386 Comments

Prof. Richardson, I especially appreciate your explanation of the status of the debt ceiling. Thank you for clarifying. I understand that Pres. Biden can invoke the 14th Amendment, but he didn't necessarily want to, and now I understand why...litigation. As for the double whammy that came on Tuesday, E. Jean Carroll's victory and the DOJ indictment of Santos, it was a good day for justice. Thank you for your work.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

Today HCR covered Biden’s responses to reporters on his meeting with House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about raising the debt ceiling, while making clear that McCarthy and other Republicans do not want the US to default on its bills. He highlighted the cost of that to the American people. Differentiating the Democrats plans v. the Republicans', it is clear whose side the Democrats are on.

“Default is not an option,” he repeated.

‘In contrast, the House Republicans have called for cuts, without specifying where they would come from. Biden noted that the general cut McCarthy claims to support will hurt Americans badly, and the math simply doesn’t work on his insistence that he won’t cut popular programs.’ (Letter)

There is a lot of news in today’s Letter, which is typical. Something else is typical in HCR’s Letters, she credits the journalists/reporters who are delivering our news; the news all of us depend upon. Look again:

___In Just Security, Ryan Goodman and Norman L. Eisen reminded readers that “Americans generally consider sexual assault incompatible with serving in elected office or positions of public trust.”

___National security analyst Juliette Kayyem reported the judge’s warning and noted that “Trump’s strongest legacy will always be violence as an extension of our democratic processes.”

___Also today, Mark Morales, Evan Perez, and Gregory Krieg of CNN reported that federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Representative George Santos (R-NY), famous for the lies he told in his 2022 campaign for election.

Who are the people supplying Notes: at the end of each Letter? They are the news companies, the journalists/reporters/experts/analysts who dig out the facts, so we learn what happening at home and around the world. They are foremost among the truth-tellers that Democracy depends upon.

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HCR's and other substacks that summarize recent news are an invaluable service to the people who have jobs, families, and responsibilities who have limited time and subscription money to do a comprehensive review of the news. Thank you.

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And that’s precisely why tfg and all his minions revile them so much...truth-tellers are feared.

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That is also why the name of tfg’s social media platform is so ironic. Truth Social purports to encourage “an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating on the basis of political ideology.” Sure! And tfg is “a completely innocent person” and the victim of “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” Yeah! That’s the MAGA definition of truth.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

EVERYTHING that republicans put a handle on is the exact opposite of what it really is. They did this long before chump, like W’s “compassionate conservatism” and now with the voter integrity laws in Tx and Fl. It’s likely why chump found a home with the evil bastards. And it’s why virtually ALL republicans have signed on with nary a qualm. And the MAGAt fools rejoice…

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Jeri, our Senator Feinstein is "returning to the Senate" allegedly. The Press Release cover story is '3 months for shingles". Regardless Feinstrin's vote is needed in the 'Accounts Payable' Extortion response & Judicial appointments & on many other votes.

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I'd like to add that Senator Feinstein was hospitalized due to complications from shingles, not simply "a case of shingles". Shingles can have severe effects in elderly people. One hopes that Sen. Feinstein had had a shingles vaccine shot but, like all vaccines, it's not 100% effective nor is it a permanent protection.

(In fact, reading several articles to understand potential complications of shingles and how long it's effective (about 4 years) sent me to my medical record to check; I see I'm just past 4 years so I'll ask about a booster. I had a severe case of chickenpox at age 21 so do not want to risk a case of shingles although I have a pretty strong immune system at 79!)

From the Cleveland Clinic: "How effective is the shingles vaccine in preventing shingles?

The shingles vaccine can provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most commonly occurring shingles complication.

The shingles vaccine is 97% effective in preventing shingles in people ages 50 to 69 years old. It’s 91% effective in people ages 70 years and older.

In addition, the shingles vaccine is 91% effective in preventing PHN in people ages 50 to 69 years old. It’s 89% effective in people ages 70 years and older." https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22996-shingles-vaccine

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"... without discriminating on the basis of political ideology."

There's a hidden twist in that. Is sexual abuse a matter of political ideology? Is rape? Is murder? Is treason?

Of course it is -- so TFG believes.

There are two almost opposite meanings of "discrimination." One is prejudicial discrimination, such as in racism. The other is educated discrimination, such as differentiating a fine wine from an inferior wine, or clean water from sewage.

TFG apparently can't "discriminate" between the two.

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Excellent points, Joseph! And to compensate for his ignorance, he speaks out of both sides of his mouth. To wit:

https://youtu.be/G6R7URigXkk

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Yes, she does ID reporters and sources. I have found my hubby not doing that a couple times and now he faithfully IDs sources. I also have a friend on Facebook who quoted Heather at length, but did not mention her. Yes, there were quotation marks, but no source, so I provided it. It's one of my pet peeves when people do not identify their sources. I often have to ask the wing nuts where they get what they say. Sometimes they do, and I have to explain about how their sources are not reliable. Or in one case, a reliable source, but misinterpretation.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

Michele, yes: 'credit where credit’s due'.

'used for saying that someone deserves praise for something that they have done'

...an aspect of truth telling, and that includes exposing the liars who lack respect for people, the truth and democracy.

Here's to E. Jean Carroll!

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We have so many cases of where women in particular have had their contributions in science, for example go unrecognized or downright stolen. I have personally seen a few cases of plagiarism where a person got praise and credit for someone else' words or ideas.

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And cases where someone was awarded a Nobel Prize for someone else's work....

