573 Comments

How modest of Dr. HCR to not mention that she was also on Putin's list of banned Americans. Congratulations on being deemed an enemy of autocracy.

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Evidently Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College in NY is on the list; and rumor has it that by default, any students and graduates of Bard and its affiliate Simon’s Rock College in MA “made the list” in the recent past. Botstein has been outspoken about the current state of affairs.

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I am making a Tee shirt that says, I Have Proudly Added Myself To The List. Or maybe another one which reads, I May Not Be Sane, But I'm No Mad MAGA.

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Michael, where is access to the actual list?

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Hey, Ed. After clicking on the link, you may have to pause to get a translation into English.

https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1871495/

Heather is Number 317 on the list!

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

Thanks. I did a translation and found our own Attorney General is # 60 on the list too, along with our Governor and one member of the Colorado House.

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Gee, kind of a roundabout Nobel Prize for Statecraft.

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Surprisingly there are about 20 Republicans on that list too, mostly at state level.

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

It would seem surprising if they are considered assets by Trump. I noted that "Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, who refused to “find” the 11,780 votes" made the list.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders is also on the list. ?????

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Lots of people from the Rand Corporation?

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Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert... Shame we can't know their response.

In-Q-Tel Corporation, which is owned by the CIA, gets 12 of its people on the honor roll. And RAND Corporation is mentioned 83 times, not surprising. But the Carnegie Endowment places no fewer than 51! What's with that?

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Brookings Institute made the hit list a number of times. Dr Fiona Hill, as expected made the list.

I was looking for my name with the description, " that loudmouth from LFAA. 🤣

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I've seen Carnegie Endowment articles on former Soviet republics which are well outside the Putin-United Russia worldview. Guessing that's a significant factor.

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Makes me even more proud of Phil Weiser!

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ED Nuhfer, Hip Hip Hurray for COLORADO! (My voting state -- I live in Canada.)

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News continues and we are fortunate that we can still speak and write the Truth. At least in some states. This morning in Politics news, Doris Kearns Goodwin: “We’ve gone way back in time with these book bans.” NAACP “issued a travel advisory for Florida over republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “aggressive attempts to erase Black History and to restrict diversity, equity and inclusion programs” in the state’s schools.. “ https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/naacp-warns-people-color-traveling-florida-rcna85478

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Scary stuff, Irenie.

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It is scary stuff, Lynell. As long as certain citizens continue to vote for candidates and issues that they think keep them safe, but in reality are racist and are filling the pockets of corruption, we also are victims.

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Because truth-tellers, journalists, educators, and scholars are "enemies of the people."

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She's listed as "Professor at Boston College", "профессор Бостонского колледжа".

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Thank you for the links. I was able to translate first to Español, then to English. Some version of alphabetical order. I haven’t read all of the names yet, but their rationale stands out, as well as this important statement about the detained journalist:

: “confirm that the request by the US Embassy in Moscow for a consular visit to journalist Evan Gershkovich, detained for espionage, is once again being denied in response to Washington's refusal to grant visas to Russian journalists, which prevented them from flying to New York to accompany Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during Russia's presidency of the UN Security Council.”

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Thanks for digging deeper, Irenie. This info is not surprising when taken in context.

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Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers, and Stephen Colbert walk into bar...

If only!

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She did actually tell us on the letter from the 19th. That is also where you'll find a link to the full list. Either embedded in reader comments or maybe links at the end.

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As Featured in the Newsletter Putin Doesn't Want You to Read!

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Yesterday someone here posted the link with the names transliterated into English.

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The names appear in English in parentheses on the Russian version of the website. Interestingly, this page does not exist on the English version of the website.

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I searched repeatedly for the actual list on all the mainstream corporate media sites the web was showing reported on it. NOT ONE provided a link to the primary source...NOT ONE. Never found it until the subscriber here (Lynelle) provided that. Be thankful for independent journalism and Substack. Corrupt politicians hate both.

Google Translate does an excellent job from Russian to English on this document.

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I'd rather be on Putin's list of banned American's than FBI/Twitter/Social Media

list of Americans political opponents.

This Trump deraignment syndrome on full display. Let me guess. Trump called Putin on his secret decoder ring.

I'd be a lot more worried about the way Biden administration is weaponizing the FBI/CIA/IRS against its own citizens.

Ask journalist Matt Tiabbi about the visit the IRS paid him at home the day of his testimony before Congress on the Twitter files.

Ask Carter Page what it was like to be spied on by the FBI who admitted to forging a document and providing the unverified Steele dossier, who they failed to mention this source was the Clinton Campaign when they applied to the FISA court for warrants.

Or how about the folks Michigan who were accused of plotting to kill Gretchen Witmer? I guess the jury didn't care much for the FBI undercover agents who kept provoking them. They were all acquitted.

Or how the churchgoers or PTA attendees who were under FBI surveillance?

Or how the all the FBI and CIA agents who flushed their reputation down the toilet

and signed a letter claiming the Biden Laptop was Russian disinformation. Not only did the FBI have the laptop for over a year, they had the receipt from the repair store with Hunter's signature, and no one family ever denied it was Hunter's. Of course long after the election was over all the major media outlets admitted the laptop was Hunters.

And the band plays on....

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James, who pays you, and why do they bother?

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Pro tip: don’t feed the trolls

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This is becoming a sad trend. No one disputes a single word I write. Why? Because its public record and FACTUALLY true.

Why did I bother? Because the truth matters.

That may seem strange to you because truth is not a left wing value, power is.

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FROM the Wikipedia website for Gretchen Whitmer:

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that they became aware of group chats on social media in early 2020 threatening to conduct the violent overthrow of state governments and law enforcement.[44][76] A U.S. Army veteran, Dan Chappel, had joined the group but became concerned about their use of a hunting app that could be used to track the addresses of police officers. He informed a friend and a local officer from an unidentified police department in Michigan, who then relayed the concerns to the FBI. During the initial investigation of social media chats, the FBI said that they encountered Barry Croft and Adam Fox. The FBI then interviewed Chappel, who agreed to become a confidential source after they raised concerns that there were plans to kill officers.[68][76][99]

According to many of the plotters, as detailed in a report by BuzzFeed News, their first meetings were arranged by someone who turned out to be a longtime government informant from Wisconsin, who paid for hotel rooms and food as incentives.[99] On March 30, Pete Musico, a co-founder of the Wolverine Watchmen, made a comment about placing Whitmer under citizen's arrest and numerous other statements on tape that prosecutors later said had indicated "a violent intent".[102]

James, I do not want paramilitary groups to be operating in such a way that they can kidnap a governor, detain her, even kill her. This is activity that law enforcement organizations ought to be monitoring.

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Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

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I just did dispute you.

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🤣🤣🤣. I do respect your transparency, James.

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Yes, transparency right through the brain. Ah, James A. Turn off Faux and pay attention. Wittmer’s plotters all went to jail on a second trial. Ringleader Croft got almost 20 years in prison. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/28/us/barry-croft-michigan-sentencing.html

Ari Melber’s recent show demonstrated how Faux was still spinning the news on the nothing-burger Durham report. Drink your covfefe and do some reading.

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So, I will ask you again, “Who pays you?”

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People who love truth.

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Who, prefix, first name, last name, suffix if they have them? “People” is the sort of vagueness that causes trouble here. Actual people or corporate people? Ugh. Simple communication or weasel talk?

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

I see you spend a lot of time down rabbit holes. Try connecting with some actual news in the real world. Come up out of the poisonous, hate-filled conspiracy theories that will end up completely destroying you if you continue to marinate in them.

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This guy loves to provoke. Why else would someone keep commenting on a more liberal site, other than to get attention? That so many conservatives are against equality and decent lives for all is sad, but what's even worse is that they are willing to say it out loud. They apparently have no shame.

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They clearly have no shame. Nor any consideration for other people. It's all poison and hatred.

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Yes. Although I would suggest it's all fueled by fear. The Republican propaganda machine has been very effective in triggering many people's fear. Fear of difference, fear of being "replaced" fear of being expected to behave decently toward others.

