436 Comments
Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

In light of A.G. Garland’s exemplary appearance Thursday afternoon, I am starting to believe that Republicans who have latched themselves to Trump will have so much to answer for in the coming weeks that no amount of money, likely, will save them. If I’m right, we’ll have a real shot, in 23, of resurrecting H.R.1 For the People, that aggressively tackles getting money out of politics. I should note this legislation passed in the House back in 2021. We just need to hold the House and pick up, I imagine, at least 4 seats in the Senate.

Before you vote me off the island for being a cockeyed optimist, please, again, heed the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who once wrote, “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” As I posted recently, I simply would add that only in retrospect is the true value of persistence in the face of difficulty revealed.

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Yay! Barbara Joe! I needed to hear your words. I have a bit more hope for Garland acting since the FBI visit to Trump's compound. I think if we persist and don't get either complacent or start feeling nothing will get better, we can win those seats in November.

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Trump will not object to opening the warrant.

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Sounds to me like he's just trying to "get ahead" of the situation. I have no doubt he'd continue stonewalling if he thought he could get away with it. No 5th Amendment option available for this - that he's already claimed to his Tweety-tosser base that only criminals rely on.

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Yet Trump could have opened it, and published it, any time he wanted.

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Why would he do that? It seems the exact wrong thing to do, i.e., revealing precisely what he illegally removed from the White House. If the contents discuss things nuclear, he will look very bad.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

So he could claim >exactly< what he's claiming now: that the corrupt FBI was planting evidence to bring him down. I'm surprised you'd wonder. His fundamental strategy has >always< been to controvert anything brought against him. That's an old union-busting strategy. "He said, She said" forever! Look no further than how the trolls we get here behave. Hell! Look at how the Republi-wankers behave. They don't bring proposals and they don't state platforms. They controvert the Democrats at every turn.

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I thought I had an evil mind, but apparently not evil enough. His denial is going to appear, I would think, extremely weak, ridiculous even: The FBI would never risk their reputation doing something so sensational if it were illegal. They must have their ducks in a row. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain if this search were political; I don't think the FBI is political: Why would they be? Yes, Hoover was biased and had an agenda, but it was his agenda, not anyone else's.

Still naive (or is it stubborn), I think that Trump should have fought revealing the contents of the warrant; by doing so, he could say that the contents were harmless, and as president he has the power to declassify them on the spot, which he did before he left office.

Trolls? Here? Yeah, I've noticed only one, which allows me to stick around: I'm too old to quarrel.

Far-right Republicans, like Far-left Democrats are beyond the pale, unhelpful in virtually every way. Which is a warmup for stating that moderate Republicans, and I think many exist, e.g., George Conway, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Joe Scarborough, Steve Schmidt, even George Will, whom I personally despise, have wisely and bravely left the new Republican Party and rejected Trump and Trumpism. As have Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, whose views oppose mine, but they haven't gone insane. They are the last Republicans standing, and we shouldn't group them in with Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Jim Jordan, Steve Scalise et al.

And thanks for responding. I enjoy the human contact, even if online.

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My pleasure, my friend. Your contributions are >always< worth paying attention to.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

MSNBC was quite gleeful last night about the WaPo story that the search was related to nuclear secrets. POTUS cannot declassify such documents.

One big test is Cheney's Tuesday primary. Will WY voters believe the WaPo nuclear story? Can Daddy Dick help convince them that Liz was/is right to purge the QOP of TheRump? Would DespicableMe DeSantis help lead the cheerleaders for purging TheRump from the QOP?

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founding

He’ll find some way to spin it. Mark my words.

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Consider them marked. (How can anyone spin stealing nuclear secrets?)

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Jewish space lasers, Democratic pedophiles, Putin is a hero, etc. It doesn’t have to make sense but people will believe it anyway.

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Garland put the former guy in a box in an efficient, chess-like move, gave him what could be called a Hobson's choice. If tfg doesn't go along with releasing the warrant and inventory, he has no defense for the lack of transparency and clearly appears to be uncooperative and hiding something (which most readers here know he's been doing forever; witness his taking the Fifth 440+ times in a civil suit earlier this week) -- he can't point to DoJ as the bad guys since DoJ gave him the chance to object to the release. If he does go along with the release, he obviously risks being exposed and then having to explain away how all those super-secret documents just happened to end up in his safe and what he intended to do with them (or, perish the thought, may already have done with them).

His only play, really, is to try to retake a little bit of the high ground, swampy though it may be, and bluff and BS his way through the s - - - storm that will surely follow the release. He'll have to continue ignoring the fact that he could've released the warrant, etc., all along and try to appear ever so magnanimous and gracious (I know, oxymorons when juxtaposed with the character of the man), and hope that the propaganda machine plus an extra-heavy-duty dose of bluster and inflammatory lies can throw enough feathers in the fan to obscure what the documents say and mean.

I'd speculate that he'll go along with the DoJ filing, then declare it to be fake, a counterfeit, a pile of lies from the Deep State, etc., but will not release his own copy of the documents, which would of course exactly match DoJ's. (Or maybe he'll come up with his own counterfeit, though his whole operation has historically been notably bumbling and ham-fistedly incompetent.) That's a very weak position indeed, but having rejected the concept of empirical reality, the Kool-Aid people won't notice or care, instead seizing on the inflammatory lies and carrying on in their present manner (or, very possibly, worse, with more actual violence).

