464 Comments

Reading this & having watched the news reports as the summit progressed, I was once again so grateful to have a competent captain, co-captain & crew piloting this ship of state.

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Yes, Barbara, you aptly cite those Americans competently "piloting this ship of state."

But Heather Cox Richardson nicely notes, too, perhaps the original key to the opportunities Xi and Biden -- and all their compatriots -- have.

This is Ukraine.

Imagine the world if the Ukrainians hadn't been so brave. Imagine Putin and all his corrupt oligarchs, all his bloodthirsty Orthodox priests, all triumphant in Ukraine and eager more to swamp the west. Imagine Xi having that military triumphalism as their model.

We all benefit otherwise -- thanks to democracies around the world uniting to support Zelensky, but more thanks to the people of that battered, pummeled, murdered, burned-up country immediately standing up to their much larger aggressors before any help came.

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Thank you Phil. Lest we forget.

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So true Phil!

Once Ukraine has won the war, the world democracies will need to help Ukraine find, and bring back the 700,000 children abducted by Russia. These children will most likely need counseling to help them deal with the scars of this war. And Ukraine will require help from all democracies to provide timely aid for the children, and their families.

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Yes that, and to assist (it will take a multi-country effort) in building back a devastated country/infrastructure/economy/etc. A sort of modern day Marshall Plan to help a pummeled yet resilient people regain their equilibrium.

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Yes. I am totally in favor of this tho I know it will be costly.

Ukraine must be admitted to NATO and the EU as well.

First Ukraine must win.

The brave and determined Ukrainians need the support of the USA. It is I. Our best interest to help them win, soon and decisively.

I am looking at you Republican members of the US House of Representatives, you sorry sad sack excuses for human beings, much less legislators.

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And after the conquest of western europe, would his attentions turn eastward? Perhaps not China but all the countries south of China, India, Laos, Vietnam, etc.... Or to the south toward Turkey, Syria, etc....?

What kind of game of Risk would Putin play?

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I think if Putin tried to invade Poland, the world would go up in a thousand atomic fireballs, at least figuratively.<extra points if you can name the movie that phrase comes from!>

Ukrainians are appalled that their Russian cousins have done this to them.

Poles have no Russian cousins to worry about, only a long memory of vicious atrocities and old grievances to get the fighting blood up. It was a mistake and a tragedy for Putin to invade Ukrainian. Given the performance of the Russian army in Ukraine, seems like it would be a serious miscalculation of his own resources for Putin to try to invade Poland, doesn’t it?

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Let's set the Taliban and ISIS hounds after him. It seems Russia was in Afghanistan? or was it Vietnam? and left with a whimper.

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It was Afghanistan. Like the British in the 19th century, the Russians learned the Afghanis are “resilient.” Biden did exactly the right to leave Afghanistan and could have done it gracefully if DT hadn’t gotten in early to mess up the withdrawal.

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Agreed. Afghanistan is where empires go to die.

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I think he is playing chicken. Two cars heading towards each other and who pulls out first. Face losing situation.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

It is occurring to me that having a competent captain and crew performing diplomacy and planning in the long-term is so out of vogue that people do not even know how to recognize it anymore without prodding. We have become so inured and addicted to constant showboating that people are having trouble with the idea that someone is actually accomplishing anything if they manage to do it without the showboating. It took TFG's particularly toxic brand showboating (and the Democrat's desperation for an antidote) to get the public to give old-school competence a try. Most of the Biden '20 campaign was just about getting the yelling to stop, and most of the '24 campaign will simply be attempting to get the public to wrap their heads around the concept stuff actually got done for them without being yelled about.

Kind of a sad statement on our current society (thanks, "reality" TV!). I suppose the fact that we are trying at all is hopeful and a sign of the continued possibility of America to cause correct and/or reinvent itself.

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Will, from Cal,

100% agree and appreciate your comment!

President Biden is a product of an American family who lived out their faith beginning within then in the ways they lived and cared for family, in the way Joe has met with tragedies and disappointments in life. These are shared experiences, we each have had to deal with ...in some way. Note how he and Jill have met with so many families who have dealt with tragedy.

Joe has been voted into office year after year. He has learned so much through experience. Over time he has developed friendships with foreign leaders.

Yes he is old....what is the alternative? Along with age, has come wisdom, relationships, an understanding of our nation and a love and respect for all of her citizens as well as those who need a "home" ie foreigners.....(which we all were at one time).

Joe Biden observes our world, as well as our country, and how much goodwill and cooperation can be achieved.

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Well said, Emily. Thank you. Have been trying to spread these thoughts all around, as there are many who need to hear and absorb this line of thinking and reasoning. We need four more years just to get everything back on track so Americans can feel secure in their homes and jobs. We welcome a “slow” news day! So tired of the histrionics and threats coming out of the GOP horde.

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Dana, TFFG said we’d be “tired of all the winning”….um, nope, it’s more like “tired (REALLY tired) of all the whining”!!!

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Seriously!

I keep saying (only partially in jest) that we should all be able to sue TFFG (love that, by the way) for PTSD. A class action?

It took me forever to fall asleep last night because of all the horrendous antisemitism springing forth here in this country, starting with that whinging idiot, Elon, and proceeding through some of the usual suspects, Fucker Carlson, the ever opportunistic Candace Owen, Charlie Kirk.

