390 Comments

Yesterday Heather shared my photograph, The Source, and although I'm a day late, I wanted to say a little something about it.

My wife, Terri, was still asleep back in a friend’s home on the small, outermost inhabited island on America's Atlantic coast and I was out for an early morning walk with our dog and my camera. As I poked around the small harbor, I came upon the depicted collection of stuff in a yard out there and immediately thought of love and faith, not to be at all confused with religion.

I believe that love and faith are the primary sources of goodness in this world…hence the title. Conversely, I believe that the absence of either quality is the source of most societal malaise.

When Heather used this image yesterday, I was even more pleased and honored than usual since it so perfectly mirrors so much of what I feel here within our LFAA community.

I have become acutely aware of how much goodness and, yes, love there is here. Love of country, love of goodness, love for each other and, of course, love for Heather....not to mention Heather and Buddy's love for each other, now evident for all of us to bear witness given their marriage last week!!

Then there's the faith that I saw invoked by the shape of the cross made by the anchor...(faith, my friends, not to be confused with religion, per se). In the past couple of years I have come to intimately understand - again, bear witness to - the depth and breadth of the faith (and hope and more) that Heather's brilliance has inspired in all of us. Words fail to express the extent of my own gratitude, but, more than that, I frequently meet others from our cherished community who affirm the extent to which LFAA has helped them cope, given the diverse challenges that stalk the land these days.

In any event, thank you Heather and thank you all; LFAA, national treasure that it is, has done nothing quite so well as the love and faith it has added to my life.

And, as a parting note to this overly long comment, still further congratulations, Heather, to you and Buddy AND to the third anniversary of LFAA. All are blessings.........

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Dear Peter, thank you for your wonderful explanation. I noticed the anchor and thought “That looks kind of like a cross….”. Heather is also an anchor for us with her deep, sober and sometimes humorous observations. It is wonderful for me to be here. Thanks for your beautiful image. Have a great week. Elisabeth Iler, Maharashtra, India.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

Peter, thank you for the photo. Through the years I have collected heart shaped stones along the way. I have found them on walking trails in the woods to sandy beaches to city streets. When I think of where they were found, I can't help but think there are hearts of all sizes and shapes to be found everywhere, we just have to look.

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This message you posted is as beautiful as your photo.

Thank you.

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It was a beautiful photo. Reading your comment about its origins and meaning was like reading the “same” about a great work of art. I always enjoy seeing your work in this space.

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No comment is "overly long" when it is as meaningful as yours this morning. Thanks Peter for saying so eloquently what a lot of us think when we read these letters and comments.

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And thank you for the many images you have shared with us over these three years.

Their compositions speak to your mastery of the medium and to the love with which they are imbued.

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That is what I wanted to say, too. Your gorgeous photos have added depth to Heather’s words. Thank you.

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Peter Ralston

Heather is our cherished Minister of Love & Faith.

We are daily inspired by the Love revealed in her Letters for being an American.

Praying we continue to be showered in the blessings of her Love & Faith...

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Hello, Peter and thank you for the photo share. You have such a discerning, forager’s eye. Amazing how many hearts nature carves for us.

My faith and love toast to so many on this forum and the planet’s forum is….

Love and Light! We are all in this together. There is enough to go around.

Unita. 🗽📸

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Your words are just as powerful as your art-thank you for expressing what is in my heart as well-and, I’m guessing, the hearts of so very many grateful Americans for the Professor’s work. Thank you!

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Yes, indeed.

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I hear you are going to be interviewed by Greg Olear for his podcast…

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Oh, my goodness! Two lovers of democracy. Looking forward to it!

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Wonderful!

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Peter, Your lovely note and photo were needed reminders, at least for me, that if we are to persist, despite the inevitable frustrations and, I dare say, failures, in causes we believe to be right and just and moral, we must find joy in our lives. With enormous gratitude, Barbara

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Thank you, Peter, for your eloquence, clarity, and passion - which are always visible in your amazing photos - and now here in your words. Heather has indeed created and nurtured a community of grateful and inspired readers - all of us informed and energized by her offerings which often include your wonderful images.🙏🏽 ❤️

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Thank you, Peter. Your photo was beautiful.. your words equally so. As are Heather’s each day.

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Indeed.

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At our very core, we who follow LFAA and have appreciation for Heather's rich contribution to our understanding, are OPTIMISTS at heart. Wading through the current toxic waste of today's politics with a new understanding of historical context (thank you again, Heather) strengthens our resolve in our basic values. We are tenacious and resilient. We will do everything in our power to hold true to the words so eloquently spoken by AG Garland to our newest Americans. We refuse to become cynical or to surrender to hopelessness.

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“But Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo noted all along that DeSantis’s story didn’t add up. He is a Florida governor, but he moved people from Texas, and the story is hardly one that looks like a government operation. It appears that a tall, blonde woman going by “Perla” worked with two men and two other women to find migrants to move, promising them work and housing in Massachusetts and putting them up in a hotel until they got 48 people to go.”

How can DeSatis be allowed to play with people’s lives in this way? It is a violation of their human rights!

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Rowshan, DeS does not care about human rights or human suffering caused by him. It’s actually good those fifty people got out of Texas! They received help and kindness from the people of Massachusetts. There are more good people in the US than bad. But one rotten apple ruins the entire barrel! May DeSantis (a completely UNSAINTLY dude) and Abbott (what a strange name for such an UNCHRISTIAN dude) be trounced at the polls in November. I am praying for that. We all must vote and ask for them to be defeated....

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DeSantis (a completely UNSAINTLY dude) and Abbott (what a strange name for such an UNCHRISTIAN dude)

But very Modern-Republican; the realm in which pretty much everything is the exact opposite of whatever they call it; like "Citizens United".