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I noticed that change (citing the journalists) several weeks ago. Thank you for addressing it.

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Good assessment. There are two possibilities now with regard to the debt ceiling. First, at the very last minute, McCarthy will resume his loyalty to the United States of America and submit a clean bill. He can do that with Democrats and a handful of Republicans. A majority.

Or President Biden will invoke the 14th Amendment. Will there be litigation? Sure. But think about it. What would the reputation be of those suing a President who simply wants to keep the nation financially afloat? "Yup, I am going to court to insist on the bankruptcy of the US of A!?"

And when it gets to the Supreme Court, do we really think we couldn't find five votes to uphold the financial structure of our country? Despite the horrors in the Court right now, I think few of them would like such a thing to be their legacy.

And we shouldn't underestimate the machinations and phone calls that are happening right now. How do you think Harlan Crow would feel about a crashing American economy?

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Sorry, Bill Alstrom, but you made me laugh! I suspect that Harlan Crow hasn’t a patriotic bone in his body just as I recognize that Clarence Thomas is a racist. Neither cares about much beyond knowing that if the country fails, they will get on the yacht, taking their portable wealth and leave. Obscene wealth when children in the country are starving and dying from gun murders is held by obscene persons. A fair tax system in a democracy would make US become the country we pretend to be.

This SCOTUS does not care about its reputation. Look at the chief Justice.

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Thank you for saying it before I did…

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deletedMay 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023
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May 11, 2023·edited May 11, 2023

Thank you Liz. One thing I picked up on for the first time was CT’s denigration of his sister’s plight on welfare. Rather than help her in her difficult circumstances he chose to use her as the model for Reagan’s welfare queen, launching his own rise to conservative stardom.

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Wow. Sounds like he became an embittered little boy, pointing his finger in the wrong direction. Unbelievable, that he wants to punish other people of color and I guess leave the racist system intact.

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Have never forgiven Ted for that and his sucking up to W later,

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I think Crow and his buddies would see the crash as a chance to buy stuff cheap, while holding on to more power. Thomas would vote to default.

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And there you have it. The greeds will swarm like locusts to get all they can from ordinary folks....opportunists always take advantage during any disaster, natural or manmade.

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Absolutely

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You may be right 🤷‍♂️

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What happens if the market crashes?

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I've wondered myself about the possibility of Dems uniting to raise the debt ceilng and bringing along the minimum number of pragmatic Republicans representing districts Biden won handily. Would McCarthy ever allow such a bill to reach the floor for a vote? A patriot would risk his status as speaker and put the country first. McCarthy seems to be no such man (or indeed, much of a man at all -- he was emasculated by the likes of Greene and Boebbert to win the Speakership.)

Lawrence Tribe now believes the question should not be: does Biden have the Constitutional AUTHORITY to act unilaterally in this crisis. Rather, it should be: does he have the DUTY to uphold the laws passed by Congress, including the mandate to spend money previously authorized to be spent. Given such a Hobson's choice, he must honor his oath of office and ensure the nation's bills are paid.

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You’ve got it, Bill!

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Remarkably, HCR is the only news source that gave attention to Mr Biden's comments to the press. Other MSM played clips from McCarthy and McConnell and then talking heads. That Biden stated he is now considering using powers of the 14th Amendment, with a significant reservation says much about his direction.

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Thank you for these links/excellent and pertinent articles!

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Thank you Ron. This quote from Lawrence Tribe, tells it all: “The president should remind Congress and the nation, “I’m bound by my oath to preserve and protect the Constitution to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts for the first time in our entire history.” Above all, the president should say with clarity, “My duty faithfully to execute the laws extends to all the spending laws Congress has enacted, laws that bind whoever sits in this office — laws that Congress enacted without worrying about the statute capping the amount we can borrow.”

I watched and listened to President Biden’s press conference and he knows the law and what he is doing.

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D🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁3,,3,3,3,4,,33,4,3,,,cexcexxxxeexxceexexxecxexexexxcexxxxeexcexexcxeeexxexexxee,.3,,,3,,,33🔁🔁🔁😃🔁🔁🔁😂🔁😃🔁😂😃😂🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁😃😃😂😂🎂cxeexxsxexw3, & r. J

Jim I’m i-,ki I

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Ermm. . . HUH? Did your cat walk across your keyboard?

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A good day and watch number 45 double down on everything and become more extreme. E. Jean Carroll may ( some might not like this comparison but only see this as a metaphor) be the Rosa Parks of Democracy by having the courage to stand up to the perpetual personal threats by the MAGA crowd for her actions to expose the truth on a man who would take down our Democracy for his personal gain. Thanks Heather!

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Actually, I come from Alabama but I don’t mind the comparison of E. Jean Carroll to Rosa Parks at all. Both are women of strong moral character who dared to speak truth to power under difficult circumstances. I can’t begin to imagine the fortitude it has taken for Carroll to remain focused and calm throughout this process. We owe her a great debt. Well, except for the fact she is walking away with a ton of money while Rosa, as I understand it, lived in humble circumstances for the remainder of her life.

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Given Trumps track record, she may never actually see a dime of the verdict award….personally, don’t think that part matters much to her, but I’d like to see him PAY.

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Trump says that he will appeal. That would delay any collection process normally, but often times one must post a bond to prevent collection during an appeal. It's possible that she could attach some of his assets by recording an abstract of judgment. So, Ms. Carroll may yet see some of that $5 million. Carroll's attorney did a magnificent job. Some of the toughest attorneys in this country are female.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

TFG only did his usual stunt which was to try and control the media narrative.