What TFFG has unleashed here is an endless horror.

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Nice language.

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Will, Emily Dana, I so agree with what you say. Unfortunately "histrionics and threats" are not just content for the extreme right media. As long as MSM has to count clicks and likes, we are going to have to fight for reporting about competence and accomplishments in domestic and foreign affairs. That's just not as sexy as histrionics and threats. But it will be so worth it!

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He has earned our vote in 2024.

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May he get all the votes he and his team have earned! He is teaching US leadership skills as we have not had them in many, many years. A president for the crisis (climate change and nuclear bombs) we are living.

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Emily, lovely words indeed about Joe Biden.

I keep saying this: “Joe Biden is the right person to lead us through this critical time in our history. I am so very grateful for his leadership, his experience, and his commitment to get the job done for our country, and for the world.”

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World leaders know what to expect from him, and that he will talk and listen. Trump was a wild card; let's bomb Syria (oops it was Iraq), Lets bomb anyone and not give the military a heads up (remember all of those "headaches" that those soldiers received?). Essentially pull out of NATO and any other multi-national organization. No sense of decorum (walks in front of the Queen of England) ( holds on to a handshake that the other leader was feeling uncomfortable. I think that was photo op.) Offer to pay the check and walk out. Name calling ( not even original names) like a third grader. Has he said," Stick and stones will break my bones, and names will never hurt me.?

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Agree completely, Will. Too many Americans want to be entertained, not governed. The White House should not be The Jerry Springer Show.

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I agree.

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Will, your last sentence expresses very nicely what I think is going on right now: something that bodes well for our future. Trump is desperate, hence the over-the-top rhetoric. It is striking that so many of the pundits fail to acknowledge this, perhaps because it doesn't fit into their preprogrammed "style of analysis", which is a century or so out of date. Though it will not happen automatically, what I see happening is that potential Americans have for course correction. Even the polls, once one discards the sloppy ones, shows that is what is happening, and the recent elections certainly do.

Unfortunately, too much of the media is still caught up in the horse-race mentality and actively looking for the underbelly of something to ponificate on. This mornings was a discussion about how supposedly young people are abandoning Biden because of his stand on Ukraine, or Gaza, or something. Complete with quotes from a few young people. That's not news and it's not analysis. That is just plain sloppy "reporting".

A few days ago, a couple of young people in my neighborhood stopped to say thank you. They told me that seeing me at my age (80 rapidly pushing 81) taking up our town Dem party committee (inactive except in name only for years) was inspiring to them. They realized that change can happen one step at a time, and that we elders are showing them the way. Wow. I told them we're in this together.

What I didn't say is that a lot of people my age were handed a big responsibility when we were young and told it was up to us to fix things. That's a huge load for young people born just after a depression, a huge war, and then the conformity of the 50s. But we tried, thought we'd failed (Nixon, Vietnam, Reagan, Bush, etc).

Then we remembered: We stopped the Viet war, and tried to stop others. We (of all backgrounds) fought for civil rights for a lot of marginalized groups and still are. Many of us rethought our parents' consumer culture and tried different ways of doing things. We became entrepreneurs of companies that became employee owned instead of parts of larger conglomerates. As we got old, some of us took a look at our lives and decided to use the skills we'd learned to try to make more change. And here we are, still at it, and excited to see young people and middle-aged people coming in behind us- as we had in the footsteps of activists before us.

So we keep going, overlapping generations. There is no such thing as discreet "generations" that can be described with a label or a set of assumptions, though heaven knows the media keep trying to divide us up and assign us labels to market. Bull puckey on that. We are all part of this dynamic potential for America to course correction and reinvention. One foot in front of the other, reaching out our hands and helping each other along. Immediate goal: create a functioning national Congress. Long-range goal: preserving true democracy by, of, and for the people. All of us this time.

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YES! We have had our missteps, but we got a lot right too. At a mere 78 I recognise your words as truth. Thank you for saying that.

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I also, at a mere 78, have come to recognize the contributions us old hippies and gays have made in our society. We have changed the casual language and formal entreaties reflecting these changes without much mention or acknowledgement from whence they came. I smile at the word "munchies".

I smile when I learn that Kissinger learned over Nixon's shoulder, looking at the massive anti-war protest of "youngsters" spread over the entire Mall in the first national demonstration (5/17/65), in so many words told him that "yes, they will kill you if you dropped the bomb". I hoped for the literal interpretation but the political result did it for me. Yes I smile.

I smile at seeing the Pride flag flying, knowing that my tribe persevered through the plague and changed medicine and health-care through our persistence and help from allies who could see and change their minds. Almost incidentally, we showed the entire world that we are here, that we have always been here, in every culture and society that has been made, and that we will always be here.

I smile at our exclusion knowing in the end it is futile, but I fight against it however I can. I smile at our inclusion as people discover that we are not exactly "other".

But I am still going to let my freak flag fly!

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I was there for the First March on Washington Against the Vietnam War! It was on April 17th, 1965.

And every time some pundit accuses "older voters" of supporting TFFG I want to object!

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I have found about throwing rotten tomatoes at my TV. Screen accomplishes nothing good!

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I know this is not supposed to be Facebook or anything like that, but did you go to Watsonville high school circa 1963?

