390 Comments

The Republicans think they can use the debt ceiling to control the entire government, the way they used a handful of votes in the House to make McCarthy their puppet Speaker. I sincerely hope they fail.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Joan, please excuse my tagging onto your comment. Mine was superimposed on yours and I cannot send it. I don't know why that happened.

I wanted to say thanks to HCR for her gentle reminder that the sky did not fall. I hope so much a peaceful transition continues. In a sterner mood, I read Diane Francis' substack yesterday which is scathing toward Mexico and its passive-aggressive complicity in immigration difficulties. Marching migrants have become a source of business for Mexico to the extent they are encouraged and exploited by traffickers and coyotes. They are given misinformation about entrance to the States. For a price, they are dropping unaccompanied children, even toddlers off at the border. They have no remorse if migrants die as the result of their ill advised journey. Compound that with drug cartels who traffic drugs into the US sometimes via immigrants, and the thousands of citizens who go missing at their hands, it behooves us to look into the corruption of our southern neighbor and its complicity with border insecurity.

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While I agree, another pathway to at least reducing the numbers of people fleeing their own countries is for the US to change it's drug policies. Our insistence on making substance use and abuse criminal behavior instead of being a public health crisis is a major reason the cartels remain in business. There is no way to win a drug war, since it always causes an escalation between both sides, as any kind of war does. And innocents pay the price for this. Using mood altering substances has always been part of the human condition, so finding a humane way to integrate this into a society, instead of shaming and criminalizing the behavior would help not only those who are struggling with addiction, but also probably change the "immigration crisis". It's time we make the potential impact of policies on our neighbors part of the decision making.

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We lost “the war on drugs” decades ago. Yet, certain people are making money on it. These include police departments, private prisons, gun manufacturers, and of course drug dealers from many nations. It has always been a good way to put Black people in jail.

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Sadly, this is so. It's another major reason to stop voting for Republicans, who support the "get tough" on drug use as a solution myth. They to seem to want punishment to not only change behavior (it's the worst, least effective way to do this) but also as a means to make money for those in charge. Heartless. Capitalism again using sacrifice of those most vulnerable to enrich already rich white people. Capitalism = exploitation.

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It’s time we recognize “addiction” is a preference for a change in one’s mental state. Many “alcoholics” choose not not drink that day, or the next, or right now, as with “addictions “ in general. As a medicinal chemist, I understand that of course there are (reversible) biochemical effects of compounds like opiates, but one has to consider why an altered state is preferred.

As long as we label substance abuse as “addiction”, we deny the fact people have the power to choose. And that’s the avenue to fix this, not the shame and blame legal system and the posturing of the self righteous.

But there is a lot of money to be made from “rehab”, and it almost never works. So it’s a perpetual source of income. Look to that industry to understand why a certain group really does not want the problem fixed.

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I worked in Substance Abuse for several years, as a therapist, outpatient, inpatient and residential. The chemical changes in the brain are often "in charge" rather than the person who is trying to deal with that brain. Cravings are produced through brain functioning and they are a major reason for people to "pick up". Indeed the way to stay drug free is to not "pick up" but most people trying to make this change need social supports to remain sober. We are a social species and we are very sensitive to environmental "triggers" so it's much more than willing oneself not to use. If you or anyone has ever tried to change a behavior that they didn't like engaging in, it's often very frustrating to find oneself repeatedly doing the very thing one wants to stop doing.

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We'd have less substance abuse if we had a solid social safety net.

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Jen, repeated admissions for detox and rehab are the norm. That is the nature of recovery. It does not mean the centers are money grubbing. It means the disease is deeply entrenched.

Indeed, if the centers were so lucrative, I daresay there would be one in every community.

Part of the issue with addictions is the lack of treatment, not its failure. Such issues as homelessness, poor nutrition, poverty, et al are like a revolving door which are contributors also.

Don't get me started on health care! Of thirteen industrial nations ours is the only one without comprehensive health care.

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good handle Old, one of my all time favorite albums with Garcia, Grisman, V. Clements, etc. It doesn't get much better!

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Guns flow into Mexico for the cartels as drugs flow into the US to pay for them.

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However, Mexican children are not massacred in school.

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J. Nol , your post hit me! If only...... And Oldandintheway.......Money/greed/selfishness......and I dont think this is what being Christian means.....

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Just to note that repealing Prohibition did not do away with organized crime.

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Of course not. It was pretty well established by then. And the lines between organized crime and organized business continue to get fainter and fainter.

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Of course, but they no longer dealt in a major way with alcohol. Decriminalizing all the human behavior that is "unacceptable" and instead treating it as public health issues, might go a long way toward reducing the reach of these thugs. They would probably then focus on internet-based crime instead of those human frailties that many in our culture sit in judgement of.

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Poverty and crime. Time to reread Victor Hugo “Les Misérables.” If you’ve seen the musical version, forget it. Hugo’s book, like his “Last Day of a Condemned Man” may be why both social contract and capital punishment have taken hold in Europe. An Italian wrote a treatise in the 15th century that capital punishment does not deter crime that predated Hugo.

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Virginia, thank you! Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is one of my favorite books and one well worth rereading.

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The war on drugs became a war against accidental overdose deaths since Fentanyl on the black market surfaced. The rapid increase in rate of deaths due to Fentanyl has changed the landscape of illegal drug use harm drastically, creating an urgency for policy to address it.

The problem:

“The rate of overdose deaths among U.S. teenagers nearly doubled in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, and rose another 20% in the first half of 2021 compared with the 10 years before the pandemic, even as drug use remained generally stable during the same period, according to new UCLA research.

This is the first time in recorded history that the teen drug death rate has seen an exponential rise, said lead author Joseph Friedman, an addiction researcher and M.D. and Ph.D. candidate at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. It is due to drug use becoming not more common, but more dangerous, he said.

The increases are almost entirely due to illicit fentanyls, which are increasingly found in counterfeit pills,” Friedman said. “These counterfeit pills are spreading across the nation, and teens may not realize they are dangerous.”

Biden admin new policy to address:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/04/11/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-strengthened-approach-to-crack-down-on-illicit-fentanyl-supply-chains/

With which I am impressed. For example:

“he Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Operation Blue Lotus, a new and robust surge operation, launched on March 13th to target illicit fentanyl. Led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and working with federal, state, tribal and local partners, DHS is investing additional personnel, technology, and other resources along the southwest border to detect and seize illicit fentanyl at and between ports of entry. In its first week, Operation Blue Lotus stopped more than 900 pounds of illicit fentanyl from coming into the United States.”

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Thank you Christy.

I am a "retired" teacher (I am still teaching as a tutor 4 days a week) the highest cause of death of teenagers in Texas ( where I teach) is gun violence. Our "representatives " posture with fake concern with their thoughts and prayers while the NRA , far right "Christian " cell phone Patriot mobile lines their back pocket with massive donations- a mispelling of the word BRIBE. I fear for my students and fellow teachers lives.

Meanwhile these hateful zealots are claiming trans and gay kids are the enemy.

All the while we see insecure hate fed misinformed white terrorists committing murder in some sick sense of Christian retribution.

I have looked long and hard for the scripture that states blessed are the hateful, blessed are they that murder for my name's sake,

I am shell shocked to hear the term "Christian virtues"

while violating most of the Ten Commandments at every turn.