Bill Palmer points out that he began saying he might or might not testify. Then he headed overseas to play golf. Then he told the media he was going to race home and confront Carroll. So the judge called his bluff and invited him to testify, with a strict deadline, forcing Trump to admit that he in fact had no intention of testifying. His bluff got called and did nothing.

Additionally, his cowardice probably made it harder to appeal because he ultimately had to state his refusal to testify, stopping any claim that he was somehow shut out of testifying.

That's what cowards & bullies do,... call someone out for a fight,... then no show.

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Can you expand your comment. What does “post a bond to prevent collection” mean and what’s the mechanism for Carroll to attach some of his assets?

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Because a case may be overturned on appeal, it would create all sorts of complications if one were to seize another's assets as a result of a judgment, only to have the judgment reversed. So, to protect both sides, the loser can post a bond that would be paid if and when the appeal fails. This preserves the status quo while at the same time giving the plaintiff the assurance that the defendant won't dissipate assets to avoid paying the judgment. It is a common process.

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Thanks. Is it voluntary or required if there's an appeal? Also is it the full amount of the judgement or some lesser amount?

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

"I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE - A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!"

The greatest Warlock of all time deserves nothing less....

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Witch hunts are what Republicans do. Witch hunts don't usually result in indictment and conviction. Hunter Biden's laptop is a witch hunt. Trump is a convicted sexual abuser who lacks any humanity at all.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

"I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE - A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!"

The greatest Witch of all time deserves nothing less....

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Never heard of a criminal or convicted felon or war criminal or mobster who didn't make that claim or claim that as their defense. Says it all. Proof of guilt for the irascible bums.

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Random thought here, isn't a "witch" female? Shouldn't he refer to himself as a "warlock" or am I incorrect?

For the party so worked up about gender identity...............

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witch can be either female or male. warlock perhaps applies more appropriately to TFFG , see attached definition Warlock

The Free Dictionary

https://www.thefreedictionary.com › warlock

A Scottish term meaning demon, wizard or magician and used in medieval times to describe male witches but rarely used by male witches themselves today.

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Thanks, Pamela!

(BTW, I have a name for him and it ain't either "witch" nor "warlock"!!)

;)

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Oops, I said as much, Miselle...great minds and all that!

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Good morning, Lynell! Hope all is well. I am of like mind, but you probably already knew that!

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Please do not malign witches, he is not one. He is a fake, a fraud, a con, a grifter, but witch he is not. He may call it a witch hunt all he likes, but he reaps as he has sown and that crop in coming ripe not only in NY, but in GA as well.

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My father used to say 'keep your mouth shut and people won't know how stupid you are'.

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…than contempt of court for violating the judge’s order to speak on social media.

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Made me laugh. Thank you!

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Surprising, Ray, seeing as how he should identify as a warlock LOL!

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Never heard of a criminal or convicted felon or war criminal or mobster who didn't make that claim or claim that as their defense. Says it all. Proof of guilt for the irascible bums.

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She didn't ask for a dime. It's a matter of power. How dare he?!

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Barbara Trump actually paid $25 million to dig out of his Trump University debacle. I believe that he has paid out other dirty business $$$. I’ll bet that Trump will be legally obliged to pay big bucks to Carroll, although perhaps not $5 million.

My understanding is that on appeal no new ‘evidence’ can be submitted. The jury’s three hour consideration and then unanimous guilty decisions seems like a judicial slam dunk.

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Barbara, I am sure there are rules about that. He won't slime out of the legal ruling.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

Alex Jones has managed to avoid paying anything to Sandy Hook families so far. In America, if you are white, there are no consequences for crimes for the most part. Unless you are really poor. And then, not much either.

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White and rich enough to wave money at lawyers.

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Mike you are exactly correct. I doubt she will ever see a dime of this.

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I understand that the plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, in some cases, were still trying to get their money in 2009. The spill occurred in 1989. 20 years.

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I wouldn't be so sure. Outside the appeals process, which would cost money he does not intend to pay, he could always file another bankruptcy. Most people are afraid to abuse our legal system the way he does, because most people care about their credit and their reputations.

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Russia is always willing to give Donald Trump credit.

I remember when Trump bought his Scottish golf course Don Jr., in an interview with one of the Scottish Newspapers said:

"We received all the money for this from Russia we needed", something like that.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/07/trump-family-golf-courses-russia-funding-author-claims

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I hope they stipulated that he has to pay by check that he personally has to sign in front of neutral witnesses. 😎

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I wouldn't trust anything he signs, witnessed or not. Cash only verified to be not confederate.

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I was thinking about how many times I saw him sign documents with a glorified sharpie and how much pleasure he got from doing that, and how sweet it would be to see how pained he would be to part with 5 million real dollars, that would be almost priceless.

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Petty as he is, he'd probably pay in dimes or nickles ... to add insult.

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Or, with said sharpie, takes a $5 bill and adds nine zeros to it & declare he paid in full all in cash.

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Hi Betty.. I have to offer that your exception bothers me just a bit. You see I think one has to ask what all the personal attacks past and certainly yet to come for this woman has 'cost her'. I don't know and can't say or judge what that cost and will cost her; certainly the jury took a 'shot in the dark' at it. Know what I mean ?

