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Dear Grandson, I just sent you the newsletter. This morning I thought I should include a personal note. The reality of the last 3 days seeps through the cracks in our consciousness with each hour. The newsletter clarifies the known facts as well as possible. Today, it frightened me. And that made me think of you, your sisters, your parents and your friends. I thought of how you must be puzzled by such events at the hands of adults.

I believe in Joseph Biden. I believe in his humanness. I believe in the people he is assembling to help govern the country. I believe in the humanity of the vast, vast majority of Americans.

Lots of troubles exist in America, some since conception. Now Covid, Climate change, and the aftermath of djt . But of all the countries on earth, we are the best equipped to solve our problems and to help the rest of this world to fix what we all face.

So keep the faith. Work hard, play hard, and sleep hard. Be both kind and brave. Don’t hate.

Don’t put up with hate. Dream your dreams and put them into action. It’s going to be ok.

Love from GP

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That is awesome, I was just thinking that HCR's letters should be required reading for all high school students.. Facts and no spin..

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I sent a copy of one of her letters to a client who said she was on the fence at the time about having voted for Trump. She totally rejected the letter saying that it was misinformation. So trash that idea! I don’t know who it was that said, we will find information to support our belief.

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Anyone who could have voted for him in '16, and is still on the fence has said it all. I don't even try to reason, explain, or provide enlightening facts. They won't change, and I won't provide oxygen. They're the people who are now blaming the Capitol insurrection on Antifa.

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I just “uh huh” them. Conversationally ghosting someone is the best form of disrespect.

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I can do the uh huh thing, but only to a point. I have a few long-time friends that I'll tolerate, but if they refuse my request to abstain from political discussion, they're off my list. In the past, I could have polite discourse, but the last four years have made civil discussion impossible.

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I only do it with clients. It’s not my job to tell clients what I think. That said, friends, I’ve ghosted them all together. I decided a long time ago to keep toxic people out of my life. So I hear ya.

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I srsly cannot be friends with such ignorant ppl. I have worked 30 years with developmentally disabled ppl and tho often misguided most are teachable. (Some are even very astute and I have been friends with them, off the clock). I could not tolerate hateful, destructive, bigoted cultists.

My daughter told me she met a guy, was contemplating intimacy with him until he revealed he was a MAGAT. A black guy! She dumped him on the spot.

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Confirmation bias, I learned, is the term for ‘will find information to support our belief’

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You're correct. Another way to look at confirmation bias is one's ability to twist whatever one sees, reads or hears into something that supports one's previously-held belief.

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Confirmation bias has become so normalized in the past 1/2 decade that I've more than once found myself wondering if I am a clueless idiot who is completely wrong about the deep differences in the aims of the two major political parties in our country, if it is my T****-supporting siblings who are the clear-sighted ones of our parents' progeny instead of me, if I've missed the boat.

My youthful readings of Frank Boas and Ruth Benedict made me believe in cultural relativism; however, I can never see female genital mutilation, foot-binding, female infanticide, rampaging colonialism, or systemic racism as excusable because of the beliefs and practices of the cultures from which those horrors have arisen.

If I am suffering from confirmation bias, I am not sure I want to be relieved of that fault, now that I think about it.

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There is a big difference between:

1. The closed system of unconscious confirmation bias that reifies destructive hateful ideology, whipping up a group to violence, versus

2. Open minded cultural relativism and open minded listening, after which we apply critical thinking and make judgments based on our own morality, our values of what is wholesome and life affirming for humanity.

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I sent one to my 2 brothers. One ignored it; the other told me not to ever send him any more of that left-wing, socialist propaganda.

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Your beautiful letter broke my heart that it had to even be written to our younger generation. What a loving grandfatherly thing to do today.

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At this point, I'm having trouble with the "Don't hate" part. Hopefully, I'll conquer that. Thank you for your wonderful letter and saying that "of all the countries on earth, we are the best equipped to solve our problems. . . ." We must remember that and turn away from fear and despair. They want us to wring our hands and hide in a corner,

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Thank You!

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I have a great-grandson now, born on Nov. 8, 2016, my own birthday 72 years earlier. It was an occasion of great joy, especially for me. EXCEPT ...

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Great stuff, I know. I remember clearly as if it was yesterday dealing with my elder granddaughter when she was a 3 yr old pest (born when I was in the US.....now 20 and becoming fashion editor on numerous internet publications. Didn't see it passing!

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I’m saving these newsletters for my great-grandsons. I’m also writing lists of the known Trump and Democrat supporters in my parents’ branch of our greater family tree. Unfortunately, the Trump supporter list will be the longest.

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Thank you for sharing. We have MUCH work to do.

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I love this! thank you...

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You sound like a wonderful grandpa. I must confess that even I felt comforted reading your words. Thank you!

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I was here for the Kennedy assassination, Nixon resignation, Reagan attempted assassination (which only angered me that Brady was collateral), but this attempted coup as a finale to a wannabe dictators horrid rule is the most disturbing political event of my life.

And now it is coming out that those sinister things we suspected of this “regime” are true. It was a real coup attempt, run by naive idiots who could not sustain it but now we are finding how high in the government was involvement. The police are suspect, the military is suspect and elected legislators along with oligarchs behind the scene are known accomplices. Conspiracy theories of a right-wing takeover of the U.S. took a turn toward reality this week.

And the madman in the Oval Office is still there. Ppl involved are getting arrested but being charged with misdemeanor “breaking & entering” or “unlawful trespassing.” We need to see real felony charges of INSURRECTION, SEDITION, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT/’BATTERY & FELONY MURDER where the perps sit behind bars until arraigned and then held without bond.

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"Bill & Susan replied to your comment

All caps are neither required nor appreciated. This isn't FB or Tweeter."

Apparently Bill & Susan decided that arbiters of style are neither required or appreciated and deleted their comment. But, I will still reply that Bold, Italics, and Underlines are sometimes required for emfasis none of which I can do on this forum, SO ALL CAPS ARE REQUIRED, WHETHER APPRECIATED OR NOT.

And yes, I also replace the useless "ph" when I writing an "f" sound as do so many fonetic languages.

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If you had used ALL caps throughout, that is one thing; however, resorting to all caps as our simplest way of creating emfasis (I like your fonetix!) is completely reasonable.

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Yes, that was unfortunate. More power to them for having reconsidered

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"Tweeter"? That's a tiny speaker designed to enhance high-frequency sound reproduction.

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Love it! And "Twitter"....the chatter of bird brains. Natural for the flying variety of course.

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We didn't delete our comment. Substack barfed under the load. Resorting to all caps is the habit of a lazy mind. Not arguing with your points, because as soon as we see that we don't read the post. We simply move on to look for more intelligent commentary.

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Each of us has our style and always considerate of the other. Language and emphasis are personal. Passion can be expressed here just as well as clinical analysis and both are understood, discussed and enjoyed. Tolerance is not a word that I would use in the circumstances as it would suggest a norm over and above my first phrase from which someone was deviating. We are here because we wanted a calm, intelligent forum, far away from the FB agressivity and condemnation , while making a contribution through ideas, opinions and discussion.

