient Greek.

I generally don't pay much attention to the UD, but in this case it does includes the original meaning of xenial as used by Jeffries. The rest of UD's entries beginning in Xen are street slang of recent origin, UD's specialty. There is a lot of roll-over in UD, which is why it it is of limited value in understanding English words.

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Ellie,

Many thanks. I have blown it up and sent it on to about 40 people (some who will not read it, probably, since, their goal is fascism, nasty and hate).

But, I sent it. It is truly spectacular.

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I made a screen shot of that when I first saw it yesterday, brought it into Photoshop Elements, and added Jeffries' name and the date at the bottom, and then shared it on Flickr, Facebook and Post.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mimbrava/52615187390/

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This is great! Thank you!

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Ellie, is this graphic available elsewhere? I canceled my Twitter account. Thanks!

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Go to my Flickr page, Ellen—https://www.flickr.com/photos/mimbrava/52615187390/. If it won't let you download it, see if you can do a screenshot. My Photoshop'd version shows Jeffries' name and the date he spoke those words.

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Thank you!

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Thank you, Mim!

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A--Z. Brilliant. I felt hopeful, energized. This is a speech for the ages. Thank you Hakeem Jeffries

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I totally missed that it was in alphabetic order. I had to go back snd look at it again!

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It took me until G to finally catch on.

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I was also amused by McCarthy’s vaporous rhetoric being summarized and Jeffries’ suitably and amply quoted.

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I enjoyed that laugh too.

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Yes the contrast was astounding!

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McCarthy now has powerless power and has slid into leaderless leadership. The outcome of the mid-terms was promising. Maybe, just maybe McCarthy's creation of an empty speakership while the circus runs rings around him will be enough to convince just a few more voters to support Democrats -- for all of the reasons alliterated alphabetically by the Honorable Hakim Jeffries.

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DIdn’t you just love Hakeem’s speech? It was a breath of fresh air....and yes, “powerless power” and “leaderless leadership”. Sad but perfect.....

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I listened to it off of Dan Rather's Steady substack. One reader commented she was the kind of person who "drifted off" while listening to speeches and sermons, as do I. But Hakeem's speech had her focused all the way through, and then inspired. Me, too!

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There have to be a lot of Republicans who were appalled by that disgraceful spectacle. That guy from Alabama who tried to go after Gaetz should have been going after McCarthy instead. So maybe that's just how lost the party is.

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Jim,

I am skeptical that many or any Republicans were offput by the spectacle of failure, disorder, rudeness and arrogance since, as far as I can tell, they all have those problems internally.

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Yes and their stated goal is deconstruction of the administrative state. No matter how many times they say it and demonstrate it, so many of us aren’t willing to acknowledge it, especially in the very important, 4th estate.

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Yes. It's one of the reasons why I'm not keen on the proposed attempt by some Democrats to 'further humiliate' McCarthy (or, for that matter, most of the rest of the Republican representatives) -- it's really not possible to humiliate someone who has no shame.

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The Representative verbally attacking Gaetz, Mike Rogers, is an insurrectionist. “Rogers is one of 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn results in the 2020 presidential election.” So is Hudson, the Representative that physically shut him down. They are anti-democracy, anti voting rights, anti-women, anti-lgbtq, racist, and pro reckless ownership and use of guns, just like Gaetz. Their difference from Gaetz is that they hold leadership positions in McCarthy’s Party of Fascism.

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Gary, the Hon. Jeffries could preach a Black pastor off his pulpit....

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Equal to Obama I say.

Another breakout, real, leader from the Democrat Party.

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My thought exactly...Obama style oratory.

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Maybe, Guy, except for Rev Warnock, wouldn't you say?

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Totally agree Lynell.

They are both trained speakers and it it a joy to listen to either of them. I spent 4 years at a Black seminary. as one of only 5 white students. It was an aural orgy!

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How interesting, Gus. I'm sure your time at the seminary was well spent. And,

I, too, enjoy listening to both of them when they speak!

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I just love your turn of phrase! Oral Orgy!

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Gus, That must have been an amazing experience! Be well friend.