But I was raised with the mindset of "the sermon on the mount".

No mention there of hating my neighbor.

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You’ve laid it out extremely well, Jennifer. I so appreciate your perseverance in working for good in the world despite the personal risks and challenges. ❤️

Texas does feel like the front line of the zealots declared civil war (which is nothing but cowardly terrorist attacks on innocents). Safety and strength to you 🙏🤞🏼

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Fentanyl is horrible but sadly, it is not the only issue....it is a human issue.

As long as we have some kind of "romance " with a drug, we are going to be used and we are going to misuse.

Our pharmacists and doctors who prescribe do a pretty "hopping" job as well.

There are too many human"insects" who don't mind sucking the life out of fellow humans for money.

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Of course, when speaking of addiction, the human issue, public health policy and treatment are imperative. The fentanyl issue is not one of just addiction. Synthetic opioids are lethal. Kids are experimenting and dying. Addiction is desperate for attention and action, but as others have said Democrats have tried to address root causes and the GOP tries to exacerbate them. Elect more Democrats.

Biden’s policies are excellent. I hope people are familiar with them and support them.

I also hope we hear the advice of TSnyder and “defend our institutions”. The fascists want nothing more then for us to join their carnival barking attacks on our institutions.

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And once again, a thread is born that confounds Mexican immigrants with America's drug problem. Again and again we learn that most of the migrants, whether legal or undocumented, are seeking safer conditions for themselves and their families, and again and again we are told that most drugs come in bulk by sea or via the legal entry points, disguised as something else. Yet again and again, people fail to make the connection and go off on a tangent about drugs. Here we are again.

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But it's the drug cartels that make life unsafe for people so they often have no good options. If

drug use in the states was decriminalized and treated as a public health issue, the drug cartels would have a much reduced market in the states.

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So talk about that in context, instead of linking it with migrants who are seeking relief from a number of factors which have nothing to do directly with drugs. Drought, poverty, failed crops, literally no water. The US has these issues too: look for upcoming migration from parts of the USA.

The violence didn't begin with drug cartels, btw. I agree the problem begins with America's demand driven market, and should be addressed here. Close down one source and the market shifts to another because what is available will do.

Fentenyl is big right now. Ask yourself where it comes from and how it is being distributed. Then ask yourself why you think stopping immigration is so important in spite of the facts. While you are at it, figure out how to fix the problems in the countries people are coming from. In the process, you might realize that many of those problems originate, not with drugs, but with mega-corporations (esp mining and agriculture) and US policy.

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I was just using that as an example of US policies affecting our neighbors to the south. Of course US corporations have been exploiting South and Central American countries' resources forever. We through our corporations have viewed all other countries, especially those still developing as fair game for whatever we want to take or do to them. I wouldn't be surprised as climate change worsens, that we will act as if their water is free for the taking as well. The reality is that some of us have our retirement invested in many of these corporations and our economy is structured now to encourage this kind of exploitation, including our tolerance for many CEOs being sociopaths.

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I agree and the book The New Jim Crow makes obvious some of the bad consequences of our drug policies. I do believe that Heather reported earlier this week that VP Harris has been working with some of these other countries. Btw, other primates have been observed using mood altering substances.

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As do birds - eating fermented berries.

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I wonder if it's just eating a berry and not a deliberate attempt at getting high. I believe reading years ago that it was deliberate with primates.

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It's hard to tell sometimes if it's deliberate or accidental in animals, but there have been some studies indicating certain species go back repeatedly to imbibe in the fermented fruit. Indeed, it's been clearly shown in monkeys and some dogs.

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After Sen. Kennedy went off on a rant about Mexico eating cat food if it were not for the US it lead me to look for how much aid we send. $68billion/yr. That is a rather low amount considering there are over 55 other countries getting substantially more. But it also said that the Cartels contribute about $10-$30Billion to the economy which was about 1%-3% of the GDP of Mexico. hmmm... Turns out that about 1/10 the economy of Mexico gets exports of Autos, imports of remittances and ....wait for it...TOURISM. If we want to make a statement to Mexico about getting the drug cartels out of the picture we actually have a real economic avenue to boycott them and get their attention. What Mexico earns from tourism, remittances and auto exports can be our lever. And as far as using US military force to get to the Cartels ask the vets from Afghanistan where we spent 20 years patrolling how the government looked the other way for all the Opium poppy cultivation. We didn't even put a tiny dent in that.

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Drugs in the US is a US problem. Treatment and policy towards treatment is the answer. It may be a human condition but why so much in the US?

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It's a universal human issue- every country had people struggling with drug addiction. A major reason it's become such a problem in the US is because it's been criminalized.

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Agree!

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No, the sky did not fall, but you wouldn't think so listening to the news (NBC) last night. It was clear to me that the opportunistic are taking advantage of this situation. And of course, lots of nonsense from Rs. And are we surprised that the loathsome zombie, Miller, refers to these unfortunates as illegal aliens rather than undocumented people. This isn't going to be an easy problem to solve, partly because certain people do not want to solve it. What I did note on the news was when asked, even under rather dire circumstances, the migrants all smiled and said they were glad to have a chance because their home countries are a mess, partly aided and abetted in the past by us.

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By " a mess," you mean "failed states" in which repression, by governments or by violent criminal gangs the bribery-ridden gov'ts are unable to control, leaves little rational choice but to attempt to flee in order to "have a chance" -- to *survive*. "[P]artly aided and abetted in the past by us": by "us," you mean the US gov't, acting in all our names but *on behalf of* US-multinational corporations, and by "in the past" you mean for 150 years and counting. Oh, and by "partly aided and abetted" you mean effected by US-trained military torturers and US-financed RW death squads and economic sabotage and oligarchs who (for a price) allow free expatriation of profits from their countries to the US corporations -- failed states by design.

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Yes, that's what I mean. Up early and needing to get ready to go the Saturday Market early. I would go back further in years if us means Europeans of any ilk. Thank you for filling in the details. Btw, I had this week a long unpleasant "discussion" on this blog with someone who disagreed with me on a number of things including this. I am too negative because I maintain that history does matter and I base my optimism or pessimism on that and what is currently happening.

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Yes - history DOES matter - regardless of how Repubs want to play it! Good luck at the Market, Michele.

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And sadly, if VP Harris has made any progress in those countries, we have not heard about it...and you can believe her opponents are banging the drums about it.

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I didn't know about until I read about it, I think, here.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Joan A bit of history:

‘during the potato famine, they came from Ireland in unseaworthy ships because they were desperate.’

‘Millions of immigrants came from Eastern Europe because they desperately sought a better life.’

‘Jews escaping Russian pogroms fled for their lives to the United States.’

It’s not so different with folks from Africa, Central America, and elsewhere who are desperately seeking safety and a new life in Europe or the United States. Regarding Central America, I believe that the United States has some responsibility for historically supporting dictators and the United Fruit Company against possibly more representative alternatives.

There are no ‘solutions’ to the tsunami of immigrants seeking a better life. Many millions will continue to risk danger and death to go to Europe or the United States.

Absent ‘solutions,’ I wonder what might be the ‘least worst amelioration?’ Certainly neither Europe nor the United States seek to permit entry of countless millions of less-skilled and less-educated immigrants. This will be a never ending challenge.

