765 Comments

Ronald Reagan was very destructive to our America. I will never understand those who worship him.

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It's incredible how much he harmed our country, starting with rescinding the fairness doctrine. And the NRA sure became destructive.

We are damn lucky to have Biden now.

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According to a member of out Rotary club in Sanibel who knew him, Reagan regretted ending the fairness doctrine.

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He should have done something about it. Reinstated it if he was still president. Spoken out about it, loudly, if he no longer was.

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The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987. By that time, Reagan was a drooling idiot propped up for the cameras and signing whatever his vampire crew put in front of him.

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I am deeply offended by your characterization of someone suffering dementia as a "drooling idiot". Many of us here have or have had the experience of one or more family members with dementia or alzheimers- I doubt any of them were any more "drooling idiots" than was my father who experienced dementia for years before he died.

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I'm sorry about your father. Dementia is a dreadful affliction.

You're correct to be offended by the "drooling" part of the comment. As for "idiot," in his book, Profiles in Ignorance, Andy Borowitz does a great job detailing the reality that Reagan qualifies for that moniker when used as a synonym for stupid. I lived through his reigns as governor and president and was astonished to learn of the limits of his intellect.

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I believe the point was that Reagan was mentally incompetent. Your pain and discomfort, while worthy of note and empathy, sidetrack then hijack the conversation.

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I totally concur that anyone suffering from either dementia or Alzheimer’s should never be characterized as being a “drooling idiot”. However, when that individual is President of the United States and leader of the free World and chosen by a political party only because he could get votes and be manipulated to do their bidding, then that unfortunate characterization should more aptly apply to the “drooling idiots” that perpetrated the deed. Unfortunately for the United States and the rest of the World they did it twice more after that. Although the last one could be characterized in that way, this poor fellow can’t help himself because that’s who he is. Once again, it’s the “drooling idiots” that put him there and wish to do it again, insurrection and total inability to deal with reality be damned.

Very concerned in Ct

Robert🙏😳

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He should have been removed from office!

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As always, thank you for dates!

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Well, gosh, a little late now. If he did indeed regret it, why didn't he speak up? I hate feeling this cynical: it feels as if a part of me has given up. It hasn't, but hearing this just doesn't make any difference in where we are. A third party report without any evidence to support it means nothing in terms of reversing the damage or convincing Reaganites that they should change their minds. That's going to be up to the rest of us.

As for the 2nd amendment, I have joined the ranks of those who think it is time to begin the process of removing it from the Constitution. Yup, going to take a long time and a lot of effort and more patience than we think we have, but look at some of the other changes that we never thought could happen but did, and sometimes astonishly fast- because people just kept standing up and talking about it. Asking questions, challenging those who claim that this is what America stands for. We have a pretty spotty history in things like this, but no, the second amendment as it has been reinterpreted is not America. This is us eating our nation up. Most Americans do not support what the NRA and the gun lobby stand for.

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Too little, too late.

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You're right, David. We are very fortunate to have him with us.

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I marvel at how well he's done for us .

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David, I'm alarmed at the recent polls that put Biden below both TFG and DeSantis. All anyone needs to do is analyze Biden's accomplishments, not judge his stiff gait, halting speech, or occasional gaffes. He's clearly a force of nature.

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I don't think any current polls are putting him below trump or DeSantis.

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I've been in Boston for my brother's funeral, so haven't been keeping up, but I did hear either Saturday at Logan, or yesterday that he was slipping alarmingly below both of them. I'm not sure of the source - it was just a blurb - so if it was a right-wing outlet, that would be suspect. I certainly hope it was a lie!

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Me, too.

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The worship of Ronald Reagan was manufactured to profit the rising plutocrat class. The GOP created culture war wedge issues to get the votes to end government regulation and equitable taxation. Trump is just Reagan writ large and writ vulgar. There is a direct line from George F. Will to Alex Jones et al.

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Yes--They were both manufactured to benefit their "owners." Very evocative of "The Manchurian Candidate."

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In 1960, author John Steinbeck wrote an article titled "A Primer on the '30s." (Esquire (June 1960), p. 85-93). In the article, he noted:

"Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: 'After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?' Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picknickers on her property.

"I guess the trouble was that we didn't have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew — at least they claimed to be Communists — couldn't have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves."

Over the years, what Steinbeck wrote was paraphrased into this, in "A Short History of Progress," by Ronald Wright:

"John Steinbeck once said that socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

I've spoken with many people who buy lottery tickets, and when I ask them what they're hoping to do with a cash windfall, they tell me they want to "spread the money around." They also tell me (all of them, without exception), that the possibility of getting that much money means they have to vote against taking the rich, in the event that they will be one day rich themselves.

Magical, deluded thinking, rooted in both selfishness and fantasies of gaining status from having money.

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NB: "... they have to vote against taxing the rich..."

I really hate autocorrect and automated spell checking in browsers.

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Yes, Lin. We need to write that every day. I used to read George Will as a “duty.” Unbearable. Probably what drove me to “bubble.” I have a visceral response to radical politics. And today as then, Will would be considered “conservative.” When I look at Charlie Sykes, I bless him. And the members of the Lincoln Project, who are the only true conservatives I know about. Everything else is Paris mob. (For anyone with “gut” knowledge of French history, that’s MTG AND Ted Cruz.)

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Lin The remembrances of the ‘Reagan Revolution’ are false history. For example, the Reagan tax cuts (for the wealthy) were passed in the emotions after his assassination attempt.

David Stockmen, his Budget Bureau Director, later revealed that their budget thinking was foo foo dust. 1) great boost to defense expenditures; 2) major tax cuts mostly benefitting the wealthy resulting in a ‘trickle down’ of benefits to the rest of society; and then 3) ‘STARVE THE BEAST’—-massive cuts in ‘social spending.

Stockman acknowledged that the tax cut ‘trickle down’ never occurred and was a Laffler fallacy from the outset [there was a tax increase in 1982 and then a more comprehensive bipartisan tax legislation in 1986]; the defense budget was sharply increased.

The “STARVE THE BEAST” pipe dream floundered on political realities (and a Dem majority in the house.) Even Reagan opposed slashing Social Security.

Under Reagan the national debt increased about 200%, but still was about $900 billion in 1969.

Reagan was anti union, as displayed by his opposing the air controllers’ strike—ultimately firing 11,000 of them. On AIDS, he was insensitive to this until his actor friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS.

For me Reagan’s most unblemished legacy was his role, with Gorbachev, in closing out the Cold War (and the Soviet Union). It took a stalwart anti-communist president to go head-to-head with Gorbachev, who was facing the collapse of the Soviet planned economy system. I give them both high marks for ending the Cold War with a whimper rather than a bang.

Reagan only had brief control of the Senate. The House was Democratic. It’s difficult to claim that ‘Reagan legislation’ relates to what Trumpublicans nostalgically refer to as the “Reagan Revolution.’

Certainly right wingers got a boost during the Reagan years, but how do you explain 8 years of a Clinton presidency subsequently?

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Thank you for your factual points, Keith, about the Reagan Administration and the man himself, no sweetheart he, except, perhaps, to Nancy and his circle of right-wingers; oh, yes, and too many Americans who fell for his act and their own bigotry. As to Bill Clinton, he needs the book thrown at him, When will it be written and who may the author be?

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FERN You may wish to check the criteria used on CSpan’s assessment of presidents conducted by historians and political scientists. No where do they include an item ‘personally like or dislike the president.’ Personally, I thought that Carter was a decent human being. That did affect my assessment that, overall, he was not a good president.

By CSpan criteria, how would you assess the Clinton presidency? Do you recall that he concluded with a budget surplus?

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Keith, I am not inclined to follow CSpan's or any other criteria for assessing presidents without being knowledgeable about them. I have not attempted to set forth such a criteria myself. The following reflect my sense of Clinton as our president, using sources in some cases that present the issues better than I can.

