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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I stopped trusting CNN long ago when their headline the morning after Bernie had beat Hillary in a primary was, “Hillary Clinton is still in the lead.” I remember the anchor just about choking on his words, as there was not one word about Bernie’s victory. And the Post and NYT have consistently spread misinformation about health care in Europe. I go to the Guardian if I want balanced news.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Agree on CNN and the Guardian. CNN is driven by soundbites and ratings, the Guardian is not.

1) People confuse debt and deficit. Many think they're the same thing. They are not.

2) Deficit is the difference between what a government takes in (taxes) and what it spends.

3) Debt is far more nebulous, and includes good things like economic activity.

4) If I borrow money from a US bank to build a factory, the debt goes up.

5) In the 19th Century, Victorian Britain ran a debt of 150% of GDP throughout the century.

6) The Victorians would have been horrified by a deficit, but not, apparently, by national debt.

7) Deficits contribute to debt but do not define it.

8) Just about every rich country has a national debt. It is NOT a big deal.

9) The deficit goes up in Republican administrations, because they cut taxes on the wealthy.

10) Not raising the debt ceiling is a violation of the 14th Amendment.

When will Democrats grow a pair?

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Thank you for that enlightened comment, especially the "growing a pair" part.

Since the 1980's and the creation of the Tea Party in 1985 in particular, I have watched one major party in the US metaphorically tie American Democracy to the railroad tracks time and time again. All the while gleefully twisting it's villainous moustache and putting a hand to one ear and grinning while listening to the whistle of an approaching train that spells disaster for the average American Citizen and our Democracy in the USA. Meanwhile, the other major party in American Government metaphorically "clutches it's pearls" as if we don't already have a Rule of Law in existence to prevent such politically motivated threats. Average American Citizens must depend upon THIS government which is DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF by dark money bribery to intervene in an unbalanced and unfair war waged by UNTAXED ultra-wealthy oligarchs whose intentions are to turn America into just another low-cost labor pool to increase their OWN profits as they continue to push for autocracy and "one world order". Our world under THEIR orders???? No thanks.

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Just Me, I have heard that the best way to reach ordinary people is to tell stories. Maybe the Democratic party does not have stories that are sufficiently compelling to grab the white evangelical working-class scared people the way Trump's hatred and fearmongering stories do. The rosy vision of all kinds of people living together and working for the good of all just doesn't work anymore if it ever did. Tossing around stories of the people white folks should fear and easy letters like CRT and LGBTQ can easily be wielded like prods to get people foaming at the mouth, screaming at Trump rallies while he spews nonsense he can't even remember later. They don't even listen to Trump anymore, knowing who he is and what he has said in the past. He has dementia but no one notices because they don't actually listen. If he says Democrats are against everything they stand for, they believe it even though Trump and Kump gave them nothing. Trump's handlers will be giving him some stuff to say about the debt ceiling and his faithful puppies will jump up and down and make a lot of noise with no understanding or need to check it out, as usual.

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There IS one thing that occurs to me that I wish I could convey to "other' people because it DOES have a rather selfish motive that might appeal to them. (wink) I live in this community. I pay taxes in this community. Therefore, it is in my OWN best interest that I support fire and police and fund public education, etc. and send my kids to school and get vaccinations, etc. Why? Because my OWN safety and security depends upon it. It is in MY best interest that I support the Common Good for All Americans because "A high tide raises all boats". Not just the luxury yachts.

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Well said Just Me

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:) It's a simple song lyric, but it seems to illuminate exactly why this problem occurs in so many people from different walks of life, different levels of success and different points of view - "People hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest". Personally, I miss the Fairness Doctrine.

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Absolutely! Retraction of the Fairness Doctrine has done the same amount of damage to our democracy that "Citizens" (Corporations) United has done.

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Considering that the right wing of the Republican Party operates out of a shared set of psychological dysfunctions as the result of traumas inflicted on them by the families, churches, and communities in which they grew up, dysfunctions which warp their ability to discern reality and leave them unable to allow anything that would challenge or call into question their alternate reality to even enter their awareness (which is why you can't convince them of what's actually true through offering factual evidence - that evidence never even reaches their awareness because their dysfunctions force them to viscerally reject it without consideration and grow angry at the threat), no story which ran counter to their warped reality would ever get through to them. They would not see in such stories what normal, healthy people see, but only whatever they can warp to fit their alternate reality: clearly blameless people in legitimate need become the "worthless, lazy poor" who need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, etc. In their reality, anyone who is in need of help from others or the government clearly does not deserve such help by virtue of the fact that they have already not helped themselves (unless it is one of these "conservatives" him or herself. Their needs should always be met because THEY are ALWAYS deserving. They live in a warped reality bubble which your stories would never pierce.

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Nah. They just dig on being naughty boys and girls, 50’s style juvenile delinquents, Rebels without a Cause. Losers. The first step of revolution is to recruit loser volunteers to “smash the Dark State!”

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They just do it because they can

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The dysfunction is due to manipulation! Not necessarily by the institutions- Churches, families, government, community, etc., but by the selfish/greedy/self-serving leaders they, and those before them, have followed and continue to follow. The church should be the foundation of a unity message- loving thy neighbor as thyself, but the bad leaders- teaching division and that 'their sin is forgivable, but yours is not' are elevated rather than those teaching love/selflessness/coalition. Selfish, greedy, crooked, plutocrats (person whose power derives from their wealth) and politicians are worshiped, as they exploit their flock. Hard to crack, but we have to keep trying from a place of compassion- treating them as we would want to be treated in the same situation. Retaining the moral ground.

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You might be right. Look at how successful George Kitara LaVache DeVious DeVolder Santos has been: he/she/they tells lots of stories.

IDK why that strategy didn’t work for Herschel Wanker….

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Greg, it does seem that Republicans would make zombies as candidates as long as they didn't go after their brains (OK, they wouldn't do that because there wouldn't be enough brain there), as long as they would ignore the truth, lie at every turn, say McCarthy (I almost wrote "Joe") was a worthy Speaker, and they are attractive enough in the eyes of "red" America to be acceptable, and have a loud boasting falsely prideful mouth. It will be interesting to see who is the next near-zombie they will choose. It will have to be a clone of Greene or Boebert (I have heard they are somewhat attractive), and as dumb as Santos, Gosar, Gomert, and McCarthy. I think some are in training and will audition at the next school board elections.

