473 Comments

“What a difference three years can make.” And what a difference one decent human being can make!

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Not just decent, Rowshan, but respecting and working relentlessly with whatever shreds of decency he can find within the congress. He has shown us the process of true democracy in action, a process which requires restraint and respect for those who disagree with his stance with the conviction he has a better plan for the benefit of the majority of citizens in our country.

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Well-said, JohnM!

IMHO, Biden has given us all a powerful example of tolerance and compromise, of working with those we don't agree with in order to find common ground and a place for everyone in this country. He said clearly that we don't get everything we want but that's what living in a democracy entails, compromise!

McCarthy and the Repubs also showed their serious side by voting for this bill. They know the importance of economic stability for this country and for the whole world; they did not allow their minority rule the party. I'd like to think this is a harbinger of their future resolve to compromise and thus to govern, as they were elcted to do.

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I do agree about the excellence of what just happened, but my cynical side knows that a default would have hurt the billionaires and the mostly invisible financial puppeteers. So default wasn't going to happen.

I guess their interests allowed sanity to prevail.

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It would have hurt the whole world. And it helps to imagine what modern life would be like without those evil corporations - where would you buy your car, your groceries? I'm no fan of capitalism, but we have been living in this system for generations, and it would have all - I repeat, ALL - come crashing down had that deal not been made. Remember, the greater good was served here.

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"Cynical" perhaps, realistic is more like it.

McCarthy's puppetmasters let him/them bluff until the clock almost ran out. But as you say, they weren't willing to lose $$.

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If you're willing to see another side, maybe you could call it Biden's shadow side, I suggest you take a look at yesterday's www.thelevernews.com for some meat and potatoes underneath the Administration's pitch about good old bi-partisan Joe wins again. These views speak a much harsher life for the materially poorer among us and the well being of our planet, that world the grandkids will rue what we did and especially, did not do to make their earth time a livable planet.

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Cannot get the article the article...says irs unavailable.

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It's a very stirringly written article, to be sure, but it reads more like a left-wing version of Limbaugh's work. While everything asserted as fact in this article may be so, the choice of examples and the tone are extremely biased, exactly as Media Bias Checker (I gotta give money to those people sometime), says they would be. So for me, this is good fodder, but slightly dangerous, since they can be counted on to confirm my existing opinion.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-daily-poster/

(Don't let the URL fool you, it links to analysis of "The Lever.")

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Thank you - good article. "Bi-partisanship"??? Isnt it swell that the Dems are bi-partisan - too bad they are the only ones. What comes next? OR what do the Repqbs want next!

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

And why is the signing of the bill not getting coverage! Are they afraid that it will take away from the GOP's tfg? I guess I am just angry! Now whales are getting airtime. I heard one statement that the June 2nd President Biden speech was more of a campaign speech. Now they just gave a very short blurb on President Biden that he sign the bill and moved back to tfg now a reporter reporting on the Debt Ceiling Agreement. What the ????

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Of course President Biden's June 2 speech had elements of campaigning. He highlighted all that has been gained, both in the recent bill and the bills he has gotten passed through Congress. People need consistent reminding of the good he has accomplished as we head toward Nov. 2024.

There was massive coverage in the past week about what was gained in the debt ceiling bill; his signing it was, in a way, anticlimactic since it was already known to be a done deal. Of course the media moved on once the drama of negotiations and votes was concluded.

If you'd like to hear what he actually had to say in his speech Friday night, it's little over 13 minutes long and available at C-SPAN (the video is a bit slow to start but hang in there). https://www.c-span.org/video/?528482-1/president-biden-addresses-nation-debt-limit-deal

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Thank you, I found the President Biden's address yesterday! I thought is was a great speech. He is amazing!

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The Professor does tend to make her final line a zinger. That was what stuck with me. "What a difference three years can make."

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I personally want at least 5 more sane years of Biden!

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Especially when that person is the captain of our mother ship. Isn’t it reassuring to see that grace and maturity do trickle down nicely?

It looks like perhaps some of the most steadfast MAGA’s might be paying attention to this process and liking the bit of respect that comes with making better choices?

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4032484-greene-flips-on-public-release-of-jan-6-tapes-claims-it-could-put-the-security-of-the-capitol-at-risk/amp/

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Well, after perusing the article, I'd have to say that her primary concern is that analytical folks of a leftish stripe might look closely at it and report even more people to the FBI/DoJ. I dream every day of these crazy-ass MAGAs having true epiphanies, but at the same time, I'm not going to hold my breath.

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Please don’t hold your breath. But movement is movement, and my point is only that respect and grace are every bit as contagious as hate, anger, vengeance and whichever we choose to lead us will eventually trickle down. I don’t see epiphanies, but rather a slow gradual change of feeding what is best in us.

We can only know what is reported but if she actually said this: “She said that some people committed violence and broke the law and should be held accountable but many others did not commit crimes.”, then that is quite a change from her prior position. Also, supporting McCarthy to reach a compromise was quite out of character for the MTG we have seen so far.

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It is hard to trust anything that comes out of her mouth. I think when she said “Can we have some decorum?” In the House meeting and was laughed at, that was a time of reflection for her. But...she is still a pig

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Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't an affair going on with her and McCarthy! The looks they give each other.......hummmmm!

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The MAGA Congress persons paid attention to the if-you-release-these-tapes-any -wacko-in-the-world-can-sneak-in-and-kill-YOU. Always only about themselves.

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I was thinking the same thing! 😊

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Not to overlook how a decent, honest, positive and determined human attracts the same to them. The Biden "team" and cabinet and appointees are suited to their jobs, respectful, intelligent, disciplined AND law abiding. No need for pardons--just respect and thanks.

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Amen!

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Well, a difference would be welcome.

The statement, "where the American economy and the world economy is at risk of collapsing—there is no other way."

...is now seen differently by a majority of humans in the world. But noticing that

would require a media that looks beyond narcissistic domestic politics.

This economy has been captured by the arms industry that requires we risk everything in wars with other powers instead of constructing win-win survival tactics that feed everyone. Climate destabilization is accelerating and Washington continues to withdraw from international treaties, reinvigorating arms races.

Economic policies this administration's advisors are waging now drive international flight away from the sanctions (now against 40 countries) and interest rate decisions that cause developing countries to lose ground. Check out BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and now Saudi Arabia) and the SCO , whose combined economic weight exceeds the G7.

In simple global policy results, a "difference" could help internally for us citizens, as well as affect the departure of others from "our" sphere of influence.

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You've got some interesting stuff here, Mr. Markatos, and please tell me more. I've feared for years that our use of our wealth to punish other countries with sanctions has dubious short-term benefits and the long-term effect of encouraging other countries to find ways to bypass the United States. Tell me more about "BRICS," and who is "SCO," whose economic weight exceeds the G7?