I don't know what level of credit Clinton warrants for the budget surplus. 'What is unclear is whether this great economic success will weigh very heavily in the judgment of future historians, who tend to evaluate presidents more on enduring programs than on the quality of their budgets; a new national health care system would have been just such a program.' (MillerCenter)

'...passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which cleared Congress in 1993, Clinton essentially endorsed Republican programs and benefited from Republican support. On others, like welfare reform, the Republican-controlled Congress accepted Clinton's lead in publicizing the issues, but dominated the writing of legislation creating the actual programs. In the summer of 1996, Congress passed a sweeping reform bill, fulfilling Clinton's 1992 campaign promise to "end welfare as we know it." The legislation replaced the long standing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a system of block grants to individual states. It also dropped the eligibility of legal immigrants for welfare assistance during the first five years of their residency. Clinton also won an increase in the minimum wage to $5.15 per hour.' (MillerCenter)

I look upon the 1996 welfare law to have been an awful setback to the poor and minority groups.

'Culturally, Clinton’s behavior validated the immorality he denounced, feeding a growing moral panic. Internationally, his admitted “failure” to neutralize the arch terrorist Osama bin Laden fed the perfect storm of blunders that failed to prevent the mass murders of September 11, 2001. And economically, just as the good times of the 1980s and 1990s were a bipartisan achievement, the crash of 2008 would be a bipartisan failure, rooted in Clinton’s populist easy credit push to democratize home ownership by lowering mortgage standards and his elitist deregulatory rush to let Wall Street police itself. Clinton’s potholed presidency fed and reflected the Nineties’ querulous mood.' (BrookingsInstitution)

The following three stand out in my mind, Keith.

___ 1996 welfare law,

___ failure of his health care plan

___Title II of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 provided incentive grants to build and expand correctional facilities to qualifying states that enforced mandatory sentencing of 85% of a person's sentence conviction.

***

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The economy under Clinton, especially that surplus, was lifted by the general good times of that decade, but I think he raised taxes on the wealthy during his admin, which GOPers never do.

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Meanwhile HRC was trying to do a national health care plan which was killed by “Thelma and Louise.”

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Bill Climton left a surplus in the budget which frightened Alan Greenspan who thought it would be a “problem.”

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You refer to the national debt still being ~$900 billion in 1969. I think you mean 1989, as Reagan was pres during the '80s.

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David Thanks once again for your proofreading. As my wife tells me, a writer should never proofread his own work—especially after just writing it. Having Macular Degeneration is also bothersome.

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That's exactly how I've see it all as well lin. Manufactured is a great word for what's been done overall, not just the advancement of Reagan and Trump. Strip away all the noise and sideshows, at the ugly core it's all about money, privilege, and power; power seeking to wield in defense of the first two, money and privilege.

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It's all myth and propaganda. Our policies have cleaved to "Reaganomics" for over 40 years now and all it has done is made the rich very much richer and more powerful and the middle class smaller, less secure, and less content; yet nearly half the country votes for it again and again. I observed little erosion of the "nice guy" reputation of Reagan, even among a fair number of liberals ("last decent Republican president", etc.) even after publication of his extreme racism (hidden "to protect his privacy" until years after his death):

"The two were discussing the Tanzanian delegation’s reaction to the vote, after delegates danced in the chamber.

'To watch that thing on television, as I did, to see those, those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!" Reagan tells Nixon, who erupts in laughter." - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/31/ronald-reagan-racist-recordings-nixon

Nice guy.

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Remember that ''Trickle down economics'' thing?? Look what that got us, absolutely nothing!!! And the firing of the air traffic controllers? Reagan was good alright, good for nothing!!!! He was good for the wealthy, and that's all he was good for..

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

He was a complete puppet of the 'movement conservatives' and too stupid to know it. He was even deemed too "intellectually incurious" and uninformed by his own Republican "handlers" whom the RNC hired to shepherd him throughout his campaigns and Presidency.

In these times of TV sound bites, Reagan beat the very well-informed Carter by memorizing one-liners from cue cards (a skill leftover from his third rate "acting" days (daze)) that he hadn't even written himself. Reagan helped usher in--together with the American abundance of low-information voters--the age of electing ignorant Presidents who have very politically savvy puppet masters with destructive agendas.

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"Eh well, there you go again" , was a tipping point in American politics. Reagans blatant irreverence directed squarely at President Carter was the death knell I knew spelled doom for him. The power of words aimed at a television addicted America, directed at a good man, was all it took. Reagans corrupt tribe had already negotiated with the Iranians to hold the hostages in trade for weapons, so as to present their puppet as a masterful negotiator. Don't forget his wonderful School of the Americas project. The horror that keeps on giving us the refugees ffrom the south. And, Clarence "Clearinghouse" Thomas has certainly done his parts well to enable this ongoing tragedy to consume our daily peace of mind. Who is next in this barrel of ducks we are swimming in? You, me, your kids, your spouse or partner? Our paper ballots won't deflect this murderous monsters. Our collective hope goes up in smoke more with every passing round from their slaughter machines.

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Neither Reagan nor Trump would have gotten elected were it not for the fact that they were entertainment industry celebrities. Reagan won the California governorship on his record of being a Hollywood star and the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Trump was a media star even before "The Apprentice."

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It is remarkable how many of T***p's ardent supporters ACTUALLY think "The Apprentice" was based on reality. They genuinely fell for an image concocted by writers of this ruthless, wheeling-and-dealing CEO who was worth billions. They fell for a completely false image of what they considered the epitome of "the American dream", someone who managed to be an astute business man/executive (HA!) that parlayed money he inherited into this hugely successful real estate "corporation". NOTHING could be further from the truth. Problem was, even T***p himself started to believe he was this persona created by script-writers. Being the compulsive narcissist that he is, this combination of manufactured image with his own puffed up ego was like lighting a match around gasoline, and that was what created the Big Man-Baby we've had to deal with ever since. T***p never was able to separate himself from the image of him created for "The Apprentice". What other famous dictators of the 20th century can we call to mind who actually started believing the manufactured hype about themselves??

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Honestly! All you have to do is cast an eye on all the "reality" tv shows - kardashians? Seriously? And how many seasons of "survivor", bachelor, bachelorette(?) & all the other fascinating crap that is manufactured for the current mindsets? Entertainment? really>? Exactly what is "learned" from it? Kids think they can be "influencers" & make millions - and we wonder why they have so little ambition? Yeah, Reagan & Trump - stars! As djt said - if your a star, you can do anything, right?

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Exactly the comment I had in mind when I wrote my post!

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I surmised that. How is it you don’t have a thousand likes?

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Exactly, and he seems to have been mostly non compos mentis at least toward the end of his administration. And while low-information voters were (and are) definitely a factor, consider that many of them have all the information they want about the GOP agenda: they want to keep people of color and women in their places, and let you have all the guns you want.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Reagan was the first stuffed shirt GOP president, succeeded by Dubya and Trump. They were all intellectually incurious dolts ripe for being used and manipulated. Reagan was in the throes of Alzheimers for his second term, Dubya was talked into going to war, and Trump was convinced he is the Chosen One meant to "save America" from democracy and freedom.

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follow the cabinet member activities. And money. (or is that redundant?)

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Sure, but it's Congress that refuses to deal with the gun issue except to accept money and influence from the gun lobby.

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Reagan had Alzheimer’s and a lot of dumb luck and good press. I would not be surprised to find out there were plane crashes and lots of close calls. He even survived the shooting like a storybook hero. Fancy state dinners constantly while he criticized government employees and tried to cut out their jobs. He took the whole month of August off. Another republicant who blew up the budget deficit (tripled it) and got away with it.

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California endured 2 terms of his being Governor as well aa president.

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He was a simpleton and a simple puppet. He took the face of far right dark money from southern Calif. while I was teaching middle school in Calif.

He was called Governor, but he was simply “the governed” . Totally controlled by the very scary and very deep dark slimy money gorged far right. He was and he died as a simpleton.