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I believe the jury had to find monetary damages

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Right ? What is the $ value of stolen sanity, identity, reputation, etc., past and as we've seen already, the near future - knowing from what we've seen and witnessed as the modus operandi of this hate and anger fomenting clown, belligerent creators / enablers, and all the "Igors" who would seem to have 'drank his koolaid' ? I 'know' more suffering for her is definitely in store for her; it would seem the jury knows that as well, and tried to somewhat compensate in only pitiful, wholly inadequate dollars. It's my fervent prayer the justice system will follow, at least this case to interdict / intervene with the full force of law, and all retaliation that I feel will come from that dark corner. I've seen it, we've seen it; all of it play out before - again and again with that crowd; ceaseless bullying, badgering, antagonizing to either force their will and / or punish others who would even dare to differ from their belligerently insistent, way, truth, and light, as they see it. I'm fairly certain that the plaintiff soul knows and fears - I'm gonna say correctly, that she has more or less invited another Jan 6th upon her personal life. Exactly, I ask, how much is that really worth ? Geez... that got long winded. Thanks for your forbearance folks, if I need ask.

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She'll need that money to hire a security team.

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Interesting, don't you think, that in "Trump's America" the judge felt it necessary to keep under seal the identities of the jurors to protect them from Trump's "justice-loving" followers.

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I think it’s far more than “interesting”! He’s the leading GOP candidate for our next POTUS. His obsessive, reptilian need for vengeance is already legendary. No doubt he will make the lives of those 9 people pure hell if the country gives him back all the power of our Oval Office yet again. I don’t know how in heck a country like the US of A can let such a destructive monster be on the ballot for POTUS. It is VERY

wrong!!

Experts have warned us over and over and over of how dangerous tffg was and will be even worse with the power of the Presidency feeding his evil ego

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Keep. In mind she has to actually RECEIVE the money to use it, and she didn’t ask for any sum in particular . She left it up to the jury to decide. So I don’t think it’s about the money and we all know trump will never pay it.

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"I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE - A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!"

The greatest Witch of all time deserves nothing less....

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This verdict was found by a jury of men & women. Your witch had the opportunity to appear in court in person to state his case and chose not to because like all bullies he is a coward. His taped deposition confirmed that he feels he has the right to sexually assault women because he’s famous. Regardless of how you feel about the verdict, this jury proved that our Justice system still stands.

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Does that mean all the mass shooters who can't identify the victims they obliterated should get a pass? Just askin'

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Never heard of a criminal or convicted felon or war criminal or mobster who didn't make that claim or claim that as their defense. Says it all. Proof of guilt for the irascible bums.

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I would be very happy to see E. Jean get that $5 million.

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Christopher, I would like to think Rosa Parks would gladly sit beside E. Jean Carroll on that bus!

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I like it!

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

"I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE - A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!"

The greatest Warlock of all time deserves nothing less....

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Never heard of a criminal or convicted felon or war criminal or mobster who didn't make that claim or claim that as their defense. Says it all. Proof of guilt for the irascible bums.

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Startled By Words:

“Trump’s strongest legacy will always be violence as an extension of our democratic processes.” Juliette Kayyem, National Security Advisor.

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That sentence stood out for me also, although I quibble about what in the democratic process violence extends. Rather, it seems like the tool of criminals and despots that is more accurately called a betrayal or negation of our democratic process. It is exactly what liberty and justice for all isn't.

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JL,

It's funny that Trump, a well known coward, is sponsoring "violence".

If anyone came near Trump in a threatening way he would burst into tears and call for his Mama.

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More like he’d call for Dad

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Money is a form of power, and some people will sell you anything money can buy, including political influence, including murder for hire, a Trump was born on a mountain of money. Without that money yet the same character he would likely be widely dismissed as a self-centered, obnoxious jerk. He is still that, but a powerful one owing to $$$, and the "Reagan Revolution" was a coup for plutocracy. Inside his armor of the power of money, he is a pathetic narcissistic child hiding in plain sight. The "Baby Trump" parade balloon was a graphic reminder.

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If not for his money and connections (Putin), one of his mobster business goons would have shot him mobster style long ago.

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Yet, simple truth Penney, when you look back over it all. Yes, I was struck by her words, and wish I'd have distilled his legacy that succinctly.

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In conjunction with Maddow's report re tfg weekend event @ the Doral with all the Neo Nazi people & the # of mass shooters with the RWDS & white supremacy fixations.

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Oh I can think of some other things tfg will be remembered for.

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It should be noted that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries was also at the meeting with Biden.

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Thanks! I was wondering about his exclusion from the list of attendees.

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If there is a "clean debt ceiling bill" Jeffries will be needed by McCarthy - big time.

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Thank you! I wondered about that. Odd that his oresence was kept out.

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What a stark contrast between the eminently and consistently reasonable approach to governance from Biden and the rantings of a former President found by a Civil jury to have committed sexual assault. By any reasonable standards it should be inconceivable that Trump and his acolytes should ever get anywhere near the White House again. But for a significant proportion of the US population reason has leapt out of the window in a kind of collective madness. Why? Is there something in the water causing it?!?

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What answered the question for me, at least to a great extent, was the study conducted by two Univ. of Kansas professors and published in Feb. 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal, "Critical Sociology," entitled "The Anger Games, Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?" One can google it. In short, Trump simply represented their own points of view, aka prejudices: racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Those things are more important to them than living in a democratic society. There is also Tucker Carlson's "White Replacement Theory" scare.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

Right. People for whom hate is their number one priority voted for Trump.

73 million of them.