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Good point, Elisabeth, about the unsaintly Abbott. Ironically, the last name of DeSantis also has saintly origins (partners in misnomer?): “The surname De santis is patronymic in origin, meaning it was based on the first name of a forefather. In this case, De santis is derived from the Latin word "sanctus," meaning "holy" or "devout," thus the original bearer of the name was known to be a holy and devout person.” https://www.houseofnames.com/de+santis-family

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Rose, Charlie Crist’s name is the best. Given this fundamentalist plunge into religion in our country. I love the history your provided. You can’t make these names up!

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Elisabeth, I had misunderstood your comment about Charlie Christ. Now that I have read about him, I understand that, as opposed to DeSantis, he IS appropriately named. I’m not religious, but will pray for Christ (the Florida savior)! 😉 https://floridapolitics.com/archives/556980-charlie-crist-slams-appearance-of-anti-semitic-pastor-in-ron-desantis-ad/

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It’s actually Charlie CRIST, but close enough. Even 45’s name is unbelievable.

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Oops! Thanks for the correction, Elisabeth! Time to put this cell phone down and get some sleep…

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

DeSatan

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Then there's the prefix "de"

"The de- prefix is one of the commonly used negative prefixes in English. It is mostly placed before a verb or action word and signifies the meaning of “undoing an action”. However, today the prefix ” de” has grown to signify several meanings. More specifically, it refers to “undoing an action” by removal or separation. It can also refer to something done thoroughly or something that is taken negatively. Additionally, the prefix “de” also suggests disapproval."

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In this case, though the "de" is a Latinate participle that generally means "from" or "of" and still commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese names to indicate relationship. In English usage, many of these have come to be surnames in themselves. Sadly, literal meaning in this case is not an appropriate descriptor.

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Caught me in the act, Annie! I have a casual relationship with that participle, but still think of DeSantis as... not a saint!

However, I appreciate and applaud your fact-finding analysis as regards this matter.

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Lynell, a most applicable interpretation of his surname!

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No Cardinal? or Pope? or even Priest?

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Nun

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<groan> Good pick-up, MaryPat.

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Elisabeth The word diabolical comes to mind to describe DeSantis’s ‘Marthas Vineyard caper.’ Who else could have concocted a scheme to hire “Perla” to recruit 50 Venezuelans (who were legally in the US), promise them substantial funds and jobs, put them up in a hotel, and then fly them across country—with the Florida governor doing this in Texas.

These gulled human beings arrived by plane in Marthas Vineyard, where local churches and citizens stepped forward to care for them. Meanwhile, questions are being asked as to the legality of a Florida governor using state funds to finance an immigrant scam in Texas.

Judge Cannon continues to be a Trumpist loose cannon. Her bizarre court rulings have produced a Special Master who isn’t following her script on screening documents. Also, Trump is between a legal rock and hard place as his lawyers have been asked to clarify his ex-president’s declassification charade. The smell of criminality?

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This is why I call him DeSatan, because every time I see his ugly face, it brings the word evil to my mind. I do love it that the Special Master has already thrown a wrench into the plans of death star and Loose Cannon...(talk about names). And it all absolutely reeks of rot.

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Michele I find DeSatan’s resume scary—top jock, excellent academic Ivy record, as SEAL got Bronze Star—. He seems to be a Trump with smarts and similar ethics. A dangerous 2024 presidential candidate.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

He is scary. But I am hoping that all these political stunts do not help him. It would be nice if he got into legal trouble over the latest one. I also hope that the sane people in Florida are working to get him voted out. Abbott is equally awful. He resembles my grandfather of the same last name, so I confess to trying to figure out his family background.

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YES!

VOTE INTELLIGENTIALLY, KNOW THE FACTS OF THE ISSUES, AND HELP MANY OTHERS DO THE SAME...

PLEASE

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Absolutely!!!

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Trump's base relishes the idea that he (or a proxy like DeSantis) is just "sticking it to the Libs."

If the Libs get stuck viciously and a group of "them" gets harmed, even better for the base to shriek in cynical joy.

With that as the goal, cruelty becomes a feature, not a bug.

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Malignant narcissists don't care.

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"How can DeSantis be allowed to play with people’s lives in this way? It is a violation of their human rights!" In the same way Trump has been "allowed" to get away with all he has done. This whole thing about the powerful being above the law really has to be curtailed. Because this type shenanigan is another example of being able to get away with anything...and it should make every one of us mad to the core. VOTE...

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Morning love! Rowshan, you must listen to Leigh McGowan, Politics Girl, latest rant from the kitchen. As I have quoted the screen character, Slim Hiller played by Jennifer Lopez, ENOUGH.

https://youtu.be/3_SkuP6x1vg

Unita. 🗽

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Her words are mine!!! My question was totally rhetorical, Christine. UNITA!!! Hugs.

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Merrick Garland's comments about the rule of law were the most articulate explanation of its critical importance to democracy I've encountered. He was speaking to newly sworn-in citizens but more broadly prepping the American people for the historic fight ahead. And, at the same time, powerfully making it clear to Trump and others brazenly flouting the law that the Department of Justice is coming for them. Let's see if Trump responds with yet another bizarre rant that reeks of desperation and mental decline.

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'Trump Demands Special Master Be Fired and Replaced with Extra-Special Master'

September 20, 2022

'Donald Trump speaking at a press conference with arms outstretched'

'PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)—Infuriated by Judge Raymond Dearie’s requests for information in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, Donald J. Trump has demanded that the special master be fired and replaced with what he called “an extra-special master.”

“This Dearie, he’s a beauty, he really is,” Trump told reporters. “He’s asking for information. He’s asking for information like you wouldn’t believe. He’s a bad or sick guy.” (Satire, NewYorker)

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I have to laugh, a girlfriend’s handyman was summoned to MaraLardo to do some repairs in TFG’s bedroom and Melania’s shoe closet a couple of weeks before the “raid”. He nor his three helpers had to show id at the gate. I’ll have to find out if they had to take off their shoes. 🤣 “She had a bunch of boxes in her closet. I didn’t look.”