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Brava, Annie, very well said! It really does take all of us.

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Yes. We Americans expect our politicians to be corrupt sacks of shit, so we can’t see when they do something good and can’t hear them when they promise to do good things for us little people. We see it as just another way to slice the baloney.

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About China, I saw a 5 year old sum up this situation; "talk don't fight." Standard preschool lesson.

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It's so nice to have an adult in the White House, isn't it!

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My grateful prayer every day. Our MSM did a masterful job of portraying “Schitt on a shingle” as caviar. It’s time for truth in packaging.

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Jeri has been absolutely on fire these last few days. Tell it like it is, lady!

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She rocks, doesn't she?!?

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Can old rock. Ha

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

Older, Jeri, not old!😎 And older can Rock!😉

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Like the birthday card I just sent to my youngest: not older, just more layers of perfection!! :D

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So many on here speak for me, a blessing to find others who don’t have an agenda that spell’s catastrophe for a country that is flawed but has so much potential to be really great.

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Jeri, I always compliment the first person who makes me smile in the am. Today's goes to you.

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Thank you. Smiling in the early am is a treat

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Jeri, using few words, you’ve succinctly captured the moment!

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Thank you, been my feelings for so many moments..

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Phil, thank you for this observation, eloquently stated. The courage and determination of the Ukrainians are really inspiring. Their suffering and hardship are heart rending. Putin must be stopped and, hopefully, tried as a war criminal.

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I am glad you said White House. Congress is a car full of clowns-fist fights, threatening an investigation because someone was elbowed in the hallway. Big achievements were making Pelosi move her office and paying some poor soul only a dollar. The only way any thing is getting anything one is that people are crossing the aisle. There is this hardcore group who would refuse aa new car if a democrat offered it.

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And by an adult you mean someone actively contributing to a genocide ? Interesting definition of adult but that’s on you!

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I suppose you’re referring to Biden and the US officials involved with the Iraeli conflict with the Palestinians. I agree that what’s happening to the Palestinians is inhuman and shameful. But I ascribe that to Netanyahu and the leadership of the IDF. Biden’s involvement to this point has been to support Israel’s right to defend itself, and to make a strong case to Israel, cautioning against: a ground invasion, punishing or harming civilians, destroying Gazan infrastructure; trying to get the Raffah border crossing opened for aid and for exodus for Palestinians and other nationalities to flee.

The fact that Netanyahu did the opposite of all of these things is his responsibility, not Biden’s. Reportedly Biden has been very frank with Netanyahu behind the scenes, going so far as to say publicly that he doesn’t expect Netanyahu to be in power for very long.

No aid has gone to Israel—due to Congressional inaction. But at this stage, who knows what Biden has said to Israel about future support.

If you weren’t referring to Biden, then please ignore this comment.

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I agree with you here, Tom!

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I have to wonder what would happen if we cut off supplying weapons to Israel, demanding that the IDF quit its genocide of the Palestinians. I don't feel qualified to evaluate that, but this has to stop!

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I agree. I guess in some way that is beyond me, the Administration views that as a very drastic step to take with an old ally. It's not Israel we are contending with here, it's the extremist Bibi Netanyahu.

In my opinion, the U.S. has to do something to make the Israelis realize that our total support is contingent on their behavior.

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My observation is that Xi probably listened and had a constructive talk with Biden because of his age and wisdom. Biden has been around the block, proven strategic, long-term thinking skills, and brings to the table the future hopes backed up by knowledge of the past. Biden is no buffoon, and Xi needs to climb back from his “Wolf-Warrior” bet.

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They had a four hour talk! When was the last time you had a substantive, and probably intense, talk with anyone?

Can you imagine Punkinhead having a four hour * conversation* with anyone about anything but himself?!

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Can you even imagine the stamina that our President has to undertake a four hour talk with another world leader with opposing views? That would challenge a man half his age, yet he continues to show us his command of international issues and his wisdom in dealing with world crisis after world crisis.

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Good thing Joe Biden isn’t old and decrepit!

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I remember Helsinki, Putin played him like the chump he is

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A friend is married a an Obama deputy defense Secretary. He calls him “Punkinhead”. I think it’s a prefect for the empty orange gourd.

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I do imagine that he could go on for many hours about himself throwing a few observations about whales, Obama as the current president, etc.

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There is that cultural tendency to honor the elders there in China. Biden being older than Xi was probably a subtle influence in their interactions. That and the beneficial example of the results of the Biden path for Xi to examine and learn from. I am sure it is a relief to Xi to have someone with gravitas and stature at the helm of American power these days, as he is confronted by some of the problems associated wild and wooly capitalism in his own house.

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Perceptive and useful. Thanks.

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Xi is also no buffoon, and we should remember that he holds billions of his people in the palm of his hand. In spite of poor marketing(maybe Wolf-warrior has different connotations in Mandarin than in English, maybe it is a poor translation of some other term? ) he probably deserves some credit for trying to drag more of his people into the 21st century, but he was apparently seduced by the shiny up-sides of quick capitalist growth and didn’t have anyone around who could explain the hazards of depending on housing construction, and other common pitfalls of the endless growth model. Biden is probably the closest person to someone he might regard as an equal that Xi has, you know? Not Modi, lost in bigotry. Not Iran, with religious zealots stuck in tribal prehistory, or Saudi Arabia, with a Prince apparently enamored of American mobsters. Even without Merckel at the helm, the Europeans manage to pull together these days, mostly, but Bannon and Boris Johnson did such a number on Britain it will take a long time to regain lost ground. Africa has its own troubles. Where is Xi to look?