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He would do that for two reasons: 1) he - or no likely his advisers- know that when serving a subpoena a copy is required to be left at the premises searched along with a receipt for items removed. 2) it was his fans chanting to release the subpoena and the receipt. How would it look to them if he

refused?

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Fair point from a different perspective. Always worth considering.

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Not a good look, but to easily allow its contents to become known sounds worse: nuclear secrets? Man, that's double evil.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

He'd just claim the evil FBI planted it, and the Tweety-tossers would eat it up - then fly their blue lives matter flags! The good news is that he's a bit committed to that strategy, which weakens his position. The AG could've possibly announced all that pre-emptively and include that "ol' Tweety will predictably claim we planted any evidence of wrong-doing we find."

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Because he knows he can LIE about everything and so far get away with it. How do we sleep knowing this creep is getting everything he needs : attention!!!! There is nothing Trump and his mafia won’t do. Why oh why are we accepting such disgraceful, blatant and mental derangement from this crook.? What do we tell our children? What do we tell ourselves? Are we so bored with ourselves that we consider this behavior to be interesting? This is not fun. This is wearing our selves out. Is it worth it?

And yes, we can celebrate that Garland is acting like a grown up , morally motivated leader.

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And me as well, thanks Barbara Jo. You cannot tell me that he wasn't watching via CCTV, 45 has his entire club on cameras.

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Go, Roe, go.

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it is essential to codify roe

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https://youtu.be/jBZs0fmTHo8

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Thanks DZK, once again, for providing a helpful link that both reinforces and broadens the conversation.

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Thank you for your words. Optimism is hope and it is much needed in our country and around the world.

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Gerald, I appreciate your reply. Nonetheless, I must note, my comment notwithstanding, that, in my view, hope has nothing to do with optimism. In truth, I am not optimistic about America, nor about the plight of the human species overall. There simply is not enough evidence to infer things are going to get better. Still, even as I call optimism into question, I persist, as I hope we all do, because we believe our cause is right and just and moral.

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As Americans we always FIGHT for TRUTH, JUSTICE, and a more perfect union. Trump's ACTIONS have betrayed America and as I write this I would not at all be surprised if he has sold nuclear information to Russia and any other country who would gladly pay for it. Trump is a despicable human being proven by his ACTIONS time and time again. He is another reason that OUR Constitution MUST be modified to put more QUALIFICATIONS and REVEAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION for people running for office. The corporate media in this country has also BETRAYED the people as they did NOT expose Trump properly for what he is. FAUX "news" (and all other media outlets) should be held ACCOUNTABLE for SPREADING LIES WITH IMPUNITY. The FCC has LOST ITS WAY as, I believe, FAUX is registered as "Entertainment" though people believe them to be an actual NEWS source. This MUST be corrected, and these media giants FINED and worse for these lying tactics such as telling people NOT to protect themselves with vaccinations and masks while they themselves are doing just that! How pathological is that? ACCOUINTABILITY for wrongdoing MUST come back to OUR democracy.

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Jim, Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive explanation justifying the urgency to combat the existential threats to our democracy.

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Absolutely. Millions of Republicans joined with Democrats in 2020 to dump trump.Sadly, they voted down ticket for obstructionist Republicans. I'm hoping that they will be smart enough to recognize in November that the Pro-Fascists have taken over the entire Republican party, and will reject them.

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Linda, I imagine the far right MAGA voters who vote in the Primaries are not the same voters who rejected Trump in 2020. I expect these MAGA primary voters comprise about 35% of the country.

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Linda, I write back because I realize I had misread your comment. I agree this November we need to be concerned about voters in 2020 who rejected Trump, but voted a straight Republican ticket down ballot. In my view, aside from running on their accomplishments this fall, Democrats, up and down the ballot, need to amplify the opposing Party’s lack of regard for the rule of law, for the balance of powers, and, last but not least, for truth itself.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

If we're going to be optimists: Perhaps if the jack arses hold the House and pick up just 2 Senate seats, (1) to displace Manchin & Sinema from thwarting everything, and (2) to end Sinema's endless lobbyist largesse, Sinema will (1) realize Gallego will immediately announce his candidacy for her seat in 2024, and, to counter, (2) she'll immediately transform by seeking an end to the filibuster during the lame duck session, plus DC statehood and an expanded SCOTUS

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Aug 13, 2022·edited Aug 13, 2022

Mitch, As a subscriber once wrote me, “From your keyboard to God’s eyes.”

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

the past 24 hours have been, literally, the stuff of nightmares for me. i am beyond words when i think about DJT and his theft of nuclear secrets when he vacated the white house. i am beyond words when i think about what he planned to do with these nuclear secrets. but in the light of these revelations, so much makes sense now, including that mysterious payment of $2billion to jared & ivanka by MBS, and who knows how many billions more to kushner and mnuchin. the saudis aren't running a charity for elite spoilt white brats, which raises the question: why? were these nuclear documents meant to be transferred to the saudis? the early evidence certainly points in that direction ( https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/Trump%20Saudi%20Nuclear%20Report%20July%202019.pdf ) especially knowing that DJT tried to sell nuclear secrets to the Saudis once already.

i cannot fathom the intense hatred that the wealthy elites have for anything and everything that they cannot break down into small pieces and sell to the highest bidder, whether it is companies or entire nations. there is just no other way to think about this: the rich are the enemy of the people and the GQP are their closest and most devoted acolytes, their jostling mob of joseph goebbels.