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As I listened, I could hear the beautiful cadences and linguistic style of many of the sermons I have heard from Black preachers. I was also watching the sign language interpreter as his graceful movements caught the poetry of Jeffries speech. And me here by myself, calling out "Amen" as the spirit moved, feeling for that while that we were all listening, and calling out together.

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I think you are right. It should influence most independents, and a few R’s, hopefully.

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With his "thank you" to Trump for securing the last few "present" votes, McCarthy basically said he wants to hand the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to 45. What a tool. May his groveling come back to end all their careers.

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Yes, Ruth, may it end all their careers. Such a pathetic human being: Qevin McTaliban, a hollow shell.

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By secret ballot, insurrectionists were elected into all the leadership positions in their party. Not a single member of their party was willing to vote for the esteemed Jeffries over those insurrectionists. We have warriors leading the fight for democracy! Their work will be unpleasant, unsafe and formidable. We should not underestimate the leadership of the Fascist Party. We have for far too long. Their autocratic and deceitful ways are different and difficult for good people to acknowledge. It is our grave error to underestimate them. Our good and selfless leaders need all the support we can muster.

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Another reason for hope and even optimism: The House Democrats are organized and focused on what they're doing in Congress. The Republicans -- well, we've seen where they're at. A cohesive minority can make headway against a schismatic (sorry, I love that word!) majority. Didn't we just see that in action? In that case, the minority was 100% focused on obstruction, The Dem minority is much larger and focused on making things happen that will benefit the majority's constituents. McCarthy's control over the Freedom Caucus is zero, but his control over other House Republicans isn't great either. Some will be willing and able to cooperate with Dems for constructive ends. I'm not nearly as pessimistic as some seem to be -- and boy, am I glad that the Republican margin in the House is as slim as it is.

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Hey, Susanna. I just watched Hakeem Jeffries' interview on Meet the Press this morning. His every answer invoked what he is trying to accomplish for the American people. Such a stark contrast to what we hear on the other side.

His remarks begin at approx. min. 23:25

https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press-full-episodes

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Susanna, let’s get that Repugnant margin down to minus and beat them in 2024! Starting yesterday!

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Yes, good going, Gary, for labeling K. McCarthy a 'powerless-leaderless' politician. I would add, a 'memorable gavel swinging, smiling public spectacle'.

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At one point I swear I thought McCarthy was going to kiss his gavel.

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Yes, just before he destroyed the podium with it.

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What is the playbook for breaking ridiculous spectacles? Each week expect a new one from the 21 extremists.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

The same old playbook, ted: Comedy & Tragedy & a water hose.

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Well said Gary; all of it.

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Excellent assessment, Gary. Thanks!

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Great response.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Thank you, professor, for capturing so eloquently a moment in history that likely will echo with critical importance for many years to come.

Listening to Hakeem Jeffries speaking live brought on a bout of deep pride as I tried to fight back tears. Here was a real leader in a time of great distress. Here was a leader speaking, without rancor, the truth. And then came a leader in name only, someone who has sold his soul for power while putting at risk the nation and its people, which he is sworn to serve.

Has there ever been such a striking contrast between the light of good and darkness of bad revealed in back-to-back speeches in the the House chamber? It was as if we were watching the dramatic opening scene of an epic narrative about to play out. Now we have to do whatever required to make sure the ending is right and just.

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Michael, I too, felt such emotions. I was so proud that Nancy handed the torch to Hakeem, a man who came from humble beginnings. He held the party together, like glue. He is as strong, intelligent, and forceful as we wanted him to be. What I absolutely loved is the way that he began his speech with very kind words and then crescendoed with absolute fury at what the Pro-Rape Party will attempt to do. He outshined Qevin in the early morn. Qevin will never come close to Hakeem’s greatness. 2024, Hakeem will be our Speaker. Let’s make certain that happens!

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The Democratic campaigns for 2024 need to start NOW, in early 2023. Identify solid candidates, then follow in Governor Gretchen Whitmer's footsteps and snowshoe tracks all over the districts, meeting folks and listening ("Fix the Damn Roads!"). We need representatives who actually represent The People, All of Us This Time!

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They are. CA41 Democracy in Action for 2023 is having a zoom meeting on Jan 26.

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YAYAY!!

