328 Comments

Does Professor Richardson have a team of skilled and experienced researchers or is she a one-person wrecking crew, or both? I pose this question because she consistently, day-after-day-- for the past eighteen months at least-- provides an astonishing array of stunning in-depth information on a staggering scale (from legal to political and geopolitical, from economic to historical). And, most importantly, she distills, organizes, and determines how this information relates to larger themes and forces, and presents it with the skill and power of her superior writing skills. I do not know how I would have understood (and dealt with) these troubling times-- and they will continue-- without the benefit of her intellect and abilities. Thanks, Professor Richardson!

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Knowing stuff is good. Sharing it is even better. ThankYou HCR!

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David: Though I, too, am in awe of Dr. Richardson’s unprecedented perceptivity and wisdom, as a subscriber for less than a month, I also am profoundly grateful for this community at-large, specifically for its commitment to genuine dialogue, for its understanding that if people talk, and they talk sincerely, with the same respect that one owes to a close friend, something will come out of that, something good.

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Nicely stated, David. She IS amazing, isn’t she. AND she teaches. Whaaa?!!

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And she writes books and offers live videos (on Facebook twice a week: one answers questions she asks readers to submit; the other is history lessons) and does podcasts with fellow award-winning historian Joanne Freeman. And she has a personal life.

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Hey, Mim, yesterday and today, I was in Georgia, one of your states, by Facebook, watch the closing arguments in the trial of those three guys who killed Amard Arbury. The woman, Linda ________, the prosecutor who gave the final two hour talk, ripped to shreds the defense lawyers' commentary from yesterday. The jury is now beginning their deliberation to decide on the guilt of those three mem. If the jury does not find them guilty on all charges, we will all know that the poem by Gill Scott-Heron from the 1970's, that I shared here today still rings true: It's "Winter in America."

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I wasn't familiar with the song but went to Wikipedia as I listened to it on YouTube. This is what he had to say about it:

"In a February 2009 interview with Jalylah Burrell of Vibe magazine, Gil Scott-Heron discussed the album's concept and title, as well as the social and political atmosphere at the time of Winter in America's recording.[36] In retrospect, he stated 'We felt as though we had come across something that people did not understand or did not recognize but that's the season that we were going into, not for three months but for an extended period of time. A lot of the folks who represented summer and spring and fall had been killed and assassinated. The only season left is winter. ...Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King and John Kennedy, those were folks who represented spring and summer, and they killed them. So we wanted to do an album about where we were. And we weren't trying to depress people, hell, they were living it, they already knew but we were trying to describe it and were certainly not alone... we felt as though a part of it was the folks in charge of the political structure. They were snowmen...'" But let's try not to feel depressed. Yet.

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Thanks, Mim, for sharing this. I think today most of us agree. Here's Gil Scott-Heron's book of poetry, which includes "Winter in America:" SO FAR, SO GOOD, published by THIRD WORLD PRESS, CHICAGO, coopyright 1990.

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AND Heather admits she sleeps, too - - -. Nope, don't know how she does it. My doc is psych & statistics, so I grok stupid levels of complexity, but she does THIS and I'll bet is amazing in her courses. I HOPE she's got a small herd of grad assistants helping run all this down. If not, she truly is superhuman.

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I have the feeling she is truly super human.

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To sleep, perhaps to dream—-out lobstering with Buddy, smother the lobster with butter, a lovely wine before the fire watching a stunning Maine sunset—SUDDENLY AWAKE AND FRENETIC RESEARCH AND WRITING THE NIGHTLY LETTER. Heather, we appreciate your noble personal sacrifice for us—and could you please pass the buttered lobster?

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Thanks for your comment. My thoughts exactly!

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... and she has a day job, podcast and is probably writing a book. I absolutely don't know how she does it.

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"Mike Pence told the Republican Governors’ Association this week that he would be supporting incumbent Republican governors rather than Trump-backed challengers."

A sad case that Mike Pence. Sad as they go.

Pence, as far as my reading and background in his exploration of counting the votes on January 6th, absolutely did explore the possibility of, and how he might execute, an overthrow of the government. Pence made various phone calls to folks looking for support in doing what Trump told him to do; overthrow the government during vote counting.

Doing what he was told was what Pence had done since he was a kid and Trump and he were a perfect match.

I have never seen anyone crawl at the feet of another like Pence crawled at the feet of Donald Trump.

And I have seen a LOT of crawing on the knees in my time in Corporate America.

Pence makes the lap dogs and favor mongers I have seen in corporate America look like independent thinkers where being a lap dog is relevant.

In the end, Pence declined to actually do anything, but, that is not because he thought it was wrong. Pence has never actually done anything in his life and his inability to do anything simply prevented him from overthrowing the government.

Had he been a more self actualized person, we would now be authoritarian and watching Trump rob every corner of the government for his personal fortune, which, is his goal.

Good riddance to Mike Pence.