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Science Girl, I, too am extremely concerned about Trump and Kump. He and his whole immediate family that hang out at his Florida compound are evil and proud of it. They are daring us to do anything about it. I sure am hoping that AG Garland really is doing a deep investigation as he says he is because if not, we are really in trouble. Baby Donnie keeps throwing his little tantrums every time he gets caught and everyone backs off. He whines that he didn't know the FBI was coming to get documents he stole from the White House when he clearly did. The man lies so often he can't say when he is telling the truth. That's why he pled the 5th for more than 400 questions the other day. He can't answer under oath. The first answer except for his name would be a lie. How do we the people deal with this? I know activism is critical, but Baby Donnie has people who will die for him. How is that possible that a child-man with no positive social traits can have that kind of hold on people. Are white people so scared of everyone who is not white that they will let a total jerk send them to death? I sure hope not many.

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El Pendejo alleging the Federal Bureau of Investigation “planted evidence” is, essentially, a confession to a crime.

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El Pendejo = the asshole, to those who wish to know

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It literally means pubic hair.

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El pendejo! Love the new name. As a former criminal defense attorney I recognize the claim. Only one in all those years did my investigation of the “planted evidence “ charge pan out

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I'm surprised he hasn't tried to lay it off on one of his lackeys willing to take the fall.

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Daniel, the curtain hasn’t dropped yet on this chapter. That is still a possibility. Remember, someone inside alerted the DOJ.

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Someone inside was threatened with criminal charges unless they cooperated. Same as building mistrust, to create paranoia.

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founding

I’m not following your logic. Maybe I’m just stupid today.

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1 rule that seems pretty hard & fast is that accusations by Republicans are projections of what they have done, are doing or are thinking of doing.

2nd Republican rule is to accuse investigators of planting the evidence that they've found against you. When the guilty make that allegation before the investigators reveal what they've found, it means there is incriminating evidence that they're afraid the investigators have found or will find. Every accusation is a confession.

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founding

Yes.

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@RS: You and everyone else may enjoy this comment from a bona-fide former member of ol' Tweety's inner circle, that concludes what you assert here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpqxo-OS4uc

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Hope! Light at the end of the shit hole!

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Cohen is a lawyer & he knows what he's talking about.

"Mandarin Mussolini" is the perfect name for him. One of the favorite nicknames applied to Trump is "Mango Mussolini" because of his fascist authoritarian ways & his orange color (like a mango). But a mandarin (fruit) is also orange (even more deeply & uniformly than a 🥭), & also carries with it an oblique reference to Manchuria & the Manchurian Candidate, which many consider Trump to be (I like to call him the "Siberian Candidate", but Manchurian works fine for me, too).

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I liked that too! LOL!

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me too!!!!!

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That's the problem I have with all of human history! Why anyone in their right mind would go to war (in droves!) and die for some rich Megalomaniac! What is the button for such control? He stated "I could shoot someone on Broadway and these people would still love me"! And it's true!

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By the way I am white, male and a Veteran and I absolutely detest this person (if he qualifies as such)!

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founding

As well you should.

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I'm just saying not all white people are clueless some of us occasionally pull our heads out for a look around! Not defending anyone.

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Apparently he would also imperil national security, too, & still his flock will defend him even though they would be in as great danger as the rest of us, whereas they wouldn't be if he openly shot someone.

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White people went extinct in 1186 BC during the Trojan Wars. Half breed white people went extinct in 791 AD at the Battle of Uppsala Sound, when they returned from America to defend their home from the advance of Christianity. All you see is color.

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read the book, dying of whiteness by jonathan metzl, then let's chat about this question that you posed here.

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founding

Can you give us the bottom line please?

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two sentence summary: white people are, in general, so consumed with racism and xenophobic hatred that they vote for politicians whose policies harm THEM TOO because they don't want nonwhite people to get any benefits -- healthcare, housing, food assistance, etc. these white people see themselves as living sacrifices on the pyre of hatred.

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No, this white supremacy attitude/belief is a product of European wealth/education success in the last several hundred years that prompted an outpouring of studies and “proofs” of actual physical racial superiority taught and promoted right up to today and bought into by a large portion of humanity.

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Obviously... there aren't enough resources on the planet for everyone to do as they wish, which is why people don't understand government. Law gives resources to those people who the government feels will utilize the resources for advancements. Those decisions will disadvantage more than 50% of the population somehow. The divide will increase with every generation as the ruling parties can only see their point of view. When a majority of people are outpaced, social unrest. Then... war, death, extinction.

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But doesn't that mean that xenophobes who are racists against white people funded the politician who would hurt them? How else could the politician rise to power? The problem is 100% everybody. Everything is occurring from all sides. People who are actually greedy racists point out the side they experienced, but do not offer the counter point which brought about the behavior engaged in. This in turn divides people into factions. Hence, the term 'divided we fall'. Democrats and Republicans are causing the fall of America. Greedy racist people. Neither is American.

