549 Comments

I wrote this last night before going to bed … It feels apropos given today’s Letter.

At some point soon, either President Biden or Vice President Harris must confront the twin I-beams of insincerity and inaccuracy, supporting the Republican Party’s core arguments - the arguments they are using to pass legislation that makes it more difficult for people to vote and to convince people that President Biden was not the duly-elected; the efforts to frighten citizens into believing that the Democratic party is attempting to create a Socialist state; the efforts to portray the Democrats as having no intention of governing in a bi-partisan manner – and by such accusations, asserting they have in fact made sincere efforts at bi-partisanship over the last decade or more.

Whether the issue is immigration, education, infrastructure, equality justice, voting rights and the environment (among others) - the Republican party has abandoned principled argument and descended into a campaign of unmitigated fabrication and dissembling.

America needs a civics lesson – a clear, honest – warts and all – session of truth telling.

That’s what I’ll be telling my Representatives this week, along with a note to the President.

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I’ve shared this before with this audience - the Dems are too nice. Me included. But I’m changing and I hope they change before it is too late. The Dems need a sacrificial bullhorn - every four years. Someone who speaks succinctly yet firmly and with agency. This individual will get pummeled in the press so they need to be thick-skinned and not give a damn. But the person needs to be on the payroll of the Dem party and stick to the talking points and just HAMMER away at the lies, the bullshit, and the whiteness of the GOP. Of course this person can’t have presidential aspirations because they will need to call bullshit and get angry and enraged and be on all the morning shows to beat down all the lies. And honestly, maybe the first go-round needs to be a hetero-white-male. Why? Because the GOP can’t talk about him being hysterical or unhinged or un American or go back to where you came from.

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Hammering and dipping into the Outrage bucket does not work for the 45loyalist crowd. The calm steamroller of progress will. Along with the constant messaging of Help is Here.

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This is Bernie Sanders. He ran for President for the platform and was surprised at the traction he received. Unfortunately, Bernie's style of yelling all the time turns people off.

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He also has way too many privileged, white, male, toxic followers. He needed to call out their abusive, sexist behavior and never did.

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The Dems need to get angry and confrontational, I agree, but the big problem is getting traction with a media establishment that is far more comfortable sucking up to Republicans. It's been their default setting since the 1950's.

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Every one of the impeachment managers is capable of the Big Hammer but it would be wasted with the media still so mesmerized by the massmurderer45 and trolls everywhere telling lies. They are more likely to listen to geniuses like Kim kardashian.

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This is an excellent idea. Someone more “palatable “ than Bernie, whom even I found hard to listen to at times. Suggestions?

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Buttigieg has an appeal, though he's not as progressive as I would like. Of course, Elizabeth Warren has been a stalwart. Ayanna Pressley is very impressive, as is my Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, who is chair of the Progressive caucus. The question that will come up over and over with all of these, though, is electability. Harris is pretty centrist for my taste, but she may well be our best hope.

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I would suggest Tulsi Gabbard. She's highly-principled, honest, and experienced in administration and national service. She got a bad deal from Dem. HQ.

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I didn't see your first share, Laurie. On board with all points you make here!

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Laurie, I'm with you!

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I agree—it’s hard to stay on the high road and fight them.

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The Democrats need a political leader. The President needs to lead the party. It is that plain.

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I agree! Democrats have been soft on Republican rhetoric and propaganda for too long. Find a way to diplomatically call it out for what it is and recognize the double standards adhered to by Republicans!

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We need more than a civics lesson. The Democrats may have to take some kind of action to stop Republican falsehoods from overwheliming the country. Since we know that Trump has committed many crimes, perhaps he can be arrested and held incommunicado.

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I read several books about Trump during the 2016 campaign. Michael D’antonio, Anthony Schwartz, Timothy O’Brien ( please excuse any misspelling of names) all indicated in their writings that even before he became president, Trump likely committed crimes in relation to building the casinos and other projects. He has been lying about his wealth and success from the get go. He was and still is a con man. Everyone knows he lies about anything and everything, but people still support him. What on earth will be said about this period in American history when it is examined in the future?

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There is a very long tradition in the whole world of building vast amounts of capital by skirting laws and doing criminal acts. I think some of the former guy supporters respect his ability to get away with this and frankly want to be like him.

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God bless you for being willing to read about that toxic man; I couldn't bring myself to do it. I actually think his crimes prior to his presidency will be our saving grace. He will almost certainly be indicted soon. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/542691-john-dean-only-a-matter-of-how-many-days-until-trump-is-indicted

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I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed hoping for a solid indictment someday.

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( I think we may even need to cross our eyes-LOL)

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Mine are already crossed from sheer anger and disbelief— luckily I think they’re capable of uncrossing.

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As scary as the big lie is, I think the tide has turned, thanks to a large number of very smart and dedicated government servants and politicians (POTUS, VPOTUS, Abrams, Schumer, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, Garland, Warnock, the squad, etc. ). They are a good team. As for Trump, I think we’ll have to wait for the SDNY as well as the new DOJ to figure this out. No doubt it will take time. I do wonder, though, how all of this voter suppression legislation does not violate the 15th amendment? Does anybody have an explanation for that?

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I believe that the legislatures passing suppression legislation are portraying it as structural change that will make the vote more secure and more rational. They are full of crap, but SCOTUS has given every indication so far they are willing to accept this rationale and lean on states' right to control the manner in which elections are conducted. While they may acknowledge there is some discriminatory effect, without clear discriminatory intent they have signaled that they will not act. I consider this perfidy, cowardice, sophistry, and intellectual acrobatics, but it seems to be their stance.

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SCOTUS is in really bad shape, unbalanced, steeped in prejudice, unrepresentative. I will give credit to “ageing” people (after all I am one) for a lifetime’s wisdom), but it is time for SCOTUS to acknowledge our current (and future) worlds: Term Limits!

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I oppose term limits in all their forms. But I could get behind a mandatory retirement age!