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YES! The want to seize control over government controlled money (Difficult for Government to cheat its employees- we the people) so they can put profit over people, and cripple the agencies that are supposed to regulate them. Acquire more power and profits from the privatization of traditional government functions- giving them the power to set unfair salaries and eliminate the completion of Government employment (better salaries, better benefits and employment protections). Allowing them to limit employee power, pay, and benefits, by implement 'employment at will' policies and deterring employee organizing (Unions), while simultaneously putting more money into their coffers. If they end the "safety net", they OWN us- without 'safety net', if you don't work, you can't eat. THEY create deficits by cutting tax revenue (to give back to their donors/owners). Then THEY use the deficits, they have created, to give themselves a 'justification' to go after cuts in the social 'safety net' programs. THEY claim that 'safety net' cuts must be cut because they are needed to fight the problem/deficits THEY have created. THEY can't cut the bloated Defense budget because of rules THEY implemented (and could end), while THEY further bloat the Defense budget- creating even more deficit... and sadly, many of us fall for it hook, line, and sinker. :(

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FYI, you are so right about Republican plans. They want to cause all the destruction but assume they and their families will be above it all. They probably will be for a while because they have hoarded so much money and cheated paying taxes for so long, but the challenge, global warming will ultimately get them too, and their "lovely" plans of making everyone slaves to themselves will be irrelevant as they just try to survive without the products they need and want (one can get pretty bored of canned and freeze-dried food and K-rations when used to the best cuts and desserts). Another problem for us is that we have permitted Congress to have a special health insurance program and a forever pension when they ought to have only ACA, Social Security, and a 401K or 403B like everyone else. I suspect more Republicans would quit Congress if those things were in place. Also, they might come to appreciate those programs, especially if the stock market crashes which is what they are hoping it will do later this year. Where will their money be then? They care nothing about the debt ceiling because they think it won't impact them and clearly Republicans care nothing for their constituents beyond getting their votes. OK, Manchin is there too. However, with the twin fools of McConnell and McCarthy, it is unlikely we will be able to stop Republican bad behavior. I can't think of 6 Republicans in the House and 10 in the Senate who give a damn about the debt ceiling or anything else that impacts the American people. They are so addicted to power and money, they have nothing left over for anyone else.

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Sad, but true! I often wonder, what they think will be different for them if the Oligarchy they serve gets complete control/power? Will they be content with being 'house slaves' while we 'work the fields'? They certainly won't own the 'plantation' and they can't all be 'overseers'. When we are depleted, they will be next! We definitely need to either demand the GOVERNMENT benefits that they have, or demand that they be limited to what the rest of us are offered.

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We feel threatened,enough to make anyone angry,but who says it's going to happen?Nothing is written in stone yet.The Supreme Court needs to be dealt with too,they're not for the people.

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I like that,'twin fools of McConnell and McCarthy,they're both lily livered cowards!

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"We the people" are supposed to be the governments' (local, state, and federal) employers. some of us are also government employees. Most of us do NOT want the governments to be the only employers. However, for governments to work "for the people" we employers need to put restrictions on the non-government employers OR decide the governments will provide basic necessities for ALL the people rather than allowing many, if not most, of the people in private employment to be at the whims of their employers. I could not agree more with your points about the politicians who create these problems could change them. However, today's party of the plutocrats shows no interest in working for the interests of the remaining people.

A great book that has been around for a decade or so, but which I came across recently is The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen. She was born in Finland and came to the U.S. as an adult. She likes both countries but feels they can each offer improvements to the other. She is most emphatic that the Nordic countries are NOT socialist! Rather they are capitalist countries that believe in supporting every person's search for a better life. She also points out that the Nordic countries have had to fight the "socialist" countries three times in the last century. Partanen has a good writing style and I believe she offers those of us looking at today's situation in this county some valuable points. Perhaps more people suggesting such ideas will eventually get through to some of those people who vote Republican out of a lack of options they find acceptable. And perhaps those who tend to vote Democrat will come to realize that many or most of today's "progressive" Democrats are those remaining truest to the party's twentieth century legacy.

Just sayin'...

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Perfect description: Plutocrat- a person whose power derives from their wealth. Money=Power and the small number of the wealthiest form the oligarchy that seek to satisfy an insatiable thirst for more wealth/power. Also know has selfishness and greed. To the detriment of ALL. I believe learning from each other i.e. helping each other is the key to prosperity in all relationships- individuals, groups, cities, states, nations, countries, ... No one person/thing has ALL the answers! It is division, caused by selfishness/greed, that leads to destruction. I don't know that Republicans, who often vote against their own self-interst, lack options. I think they are voting against the success of others, voting for a misguided self-interest, voting based on tradition and/or being lead astray (willingly and otherwise)... hoodwinked and bamboozled! I agree, those seeking MORE for ALL, are truest to what the country aspires to be, or what we claim we aspire to be.

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Michael, good clarification of debt and deficit. Democrats have been working all along to cut deficits, but have to mop up after every Republican administration, get no credit for it, and are still blamed for something related to debt or deficit by people who have no clue about the difference. How do Dems "grow a pair" when they can't even be heard without the media having to pull out their false equivalencies. Consider the past few weeks' stupid whining over the few "classified" documents that were found among Biden's possessions. It took the FBI 13 hours to find 6 and we are not even sure what is in any of them and how old they are. The media constantly implies that this is the same as what Trump did when he stole a couple of dozen full boxes of secret documents and kept them in places anyone at his home could have had access to. When the media is that desperate to prove Democrats and Republicans are the same, it is hard to even get the word out that these are not the same and that Republicans have proven over and over that they are OK with bringing down our government. I can't help but wonder if the media is hoping for another January 6th so they can do some more hyped up coverage not admitting that they had a role in pumping up Republican insanity.

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I agree, Ruth. But Trump stole more than 100 BOXES of documents with classifications from Classified, to Top Secret, to Security Risk. So, far in the reports I've read about Biden's cache, they have found about 20 papers - that would fit into ONE file folder. Biden instigated the search - trump variously denied having any documents, claimed they were his, claimed they were declassified because he "thought" about it, and in general refused to return them to National Archive even when subpoenaed. What is worse, several file folders marked Top Secret were empty - the contents sold? destroyed? used to wrap garbage? This is equivalency? in what language?

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Fay, it appears we are going to have to deal with this false equivalency until someone the media respects calls them out on their BS. It is disgusting that it took 13 hours to go through Biden's house and found 6 things that we don't even know the level of classification, the dates, or why it took 13 hours to find 6 pages and a couple of "supporting materials." That is a total waste of our time and money as a nation, but Republicans just had to be able to say "See, Biden did it too!" That is nonsense, but the media loves a controversy even when there is none, except the one they created, and this Biden document find is crap. We know they have been sitting around at least since Biden left the Vice Presidency which is now 6 years and the Senate, at least 14 years. How can that be as important as Trump's stolen boxes filled with secret documents and folders marked "secret" that are empty that he had on leaving the White House? It's just not as important. McCarthy et al, as ignorant as they are, know their barking up this tree is not going to be good for their Baby Donnie. So, beyond feeding their rabid base, what's the deal?

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Agreed, Ruth. For the media, the deal is MONEY more listeners, more ads, more profit. For the retrumplicans it is distraction. The fewer people who realize their main goal, to disembowel the News Deal and any other help for regular folk the better. Also they don't want us to recognize their push toward authoritarianism. Personally I think they'd rather the trumpster be their dictator than 'De Satan' - the trumpster is much dumber and easier to control. Not that desantis has a great brain, he's just smarter than trump (:-)

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And why isn’t Pence mentioned referring to having classified documents? To me this is much more serious given he was recently the VP. Biden hadn’t been the VP for several years.

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Ruth: CNN does mention - from time to time - that Republicans have no problem raising the debt ceiling when there is a Republican president. But CNN is not not forceful about this, and there is never any follow-up. And, I agree that there is much more in the way of promoting bothsiderisms - which have the effect of sowing confusion.