Selectivity requires harsh judgments and political compromises. As a nation of immigrants, the United States depends on a continuing ingress of immigrants. A portion of these will be highly skilled. In recent decades, such immigrants have contributed massively to our economic development.

We also require an inflow of less skilled individuals who will occupy essential jobs that most Americans refuse to do. The past American immigration pattern is that a wave of relatively unskilled immigrants faced difficult years and that their children rapidly integrated into American society. [A recent book by two Princetonian professors affirms this process that was clearly identified in the 1952 Pulitzer-winning THE UPROOTED.

I have no politically acceptable ‘solutions’ to this immigration dilemma. Indeed, so far we are unable to offer citizenship to about 1.6 million Dreamers who have been carefully vetted.

I do know that this immigration issue will not simply disappear.

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“WE” have not been able to provide citizenship to 1.6 million dreamers; you really mean Republicans in Congress have refused to permit citizenship to these genuine innocents who were brought here illegally decades ago as babies and young teens. This is another example of the cruelty of the Republicans in Congress who are afraid to lose their so-called job instead of voting for once for justice! We will have another chance to right the score in 18 months but, please, EVERYONE on this SubStack will have to give up a bit of time, money and energy to help make it happen, won’t we?

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The Rs are quite simply the party of death. They don't care about what happens to the less fortunate unless they are a fetus. One of the books I recommended to my optimistic "debater" was The Legacy of Violence about the British Empire which he claimed did some good things....and we have done some good things for Native Americans according to him. Trying to think of what those things might have been.

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Congress needs to address it, which it has been unable to do for the last 35 years, or has not wanted to because it feeds the R base.

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If I was President of Mexico....

Nope. Can't even imagine that.

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Thank you Joan. More specifically, it is not "use of the debt ceiling", the Reupblican tactics are 'APE', Accounts Payable Extortion something like, "If you don't maga, I will not pay the gas & electric bill."

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pretty much the plan, and the Dems, of which I am one, are always fearful so do not ever play hardball

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Hardball or we die and the inmates take over the asylum

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I am not a stranger to hardball but , HCR has detailed the history of the 14th Amendment. Lovevthe subsections

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

“Dems” want to keep democracy vibrant. Hardball is more typically the means of authoritarians, which can make the battle seem uneven. Democracy needs thoughtful, informed and engaged voters. Autocracy requires bullies, thugs and violence, and is why they attack our democratic institutions of voting, education, investigative journalism and laws and justice.

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True that hardball is more typical of authoritarians, but hardball can also be abiding by the rules, yet USING the power you legitimately have, and THAT is what Dems seem to shy away from.

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I would agree to an extent that Dems could tighten up adherence to laws in areas, but I see way too much blaming of Dems for problems they legitimately cannot fix without more Dems, and voters have not been willing to give them that.

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I agree with you, but we only have a few Dems who really speak up on important issues. And I would really appreciate it if Senator Schumer were less congenial to Republicans' bs. I get it that he wants to win at least a few over to pass at least a few bills, but he comes across as pretty milquetoast most of the time.

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I think he "comes across as" the Senator from Wall Street -- which he is. How many Dem senators are willing to risk electrocution by the political third rail of supporting *raising taxes*, even with the increase confined to incomes over 250K or 400K? Only a few.

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WE have seen how the R Party since Reagan, or I guess Nixon, has not had policy to win on and thus turned to the culture wars surrounding education, investigative journalism, and attacked institutions, including unions.

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Perhaps Biden and the Democrats should go on a media blitz to make certain the public understands that raising the debt ceiling is necessary to pay for debts already incurred. Keep reminding the public the many ways Republicans overspent and the debt went up because they gave the wealthiest among us huge tax breaks.

Make sure the public understands the debt ceiling is not a new budget. Remind everyone how the Republicans are willing to destroy our economy and world standing in order to get their irrelevant demands met. The debt ceiling should not be open for negotiation.

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They better do it quick. What has to happen at this point is for 5 sane, less fascist house republicans to step up and do what is good for the country. Certainly there are 5 who haven’t drunk the Kool-aid and can see the light of day?

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Five doesn't seem to be an extraordinary number. But then they look at Liz Cheney, who approved almost all Republican legislation, but spoke the truth about the January 6 insurrection. The Republicans made sure she lost her standing and her job. Sadly, too many Repubs are more interested in keeping their jobs than serving their constituents.

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...and that’s why House members power rests almost solely on their ability to raise money. And fund raising is where the majority of House members spend their time. Be sure to thank the Disgraced Roberts Court for this perversity.

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I know our own Elise Stefanik 🤢 doesn’t have an ounce of integrity.

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Elise Stefanik is racking in the cash....she is "high" on power....who needs integrity....she is a member of the Republican Party...."NO INTEGRTY REQUIRED".

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I am so sorry you (and we!) got stuck with her!

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Successful Gerrymandering by Republicans has made it largely unnecessary for representatives to truly represent their constituents.

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And wouldn’t that same number have been needed to keep the MAGA puppet, McCarthy, from assuming the Speakership? I don’t have much hope for finding one let alone five

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Perhaps a coalition from each district making up the people of the district that their reps must answer to. Each category must be filled ie; Native American, Hispanic, drug addict and alcohol treatment center rep, Black , Gay, Jewish, Christian, Trans, etc......

I dont know.....feeling depressed about all this......

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Perhaps term limits would solve that problem? I’ve seen VERY few who really brought the salt in over such as ‘a lengthy political career’. Bernie take a bow. There are SOME others..feel free to name...

I can’t keep track of ‘the problems’ honestly .

The level of repetitious Republican slanderings by ads/news clips/talking heads ALL elude to some part of the lie(s) or conspiratorial bs...wears everyone out ...it’s an insidiously clever tactic. I even hear it on what I consider good news sites, repeating the same by asking about it and giving a known MAGA politician a mic!

I thought NOT giving it oxygen/a platform/more audience ..was an effective solution.

A thorough list of which party did the best is ample evidence AND there WERE some really good Republicans.

Where the hell are they now?

All we need is 5!

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“5”...what a sad commentary!

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Not if the RNC can help it.

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I do wonder whether there are still 5 Repubs who actually understand the severity of the situation that would result if the US defaults. MTG and her ilk are so ignorant that despite their malignancy, I don't think they even have a clue to the damage their stupid "let's own the libs by defaulting" strategy would cause.

Sometimes ignorance is even more dangerous than evil intent!

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I sure hope so!

The Dems CANNOT crumble on this! If they do, it's over. The Banana Republicans will do it again and again.

If necessary, I think Biden must go the 14th Amendment, Section 4 route. "The validity of the public debt of the United States . . . shall not be questioned."

We cannot let the fascist worms eat away at out democracy.

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will there be extensive litigation if he does?

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I can't answer that definitively, but I think that if the Repubs refuse to raise the debt ceiling and we are on the verge of default, President Biden should ho ahead with it anyway. Let the Repubs try to bring suit against it. You KNOW that the Repubs would do that! If there is any possibility of a challenge, Dems usually demur while Repubs go right ahead and worry about challenges after the fact. Dems need to take action!

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There are not five, or 2 that risk their jobs in the face of Dark Money power

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?