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60+ law suits claiming voter fraud, brought by the guy who is now under investigation by the SDNY, were laughed out of court. That's their position for permitting voter suppression? Really?

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I know, right? Their level of intellectual dishonesty is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Voter suppression also violates the equal-protection clause of the 14A.

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Exactly! Before the 2016 election, I did a bit of research. All it took was listening to one reporter (interviewed on Fresh Air), who recounted how Tя☭mp bankrupted casinos, to know that the man is a crook. May indictments and convictions catch up with him before he escapes this earth.

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“Behind every fortune, there is a crime.” — Honore de Balzac 1799-1850

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Arrested or not I sure hope he gets connected to severe consequences as the Guiliani investigation moves on—after all he was working for him.

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It's hard to believe that Trump's recklessness and the recklessness of his "team," does not reduce all of them to uncomplicated targets that are easy to indict.

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But it true— the corruption is so deep.

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Would make him into a martyr of the cause and deeply polarize the country. Besides, this sounds to me way too much like what Putin has done to Navalny. We don't do that here, though I understand the temptation.

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The abolitionists had it right: "Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall."

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I would say we are already a deeply polarized nation.

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And have always been. But to worsen and more clearly define the divide is the precise opposite of what Biden is attempting. It's a highwire act and I am less than sanguine about its effectiveness, but it does seem to be the best strategy in this moment.

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You mean you think the people who invaded the Capitol with the expressed intention of hanging the vice president on a scafold which they constructed just outside the building for that purpose are "polarized" already?

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I agree in general terms that it would be better not to appear to be persecuting a rival politician, but this is no ordinary politician we are dealing with. The man is perhaps more dangerous than you realize.

Do you understand that we could easily get to the point of needing a "plot to kill Hitler" if Trump were to get back into power? On Jan 6 he sent his idiot rabble to invade the capitol and kill legislators and the vice president for the crime of refusing to break the law. Next time he will not make such a mistake. His forces will be militarized and will walk all over the nice people of Washington DC (not even a state) before you can turn around. His second coup will be a fait accompli within hours.

If Trump is sent to prison by an ordinary court for his ordinary, non-political crimes, he will not be a political prisoner (as Navalny most certainly is) but rather simply a criminal serving a prison sentence for crimes like fraud and tax evasion.

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Oh, heck, I wasn't saying the guy shouldn't be locked up, preferably for life, but "arrested and held incommunicado" is very Putinesque and, as with Navalny, would create of him a cause celebre. Last thing we want.

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You are absolutely right. I expressed myself as though in a private meeting among conspirators. Of course I was joking!

Let me instead put it this way: a sentencing judge has the discretion to determine what prison a convicted criminal is sent to, and in the case of racketeering -- of which Trump may be guilty -- it is common to use restrictions in communication to prevent the racketeer from continuing to run his criminal operation from his prison cell.

Of course Trump should be sentenced by an ordinary judge and sent to an ordinary prison. Only the prosecutor need concern him/herself with the prison circumstances and will present such recommendations to the judge. An amicus brief might also serve a similar function.

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Thanks for the clarification. That's a relief! And even if you hadn't been joking, I certainly understand the impulse. It is painful that he is still out there blathering.

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Surely the difference would clearly be that these would not be tRumped up charges, but based on verifiable facts most NYkers have known for decades?

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I was really only talking about the suggestion that he be "arrested and kept incommunicado." That would be illegal and unconstitutional. Imprisoned legally and the key thrown away would be just dandy by me.

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I think they are and have been doing this. The Biden/Harris message is a finely tuned calibration to reassure left voters while not polarizing those in the center and center-right. Biden has openly called out The Big Lie.

The bigger problem is that those who most need to hear your civics lesson are not listening and would not listen if it came from anyone with D after their names.

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Here's where we raise a glass to Liz Cheney. Unfortunately, they aren't listening to her, either.

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No, but I really admire that she is willing to put down a marker and stick to it. Some lines cannot be crossed and the insurrectionists, including the Insurrectionist-In-Chief, clearly did. Props to her for being willing to stick to her guns. Of course, she may be engaging in political calculation, figuring that this house of cards is going to fall and she may be the one left standing, but I still admire the gumption.

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I can’t go so far as to admire Liz Cheney, instead, I believe she sees what her peers do not. She understands no one wins if democracy collapses. Much like no one wins a nuclear war.

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God, no, I don't admire her, merely that particular action which, political calculation aside, requires some serious guts to take.

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I don't admire a representative who stands in opposition to DC statehood while her own state has far less population than does the District

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Reid, I see your point. It's not unlike giving the 9/11 terrorists credit for knowing their own fate when they piloted those planes into the WTC. They were despicable in many ways, and also physically brave.

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exactly, Diane. This is what it is

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Liz Cheney is no friend. She understands that her party is jeopardizing its future. That is all. She is playing her part as the faux "opposition." Liz Cheney has referred to Democrats as “the party of anti-Semitism, the party of infanticide, the party of socialism”—hardly good-faith opposition with whom Democrats can cooperate on matters of deep concern to the country.

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I was impressed with an advisor to President Biden, Anita Dunn, who I had never seen before. She was on Jake Tapper’s CNN show recently explaining the things the government needed doing and she did it so well I thought, I dropped a note off to the White House congratulating JB and KH on their first 100 days AND PLEASE HAVE ANITA DUNN BACK ON THE AIR-for her professionalism and sincerity.

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"Dunn took the lead in the Obama administration's criticism of the Fox News Channel.[15][16]

In October 2009, she appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources and was asked to discuss a statement she made to Time magazine regarding Fox News, "it's opinion journalism masquerading as news."[17] She responded by saying, "if you were a Fox News viewer in the fall election, what you would have seen would have been that the biggest stories and biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and something called ACORN. The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."[18] She added, "And it's not ideological. Obviously, there are many commentators who have conservative, liberal, centrist, and everybody understands that. But I think what is fair to say about FOX and certainly the way we view it is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party."[19]" Wickipedia

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The woman behind the scenes all these years?! I agree D Munson!