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Hi Dirk,

I've shared your concern over sanctions and have delighted in the historical and anthropological explorations of economist Michael Hudson who is regularly interviewed by Ben Norton who has a history of digging beyond the superficial narrative in mainstream media. His discoveries of the traditions of jubilee, or debt cancellation, lift it out of the realm of utopian dreams and into the dynamics of societal and political practice as found in the historical record. Years ago I heard a 2008 interview with Yves Smith on the plight of families losing their homes, victims hands of illegal bank practices. Her blog nakedcapitalism.com "Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power" offers a smorgasbord of topics addressed or forwarded by Yves and several other contributors, with analyses typically aligned with long term public interest considerations. BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are frequently mentioned there.

BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have received applications from several countries responding to recent events. GulfNews.com says, "UAE and Saudi Arabia [and Iran] joining in BRICS will be game changing. ...it will forever shift balance of global power." As I shared with commenter Wilhelm, the image of a plane leaving the US loaded with gold being returned to Germany ...got my attention. Countries have noted the penchant for imposing sanctions and seizing assets," and are taking prudent measures.

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sco? JCM enjoyed your comments.

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Hi L Wilhelm,

I've recently learned that 3-letter name. It's an expanding group of countries with mutual interests, described by wikipedia as "The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ( SCO)... a Eurasian political, economic, international security and defence organization. It is the world's largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population. Its combined GDP is around 20% of global GDP." A very interesting economist (and anthropologist) Michael Hudson has pointed out the trend of countries fleeing exploitation based actions of "the West"

and for the alternatives existing through BRICS and SCO. One phrase that got my attention was Hudson's reference to planes carrying gold back to countries that noticed how readily the US and UK seized Venzuela's gold deposited in the UK. Yves Smith's blog, nakedcapitalism.com isn't anti-capitalist, but offers views and cautions from people experienced in finance, industry and long term considerations.

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That should be Biden’s campaign slogan - “one decent human being”!

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Yes. But let's not kid ourselves about bipartisanship. We do not have it until there are real threats. Until then they (the far right and the rest of the GOP that goes along) are into blackmail and their threats. The lesson for me still is you have to ask for more than what you figure you will be able to settle for and feel some accomplishment. But because we have one side ( the R's) ruled by reactionary ( to be kind) interests and the other more moderate with a progressive that is willing to play ball, we get to inch forward and claim victory... so far. We are in the danger zone really about many so called progressive issues (vital and urgent really) that can move us forward. This explains Bernie Sanders vote against this deal as well. So yeah, if you look at how bad things could be and could get, this was a positive.

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This President is addressing a family, the family of Americans looking for guidance - quarrelsome, ignorant, frightened, misled, and those who grasp and support the concept of ideals - talking as a teacher, as a loving father. He's leading by example, showing that it's not necessary to inflict pain and distress to negotiate difficulties. He's describing these negotiations as if that's what took place - not thanks to him, but from a concerted effort - which as HCR says isn't entirely exact, but how can the enemy contradict it? How can they say that's not the way it should be?

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Anne-Louise Last night President Biden reminded me of how, as a young boy, I felt so comforted by FDR’s Fireside Chats.

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I am currently watching a docu-series on the History Channel entitled FDR. I find it fascinating, and am learning so much. After the first episode I had the thought that FDR and Biden are a lot alike, to the betterment of all Americans.

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"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."

Prepared for April 13, 1945

FDR

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And never delivered...

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I remember the shock and sorrow in our household.

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A-L At age 11 FDR had been my only president. He was winning WW II. And we were unaware that, even as he ran for a fourth term, he was dying—which he did at age 63 (the same as Lincoln?)

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We must cherish our doubts.

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Well I had to Google that one! Now I understand that doubts are the door/pathway to knowledge. 👍

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Cathy There is an excellent four-hour American Presidents (PBS) documentary on FDR. Allen Lichtman has a marvelous GREAT COURSES two-hour lecture on FDR. My personal favorite is Rosenman’s FDR segment of FOUR GIANTS AND A PIGMY. (The pigmy was Warren Harding.)

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Good morning, Keith!

I bet that you have already read "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin!

What a book! (For the LFAA Bookclub that seems to be forming here, LOL, if you haven't read it, you should, but it's not a "beach read"! Save it for a chilly autumn day with a mug of hot drink at your side)

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An LFAA Bookclub!!! Where do I sign? Downloading "No Ordinary Time" immediately. I loved Doris Kearns Goodman's "Team of Rivals." What a writer!

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Jun 4, 2023·edited Jun 4, 2023

Alexandra Doris Kearns was a unusual White House intern under LBJ. Then she was invited down to his ranch to research and write a book about him. Her first book—and sparked her focus on presidents, including FDR and Lincoln. She married Richard Goodwin who later was in government on Latin American affairs. I was never personally taken by him.

One of Doris’s most recent books is on presidential leadership after major personal setbacks. I rank this among her best.

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Lucky us...

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Yes, we want a leader, we want a grown-up to show us they way through difficulties. Personally, I never realized Biden had this in him. But more and more, helooks like the man for the hour.

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Mary My headline for the recent debt/budget brouhaha is THE PRESIDENT AND THE PIPSQUEAK.

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I call him Qevin, the ROYAL ASS-KISSER. Did you see how elated he was after negotiations ended? Like a little kid who had argued with his teacher to get a better grade and won...a little. He didn’t know he was being played! :)

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Biden is not given credit for the brilliant strategist he is. He could have dropped the hammer on the 14th amendment. Instead he let the Repubs save face by giving a little. Sets a precedent for bipartisanism for the next time they have to negotiate. "We have a history of working together to solve hard problems..." Repubs will look like total anarchists if they try another end run. Marlene, agree! He totally played them.

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I don't mind how old he is for this reason - he really does have an ingrained sense of the game after all these years. Although I do think there was a Dark Brandon moment we all missed because of this compromise - the trillion dollar coin. It would have been almost Austin Powers worthy!

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The only thing is Dems really didn’t win either but we have until 2024 to pull something great together.

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Pipsqueak is kinda perfect for ol' Kevin, I do have to say.

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hee hee

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Yes yes yes. The man for this time! 80+ years of experience and he pours all of that love and caring of time into this beautiful thing called democracy working to continue its legacy of “We the people” and not “me myself and I”

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Seriously. Most of the 80 year olds I see in the office marvel at how he keeps going, and leading the free world at that! I give him tremendous credit, and when they play that montage of his life tragedies and resilience, it really shows that he is in this for something greater than himself. It's like he carries the expectations of his first wife and son Beau, and wants to meet them at the finish line having done as much as he could to make them proud, and to fully use the time he was given, and that was unfairly taken from them...

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Beautifully said, Ryan. Made me tear up.

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And I’m sincere about that. If we step back and consider him not as a politician but as a human being, his story is so compelling. Obama’s was so compelling. We all go through tragedy and disappointment and disillusionment- but lefty heroes emerge with a heroic resolve to double down on hope, compassion, and a sense of purpose to help others in that eternal quest to make this a better place.

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MARY ! in My opinion, ....

He Looks Like, the

MAN !....FOR the NATION !!

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Keith, I think that was the idea. Go Biden and crew!

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well said.

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From the heart.