The “Iran- Contra” treason he was covering for should have put him in prison... Instead Alzheimer’s did!

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I really appreciate the history of the NRA. It is something that people here in Germany are asking me about while I am here. They do not at all understand our gun culture. They also have no idea how extensive it really is, because if you do not live it you cannot understand it. It was Reagan that turned us into a third-world-like country, with a small wealthy contributing little to nothing to our upkeep and a shrinking middle class supporting it all, with an increasing impoverished part of the population. My mother has long claimed that when she came to this country what struck her most is that the racism prevents the country from taking care of anyone well. That the politicians and population are so eager to keep Blacks from having any supports that they just don't have social supports. When the USA is compared to other wealthy countries such as Canada and in Europe and Asia, we do not have the health care systems, or the child supports of these other nations. Ronald Reagan solidified this direction in our government that Biden is now trying to undo.

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A great many Americans suffered in the "Gilded Age". The rich were compared to old European feudal lords and political corruption was rife. Americans spent many decades building alternatives that built a more lawful and egalitarian society which at least partially corrected many abuses by expanding minority rights, women's right, workers rights, environmental protection, etc., reduced poverty and expanded the middle class. Somehow, fueled by plutocratic dollars, Reagan managed to convince most Americans that "government of the people, by the people, for the people" had been a pathetic joke all along and that newly re-empowered neo-feudalists were the natural leaders who would save the country.

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Was that the Welfare Queen campaign? It is interesting that Reagan's slogan was Let's Make American Great Again. Here is a list of campaign slogans from 1948 on.

https://www.businessinsider.com/every-winning-slogan-from-us-presidential-campaigns-1948-2016-2019-5#2016-donald-trump-make-america-great-again-18

So, Donald Trump was not the original MAGA, but they have a lot of similarities. The American collective memory is too short, or they would have seen that Reagan destroyed our infrastructure. He certainly led the planet to global environmental destruction.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Linda, the origin of "Make America Great Again" is the KKK in the 1920's.

THAT is why Reagan used the Slogan. That is why Trump used the Slogan. They both knew its origin and what it would mean to white America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_(policy)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/donald-trump-kkk/473190/

https://www.voanews.com/a/is-make-america-great-racist/4009714.html

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Stop and ask yourselves-what is “whiteness”? Why does the color of a human being’s skin matter-especially in America?

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That is interesting. Thanks for sharing where it is attributed from. It makes total sense that these two would embrace it.

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Right Mike.. thx for expounding all that for the record. Bravo !

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I remember Reagan's "it's your money, you should have it"... but I cannot find that now. Trickle down economics, Reaganomics is still alive. The appeal is to greed. Then came the Bush's with their thousand points of light and compassionate conservatism... and growing inequality.

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Strange how much of the nation's assets have been hoovered into the pockets of the few since the inception of "Reaganomics".

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from Wikipedia:

"In the appendix to the novel, "The Principles of Newspeak", Orwell explains that Newspeak follows most rules of English grammar, yet is a language characterised by a continually diminishing vocabulary; complete thoughts are reduced to simple terms of simplistic meaning."

To what degree might our current culture approximate "Newspeak" with sound bites, talking points, and sales slogans? Compare the depth of thinking in the Lincoln-Douglas debates versus the game-show-like, made-for-TV affairs that now pass for presidential candidacy debates. Who has the most memorable slogan? Who landed the best "zingers"? Are we seriously conducting job interviews for possibly the most impactful job on the planet; for which wise, foolish or malicious decisions can be matters of life or death?

"The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones;"

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I agree with you, and you get extra credit for referencing Orwell AND quoting Shakespeare.

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JL, Brief Succinct and as always rich in meaning. Well said, as always.

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Thank you, Linda Weide! Having seen the French medical system from tiny French towns to Paris, I am sad to report that ours is nearly useless for most people. Even Medicare, now in the hands of the for-profit “medical industry,” is almost useless for those it was founded to serve.

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In his book, American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How The Republican Party Went Crazy, David Corn devotes four chapters to Reagan. In addition to all the accurate comments in today’ forum, there is much in this book about his “dance” with the Evangelicals.

This book helped me understand what we’re experiencing now and why.

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I am reading the book right now. The more I read, the angrier I get, but at least now I'm getting a clearer image of what happened that has led us to where we now are.

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Thanks for the recommendation.

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When Reagan was re-elected in 1984, I flew my flag at half mast to indicate my grief.

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When TFG was elected, I flew my flag upside down! We are a nation in distress, and unless we stop believing liars, racists, narcissists and cheats, empty promises and inaction are likely to keep us in an ever-accelerating death spiral.

I actually hope we can recover, and right this, before the USA's democracy is nothing but an historic footnote.

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The evening that TFG was elected a number of my neighbors set off fireworks. I have often wondered what the US (and for that matter, the world) would be like today in more of the threads of social and economic justice had been retained their momentum. It's not that all of it dissipated; we had a black president for two terms, almost, but for the EC, a female president, and there are openly gay and trans elected officials, which I don't think was possible even in the '70s, but corruption and prejudice have been on a roll. Nixon, for all of his abuses, at least embraced environmental protection, as did Carter. Reagan passionately opposed it, as has the "GOP" since. What if Lincoln had not been shot? We will never know, but there is still time to choose universal rights and empowerment over authoritarianism.

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When Reagan was first elected I went to bed for 2 weeks. I spent my time reading and thinking and did not attend classes. My roommates would come talk to me about things, but I was in shock! The first decision I made was to renew my German passport, something I had let lapse since I was no longer living at home. I have kept it current ever since and my husband and I made sure our daughter has one and keeps it current. She has just gotten her first adult one. I had only known one person who said they were going to vote for him, which was a bartender in the restaurant where I worked. She told me that she was going to vote for him because she had worked at a bar where he had once given her a good tip. I thought the woman was just not bright. She was much, much older than me and I remember thinking what sort of idiot would vote someone into presidency based on them being an actor. What job qualifications did that give them. I have not changed my opinion, although Reagan turned out even worse than I could imagine. When he was reelected and he asked whether we were better off than we had been 4 years earlier, I was better off, but not because of him, in fact, I had some small debt coming out of college because my mom being German did not understand American college debt, and thought, this is what is normal here so it must be fine. I was 18 taking it on and had never had debt or bills, and my dad was from the school of hard knocks, pull yourself up by the bootstraps. But, the outer trappings of my life looked better because I was done with school, and had a college degree and could get a better paying job than the ones I had had in college. I understood that it was all circumstantial, and that those who had graduated before Reagan come on board had gotten grants not loans to pay for college and therefore could amass wealth in ways I could not. Actually, my German grandmother, who was shocked at the cost of US university, paid off my debts, so I was fortunate. We have a nephew living with us who has 6 figure debts from his undergraduate degree and even though he is doing his PhD in a sustainable aviation engineering, he is going to come out of that with huge debts, which my husband is looking into what is the best formula for him paying back.

https://www.denverpost.com/2021/06/15/how-to-pay-off-student-loans-university-colorado/

My daughter is going to go to University in Germany, which is tuition free. There are fees each semester, which get you a full public transportation pass, and other benefits, but they are around 150 to 300€. https://youtu.be/2Uc-ga6pYx4

When Biden ran, I said told my daughter who had just started high school that I was not staying in the USA if Trump was reelected, so my shy daughter got Slack training and worked the phones. She really encountered a lot of horrid people on the phones. Too bad! Glad there was a victory. People here in Germany know that who wins here will affect them too, so the ones I know do not want to see Trump return. Everyone asks me how he could have been elected. They understand our gerrymandering but not the electoral college. How could someone who is not the popular candidate end up president. That is the crux of the matter. It is always hard to wrap one's head around.

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Totally disgusting! Another Republican who, like Trump, capitalized on his “celebrity.”

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I think too many voters are obsessed with celebrity political candidates. No matter how unqualified it seems they always get elected and re-elected.