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I concur— unfortunately most of the Americans who really need to hear the actual facts from our leaders aren’t listening to reasonable voices- instead are following the false narratives from the likes of the talking idiots on Fox et al. If Tucker doesn’t say it, it ain’t true. It feels like a losing battle where the disillusioned are concerned. They are determined to be right, I guess the fear of looking Stupid-for believing the trash and lies (news flash, they already do). It really wouldn’t seem possible in real life for almost half of American voters to have been brainwashed -but here we are thanks to the disgraced former occupant of the White House and unfortunately —social media.

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Thanks for your comment and I hear you, but there is no brighter light to shine on this than that which emanates from the lectern at the White House.

If the President were to do this, the very act would demand a reply by Republican leadership; it would be covered in all media - left and right – and the fog of “opinion” or “feelings” about the truth of a matter (like the outcome of the 2020 election) would be cleared, maybe only for a moment, but in that window people just might think twice about swallowing whole, the misinformation many on the right are spewing.

To be clear, there are reasonable arguments in opposition to many of President Biden’s positions on a range of issues, arguments that could be made on principle, and the mere fact that people espouse those positions doesn’t mean they are disingenuous – just that we disagree. The problem presents itself when the rationale is simply false.

The President is under no legal or moral obligation to work with Republicans – he held out an olive branch to legislators to engage in the stuff of crafting laws, but he also decided to frame the word “bipartisan” in a nontraditional way.

Jen Psaki has explained this in the daily press briefings, but most people don’t follow those briefings. The President explaining what he means by “bipartisan – i.e., crafting and enacting legislation that appeals to citizens of all political persuasions – isn’t something McConnell and McCarthy are going to acknowledge.

If he goes over their heads, and those of the opinion journalists at Fox and One America, he might have a chance to break through. Or, it could all blow up and leave people more divided – there’s a risk, but the Republicans are doubling-down, as shown by the move to oust Representative Liz Cheney for challenging Trump’s continued false assertions about the 2020 elections. They want to rid themselves of any dissenting voices.

This appeared yesterday in a NYT story about Rep. Cheney, “Liz has attempted (is FAILING badly) to divide our party,” Representative Lance Gooden, Republican of Texas, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, emulating Mr. Trump’s caustic Twitter style. “Trump is still the LEADER of the GOP, Liz! I look forward to her being removed SOON!”

(Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/us/politics/liz-cheney-trump-republicans.html)

IMHO, we have more to lose by letting this baloney go on unchecked.

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I like this. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley will be getting that missive this week.

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I agree. Thank you.

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Immigration in the current numbers is incompatible with decent employment and wages for American workers, and with environmental sustainability of the US and the globe. And with maintenance of the current quality of life in the US (which is not as good as it was 30 years ago, when the population was ~83 million (4 ny state equivalents) less than now, half of that due to immigration. Pew projects another ~100 million over the next five decades, 90% due to immigration, Biden's immigration plan would probably raise that some. But most Democrats don't worry about the numbers and the environmental impact--they dismiss the latter (my Rep, Katherine Clark is an example of this), and we're no longer the party of the working class.

In other words, our party has abandoned principled argument on immigration.

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Thank God we have a few Liz Cheney's out there. I don't like her, but I respect her position and am thankful for it.

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Integrity. Interesting that it’s two Republican women ( Cindy McCain) and no current Republican men standing up the orange traffic cone of treason.

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Mitt Romney is standing up. Did you see his response to the Utah Republicans when they booed him?

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Sorry, but I thought his response pretty lame. I understand that he is up against powerful forces ranged against him, but his statement was far from showing Chaney's gumption.

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At least Romney called out TFG, but still not a fan:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/05/romney-booed-avoids-censure-utah-gop-convention.html

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"The senator [Romney] insisted the boos rolled right off him. “Oh yeah, you can boo all you like, but I’ve been a Republican all my life,” Romney said. “My dad was a governor of Michigan, my dad worked for Republican candidates that he believed in. I worked for Republicans across the country and if you don’t recall, I was the Republican nominee for President in 2012.”

The Michigan Governor following Mitch Romney's dad was William Milliken, a most gracious, honest and humble man, who lived in our city. But was kicked out of our local Republican party a few years ago, before he died in his 90's. The Republican party once stood for good and important things: "There is so much that can be said about Bill Milliken. He was, and will always be, Michigan’s longest serving Governor. He believed fervently in the ideals of public service. He was kind and tolerant. He was witty and disarming, and he was always genteel. He had a strong sense of what was right, and what was wrong, and no one questioned his character. Make no mistake: He had steel too. You don’t fly 50 missions in WW II as a waist-gunner on a B-52 and win a Purple Heart for being a softie.

But above all, he was deeply and genuinely committed to leaving Michigan and its citizenry better than what he found when he came into office." https://ippsr.msu.edu/public-policy/michigan-wonk-blog/remembering-gov-william-milliken

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RIP liberal Republicans (Return In Power)

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Thank you MaryPat for honoring a politician who served the people with care and charm.

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He did it as a Republica, and his wife Helen Milliken helped start Planned Parenthood in this state.

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I'm going to have to borrow that phrase: "the orange traffic cone of treason!" Lol! Brilliant!

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And you immediately know who that is in any context!!

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It's the "only Nixon could go to China" syndrome. If the Republican Party is to survive, the change has to come from within, from people whose conservative bona fides cannot be questioned.

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Ditto!!!

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As for Liz Cheney herself, she has referred to Democrats as “the party of anti-Semitism, the party of infanticide, the party of socialism”—hardly good-faith opposition with whom Democrats can cooperate on matters of deep concern to the country. She's playing a role and the appearance of "opposition" within the party. She helps the Rs seem like a "big tent." Beware.

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Well said.