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Dang.

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And yet, here you are. I suppose you read where I disagree with your opinion.

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I agreed with Nixon's pardon thinking that we need not be like other countries that have to jail our former leaders. That just makes politics rougher, or so I thought. Trump's presidency has sorely tested that belief but I held onto that belief. The attempted coup on Jan 6th was more than the last straw. An attempt to use force to install a president is short said an attempted coup. A president who tries that needs to be impeached and convicted--even if the conviction happens after he has already left office. The people who broke into the capitol building need to be given more than misdemeanor convictions. Yes, the impeachment may just be symbolic but it is a symbolism we need. Yes an impeachment and some felony convictions will make some people mad but it will also make them think twice before trying something similar.

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American exceptionalism ("we're different; it can't happen here") is a self-delusion. I'm glad you came around at last, but I hope you'll take a good hard look at what took you so long. Because plenty of us have been here waiting for decades.

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I can see why you are stereotyping me that way but, allthough I grew up in Nebraska, I have degrees from schools in both Denmark and Canada. I know from first hand experience the U.S. is not exactly a paradigm for other countries to imitate. Am I also a Danish and Canadian exceptionalist because I don't expect to see a coup attempt in either of those countries during my lifetime? Come to think of it I'm rather surprised that you have been expecting to see one here.

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Yes!

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yes.. we must be in the same graduating class... and I remember my parent's reactions to each of these events as well...and the Bay of Pigs! This has been the most horrifying of all.. perhaps 'tied' with the Kennedy Assassinations and Martin Luther King.. but this is so massive! The scale of this..the complicity...as horrified as I am...and have been for days... I still thinkI am in shock to some degree and as more is learned the more distressing it becomes... and if Heather is not allowed back on Facebook..whoa! That truly concerns me!

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What? Heather not on Facebook?

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May be this has already been answered. Here is Heather's FB post from about 1 PM today:

Hi Folks:

My January 8, 2021 post has been taken down. Usually this happens when someone complains about it. The post then goes to Facebook jail until a moderator reviews it. At that point, until now, anyway, it has always come back up. I expect the same will happen this time, eventually.

I also expect that this will happen frequently for awhile, as far-right activists try to reclaim the public platforms that have now been denied them. Their panic at being kicked off Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and so on illustrates exactly what I've been trying to say about the importance of reclaiming public debate. If they didn't think taking up oxygen was important, they would not be fighting so hard to make sure they dominate public spaces.

Do remember, though, that my posts are always available-- for free-- at heathercoxrichardson.substack.com under the title "Letters from an American." You don't have to subscribe or get them through email if you don't want to; you can just go to the site and read them there. If you DO want to get them through email, you can sign up through the free option. You don't have to worry that I will use advertising or harvest emails (who am I kidding? I don't even know how! 🙂 )

These are frightening times, and we're all tired and on edge-- me, included. It means a lot to have so many people here who care.

So thanks, yet again.

Heather

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Thank you Bob, this is good to know.

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HCR’s Jan 8 post was restored to FB a few hours later.

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BTW, here is something a friend sent me in an e-mail. Some ppl are monitoring FB and turns out it is an insidious influencer in its practices. But it did fail in GA.

https://themarkup.org/citizen-browser/2021/01/05/in-georgia-facebooks-changes-brought-back-a-partisan-news-feed

Moot for me since I am no longer on that platform and will soon be off twitter, having likely been targeted by some right-winger who did not like my anti-tRumper tweet. I refuse to delete the tweet (FB always did it for me) and it is still languishing in appeal 2 days later.

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Thank you, Rob, and good luck with Twitter.

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It’ll happen. The serious crimes will put plenty of people in jail. The judicial system grinds slowly, I know, it’s hard to be patient.

But here’s why I am responding:

You wrote:

“this attempted coup as a finale to a wannabe dictators horrid rule is the most disturbing political event of my life.”

Like you, I was here for JFK‘s assassination and the others you list. My wife and I have been comparing this event to JFK in Dallas. These two events, JFK in Dallas and 1/6/21, are the two most disturbing political events of our lives.

*takes a deep breath*

*now tears want to come*

This is hard to process.

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Here is also a text exchange on HCR 1/7/21, Ted Keyes asking the question and me responding:

What are the historical parallels to other Coup attempts or snatch and grab elections to secure first power, then consolidate it and transition to authoritarianism. It has never happened here, so where do we look for parallels to make sense of Jan 6th, 2021?

Adolf Hitler and his storm troopers, the brown shirts, for one. There are many other examples of course. What makes us different than most of history: this wannabe dictator doesn’t have control of (1) the military and doesn’t have control of (2) national police. Our system, our Constitution, is specifically designed to prevent dictatorship. That’s why the military is not allowed to intervene domestically. That’s why we don’t have a national police force that can lock people up. That’s why Congress (legislative branch) is separate and independent from the judiciary (legal system) is separate and independent from the executive branch, so that the attempted power-grab by the executive branch, which is Trump, can still be contained and prevented by the other branches.

We have a unique system, custom-designed to prevent exactly the types of things that DT is trying to pull off.

Trump has tried every way possible to be a dictator. He has been probably our only real test of the system. His attempts to change the vote to invalidate Biden’s win and keep himself as President, guess what, that’s exactly what Putin does and Stalin did. It happens in countries all over the world, all the time. But here he is unable to pull it off, because people are legally bound to follow the Constitution. Many guard rails.

Controlling the vote, that’s also what that jerk Lukashenko does to stay in power in Belarus. If you control the vote count, as Stalin said, you control your position on top. Putin is Exhibit A.

The historic parallel I know the best is Hitler’s Germany. The US Capitol riot is watered down, unofficial version of what Hitler did to the German parliament in the 1930s, it’s called the Reichstag. He ordered his brown shirts in there, his thugs (they are very similar to this MAGA crowd except they were paid and wore matching uniforms), and they trashed and looted the place and burned it. It’s the house of the people, just like here.

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I recommend the book, How Democracies Die, by Levitsky and Ziblatt. Short and readable, and based on a study of numerous modern democracies around the world that have failed.

The book has a few eye-openers (for the politically naïve, like myself), one of them being how much we must rely upon the powerful to keep their own sandbox clean. The authors have an interesting take on both the Electoral College, and the necessity of "back room power-brokers."

In particular, the back-room deals have an essential role in prejudicially weeding out people like Trump, and others who threaten the system. Trump should have been quietly but firmly disqualified from even being allowed to join the 2016 Republican slate: he should have been forced to form his own new party with no national recognition at all. But -- and this is a typical failure mode, according to L & Z -- the weaker party (the Republicans) got desperate and fell for the shiny thing, thinking they could control this useful idiot. They found that they could not control him, and in the process, lost control of their own party and a large portion of their electorate.

The normal outcome of this blunder would have been a corrupted election -- which almost happened -- that made the useful idiot "president for life," supported by a popular minority of fanatics and an increasingly captive electoral process.