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In my profession, that of psychotherapist, there's something called transference. This is when an adult unconsciously "transfers" their wishes, fantasies, expectations, desires, etc. that they had toward their parents/caretakers, on to people in leadership. They may idealize leaders, and not see them at all realistically, hoping that someone will finally take care of them, in the way they had wanted as children. It's a sign of maturity when an adult can finally acknowledge and accept that their parents are/were flawed human beings, probably doing the best they could, which often wasn't all that good. In that way the person can reduce the impact of the past on their present lives. It's those who haven't done this journey who are gullible to religions and charismatic leaders, "tough" bosses, and politicians who promise to take care of them.

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Thank you for this. So true. Some people just get stuck this way, never coming to realization. Politicians appeal to it. This also explains a lot about why/how authoritarianism rises and the failures in this democracy, this democratic experiment. People want to be taken care of ( maybe as they were not). This is the other side of the coin of our individualist- bootstrap tradition/myth whereby people don't want government intrusion into their lives, except when they need it themselves. It's quite contradictory and a selfish, non- communitarian belief system.

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Yes Alice Miller wrote about how this allows for the rise of authoritarians in a book entitled For Their Own Good. In Germany, pre WWII, the childrearing guru of the day advocated for tough practices in raising kids, to "break their will" and make them docile and compliant. She suggested that this made for a whole nation of adults who were susceptible to someone like Hitler. The same can be seen in Japan, and in Evangelicals in the US.

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I notice a big difference between parents, and people in general, who prioritize obedience over empirical evidence. I have seen that play out many times in jaw-dropping ways, the hierarchy put forward a way more important than empirical circumstance and/or outcomes. I'm not saying that there are not circumstances for which a chain of command is necessary; there are many, and being a responsible parent is one of them; but it's complicated.

I am aware of parents who induce premeditated PTSD in their kids to control their behavior, with all sorts of negative results. I have read that a very high percentage of those in jails were abused as a child. I recall reading about a local man who along with "his pastor" beat his one-year old son to death for allegedly refusing to "touch his toes". That was in the local paper. I know of many more people who report terrifying treatment. A friend was repeatedly locked out of her own house by her mother when she was very young. That's not "tough love" or love in any meaningful sense. We are fools spend so little time looking closely at abuses of power in our society and in our relationships. That, to me, is our species' most dangerous and tragic enemy. Abuses of power and sidetracked empathy could kill us all.

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MYou describe the childhoods of many of my psychotherapy clients. Abusive parents keep therapists in business. Anyone can be a parent. Not every parent is a good enough one. As you said, we pretty much know what is best for children, but we tolerate many parents doing the worst. Our society pays a steep price for that since so many people enter adulthood psychologically traumatized. And as you said, the more extreme early trauma, the greater the chance that empathy is squelched. People without empathy are a danger to our society.

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Yes!! And because it’s a limbic bond, it’s very difficult to overcome rationally.

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There's also the issue of loyalty to the parents. It can feel disloyal to finally allow oneself to see them closer to who they are/were, rather than the image they had of them. People feel guilty for letting the "scales fall from their eyes" so they hold on to the distorted view, not only out of loyalty but out of the wish that somehow it can still be different - if only.

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Zelensky I think, is the exception.

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There are true geniuses such as Shakespeare or Newton who are really ahead of the pack (though they are not necessarily right about everything nor nice people (Newton wasn't) and their are also people who are extraordinarily magnanimous, and empowering to others (such a MLK) and none that embody every virtue, and yet are deservedly socially admired. Then there are those who are famous for being famous, more a matter of slight of hand and "snake oil" sales than accomplishment and/or virtue. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,"

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"As Seem on > TV<!"

Note how the opinions of entertainers, or otherwise famous people, are often "front page" news, irrespective of how far removed those opinion may be from their areas of expertise.

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“Myth and propaganda” and the “acting”. I swear! A co-worker voted for GW over Kerry because of his “swagger” (her word was personality). It’s not just “authoritarian” parenting. There is also a bond with inauthenticity. People don’t want to know the truth. God forbid we should know the truth of Vietnam, no but let’s keep that smirking, swaggering, lying, death sentencer of our young, in office for 4 more years! 😡 GW was just as much an actor as Reagan and tffg. Have we figured out yet, why people don’t want to know the truth??

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JL Graham, it was 1998 before I saw on TV what should have been shown to the country before the election: Reagan’s goons beating Cesar Chavez’s workers in the fields. I never would have voted for Reagan (saw what Republicans after Eisenhower were doing), but was horrified that what I was seeing in 1998 hadn’t been seen during the campaign.

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Well said JL. Even now in this space who are believers in hard data without context. Having got to somewhat know you here, I can only imagine how much such things rankle you, as they do myself. I've long thought Carter for instance, was a great president and an even greater man; more so by his actions in life. If he had a failing, it was the people who surrounded him, including the party; he did not have the best advisors money could buy. Clinton ? He was a "third way" dem in name only. He benefited mostly by his infidelity to more than just his spouse. He carried water for the gop and their moneyed backers, betraying the masses who originally supported him; reverberations from that betrayal echo still and was fully portrayed when organized labor chiefs opposed tfg, yet the dues paying members supported tfg.

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"Context" has sort of been a lifelong obsession with me. It appears to me that it is essential to practical understanding, and we shortchange it a lot. It seems to me that understanding circumstances and choices in sufficient context are pillars of wisdom, as well as being a great boon to harmonious human relations.

Clinton was cetainly mixed bag, but in the end I don't like him. On the one hand, he chose Ruth Bader Ginsberg. and on the other he was too self-serving to desrve the public's trust. Democrats like to say he was impeached for nothing; for having an affair, but I think his staring into the cameras and hard-core lying about it, including slandering his accuser lubricated the path for "GOP" administrations of big lies, such as GWB and TFG. Nixon looks minor league by comparison.

American workers owe the union movement a great deal, but it seemed to me that in my lifetime unions have tended to be self absorbed and failed to forge alliances with the non-union public, leaving a easy target for plutocrats to divide and conquer. The UFW in the '70s was an example of extending solidarity beyond the union hall. The extended reign of plutocratic "Republicans" has screwed workers left and right, for example the generous pension non-union (yet union sympathetic) dad enjoyed is all but extinct, to say nothing of current offshoring and perma-gig employment schemes.

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"... a lifelong obsession with me" I as well JL. Hard data, and even factoids are nothing without context - untouched 'color by numbers' worksheets, outlines with much work to be done to see completely. To my mind, RBG appointment is indeed on the plus side of his balance sheet. You don't mention it, but I feel NAFTA and other ill considered trade agreements subsequently as they were done were dreadful and harmed unions far worse than they harmed themselves. At the end of a day, unions have the same achilles' heel as democracies in general; they require participation and oversight. The trade agreements affect was the hollowing out of our heartland, despite being well warned. That sentence is a vast understatement, for brevity's sake. Besides your noted truths, his lies also took down his wife, who may have even been a better president than he, quick study and policy wonk that she was.

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Yes, Reagan was very destructive to America, i don't understand why they worshiped him either, and that goes for Donald TUMP too. There are too many gullible and ignorant people here in the United States that believe every lie that both of them has told. TUMP once said, '' i admire the uneducated'' they believe anything i tell them.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

I think there is a similarity in all Republican presidents since Nixon. They were usually impaired in some way, i.e, Reagan was 'forgetful' as in early Alzheimers, Nixon a pathological liar, and Trump just plain pathological. Bush II was prone to excessive drinking and use of drugs in early days, and Papa Bush may not have been so symptomatic but he was at the mercy of oily-garchs and not so clever, either.

What I am saying is their candidates seemed to be chosen for colorful personalities but they were not too bright. Nor were they good managers. In short, they were mediocre men at best, while ideologues managed from behind. It was/is the ideologues who played the presidents and still do.