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Someone asked me last night about what the Biden-Xi talks accomplished. My answer was brief. I think they set limits on the economic and military behavior of both nations, so each now knows better where the other is coming from.

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As I listen to the news about US and China relations, I can not but remeber the late nineties or early 2000s and the hopes (greed?) we had for the markets in China and how great American corporations and our foreign policy encouraged investments in and moving production closer to these markets. Our "younger brothers" accepted our development and business skills in exchange for conditional market access; the condition being that we shared our secrets, technology, and partnered with China in everyone of those ventures. I also remember the trilogy written by James Bradbury (The China Mirage, The Imperial Cruise, Flyboys) wherein he explains the Bristish hope to gain markets and the deal made to provide gold (which China lacked) in exchange for opium, narrow markets, and ports, along with American missionaries and our foreign policy/businesses shaping the affairs that led up to failed Pacific Rim agreements and Japan's entry into WWII. The Biden-Xi conversations are essential as they are between world leaders who grew up in their respective spheres of influence, each with a keen eye and awareness of the long-game they are now leading, and no misconceptions about what's at stake.

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This is why history is important, despite too many academic institutions putting it in the back seat, behind the other 'liberal' arts.

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Barbara, its refreshing; Leadership. Diplomacy is messy and complicated. Its practice takes extraordinary skill and temperament. Average citizens are never taught the process and little understand the intricacies; thus its overwhelmingly boring and is easily dismissed by Trumpian “either/or” strongman proclamations where “yea team” is the battle cry

Negotiation is the art of each side getting some of what they need, not getting all they want. A Bad Deal is where one side is left deflated and overpowered. A good deal is where both sides retain “Face”

Biden/Blinken Diplomacy is “un” newsworthy to Clickbait Media (drama too complex to be understood easily); but its the essence of forward thinking, path charting and ultimately National Security, something the Steve Bannons care little about. Grievance Politics is a short path to destruction

Re-elect true Leadership

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Thanks, Dave Dalton. After following the news about the conference, watching President Biden meeting Xi at his car, then reading HRC (remembering never understanding “diplomacy” 1815 Vienna), for the first time: Voilà! (Do you remember DT with Queen Elizabeth? Leadership is refreshing.)

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Or shoving aside other world leaders, chin jutting out, so he can be at the front for a group photo op….SMH…the guy is a true embarrassment to our country….hell, to the human race!

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So what do you call the genocide in Gaza ; ‘difficult diplomacy??’

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Yes, very difficult. Hostages complicated by dealing with an unpredictable Hamas and Israeli penchant for revenge warfare and the obstacle of dealing with a Criminal who’s goal is to maintain the support of West Bank “settlers” to keep him out of prison and confound a two state solution

Yeah, which buttons do you push publicly and which ones in private?

Do you have a suggestion that has not been explored?

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Thanks for the clear outline of that complicated situation, Dave!

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True, Dave, this is a moral/physical/cultural morass smothered in glue and molasses….a very sticky situation indeed. That so many “civilians” are suffering is heart-rending and soul crushing. I hazard a guess that there is strong diplomacy, especially behind the scenes, between the US and Israel (and other regional players)…the USA has leverage, yes, but not control over this situation, nor should we “control” the actions of a sovereign country. IMHO, Biden & administration abhor what is happening in Gaza, just as they abhorred what happened on Oct 7th.

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Agreed. What I find confounding is that people will quickly blame Biden for the actions of Hamas, then blame him for actions of Nitwityahoo, then blame him not fixing decades of dissension over the Palestinian state, but have no issue with Bush/Cheney aggression, or Iran/Contra

“Biden should ‘fix’ the Middle East and Ukraine and stop mass migrations of humans fleeing terror at home. Its his watch dammit”

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Dave, agree, it is a totally gobsmacking conundrum!

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I find myself continually reminding folks who bring up Biden's age as a negative factor that his age brings with it experience and wisdom. I further comment that those particular qualities (along with large doses of patience and humor) enabled him to choose a cabinet that knows how to prioritize goals and get things done. In short, he knows how to choose an orchestra and lead it with finesse as well as panache.

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Pat, exactly! The complete opposite of “I alone can fix it”!

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Love “finesse” and “panache”! Perfect description.

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Reading this I thought, hmmmm, those would be cute kitty or dogger names! [several decades ago I had a pair of kitty siblings named Sooner and Later]

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LOL! How about Chutzpah and Moxie?

My aunt, a trained musician and beautiful singer, had two horses growing up, she called Harmony and Melody. When I was young Melody taught my sister and I how to ride.

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It looks like Biden and company are undoing the damage trump has done. The tariff warfare worked so well and cost us how much? It is difficult to accomplish a lot if you have to start at ground zero.

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Karen, and he and his admin are accomplishing so much with one arm tied behind their backs….I imagine how much more headway we’d be making if we had a majority in both houses of Congress….like actually getting more legislative work done for the people!

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Yes! And compare that to the MAGATS that want to destroy our democracy and promote inequality.