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Yeah. It's nice that Dad came home for a visit, sober and medicated. Lately he's been out with the local militia ranting against the government. He joined the AR-47 club, and has been off the rails fuming about whatever he thinks "woke" means. It scares me and Mom. He's been hanging out with criminals, cheating on our taxes, and dumping motor oil on the front lawn. Mom tried to get a restraining order on him because he's been threatening violence. The judge only gave him a warning. I sure hope Dad stays home this time, but he's already mumbling dark immigrant fantasies, and some really disturbing stuff about Disney and my bookshelf.

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Wow, Ryan! You have a problem on your hands. I wish you and your mom the best in dealing with your dad. He is endangering both of you, as well as himself.

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Sounds like time to call in the FBI and the DOJ, & while you’re at it, best to call the CIA, because I heard he’s selling security secrets to Saudis and Russians

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May the best dad stay home and take care of the brood. We need a caring one.

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Easily, they can spew their hateful, disgusting lying bull Schitt with nary an iota of shame. Wait for it…

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I think that it is safe to say, without fear of contradiction, that white nationalism has morphed into outright Fascism and the fear of "being replaced" by those with a darker skin color has been used by Trump, DeSantis and others to press forward with an authoritarian agenda. One wonders how so many Americans can still support Trump when he tried so ineptly to overthrow our constitutional government. What we must recognize is that a very large segment of our population favors Fascism. This segment hates minorities, non-Christians, advancement of women's rights, gays and immigrants. Our own propaganda needs to expose to these people how they are being manipulated so that the wealthy can continue to siphon trillions out of the U.S. economy at their expense.

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Richard, while heartily agreeing with your analysis, I suspect the majority of those voting for tfg are voting for a feeling of anger so thoroughly and frequently expressed but without recognizing the degree to which that feeling ends up in fascism nor recognizing the perilous journey on which fascism leads a country. I really don't believe all in "this segment hates minorities, non-Christians, advancement of women's rights, gays and immigrants" to the degree those manipulating them magnify that hatred. I think that's what Biden's message and actions portray.

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I base my assessment on the levels and reasons for hate principally on the study conducted by two Univ. of Kansas professors, David Smith and Eric Hanley, entitled "The Anger Games, Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?" published in Feb. 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal, "Critical Sociology." You can google it. And, of course, my own experiences. I might add that I think many of these MAGA Republicans are clueless about their thinking, i.e., they don't know what they don't know. John Stuart Mill made the point in 1869 in his essay, "The Subjection of Women," i.e., when beliefs are based on feelings, facts don't matter.

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I agree with your assessment but we also feel that these people (even some of the more educated ones) are really not critical thinkers. Our fear is that without critical thinking we are all at risk. I believe we have tried to teach this skill in the past but, now some of the people in power are trying to ban anything that may cause people to question their view of the world. Non-critical thinkers are easier to manipulate.

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I agree with your assessment 100%. I have highly educated friends (Ph.D., M.D., BA's and more) who fit in one way or another the prejudices that Smith and Hanley describe in "The Anger Games." It doesn't take long in a conversation to learn what their particular issue(s) is. Many object to the "line cutters" as discussed by Smith and Hanley. To preserve our democracy, I think that one step must be the creation and introduction of critical thinking courses, starting as early as junior high. Of course, many of the religious among us will object to this.

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I don’t disagree but I think that fear and anger have overwhelmed whatever cognitive abilities they may have - a normal neurological response to serious, prolonged stress coupled with powerlessness to resolve the source. The stress comes from so many sources and has been reinforced daily/hourly by FOX. “Conservatives” appear to have differences in their brains that make them more susceptible to emotions (fear/anger) overwhelming their executive function (cognitive skills such as memory, planning, etc.).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793824/

It’s as if some folks had a weakness in their legs and the environment (including FOX) kept kicking them in the kneecaps. <not a brilliant metaphor, but I haven’t had my coffee yet).

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I agree and I would say those feelings have existed in the this country for a very long time, well, from day one in the European view of Native Americans and then expanded by slavery. I have mentioned this before, but the author of God: An Anatomy has a chapter where she traces the idea of white supremacy from the viewing of black as evil to the present day. (And somewhere in Utah they have banned the Bible for younger students). I grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, in the 1950s where I heard plenty of racist remarks and sort of whispered remarks about queer people. And the West was all cowboys and Indians. We went on a trip out to CA and back and while in CA, my father didn't like it and said we could give it back to the Indians. The only independent women I knew were spinster school teachers paid next to nothing. Fast forward to now and the gains that certain groups have made and the Rs are trying to turn back, and we see the fear of white people and white men in particular made manifest in the body politic thanks to death star who openly is awful and his cult now does the same.

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Michele, I grew up in Georgia in the 50s. I hear you, loud and clear. Also, I remember my first trip to Indiana, to visit one of my husband’s buddies from their Navy days. Very soon into the visit, I thought to myself, “Holy sh*t! These yankees are rednecks!” It was an eye opener.

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Thanks for the cite, and I'm glad that I'm still in school and can access it. I find it interesting that they use data from the American National Election Studies, a collaboration between Stanford and U of Michigan, with funding from the National Science Foundation, which is one of those "deep state" agencies that the Right is always complaining about, like NOAA and USGS.

I think it important to realize that the bad actors driving the Right aren't just afraid of government regulation, no matter how useful for society. They are even more afraid of the government's unique position to gather information, the prerequisite for good regulation. "They" don't want us to know anything that may contradict their desires.

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'When beliefs are based on feelings, facts dont matter".!!!! yes

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Kathy As Senator Daniel Monyhan expressed it “You are entitled to your own personal opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

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Richard Great Comments about MAGA. Thank you.

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I think many people that vote have no idea what they are voting for except the party and maybe and issue that they hear or care about such: as guns, abortion, race, immigrants, income tax....

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I hope you are correct

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I have noted a major change in the discussion about Fascism over the last 3 or 4 years. If 4 or even 3 years ago you would comment about trump as Fascism you would get shouted down with replies. Heaven forbid you should compare anything to Hitler's German. Now so many more folks see the danger especially with all of the hate being expressed and rights of women and minorities under attack.

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Playing on the less-well-off...asserting their real "enemies" are white collar"elites," foreign-born or somehow un-American in their "socialist" politics, has been in the past an essential aspect of fascism, and here it is again today.

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Dave, my fear is that 3-4 years ago, people would get angry and say he wasn't. Now my fear is they shrug and say "so what?" or even worse, applaud it.

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That is the terror I see as well. Facisim OK. Socialism Not OK. Sad.

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Yeah, it's dangerous to assume others want to bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice... many simply don't. They prefer others don't play with their toys, and are ready to kill for that.

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Exactly! I think the SCOTUS was/is a big hammer that is finally shedding light on the subject🤯🥵.

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The rants of Trump and his lot are the sounds of a beast in its last throes. As ugly as their beliefs, and as powerful as they are still, they will not prevail. Similarly, in other parts of the world where fascism prevails...a certain country at war right now, for example, will not last either.

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We fervently hope that it is "a beast in its last throes," but we can't rest now.