What was remarkable was not that we almost lost our democracy, but that we DIDN'T lose our democracy. We should have. It's like we walked down Muggers' Lane, where 99.9% of everyone who walks down that road gets robbed and killed, and somehow -- somehow -- the US strolled down that road whistling, and got out the other end, a little bruised and short a wallet and watch, but still alive.

I'm sure that a large part of Trump's ire over the 2020 election is that he KNOWS this. He thinks he should still be president, and really, he should be.

I can only speculate as to why this failed. A large part of it, I think, was that the states ran such a clean national election. I suspect Trump was too drunk on his popularity among his cultists to take sufficient measures to corrupt the election, and as a television celebrity, he mistook popularity polls for votes. He thought he was in for an easy win, and when the people rejected him, I think he was completely unprepared.

The January 6 insurrection looks entirely like a desperate Hail Mary fling. All of those post-November shake-ups in the executive branch, particularly in the military, should have been in-place at least a year earlier. Every one of the crackpot schemes cooked up by the lawyers should have been thoroughly vetted and prioritized before the election took place. He should not have relied upon a rag-tag mob of right-wing extremists and civilian cultists: in four years' time, he could have had trained private military forces ready.

The REAL failure in this whole process goes back to 2015, when the Republican Party sold out and let Trump get on stage.

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“The states running a clean election” is also part of that juggernaut analogy. For over 250 years, those elections have been operating basically seamlessly, if you discount voter suppression of non-whites. But even if you take voter suppression into consideration, the mechanics of those elections are clean. It takes work to corrupt something that’s working well, automatically, for a long period of time.

Another consideration: what happens at a national level is truly governed, wants to be governed, by what the majority wants. Biden knows this. Most politicians know this. They are very careful about keeping close tabs on what the majority wants. Now if the majority wants something different than a white male politician personally wishes for, then a conflict happens. Voting them out of office is the eventual, natural consequence.

Bottom line: the majority of America no longer wants the racist (whites first) and sexist (males in charge) system. Hence the desperation move of voting in such a corrupt and flawed individual.

“They found that they could not control him, and in the process, lost control of their own party and a large portion of their electorate.” Their time has come and gone. They are on the way out. This is part of their disintegration process. The Republican Party as we know it will never be the same. Exactly what they will look like is anybody’s guess, but at a minimum they are splintering into (1) racists that still adhere to the U.S. democratic system (Kinzinger, Cheney, Republican judges, ...) and (2) racists with some integrity and ideology, old Republican Party (Lincoln Project, George Will,...) and (3) flagrant racist extremists who just want to keep it white, no matter what it takes (everyone in the Trump camp, insurrectionists).

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Hi Joseph. I agree with your assessment, all of it, of what happened re: the Republican Party and Trump’s drunk-on-adulation hangover and his last ditch, too-late efforts to stay president. We saw some of that “back room power brokers” activity when Clyburn and Obama jumped in to endorse Biden. As you noted, nothing similar to that on the Republican side in 2016.

I hear you about being politically naive. If it weren’t for the time spent here on HCR’s site, I’d still be that person. DJT forced me to understand politics.

What I don’t see mentioned in your excellent analysis is the foundation of our society, the basis of “politics.” Based on what I’ve learned just paying close attention these last few years here, and my knowledge of my own father and the truck drivers in my life, I am now convinced that people fall into 2 camps: either (1) they want to maintain some or all of the old society, no changes allowed, or (2) they are embracing the change to a new society of diversity. The populace which the Republican Party represents, the racist and sexist et al segment of society, is desperate to maintain control of society so that it reflects their vision. They will lie cheat and steal, and do whatever it takes, to keep the whites-first males-first society dominant. So they fight tooth and nail against every non-white non-straight person, especially if it’s a she, who gets into a position of authority, and they fight every person (Biden, Pelosi, ...) and policy which supports a power-sharing diverse populace.

That is the crux of American politics. It looks polarized because it is.

Trump did not factor in the strength of the democratic element. He and his cohorts and admirers call it “the deep state.” When Kelly and other White House officials and Pentagon chiefs “managed” Trump, for example by preventing him from having easy access to various choices like nuclear options, they were providing guard rails. When Jim Mattis and other military chiefs loudly chastised the secretary of defense and others for being present during that Bible raising photo op, and the military action which proceeded it, again the structure of this democracy was making itself felt.

The American democracy is the oldest democracy in the world. Tradition can be a powerful thing. Institutional inertia, is what I call it. When an ocean liner has to change direction, it’s a time-consuming and laborious process. The ocean liner wants to keep going in the same direction, it doesn’t turn easily or readily.

Instead of the Muggers Ln. analogy, may I offer the picture of a pirate vessel which got in front of the ocean liner and was rammed, run over.

The German democracy under Hitler was brand new, you could argue that Russia since the czars still is not a democracy, although it may have been one briefly under Gorbachev, so having a circa 250-year-old democracy provides some small measure of momentum, of inertia. All those laws and rules and traditions have a deep impact because of their longevity, if nothing else. They become part of our DNA. The entire military elite of our country was trained to stay the hell out of domestic politics. All of that training in those elite military schools, impressing itself on young minds, has an effect.

Am I surprised that our democracy survived Trump? No. Am I nervous that it got close to being severely damaged? Hell yes.

Unless we discuss what keeps the democracy intact with a 2-bit, 2nd-class criminal in the Oval Office, part of the story is missing. Also we have to keep in mind that it is the less educated amongst us who are strenuously advocating for a whites-first society. The people who are ignorantly trying to keep all whites and men in charge (and non-whites and women only if they support the old whites-first males-first society), and keep our society operating as racist and sexist, are now probably in the minority but nevertheless savagely resisting change and savagely insisting on keeping whites, men and straights in charge. Probably most of their behavior is subconscious. Most of them are in denial that they are racist and sexist, insults and dirty words to them. Intelligent people examine. Ignorant people just accept cultural conditioning, they don’t want to examine.

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Appreciate the comments both from Roland and Joseph here--but interesting to read them now, as the J6 Committee testimony comes out. I think it is clear our Democracy walked the knife's edge, far more than any of us realized. I think it is also clear our systems are even more exposed and fragile: just one more punch and it will be knocked out. Bowers, the AZ head of the Republican Senate, stood up to Trump in 2020, and he has been railroaded out, harassed, chased away. We are watching today QAnon style anti-Democratic electors being installed at the State level, and on SCOTUS the Republican Justices no longer even bother to pretend they will protect Democracy or the Constitution--they are blurring the line between Church and State so rapidly we will soon have a Christian Sharia in place. We're in real and deep trouble.

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Hello SC. I did a double-take when I saw your post in my email. It took several minutes to register that you are posting way back on a day just after 1/6/21.

O! how much more we still had to learn about the extent and depth of this coup conspiracy.

I understand your fear and concern. So many people feel like you do. The Christian Taliban is certainly making a play for control of society, and so are the other members of the unholy alliance of MAGA-ts containing white supremacists, male supremacists, antisemites and gay persecutors / deniers that has become the Republican Party.