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This is such a clear and concise summation of the last few political years in China. I feel enlightened and even hopeful. Thank you!!!

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HCR on target, as usual.

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"Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia, Vietnam, and the United States."

Are the economies of Guatemala, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador so insignificant they weren't invited to be part of the group?

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You missed the point. This is a Pacific Rim conference.

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...which is why they could have been invited. Last time I checked, these countries bordered the Pacific Ocean.

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Actually, I wasn't thinking about all of the other island countries like Fiji and many others. I guess their economies weren't large enough to warrant an invite or maybe their governments weren't stable enough.

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Asia Pacific

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Check again.

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Probably the completely frank answer is yes. But the G-8 and the G-20 are also discriminatory by their very nature. It may even be a mutual decision. Those countries are strongly net importers of goods and services.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

The Chinese have been doing this for at least 5000 years. We are learning. But our president and his team is more skilled than you are giving him credit for. Did you note the practiced hand with which he greeted Xi?And his report of being “straight” with him? Also the “trust, but verify.”

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Please. You’re going to compare Biden to Reagan now? Trust, but verify? Come on.

Biden/Blinken are ‘skilled’ at pushing American Exceptionalism narrative, and hegemonic propaganda. That’s it.

https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/us-officials-admit-theyre-literally

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Biden and Blinken are “pushing” Democracy. Exceptionalism is a Republican concept. Eisenhower is the last Republican (and only) that I have ever voted for. (🤣 If I were a Republican I would call you out at dawn for suggesting that I would compare Biden to Reagan. It would never even occur to me! Reagan’s economics are largely responsible for the loss of the middle class that Biden is trying to restore.)

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Biden and Blinken are pushing American global hegemony. Period.

I’ve never voted for a Republican. Ever. Wasn’t quite old enough to vote against Ike, but knew from an early age, via my grandmother, that one should never vote for a Republican because it was the party of capital; Democrats were the party of working people…. Until Clinton. Reagan’s economics were neoliberal economics, and unfortunately, the Dems bought into that. Biden is trying to mitigate its excesses, but make no mistake, he is bought and paid for, and will bow to capital demands whenever it threatens his, or his party’s, electoral viability.

Check to see where you fall on the empire simp scale linked below, especially #4. I made it through unscathed. You?

https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/30-signs-you-might-be-an-empire-simp

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That list is too biased and angry to be useful. Since you dislike Biden so, who would you support as a replacement?

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Not “the Chinese”. Xi, and it is probably not even chess, but Go, I think it is called.

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Let's see the otherwise-unemployables of the DC Press Corpse take note of what just happened in San Francisco in the meeting with Xi. Isn't it strange how an old guy who can't talk straight could engage in at that level?

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His brain is still functioning, no word salad, just boring, but competent success. Take note, you keepers of our daily diary, it’s time for truth about who is a patriot and who is a traitor. You too, Rupert, and clones…

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Exactly, Jeri. I'd rather have a mildly declining man of wisdom than a dictator wannabe whose stated intent is to burn down the house.

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Biden functions and performs at a higher level than the "Do Nothing 118th Congress" short sighted majority in the HOUSE. How can the House not see the Russia/China gains if Ukraine fails to maintain boarders and rescue their people from Russia? As for the US voter, it may be too much to expect without a full press reboot.

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Why is this word 'patriot' used so often in the US....seems a bit old.

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Patriot is not a bad word, but too many use it instead of jingoism.

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In some circles, patriot is code for “unacknowledged but active white nationalist tendencies”,

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They did try to steal it, but to me patriotism is love of country, not hatred of other counties, or we’re better than you shit-hole countries.

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Hi Jeri, to most of us, I think it means that.

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Love ones Country...good or bad. Huh!

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No, no, true patriots stand up to stop venality and corruption when needed. For an obvious recent example, Alexander Vindman comes to mind. He told the truth about what Trump was trying to do in Ukraine, and lost his job for his truthfulness. Also, to less credit, Mark Meadow’s little special assistant, Chelsea what’s her name. She’s a smart young woman, and when she realized what would happen to her if she kept lying about what she knew, she told the truth as she understood it. Patriot is not a bad word, but should be used correctly. It’s not so black and white. Why would you try to make it so?

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Recognizing the faults and still loving, as we all do with loved ones.

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And in some circles it’s a professional football player. Your point escapes me.

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Yes. I figured this out which is why it shouldn't be used?

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No, it should just be used correctly. For instance, I feel that every sitting member of Congress who signed that letter of intent to annul the 2020 election results, should not be called patriots, but rather, colluders to attempted treason, in spite of the fact that many of them are happy to call themselves patriots. Do you see the difference?

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Sorry but it BUGS me. Of course I see the difference just people doing their jobs. It's like giving a medal to everyone who does the right thing?

Only to my knowledge Americans use this.

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It is almost meaningless these days! Especially after the way the former person uses it.

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Exactly! Some people aren't old at 95, and some are old at 45. I voted for Biden because getting TFFG out was the most important thing and I WOULD have voted for a cheese sandwich at that point, but he has exceeded my imagination. I wish more people would recognize that he's a competent, intelligent, and very decent man. (Not to mention a bit sly. :D )

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Couldn’t fathom how anyone could still support chump. His horror was on full display, except on Fox, where the “cut and paste” guys tried to make him look like a Robert Redford, and as astute as a wise owl. The cult loved the fantasy, and still does.