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You can't cite a single example of ANYTHING I said that was untrue. You can't because its all public record. Instead you just look like a fool hurling empty insults.

I know truth isn't a left wing value. It never has been.

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People just did cite examples of things you posted that are untrue, James. I think your last sentence applied much more to you than to anyone else on the thread.

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Cite what you disagree with?

The premise is still true. The FBI has the Durham report, Mueller Report, IG Report, et cetera

acted in a partisan manner to affect the election, The Trump presidency, Hunter Biden laptop, and is still going on.

You dispute this?

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James, I'm really tired of your posts, and your partisan interpretation of documents and events. The Durham Report! Hunter's Laptop! You left out Hillary's E-Mails!!

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Not worth a reply.

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PTA members being surveilled by the CIA? That's pretty vague, guy. Were they surveilled because they were in the PTA, or for some other reason? Why do you think they were surveilled?

I've never figured out why I should care whether or not some laptop was once owned by Pres. Biden's son, especially since it is also undisputed that the computer was out of Hunter's possession for an unknown period of time before it was handed to Republican political operatives who when shopped it to news organizations. Do you object to Hunters employment with Burisma or his taste in porn?

Frankly, I wish you'd redraft your list of complaints into a form easier to address. Like, why would I ask Carter Page anything? And why should I trust Matt Taibbi on anything? As for the latter, the fact that Musk chose him as his Twitter-leak tool, which never actually proved anything that I could tell, damages Taibbi's credibility pretty severely, imho.

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

James, I do not doubt that have gathered an assortment of facts, that, alone and lacking full context can imply a certain level of official corruption in US government institutions. Such concern and skepticism is valid in upholding accountability.

However, it appears that your collection is a grab-bag of right wing talking points in an effort to try to stave off a huge volume of facts fully presented within current and historical context by HCR and other respected journalists.

And all of your efforts appear to deliberately ignore the flood of revelations presented against the previous Trump administration and current GOP.

As a recovering Reagan Republican but now Democrat, let me encourage you to continue pointing out the “splinters in our party’s eye” so that we can correct them in the spirit of effective democracy. But please remove the “log in your own party’s eye” so that you can properly see the whole picture.

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Be specific?

HCR post reads like "While Rome burned Nero fiddled"

To appear on a list on Putin enemies, when the FBI is weaponizing the legal against political opponents is near sighted.

Its indisputable that the Clinton campaigned cooked up the "Putin & Trump connection.

CIA director John Brennan brief Obama/Biden on it in July 2016. Its also indisputable that know one in the intelligence had much faith in Christopher Steele, his sub source Igor Dyachenko or the dossier. They offer Steele $1MM to verify, he couldn't. They paid Dyachenko $300K and he couldn't. Yet they proceeded anyway leak the dossier to the media.

No one in the elite media would touch it, back when there were still journalistic standards under Buzz Feed finally published it. The FBI knew the dossier was garbage when opened "Operation Crossfire Hurricane". The knew its source was the Clinton campaign, and that the dossier was unverified when they went to court and materially lied.

it goes on and on....

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

James, I was admittedly generalizing on your overall approach. Your specific comments on the weaponization of the FBI against conservatives on the surface is a bit rich considering the current flailing efforts and questionable conduct of Gym Jordan’s House committee on the topic of weaponization. The Durham report does Not have much substance, but evidently is fueling much unsubstantiated Fox News and other rightist media claims that the Durham report has some significant evidence beyond what the Inspector General’s report described.

Rather than try to refute point by point of your weaponization allegations, check out Charles Savage’s defense of his journalistic credentials on his NYT column against a rather reckless assault by conservative WaPo columnist Marc Thiessen. In my view, your concerns on this topic align quite closely with Mr. Thiessen who also apparently fudged the accuracy of his analysis while slamming Mr. Savage’s column. I refer you to the following link rather than me trying to “re-invent the wheel” that Mr,. Savage so well documents! I use the threadreader app to save some headache in tying his tweets together…

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1659536184366735370.html

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What does the Steele Dossier have to do with current events? Aren’t we talking about the “Freedom to Fiddle While Rome Burned” Caucus hypocritically trying to manipulate Biden with a manufactured problem? Try to keep up!

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

Ha! As an old (er, elderly) activist from the anti-Vietnam war days, it is almost an honor to be on the FBI's watch list. They watch over most of us, especially if we post politically oriented posts of either side. No worries.

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James the Agitator strikes again! Glad we all have a sense of humor!

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https://www.reuters.com/legal/michigan-jury-finds-three-men-guilty-plot-kidnap-governor-2022-10-26/

Make an attempt to get your facts straight in your rants, James

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You are correct. I was incorrect in stating that they had all been acquitted. The first trial was

a hung jury for all involved and there were major concerns about FBI undercover agents prompting the plan.

Three were convicted.

The truth isn't a rant. This however doesn't change my overall point which that the FBI has been weaponized against American citizens by the Biden administration.

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So the FBI shouldn't investigate people who are espousing actions that subvert democracy, push white supremacy, Christian nationslism just because they're citizens? That's like a mob boss griping about police interference.

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Who is subverting democracy? The FBI? When they open phony investigations, lie to the FISA court, forge documents? When they break the law? Censor citizens?

Who are the white supremacists? PTA parents? Church goers?

Are we prosecuting Catholics?

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This question mark thing just makes your posts hard to read and makes you appear wishy-washy. Try this for a technique: Make a statement of fact, state why you think it's important, then cite a source for you "fact." It's easy. Try it. It's not even that hard.

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May 22, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Who IS subverting democracy? Hmmm.

Someone who asks Putin to commit a cyber crime and find those email belonging to Clinton?

Someone who tries to shake down another country's president by withholding weapons already approved by Congress?

Or maybe it's the guy who begged a state secretary to find him enough votes to turn his election loss to a win, regardless of the voters' wishes?

How about one who keeps lying about losing an election?

Or is it someone who ignores the fact that the Durham investigation just concluded without finding more than a good reason to whine about the mean FBI, having obtained zero convictions of minor players at trial, while also ignoring that the FBI agreed that information provided to the FISA commission was "overzealous" and have corrected their procedures?

How about Trump operatives who pled guilty of lying about Russian connections (and then pardoned by the former p***sy grabber in chief?

Your mention of PTA and church goers are code words for bullshit culture war issues based on isolated cases and inflated risks.

This is the last response you'll get from me.

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Go have a look at his substack newsletter. You'll see what he's about, right in the banner. He thinks TFG is a dandy "savior" for the USA. "James A" isn't as vitriolic as most of the trolls have been, but don't let the mild-mannered spread of oleaginous mis- and disinformation fool you.

I really wish we had a way to block these trolls from LFAA.

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No need to block. Just remember remember their name, and there’s no need to read their posts, because they’re always the same. No responses and they go elsewhere. They thrive on engagement; ergo “don’t feed the trolls”

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At least he doesn't write in all caps. I see that he describes himself as an "intellectual" on his substack page, although his output is very poor. If he wants to be an intelligent player for the Right on this Board, I wish he'd pick up his pace. Hey, James! Do you think you could cite a source now and then? Write something verifiable, preferably without relying on question marks and innuendo, and you'll get my respect, that's for sure. This country is dying for the lack of right-wing believers who are willing to stand up and state why they support their beliefs without resorting to name calling, religion, and violence.

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Intellectual?

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His self-description, not mine, although I get the impression that he ruminates a lot. (A curse I recognize all too well.)

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Ah. I get it. He’s really a cow.

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Michael Biales-See her letter from the 19th-should you delete this inaccurate comment?

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It’s a badge of honor. She’s in good company.

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Ryan Zinke is on the list. Perhaps he and Huckabee didn’t kiss TFG’s lard butt enough after they left the administration.

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It's like someone not mentioning that they were on Nixon's enemies list

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We have difficulty seeing reality when it's beyond our experience and coming into view ever so slowly. But what's happening to our country is clearer tonight thanks to Heather. It's a slow-moving government takeover — governments of all size and type.

Republicans have been nibbling away for so long but now are taking bigger and bigger bites, gobbling up democracy. Is anyone at this point doubting they indeed seek to kill the federal government and create conditions ripe for authoritarian rule?

