Being that my husband is a Vietnam Vet, I am very angry but not surprised, at those senators! They have never been to sent to a war zone, obviously. Did you see how they were high-fiving each other when they smashed PACT? Happily dancing around like they won the lottery. They are REVOLTING and despicable. I cannot stand them! All we need to do is turn 2 Senate seats and get more seats in the House so that we make Manchenema worthless. We must make that happen.

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Once again, there is evidence that Russian operatives worked to sow division in the US to undermine democracy. Based on this new evidence, I believe that the Justice Department needs to investigate the trip taken by six senators and one congressman to Russia in July, 2018. https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/amp/msna1119676

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While James Comey made sure to publicize Hillary Clinton's emails (nothing new there), he somehow forgot to mention the years-long Russian manipulation of American political leaders, organizations, and voters. Where were the FBI and the CIA while this was going on? Were there - and are there still - extremists/fanatics in those organizations who admire Russia, wanted Trump, and are still hard at work deleting texts? Hillary Clinton's warnings about right-wing forces undermining our country were spot-on.

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Jul 30, 2022·edited Jul 30, 2022

Anyone who doesn't believe that capitalism needs to be regulated, I point to the grotesque profits that oil companies are wallowing in. All while millions of Americans struggle financially.

Why oh why do citizens blame the president for high gas prices in the face of what the professor details regarding the profits? People are being bilked, and the companies doing it skate scot-free.

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I'm positively giddy that the Democrats in Congress are, finally, seizing the offensive and forcing Republicans to go on the record opposing a host of issues that Americans widely support. Keep ratcheting up the pressure. And I'm not sure I've seen the GOP so incisively skewered as they've been for scuttling the PACT bill. You know they're in trouble if they lose the vote of veterans.

Meanwhile, the loss of text messages at the Secret Service and DHS raises these critical questions: who ordered phones to be wiped and reset, and was Trump's White House involved in the order? The DHS inspector general clearly wasn't acting as an agency watchdog but as a partisan to protect Trump. What other agencies might be missing text messages relevant to the attempted coup?

For those who didn't see the link I posted in yesterday's letter, here's a Twitter thread by the popular @MuellerSheWrote. She wonders, quite rationally in my view, whether this was all part of a sweeping conspiracy involving Trump himself. https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1553016914183540736

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for the information on the DOJ's indictments and sanctions against Russians who have been interfering in American politics since 2014, trying to sow misinformation and exacerbate our divisions! I had not heard about this story at all today. I hope some of the people the DOJ is going after are those you noted who are part of American political groups whose leaders have worked for the Russians. I'd love to see them prosecuted. If any of the leaders of political groups are eventually named, this story could explode. Thanks again. Hope you have a restful weekend on one of Maine's beautiful waterways.

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President Biden and the Democratic Party have been racking up one victory after another. Those successes are going to translate into BLUE votes in the midterms.

'Biden poised for big wins in Congress'

'The first major prescription drug legislation in nearly 20 years. More than $50 billion to subsidize computer chip manufacturing and research. A bill that would enshrine protection for same-sex marriage.'

'Most politically resonant is a bill to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, a hugely popular idea that Democrats have been pursuing for more than 20 years. It would let Medicare negotiate prices for 10 drugs in 2026 and 10 more in 2029; forbid drug companies from raising prices faster than inflation; and cap Medicare recipients’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $2,000 a year.'

'Congress is likely to pass a bill providing $52 billion for companies to build, modernize or expand factories that produce semiconductors, the brains that power all modern electronics, to bolster the American economy and counter China’s influence. “We’re close, so let’s get it done,” Biden said of the bill on Monday. “So much depends on it.”

'Kurt Bardella, a former Republican who now consults for Democrats. “On the health-care bill, this is stuff everybody generally understands. This is not a complex, nuanced policy situation where you may not feel the benefit for 5 to 10 years.”

'The semiconductor bill would also provide tens of billions of dollars for the National Science Foundation and regional tech start-ups. Semiconductors are vital to an array of technological products, and China has been investing billions to make itself the leader in the field. While strategists said the bill would be harder for Democrats to message given its impact will be felt over years, not months, the legislation could eventually help address rising car prices that have in part been fueled by a chip shortage.'

'On the chips and same-sex marriage bills, he added, "Passing a landmark China competitiveness bill that will create manufacturing jobs across the country and standing up for the fundamental right of every American to marry who they love would be profound bipartisan wins for the county.”