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I think they were chosen because they could then be managed as puppets by the behind the scenes who were running the government for their own agendas. I to can’t believe so many voters fall for this, despite their policies really only benefiting the very few and wealthy. Honestly I don’t know how we come back from this cesspool.

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Puppets. Yes--exactly. And tragically.

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Giulliana, neither do I.

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Hi, Giuliana, so good to see you in this venue! Since we don't see each other in our yoga retreats to have these discussions! Sandy

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Hope, you're right pn about impaired Republican presidents, and exactly right that Republican puppetmasters don't WANT strong presidents. And they've convinced MAGA sheep that they don't want strong presidents either.

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I've often thought that as well. They pick one mediocre man after another, who of course could be "managed", and the Dems seem to pick pretty smart cookies that often presents a stark choice between smart, well-educated men and men without substance. Wouldn't those who elect them want a well-trained surgeon to operate on them instead of the hack down the street with nothing but a smooth sales pitch? Why the heck would they vote for someone for president, arguably the most powerful and important position on the planet who can't think well? As a psychotherapist when I was working, I've seen this phenomenon played out in the therapy hour again and again. It's called transference, which makes people see only what they want to see, and not what's actually there.

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<em>Wouldn't those who elect them want a well-trained surgeon to operate on them instead of the hack down the street with nothing but a smooth sales pitch?</em>

The number of smooth sales pitches I hear for Lasik surgeons on the radio would suggest otherwise.

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Good point. But I suggest that those of us who can think, would do our due diligence in picking a surgeon, don't you think?

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And why is being President an “entry level” job? There is no private company that would take someone completely without experience in their industry and make him (I intentionally say him) the head of the company and yet that’s exactly what was done with Trump and George W. I think the explanation is exactly what many of the comments here have said- they are just figureheads being manipulated behind the scenes.

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This country, for whatever reason, has a very noticeable strain of anti-intellectualism that has insinuated itself into the mindsets of many people. I loved my Dad, but he had a huge dislike & distrust of professionals such as doctors, bankers, accountants and the like. He greatly distrusted the influence of education and was dead set against any of us kids going to college.

I have no idea where this distrust/dislike originated other than possibly he was a bit dyslexic and definitely didn't enjoy school except for athletics...but I don't think he was/is alone in this quirk...and it seems to have spread.

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Oli-garchs. Thank you 😏😵‍💫🙄

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Reagan was a better actor than Trump, but he was still an actor. He had a good voice (he first trained in radio.) I still remember my mother and her sister, appalled that I was voting for Jimmy Carter again in 1980 (neither my mother nor my aunt became US citizens, thank goodness) I explained that Jimmy Carter was a politician, a proven man who understood the legislative process. My mother and aunt's response 'But Reagan is such a gentleman and so handsome' That's what got him elected, facial recognition and a good voice. Poor Jimmy had a Southern twang.

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Reagan was an actor, but certainly not a good one. He played stereotypical good guy roles with little substance. “Bedtime for Bonzo” comes to mind. When a reporter asked Paul Newman what he thought about an actor being elected president, Newman replied, “Who said he could act?”

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I agree Candace,. Reagan was a b-actor at best. I love Paul Newman's response. I was comparing b-rate Reagan to ham actor Trump who at best would be an f-actor. I really like Gregory Peck's reported response to a request he run for President, 'What am I supposed to do? Act my way into the White House?' Good politicians come from the legal ranks, historical leaders, a rare few business men, a handful of medical practitioners. But not actors. George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump are examples of why not.

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Reagan was the original pick to play Rick in "Casablanca". Can you believe it?!?

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That just made me throw up in my mouth

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People view elections as popularity contests. They don’t investigate the political issues and the pros and cons, they still have the mentality of high school and voting for “prom queen “!

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Agreed, but isn't that sad? Here we are, the Great Experiment, the one Country trying to build a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; but all we vote for is who sounds good and has the best looking face. Not a care in the world for what is best for the Nation, what's best for the people. We settle for daddy who will remove all those "bad guys who are bugging us. But a man who is really accomplishing something good, we won't support because he's old and occasionally stutters. We don't deserve Biden.

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Speaking of education, the Republican Governors, for example DeSantis and Abbott, etc. etc. are promoting the further Dumbing Down of our children by promoting banning of books, restricting use of "unacceptable" text books in our schools. I read where DeSantis is requiring only text books from a publisher from the Great State of Texas that follows DeSantis's political beliefs. No wonder teachers left Florida and the state of Florida had to recruit the National Guard to take teaching positions. Does anyone know or remember? All the book banners need to read the book about the firemen who's sole job was to burn all books so there were no books left. Go for it, book banners. Dumb down your children so the only source of information is someone like Tucker Carlson whose only sole purpose is to promote propaganda, misinformation and division. Fox TV should have straightened up their act a long time ago, but Fox TV was out for money, not the news .

So keep banning books Republicans. Promote ignorance, promote illiteracy, promote government regulations to discourage education. I don't even want to attend any school board meetings in Lebanon, Oregon because of the Republican parents who scream and yell at the meetings. If I did I might land in jail for backing the school board. Oh well, I guess I would get free room and board until I could bail myself out. These days going to a simple school board meeting is a hazard to ones health. One might get attacked in the parking lot by maniacal Republican parents who are protesting certain books, curriculum, or whatever. In the little town of Lebanon, there have been several canceled school board meetings due to inappropriate behavior by parents.

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Diana, your description of the school board situation there is heartbreaking. I have a friend in California who's made it pretty much her full-time job to defeat a school board takeover by fanatics. She and her allies are succeeding but it's frightening what kind of time and energy it takes to repel these attacks. I wish you all the luck.

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It's almost impossible to re-educate overgrown children without causing trauma. I don't wish anyone harm, but they are such a nuisance. All I can think of is to put them all together in one place where they can't cause trouble for less destructive people and let them enjoy attacking each other, because surpressing others is all they seem to be capable of doing.

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Be careful because nowadays many (I think most) people in prison are paying for their room and board. They leave with a record and in debt. It’s true in my state of WI. I don’t know about Oregon.

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To Mary Ellen Spicuzza: you warning is well done. In some states you have to pay off your jail debt before you can vote. Of course in some states, you can never vote again

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Yes, I have heard that, and that is distressing! In WI, if you have a felony you need to be completely done with supervision before you can vote again and supervision in WI is often years long. I personally think every single voting age person should be voting--even from prison. I think the right to vote is sacred and should rarely (almost never) be limited. I realize some crimes are especially heinous. I understand the wish to punish but even so, I think the extent to which voting is limited for those who commit crimes is over the top. Seems our culture automatically moves to solve every problem with a gun or a fist.

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Oregon has a law on the books that allows for the prison to collect an inmate's "income" (from disability/medicare/allotments) for things like medical treatments, but I don't know if it is exactly a "pay to stay" state.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Here's some info re what the TX legislature's up to beyond killing education (literally planning to invalidate the election results of Houston, the largest county in the state:): https://hartmannreport.com/p/is-texas-going-to-invalidate-an-entire

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Dianna, this is true across Oregon, Michele here is from the area around Newberg; I am from Eugene. Newberg has had some major issues, but it looks like they may be righting their ship. Our school board election here in Eugene is shaping up to be very interesting.

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But if we don’t go and fight the far-right crazies, then they win and get on school boards so they can control what all of tomorrow’s youth learn across the country. That is literally their goal and they have been successful at a shocking rate! For all of the states controlling book bans and what it taught, they are raising future Republicans out of all of their citizens b/c that is the only thing their people will know. It’s another form of gerrymandering to make sure Republicans win the Electoral Vote regardless of who wins the popular vote b/c it’s worked twice already for them!

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Diana, you said "All the book banners need to read the book about the firemen who's sole job was to burn all books so there were no books left." I believe you are referencing the Ray Bradbury 1953 classic novel "Fahrenheit 451" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451

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Cheri, those are Goebbels’ very words. He was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. The Tucker Carlson of the third Reich.