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As much as we would all like to toot our own horns, the Greeks were 40,000 years ahead of everyone. They would have won, or did win, in a free market society. The only way they could have been taken down was a racist movement against them. In turn, in a bid for survival, they would have become racist against that party. War. Death. Extinction.

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If I may, I'd like to complicate the matter even further. The issue is more about sexism than race or class. But, there is no one left alive who can write the book.

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It's all of those.

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I think it was written 21 years ago by historian Robert McElvaine - Eve's Seed - Biology, the Sexes, and the Course of Human History. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve%27s_Seed

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The book contains the same themes, but doesn't address the 'my mother wears army boots' motif. Men are responsible for evolving people from the jungle by applying subordination by force. Women are responsible for taming them to a civilized force. Men who do not follow their Mother (religion) are denied offspring. Men who leave their religion and join another family are joined by sentinels in Holy Matrimony. Sentinels are Valkyrie, in the Old World they would replace their husband's seed with the priest's seed... since he had already been trained. In the New World, it's her body-her choice. Men only exist where religion does not, otherwise they are trained circus animals. Men left Greece for Mesopotamia. Men left the Mediterranean for Mesoamerica. Women are right, men will evolve to become evil. They are blind to equality... women evolve the same way. The lack of intelligence in this country is astounding. E.L.E.

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Hope their money is wasted.

Money - speech. Like I said yesterday, this is such an extremely unpopular idea that even Republican lawyers, let alone MAGA/Tea Parties/Don't tread on me Confederate radicals, individually reject the notion that money should be considered to be speech,

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Daniel, I hope their money is wasted too. I always wonder who is collecting all those millions. Maybe it is helping the economy of the states of the candidates they are dumping their millions into. Those folks who claim to be opposed to money being speech don't speak up very loudly do they. They don't call their rich friends out for making such huge donations or making all the dark money contributions. The Roberts Court knew what they were doing. They were piece by piece undermining our democracy, occasionally tossing a bone to the people to keep us off the scent: not ditching the whole ACA, equality of marriage, ending Title 42 (which they had to since it was a president who set it up in the first place). Citizens United was big, but so was destroying the Voting Rights Act, Roe v. Wade, New York's century-old gun laws, and coming soon, giving state legislatures the right to pick the president from their states despite what the voters want. Yep, we are in trouble unless we stop them!

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This started with Buckley v Valeo, 1974.

Once upon a time, Montana state law provided that a "corporation may not make ... an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party." Mont. Code 13–35–227(1). The Montana Supreme Court rejected a claim that the statute violated the First Amendment. In American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, 567, U.S. 516 (2012), in a per curiam decision, the Court held that the findings in Citizens United also applies and that political speech is protected regardless of the source. The Court also held that all of the relevant arguments were addressed in the Citizens United decision and reversed the decision of the Supreme Court of Montana.

On one hand, they invoke states rights whenever it suits their agenda, on the other, they elevate money-speech to a higher priority.

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Yup. And the cure?

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Get rid of the Supreme Court! They are a Corporate System not "For The People By The People"!

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founding

Heart.

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Uh-huh. In the meanwhile, serious suggestions are in order.

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Citizens United was a 5-4 decision. Sweep the midterms. Redefine "speech" legislatively.

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See my lengthy analysis, just posted.

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Ruth Sheets ; Maybe the disenfranchised voters in said states will focus more on who is actually robbing them of their votes. It is hard to imagine people just passively allowing state legislatures to get away with taking their voices away.

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I'm afraid that far too many who can vote actually pay attn to the issues... unless there is a stacey abrams & friends running around in the faces of constituents continually pointing out, explaining, enrolling, etc., people just do not know... they are too busy to pay attn and too focused on ways they might survive the ravages of inflation or the abortion situation (two examples of issues that really affect daily living or might otherwise go unnoticed..) Maybe (hopefully) I'm wrong and there ARE people "on the ground" doing this work where it's needed...

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MM Harris ; If only they had this forum! I'm just recovering from Covid, so I 'get' that there are distractions in life. I really do believe that if people see the truth, they will make the best choices for themselves, and their communities. ; the Common Good. 'Everyone does better when everyone does better.'

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You did? No wonder! I noticed you were absent from these conversations for several days in a row around a week ago. Yes, I missed you.

I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope you're feeling much better.

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Give the 3 things to control a mob and they will cut their own arms off and beat themselves with it! Fear, an Enemy and a Lie.

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Maybe I'll sprout winds and fly.

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And maybe the people in oppressed states will copy the voters in Kansas and get out and vote, too! Martha. you would have fun flying. Imagine being able to do that?! When I was very young, maybe 6 or so, I dreamed I was flying over my neighborhood in Holyoke and over Mount Tom to Easthampton, right over the house I live in now. I never saw that house until I was in my early 60's! Dreams are magic.

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Flying dreams are not uncommon, I have read. In some cultures, the information received in dreams is taken as factual, and treated accordingly. However, "magic" implies outside of the bounds of physics, DNA, and other laws of nature. Turns out the more we learn the more elastic those boundaries are seen to be. See, for example, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's https://www.drjilltaylor.com/, while noting that this material won't change GOP behavior..