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Yes, Mike S, however, it seems relatively clear that not all who voted for (and would vote again for) TFG are all invested in hate. Certainly a significant portion of them are angry, violent & filled with hate, presumably from feelings of being shunted aside from the American Dream but he amassed a coalition of the very wealthy seeking to preserve and grow their respective fortunes, the religiously conservative seeking a more theocratic government and those who see advantage to the chaos he delivered (e.g.- foreign governments). He has been able to attract huge sums of money not only from those ignorant of his duplicity but from those who consider him "a useful idiot" starting with his first producers on his TV show The Apprentice. I understand they gravely lamented their decisions later on. It's a complex bunch of folks who are not monolithic in their hatred but are served by those who are filled with hatred.

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That is an awful lot of people - like more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. Scary! For Just how scary, read Joyce Vance of 8 May: https://joycevance.substack.com/p/the-week-ahead-d2e/comments

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It is now overwhelmingly apparent that the GOP/Koch’s/Fox/Federalists have been stoking that “Anger” for decades, maliciously, in an attempt to hijack our democracy

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Thank you for the reference to Critical Sociology. Lots of interesting data compiled. Certainly validates the complexity.

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No, it’s fear, not madness. They don’t like the democratization that’s going...inexorably, forward. It makes them feel less in control of their generally placid way of life and that uncertainty makes them anxious. Then they see their cultural norms begin to come under assault and they huddle up together in front of their tv sets and are further enflamed by Fox and others exploiting their fears for their profit and gain. It’s sad don’t you think? We all know people who we like and admire who have given into their fears in these ways which has hurt our friendships with them. We tell ourselves that they’ll come around and come to their senses but fear is a potent force as FDR so wisely pointed out during his presidency. I think he felt so strongly about it that he decided to underscore its significance by making “freedom from fear” one of his famous “Four Freedoms”. Joe Biden, and our very strong justice department, are important bulwarks now against the forces trying so hard to use every lever to thwart our democracy, but the majority of us won’t let them either.

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Good assessment, KD.

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Thank you!

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Fear leads to the most egregious behavior, greed sort of the icing on the cake, sad to say

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Thank you Richard B for that great comment, i have been thinking the same thing for months now about the orange baboon named Donald TUMP. He should NOT be allowed to even get anywhere near the White House again. How anyone can worship this creature that has committed multiple crimes and incite riots and violence is beyond me.

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I strongly suspect it's a security flaw in the code of the human genome, and that ideological malware authors have exploited this for eons.

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Sadly all you need is a whipped up cause, some gullibility, and a whipped up cause. Way too many esp white Americans into that toxic GOP sponsored "cool aid" as already put. Netflix has a series called The Making of a Tyrant, lots of good examples, esp the worst in history. US has it "tame" compared to most of that, but you can't miss some comparisons.

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It's daunting how frequently the tricks of the tyrant's trade take hold.

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I believe that people that vote for Trump belong to a different species. They are a human mutation that is increasingly common, where the humanity does not exist. Humans without humanity are something different. Can it be trauma induced? Who knows.

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No, it's the people who are anti abortion who voted for him.

All of my ex's family (which total about 70 people, a big Catholic family) voted for him.

And add in about 50 other people I know who also voted for him because of abortion.

What cracks me up, is can anyone really say that tfg hasn't paid for at least one abortion?

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Beth, we certainly know about the many abortions paid for by “higher up” repugnants! Ugh….

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Same here Beth. Although not as many as you. What I will note is I know Catholics who did not vote for him. One said to me that he doesn't represent who she is or how she feels. Bingo!

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Beth, I’ve said this for *years*. I’d love to see an investigative journalist start rummaging through those financials and rooting out the payments.

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It won’t matter to his base. He could shoot someone on 5th avenue. He has (thru 💩💩Covid policies) killed many of his base’s loved ones. They DON’T CARE

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Anti-abortion for millions, the unfettered right to wear and shoot weapons of war for millions more, racism, anti-intellectual, misogyny, etc.etc. Make a Venn diagram and you’ll get voted for tffg dead center. The “critical sociology” article referenced by RSutherland is useful

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Extreme anti-abortionists, Christian Evangelical/White Nationalists, Great Replacement fearmongers, racists...

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Linda, sometimes I wonder if Covid doesn’t have something to do with this “disorder”. By being anti-mask and anti-vax, perhaps the result of long Covid. Either way, it’s positively frightening. I took an aggressive stand on a FB watch press conference recently- honestly 99% of the comments were pure insanity and evil, untruths mixed in with juvenile insults. There was a barrage then hurled at my comments- pure nonsense. Some I tried to engage further but most I needed to just “block”. Exhausting and I’m not sure at all productive- I just felt I needed to inject some truth.

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Kathy, I see that as a pivotal time too. Normally I see everyone as being part of the human race, but we know that there are mutations over time. When I studied neuropsychology I did some research on the evolution of the brain in terms of reading disabilities. Because reading and writing are newer in our history, the brain has not developed its own areas for these activities, and utilize the speech parts of the brain. There was some idea that LD might be environmentally adaptive, which could be viewed as a maladaption. I am thinking that these people exhibit maladaptive behaviors. It could well be triggered by stressors of Covid, and other life stressors, which is why I say, nature or nurture? Behaviors are an interplay of both. It would be an interesting thing to study the brains of people who are MAGAs compared to others who exhibit empathy in their political dealings. A dangerous study to set up though. I would not trust the ethics of doing something like that.

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Interesting link between the speech parts of the brain & dyslexia! As an OT getting handwriting referrals I often saw that it was not dysgraphia as much as a language issue as some SLPS dx as speech dyspraxia.