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Nice rant! I Like It!!

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Trump also said if you lie about something over and over, the people will believe you.

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That line original came from Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief propagandist.

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I have watched the many documentaries about Hitler and his rise to ultimate power. That line worked for him very well, and look what happened, the whole thing ended up destroying the Nazi's in World War ll. with millions of unnecessary deaths and destruction... I just hope that doesn't happen here.

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All is can say about that is, that little trick will NEVER ever make me believe his sorry low down ass. But i know it does work for his deluded, mentally deficient, low IQ voters like the ones that live around me. These neighbors that live next to me are infected with STUPID and IGNORANCE. I have spoken to them in 3 years now, i cannot tolerate people that vote for the fascist/NAZI GQP. These are the kind of persons that worship Adolf Hitler too.

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Me either. I feel the same way and just don’t understand how people can still support him.

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Same here, all of my immediate family are pro democrats. But my other relatives are TUMP lovers and i don't have much to do with them anymore. The last time i spoke with my nephew i asked him why he likes TUMP so much, he flew into a rage and started yelling at me and i just turned and walked away and haven't spoken to him in almost 2 years now, me and him use to be close, but that is long gone now. I have NO tolerance for people like him and anyone else that supports Rethuglicans or Donald J TUMP. I have no answer to the question of why people like that cretin so much, it is a ongoing mystery to me. I outright hate and despise TUMP and Rethuglicans.

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There are his followers who say “but I have a college degree”. To them I say “that doesn’t make you educated “.

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Brenda is right - Reagan was destructive. I was in Berkeley, CA in the 1960s. Ronald Reagan was elected Governor in 1966. I will never forget his shutting down all the libraries in the University of California system and I believe firing the CAL Chanselor. He cut off funds for research. He was quoted [Life Magazine, I think] as saying if you seen one tree, you've seen them all! My husband was in grad school (Chemical Engineering) and the funds were cut off by Reagan so we had to take out a loan to buy the equipment to finish experiments for his Ph. D. We ate beans for months. There were many protests against the Viet Nam War on Telegraph Avenue next to the campus. Ronald Reagan called in the National Guard. The first I knew of this was seeing solders at the supermarket. But worst was Reagan's ordering dumping tear gas on wheel chaired students at Sproul Hall and dumping tear gas on children on a tour of the Botanical Gardens on the east side of the campus. He ruined the lives of countless thousands.

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I was living in San Jose at that time Linda. And I remember everything you speak of. Reagan’s tree quote was referencing the magnificent giant redwoods in Northern California. “If you’ve seen one redwood you’ve seen them all”. Meaning loggers have at it. What a despicable person. What really sticks in my memory was him shutting down mental health facilities. Agnew State Mental Hospital as well as community mental health clinics. It was the start of the homeless crisis in the Bay Area, at least was my observation.

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I’m a Californian, too. I remember college tuition rocketing and taking out NDEA loans. Making tomato soup out of ketchup in the cafeteria using that newfangled microwave. The worst though for the total population was shutting down mental health facilities. We now, decades later, still have limited resources and services or none, for people who need psychiatric or mental health treatment. Often people who need these resources and services are stuck in jails or prisons. During the Pandemic, in Sacramento the jail doors were opened and many inmates were released. To where and what? Still a crisis in care and rehabilitation. That is Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

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Very sad. I KNOW the shutdown of most of the in-patient mental health institutions in this country directly led to our homeless problem!

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😭😘

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I was in San Jose at that time, too. I remember homeless people (mentally ill as well) sleeping in cardboard boxes, under bridges, and worse. Reagan's smile covered over a cold, cold heart.

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I was working as an OT in SF. People who had tooth extractions could not get replacement teeth; amputees could not get prosthetics so could not go home. One patient got Willy Brown involved so she could get her prosthesis. Mental health that had lots of community supports in place was shut down so patients discharged from state facilities had no support system. It was a terrible time & now forgotten. Keep up with speaking up & out so no one forgets & everyone is aware .

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Hi Karen, I just wrote the same thing at nearly the same time. "Great minds think alike!"

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They certainly do Hope❤️

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Like Irenie, I too, live in the Bay Area and have witnessed the destruction of people and cities due to Reagan’s cruelty. Those mental health facilities were a lifeline for many people. They gave families respite so that their loved ones could be taken caee of. Napa State Hospital was one that stuck with me. But what really angered me was when he pulled welfare our from under the rug from so many people who needed it! He used that “These people are just lazy. Why look at the Cadillacs they drive.” speech to rile things up. I couldn’t stand him and when Repubs call him the greatest orator I want to bang their heads against the wall.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

May I add that he closed psychiatric hospitals which began the difficulties of homelessness.(Along with impossible rents.) His wife, Nancy coined "Just say no" as a panacea for drug treatment. That, too has ramifications today. America desperately needs well funded hospitals and respite care centers for mental illness and substance addictions.

Ah, don't get me started about his micro-wars in Central America and the Caribbean. He found communists under every palm tree. Many of the problems relatated to immigration began in that era, when governments were destabilized and never recovered.

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I traveled from Oregon to Costa Rica by highway in 1964. The poverty and oppression was very apparent. Yup, Reagan really did dastardly things to Central America by supporting dictatorships over democracy. Reagan saw Commies everywhere but actually Reagan was supporting the American corporate farming interests in Central America ( the banana plantations).

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It's always about the money.

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Indeed! He was another fan of joseph McCarthy and his band of haters.

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Two of my children were going to have college paid for by the Social Security my husband paid into before he died. Reagan stopped that program. I couldn't afford to pay for college for them and no opportunity to plan when he cut the program without warning.

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How despicable…

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Reagan also started the practice of taxing social security received by elders and he helped to decimate unions through his air traffic controllers debacle.

I remember when Obama was running for President and he made the statement that Reagan was one of the most “consequential” presidents.

Most people interpreted this as Obama praising Reagan but he was really pointing to the cumulative impact of his actions.

He announced his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Why? He most certainly set us up for what we have been experiencing over the last few decades.

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Philadelphia, MS was deliberate choice. He also used several phrases that were dog whistles for "state's rights" and racist tropes. No...Ronnie was not a genial or nice man at all.

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Thank you Linda for sharing this experience. Should be shared everywhere.

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I, too, was there from 1961-1967. And you are right on. First he ruined California - then went on to ruin all of America. My dad taught forestry at UC Berkeley. And that is exactly what happened.

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Yet he was elected president. Reading what you wrote here gave me chills. I was only seven in 1966. Apparently, Republicans have always been anti-people. I live on the East Coast in a blue state, for which I'm thankful.

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The quote was, “If you’ve seen one redwood you’ve seen them all,” and yes, he really said it.

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Entitled monster.

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He used his acting ability to hoodwink the dull-witted and he succeeded.

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He was one of the world's finest examples of Dunning-Kruger. He didn't need to act. He believed in what he thought he knew, and in who he thought he was. I believe this is what made him seem authentic, and that sense of authenticity (including a "gracious humility" ha) is why the title "The Great Communicator" - probably made up by a pricey PR firm - was able to stick. I'm so tired of fighting the Oiligarchy. But I'm not giving up.

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I am not giving up either. Tricked down theory? I didn't believe it the first time I heard that theory. Oh sure, I thought, just another way to destroy the middle class and make the poor, poorer.

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I think that title was made up by Dick Wirthlin, who was one of Reagan's speechwriters and Wynton Hall. Wirthlin was a true believer--a fanboy, if you will. Wirthlin and Hall went on to co-write a book full of hagiography about Reagan that would make even an egomaniac blush. Not satisfied with christening Reagan "The Great Communicator", the book was called "The Greatest Communicator". Gag.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

Did the press let us down? Is it not the news organizations that should have informed the public? I do not recall any criticism of Reagan policies during his run for office. The past five or so years have been revelations as to Reagan's harm to our country.