Maybe I’m just a marshmallow fluff idealist. But I see the trend of society, which has moved inexorably towards more and more freedom for and acceptance of voices of diversity. The overall trend of global society is towards inclusion of all people, towards diversity. Slavery is dying. Women’s rights are improving (Roe threat and Afghanistan regression notwithstanding). Gay pride is on the rise. Hollywood gets battered with criticism when it disappoints. I see the Trump administration, and the society which supports it, like a cornered rat just before it gets caught by animal control. They are getting a last hurrah, a last chance to be seen, before they are assimilated by the Borg.

It’s the long view. Gay pride and rainbow flags and Obergefell did not exist when I was born, and certainly not in Africa and Asia. Loving was still waiting to happen. LBJ’s Voting Rights Act had yet to doom segregation and lynching.

America stinks. Discrimination and persecution is rampant. But notice that it now makes headlines every day. The trend is in the right direction.

Does it mean that we are not under threat? No, on the contrary, the threat is very real. However, it now makes headlines, where in the past it was swept under the rug.

I think racism is dying. I think sexism is dying. I think gender persecution is on the wane. But your concern, and the concern of so many of us, is so well warranted and so absolutely essential.

Keep being scared. That’s what ends up holding the degenerates to account. It is apathy and complacency that is the true enemy of freedom and progress. Think Nazi Germany, where the entire society just ended up going with the racist program. At least the US is not making that mistake. The concern and alarm is huge. Thank goodness for that.

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Thank you Roland for filling in the gaps of history about coups. I have not studied the details, just skimmed over events of my life that I have seen first-hand or in movies of the era in which I was born (1944 – the day after FDR won his 4th term).

I made an allusion to that on the HCR Jan 6 letter:

“However, (the coup attempt) was anti-climactic and not surprising at all, considering what we have been enduring for the past 4 years with this stochastic terrorist in the White House fomenting his cult base to do just this kind of outrageous stuff with the silent complicity of the Repugnant Party. To a lesser degree it had already been done in Michigan with death threats to their governor and taking over the statehouse. Add to that the past 4 years of an autocrat basking in the power of the presidency directing his Red Hat MAGATS from the podium to do just such despicable violence under the guise of his protection. I mentioned to my sister that we grew up with black & white film of Hitler ranting to the masses just like that and we never knew what he was saying because it was in German, but now we know. And now the attack on the Reichstag suggests such comparison was not hyperbole.”

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No, not at all, no hyperbole. On Greg Olear, a poster calls Tя☭mp "Shitler." Tя☭mp actually studied Hitler's tactics, he was given a 1941 book of Hitler's analysis of his speeches and methods and studied it in the 1980s, contact me if you want the source reference for that.

Because people in this country are allergic to Hitler and Nazi Germany, just uttering the words freaks out most people, there's a lot of valuable history not being brought to bear on this Administration. My parents were both born in Germany and grew up in that era, plus our family lived in Frankfurt when I was in my teens. So I know exactly what Hitler is saying in those speeches, the speechs that DT has studied.

We are lucky we have the guardrails that the Constitution and the U.S. system provide, they are saving us right now. In most countries and most eras of history, what happened this week could have turned into a coup or a putsch or regime change if any planning had gone into it. Really it was just Tя☭mp directing a mob at the Capitol, I don't think that constitutes a real challenge to the U.S. govt., which is incredibly strong and resilient, no real threat of regime change. But not everyone I know agrees with me, that's just my faith in the system.

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Which is very frightening. I think the assault on the MI State Capitol was a dry run rehearsal for this travesty.

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This is a very good explanation. Thanks!

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I lived and worked in the Golden Triangle of lower SE Texas during the Bay of Pigs/USSR nuclear threat. This area was full of petroleum and chemical plants. My husband worked at DuPont Chemical. Our area and Houston’s were determined to be key areas for attacks and everyone was told to have emergency supplies in the trunks of cars and an evacuation plan. My husband told me he would have to stay at the plant and I was to go north to a relative’s home if the alarm of pending attack was sounded. The thought of those days is now making my heart beat faster. I imagine that fear was much like what some of our congresspersons and staff felt Wednesday. Though concerned when JFK was killed and 9/11 occurred, I didn’t feel afraid for myself and my husband as I did when I thought the upper Texas coast might be bombed; back then I was too close to the reality.

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Did you buy a ticket? And yes, Bill and Susan have a point. We can read even small letters.

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I agree Rob.

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The comment I saw on NBC I think was a woman interviewed who said something like “going to see President Trump speak is like going to church”. Now he’s some kind of “savior”.

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I'm posting this with the following statement: I hate Trump with the energy of 10 billion suns. I want to see him and his three spalpeen in prison forever.

It's also clear that impeachment will not do that, no matter what kind of a satisfying post-coital high it gives for 10-15 minutes. What's going to put him away is the cases from SDNY, the NY State AG and the Manhattan DA. He'll actually be charged, actually be found guilty, and actually be punished. In the meantime, perhaps the rest of us ought to keep our eye on the ball - which I no longer think is impeachment.

This was posted at TPM tonight. It's worthy of serious thought. As much as I wanted to dismiss it out of hand when I first read it, it's so truthful I couldn't.

Some thoughts worth considering from John Judis, who's been involved in politics long enough to "have a clue." It's a question to consider: fix the blame or fix the problem?

DON'T THROW HIM IN THE BRIAR PATCH

By: John Judis

“Of all things, don’t throw me in the briar patch,” Brer Rabbit implores Brer Wolf, but Brer Wolf, wanting to do away with his nemesis, tosses him in the briar patch, from which Brer Rabbit, who was born and bred in the briar patch, emerges, laughing at the fox. The fox is Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats; Trump is the rabbit; and the briar patch is impeachment.

If Democrats vote this week to impeach Trump, the Senate won’t take up the question of conviction until after the inauguration. The Georgia election may not be certified until January 22, so at that point, the new majority leader Chuck Schumer can take up the question. A trial could take weeks, and would consume the news and the attention of Congress. The Democrats may not get the two-thirds vote it needs in the Senate to convict him. And in any case, Trump will be gone. What’s the point? To make it impossible for Trump, then 78, to run for office again? Nothing would benefit the Democrats more than another Trump bid.

Politics is not a simple matter of right and wrong. It is a matter of priorities. Yes, Trump did wrong, he is a bad guy. But the country is in the grips of a pandemic – over 4000 people died on Thursday – and in December, the country lost 140,000 more jobs. The Democrats have to focus on that not on Trump. The country has spent four years focusing on Trump. It’s what he loves. It’s his briar patch. Enough is enough, as Lindsey Graham put it.

There is a simple political lesson here. By giving all their attention to halting the pandemic and making sure the economy bounces back, Biden and the Democrats will be doing what the nation needs and wants. It is also what the Democrats need to do if they want to retain control of the Congress in 2022. If they allow the budget fight to drag on, and the pandemic and recession to drag on, they could lose control of the Congress in 2022 – recall how narrow the margins are. In that case, whatever good they will be able to do can easily be undone by Republican majorities in the House or Senate. And Democrats might lose the White House in 2024. Think again of Obama’s first year and how by not paying sufficient attention to the politics, the Democrats lost the House in 2010.