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I think, sadly and fearfully, that things are going to get a lot worse in this country before they get better. And the better will probably come a generation after I'm gone. Sorry, feeling like a polar bear on a floating iceberg this day.

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I could sure use some reasons to be optimistic about midterm elections.

Have any?

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I'm usually one of the Gloomy Gusses here, but I do have some reasons for hope. First of all, Biden is surgically targeting vulnerable voters with his policies. People are hurting, especially the poor and marginally employed, and almost all of his policy proposals would help them enormously. Second, I think the voter suppression efforts throughout the country are going to backfire, for two reasons: some of them, especially limits on mail-in ballots, may well affect R voters more than D, because they skew old; and because people whose votes are being suppressed are royally pissed off and will show up in force. I doubt R voters are similarly motivated; certainly Biden has been avoiding creating any such motivating animus. So, there you go, a little teeny ray of sunshine. Of course, I still believe that the Rs will take the House and Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024, so there is that. But at least I won't be quite so surprised if my grim predictions prove wrong.

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Rachel and a commentator discussed that very thing last night-they're shooting themselves in the foot in FL since R's like voting by mail.

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There’s always the law of unintended consequences.

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DeSantis has not signed it yet.

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Yes, I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. No more blindside like Nov. 9, 2016 where the most absurd presidential win in my lifetime (which goes back to FDR) took place. And, IDK yet how the Florida Repugnant Voter Suppression will affect me. Miami-Dade County is still seeing what changes we have to make from the new law. I have been voting by mail for many years. The last time I was at my polling place was 2018 holding a sign against Ron DeathSantis, for what it was worth.

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Rob, why are there so many uber-crazies in Miami-Dade? That private school, Centner Academy, which not only bars vaccinated teachers from working there but also tells their students not to hug their vaccinated parents, is mind-boggling. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/us/florida-centner-academy-vaccine.html

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That is crazy wacky. What a disservice to the students. It puts them at both a health and reality disadvantage. That’s more a cult than a school. ( but it’s the future of private education the libertarian republicans want in the entire country.)

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Wow—these folks are trusted to influence our children. I fear the consequences; we think there are some crazies today...

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The next battle then is to ensure that everybody is actually registered so that the surge that you are hoping for actually makes a difference. I assume that, if this looks like happening, the GOP in each state will target restriction and conditions on registration. Its probably already happening.

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How is it even legal to mess with our USA voting system? And our USPS? Gerrymandering and the EC should be thrown out. Anything that interferes with ANY CITIZEN's voting rights should be a crime against our nation's democratic foundations. When I was in grade school, we voted for our representatives and Every Vote Counted. I mistakenly grew up thinking that was what our Democracy was based upon. The rest seems nefarious and part of The Great White Myth's knee on too many necks. It is equal to the revelations of the fricking Easter Bunny and Santa Claus to this kid.

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Yep. We were founded as a country run by elitist white males and haven't changed all that much. At this rate of change we should have a true democracy no later than a thousand years from now, tops.

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Tell that to the Supreme Court. It's not for want of trying.

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We, the populace didn’t listen, didn’t pay close enough attention, didn’t participate enough.

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I agree in principle but this system will never change when it requires those red states to give up the power they have in order to accomplish the change.

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Yes, I agree. SCOTUS should have stepped up to this challenge and have given every indication they will not. As Stuart points out, the onus is really on them and they should be deeply ashamed. For all that I loathe it, the fact is that what Republican legislatures are doing is, according to the Supremes, perfectly legal, so why would they stop doing it?

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I know it’s a real possibility but I just won’t let my mind hang out there! I believe I need to see things play out the way Ossoff snd Warnock got in! Power of the people!

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Can I like this 100 times!?

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Why stop at 100? You can have it all, Cathy!

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Your point made here about what the Florida legislature has done to undermine VBM and its potential backlash.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/florida-republicans-mail-voting/2021/05/02/4c133920-a9bf-11eb-8c1a-56f0cb4ff3b5_story.html

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My god, the schadenfreude will be thick on the ground if they shoot themselves in the foot this way, won't it? I would dance a jig, though my orthopedic surgeon might benefit from those antics if I'm not careful.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/florida-republicans-mail-voting/2021/05/02/4c133920-a9bf-11eb-8c1a-56f0cb4ff3b5_story.html

Just saw this article about republican regrets on mail in voting. If this whole insanity wasn't so depressing I would laugh.

Also, regarding your previous comment about economics, recovery and pent up demand. I live in a bubble of prosperity. I work retail in a big box store and we had sales through the roof last year, and the trend continues this year. I hate to see what pent up demand will bring!

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Then we must prove you wrong! Old Republican Seniors Unite!

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❤️❤️❤️

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We have to be the reason to be optimistic. We have to “take up oxygen” and work, work, work to win in the mid-terms. And we have to donate to candidates and local organizations. We need to be working NOW.

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Yup.

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The biggest reason for hope is that Biden's bold moves are working. The Big Rebound has begun and fence sitters may just fall on the Democratic side. Fingers crossed.

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I agree. Despite what I wrote here, I am more hopeful by the day. I think Biden is performing masterfully.

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Harry, who said the mid-terms will not support the last election? Oh, the folks who lost. When your cause is just it is easier to support, defend and to continue. The American People have watched for too many years while the country has been allowed to fall into despair and disunity. Let the losers wallow in their own darkness while hoping to keep the People poor and uneducated.

.

The change has already started. The "bear" has awoken and is starting to stretch with protection to vote, better living conditions and wages, plans to rebuild the country as well as to start the upper 1% paying its share. After all who was that has protected them and their business enterprises? The Republic of the United States that is who has made this giant business machine work..

Life is good and getting better. Use all the tools at your disposal to support the efforts of those waking up and pushing forward into the better future for all of us.

When it comes time to vote again, let's see what good efforts by good government can bring.

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I want to live in the world Joe envisions.

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Absolutely, The sad part is that the new Republican playbook of attacking those who disagree with them, never apologize and lie big is becoming institutionalized within their party. True political discourse is disappearing to the detriment of our nation.