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Daniel Solomon ; Could it actually become uncool to be rich?

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Most of the extremely wealthy people I know are introverts. People like Musk have an inability to socialize -- he blames it on Asperger's.

In the small town where I was raised, virtually all of the wealthiest "bluebloods" were Scotch Irish Protestants, mostly Presbyterians, who despised "new money" and were "thrifty" to a fault. One of my neighbors, once the richest private banker in the US, had a chauffeur and many staff, but wouldn't buy a new car, didn't tip, and during his lifetime, gave nothing to charity. He never socialized, but once in a while would eat lunch at a restricted men's club. He was nasty to bank staff. But on his death he left everything to charity, ala Andrew Carnegie.

None of the bluebloods had large weddings or funerals.

At school we were taught Protestant work ethic and Presbyterian modesty.

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"asperger's" syndrome is a kind way to say "penishead". it's also incorrect and vicious to those people who actually DO have asperger's syndrome but who are NOT penisheads. musk is a flaming liar.

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founding

Agree. I know people with Asperger’s and they don’t seek the limelight.

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Got me thinking about the wealthier people I know. Most of them are gregarious, friendly, generous, participate as leaders in charities, funding the arts, etc. Of course, they're San Franciscans. That's probably the difference.

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Martha Ture ; Do any poor people actually live in San Francisco?

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Bunches of them.

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As my dad, a :"minority" student at Geneva College who represented "the other" used to say, we had more Presbyterians per square inch than anyplace else in the world. Think Puritans. At Geneva, no smoking, drinking, singing, dancing.

At one time, the suburbs of Pittsburgh were also the wealthiest communities in the world. We also had Disciples of Christ "old money."

My neighbors were related to the Phillips Petroleum family who sponsored several colleges , but also Mellons (Alcoa, Gulf Oil, etc) and many who had partnered early on with the Rockefellers or had been in steel, ceramics and natural resources.

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founding

It certainly seemed that way in the sixties. The pendulum swings …

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Citizens United, Daniel.

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This is the failure of our justice system to immediately take Trump into custody after the Capitol Insurrection which he clearly & openly planned, organized & incited. Many of us could see back then (& long before that) how dangerous & traitorous Trump was & still is. How is he still a free man? How are Bannon, Flynn, Stone & Giuliani still free? How are Hawley, Cruz, Graham, Ron Johnson, McCarthy, MTG, Gaetz, Jordan, Gosar, Boebert, Gohmert, Cawthorn, Briggs, Brooks, etc. still in Congress?

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founding

Mine is Mike Garcia. Ditto.

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I hope you can get rid of her this November.

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I specifically opened this link to speak to exactly what you just wrote. I have no doubt that this mafia family sold the materials, probably to the Saudis for the $2billion that jared got. i also wonder why the repugnants are against any good things that helps the common good. I never thought I'd live in a theocracy, ruled by a minority terrorist party.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Yes. yesterday & last night all the talking heads were asking, "What would he DO with that information??".... and my immediate reaction was he'd sell it.... He will do ANYTHING for $$$, whether desperate (his current state) or not. And I believe he also wouldn't think twice about selling it to the Chinese or putin & buddies. He has NO scruples whatsoever.

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founding

Exactly my assessment.

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Well after all the World does owe him a living doesn't it! Doesn't it? Hmmm?

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founding

I’m thinking whatever is in those documents was destined for Putin.

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I believe so as I have long considered Putin to be the puppetmaster of the Siberian Candidate, & he may have even suggested, instructed or blackmailed Benedict Donald into sending Putin nuclear information & other Top Secret documents.

Somehow the Russian investigation was derailed such that pertinent information connecting Russia to the Trump campaign/administration, including money laundering & financial ties, would not be found. Who, how & why?

Rosenstein, who was the acting AG after Sessions refused himself, suddenly went from someone contemplating using the 25th Amendment (did I get the right number?) to remove Trump from office, to directing Mueller not to look at the Russian part, implying that the FBI would do it, who in turn assumed that Mueller would investigate it. Why the abrupt change of plans? Knowing the inclinations of Putin, Trump & their associates to use blackmail & death threats to get what they want, my #1 suspicion would be that one of them instructed or coerced Rosenstein into doing that. A full investigation of this matter is imperative.

What an irony it would be (& almost surely is) that the man many people thought was key to letting the investigation be run smoothly was actually the one that diverted the investigation from finding the essential information!

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founding

Yes. And another thing. I just read a Reuters article that discussed how Trump was always lax about government information, giving it openly to Russia and other countries. He was so careless that he would discuss sensitive information with foreign dignitaries at dinner parties with people listening!

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and he's probably (as pointed out by others re the saudi - jared transaction) already DONE lots of damage. .... soo scary!

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founding

Yes!

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Exactly, but then we see the "Memo" just shown to us all by Professor Reich! They have been programmed to believe they have to sabotage anything done by a Democrat.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 13, 2022

Following on my comment about "The Manchurian Candidate," history may show - contrary to popular opinion here - that not only is ol' Tweety the most effective sleeper agent, who effected the most serious damage to the national security - right down to our very democracy itself - of any nation, than Philby did to Great Britain, and arguably to any nation in the history of espionage. Posing as the kind of moron most here obviously consider him makes for the perfect cover. Nobody would ever even vaguely suspect he might - indeed - be the kind of "stable genius" he claims to be. Everyone would be falling for the >huge< misdirection. The only question remaining concerns who he really serves. It >certainly< is not the US of friggin' A!