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Gail, I love that non-fiction story. The FBI have to return and take Melania's boxes!

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

Then she’d have to buy new undies again. And an edit. Wasn’t it nice to have a First Lady who didn’t look like a hooker at QE2’s funeral?

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I think there needed to be more color at that funeral, and I'm not talking about Melania's shade.

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The camera made sure to focus on both.

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I thought you meant 45 looked like a hooker, Gail! So great they weren’t even invited. Anything to crush that orange ego….

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Does she wear them?

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Corsets tighter than Scarlet’s I’m thinking.

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I knew it, Fern...I just knew it would come to this! 🤣

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Merrick Garland selectively and willfully disregards the rule of law by turning a blind eye to illegal immigration as does the present administration with its Open Borders immigration policy. Am I wrong? Not enforcing the law is tantamount to breaking it regardless how one May view such law.

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I agree with David Herrick below. But since I suspect you will not take the time to find and read J.P. Dwyer's comment, I have copy/pasted it here for you. You are welcome, as I know you like to be correctly informed.

. P. Dwyer

2 hr ago

I believe that this clear explanation by Lily S. Axel rod, an immigration attorney should eliminate the use of the term “illegal immigration.”

 “What part of "illegal" don't you understand?”

(copied from a post by Lily S. Axelrod, Immigration Attorney)

In immigration law, there is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant." It's simply not a category that exists. There are people who are deportable / removable (because they don't have permission to be here, because they have permission to be here but have violated a term of their stay, or for some other reason such as a criminal conviction). There are people who lack legal status and are also not removable. There are people who "have no lawful status," but are also not "unlawfully present." There are people who are removable but also eligible to apply to stay in the US lawfully. There are people who would be eligible to apply to stay here lawfully, but the application is only available if the government first tries to deport them. There are people outside the US who are not eligible to come in legally, but if they were here, they would be allowed to stay. There are even people who are simultaneously deportable and eligible to apply for citizenship.

There are also ways to "break the law" and still be present lawfully. There are lots of types of violations of immigration law and criminal law that can't result in deportation for people in certain types of status, or where there's a "grace period." There are some crimes where you're fine if you were convicted in 1995, but totally out of luck if it was 1997.

When somebody comes to my office, it often takes me well over an hour of reviewing their paperwork and asking them questions about their entire life story and family history in order to figure out (a) whether they entered the US lawfully, (b) whether they are currently present in the US lawfully, (c) whether the government can lawfully deport them, (d) whether, if the government tries to deport them, they are eligible to apply to stay and how likely they would be to win, and (e) whether they're eligible for benefits such as an employment based visa, a marriage-based green card, citizenship, asylum, visas for victims of crime or domestic violence, etc.

Sometimes we even find that somebody is a US citizen and didn't even realize it -- the US accidentally deports US citizens every year.

Every time Congress amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, they intensify our headache. Popular culture doesn't reflect the complexity and subtlety of the laws, so understandably people want to classify folks' status as "legal" or "illegal" when it's usually just not so simple. I wish the laws were more straightforward and easier for people to follow.

So saying "illegal immigrant" is kind of like saying "an illegal movie." There's no such category, so what does it mean? Does the movie include illegal content such as child pornography and is therefore illegal to distribute? Did non-union actors work in violation of a labor agreement? Is the movie R rated but the theatre is allowing 5-year-olds in? Did somebody on the crew get a parking ticket on location? Was the DVD pirated or the script plagiarized? Does the movie depict lawlessness? Just saying "illegal movie" is nonsensical and doesn't give you any information about the movie, whether I am allowed to watch it, or who would be responsible for what violations of which law.

"Undocumented" is a political term, not a legal one. People generally use it as a respectful term to refer collectively to people who entered without inspection and still have no status, and also those who entered lawfully but overstayed or violated their status. People often assume that only undocumented people can be deported, but actually people in lawful status can be deported too, including lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders). I have a client right now who has had his green card for 30 years, nothing unlawful about his immigration status, but he is in deportation proceedings following an illegal arrest by immigration officers, because of a criminal conviction from the early 1990s that he didn't have to serve a day in jail for.

I sometimes use the general terms "out of status" or "lacking lawful immigration status." This is roughly equivalent to how people use the term "undocumented" but it's more precise because often people are "out of status" even though their entry to the US was totally legal and documented.

So... now what part of "illegal" don't you understand?

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Thank you, Miselle! This is an excellent breakdown.

Mr. Carroll, of course, is one of our resident trolls. Pretty much every exchange goes like this:

Carroll: Ain't no such thing as math.

Reponse: 1 + 1 = 2.

Carroll: Laughable BS! You libtards will believe anything.

His greatest value here seems to be bringing out clarity, like yours, which the rest of us can appreciate.

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Laughable BS. The minute the non documented. Ie. Illegal guest hit the progressive states all hell breaks loose. Personally I am pro immigration. We should have an Ellis Island down south and a secure border. Legal immigration. We will all benefit. Instead, We encourage illegal and undocumented immigrants to come. Open Borders. It’s insane. It is bad for everyone. Joe, Kamala, Merrick seem thrilled. They are a party to this whole affair the rule of law be damned. As for Merrick Garland he is all things partisan and political.

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From David Frum at The Atlantic

“ U.S. authorities yesterday reported figures through August 2022: With a month to go in the 2022 fiscal year, arrests at the border have exceeded 2 million for the first time in history. In July alone, the Border Patrol recorded some 200,000 encounters on the southern border. About 75,000 of those encounters resulted in almost immediate removal from the United States—although, as the patrol itself notes, many of those removed will then repeat their attempted entry. (The repeat crossers generate a lot of statistics: encounter, removal, encounter, removal, until at last they elude the patrol and enter the United States.) ”

This quote is quite contrary to your “Garland/Biden’s Open Border” claim

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Plop

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MaryPat:

Now, now, we must be kind and considerate. Perhaps he doesn't really know.