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Yes, we do need to start now. I keeping thinking, “ok... now what?” How can we prevent them from dismantling our power at home and in the world by their power in the house. What can we do if they refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Is there anything to prevent that from happening? Can 20 lunatics truly hamstring the Executive and Judicial branches of government? I’m feeling my body go into panic mode. I’m inspired by Jeffries speech as “we” all are but will bring inspired keep the chaos and destruction of our government by those 20 from happening? My anxiety is overtaking my whole being today. I don’t see how retaking the house in 2 years will save us if they’ve already destroyed our standing in the world. Can they be stopped before that happens? I’m sorry. I’m rambling and melting down.

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Ditto.

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Herbal tea just isn’t cutting the anxiety! 🥺

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Try another herb.

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Best comment today, MaryPat. I’m raring to go….

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We certainly need inspiration, and hope, to stay connected and to plan a strong campaign in 2024, both for the Presidency and the control of Congress.

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Qevin McTaliban, his new name as Speaker. I love it….

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Felt that McCarthy was ready for the vote, but had not prepared an acceptance speech or delivered one to inspire, show leadership chops. Mr Jefferies, on the other hand, came prepared to begin the 118th Congress as leader and jumped right in to the work by his leadership. I hope he stays on for the next three sessions. We need strong leadership that has depth, chops, and experience to move the American agenda forward. I understand, but worry about suggestions that he aspire to presidency in 2024. We need him in the House for six to ten years.

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I’m mighty motivated Marlene!

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Good, Gus! Let’s kick some a$$

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

I got my boots on and am ready to kick!!!

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It could happen sooner, if the DOJ ever gets its act together.

Wishin' and a hopin'....

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Bill,

Give it up on the DOJ. The time has past for action on DJT. The window has closed.

Trump has, once again, shown that he can get away with anything he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants.

Probably how the woman he raped in department store feels about him.

Or, those (innocent and subsequently released) black kids who went to jail for murder because of Trump's famous accusations in NY City.

In Trump's long life of crime, he has always, without exception, "gotten by with it".

and then smiled broadly, with with great ugliness, at all of us who would not be able to similarly escape the justice system.

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I hear you Mike. I guess I will cling to the Al Capone theory of justice. It wasn't the murders and slaughters that sent him to prison. It was tax evasion. And of course, his demise was a long and painful bout of VD. I could make the case that "45" is a similar victim of such.

From the NIH:

"Syphilis is a multisystem chronic infection caused by treponema pallidum. It can cause psychiatric disorders including depression, mania, psychosis, personality changes, delirium and dementia."

Of course, he didn't need VD to display those behaviors. I think he could have just inherited them.

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I hate to "Heart" this, Mike. You are, however, 100% correct. Gaetz is in that boat as well.

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Jack Smith is waiting in the wings to pounce on Dump. Don’t you worry your pretty little head, Mike, a big change is gonna come.

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I do so hope you are right, Elisabeth.

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Yes, Michael Bales, exactly, “It was as if we were watching the dramatic opening scene of an epic narrative about to play out...” and the ending is still to be written. So let’s hope our Democracy is strong enough to withstand McCarthy and his friends.

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Agree and identify with pride, strong emotions.

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“Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told reporters. Gaetz later explained away his willingness to accept McCarthy after vowing never to support McCarthy by saying “I ran out of things I could even imagine to ask for.”

Says it all, doesn’t it?!!

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So creepy, that Gaetz.

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Isn't he supposed to be in jail already?

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Sure…if he wasn’t White and we’ll connected.

One can still hope that ATG Garland IS looking at him closely though. Along with some others.

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Aren't they all? And none of them who supported Stop the Squeal, I mean Steal, should be serving in government, according to our Constitution... Justice, we are still waiting—where are you?

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“Stop the squeal”, I love that Pensa!

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Whatever happened to the investigation of Gaetz’s sex trafficking of a minor (etc) case?

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He looks sooo much like that cartoon character from an old comic called "Beavis and Butthead."

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Matt “butt hair” Gaetz

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How creepy is Matt Gaetz? Matt Gaetz is as creepy as….(let the comments fly)!

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Creepy enough to gag a maggot off a gut truck.