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Hope, hello again! It is wise to regard beasts in their last throes as the most dangerous and unpredictable, because they are being trapped, they have less to lose, and will take more and more chances. Now that That Person is encircled, I will wager he wishes he had another dozen boxes of documents to negotiate with, or worse, to distribute to his idol dictators simply to cause as much damage as possible before his political demise. If he really wants to catastrophically destroy our democracy, as it seems is his plan, that would be one avenue. I refuse to acknowledge any other.

One other aspect of DJT's removal from political influence that occurs to me is that when he defines himself as a martyr, he will anoint a segment of his followers as martyrs also, those who fought for him.

I propose a combat medal for those followers who finally found purpose in wearing clothes with his picture, in his nfg cards, in rallying and spewing his version of hate and denigration. Like a Purple Heart, but Jet Black, not pinned to the breast, maybe tattooed on the forehead. Oh my!

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Happy afternoon, Ed. As his sister, Mary Trump said, the only thing that matters to tfg is himself. Whenever he stirs up his troops, it's because he wants praise, money or advantage. Usually all of the above. He has no intention of giving anything unless it feathers his nest. He's loyal to nothing. Every deal is transactional or zero sum.

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Yes, I thought of that. I was thinking about a legacy involving a mob who would carry out his wishes. I studied mobs while writing a paper on the Rev War. Mobs carried out much of the dirty work. Thanks for your responxe.

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Sadly, I think fascism will reappear, again and again, at future moments when a tipping point of anger exists. And when those in power take advantage of the anger to expand their own power and wealth.

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DeSantis is a perfect example. Lil’ Hitler has imposed strangulation of all things decent in his state. He wants to be center stage with his proposed evilness. I cringe every time he speaks. But then I do that when BoPeep, Gosar, Santos. MGT, and Gaetz mouth words, also.

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They certainly are repulsive!

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Indeed. I am reminded of a "peacenik" slogan: "Imagine they gave a war and nobody came." Or, ignore a bully because they can't stand not commanding an audience. I know I am being simplistic, but fascists exists because there are willing lemmings. If only we could disrupt their following. Consider how impotent some recent right wing rallies have been, lately. People just didn't turn up to watch or be indoctrinated.

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I think you will ultimately be correct. As long as the planet doesn't kick us off... if mass migration and climate chaos happen faster than we can engineer a way out, then strong men with tribal instincts will still draw legions.

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It seems that when children are shamed for their inherent humanity, (the very core of any human) that the human brain, as it increasingly is required to function in an adult world, will look to shed that intolerable, toxic shame, onto others.

A child growing up in chaos, will limbically need chaos to feel “whole”.

If you match the counties in our country with the highest rates of addiction, alcoholism, or shaming religions, I suspect you will find counties that have a limbic need for authoritarianism.

This is why countries with the strongest social programs that support families of young children are the happiest and healthiest in our world.

It’s not rocket science.

We keep giving power to the wrong people.

"I want to let you know that as your president, I will first and foremost be a

champion for our children."-Hillary Clinton

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No one to date was more qualified, more prepared, to be POTUS than Hillary Rodham Clinton. James Comey will not be treated well by future historians, that is, if they are permitted to write history.

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It is kind of like the shock I felt after I saw pictures of USA citizens celebrating Nazi's Hitler in NYC when I was not yet born or shortly after. I did not see that in my History books. The sad thing is we never got that far in the book before school was out for the year! We should have started with that war and worked our way back....I think that might have been a wake up call to what is happening today! At 15 the 1940's seemed like old days gone by! It is funny the perception of time when we are sliding into 80 very fast. 100 years is not that far removed now! My young mother, if she were alive today, would be 103 today.

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This afternoon two young men stopped by my door to give me literature on an upcoming Board of Supervisors election coming up next week. One of the boys was 15 and the other around 22-23. What impressed me was their dedication to voting at such young ages. As a liberal Democrat I gave them some information they had not heard of…. Namely, Trump boasting before the 2016 election that he could walk down 5th Avenue and shoot someone and nothing would be done about it……I also informed that he had his first wife Ivana buried at one of his golf courses so he could claim a reduction in taxes for the property now classified as a cemetery. These two young men were amazed and thanked me for filling them in. The hope of our nation lies with the youth!

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I use Bravo Sierra in lieu of BS.

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lol 😂. Love it

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Maybe we can sleep tonight. Sweet dreams, Heather. It is still a great hill to climb, but catching our breaths helps immensely. Thank you, as always, for all you do for us.

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I have explained to many a friend, and even my husband and I differ on this. Other than the very first time when I voted at 18, and I voted idealistically, from then on my voting is always looking at what a person stands for and whether I think they can get done what they say they will do. I have many people close to me who insisted Bernie Sanders had to be president. I did not see that as very fruitful because the only people who would vote for his policies would be people who are more left in the Democratic Party. There would be no chance of reelection either. We are just not that progressive a nation. In fact, large pockets are downright rooted in centuries past. I felt that way about Ralph Nader when he ran for office too. I never felt that he would be a good leader. Ideas are one thing and governing is another thing. Biden has good ideas, very thoughtful ones and he also has ideas about getting things done. I am someone who wrote to him to compromise on the Build Back Better Bill and take the environmental things out, and pass them separately. I apparently was not the only one giving this advice. I know that there are environmental losses, but we are going to have them anyway. I see the wisdom of teaching Kevin McCarthy how to negotiate in a real way. The press has seemed baffled that Biden does not wear his every though on his sleeve, and most members of the mainstream press do not seem to have the intellectual tools to understand what Biden is about, and I cannot hear one more person harping on his age. I never hear that about Warren Buffet, and he is 92. No one is asking him to step down from leadership of Berkshire Hathaway. What I have to say to Biden is taken from a Loving Care hair color commercial from the 1970s. I really like the sentiment. https://youtu.be/jjYpv_yQ0qc

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Linda, agree with most of your comment. We part ways on asserting that “we are just not that progressive a nation.” The media continually portrays us as divided. But well run polls on topics the media labels progressive (abortion access, universal healthcare, immigration reform, increased taxes on the wealthy, climate change policies, including alternative energy, paid leave for parents) show support, year after year, by solid to overwhelming majorities. Most voters don’t care about “cancel culture”, “woke culture” “critical race theory” or any of the other silly notions the republicans use to rile voters and create the impression of dissension. And nothing in the United States in any way resembles socialism. There are no socialist economies in the world and there never has been. I just traveled in Sweden which many misinformed US citizen believe represents a socialist state. The Heritage Foundation, extremely conservative, rates it higher as a market (capitalist) economy vs the United States. They have a significant social safety net, but that is not socialism. It just makes for a happy, secure population. What a difference from the media and republicans in this country actively fomenting division.

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Hey, all. Just jumping in here where I think this story may be relevant. I live in Loudoun County, about 15 minutes away from Patrick Henry College, and also neighbor to Round Hill, VA where the Beall family lives. The family made the decision to stop home-schooling one of their daughters and enrolled her in public school. Discovering that public schooling was benefiting their daughter, they decided to send their other children to public school, too. “It’s specifically a system that is set up to hide the abuse. ("biblical discipline as part of home-schooling")... At some point, you become so mentally imprisoned you don’t even realize you need help.”

https://wapo.st/43mt9Kd

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Lucian Truscott IV just last night, put out a column about an Evangelical organization for "Christian" homeschoolers which advocates beating children to break their will and other harsh "Biblical" disciplinary practices. It was a horrifying piece--to say the least! These so-called Christian group is also a sponsoring organization of "Moms for Liberty" that pseudo-free-thinking book-banning bunch of %#@^*&'s.