When courts disagree, the big house in Washington DC decides. The last time I looked and this is typical for the summer months. Fewer people arrived at the border. June and July. Don't tell anyone such or they will have a hissy.

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Thank you for sharing this!

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The administration IS enforcing the law. Choosing not to enforce a law is 'Prosecutorial Discretion' which is lawful and most are happy to hear about using this discretion NOT to enforce abortion bans or small marijuana violations. Exercising this discretion is NOT tantamount to breaking the law.

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Exactly

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You are wrong. But whatever. Go rake some leaves.

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Can the LFAA followers please be more respectful of others opinions?

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Many have seen this movie before. The tactic of using opinion as fact fuels a false narrative. Using facts, as you have requested elsewhere ruins the image they wish to create

Disingenuousness is a hallmark that has become exhausting, but it is refreshing that you call for a more civil discourse as our skin has thickened in warding off such deflections from reality

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Yes, I understand. But why automatically assume that the writer was disingenuous? A question was asked. "Am I wrong?" And the comments fired at him clearly reflected an assumption that the writer's intent was insincere or nefarious in some way. Why not try to understand what the writer means by "Open Borders"? Why not ask where he is getting his information? Snark and sarcasm are not helpful to creating understanding.

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The poster has popped up here and there over the past couple of years. He doesn’t engage in factual discussion, he’s a troll. Ignore him.

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The ship “Benefit of Doubt” with regards to this contributor has sailed

The comments fired at him were earned as a result of past behavior

“Hello Mr Booth, welcome to our theater, enjoy the play”

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

"Automatically assume?" Troll alert! The writer's "opinions" are almost always Fox News propaganda. There is long history here with this troll. Been around awhile. He will not provide the references you seek.

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You must be new here, but welcome to LFAA and thanks for your commendable effort to be accepting of all opinions expressed by others. The LFAA community generally starts from a position of mutual respect and acceptance until someone repeatedly and consistently demonstrates through their own words here that they aren't able to reciprocate, at which point the rest of the herd* moves on, because we don't feed the trolls** here.

*"Heather's herd"

**"troll" being a dismissive label for those who repeatedly do not offer a basis or rationale for their arguments...

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To add to others' comments, DC's comments are not "opinions", they are propaganda lifted straight from tfg, Fox News and other deaf-to-legal-reality sources. The evidence is in his absolute rejection of the above-posted, based-in-U.S.-and-international-law explanation from post by Lily S. Axelrod, Immigration Attorney.

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Not "David Carroll." Ignore him.

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Morning, Christine! Sorry to miss you so often these days. Truth be told, I am getting housework done that has been shamefully neglected. Who knew what a little vacuuming and dusting will accomplish?

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

Yes. The magic of cleaning is oftentimes hidden from people. I’m a firm believer in vacuuming and tidying up.

Unita fab fave Lynell.

🗽

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David, with all due respect, I suggest you read J.P. Dwyer's comment above regarding "illegal immigration". You might learn something and spare us your latest "brutta figura".

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Selectively and willfully, two assumptions which can be labeled anecdotal opinionism

“Open Borders” ; another misnomer created by Foxers that dismisses the complexity of human migration by boiling it down to a line in the sand that shall not be crossed. Simple minded rhetoric designed inflame simple minded bigots

You cannot recognize being wrong, so reminding you of it doesn’t have an effect, so why do you even ask?

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Good morning, David,

Would you please provide links (or references) for your claim of Open Borders?

Thank you.

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Good luck with that request, Elizabeth. He never shares any sources.

He is good with coming up with the snappy retorts though.

I have warned people before, he enjoys riling people up--I know I date myself by saying this, but I liken him to the old land-line heavy breathers.

Now that you are aware of him, watch in the future. He is here frequently and his comments are always about the same.

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Miselle:

My brother told the story of a place where that was happening. It happened once to often and the receiving person just left their phone off the hook. In which case the heavy breather could no longer use their phone.

Over a period of time, it was said the heavy breather was begging for the other person to hang up. Now this has to be in the time the best color for a phone was black and if you dropped the voice/receiver part on your foot, it would bruise.

Remeber when you used to call the operator to make a long distance call?

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Yes, has to troll now and then. I ignore him.

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I would be very interested to see your proof of "open borders". I had this discussion with a friend just the other night and he could not provide proof of this.

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Well, to start with they arrive undocumented. Then they get help settling notwithstanding they are undocumented which is by law, illegal. The Policy is known as Open Borders. We only know those we catch and for some of those lucky they get a free ride to exotic vacation spots around the US. PS. It’s not a secret.

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Ridiculous aspersion. Merrick Garland demonstrates the true role of law by the absolute and very fine crushing of the mythical empire slapped together by Trump.

This sounds like an empty echo chamber to Fox News eager to share factless propaganda. The assertion of a blind eye to illegal immigration is amusing on the basis that HCR’s reporting of the legal status of the Immigrants De Santis and his hench people abducted and flew to Massachusetts.

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Hi, David. I'm sure you have a particular grasp of immigration law as your post seems to intimate. Here's what I found...but I claim no expertise in this regard:

"Those arriving at the U.S. border are being depicted as 'illegal immigrants,' but in reality, crossing an international border for asylum is not illegal and an asylum seeker’s case must be heard, according to U.S. and international law.

"It doesn’t matter how you enter the country: If you’re in the U.S. or you arrive at a port of entry you can seek asylum. There’s no way to ask for a visa or any type of authorization in advance, you just have to show up," said the IRC's director of immigration Olga Byrne.

https://www.rescue.org/article/migrants-asylum-seekers-refugees-and-immigrants-whats-difference

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Don't expect a response from him, Lynell! It's like he dumps and runs.