As for debt and deficit, these are the same for households, but very different for nations, and this is confusing. I bet there are very few citizens who know this. Look, most people are just too damn busy with making a living and raising children to pay attention.

Democrats need charismatic people on TV. Bernie is great, but comes across as a grumpy old man - which he probably is.

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I want you to explain why I should avoid too much debt but Govenment should not.

When government prints money it devalues all money. That is a hidden tax that gets even worse with today's high interest rates. Adding insult to injury, the high interest rates have killed the dream of home ownership for young Americans.

How can anyone be supporting more debt for government while restricting it for young Americans wanting a home?

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I notice you didn't whine about the very rich not paying their share of taxes and Congress pumping more and more money into the military when our soldiers have not been paid well and their families often live in poor conditions. I also note you didn't mention the corporations claiming high often very high profits while raising prices quite a bit above what is needed to cover increased costs, in short, cheating customers. Personal debt/deficit are not the same thing as national debt and deficit. I want folks to be able to buy homes if they want to, but our federal reserve has only one tool they choose to use to "fix" inflation, raising interest rates which means individuals will have higher interest rates for everything they borrow. That's what happens when conservatives are in charge of money. They are OK with everyone's suffering but their own. They assume their wealth will carry them through, and I guess it does because they keep doing it. Did you study economics at all? Do you just grab headlines and put them out as though that's the whole story? It looks like that.

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We have a double whammy of inflation and high interest rates. All started when Democrats won the House 4 years ago.

But yes, long term Republicans bear the lame as well for kicking the debt to our children.

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For you, and individual citizens, debt and deficit are the same thing. As I understand it, the national debt includes all indebtedness, so it includes a lot of good indebtedness such as investment in infrastructure and in production. It also includes inflation, which is present in every economy in the world, and that alone means that the national debt is always rising (i.e., it takes more dollars to buy a car now than it did a century ago). This is not a bad thing. A LOT of inflation is a bad thing, but this is temporary. Governments print money when the economy goes into a recession, in order to re-ignite the economy. As you say, this leads to inflation and an increase in the national debt. But as Keynes put it, the time to pay that part of the debt down is when the economy is booming again. In the meantime, you are right - interest rates are high, but they too will decline when the economy has re-ignited.

So, let the debt ceiling be raised once again. It's almost irrelevant, and the concept should probably be sidelined. For Republicans, whether they know it or not, the national debt is a straw man they use to frighten people, when their real aim is to reduce the DEFICIT by cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, rather than do what Adam Smith would have recommended, which is to raise revenue by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

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Surely Debt on infrastructure is a good thing. Infrastructure is a solid investment which pays for itself.

Bailing out rich people and sending bombs to other countries will never pay for itself. It only brings more of the same woes upon us.

We have been a failure at nation building. We have encouraged bad behavior by forgiving loans and rebuilding homes in sketchy areas.

If we don't reduce spending there will be nothing left to repay our debt to veterans and to seniors invested in Social Security and Medicare.

Also, you are assuming much about when interest rates will fall, if ever. No one knows this. When I borrow I assume that the rate I sign for will never change. It has to fit my budget. Same applies to National Debt.

Don't borrow if you cannot even pay the interest.

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Michael, very astute comments about the lack of follow-up on comments about the debt ceiling, and lack of explanation of the difference between deficit and debt when it comes to government money. It is not that complex, but it might take an extra 30 seconds to explain. They have done a pretty good job on MSNBC with that, but not on the 3 regular networks nightly news reports. You are also right about people being caught up in all the business of living. It is too bad We the People haven't included taking care of our democracy as part of that business of living. I am glad my family was so political from the time I was a kid. Knowing what is going on has always been part of my life as it has for 3 out of 4 of my sisters. That has helped me to be more aware of what is happening with other people around the nation and world, and to appreciate them.

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Republicans are masters at using false equivalencies. And the media, trying its hardest to balance any story, gives equal weight to each side of the false equivalency.

That, of course, cannot be done because the false equivalency is, in and of itself, flawed (false).

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Where the money goes. The repugnician

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The mainstream media eggs it on and is largely responsible for people not knowing how government works; that it’s not the budget but whete

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Why are some of the comments stating “the Dems need to grow a pair”? Biden is absolutely refusing to budge on this! I’ve said this before, but the more we bash our own party, the less unified we are.

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Michael, now all we need to do, is design a public education program around your points that people will actually listen to and learn from. Any ideas how to do that? or even where to start?

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Just off the top of my head, why not start with CNN (and even FOX) by giving them soundbites? BREAKING NEWS! Anyone know a producer of the Jake Tapper and Erin Burnett shows?

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Good ideas, Michael. What we need is to explain to Americans the threat to THEIR Social Security and Medicare - that they can understand.

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They need to stop being called 'entitlements' by the media,they are earned benefits.

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Absolutely agree, Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, State Disability Insurance are all deducted from our paychecks, They are hidden under FICA to make it appear as though we are getting government handouts when most workers have paid into these funds for a minimum 10 years and for most 20 to 50 years. they are entitlements in the sense that just as the wealthy are entitled to dividends on the stock and bond shares, so, too, are we entitled to Social Security and Medicare for which we and our employer as part of our benefit package (which we receive in lieu of cash) for all our working lives. Which for many of us is a very long time. Many people now in their 60's to 90's slung hamburgers in McDonald's or other fast foods. had paper routes, and baby sat. So, you're doggoned right we're entitled to our share of what we paid for.

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Bernie supposedly had an op-ed on Faux News. IDK if anyone watched it there.

IDK Erin Burnett, but Carol Burnett would be great. Too bad Tim Conway has passed.

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The media “both sides” and bending over backward to avoid accusations of liberal bias have made them culpable in the destruction of our democracy. The debt ceiling threats by Republicans are absurd; the far right have the sound bites and air time, while the news media say that Biden is in more trouble every day because of the documents - even though it has been pointed out that the Biden and Trump situations are completely different and experts have said the Biden administration has handled this by the book.

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My first thought was billboards, but that’s showing my age. What’s the social media equivalent?

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Billboards are great - driver's see them often. It needs to be a multi-faceted information campaign, in as many places as we can think of.

How about a financial literacy program for K-12 classrooms? The kids can help inform and educate their parents. We devised alternative energy programs, projects, contests, etc, that met curriculum standards and parents were thrilled.

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Media companies are for-profit businesses and are influenced by money. That is why there are complicit. If we had enough unity we could put resources together to control one, or collectively stop supporting (boycott) those that we oppose. Social Media is one of the better options. It is the least expensive way to reach the masses. We need to use social media the same way 3rd world countries have used it to challenge the status quo. A diversified approach would be ideal.

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Without a house mortgage (debt) and a car mortgage (debt), how many of us could function as participants in the economy?

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Nothing wrong with some debt. Excessive debt is the problem. With rising interest rates the debt service is unmanageable. The deficits cannot continue unabated. This is the job of Congress. Let them do their job.