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Think Demosthenes

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Wikipedia ~ "Demosthenes grew interested in politics during his time as a logographer, and in 354 BC he gave his first public political speeches. He went on to devote his most productive years to opposing Macedon's expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens' supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon. He sought to preserve his city's freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip's plans to expand his influence southward, conquering all the other Greek states.

After Philip's death, Demosthenes played a leading part in his city's uprising against the new king of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed, and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander's successor in this region, Antipater, sent his men to track Demosthenes down. Demosthenes killed himself to avoid being arrested by Archias of Thurii, Antipater's confidant."

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God, I would hope there were more than 5 decent humans in the Republican House.

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Nah

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They have. The problem lies with the fact that the far right reads/listens to only what they want to hear. I know a lot of what I take in is like "preaching to the choir" and it holds true for most. I believe it has been made perfectly clear what will happen to the economy, US standing, and how the negotiation process belongs in budget talks, not holding the debt ceiling hostage. Maybe the media could play a more responsible role

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Laughed over that last sentence; after CNN has been taken over by another Rupert, not a chance.

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Jan F, I keep waiting for the media to play a more responsible role, to no avail. I've begun to think the GOP is deep into magical thinking. Even those whose brains grasp the dire situation have convinced themselves that somehow, some Superman is going to swoop in and save the day. Heck, that doesn't even happen in the movies anymore. Well, maybe the Avenger movies................

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Those who think they are victims attach themselves to anyone (anything) they think will support their cause. Since Reagan, trillions of dollars of middle class (98% of pop ) money has flowed into the hands of the top 1%. There is maybe a reason for the GOP base to feel victimized, but talk radio and cable have blamed the Democrats. Maybe Clinton and NAFTA are a little to blame, but Clinton did balance the budget.

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Well, the Dems have never had a media outlet to blitz their messages the way the cult has - for 40 plus years. The Fox propaganda network has done a masterful job, not only of spewing bull Schitt, but of showing the other outlets that bull Schitt pays big bucks. The news is what the rich owners of media outlets say it is. I have watched this happen for half of my long life, with a very heavy heart

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DId you see that CNN executives said the townhall would put CNN in the news.........they were making their own news, not reporting it.

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That is a problem the Democrats chronically have. They assume most people are smart and understand their big complcated words about finance and foreign affairs. The Repubs only understand and spout propganda based on lies and myths. Lies and myths are easier to understand.

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Exactly, an assumption that will tan our hide

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And tax cuts, among other culture war issues.

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That, plus what constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe said: the law creating the debt ceiling is not only unconstitutional due to violating the 14th Amendment, it is contradicted and superseded by all the unbalanced budgets passed by Congress since then. The President’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law applies to all the budget laws passed by Congress. If he has to choose between the budgets and the unconstitutional debt ceiling, the budgets win.

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Don't understand the last sentence.

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The whole R extortion is based on the idea that because the President is obligated to follow the law, without raising the debt ceiling the country has to go into default because there is no explicit authorization to borrow more money. Among other problems, that idea ignores the President's obligation to faithfully execute all the laws that direct spending money on all the things the government does. If Pres.Biden were to direct Treasury to default for lack of a debt ceiling increase, he would be in violation of all the laws that direct spending money on government programs. The choice is not 'obey the law or not', it's actually 'obey one law or obey all the others [about spending].' In addition, the debt ceiling process has always been in violation of the 14th Amendment provision that the full faith and credit of the United States shall not be questioned.

What I am saying here comes from constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe. Here is a link to the original, with no paywall: https://tinyurl.com/mue56mkj

If you prefer the longer, original link, here it is:

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/07/opinion/debt-limit.html?unlocked_article_code=yoHKTZLEWXBXSx15GefIANFAaBZ6ntkJ_Sgml7lCf570iZdDXo1EwOsWQ41JaMJ1vteXBow9UVfjwZIMC3s9HtkGQ77PkdjdRCwlFNYCHATh0Zd0x9yn6VTI6pRPO-zD7xUgZfCY8ZlfatcYWGdk1a7uTOGqMDA_l0YfNKb6YWHb9FBYxnN1CpNUjj_QxBDqWzqCms68IToSa1hELt0qnhsAAGF_C1nkTDuUpi7Ue_NuRBUu02_YtGHFgyFRwZo5HxkEuHEcHOggr5RbiRKShPSr3p6iikIEfnQCenIoUp4hVLkofWr4GEFWPy7VyIQ6TlqS5w&smid=url-share

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Yes, a media blitz will probably help. I also believe that McCarthy needs an “off-ramp,” and Biden is savvy enough to find one for him. This won’t please the “Recalcitrant MAGAReds,”but a smooth “off-ramp” can allow five (or more) sane folks to vote yes.

Also, if McCarthy is willing to drive off a cliff and force a financial disaster is imminent, let’s find out where he’s gonna stash his cash.

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They have, but someone is still sucking all the oxygen from the room. Between E. Jean Carroll, pending indictments, and that appalling CNN town hall, the media is still breathless and absorbed with him.

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The biggest problem with the Dem’s is they are terrible at messaging! They need to blanket the airways with all of what Biden is doing to move our country forward and counter the R’s lies and misinformation with truth and reality. I feel this is a national emergency and there is real danger lurking among the alt conservatives, esp those sho are pulling the elected R’s strings, ie the Koch’s, Leo Leonard, the NRA, etc.

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Ive been saying and praying this for a very long time......media seems controlled as, I can Chanel surf the news and seems each station reports the same stories, almost verbatim

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I have written my Congressmen to do more PR on these issues....either the media won't cover or they are not doing it...but I will keep trying.

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Stick to this issue. Don't make it a one day news event. Shout it from the rooftops and ask Jamie Harrison, Chair of the National Committee, to make it a central issue for Democrats.

Democrats appear to be sitting on their hands, hoping for the best.

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"Miller is an adherent of the “great replacement theory,” a white nationalist belief that nonwhite immigration threatens the traditional culture of the nation. "

Stephen Miller and Leomard Leo are on my list of the those posing the biggest risks to our democracy. They are masters at fomenting fear and turning it into hate.

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Over decades Leo has been fantastically successful in repurposing our democratic republic as a clerical fascist state. Primarily through corrupting the courts. But scratch the surface of any antidemocratic initiative and you'll find a connection to Leo's network of shell companies funneling Koch Mercer Corkery et al money.

Miller? In his dreams.

ps Last summer, on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, Leo orchestrated the arrest of a young man who shouted F* You at him out the window of a moving car. Leo had him charged on an unusual interpretation and unique application of a Disorderly Conduct law. Today we learned that the DA has dismissed the case. Whew.

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It should not have taken so long, but I guess that's the power of money; at least in a corrupted state. That said, thank goodness the case was dropped. Trump has bragged about suing someone, knowing he could not win, but just to persecute them out of pettiness. He was very proud of being rich enough to do such things.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Bent to the Earth

BY BLAS MANUEL DE LUNA

They had hit Ruben

with the high beams, had blinded

him so that the van

he was driving, full of Mexicans

going to pick tomatoes,

would have to stop. Ruben spun

the van into an irrigation ditch,

spun the five-year-old me awake

to immigration officers,

their batons already out,

already looking for the soft spots on the body,

to my mother being handcuffed

and dragged to a van, to my father

trying to show them our green cards.