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I have read this aloud to myself in a variety of accents and can now declare with certainty that you are the winner.

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I tried your technique, Will. I found "Valley Girl" to be the most evocative, followed closely by a deeply southern pig farmer drawl.

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Ally, the pig farmer wins.

👍

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Thank you Will!

The preferred accent is, of course, Deep South. Cajun also works. Surprisingly, no accent plain English is just as good. I love the matchless image it conveys.

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Gus . . . 🤣

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As when you find a slug in your food.

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. . . and that's an insult to the slug in your food.

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LOL. It is, but they are so slimy.

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Hair Gaetz.

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He’s not alone in that department either.

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The most truly pathetic thing is the lack of imagination on display. That's a pretty short time to run out of things to ask for!

Don't know what this says about me, but I could go on way longer. Free Wi-Fi, please! A new car, preferably a hybrid! New tile in my Mom's bathroom, preferably black and white! A custom made obstacle course for my pet budgie! A whole bunch of those cheeses with the apricots in them! Can't. Stop. Imagining. Things.

Oh, and world peace. That too, obvs.

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I think he would have gotten castrated in order to get the gavel - OH WAIT! They DID castrate him. As speaker anyway.

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I prefer to think of it as "self-neutering".

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Charlie Sykes called it "self-gelding." I nearly choked!

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A bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones removed.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Make it one of them glass bowls with the funky swirl patterns like in the marbles you play with when you're a kid.

Put the brown M&Ms in a Ziploc so I can take it to work and feed them to the squirrels outside to see if one of them turns into the Energizer bunny.

See! Even. More. Things!

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Little sets of dentures for the squirrels that eat the M&M’s.

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Now, Robin, there you go making this political again. Everyone knows whether the Medicare-for-Rodents proposal should cover dental or not is a hot button issue, and will be for the near future!

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I beg your pardon. the blues ones are the color out of family.

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How might we know how much of that stuff he may actually have gotten. Besides, I suspect it was all theatre. They learned from #45 if one appears to be bumbling one can accomplish far more evil before folks recognize they’ve been manipulated & deceived.

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Evelyn, he got the protection he needed to stay above the law. Thats all he ever wanted. That pesky investigation involving a minor just went away.

Just as MTG's involvement with the Insurrection evaporated. She already lied under oath and got away with it.

McCarthy effectively coated the J6 Insurrectionists with Teflon.

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Indeed,

It says how nasty, mean and downright illegal everything about the Republican Party really is.

Is not Matt Gaetz under indictment for rape of a teenager? I thought the Justice department was going after him for abusing teens?

But, wait, probably not. He is rich and white. I forgot. Sorry.

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To my knowledge he is not under indictment, but being investigated.

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From Twitter:

Tristan Snell

@TristanSnell

Why hasn’t Matt Gaetz been indicted yet? Because the investigation has ballooned — covering a huge web of political corruption, fraud, and embezzlement of COVID relief funds, as well as sex trafficking.

A wave of indictments is anticipated for after the November election.

2:49 PM · Sep 17, 2022

One can hope and wonder if this all didn’t play into back channel wheeling and dealing on display this past week. At least the executive branch remains out of reach of the web of political corruption, the Senate too (barely) but hopefully effectively!

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Between gaetz and trump mccarthy will have the brownest nose in DC.

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Did he actually out Lindsey the senator from South Carolina?

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And that is going some.

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For once, total honesty.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Well, here we are. What's the opposite of gloating? Like, when you were right but you didn't want to be, so you don't get the joy of proving people wrong? What is the word for that?

To those of y'all here in this grand ole comments section who, over the last days and weeks were busy dreaming of a fantastical present where a mystical magical moderate Republican would rise up to collaborate with Democrats - going so far as to name actual individual candidates - how are y'all doing tonight?

To those of y'all who clung to any scrap of moonbeam that the insurrection-apologist-now-Speaker with the spine of spaghetti would find some tiny grain of his soul he wouldn't be willing to hawk to the lowest bidder, leading him to decide NOT to give leverage over the global financial system to a fringe cabal of conspiracy theorists, con artists, and sex offenders, when every past bit of behavior clearly indicated he would have made a blood sacrifice of a dozen puppies on the House floor without blinking if that's what it took to get that gavel... how ARE y'all doing tonight?