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And the press helped elect Trump by mindlessly giving him all that free coverage. They were -- and still are -- addicted to him.

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The public was informed by the press - but drowned out by massive media buys run by the Oiligarchy and other billionaires who had honed their messaging in California. This was the heyday of cable TB expansion, the wild west, free of the FCC.

The GOP had already primed the public with massive but PR style campaigns instilling fear of communism (from the border); fear of crime creeping reaching out to the suburbs ie from the black areas to the white; fear of the drugs (being imported at that time by White dealers) which were also being tied to "inner city blacks"; fear of non-christians (plus manufactured outrage Roe v. Wade; so much fear. So much racism. Always sells papers and wins a lot of votes.

I do remember a lot of press about his disastrous policies in California, even though I was in Philly. What I remember most is the press trying to keep up with double speak he was trained in by his handlers. (Sound familiar?) Lies like "the Silent Majority" were called out. The famous "Government is the problem" line which was contradicted by his record of ballooning the California budget while at the same time cutting services (see comments re cost of college and closing of mental health facilities) and playing with the tax code, protecting property owners (white people) with Prop 13, thus decimating school funding....

Don't get me started. He was bought and paid for from day one.

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The press was controlled even in the '90's. Thousands of us in Orange County protested, held book tables at expositions, meetings, and all kinds of events, wrote letters...and got NO media coverage - just security people taking photos. One time I painted on a Grocho Marks mustache with black shoe polish , dressed up with a pillow for a fat belly and wore one of my husband's business suits, sun glasses and a cowboy hat and played the role of some polluting company's executive in front of their building, shouting back at protesters across the street. I knew how those execs talked because I worked in their offices. 70% of all business was oriented towards the military. Those companies only hired ignoramuses and ass kissers. Those company people were just there to make money: their values were based only on the dollar. (One man at my husband's company got too drunk at a company event and cornered me, thinking he could con me into a fling by impressing me with tales of running guns to Mexico with his yaught on weekends.) So I just parroted them when I pretended to be them at this protest.

But I ran to get in my car just as a photographer showed up because if they discovered who I was by chasing down my license plate number, they would find out where my husband worked and he would lose his job.

I also protested the Gulf war with thousands of people every Friday night after work for months at intersections of 16 lanes, waving signs and shouting slogans with them. The protests were announced to all the media in advance. There was no news coverage on tv or radio.

I was in about 10 groups just before I left the USA. Security people infiltrated, pretending to be interested in joining, just to get names and find out what we were doing. They were pretty obvious about it. No one i knew did anything illegal or got in any kind of trouble.

But I don't think we got any results either. So many good people tried to make a difference. After years of trying to reach the masses by normal means about limiting the number of children in their families, Dr. Helen Caldecott, finally ran through the streets naked, with hundreds of her followers, and did get a photograph in the L.A. Times, but with no explanation why. The news was very definitely censored.

Helen Caldicott https://g.co/kgs/fWPBB6

When I left, I was in grief for my country. I wore black to church. It was like I'd been to an endless funeral for eight years.

Somehow things changed. I don't know how Katie Porter got elected, but I'm so happy about her. She's a genius and she can't be bought. I wish we could clone her a million times.

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I, as a public servant working at a CA State Univ, saw how he negatively impacted the state as Governor…..I couldn’t believe folks actually voted him in as Prez…..but but but acknowledged that there were more who voted for him than not and accepted the election results no matter how much I disagreed & thought folks weren’t thinking clearly. I never considered it a rigged election….unlike what’s going on w/ some in the election processes today. IMHO Reagan left a toxic legacy that impacts us still. I do NOT understand the worship of him. At. All.

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He was a suave, glamorous movie star to voters who were shaped by hard times - WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, and the Korean War. My racist mother-in-law, born in 1906, told me she dreamed about sleeping with Ronald Reagan when she was in her '80's. (Gag!)

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Susan, speaking of movie stars, your comment brought up a memory of my treasured grandmother….she had, in her bathroom of all places, a small framed photo of Paul Newman. That gave her daughters and gaggle of grandkids a great chuckle and we would tease her about it. I have it somewhere….hmmmm…maybe I should find it and hang it in MY bathroom now!

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I have a photo of Paul Newman too - I keep it in my Bible. He was a saint.

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Amazing how much damage and destruction one person can unleash on a country. On a people. Power. Think history. Think fascists. Think TFG. Think Voting every repub out.

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Ronald Reagan was/is worshiped by many because he was an effective actor. Some say a "B film" actor. But I give him an A+ for effectively hoodwinking and conning Americans to believe that "cowboy myth" that Heather so often refers to. Reagan could look into the camera and convince. He came across as strong and kind. He came across as the father some wished they had. He was a western hero - a matinee idol for many. He may have been viewed as a second rate Hollywood film star - not a Cary Grant or William Holden. But he was really good at convincing millions of people that he should be trusted and that he was a "good guy" who knew best.

Of course, the audio clip that J L Graham linked to tells you all you really needed to know about him. Reagan was a racist monster. He was a perfect tool for the Oligarchs. He was further proof that there is a sucker born every day. But Reagan should also remind us that our candidates must have some sort of endearing, attractive...even magnetic personality that wins people over. Wins them over despite their "flaws" or past "mistakes".

This personality factor shouldn't determine who leads a state or the free world. Shouldn't we vote for the smartest or most experienced person? The person who could hit the ground running as an effective public servant? But that's who we still are. Too many of us are suckers. We are easily conned.

The perfect example is 2016. Hillary was probably the most qualified person in the nation to become President. Instead we installed a toad that appealed to the anger in the country. Her personality on stage didn't work well. His did.

Or how about 2000? We picked a guy who was generally considered to be a light weight puppet of the Oligarchs who was described as a guy you would want to have beer with vs someone with enormous experience and a vision of what was happening to the planet. Bush was your buddy who you could be comfortable with. Gore was super smart and said things people didn't want to hear.

Earth to Democrats who want to win. Pick a candidate that has a compelling personality. Want a really good example? Colin Allred who just announced for Senate. Go "Team Texas".

No policy chops, no amount of experience, no education, no endorsements....NOTHING matters if you don't get elected. And that takes charisma. An ability to connect and engender comfort and trust. Reagan damaged the nation badly. But the memory of him should also be a lesson. People vote based on two things: A single important issue and personality.

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He was a mean-spirited son of a bitch covering up his true nature with that Death Valley Days smile.

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The Nixon-Reagan connection: This was the start point of a widening crack in this country fired up by various hot button issues. Add Reagan's mantra about it's your money, you should have it, the anti income tax mantra which led to the trickle down trickery, the anti-socialist arguments about welfare queens, coming on the heels of the anti-communist "red scare" and Viet Nam War mongering. Nixon was a racist too. Anything to win- us against them even within the country.

For years Reagan had been worshipped by GOP candidates to appeal to the electorate so enthralled by Reagan's charisma. And trickle down is still favored by the GOP in our widened inequality as a remedy for social problems.. "a thousand points of light" added by GHW Bush and "compassionate conservatism" of the son GW Bush.

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Worst president in history, until Trump and with the arguable exception of Buchanan, because he did evil effectively.

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Is Charles Koch as bad or worse?

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Someone else do this one, please.

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Brenda, because many people judge a book by its cover, and Reagan appeared to be jovial, many thought that he was the kind grandfather. Those people didn't pay enough attention to recognize that he was dismantling the parts of our democracy that aided many ordinary citizens and benefitted only the wealthy - trickle down economics vs. welfare queens.

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Even his own children knew what he was.

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Yes, they did, Brenda. They had a ringside seat. He never managed to gaslight Ron, Jr.

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Think conspiracy; every time there is a mass shooting gun sales go up in the fear that there will be anti gun legislation. So then the Republican who are funded by the gun manufactures/NRA make sure there is no anti gun legislation. Does that mean that the Republicans are pro mass murder? After all it is good for business.