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During this week we will see the MAGA crazies take the biggest bite of all--they will gut the Biden presidency by forcing a default.

The 14th Amendment protects the "validity" of the debt--The government cannot unilaterally change the terms of the bonds it sells to investors after the fact. But that does not mean it prevents default. Just like your mortgage can be valid but if you miss payments you still owe them and the agreement you made is still valid but you are in default of the terms.

Congress is given the power in the Constitution to authorize the payment of debt. That has always been recognized, and the "Debt Ceiling" bill was written to make it easier for Congress to authorize the payment of debt with an omnibus bill that does not require it to act each time new debt needs to be issued.

I think that is how SCOTUS will rule--Biden does not have a magic trump card in his hand to play to make this all go away. The only hand he has to play is to show the Republicans' hypocrisy for what it is. And I think it is more likely than not that he will not succeed.

I am more pessimistic than I have even been on the fate of America. We are at the tipping point and Trump and his cronies are absolutely willing to push us over with a little help from Orban and Putin.

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Georgia, it is not the "validity" of the debt that is in question here. There is no question that the debt was incurred in excess of the (then existing) debt ceiling limit, quite consciously by both congress and POTUS. Biden should pull the trigger on payment VIA the 14th in parallel with minting the $ 1Tn coin and any other mechanism at his disposal considering the ramifications of default. If SCOTUS should again ignore precedent in a potential suit, good, that would just be further evidence of their extreme politicization and one more nail in the coffin of the Roberts court. This hand wringing over avoiding every possible legal objection and fixation on making nice to these terrorists is a prime example of the dithering wimpiness of the Democratic Party that so completely turns off independent voters like myself. I voted for Obama twice. He rolled over for everything Mitch McConnell threw at him, including his nomination of Garland for SCOTUS. It made me absolutely sick. I believe it's exactly this behavior by the Democrats that allowed Trump to beat Hillary in 2016. I know that I voted for Jill Stein in protest because I couldn't stomach either Trump or Hillary and couldn't conceive of a moron like Trump possibly being elected. How many more independents like myself tipped the scales? The Democratic Party is absolutely killing itself with its lack of spine. Allowing these right wing idiots to drive us into default is absolutely insane. They need to be stopped through any means necessary, and I mean any means! And yes, we desperately need a viable third political party and a ranked choice voting system.

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Independent voters got exactly the America they voted for in 2016. Blaming Democrats for “not being enough.....(fill-in the blank)”, has been a weak position to argue from, when the stakes of the political contest where crystal clear in 2016. With Hillary, America would not have gotten perfection, but we were not expecting that. We were expecting a Supreme Court judge. We were expecting Roe V. Wade to stand. We were expecting a stand against clown-car-reality-tv-rule. But independent voters, exercising their political right, decided that they would allow the solid Dems to pull off Hillary’s win alone, without staining their own consciences, and giving themselves a “Free Pass” on complaining about her. As you said: “couldn’t conceive of a moron like trump being elected.” This is exactly how morons get elected. It was true in 2016. And it still is. Independents were played.

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MLRGRMI, there's plenty not to like about the Democratic party on policy grounds alone. Bill Clinton's neoliberalism brought us NAFTA, which was a disaster. Obama would have slipped the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to us if he'd have been able to get it through and Hillary certainly would have made it happen. TPP was a corporate give away and would have made NAFTA look tame by comparison. Both the Republican the Democratic parties have been feeding out of the same corporate trough for decades and stoking Ike's dreaded "Military Industrial Complex". I happen to think independent voters are more tuned in to policy issues than either of the mainstream parties whose inbred politicians are totally hooked on K Street campaign contributions. My vote for Stein was my statement in support of a third party as much as an expression of revulsion concerning Trump/Hillary. Identity politics is a very bad idea because it allows people to feel good about voting without doing much thinking. No offense intended.

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Well, you Independent voters who could not stomach a vote for Hilary Clinton have given us the Gilead SCROTUS. 2016 was not about the presidency, it was about the Supreme Court.

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No offense taken. Identity politics as a strategy is, and has been with us, for good or bad. It drives and manipulates ALL voters, gop, dem and independent. Just as you see left/right voters feeling good about voting without doing much thinking, I feel the same way about the independent voters trying to feel good about a bad choice in the strategy game. Independent voters thought Dems would do the work of stopping trump. All their supposed thinking amounted to the situation we are in. That is not to say that B. Clinton, nor Obama should be above political critique. Considering W. Bush and trump, I’ll take B. Clinton and Obama again. In my opinion, fortunately we have Biden. I agree with his adage: “Don’t compare to the Almighty. Compare to the alternative”. And understand the Electoral College reality.

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Fair enough, MLRGRMI, except for two things. I can't speak for other independents, but it never occurred to me to "leave it to the Democrats". I actually didn't believe that there were enough Republicans stupid (or cynical) enough to elect this clown, Trump. I was wrong. And second, I don't "identify" as an "Independent". I think of myself as an independent voter precisely because I don't identify as either a Democrat or a Republican. Ciao.

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Political critique is for old people in peaceful times reviewing other old people’s memoirs. Right now it is a distraction. Please critique the Trump administration and suggest additional steps the Biden administration can take to repair all the damage.

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I don't agree about the partisanship of NAFTA or TPP. These were both efforts by corporate America to send jobs overseas so they could reduce the cost of labor. The liberal part of this was the hope to bring all countries around the world to a better economic standing by sharing opportunities. Globalization is the issue and we haven't yet learned how to make it workable. The extension of supply chains, often unintentionally hidden, is one of those problems specifically the identification of critical supply chains. The issue we've not yet brought up is food. America now has access to fruits and vegetables out of season. The northern hemisphere is buying from the southern hemisphere. How do we avoid food insecurity in the southern hemisphere where leaders are more than willing to sell the lion's share to the northern hemisphere? Is there a reciprocal deal for the northern hemisphere to sell the lion's share to the southern hemisphere? How do we deal with water? Another critical question is, do we allow for migration during extended droughts or do we really start to do water management? In America, we have people moving to areas of the country where the water is critically short. Do we provide water for showers, flushing toilets, and such or do we prioritize food production? This is not an exaggeration. It has become worse because politicians have been in a "not my water" standoff for at least five and maybe ten years on the other side of the Mississippi River. This problem was predicted and reported to Congress well before 1900. The interest of those who want to make money always overrides the scientific evidence of the danger that the methods the money interests used will cause.

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I was recently driving across the American desert southwest and was astonished at how jarring it was to observe an irrigated desert. After traveling for miles over terrain that clearly wouldn't support anything larger than a small rodent, with plants widely separated because the water content doesn't allow any tighter grouping, I would suddenly enter lush fields of fruit trees, or vegetable crops, all supported by the chattering hoses of the irrigation system.

The air would instantly become softer from the water being sprayed around. Plants that only thrive in places with a hundred times more rainfall are thriving there, all through the use of irrigation. I dunno where that water comes from, but it isn't present on the surface, that's for sure. I know the word "unnatural" gets misused a lot, but there is something really creepy about having an artificial oasis in the middle of the desert that's growing a substantial portion of our food supply.

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I agree with you but would add that Dems are also trying to govern at the same time. Republicans just want to burn down everything.

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MLM: With regard to the present debt ceiling "crisis" I don't see the Biden Administration as actually governing. It looks more like posturing to me. If Biden were actually governing he would act now to end this idiocy. Robert Reich says it best in this excellent piece: https://robertreich.substack.com/p/the-case-for-why-biden-should-do?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

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When i say governing, I’m talking about all the aspects of being president that require his attention.

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Then the Dems need to bring out the fire hose as one part of their governing (or their trying to govern). And turn that fire hose on full blast!