Sure, people in Washington and Democratic activists around the country want to punish Trump. In that case, censure him. But don’t allow him to continue to dominate the nation’s political agenda for the rest of the month. Don’t throw him in his briar patch of attention. Believe me, people outside the Beltway who make up the majorities Democrats need to govern are far more worried about the pandemic and recession than they are about impeaching Trump. And the Democrats can’t do an adequate job of both.

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I'm not even interested in a Senate trial. Skip it for all I care. It'll take too long, take up too much oxygen, and keep the pus oozing sore of trump's memory open just that much longer. But if he isn't removed by invoking the 25th, which is fitting but seems like a long shot, he deserves impeachment by the House. It can be done relatively quickly while he's still in office. That will at least make clear to history and the world that he was an unacceptable president, as well as being a good kick in his ass as he goes out the door.

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In the 1970s Ford pardoned Nixon, which seemed at the time a way to heal the country. But what that really did was signal that political wrong doers would not be punished. So I agree that the House needs to impeach Trump. We need to tell our political leaders there will be consequences for their betrayal of their oaths of office. An impeachment vote by the House is far from all that Trump deserves, but if it is as much as we can lay on him now, it should happen.

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A second impeachment would be a nice asterisk on his legacy, unless, by some miracle, a deal to resign can be put together over the weekend. Threaten to take away some of those generous perks he does not deserve. Colin Powell should be in charge of that.

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Please, at least take away his blank check for all the financial and security benefits that he is ‘entitled’ to! Please!

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This is crazy. What is the point of having Impeachment in the Constitution if it is not used? An attempted coup and a phonecall to overturn a legal and fair election. If these are not grounds for impeachment and removal, then what is? Republicans got Clinton for a lie and sex. Honestly this makes me feel hopeless about our country and our party.

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Dang right.

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Powell’s got a plan to fire him and he’s a general. Newsweek website reported:

"Those who are suggesting impeachment or the 25th Amendment, that's time-consuming," Powell told NBC's Today on Friday. "I wish he would just do what Nixon did, and that's step down."

Powell, who led the State Department under President George W. Bush, added that "somebody ought to go up there and tell him it's over. The plane's waiting for you, you're out. That way he would not only step down, he would in addition sort of cut the guts out from underneath this group of people who he has working for him."

Take Lindsay and Hopey and other former loyalists and get it done. Then fly that plane straight to Siberia. It’s nice to think about.

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WHAT? Did I read this correctly? Powell can (or is going to) fire him!?

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He is drawing on what happened to Nixon in 1974. While the House Judiciary Committee was debating whether to bring a bill of impeachment to the whole House, senior Republicans from Congress went to Nixon and said it's over, there are the votes to impeach you. So Nixon resigned. Powell can't fire anybody, and so far I don't see a lot of senior Republicans banding together around a resign now trip to the White House.

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Colin Powell said we should forget impeachment

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He also said Iraq had WMDs.

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Yes, precisely when he lost me

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He’s not my favorite guy either...

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Exactly

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While TC makes some good points, imho, I agree with you Syd. We have to make the statement that he was an entirely unacceptable president. Even if he isn't convicted in the Senate, it would show that he is not above the law and have other benefits including giving the Pentagon pause before taking orders from a president in the process of being impeached. In the meantime, I am sure the SDNY is working overtime on proof of his heinous deeds, enough to put him and his family, businesses etc. in very deep trouble.

The last thing I want is ongoing media attention on this poor excuse for a human being after Biden is inaugurated. I should have compassion for someone who is mentally ill and abused as a child, but there are those who are unforgiveable for the damage they do.

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Yes yes to Syd, and I do understand you TC. But can someone please explain why the option for the 25th is off the table? The president incited a riot and basically encouraged them to harm or kill the Vice President! Throw him out ASAP! And yes, pivot to the pandemic, but the sting of the word Impeachment is a good send off for that disgusting sub-human.

And I wish something would be done about Ted Cruz... I cannot stand to write his name. While I am thrilled that Hawley shot himself in the foot, why aren’t people piling up on him as well. And Lindsey Graham and his ‘enough is enough’ made me laugh. He doesn’t get a pass. Too little too late. He bears a lot of responsibility for what has happened over the last 4 years. My head hurts, I am afraid and so sad. But this is my safe place and I imagine that I will be spending a lot of time here today with all of you.

Thank you so much Heather. I truly don’t know what I would do without you here! Stay safe.

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Cynthia, from various accounts about the 25th, it seems the VP must be involved, maybe even initiate the process. And he won’t.

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I guess I knew that, but with !? What could possibly be Pence’s reason? My God! He could have been killed!?!

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It always comes down to greed and power, the scourge of the human race. Power corrupts...

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Back to his Subservient self?

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My theory is the reason he won't take calls from Nancy Pelosi is that he is such a deeply misogynistic thinker that he would feel that responding to her request that he move on invoking the 25th would be taking orders from a woman. His facial expressions while debating Kamala Harris indicated that he has trouble even listening to a woman, let alone take orders from one. I don't imagine he actually listens to "Mother" - should she ever be allowed to speak, he has put her on such a high pedestal, there's no way he'd be able to hear her down at his level.

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Is it possible he is part of DJT's theatre and they plan to pardon him? Sorry, these crimes are too vast now.

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Given that Trump set the mob to kill Pence, that Pence's office waited on the phone half an hour before not taking the call, and the Mnuchin said the 25th would take too long - my interpretation is that Pence's office called around to the Cabinet offices and found there was not a majority to go through with the 25th. "take too long" could mean "take too long to convince enough cabinet members to do it", since the physical process could be done within an hour.

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Now that's a plausible explanation! Good thinking.

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Depends on how angry and afraid he is. He is looking at the end of his political career too.

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Then he is complicit in the insurrection against our country and we need to bypass him. Pelosi should be in power now.

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Thanks

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Cynthia-I agree something must be done about Ted Cruz! He also contributed to the fueling these insurrectionist actions. He continues with his divisive language (and should also be “un tweeted”). I know Hawley has received criticism in his home state and is tweeting about his lost book deal. But I don’t know if Ted Cruz has received any condemnation from his constituents and backers.

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Apparently the Houston Chronicle called for his resignation!

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When is Cruz up for reelection?

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That’s so excruciating long, right?!

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the 25th Amendment calls for a decision by the VP AND a majority of the Cabinet or some other body designated by a law passed by Congress...Congress has never passed such a law (although the House is now working on one which would apply hence forth), so that means the VP and majority of Cabinet, at least two cabinet members have resigned, and it is not at all clear that acting Cabinet members could legitimately make such a decision, and they are probably not interested in making it (since as acting cabinet they are far more beholden to Trump than duly appointed members). This is why the 25th is off the table for the moment.

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Thanks

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You are so right about cruz. He snuck in like the rat he is and changed Texas politics from ridiculous to obscene.

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I am right here with you, no words for how disgusting Cruz is. I don’t understand how he is still in office by the voters of TX. Same with Graham he is just as complicit and T’s golf partner.

It all makes me so sad for our country. We have many friends in other countries and they are completely aghast at what is happening here.

Trump needs no media at all, that’s all he wants. The only media he should receive is when he is cinvicted of his crimes and sent to prison.