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"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." I applaud Pence's efforts to split the Republican Party away from trump in his quest for the Presidency. Please note I am not applauding Pence.

I welcome even the faintest glimmer that there are Republicans out there like Max Boot and the FOX folks who just left their job that there will be Republicans who care as much about Democracy as Democrats do.

We're going into a year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. I am reading comments venting about the "bad guys". I understand the need to do that. I sure have done my share of it. Now I am just plain weary of all the hating, commiserating and criticizing. I just spent some time reading the Dispatch since it came with HRC's column. There are some of the old style Republicans out there who are anti-Trump. And they are right in that there is a liberal bubble too.

I just wish so much that the rational Republicans and the rational Democrats could come together to shore up Democracy in this Country. And I am not talking about the politicians.

Anyone else weary to the bone with the all hating and criticizing we do?

Just some thoughts.

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Saying there is a liberal bubble too, while true, is what-about-ism at its finest. The “liberal bubble” isn’t trying to undermine democracy, it’s trying to convince with ideas. The difference is so wide it’s a chasm.

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You are correct Kathy. I too am tired of what-about-isms, both-siderism and false equivalencies. There is an enormous difference between my friends who rabidly support tfg and hate progressives and my (much larger group of) progressive friends who think critically, seek out diverse viewpoints and want our democratic republic to survive and improve for everyone, not degenerate to authoritarianism.

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Please hear me on this. There is more than one type of Republican. We are witnessing a seismic split in the Republican Party between the radical, anti-Democracy Fascist Republicans and the Romney type of Republican.

If there are those type of Republicans who will speak out against what the fascists are doing then good for them. The Lincoln Project are people who worked for years in the Republican Party. They helped Biden win the election. And I sent them money to help achieve that goal.

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Barbara, I can’t justifiably say that anybody in Congress or in state government who can’t support equal voting rights now is anything but a Fascist.

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You make a good point. That is a good way of identifying the fascists in our Country.

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The goals may be different but the retreat into respective camps is the same.

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And yet, the Dems keep trying to achieve bipartisanship, to negotiate, to meet somewhere in the middle. To be met with refusal. While our feelings about the far right may look similar to theirs about us, I don’t think it’s the same. We are not threatening to kill them. We are not threatening Manchin and Sinema with expulsion from the party. We are trying to achieve consensus.

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We were talking about ideological "bubbles" to which ordinary folks retreat.

I'd add that in turn, this gets exploited by party operatives (of whatever flavor) who garner power and control by keeping folks divided rather than actually solving problems or making societal contributions.

I will agree, though, the democrats are not quite as disgusting as the republicans.

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I think this comparison is a false equivalent. Democrats want to repair democracy and Republicans want to dismantle it.

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In this, I think the Dems are being strategic. When the democracy has been saved, there will be two parties (call them what you might) pursuing contrasting ideas representative of our diverse makeup. I value the tension of clear thoughts and values for this democracy of ours. Turning decency on after vanquishing the evil that is now won't happen. Hewing to bipartisanship, especially when it is playing out within our diverse ranks, is a core principle and one I hope survives (even if JM and S are stubborn).

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I am SO WEARY of the fighting but I am more SO TIRED OF THE LYING in the name of politics... And USING RELIGION as though it makes it right.... I doubt I will ever see true sincerity out of my politicians..........

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I am not speaking of the politicians. They are hopeless gladiators in the fight to the death/preservation of Democracy. And what I am trying to formulate in my heart this morning is a lessening of the internal dialog/mindset of hate I have carried. That's all.

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Yes! The anger! My Daughter in law and neighbor said I sounded like a Crabby old curmudgeon the other day. The lies! Yes! Internal dialog! My prayers yesterday were covered in tears! There is so much work to be done. Think I need new running shoes! Rant over

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RJS, I could certainly make a Bob Dylanesq song from your comment. Just a thought:

I’m so weary of the fighting

So tired of the lying

Religion doesn’t make it right

Rise up Rise up all, from the night

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Love that !!!

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It’s time to stop envisioning that you are dealing with some sort of “Eisenhower era” Republican Party.From Reagan onward the party has steadily embraced more and more fascist elements be it Koch/JohnBirch and/or Theocratic Christian Nationalist.

You are aware that during the Trump White House that there were daily “prayer meetings” conducted by some of the worst Christian Nationalists you can imagine.

Another helpful thing for us all is to really fully accept that the United States is actively under siege from Fascist far right Billionaire funded 5th Column. The most recent assault that was indeed intended to be Trump’s “Reichstag Moment”. In the short term they incompetently blew it. All that Trump had to do was have his Capital Thug minions keep up the assault for a few more hours and then declare a national emergency and invoke the PEADs. Please google the PEADs or I have to again write another 3 paragraphs to explain these extraordinary powers we have granted the Executive branch. These acts would suspend freedom of the press and activate a political roundup not unlike what Hitler did in 1933 under his “Enabling Acts.”