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Then by voting for Jill Stein you helped give us Trump and this nightmare we are in

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If the 3 million people who voted for Jill Stein had voted for Hillary, Hillary would have been President and the country would have had problems, but the national debt would not have been increased by 25%, and we would not have unpunished traitors like Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy still drawing a salary in the House of Representatives. Look at your self in the mirror and consider what your mid-directed anger contributed to. Then go to school board meetings and stand up against the people seeking to destroy public education. Go to public protests and declare yourself against authoritarian harassment of minorities of all stripes. Call your Representative in Congress and remind him or her to always do the right thing-vote for bills that support democracy and don’t tolerate politicking that damages the country. Write and call every Representative in your State and remind them of the same thing. Also, send Hillary a letter apologizing for not voting for her. Also send Jill Stein a letter and ask her where the hell she is, and why isn’t she public all and loudly supporting Biden? Ugh. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Work with what we have now. Be mad at Republicans.

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Meredith, I learned my lesson about 3rd parties in 2000 when I voted for Nader instead of Gore. Won’t make that mistake again unless/until the country has ranked choice voting. I’ve even told this story as a cautionary tale to family/friends/neighbors during election times when they profess support of a 3rd party candidate (like Stein).

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I’m disgusted too, but third parties have. ALWAYS screwed the pooch, no more of that. Trash the repubs

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IF ONLY, democratic party would of listened to Howard Dean and his 50 state strategy? If only, where would we be now. IF ONLY, dems would of not always capitulated to repugs over and over again. No matter I will vote blue.

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We can buy back those bonds anytime we want to. We will not run out of money. Very few bond holders want to give them back because they are the saftest investment in the world. Very few people seem to have any understanding of macro economics. Read Stephanie Kelton's book The Deficit Myth. Read J.D. Alt's book Diagrams and Dollars. Get some background.

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Why are you lying about the default? The Republican led house voted to raise the debt ceiling by 1.5T and limit spending to 2022 levels. Very modest.

If there is a default its on the Biden/Democrats.

Stop the propaganda

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If someone came to your house and said, "I'll give you relief on your credit card limit so that you can buy something you really need now as long as you are willing to not support your neighbor's food insecurity." Would you do it? What about if it was helping them with an illness, the deal is you don't give them the money to pay for the prescriptions they can't afford. Would you do it? Not only are those options heartless and cruel, but have you ever heard the phrase "Let them eat cake?" People will only take so much before they strike out at those who are truly responsible for the harm to their families. The bootstrap phrase is also quite stupid. You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can only put your boots on. What if pulling on your bootstraps just broke the soles out of your boots? The poor are not lazy, they are trapped and desperate because of circumstances they don't control. You don't like the homeless on the street? The solution is to recognize the problem. Either you business people aren't paying high enough wages to allow the poor to pay their rent, their utilities, their taxes, buy food, pay the cost to get to the job, pay someone to be responsible for their children while they work, and clothe their family or the business people who set the cost of those things are not providing housing, goods, and services that fit within the budget their wages allow. You decide. If those things were balanced, which they are not, the government would not have to provide a safety net. Business and services people think more about profit and knowing the profit comes from people with more money than they need they focus all their effort in that direction. They take poor neighborhoods and turn them into neighborhoods the poor can't live in. Really what is their goal? Would they like to round up all those who have for whatever reason fallen on hard times and execute them? Because by not housing them and not feeding them, that is what you are doing.

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As part of employee orientation at Walmart, new hires learn how to apply for Medicaid and SNAP benefits. A GAO study was published back in 2020 that clearly showed us who the real "welfare queens" were: Walmart, McDonalds, Kroger, Amazon, Burger King, Dollar General, Target, T.J. Maxx, Chick-Fil-A, and others, whose employees work full time, yet aren't paid a living wage that supports them and their families.

It's pretty shameful, and it's still going on. Here's a link to the GAO report.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-21-45.pdf

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Start reading/listening to what is really going on out there. You’re like a horse with blinders!

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James, you do know, don’t you, that all this banter on HCR’s site is further exposing you to the surveillance state? May the force be with you, my son.

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Always beware of those who come to help.

The most dangerous people are the sanctimonious left who come in the name of compassion.

Just ask the 100,000,000 people murdered last century in the name of leftist utopia.

You can never achieve equality without authoritarianism.

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Yes, let's be very clear - we are at war to save our democracy and the enemy is "inside the gates," some sitting in government positions. Jim Jordan and the rest are enemies of the state. Merrick Garland, if he is to help save the Republic, needs to ramp up prosecutions of those who aided and abetted the insurrection of Jan. 6 and who continue today to undermine our democratic system. Does he have the perspective, the courage, to do what must be done?

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The current Republicans are not a political party........in the traditional sense. We have a one party country.

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They are no longer a republican (small "r" party. Despots still operate political parties, but block or outlaw any opposition. That has certainly been that path they are following. We still retain only one party that observes the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and a seditionist conspiracy that has already tried to remove the elected government and is currently threatening a dereliction of their duty on the payment of debts.

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They are a joke, not a party

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It's depressing that they can talk about George Soros lasers in space setting forest fires and and not be deemed by at least 90% of the population to unfit for office. Amazing that they got so much mileage out of claiming Al Gore said he "invented the Internet" when he never did, and did promote the Internet long before most people had a clue what it was. Lies are mental malware and we have become way too tolerant of them. Many modern politicians make Nixon look relatively forthright. Significant lies in human relationships tend to be toxic on any scale. There is a great deal more we could do to promote and reward honesty and reject consequential lies and liars. Our survival as a species may depend on it. '

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They are a cult. Do we want a cult to shape our country?

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They are a classic cult, but that's how tyranny survives. Who would rationally vote for despotism except a despot? I consider an organization a cult when it becomes exclusively self-verifying and punishes being questioned or challenged. Cult dynamics are pretty common to some degree and I think we are all vulnerable to some degree; but in extreme it is just wacko, and potentially very dangerous. Cults enable mass suicides or slavery and genocide, and we don't talk nearly enough about them.

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Update: From MaddowBlog, 8 AM, by Steve Benen

'As dangerous debt ceiling deadline nears, GOP is ‘moving backward’

Republicans said Democrats had to pay a ransom or the GOP would crash the economy. Now, Republicans are adding to their debt ceiling ransom note.'

'Consider a brief timeline:

1. After waiting for months, the small Republican majority in the House approved a far-right ransom note, filled with regressive ideas and drastic spending cuts the party knew Democrats would never accept.

2. Democrats predictably balked, but agreed to work on a compromise.

3. Republicans, well aware of the fact that they’re going to need Democratic votes to eventually pass a bill, heard the compromise offer and responded by adding even more reactionary provisions to their ransom note, and demanding spending increases for their priorities.

4. When Democrats predictably balked again, McCarthy said “the socialist wing“ of the Democratic Party is in control.' See Link below.

***

Steve Benen is a producer for "The Rachel Maddow Show," the editor of MaddowBlog and an MSNBC political contributor. He's also the bestselling author of "The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics."

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/maddowblog/dangerous-debt-ceiling-deadline-nears-gop-moving-backward-rcna85522

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Well said. Read your Ante Bellum history. History may not repeat itself but it sure rhymes. Our political system is dangerously close to failing Democracy as it did 175 years ago. Compromise is becoming like it did then a moral cop out. If it means certain states secede we should let them go this time in peace and gratitude.

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No, we can't let them go with "peace and gratitude." Seceded states would just become our own jumbo-sized Gaza Strip -- unstable, poor, susceptible to nefarious influence -- a place of discontent we would have to battle for generations.

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I would like a list of the major donors to the Republican Party candidates/organizations, foreign and domestic. I also realize that many Americans have donated, over the years, their vote and support to conservative organizations without realizing the far right leanings of these organizations....and now regret their support and as myself, have left a party that has become unrecognizable.

I have embraced the Democratic Party which is much more humane and realistic in recognizing the value of each of us and the right to freely vote and choose , whether we receive approval or not. The Democratic Party believes in giving a "hand up" (not a hand out!) to those in need and trust me....you may never think YOU, a hard working person will never need assistance but I beg you to look around!!!

A people who make decisions out of just being accepted by their friends or following someone else's lead without thought as to what they really believe.....are a weak people.....they are sheep NOT being led by a good shepherd but by those who want to use them.

Money will disappear....power will disappear....what are we leaving behind for our children, grandchildren....for the well-being of this planet....this air that we breath.....the future!!!!