Suspend your disbelief for a brief moment and consider the possibility that it's true, there >really is< a global conspiracy worthy of an X-Files season. Such conspiracy theories were old by the time FOX latched onto them in that classic conspiracy TV series. And who has capitalized on them? Who managed to weaponize "the information superhighway," as it was called at a time when DARPA Net - a system originally designed to maintain strategic communications channels open regardless of nuclear strikes - rolled it out for public access, envisioning it - naively and mistakenly - as potentially an even greater library than the historic library at ancient Alexandria? What it became is the most efficient and effective delivery system for the disinformation weapons that have ever destabilized all Western democracies generally, and US democracy, in particular.

At this moment, I'm open to the suggestion that some sort of "cabal" possibly came together and spent a lot of time figuring out how best to use the means available to accomplish what has come to pass - and ol' Tweety himself is one of their boys. Unlike Philby, ol' Tweety didn't spend any effort at all in recruiting a network of "useful idiots." He cultivated them by simply reinforcing what they already believed in the first place, who in turn helped elect him to the highest office in the land, where he opened up that highest office to hostile foreign actors, and made off with the originals of all the secret documents that ordinary spies can - at very best - only manage to photograph as images or copy as digital files. Let's not even get into the possibility there exist audio, or even video recordings of high-ranking officials, both public and private sector, that hold them hostage to his wishes, obtained as they spent time at his casino/hotels. If all that is >nothing but conjecture<, it'd sure as hell make a >great plot< for a spy thriller series! Although I'm skeptical of its reality myself, it does have a certain plausibility consistent with >what we all know< has come to pass.

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I find this theory terrifying because it is believable.

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Aug 13, 2022·edited Aug 13, 2022

Today, it looks like Garland is considering the possibility. >That< rattles me a bit!

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Almost 6 years after I assessed Trump as a Manchurian Candidate. I wasn't the only one. Why would the government & mainstream media be so slow to catch it? Part of what led us to the conclusion that he was a Russian asset at minimum was credible information coming from certain non-mainstream reporters as well as government intelligence agencies.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

That's the snag. So do I, for the same reason, although I like Mr Loving's take, as well. Different, just as plausible, and just as terrifying.

Keep in mind, it's not really theory. It's only conjecture. Don't want you losin' sleep.

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There can be only one... see you in Peru, or the Skye-lands.

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There have been articles previously discussing the potential KGB development of "ol tweety" since the 1st time he declared for POTUS, in 1988. Don Jr. in 2008 mentioned how the preponderance of their income was from Russian money.

He is a crime boss, running an illegal enterprise. You are referencing a Deep State, something tweety himself has mis-identified. I believe the Deep State is at war with itself over Trump.

A good recent book discussing this during the American Century is American Exception - Empire and the Deep State.

https://americanexception.com/

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Upon considering what you say here further, I realize that the "deep state" wasn't really part of my thinking. Indeed, I've yet to hear anyone define it clearly. In fact, I don't even recall hearing much about it until ol' Tweety and the Tweety-tossers started banging on about it. Who the bloody hell is the deep state? Since you mention it, who do >you< think the deep state is. The only thing I can possibly imagine that makes any sense to me is the legitimate institutions of the government - the unelected part, whose task is only carry out what they've been told to do by the legislative, judicial, and executive leadership. Really! When I refer to a >cabal,< I'm talking about >international< actors who aren't necessarily in >any< government, US or otherwise, but have influence over events that governments - per se - must respond to. Just spit-ballin' here, please understand.

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Aaron Good's book covers it well, and I reviewed it on Medium (too Long), then on Amazon (user CKL), half as long, 20,000 characters. Read a few of the reviews. Good provides a scholarly look at it, he expanded his PhD dissertation in Political Science, writing the book. He breaks new scholoarly ground to look at an area of governance, the "tri-partite state" and the principle of "Exception" - meaning the authority to take exception (regularly and with impunity) to the Constitution, laws, and norms and the sovereign decicing these states of exception are the Deep State, which are key elites from the Corporate world, who are the primary benefactors of the political arm and the national security arm, who are the agents of go-between between the "overworld" (traditional corporations and industries) and underworld (global crime syndicates, who our Intel agencies have worked with at least since WWII).

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

The impression I get from this that the "deep state" is a sophisticated, organized crime syndicate that superseded - or eliminated - what was once referred to - in common parlance - as "The Mafia." It also sounds vaguely similar to what in 007 flicks is SPECTRE, THRUSH in The Man from UNCLE, and KAOS in Get Smart. (Interestingly, in the very first episode of Get Smart, CONTROL is defined in a way that perfectly describes the DC area "defense contractors" also known as "Beltway Bandits.") Otherwise, it sounds virtually indistinguishable from what I had in mind when I used the word "cabal." Thanks for that clarification. We >are< on the same page. So ol' Tweety & the Tweety-tossers are themselves instruments of the deep state they would have us believe they warn us about ‽ >That< makes perfect sense to me. Can't speak for anyone else, here, maybe not even you. It happens!

