Can I just say Jen Psaki is bada$$😎. She is the best Press Secretary ever

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Now that McTurtle has been blunt about his goal of stopping everything Biden tries to do, can we stop our argument over the filibuster, and can Sen. Manchin give up his expressed desire for “bipartisanship”? It was never going to be.

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If I remember correctly, Obama believed that the American public would notice how much better their health care was under the ACA, because it is. Some did, and some didn't. Expecting the American public to notice some laws actually make life better seems to be a risky bet in recent years, where disaffection and a mulitbillion dollar industry of professionally produced media blares hate and disinformation. I truly hope the Biden administration is working on ways to get its accomplishments and goals portrayed in understandable and memorable ways.

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Just a quick shout out since this is Teacher Appreciation week, thank you, Dr. Heather, for your Letters that educate and inspire us! 💜

A quote:

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” – Kahlil Gibran

As for current events, the best news today was hearing that 45 would still be locked out from Facebook for another 6 months, and we can only hope that as on Twitter it will become a permanent ban.

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There's a good chance that the judge's decision yesterday about the DOJ memo may lead to re-thinking of TFG's liability for a charge of Obstruction of Justice. Bulbous Bozo may yet be on a low-fat diet in an 8X10 cell, with the rest of the idiots wondering how to cut themselves out of the net they crawled into. Let 'em all tie themselves to him, let them sink or swim with him. I'm betting it will be the former.

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Many thanks Heather. I can barely stand to read the news these days

McConnell 100% dedicated to stopping yet another president's agenda (1st Obama's). Graham telling people to kiss his ass, white trash potty mouthed Senator - nice. Trump stabbing McConnell and Pence in the back yet Pence slobbers all over Donald like a love sick puppy. QTRepublicans ousting Cheney, a traditional Republican, for New Era Nazism. Aren't there any legitimate, non-wingnut, conservatives left in the general population or have the all swallowed the.poison pill of hate and ignorance? The most polite thing I can say at 2:00 a.m. is WTF?!

The longer the prosecutors putz around with regards to Donald & his band of thugs' many sins, including January 6th, the deeper he'll/they'll be able to dig in and latch on to the faithful. What a miserable state of affairs.

Good morning to those who are waking. Sleep well to those retiring. May your Thursday be a good one.

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It is so refreshing to see Jen Psaki's press meetings, especially after being subjected to the four years of deceit from DT's various puppet mouthpieces.

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Liz Chaney : Profiles in Courage.

Never thought I'd be cheering her on .

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Where the hell is “JEB!”? We’ve heard from his brother who, compared to the recent former president, looks like a wise elder statesman. (Who thought that could be possible?) Why is Liz Cheney the lonely voice of Republican sanity, left to face the wind of The Big Lie by herself? The disaffected Republican corporate sponsors, with vastly deeper pockets than the MAGA crowd, need a place to go. Where are the Old Guard Republicans who have silently held there collective noses while the former president debased every democratic tradition?

Well, squeak up!

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The huge stampede of Republicans running from the truth makes lemmings look like individualists! Thanks again, and again, Dr. Richardson, for keeping us apprised!

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Understanding the First Amendment Right to Free Speech

In the wake of the controversy regarding social media bans there is a lot of discussion about the right to free speech granted by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Much of this discussion on both sides of the political aisle is misleading, if not actually incorrect.

Let’s start a discussion on this with the actual words of the first amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Note importantly the opening words, “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” That is the entire text of the first amendment with regard to free speech.

“Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.” The first amendment restricts the power of government to regulate speech it does not restrict the power of private enterprise to regulate speech on platforms it may own or control. In fact, quite the opposite. It restricts government from interfering in that right of private enterprise to regulate speech on it's platforms. So publications, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, social media, and other private enterprise have every right to regulate speech on their platforms and in fact do so every day, constantly. Ask anyone who has ever been employed by or supplied content to a media organization if speech or content on that platform was subjected to editing or control by that organization on their platform. Of course it was. Those demanding government regulate or control speech on social media or any other platform in any way need to be reminded of the restrictions of the first amendment.

Now does that mean media platforms have no responsibility for their speech? No, it does not. There remain legal restraints on libel and slander, malicious untruths designed solely to damage others. Both legal constraints and penalties exist to constrain and punish those abuses. There also exist legal constraints on incitement to violence or issuance of violent threats. This still leaves room for irresponsible speech including misinformation, disinformation, lies, untruths, and many other malicious forms of speech by all manner of people and organizations on virtually all platforms and we are all subjected to such irresponsible speech daily.