They let us go. But Alvaro

was going back.

So was his brother Fernando.

So was their sister Sonia. Their mother

did not escape,

and so was going back. Their father

was somewhere in the field,

and was free. There were no great truths

revealed to me then. No wisdom

given to me by anyone. I was a child

who had seen what a piece of polished wood

could do to a face, who had seen his father

about to lose the one he loved, who had lost

some friends who would never return,

who, later that morning, bent

to the earth and went to work.

"Bent to the Earth" by Blas Manuel De Luna. From Bent to the Earth, © 2006 by Blas Manuel De Luna, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Source: Bent to the Earth (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006)

'Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Blas Manuel De Luna worked alongside his parents and siblings in California’s agricultural fields while he was growing up in Madera, California. His first book, Bent To Earth, a 2006 National Book Critics Circle finalist, reflects on those experiences. Claire Dederer in Poetry noted, “The immigrant labor experience permeates De Luna’s spare, forthright poetry, from his depictions of border crossings and INS beatings to his evocation of ‘bitter dust’ and carefully tended tomato plants.” With “home” and “its life of rural, working poverty” as his major themes, Dederer observes that De Luna “lays bare the dear costs and secret truths of such poverty, often in just a few sharp images.”

'A writer of both fiction and poetry, De Luna earned a BA and MA from California State University, Fresno, and an MFA from the University of Washington. He was the Ruth and Jay C. Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His poems have been anthologized in How Much Earth: An Anthology of Fresno Poets (2001) and Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley (1996). A 1998 Artist Trust / Washington State Art Commission Literature Fellow, he teaches high school English in California.'

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"Bent to the Earth." Powerful title, Fern. Had my eyes wide open upon reading.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Thank you for reading, Lynell. What does understanding mean without knowledge of the migrants' experiences and circumstances? Salud!

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The phrase I have often heard applied to these field workers is "stoop labor". Can you imagine the painful back muscles that result from day after day stooping (bending) to pick produce?

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One thing about tomato plants: they exude a skin irritant that causes a painful rash after a few hours of exposure - such as picking tomatoes from day break to dusk.

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Steve, I never realized that. Even more of a reason to buy them when I can at the farmers market or pick my own. (Trying to grow my own has not gone well :( )

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Fern, once again, thank you for sharing an author and writing that I wouldn’t have known about.

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Thank you for reading his poem, Mary Hart, and, hopefully, more. BLAS MANUEL DE LUNA writes vividly of the border crossings, INS beatings and poverty 'in the dust'.

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Beautiful, touching poem, Fern. I’ve added De Luna to my reading list. Thanks for sharing this!

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Thank you for reading his poem, Rose, and following his strong work.

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Fern, thank you!!!! My daughter in law is Mexican. I have two beautiful, amazing Mexican grandchildren! My grandson attends an excellent school with fantastic teachers. My daughter-in-law is from an amazing and gifted family of doctors, dentists, surgeons, teachers, superintendants and landowners on the coast and in the mountains.

People who come to the US looking for a chance to WORK for a better life experience violence and hatred just because they are from somewhere else and are vulnerable. They are often subject to disrespect and experience physical abuse.

When I worked as a church secretary, we supported missionaries in Mexico. We served in Mexico with Mexican pastors. We invited men who were Pastors as well as men and women who were professionals , ex: architects to attend seminaries here. They would then return to become Pastors and leaders for their communities. These men came from successful families. One's father owned a manufacturing business, one's father was a commissioner in the city in which they lived. One called himself in his fun-loving way "a German Shepherd" due to his German heritage and his position as a Pastor. He also shared a part of his pastoral training during a sermon, he presented at our church. He recounted "The best hospitality I have ever received". During seminary in Mexico students were assigned families to visit, in order to observe "hospitality". Jorge was assigned a family that lived under a freeway bridge, From the time he came until the time he left, he was given the best of what they had to offer. He said the love, kindness, and hospitality he received would never be equaled.

I am angry and overwhelmed at how over fed, overpaid, ignorant voted in to serve persons speak of those who are just trying to survive....who are willing to work for so little under terrible conditions because ,what they came from what was worse!

America is a big country! Most of us came here to find hope, to find hopportunity. We are wasting time and money, when we could just put aside our prejudices, open our hearts (for those who can find one) and help others who can if given an opportunity build a better, stronger, more compassionate world and nation. We are wasting time and money on pettiness!!!!

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Thank you, thank you, Fern McBride. After I saw the film in 1998 of Reagan’s goons beating Cesar Chavez’s workers, this poem cuts straight through. The context is the border currently and the Stephen Millers of whom Professor Richardson writes today.

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This poem really hits home. It is so important for people to read. Thank you De Luna for this. Your high school pupils are very lucky to have you as a teacher for many reasons.

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Thank you, Fern. This happens near where I spend the winter. Teenage drivers are hired to pick up and drop off undocumented migrants. Frequently, it leads to high speed chases until law enforcement forces the car to overturn or hit something else, and there are deaths.

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While we cannot like this news that you bring, thank you, Kathy, for sharing yet another way to dispose of migrants looking for 'safety' and a better life, particularly for their children. Organizing to make this danger known and curtailed would be a way to go.

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Thank you for this, Fern. It is beautiful and heart-wrenching. I am hoping that the folks who knee-jerked to drugs after reading "immigration" will read it. This is the real immigration issue: real people who are trying to make their lives better and safer, and having unnecessary (and sometimes illegal) obstacles put in their way.

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Thanks, Fern. Sadly, the book is out of print.

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Leo has bragged to our (local protestors) faces that he "prays for humility." He exudes a smug creepiness. I don't think he got this young person arrested out of pettiness, but out of pridefulness. 'Because he can.'

In all fairness, Leo does not have corrupt influence on the MDI 'state' as such, but on corrupt individual officials. In this case, a specific police officer. The police leadership were chagrinned when they found out. In response they were more careful of the rights of other protestors.

When Leo and a colluding cop tried that stunt on me, the police leadership reined in the cop and publicly defended my rights. So Leo went to corrupt Bar Harbor Town Manager Kevin Sutherland, (who'd been involved in civil rights violations in another town) who then waged a campaign of threats and lies in the press. But although the corrupt Bar Harbor Town Council supported Sutherland, the police would not cave to pressure from private and public powers.

The corrupt Bar Harbor elected officials are now in trouble over a much bigger issue - limits on cruise ships. The council turned on Sutherland and pushed him out with a platinum separation deal and a non disclosure agreement. The council is now in a court case, in which they worked with vested interests to obstruct a successful citizens initiative to limit cruise ships (instead of enacting it) - by suing the town! This BH Town Council is so corrupt, that the Federalist Society judge (fasted tracked to the bench by Trump) has allowed a citizen intervenor in the case to defend local voters' rights. An unusual occurrence. And so it goes.

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Tourism to renowned small towns are killing the very characteristics that drew tourists to visit them.