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Same. What was the line before the 2020 election? " I would vote for an empty tomato can, before I would vote for Trump." You did make me chuckle with your cheese sandwich line.

I remember watching Biden on John Stewart sometime in the 1990's. He was very witty and John Stewart got the best out of him. I think that was the election I voted for Ralph Nader. In my opinion, Nader was the most intelligent candidate that ever ran for President and perhaps the most selfless.

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But with the biggest ego. I thought as you did, but felt that he couldn’t win, making him a spoiler. He still wants to be. Also, Stevenson my candidate for most intelligent…

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You may be right about Stevenson being the most intelligent. Obama was also smart and charismatic which many of the candidates are not. Biden seems to make up for a lack of charisma with his personal folksiness and his ability to interact one on one with anyone.

I used to work on-site in New Haven, CT. To fly there would have taken about 8 hours from Bangor through Philly, so I drove the 6 hours. To pass the time, I would listen to podcasts. My favorite was Ralph Nader. Like Biden, he is very good at one on one interactions.

On the other end of the intelligence spectrum--have you read Andy Borowitz's book?

Profiles in Ignorance: How America's Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber Paperback – September 5, 2023

by Andy Borowitz (Author)

It just came out on paperback a couple of months ago. I highly recommend it.

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Love that title, could be because the electorate got dumber, or the propaganda got more sophisticated. From Atwater to Rupert, quire a leap…. I’ll check it out.

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Not boring, but engaging if you are interested in the direction America is going and it will effect all of our lives.

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Exactly, but not the “entertainment” that so many go for. Walter was not entertaining, but engaging to the max. Joe is relevant and speaking to our future. Nothing more important to our progeny

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Biden's words sound even more presidential when compared to the Indicted One who demands loyalty like Hitler's generals and wants to boot all disloyal Americans out of the country. The priorities of a madman cannot be a presidential platform.

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Speaking of which, did anyone see that Univision, whose reporter in 2017 tfg scathingly refused to answer and told him To “go back” to Univision, has now, under new management, is all in toward tfg? The Biden campaign had already bought ad time on Univision and it cancelled those ads because of a ‘policy’ of not running ads on shows with one interviewee. Talk about backing the wrong horse! Kushner apparently knows one of Univision’s executives and introduced him to tfg. Are these ppl dumb enough not to know tfg is playing nice right now because it’s in his interest?

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I may be wrong, but I thought that I read yesterday that the Univision reporter who interviewed tfg without any pushback has been fired. Maybe there was more negative audience reaction than expected?

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

An anchor from Univison quit, but the interviewer, (an anchor from another network) did not. Just found this. “ Univision news personnel have reportedly been concerned in recent days over the network’s hour-long broadcast with Trump, where the contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination went on at length with incorrect statements that received little pushback. The Nov. 10 sit-down was not conducted by a Univision journalist, but by Enrique Acevedo, an anchor from Mexican network Televisa.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2023-11-15/news-anchor-leon-krauze-departs-univision-over-controversial-trump-interview

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So who at Univision okayed running this on Univision? I'm kind of confused. It sounds like evasion to me. But I'm out here and whoever made those decisions is inside there and I am wondering what the heck is really going on. Closing the barn door and all that?

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I read somewhere that Jared Kushner arranged for that interview to be aired. I’m sure someone will dig into that story.

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That's because Televisa, the new owner of Univision, is run by a far right conservative.

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The Democrats need to court the Hispanic vote and do it in Spanish. The Republicans figured that out in 2016 for TFFG. If Biden wins the Hispanic vote in TX he would take Texas.

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No, but Trump’s campaign is outmaneuvering the Dem campaign for the Latino vote.

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Like how you say this so bluntly.

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AS I was reading this summary this morning, what crossed my mind was how the other leaders must feel in dealing with someone like Pres. Biden. It must be such a relief to them to deal with a leader that has years of experience and can deal with them in a mature and diplomatic manner. And to be able to actually accomplish great things - together.

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Bravo TC!

I'm wondering how the GQP will spin all this news---if they even bother. No matter how outrageous their shenanigans are these days, we're just supposed to swallow it.

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Spoiler alert: the Democratic President will be "weak on China." You can tell because he shook hands with Xi like a simp, rather than using the method communist autocrats respond to best: yelling at them from across the table about how our country is actually the boss and we will crush them with our iron fist if they don't cough up what we deserve from them. Everyone knows that!

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As opposed to Trump’s unctuous concern over whether Xi liked the Mar a Lardo pie?

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Maybe we need to start using<sarcasm> and </end sarcasm> tags? I saw what Will was doing, but it is hard to tell sometimes, sarcasm by definition can be subtle.

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Yeah, we've had discussions about that. When things were really bad, it was hard to tell Borowitz from reality. A little easier now, as long as we have Trump as a backdrop. May that era end soon.

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Obviously you don't know Chinese History.

Hand pumping is gauche.

Throughout History with every nation they have had dealings with is always to keep them guessing for a LONG time.

Truly one of the safest Country's to visit even a woman on her own like I was. Enjoyed it there very much and oh the History.

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I believe Will was being sarcastic and you missed it.