How do we control such irresponsible speech given the restrictions of the first amendment? Clearly the answer is not government action as the first amendment clearly prohibits that. The answer must be personal and organizational responsibility, both in our speech and in our listening as well. Individuals and private enterprise need to use their own voices responsibly and moral suasion to discourage irresponsible speech. We must choose our sources of information and news carefully with an eye toward selecting those showing consistent allegiance to truth and fact checking. We need to exercise care not to select only those that confirm our own biases without regard for truth and accuracy. But it is important to understand this responsibility to truth is our own and not depend on government to do that for us. Some will and do follow that advice, but many not. That is a consequence of having freedom of speech guaranteed in our Constitution. I argue we not surrender that freedom, which is why I am an over 50 year member of the ACLU.

So progressives who bemoan disinformation on social media need to refrain from calls to shut down those platforms where it regularly appears and instead encourage people to be more responsible consumers and publishers of information. Conservatives also need to refrain from calls on government to restrict platforms and media that do not confirm their own views. All need to take on the task personally of being responsible consumers and publishers of information and pledge allegiance to facts and truth. We cannot relinquish that responsibility to government. That is the meaning and implication of the first amendment.

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Thank you, dear Prof. HCR, for bringing Rep. Liz Cheney's whip to the fore. We must admire her courage, yet remember that she voted for the "orange traffic cone of treason" 93% of the time as opposed to Stefanik's 78%. As the Repugnicants' latest darling, her numbers now count.

Cheney's words reverberate the cowboy's, hence Reagan's, clarion call:

“'History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process.'”

U S. history really IS in the making at this moment in time! Prof. HCR, you must be so excited to be writing about it as it presents itself -- as you are experiencing and living it! On one side, the Repugnicants have become self- destructive, while, on the other, the Demo-cats are showing how to govern with an elder statesman at the helm: ensuring 100% of the time, that the people's best interests are at the forefront of their policies.

And finally, may I apologetically add that I believe that Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and their ilk have made a pact with the forces of evil and should no longer be given the time of day?

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Unless Cheney backs HR1, her stand is hypocritical and her claims to love the Constitution are hollow. For each American, one vote, and make voting as easy as possible.

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Here is my letter to the president today: Do with it what you wish. (ps no poker jargon)

In response to Mitch McConnall’s comments re: pure obstruction, White house press sec… “I guess the contrast for people is 100% of our focus is on delivering relief to the people and getting the pandemic under control.”

President Biden Please do not miss the opportunity you have been given. It is painfully clear that none of your policies are going to pass the Senate given the current environment. This environment does not reflect he will of the people but rather a minority in control of social and irresponsible media.

The majority of the American people have been as clear as we can be that we want the policies and changes you have proposed. This cannot stand.

Unlimited debate has not produced reasoned response. Instead it has become THE tool of obstructionism to the extent that the minority senate leader is comfortable stating that his purpose is to obstruct your governing without a single comment of substance toward the actual bills you propose or the effects of doing nothing.

Politics is not a game to me. I doubt it is to you. It clearly has been your life’s pursuit but its footing has changed and has become something none of us even recognize. We are at war Mr. President. In war we the people need constant, consistent, direct contact with the supreme leader. You must personally drown out the voice of irresponsible media. Only you personally can do this because only you are the supreme leader. Fire side chats. Every day. Every day. Every day. Please Mr. President.

Please do something different!

To those who will criticize this saying that this is not in Biden's skill set or that it is not his responsibility I want to preemptively say. We are at war. In war people have to rise above themselves and the battle field has to be dominated by the victor. That has always been a truth.

To those who will say we must write to our representatives, Yes of course, but it is just not going to work this time because our republican reps are not listening to the voice of voters rather they are depending on their mastery of the new playing field of social media. It is like going up against nuclear warheads with pistols. Our country and the world has changed the largest influencers turn to FaceBook not responsible journalism.

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Let me get this straight. The Republicans want to remove Liz Cheney, a woman with integrity who thinks for herself and stands up against lies and insurrection. Not to mention the daughter of a former Vice President. That speaks volumes about what the Trumplican party represents. Follow the leader, an ex president, no matter how insane he is. Such a waste. And a pity. I am thankful every single day that trump lost. And that's no lie!

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I graduated from HS in May 1970, so my teen years were during a turbulent era for the US. My parents were adamant that college couldn’t be in CA—‘too much unrest!’ ABC, CBS, and NBC (the only channels we had) showed us whole swaths of cities burning during riots, but the unrest was not just in CA. A classmate in one of my freshman courses that fall had been at the Kent State protests when the National Guard opened fire and four students were killed. It was the first time I realized History wasn’t on a TV screen, it was sitting next to me.

Which is a long-winded way of saying: our country has gone through turbulent times before. But thank god Liz Cheney pointed out that the turbulence has never been led, fostered, stoked, and inflamed by the president. So why is Ms Cheney the only R to speak up? Why is the *entire* rest of the party in thrall to such a despicable person?

We are at a crucial turning point and it’s far from obvious how, whether, and IF the dust will settle.

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