Venice, last year, imposed a day-visit fee and requirement for registering in advance, applied only to day-trippers not spending at least one night in Venice. Venice has, so far, been unsuccessful implementing the ban on giant cruise ships entering the fragile canals where they not only destroy the ambiance of the canals but cause actual damage to the canals and palazzos.

https://www.insidehook.com/article/travel/before-and-after-photos-of-venice-tourism-problem

https://www.euronews.com/travel/2023/05/13/ive-lived-in-venice-for-8-years-why-do-i-see-see-cruise-ships-here-when-theyve-been-banned

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Key West had limited success in trying to limit cruise ships. Good luck to Bar Harbor residents!

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Wow, lin•! A couple of days ago, when I saw one of your posts here, I almost asked you how the Bar Harbor Leo ordeal was coming along. Glad to see there have been some positive twists. Keep strong!

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ThankYou, Rose

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Sure that man’s case was dismissed, but how much did it cost $ him in lawyers fees, court fees, time in court, bail (if required), time taken away from his life when arrested, (handcuffed, taken to the police station etc…. even if he turned himself in he lost time). Each and every one of these cost him in some way, and that may have been the very point of Leo having him arrested. Sure his case was dismissed but he was ‘punished’ by any and/ or all the above. Leo made him ‘pay’ one way or another…..

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This young man is part of a beloved island/town family. The community drew around them. Lincoln Millstein of The Quietside Journal, a formidable investigative journalist advocated on many levels. All that said. It was surely horrible. And most offensive is that as a lawyer Leo knew that now this young person, barely out of his teens, would have an arrest record, which he'd have to list on every job application. And that knowing this, as a parent Leo still orchestrated this arrest, is a measure of who Leo is for all his religiosity.

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Good news, hard to find these days

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Wow! Fascists like Leo can't handle criticism.

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…and how are the migrants doing?

‘Outside a shelter in McAllen, Texas, Ligia Garcia pondered her family’s next steps. She was elated to have finally made it across the Rio Grande, but with no family in the United States, and no money, they found themselves in the same situation as thousands of other migrants along the border with Mexico: waiting, while relying on the kindness of strangers.’

“We will seek assistance for now, because we have no money and no choice,” said Ms. Garcia, 31, a Venezuelan migrant carrying her 6-month-old son, Roime, near the bulging shelter run by Catholic Charities. “It was a big sacrifice to get here,” she said, describing how she and her husband traveled with their two children across the jungles of Central America, then Mexico, to reach Texas. “But it was worth it. We are in America.”

‘While Mexicans and Central Americans for decades represented the majority of migrants seeking entry into the United States, Venezuelans have been crossing the southern border in ever greater numbers, and they recently dwarfed the numbers of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.’

‘But because large-scale immigration from Venezuela is a relatively new phenomenon, the Venezuelans often lack networks of relatives or friends who can assist them in the United States, and often arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, like Ms. Garcia, the migrant in McAllen.’

“I have been doing this for over 45 years. I have never seen as challenging a population as the Venezuelans because so many of them do not have people to receive them in the United States,” said Mr. Garcia, who runs Annunciation House in El Paso.’

‘In the meantime, migrants were scrambling for information. Olinex Casseus, 58, was sitting on the sidewalk Friday morning in Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, with his wife and daughter as he tried, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to use the C.B.P.’s app to schedule an asylum appointment with U.S. migration agents.’

“We want to do everything completely legally,” said Mr. Casseus, who fled Haiti for Puebla, Mexico, after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. He said he hoped to piece together a new life in Miami if they are able to cross. “But everything is now delayed, and the rules are constantly changing,” he added. “I guess that means we continue to wait.”

‘At the encampment between San Diego and Tijuana, needs and tensions began to mount in recent days. Roughly 1,000 people have jumped one barrier separating the cities in the past week, and most remained stuck behind another wall as they awaited processing by U.S. officials. The area between the two border walls is technically on U.S. soil but considered a no man’s land.’

‘Blankets are the most in-demand item, as the nights become uncomfortably cold for the hundreds of people sleeping outdoors. But there are not enough, so volunteers have tried to limit donations to families with young children.’

‘On Thursday night, while blankets were being handed out, migrants began shouting at one another, believing that one group was taking blankets for people who did not have young children. The aid workers stepped in to break up the fighting.’

“People are cold, hungry, desperate, destitute, nervous,” said Adriana Jasso, a volunteer with American Friends Service Committee.

‘A man from Colombia, wearing a tattered blue hoodie, arrived in the camp with his family on Friday morning after smugglers had led them through a hole in the wall on the Mexican side. Viewing the tents made of Mylar blankets spread across the camp and rows of migrants lying on the dirt, he was unsure how to secure food or tarps to get set up.’

‘He approached Ms. Alvarez-Lopez to ask for supplies. “Go look for Jesus,” she told him, apparently referring to a fellow migrant, and he walked away exasperated. “My only Jesus is up there,” he said, pointing to the sky’. (NYTimes) Sorry, no gifted link possible.

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For the life of me, I cannot understand why the smugglers are not the target of our effort to help these people. They lie, extort and endanger families. Why are they not the target, instead the victims keep coming and are hated by all while the smugglers take the money and run, but only to find more victims…

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

FERN MCBRIDE (NYC) - "Venezuelans often lack networks of relatives or friends who can assist them in the United States, and often arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, like Ms. Garcia, the migrant in McAllen."

And so I ask everyone: What would it take for you, personally, to walk thousands of miles to a place nobody wants you? Would getting on "Welfare" be at the top of your list?

The Darién Gap is a geographic region in the Isthmus of Darien or Isthmus of Panama connecting the North and South American continents.

It is possible to cross the Gap on foot, but the conditions are very difficult and often underestimated. It is one of the rainiest and most dangerous places on the planet, a lawless, unpoliced region, with many drug smugglers and sometimes political rebels. Records are not kept, but it is known that many migrants die on this trip.

The hiking trail ascends abruptly over a mountain; the four-day hike is a challenge even for a person in good physical shape. Most migrants are in mediocre physical shape or worse, and without equipment for hiking and camping. Women who are carrying babies or pregnant make the attempt. Three migrant women bore babies in the Darién between 2013 and 2021, with no medical help or supplies available.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dari%C3%A9n_Gap

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Whatever physical shape you surmise for 'most migrants' and the difficult terrain you described facing the Venezuelans that need to flee, you may not be aware of that MORE THAN 7 MILLION of them HAVE done it -they have LEFT THE COUNTRY! I am sorry that I don't have time to list all the appropriate sources to learn of conditions in Venezuela and the millions who have fled but have provided a few:

World Report 2023: Venezuela

https://www.hrw.org › world-report › country-chapters

Prison Conditions. Corruption, weak security, deteriorating infrastructure, overcrowding, insufficient staffing, and improperly trained guards allow armed gangs ...

Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. Policy

Federation Of American Scientists

https://sgp.fas.org › crs › row

Mar 27, 2023 — According to the National Survey of Living Conditions, conducted by a Venezuelan university, roughly 50% of the population lived in poverty in ...

World Politics Review

Apr 20, 2023 — The result has been growing shortages of food and basic supplies, widespread power outages and alarming rates of malnutrition. The crisis has

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/for-maduro-venezuela-politics-has-become-crisis-management/

According to the 2021 Living Conditions National Assessment conducted on 17,402 households, around 94.5% of the total population in Venezuela is poor (a 0.4 ..

https://www.acaps.org/country/venezuela/crisis/complex-crisis

Venezuela: The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate

Venezuela’s descent into economic and political chaos in recent years is a cautionary tale of the dangerous influence that resource wealth can have on developing countries.