If this 1/6 Committee fails in the complete unveiling of the insurrectionist like Bannon, Giuliani and a host of other truly deplorable snakes then we may as well prepare to pack up for Trump Antifa Education Camps along the Texas Border.

Barabara, I assure you I am not proposing hating. I am proposing real awareness of the dire state we are in.

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I was not and am not suggesting even thinking of a detent with the maga Republicans.

It is regrettable that people are so triggered by my comments.

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Barbara, I agree with the points you have made. Also, I appreciate the conversation that has resulted from your comments. I come here for understanding, and that comes from discussion, even if it is sometimes sharp. We are feeling our way through a morass. I'm glad to be in such good company here.

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Me too. I appreciate and learn from and enjoy the conversations.

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I rather figured that my simply pointing out reality was somehow going to be seen as my being triggered. Please understand that your "why can't Republicans and Democrats get together and work for the nation " is something I here expressed ad nauseam by many well meaning people.

What I am concerned about is that we are in the midst of an ongoing insurrection that with each day brings some new blow that harkens back to the rise of Nazism. That comparison too is something that I get a lot of pushback on as being beyond the pale and hyperbole.

Republicans have absolutely, repeat absolutely nothing, to be gained by reaching across the aisle to even honestly debate any Democratic Party initiative. I wish Biden would get this. The two or three who dare move in our direction do so knowing they become automatic pariahs. So, why we continue to delude ourselves is beyond me,

But Barbara I think the fact that you are a paying subscriber for HCR tells me that you are truly a wonderful, empathetic and egalitarian person. So, please don't feel I hold any form of animostity toward you.

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You pack a powerful punch in your writing which can come across as triggered/lecturing. Anyway. I keep saying there are 2 wings of the Republican Party: The FRP (Fascist Republican Party) and what's left of the Party Eisenhower knew (which frankly is pretty much gone too).

I have also been voicing that we are in a slow moving that began when trump was elected; got really serious on January 6 and continues to grow in intensity and thus danger with every day. I, too, am frustrated with Biden and Garland. I don't know any Law so can't recommend any action at this point.

We had a good discussion today didn't we. Thanks. It was fun.

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My own wife frequently reminds me that I come off as too didactic, so, yeah. I agree with your statements, but would suggest that this process is like a snowball that gathers mass over time.

The right has always been on a mission and the fact that they are powered by a small yet powerful group of largely white Christian men is easy to lose in time.

I too remain frustrated w/ Biden and Garland. In the case of Biden I would sum it up as like generals who are always fighting the previous war. That may well be the paradigm for Garland too, but we both sense that they are falling far short of what needs to be done to arrest that forward momentum.

I hate saying this, but if the JFK assassination archive releases are any indicator we will never achieve the truth that sets us free.

Look forward to reading your insights in the future

Steve

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"Anyone else weary to the bone with the all hating and criticizing we do?"

Barbara, thank you for your thoughtful writing.

I am not weary of seeing reality, no.

I am not weary of putting into words the reality that I see independent of external assignments of positive or negative interpretation.

I am not weary of calling out those who fly the flag half mast when a black guy runs over five people in WI but cheer and put out American flags along their driveway when a white person runs over a bunch of people at a white supremacy rally.

I am not weary of asking when Trump will be arrested for treason and sedition.

I am not weary of reading HCR's historically poignant insight every morning.

The only thing I am weary of is listening to the middle school boy talk of the likes of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Trump Jr., and the huge number of middle school trash talking adults that vote Republican and talk like middle school white trash (because in my East Texas middle school the black kids did not talk trash like some of the white kids).

THAT, I am tired of seeing because, well, that is what America has become in its majority.

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Thanks for these eloquent thoughts Mike. Kind of reminded me of the the Lincoln Project's "Mourning in America" video last year.

"THAT, I am tired of seeing because, well, that is what America has become in its majority."

Are you sure it's the majority? How can we tell? Polling cannot capture the exact or even near truth. The loudest people seem the greatest number in any room.

I keep thinking/hoping there is a silent majority in the Country who want Democracy as much as we do.

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❤️

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Not just Pence, but all of the Johnny-come-lately arrivals to their anti-trump stance, are despicable enablers of the current situation.

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They are cowards. They don’t want to oppose Trump because they’re afraid of the threats - from their own side! And yet, people like AOC, Liz Cheney, and Adam Schiff, etc., face those threats every single day and keep on doing their jobs. Because they are fighting for something larger than themselves, and they know it.

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Miss Lindsey has been remarkably quiet. Waiting to see upon which side the ax will fall I imagine.

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Will.

You are exactly correct.

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Pence explored the possibility of complying with Trump's demands, but in the end he followed the law even after the insurrectionists called for his public execution. He also reportedly refused to be driven from the Capitol by the Secret Service, fearing it was a set up to keep him from overseeing the counting of electoral votes.

So on a single day he showed courage that may have saved democracy, at least temporarily. But he quickly returned to currying favor with Trump. It seems as if now he's trying to have it both ways.