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Yes! This is the real disaster, isn't it? Not that our politicians have ever been the avatars of truthfulness, but to have gotten to this entirely post-truth world, where whether or not up is actually down is open to debate is just disheartening.

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The good thing about polar bears is that they are still "bears" and bears are dangerous when they want to be. The ice has not melted yet, nor had the government become so corrupt that it cannot protect itself.

When you recall that "we" are the Government there are a lot of "we" in this country that believe in what "we" see as good Government. There are many good people that "we" have elected, appointed and hired to act as our representatives. These folks have not disappeared nor will they.

From the local town governments to the federal government we look for and expect success that encompasses truth, justice and the American way of doing things.

The built in self-destruct button that led to the demise of the Nazis has not gone away. They generally don't like themselves any better than the folks the hate to start with. It is a self destructive system that they espouse and eventually their idea of hate and destruction does them in.

There is hope that the future will bear out what the past has taught us: hate begets hate, the truth is never a lie, all are created equal and should be treated that way.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was our goal yesterday, is or goal today and will be our goal tomorrow.

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agree 😓

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I find myself reluctant to write a comment about 45; just want to totally forget him. However, I haven't heard anyone say 45 is insane lately and it needs to be said. 45 with his Narcissistic Personality Disorder is living in his own reality and dragging a lot of gaslit people with him plus a lot of Republican enablers who are trapped in his fog and his manipulation. The recent video of him on a patio at Mar-a-Logo with his slurred speech, deer in the headlights eyes, and stiff pacing around seemed to be someone under a lot of stress, maybe about to have a mental breakdown. The stress is about keeping up the lie in order for him not to have to admit the worse thing his father ever thought of him -- that he is a loser. That it brought in money was just a fortuitous accident. The way he deals with his insecurities is by projection. Psychological projection is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings. He also projects his shame on others which is why he seems to have no shame.

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Until there is a video of him testifying under oath before Congress or in open court (or via deposition), I will not watch anything that includes him.

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I don't think he would hesitate to lie under oath, because he truly believes he didn't lose. So the oath would have no meaning.

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True, thank you Lee. For years 1/45's lawyers, knowing him as a congenital liar, have worked to keep him from testifying under oath and committing perjury. All the more reason to corner him with his hand on a Bible.

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He is so ill that he believes his own lies and would pass a polygraph no matter what he said even contradicting himself in the same breath.

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I feel the same. I was scrolling through my newsfeed over the weekend and a video of him popped up.... I nearly threw my iPad across the room.

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I was thinking that there should be a screen blackout button right next to the mute button on TV remotes. I only see or hear him when I can't get to the remote fast enough. Usually I turn the entire program off from twenty minutes to an hour or more.

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Use skip forward button!

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With you

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This is no longer about Trump. He has set something in motion that even he couldn’t stop now. It will continue regardless of whether he lives or dies or goes to prison. He is merely a figurehead now, a prop to wave in front of his voters.

President Biden is in a desperate rush against time to demonstrate democracy works while we still have one. It’s not hyperbole when he says he’s fighting for the soul of our nation.

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Exactly. Have you heard the comparison of 45’s out of control movement to Mickey in The Sorcerer’ Apprentice? Once those waves got started, he couldn’t stop them. How’s that for an accurate visual?

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When I saw Fantasia at age six, it scared me terribly. Do not think it should have had a G rating. The Apprentice, is he?

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I believe we are seeing a figurehead still having the power to dictate Republican politics. Let's not underestimate him.

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Cathy 100%. NEVER underestimate 1/45. We did that in 2016; look what happened. Still, it's his influence on upcoming elections that's a threat, more than his own future political prospects. (Hmmm ... he just got underestimated again.)

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Excellent points.

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Yes, dangerously mentally ill. But the money he made was not by accident - he was and is a mobster.

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Maybe not, but I think being a loser was the main motivation and the fundraising was a bonus.

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He is utterly shameless so not having a conscience allows him to keep doing what he’s so good at. I think he has this quality in common with Hitler.

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Yes, the very definition of a sociopath. Though I am always hesitant to do diagnosis from a distance, it does seem clear that he is a man with little or no conscience.

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I think he is also physically ill. He has the gait and pallor of a man with serious problems. He is a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen.

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Soon?

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I know, I know. I try really hard not to wish ill on anyone and, whether we can believe it or not, he has people who love and would miss him. Still...it's hard not to hope for this.

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Yes. But then we end up with Trump the Martyr. Gads!

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Just as an aside, this is the coming to fruition of plans originally laid by the Republican hierarchy in 2000 in order to undercut and de-legitimize the potential Gore Presidency. They didn't plan any insurrection but were ready to go ahead with a media barrage and Congressional obstruction in order to deprive Gore of a meaningful victory, much like what McCarthy and McConnell (with the aggravating assistance of Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinima) are doing now.

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The GQP has done it to every Dem president since Carter. They would have treated LBJ similarly, but they found common ground in supporting the Vietnam War. Bizarre.

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The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President - Updated and Expanded with New Essays Hardcover – March 19, 2019. Note Cathy, this book was published in 2019. From my point of view, however he is diagnosed, Trump is lethal. The roots his obsessions and determination for power and wealth, are not our most important goal, which is to stop him and have him removed as a threat to all of us.

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And, he still is. Cults don't just drop their leader quickly if ever. Hope Facebook/Twitter doesn't reinstate his privileges tomorrow.

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Yes, and they are part of the crisis.

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I wish we could totally forget him, but he continues to make too much "noise". That video is disturbing. But the fact that the Rs continue to support his ridiculous tirade, and now have even hijacked the phrase "the Big Lie" speaks to the difficulty we face now. If you want to better understand his sick personality, I suggest listening to the latest Lincoln Project podcast where a survivor of traumatic brain injury helps diagnose just what in the heck is wrong with T: (I's less than 30 minutes) Title: "The Narcissist in Chief". https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9saW5jb2xucHJvamVjdC5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw/episode/NDk1MDMzYjYtNjdkNC00ODE0LTg2NDItMTM5YjVmODFjMTlk?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjasdq8l7DwAhVPVzABHfj9CXwQjrkEegQIFxAL&ep=6

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Good podcast. The Lincoln Project does excellent ads. Sometimes wish they were working from within the GQP. Maybe they'll form the Lincoln Party.