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Yes... it’s all so sad...

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And thinking a narcissist like trump is done is very naive. I’m very worried about the next couple of weeks and the potential for a massive violent insurrection- is the huge Russian hack of our vital organizations a coincidence or part of this?

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I think we are only seeing the head of a very long snake.

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We cannot play by our old rules. We have never been here. We need to oust this terrorist dictator and his comrades immediately. Why is this so difficult?

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Agreed, Syd! The statements saying that pressure to remove the president from office will further divide the country just indicates support for the abuser. The victim of this abuser is our American Democratic Republic. We must stand up to this bully once and for all!

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I agree, Syd. Just being impeached (quickly) a second time works for me.

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I agree. They can skip the Senate trial, or do it as quickly as the last one - after all, nearly everyone in the Senate was witness to the insurrection. Put those Republicans on record for or against the insurrection.

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I believe the VP knows that invoking the 25th would enrage Trump's base and completely split them from what remains of the Republican Party. Can the Republicans ever win another election without the right-wing fringe? It appears that Pence and McConnell think they need the fringe.

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I agree. And if we are all to be really honest; the 25th isnt the perfect device. There is no proper device for firing Trump. I wonder if it would be better to move forward in a positive way now and tackle Trump and the insurrection after we get a handle on COVID. Republicans usually are in lock step but, this split is very large. If this party were to split into two I am not sure they would be able to get another president into office for a while. Especially if there is voter reforms and jerrymandering is curbed.

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Doing nothing? That is how this coup d'etat would succeed.

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I hear you but, I wonder how much bandwidth is available right now. We don't know what the inside of the government looks like now. We dont know how much work there is to do to make the most progress while Democrats have the senate. I dont want to waste a moment on anything that wont push the ball forward for all of us. I would also like to see Democrats hold the Senate for as long as possible.

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But we have no process for where we are. The 25th and Impeachment do not address an overthrow of a government by a party of seditionists led by the POTUS. No one should have that kind of power. They need to be arrested and removed from our government. We need a show of force because that is all they respect is strength. Then we need to week out all the other seditionists and their media that keeps them connected. This is anti-American activity. And they were bent on murder on Weds. They should be handled deftly and swiftly and we have already taken way too long. And the world is watching us as the seditionists gloat and plan for more. We must be aggressive, I am sorry. That is not my normal stance, but these are not normal people and behaviors. We know who the head of this snake is. And he needs to be removed.

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Right now I believe that there is an unbelievable amount of anxiety, confusion and a billion dollars in legal fees building in the hallowed halls 😞😞😞... I’m holding my breath, but I am also exhausted and not sure I can process any more tonight... sweet dreams my friends, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to stay on top of it all, thank God we have Heather... and we are truly becoming a ‘think tank’ with a wise and learned leader.

We can help.

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exactly,.we cannot do nothing to.him

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IMHO McConnell et. al. Are like the Conservatives in the Weimar Republic who thought they could control Hitler. The tail ended up destroying the dog. I think the Republicans are toast. If they don't cut loose from the fringe.

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Also, Pence is afraid of more death threats, that would follow him back to Indiana.

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Interesting thought that is probably very valid now that I think about it. Hmmm.

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I think they will follow him wherever he goes.

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Yes, but Pence is such a lightweight... I detest McConnell but he’s dumb like a fox. He’s a political mastermind and is so cleverly manipulating every angle. ‘Oh! How many of you are angry right now, scared, and don’t know where to go or who,’ said the wolf... oh! You don’t know who to believe? ‘All the better to eat you with!’

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That would mean that Pence would have to show courage and that is impossible.

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Yes but the Senate will not even meet in time for any meaningful action. But after the 20th the Trial could impeach and reach back to January 7 to ensure he does not complete his Term of Office.

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And, I believe impeachment alone (without conviction) would allow him to be tried for federal crimes, and ban him from running for any government position.

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Yes and we absolutely have to send a message that this is not ok. Everyone is watching.

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I’ve put that question out there if anyone knows. It may be that he has to be convicted in order for the ban on holding a government position. As Heather has pointed out, less concerned about that. IMO, due process of law and making sure there is legal accountability and punishment is of primary importance. Otherwise, what is the point of law and order if it is not implemented for the most egregious of crimes.

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But will his ‘power to pardon’ be taken away without the Senate’s vote?

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Impeachment won’t prevent him from holding another federal office. That requires a separate majority vote in the Senate AFTER the Senate votes to convict by a 2/3 majority.

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Exactly. And conviction would take away his lifelong 200k pension, the 1mil per year travel / security stipend, and his ability to ever run for any kind of office ever again.

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He can be convicted by the incoming Senate after January 20, per HCR.

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Ooh lala. Let's do that!

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He has already been impeached once. Can someone explain how Impeaching a 2nd time stops him from running again?

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Impeaching by itself does not do that. If, and only if, the Senate then voted to convict and further voted to prevent future office holding, would it happen.

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He’s not going to run ... he’ll probably be locked away, somewhere. Perhaps in a straight jacket

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🤞🙏🏼

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I posted a message to correct my earlier response to you, but I mistakenly replied to myself. You are correct; I was wrong. Sorry.

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Yes, the Senate would have to convict. No, they don't have to have a further vote to disqualify him from office. It is a consequence of being impeached and convicted. Article 1, Sec.3.

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He has already been impeached once. Does it mean nothing because he was not convicted?

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My previous comment is wrong. I did some further research, and disqualification from future office is allowed by the Constitution as a consequence of impeachment, but is not automatic. It does require a separate vote after Senate trial and conviction. My apologies for the error.

Black and Bobbitt, Impeachment: A Handbook, New Edition (2018)

https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/3_1986SenatesImpeachmentRules.pdf

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just you-off the money...he'll starve to death. figuratively.

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Can we verify this? That makes it worth it, IMHO

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What you are saying is, the wife should make peace with the husband who just assaulted her, for the good of the family. She should not press charges, she should bandage her face and go back to making breakfast.

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Well said.

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Not quite. A wife can pick up and leave (yes, I know, leaving a lot behind, but saving her life and her self-respect). But the U.S. cannot pick up and leave. In a real sense, we are stuck with him, and with his brand of politics.

We voted him out on Nov 3rd. I think the best we can do is help the Biden-Harris administration do well.

I think I want to look at the infrastructure portions of Biden's campaign web site, and figure out what Pete Buttigieg is thinking, and work on making that part of our national agenda better, and better, and better. Roads, bridges, tunnels, broadband, renewable energy, better batteries.

BTW, I like the "Real Engineering" channel on YouTube, which is providing background information on, say, electric power generations and transmission:

Renewable batteries:

https://youtu.be/-PL32ea0MqM

Wind turbines:

https://youtu.be/wr7QZ364jPY

Europe's electric grid:

https://youtu.be/gacGuWjqKco

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The purpose is to make it impossible for him to run for office anywhere in the USA ever again. He is already ginning up his fascist minions for a 2024 bid. That has to be stopped by legal means. Of course, if his arse is in jail it would be moot but we know plenty of mobsters whose business has continued unabated while they are in prison.