The big question is will the House select committee subpoena Pence? He could divulge to the nation the details of Trump's brazen attempt to subvert the will of the people. It must happen.

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I agree.. This person was behind Trump all the way

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If you view some Drump meetings with Pence sitting to his left, you will view Drump taking a drink of something, and then Pence immediately following by drinking from his bottle or cup. I knew then that Pence was a man afraid of anything Drump.

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Suspect that Pence is seeking absolution now, not repentance. Absolution from would-be supporters for his Presidency (announced?) If per chance tfg gets trumped before 2023.

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"But we sincerely believe that all people of good will and good judgment—regardless of their ideological or partisan commitments—can agree that a cavalier and even contemptuous attitude toward facts, truth-seeking, and truth-telling, lies at the heart of so much that plagues our country. "

I have to say, I was very surprised that Jonah Goldberg, of all people - a man who over the past 25 years has done more than his share of promoting "a cavalier and even contemptuous attitude toward facts, truth-seeking, and truth-telling" - would do this. The Dispatch must be a bigger money-maker than I thought it was.

That said, the fact that he did do this will, I hope, get his readers to consider why he did this, which may lead to more of them ceasing to store their heads up their asses.

It is in fact nice when an unexpected person lives up to one's hopes, rather than down to one's expectations.

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"the fact that he did do this will, I hope, get his readers to consider why he did this"

It would require critical thinking which is in short supply among those that listen to this type of disinformation.

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And when people, hopefully, begin to change their minds in the face of just how scary and crazy the Fascists Republicans have brome I hope we all will welcome them and begin the task of shoring up our Democracy. Because I can 100% guarantee if we push them away we lose all hope of saving this Democracy.

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Correct

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That’s a good prayer for Thanksgiving this year. Thank you, TC, for your sizzlin’ and thought provoking participation in all things!

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True, damn, I called them ostrich’s, but his visual image is a winner.

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All this is well and good… “the fact that he did do this will, I hope, get his readers to consider why he did this, which may lead to more of them ceasing to store their heads up their asses.”…but unless we get ANY voting rights bill passed, we are up Schitt’s Creek without our paddle of democracy! Why won’t the Senate carve out voting rights from the filibuster???

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The two Trojan horses

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Yes, but I wonder if they are the only two.

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Both have supported the Fox vermin for decades; I have read Goldberg and wept at his twisting of truth. I used to read conservative writers but people like Goldberg made me give that up. Better late than never, guys. But again, will history write that we waited to late to rise up. Rupert is still on his throne…

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My question is this: what took Goldberg and Hayes so long? These obscenities have been constant for years, and the damage to our democracy has been ongoing all the while. Good that they woke up, but they have acquiesced until now, and had to know the damage their ilk was doing.

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As Orwell pointed out, it is difficult to get a man to see a fact when his paycheck commands he not do that.

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As a small aside, I believe that (“it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”) was written by Upton Sinclair. Here's another good one from Upton--“Fascism is capitalism plus murder.”

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It was certainly one of those guys who knew what in hell they were talking about. :-)

Thanks!

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TC, you are unfailingly correct!

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he is

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For the treasonous far right, the Rittenhouse verdict was their Reichstag moment, pretending they responded “heroically” to a situation they provoked.

If people can be driven to act out of hate and fear, like when they attacked the Capitol, then they could be driven to act out of hope, as well. If it weren’t for the investments made in our rural communities by the New Deal, America wouldn’t have had the manufacturing capacity it needed to win WWII. Unfortunately, the devastation to rural communities from globalization, and a foreign misinformation campaign, fascists have been able to radicalize the very communities who rose up against them in the past. We really need to reinvest in our rural communities, now, before we have to build a wall around them.

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"For the treasonous far right, the Rittenhouse verdict was their Reichstag moment, pretending they responded “heroically” to a situation they provoked."

I had not thought of that, but, great sentence and absolutely true.

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Absolutely true, the far right is our Nazi provocateurs. The right is their supporters.

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That’s what stumps me, these are the people who rose up against them in the past. Propaganda is powerful seems to be the explanation. Your last sentence is critical, and is what Biden is attempting to do. may the Trojan horses grow a pair, yes Sinema too

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Democrats are doing their best to invest in rural communities. Unfortunately, the white supremacists who populate the place put all their eggs in the Republican basket. That’s why we don’t have enough Dems in the Senate to eliminate the filibuster. The top priority in white rural America is not investment in their communities. It’s the freedom to continue to oppress people who have some non-European ancestors. For this privilege, they are willing to sacrifice much, including investment in their communities.

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I know them well

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I also considered that he is their new hero because they failed at making the death of Ashlie Babbit on 1/6 into a nationwide martyr. This one they can take out and wave around. He;s hound and impressionable. I listened to a moment of him with Carlson and people talked about how well-spoken he was. He’s been groomed. He read a teleprompter and got rid of all his slang. He’s picked up the rich-boy cultured tones and we know his mother doesn’t speak that way. He will never be free again even if he’s not in prison.