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Not quite sure what you are getting at... While the handshake is uncommon in China, the host country was the US, where it IS common, and I am sure the Chinese delegation knows that. When in Rome etc.

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Haha. Yes, we know what Trump would do.

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They aren’t looking for a better relationship with anyone; they don’t even want a US government at all.

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How do you know that?

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Look at what they do.

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Their statements, their behavior, Robert Hubbell

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Just go to any of the GQP peoples fb pages. Try Rosendale's ofMT

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Who knows if it's true. Seems we only have Biden's word for this.

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You apparently missed the snark in my post.

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TC, you forgot the "snark font" which is near the "sarcasm font" on some keyboards. My keyboard does not have an "irony font"... I wonder if I could download that...

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Let’s use <irony> or <snark> etc. Help the discourse move smoothly, reduce misunderstandings...

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Hmmm, think Substack would allow all those fancy fonts? 😈

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Nope. And being dyslexic, I’d get them backwards.

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Is there really such a font or are you being sarcastic? <no font available>

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I usually add <sarcasm font> at the end of my sarcastic comments.

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Before I was banned for life from the WAPO comment section, the indicator for sarcasm was /S. I pointed out that someone was a troll and was banned. I still get a message telling me I'm banned every time I check out the comments.

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Choose the latter of your two alternatives.

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I really need a <snort out the nose> emoji.

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I did!

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Good. These are the times that try one's sense of humor. :-)

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Snark is a beaten dead skunk.

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Yes, she did.

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Lordy

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How can we demand truth and accountability from media corporations? How can we get Rupert and Fox and the other misinformation entities turned off and declared enemies of our country? Until we end the propaganda, I fear for the future of our Republic. Living in Florida and witnessing the political landscape here (drove past a home with a sign on their lawn stating that trump won...depressing, to say the least-and it is EVERYWHERE), how can we shine light on the truth of the Biden administration? How do we combat the willful ignorance of oh so many fellow citizens???

I truly love these letters and the truth expressed here and in this group gives me hope-but then I go out my front door and I’m confronted by the typhoon of misinformation, ugliness, lack of compassion and kindness, and intentional ignorance of so many. The weltschmerz is REAL. How do we get the dems to improve messaging??? The need is beyond urgent. The call is imperative. The GOP will murder democracy if given the chance.

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There's a great obstacle to messaging truth (as against massaging it):

People can no longer recognize any reality that is not purely virtual.

They can't make sense of what IS, being by now totally immersed in what is not. Not surprising they can't relate to Biden, given the funhouse mirror image implanted -- not only by Fox but by most media. Editors have become like those doctors whose attention is so riveted to their computer screen that they've all but forgotten the patient sitting in front of them.

Even the loudest, scariest alarm bells are failing to awaken them -- and so much of the population -- into anything but worse nightmares.

That's why I've called for 100 000 Paul Reveres -- but... would a million or ten million be enough?

The world's on fire, smoke's everywhere... and tens of millions of Americans are dreaming weird dreams deep in drugged sleep.

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Well put Peter.

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But I'd far rather be saying pleasant things to people...

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Some steps to improve messaging:

1. Re-write in your own words what you read here and distribute to local news media, friends, acquaintances etc.

2. Chop Wood/Carry Water has dozens of steps you can take daily - Jess Craven makes it easy with links, addresses, phone #s, suggested text & talking points....and lots of encouragement, compassion and good humor.

3. Hold the MSM accountable; send them your outrage every time they miss or mangle a story. Let them know you see through their omissions and slanted coverage.

4. Mine these substack comments communities for the incredible variety of information, ideas, resources and well-turned phrases...and take comfort & courage from the growing and highly-motivated grassroots community. Tell everyone you know about HCR, Robert, Jess Craven, Simon Rosenberg and 50 other great resources cataloged often in these discussions.

5. Figure out where people are reading/watching/talking in your community and go there with your voice --- the library; schools and school sports; community forums; local government; public events; county fairs; etc. --even the supermarket.

6. Don't just talk the talk; walk it, too. Actions always speak louder than words, especially in this clogged internet-focused society.

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Ok, I've seen it too many times. What is MSM?

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MainStream Media

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Thanks Margaret.

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Great summary, Tom. Thanks! Stealing to share with my town Dem Committee, along with some other resources I'm compiling.

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Thank you, Tom!

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I was in Jacksonville for 3 weeks recently and I didn't see a single TFFG hat or sign, even at the airport. And it wasn't because I wasn't looking. I'm not saying JAX is turning Blue, but TFFG and DeSantis have done little to make JAX a better place.

One thing I was very surprised at was how many people eat out and how expensive it is in JAX. I was walking by an outdoor table at a pizza place and a mother was complaining to her kids, "$43 for lunch on a Tuesday." What's wrong with PB&J sandwiches that might cost a couple of bucks?

And what's with the MAGANAZIs in the FL legislature doing nothing about the homeowner's and flood insurance rates? But yet they are happy to do DeSatan's bidding when it comes to Disney, abortion, LGTBQ, vaccinations, etc

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Jacksonville just elected a black woman for mayor. It was quite a new direction in a formerly red area.

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Some ppl wish to live like the wealthy on a 1950s budget / prices. They live in "reality TV" mode.

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Same in Texas. Intentional ignorance, thanks to MSM following Fox model in addition to Goebbels-style propaganda. It is hard to combat, as Germany found out.