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My own view is that Trump Enterprises, while "rich" Real Estate barons (we don't really know their worth, do we?), they are actually outside the Deep State, which is historically from the following industries: Finance-Banking, Oil-Gas-Coal, Military Industrial complex, but as I said in my review, perhaps since 9/11 and "total information awareness" now from the legions of High Tech within Surveillance Capitalism and the Public-Private Surveillance Partnership.

So, as an example, Peter Thiel, is certainly from the latter class - making his billions from IT and now plowing that into radical right wing candidates, including Trump. This is an emergent phenomenon the last 20-25 years and I don't know enough about the power elite within the traditional industries vs new tech, but in general would say they are all in play.

Trump has engratiated himself with elements within this elite class who of course benefited extremely with tax cuts, elimination of all regulation, and this elite class are not just Americans.

Trump towers in Moscow, his crime family working the Saudis, and expansion overseas, etc.

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As before these were my thoughts when he first started destroying everything he could. I said a Russian agent has been put in the big chair!

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BTW: See my other comment on this thread where I mention the fall of the Soviet Union as a ploy.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Thanks! Looking at it now. That's a >really< provocative notion - civil war within the "deep state," so called, bubbling up into civil society.

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I've been calling Benedict Donald the Siberian Candidate because I believe Traitor Trump is truly beholden to his puppetmaster Putin.

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I guess that brings "Manchurian" into the modern age!

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Bit of a read but I felt this way the day he took office!

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

When I heard with mine own ears him calling on Moscow to mount a cyber-assault on his opponent, I pretty well decided that we had just crossed into dangerous times - very dangerous times, indeed. At the time, I was one of the very few who didn't think it was some kind of bad joke. The only bad joke was how many really believed it >was< only a bad joke. Worse, it reinforced my suspicion that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the cleverest ploy they ever devised - consistent with burning Moscow down when Napoleon attacked.

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Right Oh and there go the crown jewels and all the evidence too.

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I can't fathom anyone thinking with any certainty that he let valuable documents sit this long without selling them. Since he seems to believe himself invincible, and he's apparently lazy, seems more likely he didn't bother tossing them after he sold the info on them. Either way, imagine the mind that believes it's safe to keep those documents, longterm, in its home office. Imagine voting to put that mind back in charge. Except, of course, Trump voters won't think that way. They'll believe the documents were planted. They do believe it already. The absolute unwillingness to even listen to any other view is what I most keep not being able to fathom. I hear it from people I know, but I can't get used to it.

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For sure! As I said before if you state truth or facts to a Trumpanzy they immediately start spewing shit! I have acquaintances, who are die hard Trump fanatics. Believe we never went to the moon, everything Trump did was in defence of themselves, the country and against a bunch of corrupt evil democrats! You can not show them evidence because it is immediately shouted down and a whole slew of false shit comes flying out. The best thing to do is force them all to wear the "I'm Stupid" sign so everyone knows NOT TO BOTHER!

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Another scary note on this topic is these people have these websites which provide them (Trump has the "Truth" platform), evidence of what they all believe to be true. No questions asked as to who pays for this site or what the qualifications are of the person who says these things. The answer is always it's evidence and then the other joke "he's a scientist"! Who paid for his research! No idea, is he really a scientist or were you just told he is?

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We must know the same people. The other trademark, "It's coming...you'll see..." Some (or all) Democrats are going to be arrested, or some incontrovertible "proof" is going to (finally) show up, or every vax'd person is going to grow two heads. Age tends to bring physical issues, but everything that's happened to me since Covid began

was caused by the vaccine. "You'll see." Doesn't matter what my (legitimate) doc friend says. Their "expert doctors" know better. "Why would (Trumper) doctors lie?" they insist, except the "truth" belongs only to them. Nothing Trump does surprises me. I read the DSM. Still, I can't get used to what the Pied Viper has done to my Make America Gawd Awful friends. I hope the Democrat party leaders have spent enough up-close-and-personal time with the Devil's brainwashed so as not to underestimate the enemy.

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Exactly. I don't see these democratic leaders as doing anything to truly address the issues which all these Trumpanzies are very actively engaged in! They are just too soft. They have yet (no need to get vile like a Trumpanzy but) just outright call bullshit as bullshit! This has been a long time problem. If they did like Trump always calling "Fake News" have Biden say one time you are full of shit and here's the proof there'd probably be a democratic wave arise out of it!

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It seemed to work for Beto when he said to a heckler something like "It may be funny to you, motherf**ker, but it's not funny to me (referring to the Uvalde massacre), which got the crowd, including grandmothers, cheering wildly.

We want passionate pushback against republofascist propaganda.

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"Pied Viper"! Yet another great nickname for the Siberian Candidate.

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The antidote is benefits.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Now that I ponder that idea a little more, I realize that ol' Tweety wasn't known to read >anything!< If that's true, my question is this:

How the devil would he know what documents to take and sit on? Also, did he take them expecting - for some reason known only to him, since he allegedly doesn't read - he'd need them "when" >he< was reelected to replace the administration nobbled for want of access to those documents?

>>>Who really identified those documents he either ordered by his own initiative or was instructed to order taking and to subsequently sit on?<<<

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Steven Miller is a likely suspect.