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But he cries like a bully baby on cue

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From today’s LFAA:

“Two days ago, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who sits on the committee, told CNN that many of the people they’ve interviewed so far—more than 200—have been Trump officials who testified voluntarily and wanted to be subpoenaed for “cover.” “

Perhaps this is a small crack allowing a small beam of light or my own innate optimism but the fact that these folks wanted to be on record as cooperating is hopeful. Despite the antiestablishment posturing from some Republicans and their

public lawlessness, there are those who fear the consequences of having taken up with them.

Their lawlessness will be very costly because enough of the system of laws is still working.

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I pray you are right.

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So do I.

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At approximately 3 AM I received notice that my preorder for “To Make Men Free” by HCR had been delivered. I suggest all readers buy this latest book. I believe we can put Professor Richardson atop the best seller list for NON-FICTION!

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Good idea.

I read this book last winter but I used a public library copy as I am a huge fan of the American Public library system.

However, I will order this book today.

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I am too. I love our libraries. When possible I borrow audio books so I am learning while doing mundane tasks.

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I wish I could focus on audio books, to me they become background noise and I lose track of what was said. So I use the libraries and I buy hardcover books of authors I love

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I tried audiobooks. Much of my work is driving from site to site and I though they would help pass the time. I found they distracted me from the driving. Not a good thing. I can't listen to them on site, either, as I have to focus on the work.

Maybe after autonomous vehicles are available.

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NOT a good thing at all!

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I resisted the idea of audio books for a long time but found that if I gave into myself I'd do nothing other than curl up on a chair and read all day and night. So, I divide my "reading" time – audio books are for pleasure reading, hard copy and e books for learning. I never listen to a book if I am cutting or measuring. I've made disastrous mistakes doing so.

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I just put "To Make Men Free" and "How the South Won the Civil War" in my cart (my wife and I always discuss purchases but she will OK this one when she wakes up.)

How the South Won the Civil War is already atop the bestseller list at amazon.com.

Also, Bill, as I recall, she published this book in 2014 or earlier. A while ago.

It is a great winter book Bill. Definitely, it is a great book, but, the word history moves along at breakneck speed. I only read it in my early mornings after coffee.

If I read it in the afternoon, well, it is like practicing morse code in the afternoon. Did not go well.

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Just ordered HCR’s ‘To Make Men Free’ from my local independent where they had two copies that just arrived. Thank you Mike. As a big fan, always happy to help support her effort to promote democracy.

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Will do, today

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Here is a poem by Brian Bilston

AMERICA IS A GUN

England is a cup of tea.

France, a wheel of brie.

Greece, a short, squat olive tree.

America is a gun.

Brazil is football on the sand.

Argentina, Maradona's hand.

Germany, an oompah band.

America is a gun.

Holland is a wooden shoe.

Hungary, a goulash stew.

Australia, a kangaroo.

America is a gun.

Japan is a thermal spring.

Scotland, is a highland fling.

Oh, better to be anything

than America as a gun.

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We'll be on our way to solving many of the problems besetting the nation when the day comes when the SCOTUS gets around to reversing their abominable 2008 decision in DC vs Heller in which the late Justice Scalia wrote that the first thirteen words of the Second Amendment have nothing to do with its final fourteen words. To save you the trouble of looking, here are the words of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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“President Joe Biden is focused on making Americans believe in democracy again by making the economy work for regular people. His policies are working.”

In spite of the headwinds created by most Republicans and some Democrats, President Biden is doing a stellar job on domestic issues. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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But will the trump supporting Americans who will benefit from all of this ever “get their heads out of their asses” and realize it was due to the Biden administration?

My hypocritical congressman, Rob Wittman, is putting out on FB that “Wittman secured funding for Middle Peninsula economic development “ when he voted NO to the infrastructure bill. His Republican voters will believe him. It boggles my mind.

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That’s exactly why the Democrats need to be buying billboards on major highways in their districts and putting in corrections, as their constituents drive by every day it just might begin to sink in that they have been lied to by their congressional representative. Attacking is the only way we are going to win this battle for America.

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Yes! I have been saying this repeatedly. It's the only way to reach these folks - when they aren't driving, they're tuned in to propaganda in various forms. Billboards will work!

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Sooner rather than later at that.

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Billboards won’t help, nor will any other messaging tactic. Facts do not sway Republican voters. What sways them is the commitment of candidates to preserve the advantages that white Americans have always held over the rest of the population. Republican candidates make that commitment. Democratic candidates commit themselves to fair-minded governance, so the majority of white voters will not vote for Democrats, no matter how much it might benefit their communities.

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Good points Rex... Republican "deplorables" absolutely have to know that they are not receiving crap from the Trump Tax cut, Coal jobs near materialized and yet what propels them is some sort of mythical belief that at least "those people" (choose your favorite dog whistling term for people of color) aren't getting a free ride.