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Carole, your work is so important. I am glad you are sharing these observations. There have been many articles of late discussing the negative effects of continuous online use for children. I guess my childhood was not filled with so much. We had to sneak watch tv when no parents were home because we were only allowed 8 hours a week. That was an hour on weekdays, and then a movie on one weekend day. I am wondering what is going on with the population that is so filled with hate. When I was a child my mother told me that people filled with hate, are hurting inside. So, I understand that Biden has tried to address the hurt that is cause by basic needs not being met, and is being very successful in making huge inroads in terms of employment, as well as a brilliant environmental supports plan tied to the infrastructure. Yet, I am reading that the polls show both DeSatan and Trump winning against Biden now because his age is a factor. I blame the press for this. When their polling questions are revealed they are so slanted to focus on age, and they do not educate the population on age. Of course there is always a focus. Let me at these idjits! Even if Biden were not to live through his next administration, which seems unlikely to me, he is in good health, in what world would one want evil criminals in charge in place of Kamala Harris?

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Thank you for your thoughtful response.

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This is an interesting and disturbing thought. My wife has done some in depth literature studies in relation to Covid. The virus, unlike many others, can pass into and cause damage to the brain; the more times you catch it the more the damage. Each exposure can diminish something like 2% of the brain function (if I have understood correctly). We have certainly noticed an apparent increase in aggressive/atypical behaviour - also commented on by others in this thread.

Keep wearing your masks people and avoid Covid if at all possible. It is not over and may never be.

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Truly frightening Richard.

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Kathy, I’ve noticed some odd things lately along the same lines. Mostly while I’m driving, because I’m still quite Covid cautious. On the road, I see a lot more distracted driving, people weaving a bit as if they were texting - but they’re not. It seems unlikely to be drink, since it’s usually late morning when I’m out. I also see less patience, but wouldn’t go so far as to call it road rage. We do know that Covid can cause personality and neurological changes; I’m finding this striking weirdness on the road to be a bit frightening.

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I also feel there are more aggressive drivers on the road, and yes, a bit frightening for sure. Not sure that we’ll know anytime soon what having Covid, along with not receiving a vax for it, has done to our

population and as Linda stated, what would be considered an ethical study.

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Sometimes it feels like we’re all in a giant study. I wish I were still in the dwindling control group who haven’t had Covid, but I’m not.

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The life of anyone who engages, I quit some time back

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I totally get that. It’s done with the hope that even one person “sees the light” and would therefore make the abuse worth it. I’m not going in again for quite some time- if at all. On the other hand, writing postcards for Donna Deegans mayoral campaign in Jacksonville FL definitely felt constructive. Go Donna!

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“Humans without humanity,” says it well

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Republican leader history led to it. Look at the Republican presidents since Eisenhower. Story: I stood by my nearest subway entrance in November, 2000 handing out flyers for Albert Gore,Jr., concious of being in the path of workers returning to the Pacific Garden Mission, the local home for homeless men. Before I offered a flyer to a dusty worker, I asked if he were planning to vote. Approached by a small, very dusty black man, I offered a flyer and asked the question. The reply was the briefest and best history lesson ever: “Lady, I don’t need a flyer. I wouldn’t vote for George Bush. I didn’t vote for his daddy. I didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan and I didn’t vote for Richard Nixon.” He walked on down the street.

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And while canvassing for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, I heard a young white woman with a brief case tell her little boy I was a communist. I learned a lot about the electorate from canvassing, and I regret that I can no longer do it.

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Lies not a new thing, just institutionalized with repubs

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It's called drinking the koolaid, Richard. Sound familiar???

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Drinking the Kool-Aid" is an expression used to refer to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards. The phrase typically carries a negative connotation. It can also be used ironically or humorously to refer to accepting an idea or changing a preference due to popularity, peer pressure, or persuasion. In recent years, it has evolved further to mean extreme dedication to a cause or purpose, so extreme that one would "drink the Kool-Aid" and die for the cause.

While use of the phrase dates back to 1968 with the nonfiction book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, it is strongly associated with the events in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, in which over 900 members of the Peoples Temple movement died. The movement's leader, Jim Jones, called a mass meeting at the Jonestown pavilion after the murder of U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and others in nearby Port Kaituma. Jones proposed "revolutionary suicide" by way of ingesting a powdered drink mix made from Flavor Aid (later misidentified as Kool-Aid) that was lethally laced with cyanide and other drugs.[1][2]" Wickipedia.

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I missed that connection in the "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", but then its been a long minute since I read Kesey's book. I only knew of the Jim Jones Peoples' Temple reference.

In the minutiae department, I've handled calls out at Ken Kesey's property a few times. The family still runs (I think) concert promotions etc. There's a statue in downtown Eugene depicting Ken Kesey on a bench, reading to his grandkids. His son Jed Kesey was killed in a van crash involving the U of O wrestling team in 1984.

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Hi Ally. Tom Wolfe wrote "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and Ken Kesey was the Merry Prankster who took the "test" and publicized the process. Ken and Tom were both wild and wooly intellectuals of the sixties. Read their books, but stay away from the Kool-Aid. Best wishes, Catherine

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That’s right; I just remember Kesey because he’s local. His bus, Further, is still around.

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Fascinating addition to my education MaryPat. Thank you!

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Ah I remember Kool Aid from years ago. I have to confess I am half American and drank some Kool Aid over there when I was a child. Do you think it is out of my system yet??

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One can only hope, Richard…..lol..

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For these people, Fox News and other right wing media, plus the echo chambers of your preferred bubble influence their views.

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'George Santos Claims Arraignment Conflicts with His Role in N.B.A. Playoffs'

'WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Representative George Santos told reporters that he would be unable to face federal charges in New York City because of his ongoing role in the N.B.A. playoffs.'