I thought Evangelicals were all about the teachings of Jesus, The New Testament stuff: love your neighbor as yourself and allow the little children to love and approach Him...isn't that all about that "new contract" from YHWH deal....not the Old Testament stern and disapproving Father routine.???

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Just a note on the God of the Old Testament: The God of the Old Testament liberates the enslaved Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, parts the waters so they can cross the sea and escape the oppressor's army, leads them through the wilderness, causes water to come forth from a rock so they can drink, drops manna from heaven for food, and over and over tells them that they will be gathered again after times of exile. This is not only a stern God but one the people experience as protecting and guiding them toward life. This OT God also commands them to care for the widow and orphan and the "wandering Aramean" in their midst (i.e., migrants and refugees).

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Thank you, clearly I'm no Biblical scholar but it does seem as though the group of child abusing "Christians" who cherry pick both the Old and the New Testament for justification to beat their children "to break their will", isolate, groom and brainwash them for their version of religion aren't very "Christian" at all.

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TL ...AS ONE CAN *SEE* ...There ARE Many FALSE RELIGIONS, in Our World,v ,BUT ONLY. GOD! & HIS SON !

JESUS CHRIST, !!

Follow HIM ! ...and

Find TRUTH !

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Alas...everything you say is true, but somehow those stories of God's care and guidance in the Bible don't get elevated or celebrated by too many Evangelical Christians--instead those folks seem to go out of their way to find passages that feature angry or authoritarian versions of God's Words. They seem to want to be loved for punishing others whom they see and judge as errant and feckless.

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And, I would say, they don't understand Christianity, because it is at core to follow the teachings of Christ, which is not to be racist and sexist and homophobic, and vile and evil to children and hatefully groom them to be sexually and otherwise compliant. Where is the love? The amount of abuse in the fundamentalist community is astounding. That fundamentalists support such low level of education for their children is awful. I am glad some are breaking away, but it is never the majority of the group. They are all just as vulnerable as were the people in Jonestown so many years ago, who will willingly drink the Coolaid and what ever other horrid thing they are commanded to do or allow done to themselves.

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Thanks for this. I've no patience for simplistic readings of the OT and NT from supposedly generous and open-minded Christians. Jesus was born a Jew, raised a Jew, preached as a Jew. We part company on the Messiah stuff and the literal interpretations of scripture as the immutable Word of God and not the well-edited thoughts of fallible humans rooted in a culture and history.

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I heard a Rabbi say re Christianity: " They took one of our boys and turned him into God."

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I read that story yesterday. They were very courageous, especially in bucking their horrified families. But even that kind of worked out. Critical thinking and analysis … can’t beat it.

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Many are in the grip of Stockholm Syndrome but many are starting to realize it's a destructive process and are ready to move on. It will be a slow and painful process but it's starting to happen.

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Sweden has a population just a bit smaller than NC. They pay higher tax rates than a lot of states in this country. The Swedish population has a safety net that protects them in case of serious illness, etc. Sweden is less ethnically diverse than the US. The people of Sweden come together to care for the common good.

America has always been an every man for himself place, with the morbidly rich demanding the biggest slices of the pie.

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I love your description: "morbidly rich!"

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Not just Sweden, but Germany and Austria have bought into a different way of being "capitalistic." If you saw the recent NYT article on Vienna as a utopia because of the way that they subsidize quality low income rental housing, whereas the USA subsidizes home ownership. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/23/magazine/vienna-social-housing.html

This article does not even mention what I have been seeing on the Vienna news that their green plan means that newly built subsidized housing is all using geothermal energy, which means that the people living there will have the energy gains as well. Vienna has a very extensively thought out plan for getting their city off of fossil fuels by 2030, including remodeling all of the hospitals by then. They have been turning two way streets into one way streets with more trees and bicycle paths for climate control. I would say that Germany, after turning into the European country of immigration has the range of diversity just not the number of diverse people that the USA has. That being said, they are working on being more welcoming to immigrants.

Ashton, an American expat living in Germany, where she did her PhD in low income housing explains the differences between Germany and the USA, and you will find that since the renters make up more of the population they are locked into a voting situation where renters needs are going to be prioritized. That is true of construction of housing too. In the USA, things are different, and given who has the power, I don't see how things can turn around.

https://youtu.be/V7d1eQ7Onk0

We are locked into our system because it was the way we chose to go. It is a system of inherent inequities that prioritizes the haves over the have nots, and hopefully can be made less so.

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Jenn SH, only when the morbidly rich (GREAT descriptor!) can convince the majority that myths like "trickle-down economics" actually work! 40 years of experience show they clearly do not. This kind of propaganda is helped immeasurably by the huge amounts of dark money (compliments of Citizens United decision) which allow the endless repetition of the myth, dark money which seems to have found ways into the pockets of those making these pivotal decisions. 😡

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"morbidly rich"

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I guess what I mean is that we have families like the Duggars who are featured in this series which I believe started tonight who are members of IBLP.

https://youtu.be/Tw1rAMzPf70

This is just one of so many cultish groups that are likely to vote for Trump because he allows them to be the way they are. So, even if the majority are not like this, we have enough people who are to say, this is part of American culture. I guess we cannot know honestly from the mainstream press how people are thinking, but in some states Republicans who are obvious horrid crooks get voted in to power again and again. Who is doing this voting? This is whom I mean when I say there are pockets that are living like they are in another century. That is the nature of fundamentalism.

https://modernreformation.org/resource-library/articles/what-has-become-of-american-fundamentalism/

I understand that true capitalism, socialism and communism does not exist in real life. Those are ideas born out of the industrial revolution, I would like to have some new models of political theory come out that tie to the technological revolution we are in now. How does this influence our lifestyle and actions? While many Americans may falsely believe Sweden is a socialist state because they pay higher taxes and for that get better services, so many of the people carrying these false beliefs come from authoritarian regimes that had what they liked to call a socialist governments, or communist, but they do not understand that they are advocating the same sort of government that they left by supporting people like Trump who are very clear about their fascistic leanings.

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Linda, thank you for the links. The details about the extremes of religious fundamentalism are enlightening and disturbing. And to think they are a voting bloc for tfg has always been puzzling. Or maybe not.

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Irenie, I am astonished by the views of my Christian friends. Their minds and hearts have been removed. Republican propaganda is doing quite a successful job. I too am perplexed. How can people who see themselves as "good" vote for someone like Donald Trump? He cares for no one but himself. It is his way or no ones way. Look at his disrespect towards women.....

I left the Republican Party when he was nominated......what a manipulator!.....a terrible human being!

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Emily, I have the same experience. I can see the influence of the propaganda play out in the memes they post, or the articles they link to. One, a former co-worker/supervisor/co-worker was a pastor before he became a cop; he has gone so far down the propaganda path that I really do not, in any way, understand how he can believe the things he is posting about.