Now ideally I like to believe that when they get government checks each month for their snot nosed (one born 9 months after the other) kids that perhaps they will realize that Republican in lock-step voted against that

money in your pocket for YOUR progeny:

Esample: Couple w/ 50K combined income

You will likely get $900 per month from July to December, plus $5,400 when you file your 2021 taxes, for a total Child Tax Credit of $10,800.

That’s $4,800 more compared to what you would normally receive from the standard Child Tax Credit.

Can you see the campaign add that shows smiling families being able to buy school supplies, better feed their kids, or fix the car so mom can shuffle the kids to and fro school?

Sure, then vote for Republicans who will end those checks in less time then it took me to write this post

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Minor fixes - coal jobs "never" materialized

Example of Child Care benefit is for 3 kids under age 6.

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Every time they take false credit it needs to be pointed out that they in fact voted NO! Every. Time.

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I reposted his message on my Facebook page with a large ❌ over it and stated just that!

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For my money, and I have never spent a penny of it at Walmart, praise by its CEO does not make me believe in democracy again. It conjures up government collusion in all Walmart's abuses - to the degree that unconscionable practices are legal and that illegal practices are not prosecuted.

The 1% wealth and undue influence of the Waltons and Walmart, speak to me of betraying our democratic aspirations for economic and environmental justice, and instead treating all life and our planet as 'resources' to be exploited for personal profit.

I know that the Biden Harris administration and Democratic majority are doing formidable work towards serving our nation, towards preserving our well being, democracy, and environment. Towards building back better against the obstructionism and violent extremism of the Republican party, against its intransigence, irrationality, and ignorance. Whew!

Good that the supply chain is being improved, even if it benefits Walmart. Passing the Build Back Better bill will be a step forward in making the Waltons and Walmart pay their fair share for all the human labor and government services they disproportionately and greedily profit from.

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lin I am with you re: Walmart. They are the epitome, in my opinion, of uber-capitalist tendentiousness and mendacity and always have been. I was forced to shop there when living in a very rural region in which Walmart had destroyed almost all the local and family-owned stores but since I moved back to the urban milieu I have not shopped there. But that is the reason why this is an important moment. In rural America, Walmart is pretty much the only locale. And Walmart has been consistent in its support of the most extreme rightwingers--although not necessarily the wing nuts, although Arkansas is certainly a center for wing-nuttery. They use virtual slave labor in developing nations to manufacture their crap and reap the benefits by dominating rural and ex-urban regions where people are forced to shop at Walmart because there is literally nothing else available. And they tell people that low prices are their Amurrikan right. So if they say something nice about Biden, that will probably resonate with the folks whose consumption is located in their stores. It's a tiny tiny step.

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I have watched WalMart do that in Oregon (I often refer to them as Mal-Wart...) I do not shop there, and try to make sure that when I am in a town with both a MalWart and another store (personally, I choose Ray's Food Place or Thriftway when available; both regional stores who bring decent groceries to rural communities) I will shop there.

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Are the benefits Walmart derives from Biden Harris government policies being translated by Walmart into higher wages for Walmart workers and lower prices for Walmart shoppers? Or is Walmart perpetuating wage stagnation and price inflation - and encouraging voters to blame both on government in general and Democratic policies in specific? Are low info and ideological GOP voters moved by facts in general and CEO statements in specific?

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Those are good questions, I would suggest that they be asked of all of the small businesses that walmart has crushed, you will find no end of them to question, they number in the thousands, that’s the very reason that they are the only game in town in rural America. You can draw a map with concentric circles from the location of any walmart, in those circles you will find a desert of small businesses that compete with them, on the outer fringes you might find a few still operating but the closer you get to their “superstore” the fewer there are. One of the main reasons that images of small town America shows so many shuttered businesses, is that there is a walmart nearby. Twenty years ago when I lived in LA we fought like hell to keep them out for all of the above reasons. I haven’t crossed the door of one in over 35 years.

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Even worse, Walmart moved into several small New Mexico towns, drove the local stores in bankruptcy, then a year or two later, closed the Walmart because it wasn’t profitable. That’s left the area residents stuck with having to drive an hour or more to buy groceries.

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Linda, as a side note about Walmart. If you go on their website, they have plenty of "Let's go Brandon" products. They appear to be 2 stepping them, but they are complicit in carrying them on their website.

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Yes we were stuck with Walmart when we lived in Hilo, on the Big Island. I remember mostly picking up Rx there. We did the 2-hour drive monthly to the Kona side and stocked up from Costco. All fruits and veg came from the farmers market. There was a Safeway but it was rare we went in. All trash generated on the island had to be hauled away off the island so we did everything we could to not use canned food or preboxed stuff.

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I 100% welcomed the Walmart CEO's comments. It represents significant support for what Biden is doing. I will most definitely use the Walmart quote when discussing the supply chain issue. A huge amount of people patronize Walmart; including trumpers.