I guess what I am really trying to ask in my own very salty way is: what IS this quixotic obsession so many of my fellow liberals have with finding that One Good Republican (TM), and why in Yaweh's name does it keep perpetuating itself despite all we have seen and heard and been through? Who are these not-extremists you keep gazing into your rose-tinted microscope expecting to find in this petri dish? Why do you persist in thinking they are still there, or there is any chance they will collaborate in good faith in anything important? There are precisely TWO House Republicans left who thought that inciting an insurrection was worth an impeachment vote, and precisely ZERO who are willing to vote for a woman to control her own uterus (like in every other developed country), a perfect match to the ZERO who are willing to keep assault rifles as far away from our children's bodies as possible (like in every other developed country). ZERO to disallow unlimited millions to buy unlimited ads yelling unlimited lies in districts drawn to favor one side forever. ZERO to do the minimum needed to avoid global climate catastrophe in their own lifetimes.

How many people can hold these positions and not be extreme? ZERO! The praise that gets lavished on JohnKasichJohnMcCainJohnRobertsLisaMurkowskiLynnCheney every time they deign to do the bare minimum on one thing is continually baffling to me. None of these people are moderate! Moderate means in the middle. The median. The median American believes in few to none of the things these folks very publicly stand for. Some of them are very good at selling themselves as moderate, but that does not make them so. Politicians - even those I admire, of which there are plenty - are salespeople for a set of stances. Why are y'all still expecting the product to jive with what it says on the label?

I *think* I know why. It is because we all have Republicans in our friends and family, and we do not wish to think ill of these loved ones. We want very badly to go back to when we all got along and could talk things out. So we are inventing a group of moderate, reasonable Republicans: the kind sweet Aunt Janet regrettably votes for, the kind we disagree with on policy but can talk it out with. The kind sweet Aunt Janet would be if she were in Congress.

Those people do not exist right now.

The current Republican party, and almost all of its denizens, is a giant void. They literally have no platform. They don't want to talk policy. They don't want to talk results. These people stand for late-capitalist big business, dangerously wacky religious groups, or some only-in-America combination of both. The less power the government has, the more power these other societal elements can have. So they have convinced tens of millions of people over several decades to distrust the government, and those people have now put them inside the government to essentially destroy it from within. Why would they talk policy? Why would they talk common sense at all? Those things would lead to solutions, which would mean the government works. This is exactly the opposite of what they are there for. They are all there to take a seat away from the opposition party that DOES engage in policy, nothing more or less. They give new meaning to standing for nothing, in that their absence of ideas and principles is quite purposeful.

My plea: stop looking for the One Good Republican among the current group. Leave these people for dead, or they will drag you off the edge of the Earth. None of them are your sweet Aunt Janet. None of them will save us from the insanity they created and/or tacitly support.

Every bit of thought and energy you have needs to instead go to supporting the MANY good Democrats over these next two years, so this lost battle is merely a blip on the way to winning the war for our democracy. Only then we may get the ultimate prize: some good Republicans.

Until then, spare me. Please.

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Agree entirely. There are no good Republicans in the House.

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Will, I don't think I ever heard of our political future hinging on the behavior of One Good Republican. I'm sure we'll find ad hoc ways to survive the next two years of idiocy during the Republican control of the House. Some of the Republicans' initiatives take all the political will we can summon to neutralize or counteract. But I'm confident we will succeed.

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To clarify, I could not be more in agreement with you that the health of our political system has never hinged on the One Good Republican (or Few Good Republicans). My frustration is with what I perceive as undue mental energy and written word being put to the task of finding and rewarding these people, despite the fact they never seem to turn up. I am trying to reaffirm my stance that good work almost unfailingly gets done as a result of united Democrats, rather than reasonable bipartisan negotiation, of which it is clear current reactionary "conservatives" of all stripes have less than no appetite for. So rather than the fools errand of pursuing that possibility, I wish more people would double down on the most sure way to achieve progress: using the next few years to elect more reliable Democrats at all levels.