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/venezuela-crisis

Venezuelan Humanitarian Crisis Is Now a Regional ...

Johns Hopkins University

https://publichealth.jhu.edu › venezuelan-humanitaria...

Mar 25, 2023 — New analysis reveals the widespread public health consequences of the Venezuelan economic crisis and the erosion of the country's …

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FERN MCBRIDE (NYC) - "you may not be aware of that MORE THAN 7 MILLION of them HAVE done it -they have LEFT THE COUNTRY!"

I am not the enemy.

Of course, I am aware of the how many have risked their lives to escape a horrible situation. That was my point -- they didn't (aren't) do it for a handout. Would you have the courage to walk a mile in their shoes?

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

I don't know why you confront me so harshly. I didn't understand your response to my initial comment. My comments in the last couple days have been packed with information about the conditions in Venezuela and were totally supportive of the people. Your point was not at all clear to me, and I am grateful that you elaborated on what you intended to express. I understand you better. Who are you angry at? Perhaps, it is those who cannot be empathetic toward the victims of oppression and greed.

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FERN MCBRIDE (NYC) - "I don't know why you confront me so harshly. ... Who are you angry at? Perhaps, it is those who cannot be empathetic toward the victims of oppression and greed."

I didn't realize (or intended) to "confront" you. In fact, I leaned more toward being the recipient.

In any event, not anger but irritation over the "lazy, Rapists, drug dealers, criminals" label attached to a group of folks who "there but for the grace of God, go I" need support and not more barriers. Particularly when they are so needed for our country.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

'More than 7 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015, with 6 million settling in other Latin American countries. The region’s largest migration episode in history is driven by the collapse of the country’s economy, which has left Venezuelans struggling to meet their basic needs.' (International Monetary Fund)

The following can help to provide a sense of why the Venezuelans have had to flee the country:

'There is no end in sight to the political and humanitarian crises that have overwhelmed Venezuela and spilled over into neighboring countries for the past several years. In fact, the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens, who are already living in the most dire conditions outside of a warzone in recent memory.'

'Even if the political stalemate were to be broken, there are no easy solutions for fixing the country’s economy, which was too dependent on oil and collapsed as global crude prices fell. But President Nicolas Maduro has shown more interest in consolidating his grip on power than making needed structural changes. The result has been growing shortages of food and basic supplies, widespread power outages and alarming rates of malnutrition. The crisis has also decimated the country’s health care system, leaving Venezuela at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic, which further exacerbated all of its challenges.'

'In the past six years, the country’s internal crisis has spilled out across South America as millions of Venezuelans have now fled the country in search of food and jobs. The exodus has fueled xenophobia and even violence against Venezuelans seeking refuge in neighboring countries.'

• What’s driving so many Venezuelans to make their way north to the U.S. southern border—and why that’s no solution to their problems, in Venezuelans Seeking Asylum Now Have No Good Options

• Why negotiations and dialogue, whether they succeed or fail, are a necessary precondition for breaking Venezuela’s political impasse, in In Venezuela, Negotiating With Maduro Is the Worst Option—and the Only Hope

U.S. Policy & International Implications

'Washington’s backing of the Venezuelan opposition made the country a flashpoint in international relations, as well as in the United States’ domestic politics in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, costing Biden support among Latino voters in Florida and elsewhere. Addressing the failure of U.S. policy on Venezuela amid such a charged domestic political atmosphere will be one of Biden’s many foreign policy challenges.'

'Meanwhile, Venezuela has sought backing—and particularly economic support—from both Beijing and Moscow, creating a new arena for competition between the U.S. and its global rivals.' (World Politics Review) See link below.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/for-maduro-venezuela-politics-has-become-crisis-management/

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They seem to forget that during Colonial times and perhaps up to the Civil War, indigenous people and slaves outnumbered white people. However, only white MEN were considered citizens with a right to vote. That's the era to which Miller wants to return.

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And have the resources to keep it up, ad nauseam

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I’m thinking adherent may not be quite right. Miller, and other operatives, use these tools as techniques to rouse the rabble. It is cynical and calculated. Fracturing the divide, alienating, fomenting the conditions of discontent and separation toward outbreaks of violence acts as well as sedition.

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Why can't Republicans be personally sued for failing to perform fiduciary duties? Or perhaps malpractice?

“Power must never be trusted without a check.” - John Adams

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'George Santos Pleads Nonexistent'

'CENTRAL ISLIP, LONG ISLAND (The Borowitz Report)—In what legal scholars are calling a highly unorthodox strategy, Representative George Santos has pleaded nonexistent in federal court.'

'Though Santos’s claim not to exist was given long odds of succeeding, he forcefully made his case for his own unreality.'

“Your honor, I stand before you, a fictitious character,” Santos proclaimed.

'The New York congressman argued that, since he does not exist, all charges against him should be dropped, but he promised to submit to the judicial process in his cinematic universe.'

(Satire, NewYorker)

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Well, that certainly relieves his parents (and the Almighty) of considerable responsibility.

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Go tell it to Saint Peter (patron saint of locksmiths). You're just the witness to set Santos free.

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The psychopaths would probably just ignore lawsuits if they were sued, and get by with it just like they always do. or a crooked judge would just throw it out. Canada, here i come!!! I am sick of the Rethuglican domestic terrorists here in the United States.

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So wish I could go as well.

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That’s what elections are for. But, stupidly, their constituents re-elect them.

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"Miller is an adherent of the “great replacement theory,” a white nationalist belief that nonwhite immigration threatens the traditional culture of the nation. "

Ahh the unfailingly offensive Stephen Miller. The Jewish face of White Supremacy. Just as Clarence Thomas is the Black face of White Supremacy.

Didn't they get the memo?

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Gives me shivers, lin. They both make me very ill. I still can’t get over the fact that Miller has one or two kids! Guess he wants to reestablish the Aryan race. UGH

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Stephen Miller’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors. Clarence Thomas descends from enslaved people. How does someone like them even happen.

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$$$$$

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I have never felt that money is motivating factor with Miller. He is genuinely warped. Evil has always been my descriptor for him.

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PBS Frontline episode about Clarence and Ginni Thomas explain a lot about them. Well worth watching.

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Upon someone's recommendation here, I watched it. Anita Hill knew.

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It sure does.

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I saw that episode. Made me ill.

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Self-hatred?

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It seems he hates the people in the US unless they support him with gifts.

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Well, give Miller and his ilk some credit for self-awareness. After all, if we all got to choose WHICH white people would be "replaced," just who might be in the group at the top of that list?

These guys have good reason to be worried....

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Maybe thirty pieces of sliver.

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Well in Thomas's case, clearly illicit payment is involved. And Miller gets paid for his job. But both are deeply hypocritical persons who've personally benefitted from the liberalization of American society - and are pulling the ladder down after them. Along with the government institutions on which our democratic republic was founded.

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Money buys ANYTHING

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As a liberal Texan, I feel as if I’m shouting into the wind. I send emails, letters and calls to Cornyn, Cruz & Cloud (TX-27), and only get stock responses back, if any. Yet, I keep doing it to let them know we’re watching & they are on the wrong side of history (re: democracy). Abbott & his border vigilantes continue to ramp up the rhetoric & guns are freely available. Period. You can buy them at garage sales. You can by Army surplus ammo on rural intersections next to farm stands and Tr**p flag vendors. Seriously. What’s next??