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No doubts whatsoever. Not for a while now. I always use an erosion metaphor, but I like bites too.

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Exactly

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This list reveals the enemy's face at last. I don't of course mean that the names on the list are the enemy, it's the fact that the list is trump-generated and being employed by Putin. With whom, of course, there has never been any collusion. Thank heaven for the steadiness of President Biden. Amazing man. He's strong because he draws his strength from truth. Close ranks around him, everyone.

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Biden also draws strength from his deep religious faith. By contrast, Trump referred to 2 Corinthians as though it was the opening line in a joke about 2 guys who walk into a bar....

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Lincoln spoke of an eternal battle between the common right of humanity and the divine right of kings, or as I see it, egalitarianism vs authoritarianism. That split seems to extend to manifestations of religious faith, the former seeming grounded in humility, courage and and empathy (MLK for example) or hubris, coercion, and sociopathy (such as the Spanish Inquisition). They could not be more different. Those who seek to empower are often (if they are religious) examples of the former, and those who care to conquer and enslave commonly promote the latter.

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023

Great comment. Thank you.

I am sending it to some of my friends.

Only one observation on the Spanish Inquisition: That event followed several hundred years of the Moor/Muslim occupation of Spain. During that occupation the Moors gave the Spanish a choice: Become Muslim or die. Anyone who refused to become Muslim was summarily killed. Huge numbers of Spanish were killed.

The remaining Spanish retreated to the Mountains, grew their ranks, and, eventually, after 400 years, they rode down out of the Mountains and gave the Moors the reverse choice they had been given: Become Christian or die.

Slowly the Spanish cleared the Moors from Spain, then, having had that success, moved on to Europe. Each Moor that was killed was given the same choice that the Moors had given the Spanish, only in reverse: Become Christian or die.

Now, the Spanish have taken on a bad rap associated with their purge of the Moors from Europe and that has been called the Spanish Inquisition. However, all the Spanish really did was provide exactly the same choice to the Moors that the Moors provided to them after 400 years of Moor occupation and death by Moors.

So, depending on one's perspective, the "Spanish Inquisition" was either a horrible event driven by cruelty or the fair offering of similar choices to those who had provided the same choices to the Spanish.

Me? If someone came in and gave my family a choice, then, killed my whole family after they did not like the choice my family made, and, I made it out alive, I would remember. If possible, I would return the choice to those who offered it to my family. And, depending on their answer??

Well, maybe you can guess what I would do. How about you guys?

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I teach this material professionally and what you have written is simplistic and incorrect. Please do not send this out. There are many well-documented treatments of medieval Iberia available and they sound nothing like this.

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Thank you, Julie.

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Julie. I was working until now. Let me study again. Yes. I simplified but don’t think the overall perspective is nothing like the reality the Spanish faced.

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Mike S let me agree while adding that your historical perspective provides yet another reason why trying to "grow a spine" in the Democratic party by resorting to the same tactics as those employed by MAGAts invites being seen by history in the same light we now see the Spanish Inquisition, centuries of punitive moral depravity under the guise of religion!

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The Democratic Party can certainly grow a spine without stooping to what the Republicans do. And it must.

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You can be civil and still give 'em hell. Adult-in-the-room leadership can be humble and self-questioning yet decisive, willing to compromise but not capitulate, able to focus, prioritize, and communicate, including able to listen. Able to think ahead. I think that's ideal anyway. A democratic leader provides a critical focus around which support may gather, not edicts, but committed not waffley positions. Not exclusively ruled by checking out the weather chart to see if it is safe outside. It's a very tricky dance and not likely to be executed entirely free of errors.

I think that TV has help to turn us into passive spectators when self-governance means the ultimate degree of of wisdom that guides our future has to come from us. Grass roots and elected leaders can help, and have done so. "I alone can fix it" is BS. We have to be informed and competent collaborative managers of our own society if we don't want to be micro-managed by someone else's agenda. The vote is a share of both choice and responsibility.

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Don’t hold your breath. Many of us have been waiting since the 60’s

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I would escape to a place where religion was just a personal and private matter.

On the other hand, there is a religion for which nobody has ever died. Unless it was from over eating. The Flying Spaghetti Monster boiled for our sins. The only dogma is that you must be nice. We offer lots of pasta, old school pirates and a lot of beer.

Carbo Diem.

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I think you've crafted an irreal situation in order to make a debatable point: If such as situation arose, I'm sure I would make many terrible choices. Your description of Moorish Iberia doesn't fit with my readings on the subject. I thought the most common practice in the Ottoman Empire and the other Muslim countries at that time was to allow Christians and Jews to be residents so long as they paid a tax. The only ones reserved for execution were apostate Muslims. Does that make it a good thing? No. Does it mean that Spanish Catholics who used forced conversions were justified? No. Nice story, Mike S., but I'm not sure what your point is. Religious people are crazy?

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It was "the Inquisition", not confined to Spain. Only Protestant Northern Europe was free from it. Its English counterpart, under Henry VIII, when the Catholics were persecuted, was the Court of the Star Chamber. And the Puritan New World wasn't exempt from witch hunts, now called "Witchunts" by a well-known populist figure. It makes interesting reading.

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Aye. I've always understood that the Inquisition was a reaction to Protestantism, not to Islam, although raising funds to "free the Holy Lands from the infidel" was that century's equivalent of "Fund the Wall." But it's because of this very violent history that religion is a protected class right along with sex, race, age, etc., even though one's faith is ultimately a matter of choice, not birth.

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The lesson here is, ALL religious zealots and credos encourage the eradication of the non-believers. This is what is happening in America right now. We MUST vote as if democracy is at stake, every time, at every level, or we will fall to a theocracy such as those you've cited.

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Did you have a mother? Did she tell you not to hurt someone because they hurt you? You can't excuse one wrong by pointing out another. Stand up and recognize the wrong you did and correct it. Blame is an endless game.

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Don't forget the Catholics gave the same choice to the Jews.

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That is beautifully, perfectly put, JL Graham.

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And both are based on superstition.

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Superstition and faith are not the same thing. There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the English language. Just look at the chosen synonyms and antonyms for both. Language is important and how you use it may make a difference in whether your ideas are heard.

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Sorry. But when you say there's a supernatural being that has super powers, that can affect your life in some way, how is that not superstitious? Religions are the only socially sanctioned delusion and delusions are ideas that do not respond to evidence. How the heck can anyone accept something on faith with no evidence whatsoever. That's the epitome of superstition.

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I'm sorry. There are still things we don't understand about human bodies and the illnesses that attack it. Do you take it on faith that someday a scientist will have a better understanding that will change the outcomes of cancer? How many times has the scientific community back tracked and said we didn't get our understanding quite right when it came to this problem or that? Did you have faith that they would resolve the problem correctly? You probably don't have the understanding or financial support to solve all the world's problems with your own resources and capabilities. Faith or belief combined with trust in science and it's practical implementations is a superpower and most who lived through the COVID pandemic understands that. Those who had faith in science took the shot. Those that didn't faced the illness with bad advice from con men they trusted. Trust and faith go hand in hand. Faith means believing without proof. There were sparks of ideas that built on years of previous understanding your rational brain tells you. But do really know that previous understanding well enough to say you aren't taking some of it in without proof? I am not religious. I am an engineer who likes to think of herself as a practical scientist. But I see the lack of understanding in the eyes of people who invest their money, their hope for the future in the magic not yet commonly understood. If they don't have faith in science, they need faith in something or someone so they can trust enough to walk beyond a barrier they don't understand.

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In reply to Paula: Yes. And "Manners makyth man".

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'“Christian” pastor Jason Graber recently called for the execution of all LGBTQ people as well as the parents of transgender people: “They just need to be shot in the back of the head and then we can string them up above a bridge.”'

Love the "Christian" part...and I bet he's "pro-life."

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I don’t consider evangelicals as Christians. Christians are following Jesus ways and footsteps. Read the Bible about our Lord if you have faith.

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Yes, he did.