“We’re looking at a pivotal Game Five against the Golden State Warriors and now is not the time to let up,” Santos, who claimed to play small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, said.'

(Satire, NewYorker)

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Charlatans disease.

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According to Nietzsche “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” It only takes one and with a powerful megaphone to call to the masses of arses…. Rupert was brought in for that purpose long before chump…

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Tax the rich, to death, if possible. Eliminate the debt ceiling. Raise discretionary spending (i.e., pass Biden's second infrastructure bill). Pass the voting rights legislation. End Republican voter suppression nationwide. End gerrymandering. Reconstitute the *supreme court* (I would put *supreme court* in miniprint). Pass the equal rights amendment. End the Electoral College. End *citizens united*. End Republican treason against the United States of America. Eliminate or revise the Senate.

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Confine the SC to its constitutionally defined cases of original jurisdiction. Create a new Federal Review Court, with all the guardrails, and give it jurisdiction to review laws.

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America now has a rogue gQp, rogue states and a rogue SCOTUS. Something must be done to confront and control these criminals.

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Agree! Want a democracy? Then we need all of these things.

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Don’t stop keep going!

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Perfect

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ALLRIGHT

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How would you revise the Senate?

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I am not the person to best answer this question. The Senate gives much too much representation to far too few people and to many of the wrong people (i.e., gQp). I would add DC and Puerto Rico (if they are willing) as states and eliminate the filibuster to start. Because *republicans* are America's enemies and terrorists, the Senate has been stalemated forever. The Senate couldn't even convict Pmurt of his crimes in two tries.

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Thanks for the response.

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I have a sneaky feeling Santos will not resign even if convicted. He is simply that audacious. And McCarthy has demonstrated he is weak. If he asked Santos to resign upon being found guilty and Santos simply said no he’d just say ‘ok, well I tried’.

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If we know one certain thing about McCarthy it is that everything he says needs an asterisk: ✳️ this statement is subject to revision if it becomes inconvenient.

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lol close enough, he should get an Oscar for "straight face" total disgrace

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If Santos is found guilty he will be imprisoned, He cannot sit in the House of Representatives no matter how much McDirty whines.

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Fay, you gave me a good laugh. “McDirty whines….” Superb!

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Maybe he can just "tweet" it in, like Trump.

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If Santos is found guilty of financial and/or election crimes, he might be fined rather than jailed. Or he might drag it out past the next House election.

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On the other hand, why drag it out? He's not gonna win again.

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Why? Partly for the congressional salary, but more because he would expect to be rewarded for keeping the seat from being filled by a Dem. Ordinarily, you could expect the Rs to prevent Santos at least from running again, but with this crew you never know.

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that will take more than a year I think

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Clearly, the man is deranged, but I blame those people in his district who voted him in because of the party he represents (you know, the one "against crime") and then blamed the Democrats for not doing better "opposition research."

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I lived through the Cuban missile crisis. JFK assassination plus others, the Vietnam War and Water Gate. They all seemed traumatic but did not seem to set a new low standard. Americans overall placed a check on misbehavior and crime, and a much higher bar on what we expected. Republicans too stepped up and agreed that those were all situations that were not acceptable.

But not today. We seem to be living in a new age of depravity and chaos where the aggressors claim victimhood, and the victims can’t find refuge or justice in spite of an occasional court decision like Carroll vs Trump.

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JFK did not invade the Bay of Pigs, he did not bomb Cuba during the missal crisis, he was assassinated. That was a coup. That was bad.

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Alec, I was thinking of traumatic experiences and how we, all Americans, addressed them.

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Amen, that's not far off!

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I am massively relieved the jury found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation. It means nothing to his followers (paraphrasing) - he could rape a woman on Fifth Avenue and not lose a vote. Rape is baked in to the Republican agenda of suppressing women.

But it's a small start on justice. E. Jean Carroll is a heroine.

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I agree. Yesterday I gleefully signed this petition:

"Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse. He has admitted to sexual assault. There are literally dozens of other credible allegations against him for a range of sex offenses. It's time to make Donald Trump register as a sex offender, and add him to the National Sex Offender Registry.He's proven himself a danger, and he's more than earned a spot on this list."

"Sign the petition, and call on Trump to be added as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Left Action"

I am trying to figure out a way to send a link for this petition.

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Excellent! I'd sign for sure.

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Please do post a link or the name of the website, Carol! I'll spread it around.

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Thanks progwoman and Alexander. I finally found the website: "Make Donald Trump register as a sex offender" Will you join me in supporting this issue? https://www.thepetitionsite.com/554/048/910/add-donald-trump-to-national-sex-offender-registry/

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Remember too Republicans are going to beat the Ageism drum endlessly on this election campaign, so BEAT BACK, fight fair but dirty :)

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I agree, Frank! Rape and psychopathy aside, TFG is not only aged but morbidly obese.

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If tffg is their candidate, beating the Ageism drum will backfire bigtime.

Too many videos of his feeble mind and body to play continuously.

Oh right! No MSM will play them!!!! 🤦🏻‍♀️

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News from Nikki Haley: '...we’ve got to leave the baggage and the negativity behind'. No condemnation of tfg's behavior. No comment (yet) from MTG? What if THEY were the victims of sexual abuse? Sadly, people in the WH KNEW what was going on regarding abusive behavior towards women. It seems to have occurred on a daily basis, listening to Grisham. WHY did she (and many others) not come out with the truth then? https://www.huffpost.com/entry/stephanie-grisham-trump-harassment_n_645b105be4b09eef8302f122

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Sexual abuse is always a dominance/power issue…Trump basically hates/fears women and his behavior is internally consistent. E Jean Carroll, bless her heart took on this vile man and this time truth dominated! Thanks to Heather for her coverage..but very special thanks to EJean Carroll and those jurors…whose lives and well being are apparently at risk…judging from the judges own cautions to them to stay anonymous….