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JC, I sympathize. I’m a liberal in Florida, moved here eighteen months ago from North Carolina. My husband and only child are staunch tfg supporters, my son recently ranting about replacement theory. Yet his son, my sweet only grandchild, is Vietnamese-American. What will these men do when some snotty white supremacist fifth grader spits on him, calls him “slant eye” and tells him to get out of this country? ;-(

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Suzanne, you are certainly between a rock and a hard place. My sympathies to you.

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You have my sympathy. I can not imagine being in that situation.

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Thank you. Yes, it’s difficult, for them, as well. I was a loyal Republican wife until tfg came down the brass escalator. But I won’t give up on a forty-seven year marriage, or my child and grandchild. And there are occasional glimpses of hope 🙏

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I was married for 57 years, but could not abide a MAGAt. So grateful for a kind, and empathetic man. His family, not so much.

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🤞🏽for you. Good luck

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Hugging you in my heart. A sister liberal Floridian here. 💙

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Same, Jen, same ❤️‍🩹

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Nor should you! You have a better chance of affecting their beliefs, I should think, by your steadfastness. I’m working on my own grandchildren as the opportunities arise (to counter what passes as “education” today).

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Living with cult insanity has got to be hell, it’s hell from afar. My sympathy….

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Suzanne, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I hope that your son comes to the realization of what the great replacement theory means without your grandson being insulted.

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JC, I applaud your efforts! Suggestion. Write letters to local papers, media, call in talk shows instead. Occasionally they will get published and have more effect. Those elected clowns are impervious.

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Mine don’t seem to get published anymore.

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I’m in an 80% R county (Beto moved the D needle to 24%). Our only paper is owned by a former Aggie classmate of mine who is in deep denial about who TFG is and pushes the Big Lie. The only letters he prints from liberals are irrational rants (which all of us may do from time to time) that are so degrading and disjointed you’d think they were ghost written by a MAGA. Truly bizarre!

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JC, I feel your pain! Book, The Geography of Bliss, finds that happiness is largely based upon one's fit into their community. I'd consider moving!

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JC, we finally have a Democrat challenger to Cruz that is smart enough not to fall into the traps that Beto did in the national debates. I’m going to do my darndest to get him elected (small steps).

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Another Texan shouting into the wind, have no more energy to beat my head against a wall. But I know who the devils are…

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

I'm here shouting at the worthless TX politicians too...... It's tough

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Civil War II.

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Oh my. Facts matter. Where do we start? Does it matter? Where does President Biden start? The antisemitic fascist race baiting stone cold Jew - Stephen Miller - disavowed by his shamed family, is advising a fascist former barely literate president currying favor with a rampaging totalitarian dictator accused of war crimes, and feeding our GOP, a twice impeached, twice divorced, convicted sex offender, the oft accused rapist, tax cheat, pathological liar, warmly welcomed and applauded in Manchester, Live Free or Die, New Hampshire, the leader of his fascist party unless or even if charged and convicted in The State of Georgia, Albany and Manhattan NY, the gerrymandered nation of racist dominated states seeking to destroy the democracy that seeks leadership among parties largely dependent upon voters that do not vote...the nation with failing schools and newspapers, healthcare, experiencing daily mass murder in schools, hospitals, churches and shopping centers, sweet sixteen parties, movie theaters and playgrounds, our warming deniers furious, drill baby drill, incineration assured, with rising suicide in the military and police, Type II and obesity, illegal drugs, anti vaccine science deniers waiting for herd immunity...our city sidewalks cluttered with the corpses and the living, we are the leader of the free world, close to reneging on our promises and obligations... it’s a partial list, it was TGIF... or what? Now it’s Saturday... where do we go from here? Good morning, Vietnam? Sign off twitter and the others. That’s a start. Let AI think for you, check out the latest developments and updates.

Oh, shit. Back to sleep. The dog can wait.

There’s no hot coffee.

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Sandy, you’re a Beat poet, and an inspiring one. (My political bit is writing GOTV postcards, you’ve given me energy for it. If we each do what we can, it adds up to real change. Ask anyone in Michigan.) I wish you hot coffee and a better day.

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Beat poet? Will this stuff sell?

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Yup. Reading Sandy today I got this image of him smoking a toke in a coffee house in The Village while his St Bernard Bertold lay snuffling at his feet.

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Take care of that dog

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

The concept of Asylum was incorporated into international law in recognition of the need for it after the holocaust…

We’ve had any number of refugee exoduses post the Second World War…here in the US the ‘BOAT people and their arrival comes to mind. The Boat People and their issues were supported/funded by our INS folks, in recognition of our role in the matter. And it was a well run program!

Heather just reported on todays refugee situation in a legal system 30 years in need of a complete revision….that treats the truly truly desperate in an appalling manner. And basically dehumanizes all of us.

A total revision of the refugee system is a desperate need that surely we can agree on….

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Climate abuse is likely to complicate things further.

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There probably will be climate refugees soon. Might be good for Alaska?

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We really should be honest that immigration goes way beyond asylum. Immigration is the GQP's new abortion. By which I mean, fundraising prop. They probably won't kill that baby like Alito did. I mean, what was that guy thinking?

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The Republicans will stop at nothing

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But if Congress, whose job it is to legislate, refuses in order to continue to use the topic as a fear-producing cudgel, here we are.

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Lemme get this straight. The RRR (Rabidly Right Republicans) helped Trump give billions to the super rich and now they don't want to pay for it. And it's Biden's fault. Okay, run that by me again, more slowly this time.

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exactly RIGHT assessment

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🤔🤦🏼‍♀️

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Sigh. Nothing good happens when Steven Miller is in the room.

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There are numerous ways around the debt ceiling crisis. Biden is wisely and calmly playing with his cards very close to his chest. When the time comes, he'll put on his shades and surprise them all.

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He's probably waiting until McConnell breaks and joins him. I think Kevin's headed for a rough patch and the GQP starts another pledge drive.

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Lord, I hope, but Moscow Mitch never does the right thing if it helps a Dem

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Thank You, Jeanne.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Jeanne,

Biden’s waiting until the big donors let their representatives know what a default would do to their wealth and their companies. The Chamber of Congress needs to speak out in favor of raising the debt ceiling.

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I love your attitude - and Biden's.

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May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

"Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) today said, 'Every day that the President continues to dilly dally, in my mind, the price goes up, not down.… You want a debt ceiling increase? You want to go fund the operations of government? Then fix the damn border, Mr. President.'"

Two things about the above. (1) Whether or not one agrees with Biden's border policies, one must view Roy's spew as the official outing of the retro-Republican party's blackmail/hostage scheme. (2) Roy acknowledges that Joe Biden is president.

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Roy is as bad as the Texas trio. Texas is awash in idiots

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The repub obstruction in paying debts, raising the debt ceiling is a combination of tantrum and holding the country hostage. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX): “Every day that the President continues to dilly dally, in my mind, the price goes up, not down.… “ The price: the predictable threats and fear, possible loss of critical services and governance. For We the People.

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