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I can agree with the reasoning here, but if we “stand for nothing, we’ll fall for anything” as the song goes. And another commenter on the FB page made a great point and I won’t remember the specifics here.. According to her, impeachment would strip him of the goodies and benefits he gets on his way out. They include pension for life and secret service detail (?), and more. He MUST be held accountable for not only his state crimes, but his federal crimes as well. This is huge. An attempted coup on our government that he incited, not to mention an hour-long phone call in which he attempted to shake down a Georgia election official to “find him more votes.” If we don’t hold him accountable, then nothing matters and we have set a disastrous precedent.

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He doesn’t need secret service, he can just hire a few of his “low class” (his words) followers. I’m sure they will need jobs after this.

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His low class comment this week might be my favorite so far. Had he not looked at them in the past four years? Did he think they were Norse looking gods with flowing bountiful hair and milky skin? I can’t unstupid 45 or his followers.

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I can just envision the horned, tattooed man in fur driving DJT and Mel around in their Mercedes.

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You raise critical points here, and if the intimations raised in Dr. Richardson's letter of this day are further supported, the ultimate answer will require a very resolute effort by the new AG to investigate, charge, and hopefully convict a wide range of actors who probably include top officials in the DoD, the White House, and even members of Congress. Compared with what may have taken place this week, impeachment is pretty lightweight.

Oh, and thanks for teaching me "spalpeen."

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Spalpeen is one of Charlie Pierce's Irish-isms.

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Yes! Great word!

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I get what you're saying, TC, that Trump FEEDS on the attention, and his supporters too. BUT, Trump must be held accountable for his actions, period. Otherwise, we send the message that Rule of Law doesn't matter. Trump has thumbed his nose at ROL for 4 years, bending and breaking it whenever he felt like it. I don't really care what they do - as long as they do SOMETHING. Can't they bring him up on federal charges for sedition and insurrection? Or is he immune?

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Folks. This is a coup on our government. This is SEDITION. Arrest all players.

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You make a great point. The ‘attention factor’. All of these insurrectionists should be banned from the platforms where they cultivated this coup.

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I don't care all that much if he's been impeached but this disgraceful attempt to overthrow a free, fair, and legal election CANNOT be swept under the rug. There is at least circumstantial evidence of involvement in a coup attempt by highly placed government officials and possibly members of the same legislative bodies that were the target of the attack. A full investigation and pursuit of information from the looters on up is demanded by history.

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All good points ... impeachment would negate post presidential provision of support and security for life ... it would be worth doing for that alone, unless there are other ways to deny him/her that ongoing support ... what a hustle!!

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I believe there remains a strong possibility Trump will resign in the remaining time before Biden’s inauguration. Trump fears of prison remain strong. His actions this week and in the weeks since the election in support of insurrection are well documented and I am certain he has been advised could support serious federal charges against him. While he has claimed an absolute right to pardon himself, I am also certain he has been advised by competent constitutional lawyers that the grounds for that view are uncertain. The safest path for him remains a resignation and a last minute pardon for all crimes by a President Pence. Do not discount this as a likely possibility.

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I don’t see him as being a “quitter/loser.”

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Nope, he is way too full of himself and wanting to impress his buddy at the Kremlin.

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He can be pardoned only for federal crimes. The Southern District of New York is waiting for him.

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All the sources are saying he will not. According to Twitter, he already regrets posting the video.

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Pence’s hands may be tied as the revelations continue to pour out.

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After you have read about the attempted coup, why do you think that getting him for tax fraud will soothe the beast? I do not care an iota about Trump. I do hope he goes to jail. I care about this nation and want the people to feel safe and secure. Have we become so numb to violence that we are not disgusted and will not demand justice? Impeachment is too complicated for that. Censure could have been done quickly but wasn’t. He does need to be publicly held accountable. It might be too late. There is football on today and life goes on as usual.

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And we need to define domestic terrorism and arrest those who plot it.

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And we need new rules when the so-called leader of our nation is the head of the insurrection and coup. This is not rocket science in what we Must do. Immediately.

But like all the crimes DJT has committed right in our faces, there never appears to be justice. I could scream that after five years this train wreck is still is ultra-slow motion. I have no words of which to scream, even.

We have no rules in place in our Constitution for massive domestic terrorism and insurrection on behalf of a certain population and people within our own government. So, use the rules if I had led this insurrection. You would arrest me immediately. Nothing less needs to be done.

And I agree, he is already an impeached president-- fears of his running again should be put aside. He will either be in or Moscow or behind bars. He won't like the weather and golfing in latter two latter options.

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Thank you TC. I feel better already, seriously.

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Upon further reflection though, I change my mind, let's impeach the SOB. Watching the Republicans put party over country for 4 years has been gut wrenching, the Democrats MIGHT be able to impeach and govern at the same time, we have to try.

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Lynn, see Syd's comment above.

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I like syd's comment about wooden stake through heart too. Ouch.

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I think impeachment is necessary because it disqualifies him from holding office for the rest of his life.

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Also impeachment takes away his retirement perks. Why should we pay him any more than we have already?

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I still prefer immediate arrest for attempting to overthrow our election and our government.

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I also think that the attempt to impeach him must be made, if only to put on the record those who will oppose and/or attempt to delay it.

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Okay, TC. I applaud your critical thinking about what would be the best solution going forward. Throwing the book at 45 would probably elevate him to martyr/victim status anyway.

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I agree. When I was 4 or 5 I threw tantrums complete with kicking & yelling. My (savvy) mom put me in my room & closed the door. Without an audience what fun was throwing a fit? Trump desperately needs an audience. Enough! He’s no longer our focus. The pandemic is.

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I agree with all of this. I've heard very little about the censure process. If he is censured, would it prevent him from holding office in the future, and what would the vote have to be?

I think Biden, while condemning Trump, has shied away from weighing in on impeachment. He knows full well that his plate will be overflowing (and that was before the insurrection), and has to concentrate his cabinet's energies on repair, not revenge.

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Clarence Thomas’s WIFE tweeted support for Trump?!! A Supreme Court justice supports the incitor of lawless events in the Capitol?! He needs to go. I hope the SecDef is charged since he denied assistance to Muriel Bowser, the mayor. Talk about blood on their hands! Oh, and trump didn’t want his rioters to look “low class.” Are you freaking kidding me?

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Marcy, it's like the biggest circus/shitshow that tRump could possibly create. And the wife of a supreme court justice, really? And Cruz calling for Biden to do more to bring the country together, really? SMH!

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Cruz, Hawley and the other 11 senators and the 140 representatives need to be held accountable. They pushed the lies.

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The word ‘deplorables’ has too many syllables for him to understand.

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Clarence Thomas should resign from his seat.

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Much more than a tweet. Ginni Thomas paid for buses to the rally.

https://twitter.com/quickwitter/status/1347605350673879040?s=21

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"Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who led the Senate effort to challenge Biden’s election, today tweeted that Biden was not working hard enough to 'bring us together or promote healing' and that 'vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart.'”

Hutzpah!

Cruz is neck and neck with McConnell in the competition for the most hypocritical Republican.