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Thank you Michael Hutchinson. Clearly stated and informative. I do not blame citizens for the natural impulse of avoiding taxes .... I blame the IRS for poorly defining and enforcing tax laws that are fair. I find worthwhile news on PBS, Margaret Hoover Firing Line, Global Public Square with Farheed Zacharia and Lester Holt at 6:30 pm. News opinion shows do not work for me. Ignoring truth to gain TV ratings is destroying our country. I have three Masters Degrees and learned in professional life that facts in various disciplines have different meaning for people. Private business and education are different worlds with different beliefs. Let's all grow up as voters and face the facts by recognizing bias where it exists. Institutions of higher learning must lead the way.

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Regarding your comment about the IRS -- remember congress writes all tax laws, not the IRS. And the IRS has been seriously undercut due to underfunding.

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I was a partner in a CPA firm for many years. I believe Congress is the problem, not the IRS. Congress writes incomprehensible, unenforcable tax law to provide cover for tax avoidance (NOT tax evasion) by the rich and powerful. If you study it, you have to admit that is the only thing that explains why it is the way it is.

I played for the other team, but I came to pity IRS agents. Underpaid, on a fool's errand, just trying to do a thankless job.

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Thank you Stacy B. I believe Biden has requested more funding of the IRS to enable enforcement of existing tax laws. Is that a solution to strengthen tax compliance?

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Robert, I would love to see higher ed. lead the way toward understanding of how our government works and truth in media, and more, but lately, again, there is a serious attack on colleges and universities and their wanting to be more diverse (sometimes), but not being conservative enough. I don't want to see colleges helping students to be more conservative. They have not lived long enough to have anything to conserve, and everyone is being told that college is not for everyone which really means, not for poor, Black, or other people of color. How can we change this narrative to something more positive while we fight the ignorance now related to the debt ceiling, (something that should not even exist)?

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I chose to attend college to find choices I never imagined were possible. USMC duty in VN was followed by world travel then teaching, coaching, (surfing) in a wealthy Southern California community. Following a profitable business venture designed to supplement a deficient teaching salary, I chose to teach young people at an Industrial Arts High School. I was surprised to learn of the high demand for working professionals in trades. Some of the highest paying jobs for Industrial Arts graduates were in Cosmetology and females who studied automotive technology were quickly hired by Honda and Toyota in PR jobs. As I reflect on many life experiences, the greatest need I found in education, by far, was to teach students with language based learning disabilities who were often diagnosed as behavior disordered. (20 of my special education students later graduated from college). When children are denied the core foundations for learning math, language arts, science AND CIVICS, they lose self esteem. Some politicians also want to deny instruction in LGBTQ, birth control, and black history. Why? When I taught inner city gang youth the strongest "cultural" influence on black AND white kids was black culture. (The NFL and sports teams are the best examples of de facto culture in the USA). I wish I had confidence in our flawed judiciary to combat the damage done by misinformation and lying elected officials. I am 80 years old now and feel the need is greater than ever to teach skills that build character and unselfish behavior. Early childhood education should become a new national purpose as an investment in a future competitive America. Did I mention, I am married to an oriental woman of humble childhood origin who has a medical doctoral degree? If her character and drive are typical of the Asian culture, Americans would be advised to stop squandering our democracy. China is watching.

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Robert, thank you so much for your testimony. I have found what you described about education to be true. I taught in a community of high poverty, mostly Black and Hispanic Americans. I taught Gifted Support and found those students to be wonderful, but often without belief in their own abilities. Our classroom teachers are really good, so I spent most of my time introducing my students to new ideas outside the curriculum and cheerleading for them. They have mostly found success in whatever area they have chosen, sometimes not through college. They also encountered the health devastations that our community brought them which took the lives of 6 of my students early, two to violence, the others to illness. We do need early childhood and kindergarten education opportunities for every child as well as experiences to broaden the lives of every child: field trips, career days, libraries, all things my students had few or none of. Again thanks.

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Sounds like what we lack is something that might be called a “national culture.”

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Stan, I think your one short sentence describes toxic American individualism, which is very near the core of the problem.

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Personally, I miss the Fairness Doctrine. 1949-1987.

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I agree on all points.

Required reading: "The Deficit Myth" by Stephanie Kelton. June 2020.

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Grow a pair? Cojones not needed. Male metaphor? Brains and strength are needed

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That is a much needed explanation which should be the job of journalists to explain. Thank you

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🍐

🚫⚽️⚽️🚫

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Judy - I'm with you.

America's news companies, answer to, and respond to, FoxNews. For some reason, they've lost their ability to stand alone and answer to themselves. If they were sincere, they would refuse to read or listen to anything from FoxNews and report information provided by credible journalists only.

I like the Guardian too. In my opinion, the Singapore Straits Times is just as good, if not better.

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Yes I am quite aware how corporate media and others railroaded Bernie Sanders out of what he was absolutely winning and the dirty tricks that were played!

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OFF TOPIC - but worth the 5 minutes if you're unaware of this: https://youtu.be/xKfEV45KmKM

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From one of his earlier videos, he lives in TX "deep in the heart" of Tweety-land! "Guts" is a good call! I salute him!

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👍🏼 Better him than me. When I was about 19 I swore a solemn oath never to set foot in TX. So far so good.

If you like labor history be sure to catch his YT video on the Battle of Blair Mountain. Something Rhonda Santis would never allow in a FL school book.

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Good reference! I'll look into that video. Thanks! I'm quite familiar with the Blair Mountain Uprising. Are you aware that's the origin of the word "redneck?" Those union strikers that got machine gunned by - was it the Pinkertons? - wore red bandanas around their necks as a sort of makeshift uniform. I think I posted several links to that uprising in this forum many months ago. Glad you know about it, too! 💪

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Sadly, even Al-Jazeera is often more balanced on international news than our domestic rags.

The only realistic answer is to follow multiple sources from across the spectrum. Plus, it is entertaining to see just how far apart, say, the WSJ and the Guardian, are on the same topic; often it is hard to tell if it even is the same topic.

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Entertaining - but horrifying. Even CNN US can have a completely different angle on a story than CNN Europe.

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...yeah the media stacked things against Sanders from the get go, projecting superdelegate votes (that don't come into play until the convention) and adding them to the live vote after each primary to make it appear that Sanders was way behind. For voters "on the fence", who wanted to be on the "winning side", that could have had a significant influence.

What I found interesting in 2016 was that Sanders handily won the state of WIsconsin winning in every county (many of them rural) except the most populous one, Milwaukee (though he didn't lose that one by much. He not only handily defeated Mrs. Clinton, but also Ted Cruz (who won on the (R) side and the Orange Menace who came in second.

Sadly in November the Orange Menace won the state by around 23,000 votes giving him the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Oval Office. Prior to the election Clinton didn't bother campaigning there even though it was one of the main battleground states.

It would have been interesting had Sanders been the nominee in that state as he quite possibly would have defeated the Orange One as there were and are more (D) than (R) voters statewide,

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On the other hand, had he won, consider the Congress. He'd have been lucky to have made it out alive! I think Bernie is >exactly< where and who he should be: a gadfly speaking for what there is of the virtually nonexistent Left. (Don't believe the lunatic fringe, for whom the moderate right looks like communists!)

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...one of hte strikes I had against Biden for years was his support of cutting Social Security benefits both as a Senator and Vice President.