“These legislative victories would be very significant because they address voters’ top concerns, which is inflation and the cost of prescription drugs,” said Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist. “The best thing the president can do — the most effective thing he can do politically — is to make progress on what Americans are saying is a top priority for them.” (WAPO)

…and the Republicans - WHAT DID THEY ACCOMPLISH this past week?

'Blindsided veterans erupted in anger and indignation Thursday after Senate Republicans suddenly tanked a widely supported bipartisan measure that would have expanded medical coverage for millions of combatants exposed to toxic burn pits during their service.'

'Supporters of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act — or PACT Act — overwhelmingly expected the House-passed bill to sail through to the president's desk for signature.'

'But in a move that shocked and confused veteran groups Wednesday night, 41 Senate Republicans blocked the bill's passage, including 25 who had supported it a month ago.'

"We really expected yesterday to be a procedural vote that would go with easy passage," said Jeremy

Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a nonprofit veterans’ organization. "That was the absolute expectation."

'This is embarrassing': Jon Stewart criticizes senators who voted against toxic burn pit bill'

'The PACT Act would have expanded VA health care eligibility to more than 3.5 million post-9/11 combat veterans who were exposed to toxins while serving in the military. '

If and when the Republicans get their act together, soldiers/veterans and their families won't forget how the Republicans betrayed them.

"We’ve seen partisanship and games within Congress for years," Butler said. "But what is shocking is that so many senators would literally be willing to play with veterans’ lives so openly like this."

"They’re manufacturing reasons to vote against legislation that they literally voted for just last month," Butler added. "And so it’s really a new level of low."

'Veterans who were exposed to toxins during deployments said the lives of sick and dying people who served the nation are on the line.'


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Here's an important bit of information on how bad the oil companies are: the price of a barrel of oil is bouncing right now between $98-$104/barrel. The last time the price of a barrel of oil was in that neighborhood, the price at the pump was $3.50/gallon in California - where the current price is now $5.50/gallon (down 85 cents from a few weeks ago, so an "improvement"). The current prices have nothing to do with costs, they are purely the companies using their monopsony market power.

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Jul 30, 2022·edited Jul 30, 2022

Jon Stewart is speaking for all of us as he drags the horrible Republicans over the coals for their vote. https://www.thedailybeast.com/jon-stewart-deliciously-trolls-fox-news-viewers-while-on-fox-news

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Dr. Richardson: Thanks for highlighting the fact that 50% of gas price inflation is due to oil company profits.

However, as a bonafide ignorant and poorly read American I will choose to continue to believe that Biden is at fault because the fake blonde on Fox News told me it was Biden’s fault.

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Jul 30, 2022·edited Jul 30, 2022

"Democrats continue to illustrate the difference between them and the Republicans in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms," writes Heather. Consider being a much needed election worker of integrity and awareness!

Here is important reading by Jennifer Cohn about the depth and breadth of Republicans' and Russian interference in 2016 and 2020 elections--need to know ahead of our upcoming 2022 midterms. Lots of echoes, dense, but punctuated by lots of punchy cartoons!


Jennifer Cohn writes about the ties between Kremlin incursions/subterfuge/assassination-by-poison in Ukraine; oligarchs; Paul Manafort; Roger Stone; annexation of Crimea; Steve Bannon; Trump; Michael Cohen; Felix Sater; Russian blackmail of Republican Party by leaking hacked emails of Democratic Party; suspicious re-routing of Ohio’s 2004 election-night results by Karl Rove’s IT guru who died in a plane crash after a civil suit was filed against Rove for allegedly hiring the IT guru to rig vote tallies for Bush; 2007 Bush administration's claim to an inquiry that 22 million emails were "lost;" Russian oligarch Deripaska to whom Manafort owed $20 million when he joined Trump’s campaign in 2016; Deripaska associate/Russian intelligence officer Kilimnik who took confidential polling data from Deripaska in New Jersey and delivered it to Deripaska on his yacht in Norway; Roger Stone's "Stop the Steal" campaign started in 2016; FBI 2016 alert titled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems,” which disclosed that the FBI was “investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data…” later identified as Illinois and Arizona, followed by 37 states finding traces that “Russian hackers could edit actual vote tallies;” installation of hackable wireless modems in precinct ballot scanners in Florida. Wisconsin, Rhode Island; November 2016 Trump's surprise Electoral College win over Clinton; May 2017 Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was “leading the investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had coordinated with Russian election meddling;” whistleblower Reality Winner leaked a classified report that Russian hackers successfully used phishing emails to get a U.S. election software company's employees to give their login credentials to a fake "Google" website, thus compromising the company's epollbooks used in the 2016 elections in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia; June 2017 DHS admission that it had conducted no forensic analysis of voting equipment to determine whether tallies had been altered; Mueller’s July 2018 report; July 2019 bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report that Russian hackers had targeted election systems in all fifty states before the 2016 election; 2020 Democrats' election-security bill, the SAFE Act, which would have banned paperless voting machines and internet-connectivity to voting systems (including wireless modems), while requiring robust manual audits for all federal races, was blocked by Republicans.