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No worries, Miselle! Alas, if he does respond, it won't be to agree with me. That much, I know.

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David Carroll - "the present administration with its Open Borders immigration policy."

I don't understand your "Open Borders" Reference.

The number of migrant arrivals reported along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022 surpassed 2 million in August. The number included 181,160 Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

Illegal immigration arrests under Biden exceeds Obama's eight years.

Please explain the "Open" part.

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Please, please, deflecting specious claims with statistics is conduct un-becoming

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You are avoiding answering the question that many have asked.

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What question is that?

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Where are you getting your info about open borders?

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Yes, I agree with DD: by all means, don't confuse the issues with facts. We create our own realities and I will force you to live within mine. I agree with Trump because I deeply, deeply relate to the factless, narcissistic, wealthy white privileged fantasy that he's created. I want to live there.

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Are you avoiding the question too?

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Yes, you are wrong.

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You are wrong. No clarity in your comments.

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I believe that this clear explanation by Lily S. Axel rod, an immigration attorney should eliminate the use of the term “illegal immigration.”

 “What part of "illegal" don't you understand?”

(copied from a post by Lily S. Axelrod, Immigration Attorney)

In immigration law, there is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant." It's simply not a category that exists. There are people who are deportable / removable (because they don't have permission to be here, because they have permission to be here but have violated a term of their stay, or for some other reason such as a criminal conviction). There are people who lack legal status and are also not removable. There are people who "have no lawful status," but are also not "unlawfully present." There are people who are removable but also eligible to apply to stay in the US lawfully. There are people who would be eligible to apply to stay here lawfully, but the application is only available if the government first tries to deport them. There are people outside the US who are not eligible to come in legally, but if they were here, they would be allowed to stay. There are even people who are simultaneously deportable and eligible to apply for citizenship.

There are also ways to "break the law" and still be present lawfully. There are lots of types of violations of immigration law and criminal law that can't result in deportation for people in certain types of status, or where there's a "grace period." There are some crimes where you're fine if you were convicted in 1995, but totally out of luck if it was 1997.

When somebody comes to my office, it often takes me well over an hour of reviewing their paperwork and asking them questions about their entire life story and family history in order to figure out (a) whether they entered the US lawfully, (b) whether they are currently present in the US lawfully, (c) whether the government can lawfully deport them, (d) whether, if the government tries to deport them, they are eligible to apply to stay and how likely they would be to win, and (e) whether they're eligible for benefits such as an employment based visa, a marriage-based green card, citizenship, asylum, visas for victims of crime or domestic violence, etc.

Sometimes we even find that somebody is a US citizen and didn't even realize it -- the US accidentally deports US citizens every year.

Every time Congress amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, they intensify our headache. Popular culture doesn't reflect the complexity and subtlety of the laws, so understandably people want to classify folks' status as "legal" or "illegal" when it's usually just not so simple. I wish the laws were more straightforward and easier for people to follow.

So saying "illegal immigrant" is kind of like saying "an illegal movie." There's no such category, so what does it mean? Does the movie include illegal content such as child pornography and is therefore illegal to distribute? Did non-union actors work in violation of a labor agreement? Is the movie R rated but the theatre is allowing 5-year-olds in? Did somebody on the crew get a parking ticket on location? Was the DVD pirated or the script plagiarized? Does the movie depict lawlessness? Just saying "illegal movie" is nonsensical and doesn't give you any information about the movie, whether I am allowed to watch it, or who would be responsible for what violations of which law.

"Undocumented" is a political term, not a legal one. People generally use it as a respectful term to refer collectively to people who entered without inspection and still have no status, and also those who entered lawfully but overstayed or violated their status. People often assume that only undocumented people can be deported, but actually people in lawful status can be deported too, including lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders). I have a client right now who has had his green card for 30 years, nothing unlawful about his immigration status, but he is in deportation proceedings following an illegal arrest by immigration officers, because of a criminal conviction from the early 1990s that he didn't have to serve a day in jail for.

I sometimes use the general terms "out of status" or "lacking lawful immigration status." This is roughly equivalent to how people use the term "undocumented" but it's more precise because often people are "out of status" even though their entry to the US was totally legal and documented.

So... now what part of "illegal" don't you understand?

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Lordy, had no idea, do we ever need immigration reform.

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Yes. People often don't realize how complex our immigration laws are.

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A long comment but worth the read. Thanks, JP.

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Thanks for this wonderfully described explanation.

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Thank you for this.

I have copy/pasted it to the comment of our resident........disagree-er above.

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Total woke BS

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David Carroll - "Total woke BS"

<sigh> But am glad you were awakened, though.

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Merrick Garland spoke with a catch in his throat. And a tear in his eye. Ellis Island saw his family and ours, his were fleeing as was the German Jewish Physics Nobel James Franck, Opa to the woman that asked me to marry her when I was 18, and she was 21 - and I am not ready and three years later we tied the knot, thank God. A man from Dachau and Buchenwald came to Chicago from Vienna. He helped and he hurt, but was critical to my upbringing and my incredible career. He asked me to run The School that made him famous, three times, and I decline after a year of 80 hour weeks and deja vu stuff that was not what I wanted. He asked us to save him and two others and I said no, and we saved many others instead. He took his own life, as another did under him. These experiences were brutal, but nothing like what we see in Ukraine today or what was experienced in America by our slaves and their millions of worthy and wonderful descendants, the American indigenous and theirs. We whites have been cruel.

Merrick Garland’s words come from his warm heart. Donald John Trump’s and Steven Miller’s come from hearts stone cold, they have the heart of a serial child killer.. a racist mass murderers like Putin, Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini, or DeSantis, Abbott and Graham, killers of the spirit, latter day fascists running for power.

Letters FAA has stunning reach and potential. It evolves.