His new chief of staff, Jeff Zientz, was a member of the Obama administration and defended the White House’s so-called “chained CPI” plan back then that would have resulted in cuts to Social Security benefits. I've known of the (R)s desire to gut or eliminate the programme ever since it first began, but to have a member of FDR's party consider doing the same seemed somewhat incongruous, but there was Biden and Obama who both had plans to do so.

I've been a slightly (not extreme) left leaning progressive independent for a number of decades. and have been voting for over a half century. Since the 90s, the neoliberal policies of the (D) party establishment has done little to move this nation in a positive direction and make life better for the nation's citizens. We still have stagnant low wages while costs, particularly healthcare, housing, and college, have been skyrocketing. This was happening well before the Orange Faced One was put into the Oval Office by the Electoral College.

The party needs to change, it needs to move back to a slightly left of centre stance and listen to the people instead of it's corporate donors (yes the (D)s also drink from the same corporate big money spigot the (R)s do). I used to be a member of the (D) party, but after the bills that Mr. Clinton signed into law I said enough as they were more harmful than helpful for the average citizen. I had wondered what happened to the (D) party I once knew that worked for the people and against the big money interests.

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Jan 25, 2023·edited Jan 25, 2023

Then you >completely< understand what I mean when I say "nonexistent political Left!" I hear ya'! I was one of Bernie's Boys, too, in the primary. I simply >don't< vote Republican. Ever! I suffer Democrats because voting 3rd party elects Re-friggin'- publicans - the political >reality< of it all! Nevertheless, I still think Bernie's just where he needs to be and doing what he does best.

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..I agree about Sanders now primarily because of age. He's one of the few to hold onto progressive views throughout his life whole I've seen many others lose that vision as they got older.

We need new and younger minds in government. to carry us forward. (and I'm saying that pushing 70). We also don't need millionaires,but people who still can identify with having to get by month to month.

I've taken to saying we basically have a "House of Lords" and no "House of Commons" given all the wealth on both sides of the aisle. I always wonder how can these people claim to be in touch with a mom who works a job that barely pays above minimum wage trying to keep a roof over hers and her kids' heads along with food on the table and necessary utilities? Or a senior no longer able to work barely making it by on just Social Security and one medical emergency or rent increase away from ending up on the street?

The (D) party still refers to itself as "The Party of The People", but I have lately been wondering which "people" as wages remained stagnant while living costs keep rising and many feel both helpless and hopeless..

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Jan 25, 2023·edited Jan 25, 2023

Just today, I was toying with the notion of cutting pay in half, at least for the representatives, and >requiring< them all to take jobs as cashiers in dollar-stores. Never happening! But it did give me a chuckle! Another notion was making them take jobs as toilet attendants in the posh restaurants they frequent! LOL!

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founding

Me, too.I was furious.

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You know how Bunkerboy insults news channels and newspapers with names like, "fake news" or "failing?" Yeah, CNN isn't going to last much longer just like OAN.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

The real issue: Why Democrats do not go on mainstream media to hammer down the five points outlined by Mr. Reich?

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Amen to that! Spot on right. They should start by hiring Mr. Reich as a marketing/ messaging consultant.

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Get the people who produced the live broadcasts of the J6 hearings. Those were very well done. They would have had more of an impact in prime time, though.

The Squad or the Congressional Progressive Caucus should start a daily YouTube broadcast.

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Hmmmm...... "who" decided that they appear outside of prime time? The four or five people/corporations that OWN all of mainstream media?

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Philippe ; They would get in one sentence and there would be a 'break' then the next 'guest', before any message gets out.

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Not necessarily, but you need someone charismatic. Krugman is brilliant but sheepish. Scott Galloway perhaps?

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Gavin Newsom could do the job.

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Gavin for Prez!

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Another lukewarm liberal with delusions of grandeur... definitely presidential material.

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Gavin Newsom killed CA Proposition 30 with a tsunami of ads. (Proposition 30 was a California ballot proposition that appeared in the general election on November 8, 2022. The measure was defeated. The initiative would have raised taxes on the wealthy to fund wildfire management and electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure. Every major CA environmental group worked very hard to pass Prop. 30.) Gavin Newsom protected the monied interests which would have been taxed to fund this. Newsom has a lot of rhetoric down, but I do not trust him with transformational change like educating the populous about federal government spending. The best suggestion here, I think, is for a nightly newscast on YouTube featuring many intelligent & articulate progressives. Broadcasts should help people wake up from the intentional hypnosis and brain fog inflicted by the mainstream news outlets: CNN and even MSNBC (With its endless pharmaceutical ads, we know who the real master and commander is.)

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Marian: Didn't know this (live in NYC) but, from the internet, I did get this quote from Newsom:

"Prop. 30 is a special interest carve-out — a cynical scheme devised by a single corporation to funnel state income tax revenue to their company. … Californians should know that just this year our state committed $10 billion for electric vehicles and their infrastructure."

What say you?

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Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias. Or maybe Eddie Izzard.

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And how could I forget Randy Rainbow, who almost singlehandedly beat tRump in 2020?

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I rest my case! This just in...

Take 3 minutes and watch this… it will make your day: my favorite “Les Mis” song and character:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/1/23/2148875/-Randy-Rainbow-takes-on-the-Speaker-of-the-House?detail=emaildkre&pm_source=DKRE&pm_medium=email

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Agree. They should also loudly and relentlessly criticize the news media as biased against liberals and Democrats. Republicans criticize the "lamestream" news media as biased against conservatives and Republicans, and what Prof. Reich describes may in part be an effort to prove they are not biased against conservatives.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Carolyn Herz ; The concept of 'fair and balanced' is not new, and unfortunately, has been used to confuse media consumers for a long time. 'The demise of the 'fairness doctrine' was, at least partly the result of the 'both sides ism' phenomenon, along with actors like Ronald Reagan and his embrace of Rupert Murdoch.

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There's an image I can't unsee.

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Follow the money!

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EXACTLY. Who do you think owns ALL of these news entities? The plutocratic ruling class owns them, ALL of them. News is going to be distilled down to what THEY want you to think. The GOP wants a one party political system and they're achieving it. A little aside; I was watching Bill Maher last Friday night and was taken aback at how democracy and Biden are seen by the two Republicans on the show, Nancy Mace and Bill Barr. Both speak of democracy in terms I couldn't even fathom, as something so dysfunctional, utterly awful, so evil that they would vote for Trump over Biden. The way they spoke about "the left" was truly scary. People REALLY BELIEVE this Qanaon talk! Democrats and the left have been so brutally demonized, but that talk is taking hold. Terrible the way Bill Barr talks, but Nancy Mace is a believer too. The present debt ceiling con is terrifying. Yes, it is economic political terrorism.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Bill Barr of former attorney General infamy? Or just a wanna be?

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Yes, that and the media spin.

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Perhaps because our OWN government, through GOP-led defunding of governmental regulations already on the law books since the mid 1980's, has allowed mainstream media to become utterly monopolized in ownership by four or five people/corporations?

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Democrats have no marketing skills whatsoever. Beyond disappointing, as it would be so easy to fix.

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I agree and I wish they would!

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My first thought is « thank you, Professor. ». Again and again, you cut through all the noise to show what is true and important. My second thought is that the nation is the poorer for your not being invited to share this wisdom on television, where Americans who don’t know you could benefit. How many hours do they fill with interviews with talking heads who recycle the same old group think?