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So much important information here. I feel like we need more than 1 DOJ!! I find myself more and more infuriated by the ever deepening evidence of how comprehensive Russian interference in our elections was and continues to be. Throws into starker relief the nature and depth of the struggle our” democracy” is facing. The terrifying part is how fraudulent trump’s presidency was and that it has enabled the hollowing out of so many government agencies filling them with appointed trump toadies. Malignant self-serving actors.

None of it surprises at this point, at the same time hard to believe.

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We need to see a few heads roll at DHS, no? After all, the Secretary of DHS reports directly to the POTUS.

Companies issue stock when they need capital, repurchase stock when they have extra cash. They don't wish to carry large cash balances through the end of a tax year. Reinvestment into infrastructure or other business expenses is a more methodical, time consuming means of expending cash. The government could easily influence their behavior by taxing money used to repurchase stock. Companies would be far more careful about issuing more stock knowing that there was a tax penalty to repurchase it. They would be more likely to use debt for expansion and distribute cash to shareholders, perhaps, after retiring debt when cash is plentiful.

The Republicans have succeeded in dragging the Dems down towards their level a bit. Pelosi and Schumer can continue to lob veto-bait at the opposition ad infinitum in the run-up to the election and force the other side to continue showing it's soft underbelly as it resists legislation popular with the breadth of the electorate. Just change a few clauses, find a new nifty acronym as a headliner and re-introduce the previously vetoed bill/act. Wash, rinse, repeat. It means yielding to legislative gamesmanship, but if the other side intends to shut down legislation anyway, then why not eke a bit of political advantage out of it?

I think we've punished Russia plenty in the last several months; it may now be more fruitful to go after the internal collaborators and make them into law school study cases for what happens when you take political money/direction from enemies of the state. Sanctions against foreigners only mean something to the degree they wish to continue acting outside of their own countries' borders. They can change name, articles of incorporation and reemerge as another entity rather easily. We have far more leverage within our own borders, where striped suits and small cells await the convicted.

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Thank you, as always, Heather, for a plethora of solid data and information! I am especially delighted with the news of the impending Inflation Reduction Act. We are in dire need of investments in climate change and clean energy!

“The record profits of oil companies made a perfect backdrop to early discussions of the Inflation Reduction Act advanced by Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). If passed, that measure will be a sea change in the nation’s economic policy. Its $385 billion devoted to addressing climate change will be the nation’s largest ever investment in clean energy, and it will incentivize cutting carbon emissions, delivering 40% cuts by 2030, which is close to Biden’s stated goal.”

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Let me add to the pile here another important piece of news, one that Heather did not talk about here but I think is pretty newsworthy. Marc Elias and the Democracy Docket is the source for this latest on the independent state legislature theory:

"On Thursday, July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration held a hearing about the fringe independent state legislature (ISL) theory that could upend American elections. The U.S. Supreme Court will review this theory during the upcoming term when it decides the North Carolina redistricting case Moore v. Harper. The witnesses were unanimous in their testimony that the theory has no basis in the U.S. Constitution or U.S. history and is dangerous for our democracy." Chair Jamie Raskin said this about the results of the hearing: "I’m glad we seem to have some kind of bipartisan agreement about the strangeness of this doctrine.”


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Thank you Heather.

During lunch yesterday, a colleague and I discussed how disturbingly deep this situation with the deleted texts is. Step back and look at the number of Departments that are complicit with this cover up. More so, consider that had there not been a formal investigation, none of us would have known how dirty the departments are.

What more do we not know about?

Be safe. Be well.

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