Ken Burns has potential, too. LFAA readers should indulge in his latest - running now. His insight is priceless. It’s also fact based.

When we move from fact to meaning and reality, we deal with the pain of intolerance, and that’s the goal of our nation - in the end.

We must find and fund the way to say we’re sorry. We did not buy and sell the slave and destroy the family with no last name. We were not Confederate soldiers waving flags.

We have been indifferent - and that’s no better.

Our history is this. Facts matter. Feeling matters more.

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Thank you for your personal story. These kinds of stories light fires of determination and hope in many of us. We must persevere.

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Want the memoir? Writing that’s like going for a root canal. Say Please... 83, running out the clock.

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I'm 82 today. Can't wait forever. Write quickly!

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

MaryB, Am I correct in thinking that you've never liked waiting? HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the always informed, engaged and curious citizen How do you like these tomatoes?

'According to an analysis conducted by the Associated Press and published last week, “Of nearly 75 accounts Trump has reposted on his Truth Social profile in the past month, more than a third of them have promoted QAnon by sharing the movement’s slogans, videos or imagery.”

'What’s going on? One possibility is that Trump has finally lost what remained of his judgment and gone full tilt to a place where many leading Democrats are Satan-worshipping pedophiles, the coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon, and J.F.K., Jr., is alive. A more likely theory, put forward by the Post’s Philip Bump, is that Trump is effectively asking QAnon to “stand back and stand by” for his 2024 election campaign, just as, during a September, 2020, Presidential debate, he asked the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” That sounds plausible. But it seems at least equally possible that Trump is motivated by a more immediate concern—the multiple state and federal investigations of his conduct—and that he’s signalling to prosecutors that he won’t go quietly, so they had better beware.'

'A couple of days before his appearance in Ohio, Trump was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host, who asked him a series of questions about a possible indictment, including whether it would prevent him from running again for President. Here is that part of the transcript:

d.t.: It would not. But I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.

h.h.: What kind of problems, Mr. President?

d.t.: I think they’d have big problems, big problems. I just don’t think they’d stand for it. They will not, they will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes. We went through phony impeachments. We went through phony Mueller reports that came out with no collusion. We came, everything that they’ve done to try and stop progress.

When Hewitt warned Trump “that the legacy media will say you’re attempting to incite violence with that statement,” Trump replied, “That’s not, that’s not inciting. I’m just saying what my opinion is. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it.”

'As always, Trump gave himself deniability: Hey, shucks, I’m just offering my two cents on the issues of the day. But, if he’s not directly inciting his followers, QAnon enthusiasts among them, to violence, he is certainly telling them, at every opportunity, that an outrageous and unprecedented miscarriage of justice is already taking place. “They’ve weaponized the Department of Justice and F.B.I.,” Trump said to Hewitt. In his Youngstown speech, he referred to “the unhinged persecution of me and my staff.” On Monday, he posted on Truth Social, “Arrived in Florida last night and had a long and detailed chance to check out the scene of yet another government ‘crime’, the FBI’s Raid and Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago. . . . the place will never be the same. It was ‘ransacked,’ and in far different condition than the way I left it. Many Agents - And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!” (JohnCassidy, NewYoker)

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Thanks for this, Fern. Another fact-filled message from you, even if some of the facts are rather horrifying, is a welcome b-day present. You’re right- I’m an impatient sort. We’ve all been impatiently waiting for TFG to get his just desserts, and it’s not a great big beautiful piece of chocolate cake. Fortunately, I believe Garland is coming through for us. All best to you!

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All the best to you, MaryB. Is there a yummy perfect piece of cholate cake impatiently waiting for you? 🎂

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Happy Birthday, Mary!!

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Yep, Memoir, please! A friend who still rode horses into his nineties, would call you a youngster, dear sir!

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Doesn’t seem like the “clock” is slowing you down yet!

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Yes, please!

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Please!!

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Thank you Heather.

I did find the suit with the QAnon pin that Trump was wearing quite fetching. Reminiscent of a high school bully that is down to his last group of wannabes that he desperately needs to back him when he goes to the next after school fight that he wears their colors . The last line of defense.

Speaking of wannabes, I hope DeSantis is immediately brought to his knees for the bombastic display of a human publicity stunt. If not, this behavior will continue with the RW extremists. I understand he was given a standing ovation by his cult in his speech following the stunt. That is a dangerous display of blind faith by his own cultists.

How far we have hit rock bottom as a Nation is a stunning display for all the world to see.

We must right this ship. Immediately.

Be safe. Be well.

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It is not clear that we (USians) have hit rock bottom just yet. When we do, we all will celebrate, as things can only get better.

To get there, we have to be willing to prosecute a former president and carry out the rule of law that Merrick Garland is admonishing new immigrants to aspire to. (Not that much of their lives have anything to do with that, while his does.)

So if you mean what you say, Merrick, prove it and apply the rule of law even to former presidents who have repeatedly broken the law both in and out of office.

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It is a winner for the haters. May we outnumber them by infinity

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Look on the bright side -- those poor migrant aren't stuck in Florida any more, under the thumb of DeSantis.

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Dirk, if I read Heather correctly, DeSantis moved those folks out of Texas.

Did I read that correctly?

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Yes. DeSantis spent Florida taxpayers' money to fly people out of Texas. Doesn't he know or respect states' borders? Last time I checked, Florida's borders aren't anywhere near Texas. His reasoning was (paraphrasing): "Their intentions were to come to Florida." So he can read collective minds now?? Like Stephen Colbert said, "NOBODY ever intends to go to Florida!" Snark, but with an element of truth. His guest last night was Ken Burns. I sincerely hope folks are watching his latest documentary. It is fascinating and not easy to take. But then, so are some elements of our history.

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"HOLOCAUST" on PBS

Everyone Watch It.

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It's "The U.S. and the Holocaust." Ken Burns does not mince words: the U.S. kept Jews fleeing the Nazis from entering the U.S, and Henry Ford was a devout anti-Semite.