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Off topic. I haven't watched the videos of his latest pronouncements but have heard audio clips and he doesn't sound well. He lacks energy and sounds stuffed up. Also, he is allegedly going to New Jersey for the summer. Is his plane back in service? will he travel commercial?

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He's never travel commercial! I'm sure he has a private jet stashed somewhere.

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1/45 will definitely never travel commercial; there are too many uncontrollable variables in encountering the public. Ex-presidents have a hefty travel budget, so he can draw upon it and avoid the Salt of the Earth. All the more reason to win convictions that strip 1/45 of his presidential perks.

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WHY are the repercussions of the freaking insurrection taking so long? I just don’t understand. I know the wheels of justice and all but holy cow I feel like I’ve imagined it. Which is likely the plan.

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The former guy destroyed the DOJ and Congress confirmed Garland on March 10. Rebuilding and investigating something so important in 2 months? Besides the former guy’s mafioso training and the sheer number of people involved no doubt, complicates. DOJ has a monumental job after 45’s 4 year plus crime spree. We the people need to keep the pressure on

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We need to wait and let them do their jobs. They are under plenty of pressure. Sometimes I fear for their safety.

We can be busy doing what we can do on a ground level so children are fed and voters can vote.

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It's coming. DOJ is carefully building airtight cases and going through all the right procedures so none of them get off on technicalities. To me, one of the huge advantages of having Merrick Garland as our AG is that we can be certain that both of these things are true.

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A few days ago when someone commented on whether Joe Biden knows this was his destiny (he does), I also thought of Merrick Garland. This is the job he has trained for all his long career. Almost feels like our forefathers and foremothers are still fortifying our cause.

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Every once in awhile I still get a bit gleeful that someone the Rs blocked for SCOTUS is now the AG who is going after several of them. Payback is a...well, you know. Not that I think Garland is so petty, but I am, and it delights me.

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I saw a coaster in the store on Friday. It said “Dear Karma. I have a list for you of people you forgot”.

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I can't remember the exact quote and I fear it's more clever than my version, but I once heard an adaptation of the serenity prayer that went something like, "God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, courage to change those I can, and the wisdom to hide well the bodies of those who push me over the line." (I looked online and there are actually several attributions and versions of this; not sure we will ever know who said the original).

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fabulous!

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Very much

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True, Reid. This admin has so many experienced pros that they don't need to leave things to chance. It's the same with For The People; introducing right now it for a Senate vote would result in a costly loss. The Biden admin seeks to maximize success, not propagate blunders.

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I think that this problem is two-fold. We are used to more immediate consequences (or at least immediate information regarding investigations) due to our non-stop access to media/news/blog sources. These investigations take time and a lot of boring work to piece together into a case that will result in a conviction or a guilty plea. The part of the investigation that is the most complex, and the most serious is that of the actions of the elected members of congress. Initially, the handful that were actively involved in the execution of the insurrection (those 5 January tours of the capitol building) but continuing on to those who voted to overturn a lawful election must be investigated and held to account. This is the most complex part of the investigation, and they really have only one chance to get it right.

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Good reminder. We are in very early days.

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Recall, Garland wasn't sworn in as AG until March 10th. In office less than 60 days. There is a Special Task Force within DOJ but their number is not limitless. Did you see where Oregon GOP Rep Mike Pearson was indicted for letting the insurrectionists in a back door to the Capitol?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/05/nearman-oregon-lawmaker-charges-rioters-state-capitol.html

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The indictment of Pearson was fabulous news. The bleats from the RQP here in Oregon are loud and long.

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Important to note that these charges do not relate to the January insurrection. According to Slate, "State Rep. Mike Nearman was charged Friday with official misconduct in the first degree, which is a class A misdemeanor, and criminal trespass in the second degree, which is a class C misdemeanor. The charges came after months of investigation into what happened on Dec. 21, when rioters got into the Capitol at a time when it was closed to the public and lawmakers held an emergency session on COVID-19 relief."

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Capturing Pearslime is one benefit to having too many surveillance cameras.

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It’s insane. Truly.

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Since these Big Lie "counters" are barring bipartisan observers, Democratic activists need to hold vigil outside all exits to the building, including the one where the "trash" is taken out. Demand to inspect all packages. Dumpster lost Arizona by too many votes for each of the fraudsters to just put 50 in their own pockets to dispose of the evidence that Biden won the state.

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I think it was Heather who said once those ballots were removed from their secure placement they were compromised and no longer can be trusted. I just don't understand how an agreed upon bi-partisan committee would not be required before any ballots were even touched.

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True, M. Discarding or altering ballots are both forms of vote tampering.

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Unconscionable. That right there is evidence of what they are "expecting" to "find".

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My jaw dropped when I heard that, as well. Absolutely flabbergasting.

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Thank you Heather.

As I look at this recount in Arizona, I can't help but think, if President Obama was conducting a recount with an unauthorized company lead by an insurrectionist what would the Republicans do? They would have his head on a stick and we all know it. Why are the Democrats letting this happen? Why has this sham company given the opportunity to sully the certified ballots without intervention?

I am more concerned by the non combat position the Democrats have taken from top to bottom on this and other issues. As the GOP builds forces, where is the opposition?

Be safe, be well.