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Thank you for noting this Jen. I live in Florida too, for the past couple of years. I agree completely about the ugliness that you mention, the lack of compassion and kindness. I have come to think of FL as an intellectual wasteland, ignorance and entitlement reign. How do we indeed get the message out to folks too absorbed in their own pleasure to listen?

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Jen. You nailed it. Does FCC have a role? Knowingly spreading false information on public media should be somehow punishable.

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There should be three clearly-identified categories for public reporting of current events: news/opinion/gossip-heresay with news requiring substantiated references. Schools should teach students how to recognize and value each type. That should prepare young people for evaluating candidates, too.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

Jen,action helps keep me sane in my red Fl county. I too have those signs in my neighborhood although no intention of battling the willful ignorance of my neighbor(and others) with the Trump Nation/Anarchy flags.

Local grassroots action is making a difference !

-County Commissioners overturned their vote defunding the Supervisor of Election’s cost of sample ballots/return postage for mail-in ballots…. after public outcry

-County Commissioners overturned their vote defunding ALL cultural grants in a not-so-covert attempt to ban PrideFest….after public outcry

-MAGA-dominated school board just voted down a motion to ban every book already banned throughout Florida….and Moms For Liberty( NOT)was founded here!

-MAGA school board is also backpedaling on arming teachers …after public outcry

-Dem incumbent city council candidate squeaked out a win(14 votes) against a younger, successful busiesman and GOP candidate….every door knocked,every action matters !

😎

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There is one house in a town I frequently visit that has a large sign outside that says, "Don't blame me, I voted for Trump". My body and mind have a terrible reaction whenever I pass it. I've grown accustomed to looking the other way when I pass it but still I know it's there and react, but not as bad as if I saw it. I cannot imagine being surrounded by it. My heart goes out to you Jen, for having to deal with the display of chosen ignorance you are surrounded by.

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Hugging you. Sarasota County, Florida is host to Mike Flynn, Moms for Liberty, and Proud Boys. Schools can’t host book fairs. We have Desantis building a weaponized “State Guard”, training south of Jax, with their stated agenda “to be a part of history.” 🤷🏻‍♀️. I’m truly gobsmacked by the intentional lack of kindness, decency, truth, and compassion exhibited in this state. Have people always been this way and I just was cocooned or ostriching?? Trump normalized the ugly-and now it’s on full display.

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Jeanne, the only thing that works to keep me from going into that negative space is to turn it around. Instead of letting my body perceive it as a threat, I open myself up and let myself feel compassion. I am in control of what I feel, so this removes the power of the person or the object over me. It can take some practice, but it does work. And then I have all that energy for myself instead of letting someone else siphon it off.

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Thanks for the tip Annie. I will work that into my meditation routine.

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Jen,

Ending propagana is impossible in a free nation. (Of course we cannot yell "FIRE" in a movie theater when there is no fire....and where people may be trampled...although we can allow an "orange flame" to destroy our Democracy) VOTE!!!!!!!

We choose what we want to absorb or we are so influenced by friends that we are afraid to stand for truth.....we can be a bunch of 'weak willed groupies'. VOTE!!!!!

OUR DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE....WORLD PEACE IS AT STAKE!!!! THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN IS AT STAKE!!!! VOTE!!!!!

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I have noticed a distinct increase in rude behavior and speech even among people I know. I overlook a lot of it, because for one, there's no point responding and two, it's not worth the energy. Some things can't be let go, and I even have to remind myself at times to think about whether I really need to say something, and if I do, look for the kindest way to say it.

That doesn't mean soft-pedaling the unacceptable, but it does mean recognizing the dignity that other people are entitled to. I keep reminding myself that we all have just experienced a pandemic that isn't done yet (my son-in-law has Covid again right now), Many people experienced impacts from having Covid that they may not even recognize that affect how they process information and interact with people. Then there is the aftermath of social isolation and the many uncertainties that came with the pandemic. We are all feeling our way through this. And then there's TFG. Good grief.

No wonder we're cranky and sometimes express things with dark humor. The only way I've come up with to deal with it is a combination of patience and compassion, and sometimes just walking away if that's all that's possible. Keeping my eye on the possible, and deliberately looking for things that give me joy, or make me feel grateful.

If things get to me sometimes, l take a break for a bit. Something we all need to do for ourselves. It's part of self-care.

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Poor little George. Probably wise not to run for re-election. (Did he, in the first place? and is his name really George? I wonder where "home" is, to go back to?) Another one bites the dust... Are we allowed to smile?

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"Republican" contempt for the Republic's rules of law is so intense that they are getting careless about getting caught.

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With his gop-credentials: lying, cheating, fraud, and sex website patronage, he’s probably going to run for president. It’s been done before.

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🤣🤣🤣Another coffee spiller! Today’s letter really IS inspiring!

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I hear Kitara Revache may run for that seat.

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It's time... to LIP SYNC FOR YOUR SEAT!!!

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Let's not drag (queen) her into this!

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In this day and age, nothing would surprise me anymore.

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He’s not gone yet…

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Good point Jeri. If TFFG tells his MAGANAZIs in the House to allow him to stay, no doubt he will remain.

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Yep, he is a yes for whatever MAGAts want.

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