Here's a PBS interview with Ken Burns about the six-hour series:

https://www.npr.org/2022/09/17/1123657138/ken-burns-explores-the-complicated-story-of-the-u-s-response-to-the-holocaust

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Bruce to be honest, I sometimes confuse DeSantis, Abbott and Cruz at what their latest diabolical deed is.

I suppose it's because they are all cut from the same cloth.

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Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s facts are all we need to know.

Almost.

We must do the math, we must think and project outcome. It’s terrifying.

Good news, bad news? We are experiencing, we are witnessing, an Orwellian crisis in the world’s most powerful democracy, we are actually facing a fascist gaslighting, an Orwellian phantasy in bold relief - but it’s no fantasy. This isn’t the movie.

This isn’t dress rehearsal! It’s real. It’s as real as death and taxes and far more troubling than either.

If we lose the MIDTERMS, we well may lose a life of freedom.

Forever

It’s all on the line with J D Vance, born surrounded by addiction and depravity, now scheming to become Trump’s lap dog - aiming to bring down our form of government.

We in America are living The Book of Job. God and the Devil are experimenting. Will God’s creation find his way? Or will the devil’s temptations win.

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💙💙💙

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IMO, the madman should be beyond "concerned", he should be in jail awaiting trial.

"Certainly, the former president, who is under scrutiny for stealing national secrets, scheming to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and inciting mob violence against the U.S. government, appears to be concerned."

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It boggles my mind that a former president is under scrutiny for stealing national secrets, etc.

Trump’s actions are the very definition of high crimes and misdemeanors. A functioning Senate should have convicted him and removed him from office and disqualified him from running again. Mitch McConnell and his caucus are a clear and present danger to the country. I pray every day that tfg will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

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"that he will soon be placed back into power, arrest his Democratic enemies, try them, and execute some of them. That moment of his return is called “the Storm,” and one of his “retruths” assured his audience that “The Storm is Coming.”

Wannabee "storm troopers":

“These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II,” - General Mark Milley

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You mean the same Mark Miley who participated in the federal authorities attacking peaceful protesters so trump could hold an unread bible up in front of a church he never set foot in? What media network paid him for that comment? After the antics of General Flynn, General Petraeus, and General Miley, I’m starting to think the term mean “general lack of character”.

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I find Milley’s “Mea Culpa” believable.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

Quoting: "WASHINGTON — The country’s top military official apologized on Thursday for taking part in President Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square for a photo op after the authorities used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters.

“I should not have been there,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a prerecorded video commencement address to National Defense University. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

{snip}

"General Milley’s friends said that for the past 10 days, he had agonized about appearing — in the combat fatigues he wears every day to work — behind Mr. Trump during the walk, an act that critics said gave a stamp of military approval to the hard-line tactics used to clear the protesters." Article free to non-subscribers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/politics/trump-milley-military-protests-lafayette-square.html?unlocked_article_code=86Q9sQKEa5IEcT1EkC1OhfCplruWc00Z3M9ClpKFhI0LvE19-eowEmkHAgLBb7_V61kR5uFWmUq-WHAhIp4Gz_TJySSp38ukWENJWaYpmxJcIcnRDJqU7_dR-pvU65efVryrudPNerir1E4L60vWEbyVSsUd7PNtKRjvI0UYjYC03_9fGHhMjH5mmpLNW_-Ji1z6QplCbC1PYpXWccplqGiu8VTRwYJMaf7YPROHR65fDOqik6Pu_5TDzcQzNAE0faQUDdOt_IbH90-9Uxne39r1kBa5wuKL4YrNfvHr-JQzWya3WemIeFMmAhQs-edGeYYacMQFdvDwanIoCcqG3VwAqsMfhMseM2PLhiGsW3T1J0ju9hk7VcQxjri1&smid=share-url

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Milley didn't know what he was being coerced to walk into. I believe him. He is an honorable man.

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Can we assume that Abbot was in on the DeSantis game with the plane load of migrants? One can hope that he owns up to it and saves the government some effort in putting together the pieces. A conspiracy between these two governors that potentially broke several state and Federal laws, and prosecution of such, would go a long way to backing up Garland’s words.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

👍🏼

👍🏼

👍🏼

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Thank you, HCR, for pointing out the importance of Merrick Garland’s speech to new Americans. Ellis Island is where each of my parents came through so when I have seen the Statue of Liberty up close and personal, I get a lump in my throat. Immigrants come here to gain freedom from bloodshed and tyranny. Garland reminded our new Americans that we have rules of law governing our country. These laws are to protect us from evil forces. Those evil forces have always been here but were held at bay, however, that seems not to be the case in recent years. I am nonetheless hopeful while remaining fearful. How can I not? I continue to fight against the perils we face and I won’t give up.

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Thanks, Marlene, for telling us how your parents came to this country. It's always thrilling to me to hear accounts of how we, the people, became "We, the People!"

Locust Point in Baltimore, Maryland - where my grandparents came to escape Mussolini - is the nation's second busiest immigration center. My mother, the last of 12 children, was conceived in Italy, hitched a ride in her mother's womb, and was born a month after their arrival on U.S. shores!

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Wow, Lynell! Fabulous story! My father came here from Poland with the intention of bringing his wife. She never came. That was in 1938. My mother came here on the USS Cunard in December of 1939. My dad enlisted in the US Army because he wanted to fight the Nazis. The Army sent him to the Pacific Theater for 4 years. He learned to perfect his English and became a Staff Sargent. My mom took residence in NY with her brother and sister. My folks met in 1946 theough mutual friends and got married 6 weeks in the Catskills! Moved to Lenoir, NC to start a clothing store which they owned for 25 years. They were married 51 years until my dad’s death in 1997. Our lives have fascinating stories, do they not?