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The messaging has to be that Republicans are simply too dangerous and unhinged to be in control of the government. The Democrats need to keep beating the drum on this issue. People who were temperamentally conservative but not ideological--the "moderate" Republicans--might once have said that Republicans might not be great, but the Democrats are worse. Democrats need to find messaging that dislodges that false narrative. Republicans are doing everything they can to help them. Let's not let all that extraordinary effort go to waste.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

The problem here is that I have yet to see any hard, convincing evidence - quantitative nor qualitative - that this effort has been effective, or is worth pursuing at all. I appreciate your well-worded differentiation between the "temperamental, but not ideological" conservative. But their half-hearted residual ballot-check has the exact same effect on the results as the rabid support of a hardcore red-hat: 1 vote for the same candidate.

Today's rant might mislead, but I am a hardcore pragmatist. Our love for fellow man might have no limits, but our time and energy has many. I am only interested in spending the portion of mine involved in politics achieving one near-term result: getting more fellow citizens to vote Dem (the current party supporting healthy democratic institutions and the working class). Every campaign knows victory comes down to two basics: turnout and persuasion. The only truly useful questions here are: 1) did anyone actually change over from R to D, and 2) did enough people change over to make it a worthwhile time expenditure (versus turning out the typically unengaged).

If you look at the '22 House results, you see that signs point to a "no" on both counts. Almost every registered R voted R (Ds did likewise). It was a dead heat because it was a dead heat among Independents, and the slim House loss attributed to unresolved gerrymandering cases and/or poor turnout in the largest D stronghold states (we swept swing states where the focus was).

Also, beating the drum about the dangers of an anti-democratic opposition only takes you so far, as illuminated in this concise recent Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/05/number-of-populist-world-leaders-at-20-year-low. You can't just run negatively, you must have a positive platform as well. Which we do!

So my conclusion is that time is poorly spent putting effort into changing Republican minds - my initial post was geared toward elected officials, but applies to a certain extent to average voters too - and instead put maximum energy into engaging apathetic electorate members with a positive platform of Democratic accomplishment and planning. You are entitled to disagree but I feel pretty firm on this one.

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I've probably mentioned my Republican friend before, and maybe my Texas Democrat grandparents. Back in the day my grandparents' comments about anyone not of their color and social standing were deeply offensive, and obviously wrong, my parents thought, but there was absolutely no way to discuss anything with them, and certainly no way to change their minds. And my Republican friend told me, "Actually, I am not a Republican- I am Tea Party." We used to share some views, but very few, and over time, I realized there was an underlying, unstated set of beliefs in her that could never be discussed let alone uprooted. You are right; these positions do not change. The bias towards racism and fear and hoarding resources for one's own kind is baked in. Education might have made a difference when they were very young- maybe growing up in a different environment would have changed them - but as adults they were unshakable. My grandparents are long gone, but I see their ideas in many Republicans and right wingers now.

Since I do care for my friend, I have to let her be. We agreed to disagree, and do not speak of politics any more. If it came to a war, though, we'd probably be on opposite sides. She is someone I respect, but why? I respect her as a human, as someone who has worked hard, has lived her life according to her own principles, and has loved her life and her family and followed her dreams. Her dream was to be financially well-off, to live among those who are like her, and oddly, to meditate and study in an Eastern tradition that does not (to my way of thinking) support her views. But that is where my oversight of her point of view trails off. As far as I am concerned, she belongs to a group of humans, who, like people of a different color, or nationality or sexual orientation than me, deserves respect and who wishes for freedom from suffering. I am part of another group- and that won't change either. It brings me some peace to know that I can love people who are very different than me, and that they also can love me and my kind despite the errors of my thinking.

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I have had experience with folks of similar belief structures. I have had to break fellowship with several of them because of their views; I cannot hold that when they believe that my marriage is an anathema as they say they support me and my wife, "just not with being married".

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Lauri, you have a big heart. The fact that you can love a hater makes you a poster child for what I was taught is the original "Christianity".

I am not that generous of spirit. I could and have remained friends with folks who have different political views. That's mature and healthy. And I also have respected folks who "worked hard and paid their taxes". Their social status...meh.