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I'm confident that if Sen. Cruz wanted to fully explain his objection, he'd have to say something like, "Investigating me and my cabal for organizing a failed coup would only tear me, my co-conspirators, and my thoroughly-duped constituents apart, and I'd hate to see my embarrassment revealed in a court of law."

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Cruz's gobsmacking, transparent love of grift and mendacity has been part of his MO since Day One--remember he was a "fiscal conservative" who shut down the government in the Obama years when the entire country was reeling from the worst recession since the 1930s and he didn't want the non-elite to be able to eat, keep their homes, or survive after losing their jobs. But he was all about raising the deficit to astronomical levels to help out the poor 1% who benefited the most from Cheeto's and Murderous Mitch's tax "cuts" (people like me now pay a lot more in taxes because of that "reform" by the way). His self-serving grossness is patent. But Texans have very short memories.

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Recall what Cruz said on the Jimmy Kimmel show during the Presidential Primary race. Cruz: "If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I'm not confident which pedal I'd push." They are all terribly corrupt and will say whatever is needed in whatever context.

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And why isn’t he walking the same plank as Hawley?!

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The photo of Hawley giving the insurgents a power fist...pretty much did him in. And rightly so!

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Why aren't all of them?

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Yes! Exactly?!

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I'm rereading Tim Synder's "On Tyranny" book - Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Here are the twenty. Very helpful and valuable to read in the times we are currently experience.

1. Do not obey in advance

2. Defend institutions

3. Beware of the one-party state

4. Take responsibility for the face of the world

5. Remember professional ethics

6. Be wary of paramilitaries

7. Be reflective if you must be armed

8. Stand out

9. Be kind to our language

10. Believe in truth

11. Investigate

12. Make eye contact and email talk

13. Practice corporeal politics

14. Establish a private life

15. Contribute to good causes

16. Learn from peers in other countries

17. Listen for dangerous words

18. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives

19. Be a patriot

20. Be as courageous as you can

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This reminds me of Cathy’s introduction to the Coup Meter.

https://isthisacoup.com/

Snyder’s list also reminds that a coup is a process around an event, and these are measures that we each can practice to help neutralize the growth of a coup process.

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It says we are in the midst of an coup attempt right now. What worries me is the coalition of a lot of these white nationalist type groups.

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Those people were a disorganized mob, with no discipline or organization, populated with wannabe militants. If the capital police had been better prepared and had proper armed backup this would have been stopped in its track’s and the seat of our democracy would never have been penetrated and violated. If this starts to happen again with the pseudo mercenaries caring weapons they need to be shot as armed aggressors, this is all an act, they have no real fight in them. I’m a combat veteran, I know what it takes to stand with brothers in arms in a firefight, it takes training, a lot of it, the mob we have just witnessed would turn tail and run, in fact it would be a stampede as they sought to flee the line of fire. There will be no next time, not if they have any sense of survival, we don’t have anything to fear from that mob. Now we have to go after their organizers and cheer leaders and put them in jail. 5 people died last Wednesday, one of them a police officer defending the capital, that’s unforgivable and should not be forgotten.

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They are funded by Republican Attorney Generals group and other dark money which needs to be rooted out and face legal repercussions.

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I've been wondering about the finances. Pamsy, what's your source for this?

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I think if you read Dark Money by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, you will see the the Mercer family and the Kochs are heavy investors. The Walmart kin have their hands in the honey pot also. You have Sheldon Edelman, as well. There are multitudes of the Christian “right” groups. Let’s not forget Franklin Graham. It’s so dirty, it makes your head spin! The Lincoln Project is going to reveal each and every corporation, CEO, and families who have contributed dark money.

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Ruth I’ll try to copy the link here but I’m not sure I know how. It comes from a Daily Kos post from yesterday. I don’t know how credible their sources are but if I can’t put the link here you can check out their website and their stories.

https://www.dailykos.com/story/2021/1/8/2007306/-Dark-money-group-behind-Republican-state-attorneys-general-organized-protest-before-the-insurrection

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I tend to disagree with you on this. There are so many pieces in place to have helped this coup. We must act and not be complacent. There were many ex-military veterans and some cops in that insurrection. The republicans, and I blame them for strategically placing their white supremacist radicals in powerful positions for the past 30 years until we reached this critical mass with their trump strategist. I ask everyone to NOT be complacent at what is happening.

I am going over to see what The Lincoln Project is saying. Will see HeathersHerd at 1:00 today --- group therapy!

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I think Americans are going to wake up and learn about what has been going on in our country for decades. Please take care of yourselves and hold on to your seat. This is really not a very pretty picture, yet we need to stay very alert and awake and become active if we want to save our democracy.

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I think the the majority were acting out like teenagers, but a small, trained, group of American terrorists were in the Capitol and dedicated to search and destroy tactics with assigned targets and missions.

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I respectfully disagree. They bashed in windows to break and enter a building, much less a Federal building, they crushed a police officer in a door, beat an officer to death with a fire extinguisher, spread feces and blood around in a hallowed building. These are violent criminals every single last one.

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They had a load of zip tie handcuffs, they had a scaffold with a hangman's noose. The killed a policeman. They were after blood, incited by Donald J. Trump. These are very DANGEROUS people with blood on their hands. As is DJT . Meanwhile, 4,000 people died in one day. That figure is 1,000 more people than in my village. That means every one of my dear neighbors, business people and friends are wiped out. Even the trump supporters.

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The destructiveness of the trained portion of the insurrectionists is the problem. They seemed to be varied, from white supremacist militia weekend warriors to ex-police/military to professionals in expensive tactical combat gear (mercenaries? paid by whom?). An HCR reader who’s a former diplomat posted here a few days ago that in one of the break-in videos, you can hear a man yelling in Russian, “Don’t be afraid!”

Some of these neoNazi militias do have connections to Russian trainers.

Then there is the problem of infiltration of law enforcement agencies by white supremacists. Same problem in Europe as here.

We do not know enough about who they are and who is funding their organizing. But what is becoming clear is that it’s much bigger than we recognized. In Heather’s Bill Moyers talk, she said their numbers are small when looking at the totality, but we on this side have to do more to take up oxygen with our reality-based narrative and with doing the right thing.

https://twitter.com/nprpolitics/status/1306680599529295873?s=21

https://twitter.com/splcenter/status/1313498709334908934?s=21

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Yes, Dick. Those "Weekend Warriors" should have been met with overwhelming force, guns drawn, tear gas, batons, just as the BLM protestors were met with, so that they would see that THIS IS NOT A GAME. I wonder: Were they really willing to lay down their lives for Mr. Trump? Because several DID.

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I disagree. Some of us are afraid in our own homes because we live around them. They are talking about more acts of violence on their SM sites. A few opinion pieces state that this insurrection has been a significant recruiting event for their movement. I hope that isn’t true and that they face the most severe punishment.

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This is why we need to act...yesterday. There is only one language people like this understand. Strength and power. We need to be strong and stand up to them now. And our military needs to be on alert.

My national guard neighbor is a trump and proud boy supporter. Doesn't make me feel very confident.

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