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The samples of Biden's rhetoric shown above are exactly the kind of contrasts I think we need to hammer home. The "GOP" edifice of essentially pure falsification is surely so large and thin that it, with sufficient pushing, collapse like a house of cards. Those fully trapped in circular thinking may not see it, but not all are willing to die for the cause.*

* I think of, as reported, MAGA COVID deniers arguing with nurses to their last breaths that COVID was a hoax.

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It is the first fallacy in critical thinking - confirmation bias, people believing what they want to believe, regardless of the facts. John Stuart Mill made the point in his 1869 essay, "The Subjection of Women" - when one's beliefs are based on feelings, facts don't matter. For many, particularly MAGA Republicans, their racism, their misogyny, their xenophobia, blind them to the harm that will befall them when the autocrat that they favor and support comes for them.

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🙏🏼🙏🏼. That would be nice but the autocrat will take the rest of us down with him. The autocrat is seriously mentally ill.

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"The autocrat," aka Donald Trump, in my view, is seriously compromised by the blackmail perpetrated against him by Putin, using, among other things, photos of Trump's trysts in Moscow hotel rooms. I think that it is likely that the contents of the 48 empty classified folders found at Mar-a-Lago ended up on Putin's desk.

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TFG certainly is mentally ill, and his only "belief" is in himself. With Desantis, we see a true-believer autocrat, and he is far more dangerous to our democracy. Saying he wants to Make America Florida should scare the living daylights out of EVERYONE.

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I certainly suspect that Trump would qualify as a unequivocal example of narcissism and Anti Social Personality Disorder, AKA "sociopath". I believe that Trump knows he is lying, but that he takes pride in it. It's his "superpower", along with the piles of money his family accumulated by questionable means.

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Autocrats manage to fundamentally stratify society, dispensing favors and terror. The most disturbing part is the legions of the exploited who love Big Brother. I recall significant numbers of Union workers supporting Trump, at least in his first campaign. Um, voting Republican to save the union? When did that ever happen? For that matter, when did Reaganomic Republicans ever help the working poor? And the 'middle class" as a percentage is shrinking. When did the Reganomic "high tide" ever lift more the the super-yachts?

In addition to wishful thinking and paranoia (and I think plutocrats exploit both) is the demonization and punishment of doubt within the cult about the cult, and I think kids that have been raised in this dynamic are especially vulnerable.

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Yep. Things that are very large and thin end up being transparent - you can see through them without even holding them up to the light. Go, Joe!

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Most of the residents of the small community I reside in are republicans, rural and from several old families. I expect their views to be powered by Fox and a lot of the increasingly right-wing news sources. Yesterday I was called a Goddamn Democrat by one of them because I asked him what was so bad about Obama, whom he had been blaming for something or other. I was not insulted, I laughed and provoked him a bit more. These folks support the policies that injure them the most, and last fall, 64% of them voted for Republican candidates. I work the elections and I pay attention to the ballot machine numbers. Even when they realize those policies don't benefit them, they are so locked in they have no "safe space" of their own to retreat to.

A moderate Republican candidate will get chewed up and spit out in these times. I used to be a far-left Dem, in the 70s, and thought of being a moderate as one positioned in the middle of the road politically. However these days, I am beginning to see that quality as trying to exist between the guard rails, so as not to waste time backing the wrong horse so to speak.

HCR points out what has been creeping in on our democracy for a longer time than we know. Why now? Because now those forces are manifesting in more explicit policies, which means they feel the momentum is great enough to withstand dismissal.

Some commenters here have expressed concern that these fresh (not new) attacks from the right have not been obvious since recently. I would like to bring into the discussion the Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity movements which became the Tea Party, the Contract With America, 1994, the Contract From America 2010, the 1985 Reagan SOTU speech in which he wanted attacks on normal peoples' relationship with gov't, and obviously the Freedom Caucus 2015. Some of the players, like Michele Bachmann, are gone now, but what they accomplished is still with us. If a plumber is working on your house, and leaves because of a falling out say, he doesn't take the plumbing with him. These organizations may rotate personnel and members, but the org mutates like a virus with the pressures on it.

So it should not be surprising that what HCR is writing about has been bubbling all along. Folks were attracted to the salesmanship of you-know-who, and didn't care what he actually did because he made the promises his supporters wanted to hear.

These developments will not be reversed with one election, or two; they will be with us for a generation or more. It takes time as we see to infiltrate the government we think we have to make changes to undo the changes we are hearing about.

Biden has to work to fend off these attacks while trying to implement policies that will move us forward, for the betterment of you and me and not the oil companies. Does he have the backing, the staff, the tools to accomplish all this? I fervently hope so. We can vote of course, and we can also pressure our representatives to listen and heed our concerns. We don't have to wait to do that. We can start today. I already get a word in locally, regionally, and ststewide when I can. You can do it too.

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Thanks, Ed. Concise and so much information about how we “got here”. I live in one of the more (or even most) liberal states, but in a part that is at some distance from its most liberal large city. Altho Dems still outnumber Repubs in this area, there are some very vocal examples of what HCR describes here. Complete allegiance to 45 and every issue that the right has packaged up for them to believe. The latest is, of course, the extension of LGBT hatred to drag queens, transgender issues, including medical treatments etc. On one particularly toxic FB group, a woman who has defended the rights of trans people has, herself been attacked verbally with the most demeaning language imaginable and consistently addressed as being mentally ill herself. While it must be pointed out that these folks are a minority, it is concerning that they are well-known enough locally to APPEAR to be mainstream. Two years ago, during the pandemic, one of these individuals emerged quite suddenly as a candidate for this town’s school committee. It was noticeable that he had been encouraged by a state-wide Republican effort to place candidates on local school committees. These candidates are encouraged to run, and are provided packaged materials of talking points and schemes to win local elections. It was interesting to listen to this Candidate’s rhetoric; one could tell that he had , up until this point, no deep knowledge of how to campaign and certainly know depth of info about public schools and how they function. Candidate claimed that the teacher’s unions actually hire the teachers; that CRT was “taught”, that he already had in mind a person to become superintendent of schools (there was no vacancy). During the then-necessary remote SC meetings, Candidate publicly verbally attacked one SC member screaming that he was “coming to get you and take your place on this commitee”. Fortunately, Candidate lost and has enough sense to blend into the woodwork. But we are now leading up to another SC election - rumblings indicate a showdown!

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Have you ever played that psychological game where you sit across from someone else? As you are sitting there, the other person moves more and more of their place setting onto your side of the table. I believe we've experienced a change in the Overton Window.

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You name only domestic forces--but HCR is pointing out here the foreign influencers who have been fiddling with our politics, the enemies of America. Yes, Putin had fecund ground to plow in the red states, but the money that is flowing in from Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia from their 1%ers is truly unprecedented; we are under attack, as these parties that want to destroy American Democracy have bought out most of our traditional media and social media. Zuckerberg and Musk have plainly been bought out by Russian Global Mafia and China owns Tik Tok. They pump their sewerage into our communities daily now, creating Trump zombies like your neighbors and way too many of my highly intelligent, but thoroughly brainwashed co-workers in the IT Industry. The same thing, btw, happened just prior to US entering WWII (I think HCR had an essay about that fact). Germans were leveraging very strong sentiment in America that supported Nazis and appreciated Hitler's 'strongman' tactics--even the famous H.L. Mencken was a huge supporter of Hitler because his own anti-semitism surfaced--a shameful mark on an otherwise brilliant mind and career. Manipulating our sentiment while attacking our Democracy is no new thing.

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Yes I did, because I didn't want to make a monograph out of it. Thanks for including some more history. I also wanted to limit my comments to persons we elected. Such as E Stefanik, who ran as a conservative moderate, then became a Trump acolyte. The seat she holds was fillled by Bill Owens, whom I helped elect. He was no danger to the US form of democracy.

You could also include C Lindbergh , Henry Ford, Prescott Bush and the UBC bank, Dupont, the Rockefeller Foundation which supplied Hitler with eugenics experts, and so on.

As I remarked, I was trying to limit my comment to people we voted for.

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This brings to my mind the M.O. of the Opium Wars. Destroy by weakening the system from within. China’s nefarious shenanigans I can see as blow back for this.