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Guns are the #1 killer of children between 5 - 18 years old in this country. Not accidents, not cancer, guns.

We have a well-regulated militia - the National Guard. We have lots of sports enthusiasts that own rifles and shotguns - have at it. Hunting is legal even in our National parks. I'm fine with that as long as folks eat whatever they harvest (which tends to leave out wolves and bears, guys. Don't argue with me on that. Might be dangerous as my Irish is up.)

I only was successful in bearing one child - seven years, two surgeries (to correct genetic anomalies) and I bore a daughter, now 30. She is a delivery driver for a living and delivers medicines all over the Upper Midwest.

What happens if she turns down the wrong driveway?

Let's all call bullsh*t on the NRA, GOP and gun manufacturers greed.

Let's regulate the guns. The militia is already well-armed.

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Most of our country (60-70% depending on the question) agrees with you. But we are in a stranglehold thanks to gerrymandering and the amount of money the NRA and gun companies donate to politicians.

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Do what we did if your State allows it. Pass a Voters Inishitive to your State Constitution implementing a non partisan Commission to do the redistricting after each census. We learned from Ohio, that you must make it clear no politician, past or present or party official can sit on the Commission. We did that in Michigan in 2018 and in the first election since the Commission drew the lines making each district as competitive as possible as charged, we flipped our old gerrymandered legislature Democratic for the first time in 40 years. After the first four months in session they have passed safe storage laws, red flag laws, total background checks, domestic violence abusers banned from ownership. They are working on banning assault weapons or at least raising the age limits and also requiring gun safety classes and waiting periods now too. Our Dem. Governor has signed everything that has come across her desk! It works!!!

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023

I am so proud of our state and what Governor Whitmer has been able to do. It took A LOT of hard work by hundreds of people to change the direction Michigan had been going for over 40 years. There are people in Michigan who hate our governor. The haters are going to hate, but she and her team (Nessel, Benson, Gilchrist, etc. ) are working every day to make our state a safer and better one to live in!

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Your neighbor here from NW Ohio. We get a lot of MI news. I get envious following MI politics. I can’t help it. Look who we have in OH, Gym Jordan, idiot J.D. Vance (loved Tim Ryan, if you ever get a chance listen to his concession speech on YouTube). And then there’s Jerry Mandered DeWine. Ugh.

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I always feel sad about what has happened in Ohio! I hope you and others can turn your state around!

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Lived in NW Ohio for 17 years. Mike DeWine has been elected to just about every state wide office. He doesn't really care about Ohio. He just cares about Mike DeWine, who wants to hold political office, any political office. I wonder if he gets confused about which office he hold now.

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Yes, I did. I also sent contributions to Tim Ryan. Since we didn't have a US Senate race in Michigan last election, I sent my Senate budgeted contributions to both Tim and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania. All my total of about $100. Meanwhile I was busy passing petitions around for our newest Constitutional Amendment for Reproductive Freedom for All Petition which passed, again overwhelming. It really brought out Gen Z voters at all the Campuses in the State. Even the Upper Peninsula ones like Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan University. That was enough to flip the Legislature. With that amendment, the Right to Lifers tried to block us in the State Supreme Court by claiming that the words on the Amendment were too close together on the paper copy presented to make it easy for voters to understand. So specious and just plain stupid! The Court thought so too. Threw case out!

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There are people in Michigan who plotted to kill our governor.

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You are right, Ann. Now those people are in prison.

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I am a MIchigander and am proud and thankful of our Democrat elected officials too! But here are still sooooo many Trump supporters all around.

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I know what you mean, Helen. It is the same in our area. I think the gerrymandering that we had in our state in the past, really gerryrigged it. We actually have a person who lives a block away from us who has a full size cutout of the former guy in his front window! Thank goodness for fairer maps being drawn and our larger cities because without both of those things, we wouldn't be so happy with our state right now.It is so disgusting!

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Kudos to the Michigan team of Voters Not Politicians! They organized the successful ballot initiative for the nonpartisan redistricting commission:

https://votersnotpoliticians.com/about/team/nancy-wang/

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The GOP candidates for state administrative offices this time around were election-deniers, conspiracy-theorists of the first order, which is another reason Dems were elected.

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Yes, Louise, right on! The VOTING SYSTEM is the #1 issue! THAT needs to be solved first. WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT - the “simple” questions are actually pretty non-controversial.

Why would anybody oppose a NATIONWIDE consistent and fair voting system?

I believe that we spend too much valuable time screaming about important issues like gun control, women’s rights, budgets and bill paying, taxes, etc. and too little time focusing on a fair system of governing ourselves.

Yes, over 80% of Americans support registration of guns, abortion rights, etc., but, because the Will of We, the People has been siphoned away by corrupt and lazy politicians and other entities that should not have more power and authority than We, the People, the 80% look like 20%.

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We tried to have an impartial board to draw district lines and stop gerrymandering in Oregon. The Republican and Democrats wouldn't go for it.

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Yes, we learned from that too. We started with a team of non partisan lawyers to write it. The Democrats never challenged in Court, but the Repuglicans raised Cain in the courts. They were defeated at every level even in the US Circuit Court, who threw it out on grounds of it was a State matter. The State Supreme Court ruled finally after sorting everything out that the people's interests outweighed any interest a political party's objection is. There is still a court case pending, by the NAACP, because the District Lines resulted in breaking up Majority Black Districts in Detroit. Because our Amendment lays out the goal of making as many districts as half and half by voting pattern, it merged majority White Suburban Areas with Black inner city areas. Those new districts still went Dem. but in primary elections the Black candidates generally lost. A Problem Too Be Solved, but more has been passed so far by the Democratic Legislators have done more for black and all working families in the Detroit area for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure what the solution is, except for the Black Community to run better Candidates. The results have been stupendous though in State direction.

I imagine if the Republicans win Nationally in 2024 and Institute a Dictatorship, we can succeed and join Canada. The advantage of being a border state on good terms with our neighbor.

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I think we in Maine could do the same...we only border one state. I certainly wouldn't mind being one of the Maritime Provinces!

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Congratulations! Well done.

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Your state epitomizes what we should strive for, and I am proud of your governor. I hope things will only get better.

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Here in NH, we have twice tried to pass an Independent Redistricting Commission. twice defeated by the majority republican legislature and vetoed by the republican governor.

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Our legislature doesn't have the legal right to throw out a ballot Inishitive as ruled by the Courts. I am not a lawyer, so I don't know the details or nitty gritty, but you also have to get rid of your Governor apparently. After all the Governor is a Statewide office. Shouldn't be affected by gerrymandering. Maybe, you haven't been gerrymandered for as long or as badly as we were.

Everyone was fed up! Even Republican voters. Not so the controlling Republican Politicians who were protected for so long. Safe districts for too long are such a disincentive to listen to the voters!!!

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Actually, were your efforts though legislation or petition from the voters to amend the State Constitution. We have the right in Michigan to bypass the Legislature completely. If I have it straight, we were given that reform by the legislature in 1972, before the takeover by the rich and Right in America! I don't know if it is possible to get something like that through now in States that didn't do it then.

We also in the last election added an Inishitive to the Constitution to guarantee the Right to Vote by everyone who is a Citizen. Also an increase in the State Minimum Wage Law.

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Not if we concentrate on voter registration and turnout of 18s to 25s who do not buy into the 2A BS! See www.turnout.us/. You (we) can accomplish this if we concentrate and support well organized youth voter registration as is turnup!!

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I see that the Republicans have started talking about disenfranchising

Younger voters. They won’t stop anywhere until it seems, they turn our Democracy into a dictatorship. Appalling!!!

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Thank you; They know that by 2026 they are cooked in borderline states such as NC, Fl (yes Fl has 1Miillion college students and right now 200,000 high school seniors), TX, AZ, NV, PA, WI, MI, VA, Neb, and even KS and IA. So they really are going to try to change the voting age and eliminate online VR etc etc. We can stop them in 2024!

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