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💙👏

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Seems like Republicans are digging themselves deeper holes that may finally lead to criminal charges. They cannot help themselves, believing they are above all scrutiny and laws.

They seem to think government and human lives are a big joke that they can play with.

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And the jokes on us unless “the Law” is actually applied to them. They are playing a full-out game of chicken with American Democracy. And their base loves it., because they don’t really want democracy anyway.

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Everything you said David brings acid coming up my throat. These people are like androids. Unfortunately I've had and still do have many in my life. It gets harder to accept them with their warped sense of reality. I try to talk to them to understand why they feel the way they do but it sometimes makes me physically ill so I must just walk away. Justice must be served to all those greedy, power-driven people who are not honoring the oath they took and are only in this for themselves and big money.

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Fatso's sweating like a pig, he's so scared. You can see it in the video of the hatealong last Saturday. 7,000 seats and couldn't fill even half of them. I was surprised widdle Jimmy Vance didn't get down and actually kiss that ginormous gelatinous blob. If he keeps sweating like that, Fatso won't be so fatso soon.

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TCinLA

"Certainly, the former president, who is under scrutiny for stealing national secrets, scheming to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and inciting mob violence against the U.S. government, appears to be concerned." HCR

Trumps horribly morbid congenitally whinged sociopathic behavioral malformations expressed in his consistently arrogant power plays has awarded him as THE Laughing-Stock of all those knowledgeable about reasonableness of initial attorney retainer fees, (fees that must be paid before the attorney lifts a finger in this case especially!).

The three million dollar retainer demand can legally be understood as the attorneys’ sage perfectly timed extortion warranted by rumps’ blatant exclamations signaling his desperation and his butt puckering fear of being incarcerated within the exclusively mondain community of those who have always been the butt of his bigotry’s despicable capriciousness.

His faded winkled orange jump-suit set-off by gleaming stainless-steel wrist and ankle adornments is The Departure Ceremony aptness of Endings we all most desiderated.

Eh!?

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And did everyone catch that his legal eagles do not want to give the special master evidence of tfg’s “documentation” of his declass of the classified docs for fear of revealing his defense of stealing them? He doesn’t want to give the official HE ASKED FOR information at the heart of the problem. How is this going to work?

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MLMinET

Yes indeed!

It is rumpty's stall tactic

He believes if he can prolong his B. S. in the disgraced courts long enough for the repugnacious to win back the Senate or House or both then he might have a chance to "Wipe-The-Slate-clean"

A most disgusting scam, Eh!?

Vote the bastards out of office!

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I think it also is a matter of tfg's 'legal eagles' not wanting to make a claim in court for which they will be held accountable when it is proved to be false and that they did not/do not have any evidence to support tfg's claim he declassified said documents.

It has been pointed out a number of times that neither tfg nor his legal representatives have ever claimed in court filings that documents were declassified by Trump. They have no evidence to support that claim beyond tfg's own anecdotal claims.

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Okay, George, I gotta know: Do you sometimes write for Stephen Colbert's monologues? You have a peculiarly superb juxtaposition of verbiage, sir. I salute you 🤣🌞👍🏼

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Lynell(VA by way of MD&DC)

I am not permitted to comment about squirrely-curiosity's curiosities...sorry

My deepest inhalations splendiforistness of your astute adulation swoons blissfulness beyond imagination!

You are a wonderfully generous professional whose salute I personally Re-salute!

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I'll see your "Re-salute" and raise you...many more!

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George E. Dobbs.

What you said.

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MaryPat Sercu - MI

Who!?

Me?

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You kinda said it all!

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I love your posted numbers. That’s the important part of illustrating the crumbling delusion.

But your imagery is precious. Thanks.

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But how do you really feel? Thanks for the laugh

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Baffling. I guess these hooligans in high places…what? Don’t bother to find out if what they’re doing is illegal, because they don’t care? Or knowingly break laws on the principle that if they can cause enough chaos then lawbreaking won’t be a problem?

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They nicely illustrate the applicability of Wilhoit’s Dictum regarding the only principle of Conservatism.

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Heather, glad that you and yours are safe and sound. Thank you for highlighting the QAnon elements in TFG’s Ohio rally.

Thank you, also, for detailing the transfer of processed, legal asylum seekers to Martha’s Vinyard. More than one commentator compared Desantis’ actions to the “Reverse Freedom Rides” of the 1960’s designed to move black from the south to northern liberal locations. https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/09/16/reverse-freedom-rides-marthas-vineyard-desantis/

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Merrick Garland eloquently talked the talk; I look forward to him walking the walk resulting in indictments and a long-overdue perp-walk.

Ron DeSantis et al willfully manufactured a humanitarian crisis for the sake of political theater. They should face criminal and civil consequences. We can start with a bill from the State of Massachusetts and the Town of Martha’s Vineyard for expenses incurred as a result of DeSantis’ prank.

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Isn’t moving people across State lines under false pretenses, Human Trafficking?

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Indeed! Add human trafficking to the list.

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Those who were deceived should sue.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

A.G. Merrick Garland IS "walking the walk" which is a WALK not a judicial race. The best explanation of the deliberate and delicate process (of which we have already seen hundreds of results) is provided by former Southeast Michigan Judge and now University of Michigan Law Professor, Barb McQuade:

https://mailchi.mp/cafe/notes-from-contributors-5051000?e=f4e3cf0adb

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Thank you for the link, MP. I read it.

I understand and appreciate the need for DOJ to "get it right".

TFG, and his cohorts, must be made to face the consequences of their actions. No squirming out of it this time.

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Think they've got him this time but as Ralph Waldo Emerson supposedly said: "'When you strike at a king, you must kill him."

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Morning -- or Afternoon now? -- MaryPat!

Thanks for the link here. Proud to have been a Merrick Garland fan from Day #1!

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Always Top 'O The Morning when I hear from you Lynnell!

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