But when those opinions step over the line of viewing ANY other group as subhuman and not entitled to the protections of the law and the basics of survival - shelter, food, water, a good job, education and health care, when that line is crossed, the person in question becomes an enemy of humanity. An enemy to be shunned, marginalized and out voted.

America is now very divided - it always has been. But recent "politicians" have encouraged the haters to crawl out of their holes and openly declare their otherwise quietly held views. They might as well put on their white hoods.

Demographics are on our side. Diversity is the friend of all. We owe it to the next generations to be honest about who the true Americans are and what real democracy and patriotism is all about. There is no nice middle ground.

I am glad you can find peace in loving another. But IMO, sometimes, that's how evil spreads - they suck you in with "dears" and "honeys" and then go about their bigotry. At least hate and evil are now back in the light of day so we can crush it.

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I certainly appreciate the path you traveled to find peace with this and to be able to embrace your friend despite your differences. What always trips me up, with this kind of person, i.e.. someone bigoted and needing to stay isolated in her/his own tribe, is that her comfort is largely based on her privilege. Had she been born African American, she more likely would have been poor and certainly would have experienced racism throughout her life. However, serendipity being what it is, allowed her the freedoms she has including the freedom to remain ignorant about all she has because of her privilege.

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I like the way you think. ‘You can’r make a silk purse out of a sows ear. It’s only good to be fed to the dogs. Time to be growing caterpillars and a large mulberry tree.

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Yes, counteracting is possible Nevoust ... ; yes we will need some savy parliamentarian skills: Yes, we can succeed. There is more than one way to bring a House bill to the Floor & you don't need 'good' republicans, self interested r's will do fine. 212 + 6 = 218. 213 + 5 = 218 after the Special Election next Month in VA.

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February 21, 2023

Special Election Day: 4th Congressional District of Virginia.

Support Democratic Jennifer McClellan running for this office.

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Thank you.

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Early voting has already begun!!

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I can hardly keep track of the special and other elections Virginia will have starting now!

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Agreed! I think this is why the postcards to voters can be so helpful. Young parents working, schooling, parenting need our support! Thank you Lynell for all that you do! 😍

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Thank Gawd Morrissey lost.

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Just to clarify, it's the 4th District-VA voting for their U.S. Congressperson!

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Hoping against belief that there will be special election in New York when a certain Jew-ish Catholic straight gay man who is not a Brazilian criminal is removed from congress that will bring those numbers to 214+ 4.

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Man oh man I hope they rid the house of this liar. He must be ill. No well person could do this stuff.

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Hear, Hear, Ally! Here's the latest I could find about what Brazil is doing. Go get 'em, Brazil!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/03/george-santos-brazil-reactivates-fraud-case

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Although, Nevous, McCain was a single “good Republican” when he saved Obamacare. Too close for comfort, but I think you are right that we will find lots of ways to survive the idiocy. Pass me an Advil, or a few hundred…..

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McCain was without a doubt an honorable person, but I bristle at the notion he deserves credit for saving the ACA. He was one of 51 votes to do so. You know who else not only voted to keep the ACA, but also went to the trouble to actually enact and explain and execute it? Every Democrat.

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Here here, he sold his soul before it was all over

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How can that be?

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You've captured them with ¨a fringe cabal of conspiracy theorists, con artists, and sex offenders.¨

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Lordy, you said it all. They did it eyes wide open (with a lot of help from Rupert). Recognize that bipartisanship is dead, dead, dead

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And the newt who began the dismantling.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Well done. You’ve captured liberal naivety and regulatory capture by the Reagan Republicans quite elegantly. Liberals have been bringing pillows to these knife fights for too long. Time to take a hard look at the neocons in the Democratic Party and begin forming hardline liberals who can stand up to a fight. The Republicans will be storming the gates of liberalism. They’re just over the horizon and ready to invade us again.

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Well-thought comment Will. Great points!

I just recently read an article that bewailed the fact that the U.S. seems to be a place where far too many of us are awash with magical thinking, odd longings for supernatural phenomena and hopes for some superhero to appear and 'save' us.

The speculation was that it is a legacy of our country's love/hate affair with it's rebellious religious roots. I don't know about that...but we definitely are a country dangerously adrift, whether it's in a sea of magical thinking or an ocean of ignorance, I cannot say.