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Thank you for this, but as Marc Elias wrote recently “we cannot out-organize voter suppression.” But we have to try. What other choice do we have. Deport Rupert, recruit Soros or Bloomberg, tell the truth to power, wake up our MSM. Do it all and then some. Ike is no longer available.

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Since we really have no experience defending against these attacks other than voting, and I agree with the suppression thing, we have to come up with other means of making our positions known without having to wait for the polls to open. Guerilla warfare, if you like. I contact my representatives often whether I voted for them or not and we are on a cordial basis. Will they respond? I do not know, but I got my two cents in.

I would like to entertain outside-the-box ideas, I think of how the Ukrainian forces are manipulating the capabilities against a major military force, for over a year now. they are repurposing armaments, rebuilding weapons to different ends, rethinking the entire process.

Nothing prevents (other than lack of imagination or the wish to stay within traditional boundaries) our side from passing the supposedly innocuous types of laws the other side is passing, one brick at a time.

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Ed, thanks, that's a really sharp and concise summary of the creep of authoritariansm in recent decades.

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Ed, well said.

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Excellent, Ed. Thank you for providing the wider context that HCR developed early in LFFA. Many people are unaware of that, because of the momentum of daily news. One reason I miss the history chats, and looking forward to their return. They (and her talks built around reader questions) provide an invaluable look at historical factors that led to our current circumstances. They are often NOT the history we were taught in school. The videos, still valid and illuminating, are available on Heather's Facebook page. I encourage people who've joined LFFA fairly recently to take a look. Also, Heather's books and the books of other historians of American political history help us understand the facts we think we know, but often in distorted form. I think this is critical for us so that our discussions are less circuitous and become true collaborative exploration.

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Well said, and thank you for the reminder. My current representatives (both national and local) are all solid Democrats, and I still communicate with them, but not regularly. I can do that.

We just had school board elections in Eugene. We had some more "conservative" people running than normal, but all of the ones elected were more liberal. One of them (gasp) was even a Black man. His wife (also Black) was elected to the Community College board. I happen to know them both (Rick is a retired State Trooper, Linda is a retired Probation/Parole officer that I taught a couple joint defensive tactics classes with.)

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Ashley Babbit was an airheaded bimbo moron too stupid to make it past E-3 in an 18-year Air Force career, which is why they finally got rid of her on grounds of professional incompetence.

The House Republicans have revealed themselves as traitors intent on "making war" against the United States, and should be treated as such. Round up the Taliban 20 and the leaders of MAGA Inc and stick them in solitary confinement in the DC jail awaiting trial for treason.

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I'm not sure that the denigration of Ms. Babbit is necessary. She, like all of the 01/06/21 seditionists drank the Trumpian Kool Aid and have to take responsibility for their unlawful actions as a result thereof. But her death was no less of a tragedy just because she was duped.

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I agree. Babbitt still had the rights we all have; her death was unnecessary and in some ways self-inflicted. She is an extreme example of what happens when a democracy touts an authoritarian as its leader and uninformed people line up behind him.

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Babbitt’s death in some ways being self-inflicted seems correct: My memory of that moment on tv was of an officer inside the House Chamber pointing a gun at the rioters as they broke the glass to the entrance door. Ashley evidently did not think the officer would shoot as she crawled through the opening. After the shot, meant to protect the members of Congress huddled inside the chamber, the remaining rioters did think and no one else attempted entrance.

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The soldiers who go over the top in trench warfare know they're going to be shot at. The point on patrol knows their life depends on how well they observe and warn those behind. The soldiers that fell on bobbed wire on the battlefield and allowed those behind to walk on their backs to move the attack forward knew people would die. Soldiers on both sides know it may not end well for them. Babbitt believed she was a soldier in an insurrection against a country that had lost its way just as the founding fathers did when they launched the Revolution. Honor. Glory.

If you think what she did was delusional and American problems with their government shouldn't be solved with violence, then repudiate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Second Amendment has been corrupted to mean that Americans have a right to rise up and overthrow their government if it has betrayed them. Insurrection is an inalienable right for some Americans. Repudiate the Second Amendment, we don't need it anymore to solve problems between Americans and their government. The Second Amendment isn't needed for Americans to own guns; it is only needed to amass guns anonymously for insurrectionists to keep the government in line.

To us, Ashley Babbitt was terribly wrong and deserves punishment and even death; but to the people who support the action of January 6th, she is a hero. The 6th was their first overture of war, of insurrection. How did we let our fellow Americans get to the point where they believed what they were doing would solve their problems? How did we let our families be torn apart?

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TCinLA, that you may have been blessed at birth and subsequent schooling with a superior intellect should not interfere with your capacity for generosity if spirit. The intellect, like beauty, is, after all, only a cheap party trick, and a malicious, hurtful one at that, if not used in service of greater understanding and empathy for those less blessed.

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I have no generosity of spirit for traitors. Never did, never will. They all belong where Babbit ended up.

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She is/was the epitome of republican treason. Call them all what they willingly embraced. Cult nuts are willing participants in group madness. Don’t excuse them when we are their targets…

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...however one CAN understand them, Jeri; 'twould seem to be "the Christian thing to do."

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You go be an idiot. These people want you dead, you moron.

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You seem intent on being everyone's judge.

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"Willing" is a relative term, since we are such complex creatures with capacities resulting from evolving in a much different world and highly sensitive in our formative years to our environment to shape who we become. Neuroscience would suggest that we are much less in charge of ourselves and our choices that we want to believe.

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Being duped is not a get out of jail card. We have a responsibility to the Constitution to uphold the laws of this nation. Babbit is just one of many who will pay the price of infidelity. Buyer beware.

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I think she already paid the ultimate price for being duped. I do not agree with her actions, but I can feel compassion for her being duped, and view her death as a tragedy.

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Yes. There are those who are more gullible and more easily led, but it's still the duper who is responsible for the outcome. It's not really accurate for "blaming" people who can't think well for what befalls them, since, somewhere along the line either genetically or environmentally they didn't get what they needed to be able to think well enough to avoid being so exploited.

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I think that TC's description of her Air Force career is important because it addresses the Veteran status that she is given in every mention of her death. A Veteran is someone who was permitted to join the AFUS (Armed Forces United States) and was given certain types of discharges from service on their DD-214. One would expect someone with 18 years of average service to be at least at the E 6-7 range.

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I personally feel her E number is irrelevant. A veteran should know not to try to break into a federal building during a mob action. If she believed she was following the orders of HER CinC, she’s a traitor. Soldiers don’t have personal CinC’s.

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She believed that our government was not living up to its responsibilities. She believe horrible people were doing horrible things. She believed what she was doing was going to help change it for the better. I don't agree with her beliefs. I believe she architected her own death. But she believed she was rising to the calling of the founding fathers and rescuing her country from ruin. Delusional, yes. But we continue to support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which too many Americans have corrupted into a right to conduct insurrection, to bear arms against their government when they believe it has lost its way. If you believe she was a traitor to the Constitution then repudiate the Second Amendment. Remove it from the Constitution. Remove the poison pill, we don't want or need it anymore.

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There is only 1 Comander in Chief at a time. Trump, still C in C, told his people to stop the Electoral count.

But part of every military service personnel training is when not to obey a command. Invading the Capitol in the absence of a declaration of state of emergency or martial law was not an order to be obeyed by individuals out of uniform.

What we need is a return to the pre-Heller SCOTUS decision on owning arms—in place since the Civil War or before, I believe—on the 2nd Amendment. The SCOTUS creating policies again.

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What part of the 2nd Amendment is so important to you that you would sacrifice the rest of the Constitution of the United States to protect it? You do realize the States have the opportunity to protect gun ownership with their own legislation and constitutions. If it was good enough for abortion, it is a good enough method to protect gun ownership. The 2nd Amendment is literally providing the guns for the insurrection these people talk about every day and allowing them to hide themselves and their weapons within society. I personally have known people who have literally filled their homes with weapons and ammunition and there is no law against it. Hundreds of guns and boxes of ammunition with no collectible value. These are guns for insurrection not for self-protection. What law protects us from that kind of lunacy? When asked why this person had all these weapons, his reply was simple, it is my 2nd Amendment right and you have no right to question my gun ownership. He was right.