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Despite the despicable practices of Walmart and other companies, we need to recognize that big business can and should be a key ally in efforts to thwart anti-democratic forces. Civil strife and even war are a major threat to profits, so it's in their self-interest to help coax the nation back from the precipice. They could start by halting or greatly reducing campaign donations to all but a handful of Republicans. (Yes, some pledged to do this after Jan. 6, but the promised apparently had a short shelf life.) Am I confident that they do much? No.

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Yet, they carry "Let's go Brandon" products on their website. 🤔

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This:

I will most definitely use the Walmart quote when discussing the supply chain issue. A huge amount of people patronize Walmart; including trumpers.

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There definitely is a different customer mix between our Florida chain, Publix, and

Walmart. Publix has announced limit restrictions on certain Thanksgiving-related items. I’m just waiting for DeSantis to declare the War on Thanksgiving.

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My first thought was will that CEO have a job tomorrow.

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Republican leaders eat their own in Trump loyalty tests

Fox News Reporters quit in protest over Tucker Carlson propaganda piece filled with disjointed information re Jan 6 inurrection

Atty Lin Wood fights with Kyle Rittenhouse over 2 million dollar bail money

In other news, Wallmart Exec praise Biden adm for their heavy lifting to fix supply chain issues

While the GQP wrestles with Trumpism, Biden is working to make the lives of average Americans better

Flood the zone with reality

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In the 1950s and ’60s “B” movies set in the criminal world closed with the death or imprisonment of the villains, followed by a message in big letters:

CRIME DOES NOT PAY

In more recent decades, we’ve been seeing that nothing pays like crime.

Inflated to a national scale, racketeering is proving a remarkably effective tool for political conquest: “Pay up and you’ll share in the spoils, fail to pay and we’ll kill you and your family. Go against us and we’ll find you anywhere in the world.”

Logically, the only remedy is for the State to strike harder than the racketeers, putting the fear of God into the mobsters and those they control. Not always easy at a time when many Mafia lawyers have been appointed as judges.

“The Law? I control the Law… […] Through my lawyers…”

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'B movies set in the criminal world used to close with a message in big letters: CRIME DOES NOT PAY . . . now we've been seeing nothing pays like crime.'

The devolution of American society can be traced through its Republican presidents.

Nixon felt obliged to assert, famously however falsely, that he was not a crook. Reagan essentially proclaimed, if you are not a crook then more fool you and more for me. In pardoning the Iran Contra felons and rehabilitating its various miscreants, GHW Bush legitimized dirty tricks. As did GW Bush in legitimizing torture and rehabilitating Scooter Libby et al. Republicans celebrated Trump's ignorance, skirting, and breaking laws as proof of his executive talent and presidential qualifications - they still are.

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I remember every one of those actions, and even some of those who helped. Kemp said “Rupert Murdoch used the editorial page, the front page, and every other page, necessary to elect Ronald Reagan President.” Woe unto us all.

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I've heard the dilemma you describe called "la plata o el plomo" (forgive my Spanish), as related to the Mexican drug cartels and their control over government officials in their territory. Translates to "the silver or the lead." As in, take the money or take a bullet. It's a brutal choice, and anyone who resists usually becomes a lesson for the next person to choose carefully. And so the corruption becomes endemic.

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what we get for electing a mob boss

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"U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, sought to define what it means to interfere with an official federal government proceeding." That really is a key question. One I am astounded we are still sorting out over 10 months after the fact. Intended or not, the effect was to delay the certification of a duly elected President of the United States. I suppose I should be heartened that a Trump appointed judge is even thinking along those lines. Will he continue to do so when the death threats start?

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The intention was clear enough, it certainly was to the right rabble and the planners of treason

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I am sharing your thoughts🥰

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! More good news for our side! A few days ago somebody on this page referenced a pastor in OK who was calling out a church for turning their prayer service into a political rally. Here is the TikTok link. Hope you can see/hear it. https://www.tiktok.com/@pastorfromok/video/7030500553360674054?

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First time on Tik Tok for me. I have no social media presence. I prefer the public library.

Although the tenor of the delivery is far beyond the overall level of emotion that is normal, I found his message accurate.

They should be paying taxes if they are collecitng money at a political rally while chanting "F**K Joe Biden.

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Churches have changed into, well, Republican Pharisees.

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Not all of them, Jeri.

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true, just my experience

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Many pastors calling it out, Lynell. Good share. I’ve talked to a few pastors that are holding steadfast against allowing disrespectful, hateful rhetoric in a house of worship. And teachers are holding the line everywhere.

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Thanks, Lynell! And good morning to you, too!

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Morning, Rose!! Tik Tok is not my go-to for news or entertainment but if the message resonates...

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Indeed! And we can't forget that TikTok resonates loudly with a lot of people. Check these interesting statistics: https://www.omnicoreagency.com/tiktok-statistics/

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And we mustn't forget their "shennigans" at TFG's rally last summer!