I share my favorite pieces of yours with friends in France, retired teachers, who truly appreciate your clarity in presenting ideas.

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Thank you for reminding us of the truth. I no longer watch CNN after the new CEO Licht takeover. The House is nothing but a liars shit show! Shame on these GOP for ruining our Democratic Republic for their own reality show!

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I don't even watch commercial TV any more. I have a "Smart" TV: it only gets PBS. Not as smart as it used to be, though. Too many quack doctors and financial X-spurts.

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The same can be said of the Democrats. The business of Government was set aside for a full week of Kangaroo Court. The whole focus of either party is retribution.

Politics has replaced governance.

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WRONG!

Only 1 tribe passed over 500 voter suppression bills & anti-voter tactics (armed citizens standing by election boxes) before midterm elections.

Only 1 tribe is passing laws to put pregnant women who choose choice to make them suffer, die & go to prison.

Only 1 tribe hates to pay their share of taxes & passes bills to give OUR taxpayer $$$$$ over to them & their greedy rich donors. 2017 Rethuglicon/Dump tax cuts to the greedy rich makes up 25% of our nat'l debt included in this current "debt ceiling".

Only 1 tribe hates government regulations over global climate catastrophes & refuses to move to a "green" & less polluting economy!

Only 1 tribe is currently writing up outline to charge 30% sales tax to all consumers while they bitch & complain about current prices "so high, inflation is so bad, gas prices so high," while they blame Democrats for all of it!??!!??

Only 1 tribe voted AGAINST helping to provide new mothers with the nation's shortage of nursing formula last year.

Only 1 tribe votes AGAINST raising low minimum wages which keeps millions of hardworking Americans struggling everday.

Only 1 tribe love fossil fuels & their greedy CEO& the damage they do to our air, land & water.

Only 1 tribe hates poor, elderly & disabled so much that they lie, cheat & try to steal their earned benefits!!!

You are so WRONG.

I don't love the Democratic party, but it's up to The People--the voters to stop voting in any conservatives or corporatists in Dem party!!

5 rightwing sociopaths on SCOTUS paved the way for greedy rich to buy politicians!! Not 1 Democrat did that!!

Before you bitch & complain about the Dem party, what THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO CHANGE IT FOR THE BETTER????

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I'm a senior on a fixed income (Social Security) and a small pension, and Medicare.

Yesterday, the DNC sent me a text message asking for a $1000 donation.

I wasn't nice to them when I responded back asking them if they'd like for me to furnish my bank's routing number and my bank account number, so they could withdraw as much money from my account as they need for their purposes -- nonexistent money, because now that we've hit our debt limit, Republicans are hell-bent on shutting down Social Security and Medicare and throwing us seniors all out on the street (after we've paid into these systems all our lives) and Democrats AREN'T DOING ONE DAMN THING TO STOP THEM.

Karl Marx' description of end-stage capitalism, where money has completely corrupted politicians so they no longer pay any real attention to us (except when they want us to re-elect them), is absolutely SPOT ON.

(Marx' description of the solution -- communism, is a utopia which does not take into account the problem of human greed and selfishness. Neither capitalism, nor communism, nor most of our world's religious systems offer practical, effective solutions to the problem of human greed. Communism works very well in small societies, such as monasteries or communes organized by a unified purpose. When communism is applied to government, it results in a two-tiered society: a nomenklatura, which holds all the power and most of the wealth; and a proletariat, who are generally quite poor and exist at a subsistence level.

(All too often, Marxist states are authoritarian, and very often police states. Two countries which were communist -- Russia and China, have become explicitly capitalist, but retained their authoritarian governments. One country which is explicitly Communist, North Korea, has a small nomenklatura whose privileged members hold nearly all the wealth and power in that country, while the rest of the country lives in dire poverty in a police state with no human rights to speak of.)

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Mark, I live in your shoes as well feeling like target of the hit man at the DNC who fill both my USPS and email addresses daily with demands for more 💵 dollars. I made a gross error in judgment early on in supporting the DNC in so far as possible on my meager annuity and Social Security because my ideologies align with the Democratic Party. Now their campaign finance machine is so rampantly aggressive as to request surveys as to my preferences in policy

but does not submit without a donation after which the site auto directs to another issue with a pretty picture of Michelle Obama or another celebrity and literally grabs funds into ActBlue before I can find my way out of the forest.

The truth lurking in my conscience is that no one reads or cares about my opinions. They only want my money. Grassroots fundraising is a joke. There is no way to compete with the huge Superpacs (many dark money at that) whom I presume are referenced in the “matched” donations. We are being robbed of the minute wealth we have by hitting that submit button to any survey, questionnaire, poll, etc. There are plenty of trillionaires out there who can finance campaigns but of course those monies will be aligned to their interests divergent more every day to our own.

DEMAND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AND TRANSPARENCY!

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Citizens United and dark money created this! This can’t be changed because the Republicans want all the dark money and the Democrats have to be aggressive to get small donors to contribute! I’m sick of 365 days a year, every year, the aggressive requests for campaign donations! Something has to change!

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Unfortunately, early studies regarding politicians, political parties, and charitable causes asking for money via email showed that the more often you asked, the more money you would get, and showed no downside. There has been no followup study to show that there IS eventually a downside. That eventually people get ticked off and opt out of receiving your emails or signing your petitions because they have no money to give and your continuous emails just remind them of that sad reality, and signing you petition just gets them added to 10 more email lists of people who will fill your inbox with requests for money.

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Case in point: I stopped signing petitions, and I canceled most of my email subscriptions with Democratic organizations.

I give to individual Democrats and progressives (Beto O'Rourke, Lloyd Doggett, Andre Carson, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren), DSA, etc. but the various arms of the Democratic Party don't get so much as a dime.

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I don't give a dime to the party, the DNC, DCCC (especially), DSCC, etc. Their fat thumb on the scale tiip it against progressives every time, in favor of the same DINOs funded by AIPAC, DMFI, etc.

I only donate to individual progressive candidates or organizations (Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, PCCC, and a few others).

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I wish it were possible to "like" your comment a thousand times.

We're in the same situation as you are right now. We need a new kitchen floor and a new roof on this house but there's no way I'm going forward with any project. Neither am I increasing my small dollar support of the DNC. Not as long as the retirement income that I, my employer and the US Government built up over 60 years of TAXATION on MY gainful work habits is under threat from fascists within our OWN government who are pushing for authoritarian dictatorship in the "Land of the Free".

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No Democrats support this BS.

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REALLY, Daniel.

I wasn't aware that you received and read my mail before I got it.

/snarkasm

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I have heard that before Ronald Raygun successfully proposed to tax the Social Security income of seniors in 1983, it was possible to live on your Social Security checks. Seems like the little people always bear the tax burden that giant corporations successfully shirk.

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My income is fixed too... like my cats... it can't multiply.

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Bravo Andrea!

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👏

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Trying to stop it from going over the same cliff the Repooplickins have gone over?

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Gandalf Grey; The week of which you spoke was an effort to shed light on the fact that an attack on the US Capitol building, the People's House, actually happened. It was not a 'protest' that 'got out of control'. It was deadly!