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Linda I think you hit the nail on the head when you claim "true capitalism, socialism and communism do not exist in real life." The genius of our founding fathers (and their advising mothers {think Abigail Adams}) was that they recognized how various political ideologies are subject to corruption once put into practice by real humans so they tried to create a tripartite system of government with checks and balances as part of its very structure. It yielded a system prone to much disagreement and debate and depended on an open and free press and popular assembly and demonstration. That system was and is unwieldy but in the end is also self-correcting if we the general population of voters don't give in or fall for the excursions into extremes we are offered. Bidens genius appears tp lie in his conviction that he CAN talk with those on "the other side" to arrive at some kind of agreement. He clearly believes in the founding fathers' aspirations and walks the often arduous walk of democracy.

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I have an ex friend who was in a church group like the one in the documentary.

She left the group and divorced her husband after she found out the church was helping cover up her husband sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

However, she voted for the former guy because abortion.

Which by the way she had one before she found god.

I think her Catholic upbringing made her feel guilty and so god has forgiven her for that. But she's still an angry woman who is never happy.

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Brainwashing is the only way religions survive and thrive.

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Linda, your links add much to my take-away from your comment. I followed your perspective on the history of those who self-identify as fundamentalists and/or evangelicals with keen interest. I agree that we are in need of new ideas of political theory in the modern technological era. I will check out your Substack…thank you for often sharing in this forum…

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Come live in a red state. The majority of US may support these policies but states under the freedom caucus do not & they vote & their electoral college delegates vote.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1VT-4t6s3Y

I frequently post clips from "Beau" here. I think he has a good point. Our work is cut out for us.

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It’s all in the language. Again recommending Tony Judt’s book on Social Democracy. So would his friend and collaborator, Timothy Snyder. This is democracy for Everyone!

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Idealistically, I am on the Ralph and Bernie team, but I have never supported either. In fact, I have been pissed at both for the damage they have caused by trying to push us up a hill that we have so many opposing. Sad but true. I wish it weren’t so. I would love to live in a world exemplified by the way we were headed after WW2 - social safety nets, social and racial equality, economic fairness, recognition of environmental priorities, and the “love thy neighbor” teachings of real Christians. Some embraced Rachel Carson, but not enough. Some embraced Rush Limbaugh, but way too many. I truly did believe that the majority of Americans wanted that world. But I witnessed the gains the John Birchers, the radical republicans, the Reagan Democrats, and the Fox devotees have made and have had to admit that the America I hoped to live in is a dream for the future. Joe is trying to make that dream come true, almost single-handed it seems sometimes. Give that man his due and don’t leave it to future generations to bow down to his heart and his skill as he battles those who have neither. Our better angels had better step up, NOW

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I had that awakening (about America) when, after experiencing what Reagan did to CA as governor, he was elected President. I was sorely disappointed in my fellow country folk, but accepted the results that a “celebrity” had dazzled them….not unlike TFG. Both have left a negative lasting legacy, albeit Reagan’s was more subtle.

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Slimy is a better description

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Years ago, I recall my mother, who paid zero attention to politics, vote for him because she gushed "he's SUCH a good speaker!"

That obviously wasn't The Indicted One, but he spoke to the MAGA hearts.

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To me, Reagan’s legacy (abetted, possibly instigated, by his handlers) was the beginning of the hollowing out of the middle class and siphoning of resources/money upward. As gov of CA, watching the negative impact of his tenure on education, healthcare (especially mental health), and social safety net was disturbing….even more so to see these policies expressed, as POTUS, on the national stage. I could never figure out (still can’t) why so many folks adore him as “Saint Ronnie”…..SMH…..

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Great comment Jeri. I had felt certain for a long time that Americans, for the most part, wanted the forward societal gains from WW2 onward. More equity. More fairness. More personal control over your body. So it has been in grieving shock that I came to the realization on Nov. 9, 2016, that America is NOT the country I believed it was. That it was a myth we would stand up to a tyrant/bully to “lead” the country. The next pillar to fall was the myth that we would all pull together in a catastrophic crisis. Covid put that myth to death, like it did to so many unfortunate Americans. Social media has allowed a dangerous, money-making, psychological experiment-of-control to be supercharged in the body politic. We are beginning to wrap our minds around the comprehensive weaponization of influence and manipulation were are the lab-rats of. This “Save-Democracy” fight we are in is NOT where I thought the road was leading us. So the greatest lesson I have concluded is “Pay Attention”. That’s a heavy lift when apathy is soooooo much easier.

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I have had very few living heroes. Nader was one -- up until he ran for president as the candidate of a "party" to which he did not belong and which had no purpose other than to run candidates for president and act as a spoiler in Florida (after he promised to not run).

I thought Sanders was admirable -- up until I spent an evening in his presence. It was a fundraiser during his first run for the Senate. I found him to be arrogant, intolerant, and humorless. Like Nader he was running as a candidate for a party to which he did not belong and never raised money for yet expected to be treated as if he were an actual Democrat. It hurt that many people I knew supported him and ignored my assessment. They were as cultish about him as the MAGAts are about you-know-who.

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And I know a few guys who have refused to vote because the system was rigged against Bernie.

I tell them to grow up because life is not always going to go the way they want

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Bernie Bros gave us fpotus. Bernie Bros gave us the Handmaidens SCROTUS.

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“Because the system was rigged against Bernie”. Except it wasn’t, but believing that enabled them to justify their anger & behavior, and close their minds to reason. Hmm that sounds a bit like the MAGA mindset.

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While I liked many of Bernie’s ideas, he always struck me as a grouchy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to “get off my lawn!”. He is unique, that’s for sure, but I just couldn’t see him as president.

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Robert Reich described three categories of failed leaders: the messiahs, the martyrs and the marginalized. Bernie ended up marginalized.

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I supported first Bernie in the primary, and then Elizabeth Warren. But once it was clear that Hillary Clinton had the nomination, I wholeheartedly supported her candidacy.

I will never understand how tfg buffaloed so many. He always looked like a BS-er and conman to me.

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Karen, I supported Warren in the primary….and like you, fully supported Hillary in the general election. I’ve read some interesting pieces (sorry can’t put my finger on them at the moment) about HRC being unfairly vilified and tropes about her became “it must be true” to so many. New Yorkers knew what TFG was and is….too bad so many in the rest of the country didn’t pay attention—hell, I live in rural northern CA and even I could see it!

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There are very few politicians who are secure enough to compromise and show some humility. Biden is now able to do that, and it s a sign of real leadership. But he has only come to that in his later years.

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But now that tragedy has brought him wisdom, our president is considered too old to continue. C’mon, America. FDR’s polio and Biden’s losses of those closest have given empathy that is priceless in leaders.

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Thank you, Someone. Tired of “he’s too old.” Roosevelt’s polio was never the issue that Biden’s age has become. What they have in common as leaders is understanding resulting from their own misfortunes and the ability to live with their mistakes. And of course both came into office after Republican debacles. (Some will question that, but as I look at Republican presidents in the 20th-21st centuries, there does not seem to be one of the stature of several Democratic ones.)