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Spending as if the Future Matters

Nov. 22, 2021. Paul Krugman

For centuries, America has invested taxpayer money in its future. Public funds built physical infrastructure, from the Erie Canal to the interstate highway system. We invested in human capital, too: Universal education came to the United States early, and America basically invented modern public secondary education. This public spending laid the foundations for prosperity and helped make us an economic superpower.

With the rise of the modern right, however, America turned its back on that history. Tax breaks — essentially giving wealthy people money and hoping that it would trickle down — became the solution to every problem. “Infrastructure week” became a punchline under Donald Trump partly because the Trump team’s proposals were more about crony capitalism than about investment, partly because Trump never showed the will to override conservatives who opposed any significant new spending.

Now Joe Biden is trying to revive the tradition of public spending oriented toward the future.

The Build Back Better legislation that passed the House last week isn’t a pure investment plan; in particular, it includes substantial health care spending that is more about helping Americans in the near term than about the future. But about two-thirds of the proposed spending is indeed investment in the sense that it should have big payoffs in the future. And if you combine Build Back Better with the already-enacted infrastructure bill, you see an agenda that is about three-fourths investment spending.

Here’s how I read the Biden program as it now stands. Total new spending would be about $2.3 trillion over a decade. This total would include $500 billion to $600 billion of spending on each of three things: traditional infrastructure, restructuring the economy to address climate change, and children, with the last item mainly consisting of pre-K and child care but also involving tax credits that would greatly reduce child poverty.

There’s every reason to believe that all three types of spending would have a high social rate of return.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/opinion/biden-infrastructure-spending.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqohlSVUZASbSRdkhrxqAwvLOzLE6w374IjKcUipY0u8JHpKNvlzVaKxvZt08mTSHQdsLeJkeeMtP9M4NdUp8V1vv5ZKehJUOJyhy99LjDj4808iIVOk0_Xq3PjTlbe50lbT64kjXOWLvUPHfhCchNx8l9cU-DSyi2XEPzqrBEOVwy4M-ia9nXsYmMG9GMCqavPDoCwF9OMGGbHzf6Qo0XeJaUVLDjILWquJAIEgJVwWwHD4o6n086dhfJNsXIK_6ShYgc8P7ir0aYXd6dOW-xMjXsqHu8Tj2YO-0Pw&smid=url-share

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Thank you for sharing this. Paul Krugman has been my sapiocrush for years and years.

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Thanks for including this and the links, Christopher. I'm putting it up on my FB page.

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So am I!

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Tis a pity Goldberg and Hayes didn’t remain at Fox News and publicly confront Tucker Carlson on air within the organization, presenting Fox News viewers with a choice, thus forcing Fox News management to make a choice by firing one side or the other. (Ratings!) That might have been a very productive, not to say amusing, (pass the popcorn!) public family fight.

Alas…

Now, wither Hayes and Goldberg? Into the arms of the Lincoln Brigade? Somehow I doubt it.

One hopes they have the courage of their patriotic convictions, conservatives are sooooo patriotic, just ask ‘em, to continue to publicly confront Tucker Carlson one way or another.

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Ralph,

I imagine that, since they were at Fox in the first place, their main interest is money. Somebody or something came along that gave them enough money to leave Fox.

Who might that be? Russians?

Anyway, don't expect great things from former Fox News employees.

That is like expecting a young former Russian KGB employee, like, say, Vladimir Putin, to embrace Democracy.

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Lincoln Brigade? Perhaps Lincoln Project?

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As a long term member, it is the Lincoln Project. We welcome anyone that wants to help clean up this mess. As I have said before, Attack! It drives them nuts when they get real resistance.

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Thanks for correcting my Spanish Civil War Freudian slip.

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Oops! Thanks. The Lincoln Brigade was the Spanish Civil War, right? Still anti-fascist.

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Righto. Nice save.

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Aside from Democracy:

Fauci Urges Americans to Use COVID as Excuse to Skip Thanksgiving with Horrible Relatives

“covid-19 could get you off the hook this year,” he said. “Consider this a doctor’s note from me.”

(Satire, By Andy Borowitz, The NewYorker)

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I know it's good old Andy's satire, but actually it's a VERY good excuse. I've already used it to turn down T'Day with a sister in another state. I just said I wasn't going to travel until the pandemic was officially declared an endemic and I was not venturing out of my safe little bubble with friends. She doesn't need to know how much I detest my BIL and his politics!

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Great to hear from you. Fauci would happy to know about your decision. I'm taking a T-break from the forum, until Sunday. Wishing you delicious days in the bubble. Cheerio!

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The same to you! I had planned on a quiet time with my books, but a friend thrice vaccinated (booster is #3) came down with break through Covid and had to cancel his plans with family. He's negative now, but worn out. So, it looks like I will be back to cooking this week. Haven't done that for a while, so it should be interesting!

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LOL, This is good to know! Thanks, Fern.

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A doctor's note takes me back to childhood (with a smile).

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