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I think the administration made a conscious choice not to get in the gutter with the Republicans, because you can’t argue with grievance and prejudice. Why give them oxygen? While I personally would find it emotionally gratifying to see the administration respond more directly, I think the administration’s discipline has served the country well by moving the discussion slightly toward policy in the initial phase of Biden’s presidency. As the Republicans have few if any substantive policy ideas, the contrast becomes more evident by the day, and Biden’s approval rating remains extremely high. I worry that popular support for his policies may not translate at the 2022 polls with the Republicans doing everything within their power to undermine voting rights across the country. I am hoping that if needed in the future we will see a transition by the administration in its talking points to change the midterm calculus. When and how to do so are going to be very tricky decisions. In the end, we should remember FDR had to advance policy that was very popular everywhere but in Congress as well, with outcomes that seem inevitable now but were anything but at the time. I would like to think the same is possible today.

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Yes, I agree and not agree. Not wrestling with pigs in mud thing... hope it works. We did that for five agonizing years trusting our justice system that had been destroyed. I must admit, it was a most thoroughly gratifying moment to observeI Val Deming's thrash Jim Jordan with her, "Did I hit a nerve? Did I hit a nerve?" I do believe we need to have some pushback optics for the Great Brainwashed to shake their antebellum cerebellums up a bit. They do need to be called out in public and in front of the media regularly when they lie.

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I always used the "chess with a pigeon"* analogy rather than wrestling with the pigs in the mud. Love your turn of phrase with "antebellum cerebellum"; it is certainly how their brains are wired.

*Chess with a pigeon: when they are about to lose, they will flap their wings, poop on the chessboard, and say they won whilst departing.

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Chess with a pigeon: I can't think of a more perfect description of DJT.

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I'm concerned that Ds continue to look to the federal level as a powerful solution, when a serious fight is happening in the state governments. If Ds continue to lose control of state governments, the girding of the democratic process will be crushed.

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(Love the phrase "antebellum cerebrums". Accurate and rhymes as well!)

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I think spellcheck changed "cerebellum' on you!

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I concur with everything you write here. The administration is being very careful in its calculations of message and policy. It's impressive.

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Yet there is no underlying vision. It’s another set of favorite liberal policies. There is no consistent moral underpinning. He must teach pf the underlying corruption of “free market capitalism” (that only serves PRIVATE profit, NOT the public good)

Biden is NOT talking of remaking a Democracy Capitalism to serve citizens and the planet.

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Thanks Frederick. I respectfully submit a partial dissent. The Biden admin is quietly moving forward on many aspects of the Green New Deal, instead of loudly trumpeting such initiatives. The same goes for the infrastructure bill, another example of low-key but meaningful reform.

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But TPJ, you cite yet again policy details. People do NOT vote on policies, witness the four decades of union workers and Appalachians voting for conservatives. People vote values. People vote on how they CONNECT with a candidate. Trump's anger and "strength" connected.

Biden MUST connect on a moral basis - something progressives and liberals dismiss.

The fact that some 80% of Americans believe in higher taxes on wealthy and corporations, this equates to FARINESS and ECONOMIC JUSTICE. He needs to frame - or place in an overarching vision - a capitalism that boasts FARINESS, EQUITY, OPPORTUNITY.

We must challenge the fallacy that "free market capitalism" is good for the Third World, our earth, and inner city and rural Americans. NO.

"Free market capitalism" is a conservative fallacy - NOTHINH in the marketplace is "Free." Private profits lead to a world of poverty, and a dying planet

and repeat over, and over again.

And he must reach we progressives to speak to a moral high ground, as JFK stated in his, "Ask not ...."

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Moral underpinnings are reflected in moral behavior, which I believe Joe Biden is demonstrating. Frederick, are you suggesting a Manifesto on the merits of democratic socialism by the president at this time? Do you believe that such presentations would be appealing to millions of Americans who have been poisoned to adhere to beliefs contrary to reality? There is no near term treatments for such emotional commitments. You repeat that the administration will be doomed by leaning on 'policies' as a means to rescue this weak democracy. Needed money and services are now being delivered to the people. Is this not a form of materialism you can approve of? I believe that the democrats will do everything they can to get For the People Act, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Infrastructure Jobs Plan 2021 and Plan for Children, Families and Higher Education passed before the midterm elections. In addition, higher taxes for the rich and corporations as well as a higher capital gains tax will be implemented. The administration and most Americans know what is at stake for them and the country.

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Not sure if actions speak louder than words, but actions and policies frequently express values. As a believer in (unforced) consensus, maybe we're both right; Fern too. Often it's a matter of emphasis.

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Oh, most certainly. There is no comprehensive critique of capitalism here. I think Biden sees himself as the boy with his finger in the dike, just staving off disaster rather than making radical change.

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That in itself is more than a full time job.

Two points occupy my mind more and more these days:

1.

It is becoming more and more necessary for Trump to be indicted (pick a crime), tried and found guilty. Then made to pay the consequences in such a way that he can no longer poison the well.

I’ll take the chance that he might become a martyr to millions. As it stands now, he becomes more destructive with each passing day.

2.

What is the Democratic Party thinking on when they will introduce and fight for HR1? They have been much too silent on this lately for my liking. It seems as if there is a laundry list of other more pressing business to dispose of first. Yet the clock to 2022 is ticking.

Their canniness so far gives me some reassurance. But I would like to see the battle joined, especially as the twisted machinations of various states in regard to voting mount in number and force.

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Just wait for full opening, post-covid and governments around the world try to rein in both their spending and their debt....and over and above that.... the Fed, with other Central Banks, stop effectively funding government deficits through secondary-market private and public bond purchases which are driving the Wall Street Bubble and real economic recovery! The dam will burst and Biden's finger will be insignificant. Europe at least is probably headed for stagnation/deflation at least depending on how hard the governments push in the "balancing of their Household budgets". Large scale unemployment follows quite naturally and together these take away significant markets for Chinese and American export manufactures and services...automatically slowing the world economy to a crawl.

The resulting stock exchange crashes will at least trash the wealth of a great deal of the world's putative oligarchs..... as well as empty the pocket of the working man.