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Well, “Miss America “ they ain’t.... but thinkers they are and darned curious and totally sincere in knowing what helps the middle class . Helping the middle class and having “safety nets “ for all , causes less friction and more progress than needing ones candidates to be perfect in every way???? Let’s look at the safety nets Ralph Nader designed. Bernie is out there every day asking the richest country in the world to make the minimum wage $17. some dollars across the nation. A measly amount if I were a union leader, but at least more than what a dozen eggs costs at “Mom’s” in Va.

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It's one thing to have ideas, another to turn them into policy or law. I did a deep dive into Sanders' legislative history. It was unsuccessful because he was unable to get co-sponsors for the 100s of bills he proposed. Worse. He did pass a good but modest bill to help vets but the one he touted as his big achievement was a major House bill for which he was only a Senate co-sponsor. Then there was the unforgivable way the Bros behaved and the fact that Bernie refused to take them to task. I could go on but I'll spare you.

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This brings to mind the quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck where it is said:

“The “art of the possible” is idea that politics is a matter of pragmatism, instead of idealism.

According to this worldview, politics is a matter of creating achievable goals and implementing them in the real world.”

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The actual quote:

“politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.”

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I like that idea, and agree with it. It is wisdom that leads us to understanding it.

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...and patience to work for it until it can be achieved.

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“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” – Leo Tolstoy

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“And once those limits are understood

To understand that limitations no longer exist.

Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free

Not to save the world in a glorious crusade

Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain

But to practice with all the skill of our being

The art of making possible.”

The last stanza of one of my most favorite poems written by Nancy Scheibner and read by Hillary Clinton at their 1969 graduation from Wellesley College.

(I keep the entire poem and speech close to reread often)

https://www.wellesley.edu/events/commencement/archives/1969commencement/studentspeech

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Christy,

Thank you for awakening my hope by placing Hillary’s speech from college on the Substack.

I always admired Hillary Clinton and always hoped that America would one day be grown up enough to recognize the intellectual plus of allowing a wise and thoughtful woman to lead us.

The poem she quoted is Devine. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Sincerely👏🏻🥰

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Thank you for voicing your appreciation for lifting up her speech. 💕💕

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Governing is the art of the possible, not the perfect. Make the best deal you can at the time, and move forward. Foot stomping and intransigent behavior gets you nowhere, unfortunately we witnessed that this week, it’s a bad look...and certainly not a governing style.

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Apparently the GOP have never been students of Otto von Bismarck. For them politics is the art of manipulation and corruption.

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They’re not students of history period!

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I’ll never forget reading in Vanity Fair that tffg studied Hitler’s speeches. Though perhaps he was studying the art of propaganda and not actually history.

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"the next best"

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Guess I have always subscribed to this...

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Very thoughtful, passionate and insightful piece, Linda.

Yet I disagree with a couple of points therein.

The criticism of Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader, specifically.

Let's face it: Sanders would have been a better general election candidate against Trump than Hillary Clinton.

He would have co opted the legitimate populist impulse that Trump so easily tapped into against her, and done so without carrying her baggage, real or imagined.

As for Ralph Nader, one of the truly great Americans of the later 20th century, his 2000 candidacy of ideas actually implementing American democracy in the new century was head and shoulders above Al Gote's corporate, Clinton-esque candidacy of continuum

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Nader raised American's awareness of the need for product safety, and had some interesting thoughts in recent decades. He was way off however on insisting that Gore was no better than Bush. I was not entirely excited by Gore, but found him well informed and well intentioned. Bush was poorly informed, a very lazy thinker, corrupt and plutocratic, although it is now hard to recall how terrible Bush was in the recent shadow of Trump. Bush's response to warning of an immanent terrorist threat was feeble, his war in Iraq absurd and unconscionable, even though the county was run by a tyrant (who we had been tight with when it seemed to suit us), the tax cuts for the wealthiest (like Trumps) disastrous, disaster response incompetent, his environmental policies irresponsible, and the Subprime Crisis a semi-reprise of the Great Depression.

Nader had no hope of winning that election (unlike Sanders who was doing remarkably well in nationwide polls.) You have to build a party in order to win, and the momentum wasn't there for Nader. He might have established new influence and visibility had he ultimately thrown his support to Gore with reservations, and grown his popularity as a gadfly, increasing his shot at another try, but instead whet down with his ship, and withheld the gift he could have made to America's fate. Sanders, who had a much better response from the public, ultimately endorsed Hillary. I was for a while a Sanders alternate delegate, and did my best to get Warren nominated; but ultimately supported Biden once he was the nominee.

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Spoilers are worse than the opposition, sort of like Trojan Horses

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It depends on the kind of opposition, but we bear the weight of our what we choose to do with our share of power. Nader sabotaged his own ability to influence the public as well as the nation. What was he thinking? It's not like GWB was not an obvious bad option from the get go, or that a "protest vote" would make anything better.

Throughout my life, PSAs for voting I have encountered sell voting as a share of choice. But a vote is not just a personal choice, it is, in a government of the people, by the people, for the people, a share of responsivity for outcomes; even if we don't vote. And those already deprived of resources and justice tend to sufferer the most from our collective poor decisions. Our posterity is likely to suffer as well.

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Same here, JL...

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I agree, Daniel, that Bernie would have crushed Trump in 2016. At first I was disappointedwith Biden as the choice in 2020 but when the votes came in I realized Bernie would probably have lost to Trump.

I was astonished at Trump's numbers and had seriously underestimated his popularity. Biden has been fantastic and, for me, a real surprise. But

Bernie and Bernie supporters have helped move Biden to a more progressive agenda.

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Linda Weide: Yes--exactly! "Ideas are one thing and governing is another thing"

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"many people close to me who insisted Bernie Sanders had to be president"

Well, IF Bernie Sanders had run against Trump, he would have won. So, the question is:

Would you have rather had Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump?

The Democratic Party made a huge stumble by blocking Bernie from winning the Democratic nomination. Bernie pulled in MASSIVE numbers of young people. When Bernie visited my town I went to listen to his speech. It was SO impressive and SO focused on the people, not himself.

I think, in 2016, the Democrats shot themselves in the head by playing games in the nomination process and pushing Bernie out of the way.

I think history would be very different now because, Bernie would have walked all over Trump in a General Election. Bernie can reach out and connect with people.

Hillary never could and never can. It is too obvious to everyone that she only cares about herself.

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During my lifetime, I’ve too often had to vote against the candidate who would do harm, regardless of who is running against him. But those votes are important.

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

I think that part of resilience is the ability to make wise, hard choices, and life so often presents choices where "pros" wrestle with "cons". For me Gore was the most reliable near-term path to an ultimate objective. That said, we need to make the "best" choice in the moment, but also build a strategy toward a better future. We can win (or just survive) the battle but yet not the war without a long-term plan. Democrats have seemed to be on the back foot since Reagan, patching up the damage that modern "Republicans" perpetrate to the democratic process and the common weal, while, at least in some important ways, losing ground over time. Look at the Supreme Court as just one example. Obama avoided a deeper recession, but the banks still own the place, and under Obama the big banks became even bigger. The Republicans have a long term plan, and have been flogging it for over 40 years and it seems as if Democrats have not. We need a clearer vision and visceral goal around which support can gather. Biden has done better than most in that department, but it seems not enough.