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For millions of humans, once a "belief system" is embraced, no amount of facts that invalidate that belief system make a difference. Because, now we have "alternative facts".

Will is nailing it. The haters can wrap themselves in flags and religious mumbo jumbo. But the truth is simply this: They do not want to share ANYTHING with the "others". It is a classic tribal tradition that harks back to our prehistoric origins. NOTHING will ever change their world view.

We are in a war of belief systems. It is a war of values. And the entire mess comes down to these questions: "How big is your community?" .... "Who deserves to share in America's riches of democracy, natural resources and the rule of law?" .... "How do you define brotherly love?"

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WillfromCal:Thank you for hitting me so hard. I left the Republican Party recently....regrettably, a party I should have never supported. I voted for President Biden. The previous election , I could not bring myself to vote for anyone....the first time in decades I had not voted.

Character counts; love for this country...that is everyone not just those whose money benefits certain pockets....counts, the hard work that is involved daily in negotation for the support of freedom counts! Thank you to the heroes who do not ask for power or honors for themselves but who have given their lives, their intellect for the ideal of freedom.

America includes all of us, all colors, personalities, faiths or not, etc.

These are dangerous times. Our country needs leadership....the free world and those who long to be free, need our support; a positive example of what freedom and Democracy looks like.

Thank you, Will, for your lengthy letter to us.

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Living across the Atlantic, my very recent comment has to do with giving up on "Preachin' to the choir..." not as dramatic as your righteous diatribe, which I agree with 100%, but in the same vein.

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Good comment.

We might should go ahead and call the Republican Party members what they are: Nazi's.

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@Will from Cal, brilliant! Exactly what you said, so eloquently, every word. Thank you!

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

The way you take up space repeating the same idea as though to ad infinitum and so taken with yourself...I could go on but mimicking you is not my intention.

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Thank you, Fern. Your criticism is constructive and appreciated!

Two things: "attempting ad finitum" doesn't truly work grammatically. "Attempting *to* [insert other verb] ad finitum" is more proper.

Also, there is a collapse button, as well as a bar on the side that does the trick. Even though this is a totally free page to access, these convenient ways to hide people you think are too wordy and pompous for their own good exist to solve the annoyance you seem to be experiencing.

Hope this helped! Cheers!

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No surprise that you told me about a tool I am familiar with. My aim was to get your attention and I did, along with more of you (your most overused tool).

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Happy to be of service! If you have further comments or questions about my very very many words, please leave a message after the tone and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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“Those people do not exist right now.” Truth. Thanks for pointing that out.

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What a juxtaposition of messages!

One, a groveling homage to a fading star, the other a inspirational, exciting vision of a brighter future by a rising one.

Hakeem 2024!

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Tonight I was listening to German news on ZDF where the top of the news was Kevin McCarthy's finally getting the speakership after 15 tries, the most tries since the Civil War. The anchor, Anne Gellinek, told us a clear victory this is not. She said it reminds us that straightforward blackmail can exercise influence in this government and the job is clear, this House Leader is one on call. The fact that MTG made no bones about the fact that she was under Trump's influence with a photo showing DT on her phone, meant Kevin McCarthy had to close ranks with the right wing extremists. Ms. Gellinik interviewed an analyst from the publication Foreign Affairs who pointed out that this shows that it only takes a handful of people to really create problems for McCarthy. Ms. Gellinik went on to say that it is as if McCarthy's speech to the House seemed to demonstrate him not grasping that this is not a clear victory. My feeling is that even if he made concessions he does not have to follow them. After all, his is the party of liars and grifters. Ms. Gellinik pointed out that given the circumstances, this House seems threatening to many people. I am one of them. Ms. Gellinik then interviewed Constanze Stelzenmüller, a German foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institute. She said we have to wait and see whether McCarthy has power or whether the far right will rule the House. She reminds us that he has important supporters among the less extreme Republicans, particularly Mitch McConnell, Minority leader in the Senate. Ms. Gellinik referred to the "vote crime show" to ask what was the motive for this right wing group in holding out on McCarthy. Stelzenmüller said it remains to be