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson for this uplifting update. Thank goodness for President Biden. This is what a REAL President looks like. Standing firm, America will pay its debts. What a sad state our judiciary is in, thanks to anti-law Mitch McConnell. I never thought I'd live to see the day when invoking the Constitution of the United States of America could result in "worries that invoking it to solve this manufactured crisis will involve lengthy litigation." implying the outcome might be to revoke the Constitution. SHAME on any judge who would find for the "retrumplicans" by denying, in this instance, an amendment that has stood as the law of the land for 155 years. And Article 6 which has been the law for 236 years. Do these judges so hate democracy that they will do anything for the authoritarians who put them in office. How can such disreputable people look in the mirror. Shame.

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Hi Fay.. Don't ignore or look past the fact that illegitimate majority on the court 'know' they have to cover their _ sses - they have to know what they are and fear loss of position, monies, and reputations for the remainder of their miserable lives and forever in historical infamy. Don't doubt for an instance the lengths guilty folks will go to.

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Utter shamelessness, lack of conscience, is a type of superpower, which I think is why so many keep choosing it and it never entirely goes away. It's like the power of gravity that makes your burden weightless. so long as you are falling.

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just reminds us that we are a predator species in which a small portion hope to evolve .

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He added that he wants the wealthiest Americans and corporations to “start to pay some of their fair share.”

Restart, that is. Theodore Roosevelt and others pushed back on the lawlessness and irresponsibility of 19th Century "Robber Barons", and somehow the World kept turning.

In fact, government connecting power of the powerful to responsibilities to the public appears to have produced multifaceted paths of improvement for the preponderance of US Citizens. Why would the public ever agree to drift back to the bad old days of the "Gilded Age"? I thought my high school history book was telling me that we had outgrown all that.

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We do need to remember that it is to upper 50% of income earners esp the very top which pay federal income tax, along with corporations. The rest pay into social security etc, and sales taxes. The economy synergies from organized wealth and an educated labour force, lest we forget, that generate the nation's wealth. Too bad $800B+ go directly into by far the world's largest military, supposedly in defence of all this.

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May we all be as strong as E. Jean Carroll and if we are lucky enough to have daughters or granddaughters raise them to be as strong too. Even if the orange mobster appeals and doesn't pay (as is his habit), it will always go down in the record books that he was bested by a strong woman! We will raise a glass to her tonight!

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Trump has not learned a thing. He stated that he was not given the opportunity to speak in his defense. That is after the judge gave him two extra days to appear and speak if he so chose. So, he is still liying, or he is incapable of learning, or both. I am more concerned about the GA efforts attempting to stop DA Willis from pursuing indictments re: false electors.

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I respectfully disagree with you. Trump has learned, long ago, how to stir up any followers by presenting alterenate scenarios which create the sense of victimhood for him to defend himself with. His "facts" are actually facts in the minds of his psychophants (I know) and worshippers and who will refuse to see otherwise. Trump is the modern master at dissembling, he knows and brags about it. You and I see through it, his crowd prefer not to. He has created an alternate universe of which he is the supreme leader, and to try to refute his claims not only acknowledges them, it also legitimizes them. Children live in their own alternate universe, the monster under the bed, etc., but we expect that they will outgrow that stage. Not so with Trump.

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

IOW, he lies and he hasn't learned anything since "long ago." So your answer is "both." I agree with that. That was then, and this is now, and his tactics aren't enough.

He has convinced his followers that the reporting in the press is false. I think he will have a harder time convincing his followers that a jury of twelve citizens who have been presented with proof laid out logically are wrong if their decision is to convict.

What if the jury finds him partially culpable, like the jury in the Carroll trial, who declined the charge of rape but convicted on sexual abuse? It all depends on what the specific charges will be.

It is interesting that although numerous Jan 6 defendants claimed that he did incite their actions, there is still needed evidence that he intended to do so. One statement "It will be wild" is not enough.

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I will be pleasantly surprised if trump loses even one voter from his base: they have already excused so much. This trial, despite trump’s claims and the press following after them, was never about politics. It’s about whether or not, as a society, we value women enough to declare a powerful white man in the wrong for sexual assault, at least occasionally.

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Sadly, I agree that the Carroll trial will not have much effect. But if the indictments that are being pursued about false electors and sedition result in trials and convictions, I believe that will affect some people who have voted for him but are not necessarily as blind, deaf, and dumb as his MAGA supporters. It only takes a few; every voter counts.

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Amen on the jury comment, 6 of the 9 were men. Warned to lay low from the wrath of the 45's followers... into what has the GOP's right wing with culthead Trump descended America?

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Agreed. There are a couple of takeaways from my perspective re the EJC trial: That it not only took courage beyond measure for the plaintiff to bring the charges, but an equal amount of courage for her legal team to sign on. Judge Kaplan cannot very well admonish them to remain unknown. We now know there is a narrow gap in his armor. And I think that the assault charge was a step back from a rape charge which has a more incendiary connotation and may be more easily challenged. Amazing what can be accomplished in three hours!

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Thanks for the intelligent and civil conversation--what a lovely way to start Wednesday! And yes, the speed!

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