And we SO need to engage the young people, especially as they watch their opportunities receding and their world being spoiled. The youngest voters are still far and away the least likely to vote, and that's part of the problem; but (I gather) they feel ignored. I don't think the Democratic Party has ever recovered from the heavy-handed way that Hubert Humphrey was selected by fiat by the DNC (whether or not Humphrey was the best choice, he had not run in the primaries and the war was a huge concern for the young). The sense of betrayal in my cohort was immense. I think 2016 article in Slate Magazine illustrates the problem:

" 'What do you tell voters who are new to the process who say this makes them feel like it's all rigged?' Tapper asked the DNC chair.

'Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don't have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists,' Wasserman Schultz calmly explained.

Tapper did not press her on her response. "I'm not sure that that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter, but let's move on," he said, and dropped the issue just when it was getting hot."

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Linda. I don't know if I agree with your assessment that Bernie couldn't lead or be re-elected. Our old structure of our political parties likes to choose our candidates and they wish Primaries would go away.

Since Ronald the Clown Reagan, our politics have been moving to the right. Most of Bernie's policies are only "radical" because the Right has successfully moved everything to the right. You are spot on about the agism that is going on concerning Biden. Oh and BTW there was a time when the USA was the most progressive country by leaps and bounds. Now - not so much. -saw-

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Steve he was not elected. He voted no on the Debit ceiling bill. Do you think Bernie could have effectively negotiated with anyone in the Republican party to get this done? Honestly, I think his wealth removes him from understanding the middle class. He said in The Guardian that he did this to protect the little guy. Well, there are little guys all over the world who are affected if we default on our debts. The little guys in southern hemisphere countries who are much poorer than the poorest in the USA will also be affected. What we do has global implications and everyone I was recently visiting in Germany was aware of this. I agree that the center moved to the right with Ronald Reagan, and I am certainly left of center. On the other hand, I don't expect to get everything I want. Compromise is necessary to keep the government running and until we have a majority in both branches of Congress and keep the White House, we will not get a fully progressive agenda passed. Why, because this is currently not a progressive country. We are a backsliding democracy. That is why Trump can be elected, whether bots, or ones religious leader told one to vote for him, or just too much Fox television. We are a country that allowed our leaders to remove restrictions on who can own our media. So, we have foreigners coming in and buying it up. See Murdoch and Musk. In other countries May Day is celebrated as a national holiday. Most Americans do not even know what it is. The right wing is out protesting, but we don't have much protest going on about Climate change except in Indigenous communities, the known leaders in environmental stewardship. This it the evidence I have that we are not that progressive, even though we had the most liberal abortion laws in the world, we have now lost that. We no longer have adequate health care protection for women in this country. That is not progressive. A sizable chunk of people voted for the odious Trump. That is not progressive. So, while we have very progressive people in this country, I don't believe we have enough to sustain Bernie in the presidency. If he were effective in his role and got things done he might have a chance of reelection, but instead, I don't think he has the negotiating experience of Biden. Bernie Sanders is no Joe Biden.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/11/22/united-states-backsliding-democracies-list-first-time/

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HA! Good analogy suggesting “Loving Care”. I so remember that commercial. .

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While I try not to go down the YouTube rabbit hole (it can be addictive, that) your video recommendation got me to the John Oliver segment on Meatball Ron DeSantis, and for both of those videos, I thank you.

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We’ll said!

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Thank you. Heather, for your inspiring words tonight. We all needed to hear what Biden has achieved and how he has brought some semblance of cooperation between the two political parties. He is so right. We must find some common ground in order for our great Country to keep flourishing. Biden's leadership has begun to do that. Thank you for presenting the daily happenings in a clear and fair way. Please keep it up. Hope you take a night off so you can continue your magnificent narratives.. We need it!

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well said!

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You're absolutely right. We aren't out of the woods just yet, but look how far we've come! It's quite a relief to realize that most people are really pretty decent, overall. Together we can bring back our focus on democracy.

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Praising Mitch McConnell for his bipartisanship is like praising Attila the Hun for his love of kittens and puppies. McConnell doesn't have a bipartisan bone in his body, but he does understand realpolitik and right now, Joe Biden is the sharpest politician in Washington. Being magnanimous in his victory lap speech puts Biden in a better position for arm-twisting in future negotiations and certainly reinforces his image as an effective leader closing in on the 2024 elections.

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I think we as a party are wise to stay humble, but we also need to be clear about all of the times (pretty much all of the time) that Republicans are out of line on the good faith, collaborative project at the core of democratic governance. The Republicans have done nothing to renounce their patent promotion of big lies and authoritarianism, and that remains a clear and present danger.

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Agreed.

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“Government can’t solve our problems. Government is the problem.” Ronald Reagan started the Republican feeding frenzy. Donald Trump is a burp at the end of the meal.

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Weird because a principal founder of the Republican Party, Abe Lincoln said:

"The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities."

That sounds pretty much the polar opposite to Reagan. Also, Lincoln supported the Union, not the Confederacy.

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Present day Repubs are far from being the party of Lincoln...just as present day Democrats are definitely NOT the party of Andrew Jackson.

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Jun 3, 2023·edited Jun 3, 2023

Dear God, let it be so, Mr. Ferguson!!

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"What a difference three years can make."

What a difference an experienced, empathetic and kind leader in the White House has made. If only the media could get past their breathless handwringing and addiction to publishing gut-wrenching drama, and actually report accurately and dispassionately on all the good that this administration has accomplished since President Biden took office. Sure, there's been some compromises and Willow is a four letter word, but look at The Big Picture. He has been Steady at the helm, and has achieved much more than expected, despite obstruction and resistance from the Rethuglicans. We're all in this together, We the People.

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I can no longer stomach USA broadcast media . . . I’ve switched to BBC World News. One thing is abundantly clear, the people of the USA are utterly ignorant of and misinformed regarding World affairs.

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Amen. The best hour of the day on NPR: BBC World News.

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If you have cable and your package includes BBC World News as a channel you can view it through the day.

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Yes, Biden is a fantastic negotiator and president! What saddens me is the fact that so many of our people are being fed lies by the right wing and seem either incapable of or uninterested in seeking the truth. It seems to me that truth, above all else, is the sacred foundation of democracy.

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Amen to that. Truth is the basis of all human relationships. If you can’t trust someone, you can’t build any kind of relationship. Tfg manbaby told thousands of lies in his too long time in office. He is the epitome of a fascist dictator.

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Yes, last count was 30,000 lies. And the media needs to be held to a much higher standard of truth-telling.

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And We the People must demand a far higher standard of integrity for those to whom we lend our power. There are many ways to be prosecuted for lying to the government, so why can those who work for the government (who used to be called "public servants") get away with egregious, provable lies to us? Democracy can withstand lies, but only so long as we reject those lies, and the candidates who tell them.

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