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I would liken it more to a light (and unarmed) version of the storming of the Bastille. It was more symbolic than anything. If we continue to ignore problems with our voting system, it may yet become violent. Poor election security could just as easily work against Democrats.

There are ways to secure the vote and restore trust. Actually, there are ways which don't require trust at all.

See my article entitled "Doubt Relief" for one such idea. You see, I'm not just a complainer like so many here. I want to help make all of our lives better. It can happen, but not by repeating the same mistakes over and over.

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Gandalf Grey : You must have heard about voter purging, gerrymandering , voter intimidation, removing ballot boxes, and forcing people to wait for hours to vote, sometimes those with small children cannot vote, because they can't because of these limitations. Elderly, or handicapped people have limitations too. I read that Texas had one drop box for a million people.

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"It was more symbolic than anything."

More disinformation. .

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Agreed.

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No. Politics has been replaced by a GQP Circus Act. Governance is what happens as legislation to improve the world around us is discussed, adjusted and passed.

The GQP is anti-governance and are now devolving into anarchists.

Always a pleasure to respond to your trolling. But Truth Social is missing you.

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Wrong! The Democrats stuck together! Kareem would have governed!

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Thank you Mr.Reich for telling the Truth and pointing us in the right direction. This definitely needs exposure. I had no idea the debt ceiling was raised 3 times under Trump and nothing was said by Republicans! Democrats need to speak up on this issue to the American public. We so need clear transparency to what is really going on here! Call them out on their lies.

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I realized that trump and his administration increased the debt by $7 trillion but NO Republican EVER admits it! The Republicans keep giving tax breaks to the corporations with the premise of trickle down economics! I call it reducing the middle class to pay all their free taxes so they get more wealthy! The only policy the current GOP follow is trying to blame the Democrats for everything that they did or are doing. The Republicans provide NO solutions other than cutting social programs that American paid into and because they want to keep padding their pockets by not paying taxes, giving tax breaks to the most wealthy for favors, or free lobbying money! The Republicans want the power to do what they want without consideration of the American people, the constitution, the rule of law, and our Democracy!

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Long past time!

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Thank you Mr. Reich, I listen to a very few “hosts” because I want to throw something at my tv. The b. s. that comes from most of the shows is disgusting!

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This is why I cut the cable. I realized I was PAYING every month to be brainwashed by their untruthful and biased propaganda. I search the internet, careful to see the sources of information, before just believing it to be true.

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I remember feeling the same way watching Tricky Dick’s speeches.

At the time, someone actually came out with a Lexan™️ shield that you could set up in front of your TV to protect the picture tube from rotten tomatoes or even beer bottles.

Maybe that’s why TV screens are all plastic now.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Excellent column. If only all enlightened Democratic communication were this articulate! What it does omit, however, is the pervasive, severe ineptitude of the Democratic Party in countering Republican propaganda. Whether it’s the debt ceiling, abortion ( the “ pro life” movement, yea right!) voting restrictions, gun safety, or just about any other important issue, the Democrats are so lame, ineffectual, and impotent in their messaging and talking points. The Republicans’s marketing skills are far superior, right up there with Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl. If the Democratic Party continues to fail to get its act together to effectively illuminate and rebut Republican hogwash, the Republicans will prevail and this democracy certainly will die.

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Keep in mind, Rethuglicons have rightwing billionaires' propaganda media TV!! Like FOX, Newsmax & 1500 nationwide hate+lies radio channels & social media sites to spread their BS far & wide!!!

Any progressive media forum is tiny in comparison!! Leftwing media doesn't have nearly the scope of billionaires rightwing propaganda.

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Far too many Democrats, many of them our favorites, share a trauma-based dysfunction inflicted on them by those who raised them, that leaves them unable to EVER be mean to anyone else or hurt their feelings. When push comes to shove, they are viscerally unable to stand strong and push back. I was glad to see that President Biden found healing for this dysfunction and is now able to exhibit "Dark Biden" as necessary, but the rest of the party leadership needs the same healing, as does former President Obama. It's not about who goes low and who goes high, it's about standing up and standing strong for what's moral and right, even if the other side gets angry or gets their feelings hurt. It doesn't matter how "high" you go if you back off as soon as the other side gets upset.

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Well, thanks, Mr. Kappahahn, for putting it into words of clarity. As a Depression Baby and born Democrat I've been sorely tested for the words to describe my chosen party since Harry Truman died. All I can come up with is the Mr. & Mrs. Nice Guy dysfunction. A good description, but not quite as thorough as yours. I appreciate it. Really. And I hope all of us Mr. & Mrs. Nice Guys out here in la-la land will have the spine to support President Biden instead of trying to be 'fair'. Blessed Be.

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Robert Dale - thank you for pointing this out. I have been saying for years that the Dem Party’s top leadership silence is deafening. To the best of my knowledge, the national party leaders care only about keeping their wealthy Wall Street donors happy, which basically means they are in lockstep with the republican party. I believe this is why you never see or hear the party leader speak on any media source. Mr Harrison stays completely hidden from the public because if he were interviewed by the media he would have to speak in support of the Dem Party’s public goals of fairly taxing the wealthy by raising their taxes and eliminating loopholes, ending corporate tax loopholes and ending foreign tax shelters. If corporate welfare ended and workers were all paid fair wages we might not so desperately need the safety nets that republicans have always hated. Of course, if Mr. Harrison actually publicly spoke to the media about what the Dem Party supposedly supports then that would not go over well with the wealthy Wall Street funders and he would be out of a job.

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Republicans know how to handle the media. They don't expose themselves because that leads to the media looking for blood as they are doing with Biden and the documents and as they did with the Afghanistan withdrawal. You'd never know trump made the plan, let the taliban take over 90%of the country, let prisoners go free and stuck Biden with it.

They never admit the truth. They will lie continuously. If they just keep telling the same lies, the commentators will start to accept it.

They attack relentlessly. I've seen many commentators back down from their attacks. Intimidation does work with the media.

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The corporate media are for-profit businesses allied with the party of capitalism. What else do we need to know?

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Robert Dale : What brilliant ideas do you have to do this?

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The framing of this issue by the media is MADDENING. Is there no one but you who is calling this out?

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NYT Krugman has been all over this.

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Thanks for refuting the spin on the Debt Ceiling debate. Dems should argue rolling back Trump tax cuts is the best solution to restore fiscal responsibility and strike a blow for rebalancing American social class inequities.

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The other day we addressed about four methods. Congress will not roll back....The foxes own the House.

I added no. 5. Arbitrage Buy at low interest. Sell at high interest. Buy Japanese bonds, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark at low rates. Sell ours at market rates.,

The 14th Amendment concludes by empowering Congress to implement its provisions. But if the current House of Representatives abdicates this responsibility, throwing the nation into default by refusing to raise the debt limit, President Biden should act on his own, taking steps to ensure that the federal government meets its financial obligations, as the Constitution requires.

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One does not, and should not, negotiate as to whether or not to take care of one’s fiscal obligations.

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Including debt. You cannot spend your way out of debt. The interest will soon exceed our ability to manage debt and that will lead to insolvency.

Now the interest rates have risen. That includes interest on the federal debt. We must reduce deficits and debt.

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GandalfGrey is an euphemism for who?