You are wrong about Heller it was decided in 2008 and not in place before Civil War...this is not a historical position on the 2nd Amendment, it is a contemporary one.

https://www.britannica.com/event/District-of-Columbia-v-Heller

"District of Columbia v. Heller, case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2008, held (5–4) that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home. It was the first Supreme Court case to explore the meaning of the Second Amendment since United States v. Miller (1939)."

https://constitutioncenter.org/the-constitution/supreme-court-case-library/district-of-columbia-v-heller

"Majority Opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia"

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I agree with your take on it, Ally. I'd wondered the same thing. And that aspect of TC's post is good information to have: it helps put Babbit and her decisions in perspective. I do have a problem with TC's perpetual judgemental attitude, which does not illuminate anything but his personal bitterness.

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It has nothing to do with bitterness. I'm quite happy with what I have done with my life and where I have ended up. Wouldn't trade for another.

I do however have contempt for morons too stupid to know how stupid they are. Like Babbitt.

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You don't know what happened in her career. She could have had an incident that got her busted down to E-3 while in reserve status. The only reporting I've found on her career was what her duties (guarding bases) were and where she was stationed. She served four years (2004-2008) in the Air Force and the rest of the time in the reserve. While on active duty (2004-2008), she was stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not uncommon not to move past Senior Airman in the first four-year enlistment. Her DD-214 is not a matter of public record. Her active duty status in Afghanistan and Iraq gets her Veteran status, rank is irrelevant. There has been no public reporting in which her discharge was described which would be one of the criteria which would determine whether she was eligible for benefits from the VA. Regardless she is a veteran and deserves our gratitude for her service until it is shown that she was court-martialed for misconduct in the performance of her duties and discharged as a result.

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She was too stupid to get promoted.

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I'm glad you are so confident. I hope I never have to face your judgment. I've not lived a life of glory just an ordinary one. I've paid my bills and stayed out of trouble. But, I've also made the mistake of trusting the wrong person, in believing in the wrong person. I was a Reagan Republican. I swallowed the trickle-down economy cool-aid. I admired George H. W. Bush and the way he wisely didn't enter Iraq at the end of his war not to mention the great coalition he built to fight that war. I trusted his son and voted for him. When he launched his Iraqi war in search of weapons of mass destruction, I knew contemporaneously that he was wrong and that it was propaganda or very bad intelligence. I left the Republican Party and registered as an Independent and learned my lesson about trust and loyalty. I'm a registered Democrat now so I may have some impact on who runs for president. But I'm very careful with who I trust to lead our country. I'm skeptical and I do my homework. I could tell when Trump came down the escalator that he was not going to be a good anybody. The more I learned about him in 2016 told me he was more than a dangerous dilatant. I knew when Director Comey made his statement about reopening the case on Clinton that America would elect Trump...the lesser of two evils. But I knew Trump was interested only in himself and in exploiting the American people to the greatest extent possible. I stayed up all night watching the election results come in and cried when he was elected. Every speech, tweet, diplomatic trip, and contact with the press did nothing to make me believe I was wrong about him, yet Americans fell devoted at his feet. In 2020, I was relieved Trump was not reelected. I was horrified that he wasn't done with America yet and what seemed like the entire Republic Party was either being blackmailed, suffering from some delusionary psychiatric illness, or was committed to destroying everything that it took to build the America I loved. I hope you were not part of this entire farce, because if you played any part in the damage done to America I hope someone judges you too stupid for words. I hope you are participating in rebuilding America to one of diverse opinions, personal integrity, and a commitment to a future where freedom is represented by pre-Trump rules.

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They're all fucking morons and it's too bad they all didn't end like she did - at least she Made America Great Again with her permanent unlamented departure.

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TC, my man--

While I must confess to chuckling at the concept of the late Ms. Bobbitt's "permanent unlamented departure", I should point out the point I raised previously was not one of lamentation, but a call to a slightly deeper contemplation.

Moronic as they may be, the hearts and minds need to be addressed here. By all accounts, she was off the deep end due to a cornucopia of sad developments in her life, but was still not a Proud Boy-esque jerk, or a Trump or a Tucker Carlson, i.e., the type of person whose absence the universe would acclaim. So the question remains, how do we arrest the maldevelopment of people like her, who may be less demonstrative in their fall from grace, but yet still live among us as everyday citizens who vote?

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It starts with respect. That's where Clinton lost them. She, unfortunately, dismissed them as "the deplorables" and they made us pay by jumping on that unfortunate statement and getting Trump elected. She was talking about the racist nature of Trump followers, not their condition as poor, dispossessed, or left behind by globalization. Her deplorables included the rich and the comfortable who were racists. But there was no way back.

Biden is making the right moves. His Chips Act will bring back jobs to areas that really need them. Jobs that are not only part of manufacturing but also retail, restaurant, plumbers, electricians, and people who will help those who are working in the manufacturing sector maintain their lifestyle. The Infrastructure Act will seed jobs in every State. His emphasis on unions is also important, so important because it reminds the wealthy employing America that there has to be a balance between what a person is paid for an honest day's work and what it costs to raise an honest family in America today plus a little breathing room. His emphasis is that a career is not just an office job, but also a job done with your hands. He lets us all know there is honor and a good life in a job that starts in a technical school as well as in college.

Biden wants every person to be able to hold their head up with dignity, to have a decent place to live, a full belly when they go to bed at night, a reason to get up in the morning, and health care that focuses on reliving the fear of going to the doctor because they can't pay for it.

This will bring America back together. Calling people names and blaming them because they thought a "businessman" would know how to run a government isn't going to bring America back together; voting for someone you thought would make your investments increase and get rid of all those unnecessarily government people isn't going to bring America back together; telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps because in America anyone can rise to riches isn't going to bring America back together; recognizing that modern economics may not make sense in the context of the economics of pre-globalization days; recognizing that some problems are just too big for the local governments to finance; recognizing that corruption knows no specific physical form and that anyone can fall prey to something for nothing scam; recognizing anyone who uses "othering" is trying to get you to do to something that is not in your best interests will bring America back together again.

His emphasis on revenue is well-placed as well. Paying for the things you want is just a fact of life. Paying for a life where working for a living will give you a chance to have a happy life is just something that satisfies most Americans; a little time to go fishing, to play with the kids in the yard, or to go to a ball game. It all costs money, the roads, the parks, the drinking water, the cooling and heating of a home, the first responders, the health care professionals, educating people to take jobs, and museums so we can learn about cool things and enjoy the beautiful things artists have created. It all costs money and quite frankly working people can't pay for it all. The wealthy don't pay us enough to do that. I don't suggest the wealthy say that is working people's problem. I suggest they pay working people more so that we can do what we've always done and pay taxes on the additional money we earn, or they wake up and smell the coffee and pay more taxes themselves.

The wealthy have been too busy putting the greatest profit margin possible into their pockets to remember the rules of history, "If you don't know your history you are doomed to repeat it." Another very famous quote is "Let them eat cake" and should be remembered as the moronic threaten violence and execute children in their classrooms, unsuspecting grannies driving down the road, and people shopping for groceries to the point that we aren't safe anywhere. This is the classic definition of terrorism. Terrorism is the warfare of the powerless and the disenfranchised.

Wake up America. Respect, not blind judgment. Really listen to what people say and ask questions that show you are listening. Try to find answers that work for us all. Finally, the rich need to pay their own way (taxes) or give us more money (wages) so we can pay (taxes) for them along with the many other things we do for them. Let's work together. America can't be about us and them. The first step is respect.

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Hi Paula,

I appreciate you taking the time to write a wonderfully articulate piece in reply to mine. I agree with you indeed, that it starts with respect. While I agree, I must say that it certainly ain't easy. In my personal life my respect for the people I know on the other side is oft met with disrespect and cultish refusal to deal with civility, much less reality. Not always, mind you, but too often.

But we gotta keep pushing the rock up hill, don't we?!?

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