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Major economists universally disagree with this analysis. There is no reason to think that any of this is going to happen, with the exception of the EU's propensity for advocating austerity, though one would hope they would have learned something from 2008 and won't recap that error. But your assumptions here are deeply faulty.

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I agree in principle, but the RISK is TIME. Dems don't have any extra time to give or wait. Feels like it's now or never.

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My point exactly. The clock is ticking. Perhaps they have not yet solved Manchin and Sinema vis-a-vis the filibuster.

Regardless the battle has to be joined. The Democrats can not be seen to be dithering and impotent, nor espousing Wilson’s sorry, *There’s such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.*

Too many votes of suppression are being taken and won. If not introducing it yet for some reason, the Dems should be at least banging the drum loudly.

The right to vote is becoming a, if not *the* great issue of our time and the party that controls all of the Executive and Legislative levers appears to be on the sideline.

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Very nicely said.

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Linda, part of me agrees totally with your position. I, too, have wanted to see more direct response to the craziness the Republicans are doing and saying. But considering the magnitude of the quagmire of lies and corruption, I believe it would be a waste of energy, intellect, and national resources to engage in battles against the myriad of shenanigans consuming the Trump team. There is some truth in the old adage, give them enough rope, and they will hang themselves. In my own family, I have failed to reach any kind of understanding and common ground between us. Instead, we have a forced peace of silence, leaving us with not too much to talk together about. I know, in the meantime, we must witness the craziness. I am praying that the damage to the rest of the nation is not substantial because we have a true leader in charge of a plan for progress in the nation, progress for We the People, all of us. He needs our support as he steadfastly attends to the needs of all Americans. Let the FBI, let the IRS, let the quite stellar administration personnel do their jobs, and pray.

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They WANT you to try and attack them lie by lie. The attack needs to come against their HABIT of lying, and their stoking of fear and racism

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Unfortunately being silent and non-aggressive for so many years has put us in the position we are in now.

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Not exactly, attacking him is what he wants, more than anything else. Voting him out of office shows the strength we needed.

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The means of turning people who have deep emotional beliefs contrary to reality appears to be missing. I haven't learned of any near term treatments. We have experienced painful losses in our personal lives and enduring stress about the state of our country. It is almost impossible of us to accept this wall of separation and that many millions of people could be so poisoned. This has happened throughout human history, and we know how it can end. I don't believe that we are at that point. Biden, Merrick Garland and others in the administration are doing what is necessary. We need to do our best; to keep contacting our representatives be they good, bad or in between; work with others; we need to be engaged as citizens and encourage the people we know. As much as humanly possible, your patience, AndreaH, and wisdom in not breaking away from family members, friends, neighbors... is admirable. Thank you.

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Fern, thank you.

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My appreciation is total.

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A judge made the Ds give up the ballots. They resisted as long as they could. https://apnews.com/article/senate-elections-arizona-phoenix-elections-courts-c4ae31d62abb4af7029ec7395b3d6ba4

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Linda, It's building down here in the independent state of Baja. The recount is an effort to feed the grievance base of Gosar, Biggs, Karen Fann, and Ken Bennett. Their historical hold on state power stemming from the Goldwater years is crumbling. They are becoming increasingly irrelevant to larger slices of the population, and they know it. The only strategy they have to cling to is to delegitimize the opposition. Somewhere there is a Lao Tzu saying to the effect that, 'if all you can do is play defense, you have already lost the battle'. Do any football coaches out there want to chime in here?

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Substack Members in Arizona: Are constituents complaining to their elected representatives about the Cyber Ninja audit? Take up oxygen and let them know you disapprove! Maybe then, some Representatives will too. It is their job, after all.

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Julie the Cyber Ninja audit has to be completely revealed for what it is. A sham. I feel to sit back and let this unravel will give it the illusion of legitimacy.

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Lack of ANY Policies, certainly is a sign of no effective offense. But if your defense can score more points than your opponents, you can win the game.

I am thinking that all this big lie nonsense is also a distraction, first to the truth of oligarchy, second to an event to release the tension of the delusion. As long as the big lie is propagated, something really bad is in the horizon. There is a Big Mistake being made here. Those who propagate the Big Lie, think they can control the outcome. History informs us they can not.

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Please elaborate, ted. Tragic outcomes are paramount in my mind. I don't know how close we are to literally fight it out, but, again, I don't know.

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70% of 70 million=49 million R's believe the big lie. It is almost like a "pro wrestling"...Wrestle Mania into "Polit i Mania"

Known for Outlandish crazy town scripts. People caught up in the script to a fever pitch tune into the "final battle" of confrontation between hero's and villain's.

But this is real life and those propagating will not be able to control what they are setting in motion. Who knows what the Timothy McViegh's of this world are plotting in their basements, but sustaining THE BIG LIE will have severe uncontrollable consequences for all of us. FB could fan these flames. They had better keep Orange Pandora locked in a tight Mare Lago box!

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ted, I didn't fully understand the comment you made eight hours ago but think I do so now. I agree with you that Trump and the Republicans think they can control their poison, and I agree that they cannot. They lack consciousness -- about the destruction that they have committed and where this could lead. The lack of consciousness is another awful aspect of this nightmare.

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Radical Libertarian Republicans are not builders of anything. In construction parlance, they are they “demo” team. They are like the crew that comes in and demos your old kitchen and take it to the dump. They are not skilled enough to anything except destroy. It’s not hard to see they have no plan fir even their big lie. It’s seat of the pants popularity, the more outrageous they are, their bade keeps donating. They have no clue how to lead or what leadership is.

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Substack Members in Arizona: Are constituents complaining to their elected representatives about the Cyber Ninja audit? Take up oxygen and let them know you disapprove! Maybe then, some Representatives will too. It is their job, after all.

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I so agree with you, Linda. Why aren’t the Dems making much more forceful statements....and actions? Have you heard a peep from Senators Mark Kelly and Kristen Sinema? They should be on TV shouting from the rooftops on a daily basis. Anyone here on Substack from Arizona? What’s the latest from the ground there?

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