First off Social Security and Medicare are self funded and not part of spending from the general funds.

I will BET that you personally were a net loser from the Trump "tax cut" that created this crisis. Only about 10% of top earners benefitted.

Most probably YOU personally need government benefits that Republicans want to undermine.

Section 4, 14th Amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned.”

Quoting Eric Foner: The 14th Amendment concludes by empowering Congress to implement its provisions. But if the current House of Representatives abdicates this responsibility, throwing the nation into default by refusing to raise the debt limit, President Biden should act on his own, taking steps to ensure that the federal government meets its financial obligations, as the Constitution requires.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Someone tell Biden! That the 14th amendment says he should make the House raise the debt ceiling if they refuse to do so.!

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Yes Ma'am. The 14th amendment could have also been used by NOW to prevent tRump from prancing around and talking about running for President again in 2024 after his treasonous activities on 1/6/22.

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I'm probably not totally understanding this,why can't there be a permanent solution on the'debt ceiling'? Seems like we go over and over this.

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Good question, Red Elisa Mendosa.

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I've been pondering this for several years now.Maybe Prof. Reich could shed some light.

By the way,my name is MENDOZA,Z like in zebra.

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Jan 25, 2023·edited Jan 25, 2023

RedElisa Mendoza ; Sorry about the typo ; my cataracts need attention. Seeing my eye doc next Monday to see if I qualify for the procedure. The debt ceiling thing should not be debatable or leveraged in any way, I agree. "The “debt ceiling” is merely an accounting convention" is what Professor Reich wrote in one of the 'bullets' (maybe the second one) .

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The only permanent solution to debt is to pay it off. That being all but impossible the next best option is to begin reducing it.

Anyone with any sense knows that getting a new credit card will not reduce your debt.

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Congress controls the purse strings. You may not like it, but it's the law of the land. There will be no insurrection today by you or anyone else.

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Says the apologist for traitors.

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TAX the RICH BILLIONAIRES! AND ACTUALLY MAKE THEM PAY,, with PENALITUES and INTEREST!!! Like ordinary workers must, if they don't pay on time.

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Better yet: EAT the rich.

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I'm not That hungry!

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Give it another year.

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Vegetarian future

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Gandalf Grey ; silly wizard : (trix are for kids, but they'll rot their teeth) : repeal or lose tRump's tax breaks for the obscenely rich and TAX the RICH!

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You are confusing debt and deficit (see my comments), which means you are watching FOX and CNN too much. Every advanced country has debt. As for interest on the debt, this is currently running at about 1.5% (see Krugman in today's NYT), which is trivial in historical terms.

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Read The Deficit Myth or go to neweconomicperspectives.org and take the primer. and learn how our government finances really work. A sovereign nation that issues its own currency can not become insolvent unless they do it through something stupid like the debt ceiling. If you understand blog 2 in the primer, you will have learned something about basic accounting.

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That’s an excellent website. Thanks for the reference.

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Why? Because the GOP, Wall Street and completely monopolized corporations just spent two years attempting to inflate inflation to increase their profits because of the mess our OWN government made during the Covid emergency that began in 2019? (grin) That DID occur on tRump's watch. Tell me Mr. Grey, did that "oath" given by every member of the GOP to Grover Norquist who created the Tea Party in 1985 which demanded they dedicate themselves to LOWERING TAXES "no matter what" supersede the Oath of Office they swore to support the Constitution of the United States?

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If you look at the credentials and background of any of the mainstream networks and newspaper reporters, you will be able to count on one hand the people who have some training in economics. The only one that comes to mind is Paul Krugman at the Times. Therefore it is impossible for me to listen/read anything about economics from those sources ..... none of them have any credibility.

BTW, I've yet to see anyone mainstream bring up the idea that the Debt Ceiling might violate the 14th Amendment's Article 4. Above their pay-grade?

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IMHO, the long term answer to the debt ceiling is to 𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙞𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙮! 𝙄𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙧𝙮!

No other country uses a debt ceiling except Denmark.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

"The pending fight over raising the debt ceiling is complicated. If the mainstream media gets it wrong, how do we expect most Americans to get it right?"

I understood from all your points, Dr. Reich, that this fight is really not complicated. Raising the debt ceiling must be non-negotiable. Raise taxes on the wealthy.

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I've noticed that also: even supposedly impartial news sources try to paint a neutral picture of the problem. Perhaps we should give them credit for trying to allay fears by pretending that democracy is working. In a rational world, though, refusing to pay obligations should be regarded as sedition, like the gallows set-up for symbolic or other purposes on January 6, 2021.

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Same goes for continuously increasing debt. It has to stop!

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No, there's a difference, and you should know that.

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You need to talk to the clown party aka: Rethuglicons that are wasting our tax$$$$ on doing NOTHING for us but trying to destroy our government--our lives!

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Who is GandalfGrey? Is he paid to spread disinformation?

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What specifically have I written that is disinformation?

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You have no idea how government finances work but continue to spout disinformation about it.

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That wasn't an answer to the question. It was repetitive propaganda and a personal opinion.

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I bet he is a dreamer, but not the ones who want to be allowed to stay. One who would not want to help those immigrants who were raised here and pay taxes,, and even serve in law enforcement and the military.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Daniel : see Tolkein's Trilogy. He is a wise and powerful wizard.In a fantasy.

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A Rose by any other name...

Topic is debt.

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Yes, while the interest rates are going up: adding to our debt.

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We all need to talk to both parties. Government has a purpose, and it's best when it sticks to it. Infrastructure and law enforcement are necessary. The rest are things that we can do for ourselves. When we ask for more, politicians will surely volunteer, but rarely solve anything.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" was an admonition to recrain from asking government to help with things you can do for yourself.

Bailouts are counterproductive. Failure should be allowed, for it is a lesson and a motivation to do better. It's how we evolved to where we are today.

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Practice what you preach? Of course not.

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I do. I ask nothing from government other than basic infrastructure and law enforcement. The rest I take care of myself.

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I bet your IRS return states otherwise. Prove it.

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Then tell us who you are and stop hiding.

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John Galt? Is this you?

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Isn't that a fictional character? I live in the real world.

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Jan 24, 2023·edited Jan 24, 2023

Says GandalfGreay. Seen any good hobbits lately in your "real world?" LOL!

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Since I'm under no illusion that the dark money bribery legalized by our OWN Supreme Court through it's 2010 Citizens United decision is limited to any particular person or political party, I'd like to interject at this point and mention that governments throughout history have been formed in order to accomplish through taxation what one single person cannot accomplish on their own. So far as "bailouts"??? I'd have to say that Big Banks, Wall Street, enormously monopolized Corporations and the oligarchs that own them have received one helluva lot more "bailouts" (2008 and 2020 for example) than the average American Taxpayers who fund those "bailouts" have EVER received.

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Why infrastructure? Can’t we simply privatize that? Admit it, you’re libertarian utopia believes our society will be better if we collectively only spend to protect the individual’s property. A police state. Everyone must take responsibility for their own well being. There is no we, there’s only me.

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Kennedy was shot by Republicans.

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The above is what politics as religion gets us. Angels and demons.

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I believe you are impersonating a very honorable wizard. You are actually Saruman.

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