I think there is evidence that Trump has read Hitler. He reportedly kept a copy of Hitler's speeches at his bedside, & many of his speeches & his philosophy as far as it goes seem inspired by Hitler. Miller is apparently a Hitler adherent & has been the brain behind many of Trump's most egregious Nazi-like policies, so it very well could've been a collaboration between the two, with the possible assistance of like-minded conspirators like Flynn, Bannon & Stone.

And never count out the possibility that Trump's puppetmaster Putin could've been in on it if not the one that suggested or coerced Trump to do it.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

Your take makes perfect sense if his objective wasn't to sell it, but rather to sabotage the current administration. I can entertain that notion, as well.

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No proof.

The way it works, the records are not his property and possession , standing alone, may be actionable.

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My thought, as well. If he flushed his documents, does the law care whether he was hiding their illegal content or, being overly full of it, had merely run short of government TP? If the later, one hopes he was using rough-finish cover stock, but I missed class on the day we studied the Constitution for the Rich and Celebrated, so I don't know about any of this.

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Wasn't TheRump schmoozing with his Saudi buddies already, while setting up and hosting their new LIV golf league? Is it remotely possible that Biden met with Saudi's MBS to arrange to entrap TheRump at the LIV event at Ivana's cemetery, er, um, I meant TheRump's Bedminster Golf Course?

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Trumps meeting with Orban just a few weeks ago also comes to mind.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

That's the stuff of spy thrillers. "The Manchurian Candidate" comes to mind.

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Aug 12, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022

I just heard Johnathan Karl on GMA3 compare it with the Hitchcock movie "North by Northwest."

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If nuclear secrets were unveiled, there would be nuclear power plants everywhere. I personally saw the weapons of mass destruction destroyed on the first night of Desert Storm in declassified photos. They were nuclear related.

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Did Iraq have a nuclear reactor in 1991?

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No, a nuclear device.

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So...how did they get the plutonium?

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It was a nuclear device, not associated with a dirty bomb. Was to be powered by a nuclear reactor in another country. That's why they bombed it.

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Pakistan?

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Iraq had no nukes at all.

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Eirek, how were you able to tell something was a WMD in a photo?

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I'll give you a clue. It was really, really, big. You couldn't miss it... if you knew what you were looking for. Taken down with the very first shot of the war.

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Studied nuclear physics

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You said it! Their trickle down effect is really the process of stealing every single penny out of everything down literally to the very things we recycle!

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Wow..that’s quite an informative read..thanks

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Aug 12, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

The one notorious name conspicuously absent from your partial listing of dark money big donors is the "grandfather" of extreme economic libertarian special interest giving, Charles Koch, who's been organizing oligarchic cabals to funnel hundreds of millions into politics at all levels for far-right objectives, literally ever since the distribution of that infamous Powell Memo you wrote about just yesterday. As the brilliant investigative journalist Jane Meyer exposes over and over, Koch-orchestrated money flows like tsunamis through 501(c)(4) entities like Americans for Prosperity Action, ALEX, the Federalist Society, and dozens of other byzantine shell corporation interrelationships constructed intentionally to launder massive campaign giving, primarily to advance GOP candidates. As far as I'm concerned, Charles Koch is America's Public Enemy #1, and has been for decades!

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Hey Clark, I am with you on the Kochs. They are appalling human beings, the whole crew, Charles being the one survivor of the brothers' gang. Then, they donate to museums and hospitals so they look like they are some kind of heroes, real philanthropists. I notice none of those large organizations who take their money ever mentions what appalling human beings they are and the damage they are doing to our nation and planet. I guess money buys silence as well as that new wing that poor people can't afford to stay in or visit.

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Charles Koch's money talks for him. They buy politicians cheaper by the dozen. Money is the mother's milk of politics. If all little people would send $25 to a candidate we might have a chance.

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Actually there were 4 Koch brothers and one, William, opposed all the right wing BS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Koch_(businessman)

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billy koch doesn't get a pass here because his billions come mainly from oil, which is killing the planet. i think billy-boy is just as evil as the rest of the clan, but in a more subtle way that the anti-science denialistas openly embrace.

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BINGO.

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Speaking of names left out of the conversation -- Rupert Murdoch. His help is worth more than money.

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Yes, Clark, and that is a further galling point. Their millions contributed via tax shelters put the entire amount in the hands of the bill and, while I’m reminded that each 20 bucks that I donate is NOT deductible!

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founding

Actually some advocacy groups are tax deductible, if you can believe it. Some of the anti-gun ones come to mind.

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Agreed. And I don't think it's a $$$ issue; it's a POWER issue... He disgusts me. And there are others like him: it's all a big amusing game to them, period. They are sick.

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Agreed and apparently the same empathy is totally lacking for the rest of these people. Where a normal person sees a fellow being in stress and strife and the first reaction is to assist by whatever means possible, their first reaction is how can they make money off of it, further victimize the individual (or country!) and perhaps have a good time while doing it! Normal people are disgusted by bloodshed and misery!

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Right on the money!

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Probably an autocorrect typo, but it’s ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, not ALEX.

https://alec.org/

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Yep, thanks. It was late & I was in a hurry. Even worse, I misspelled the superb Jane Mayer's last name! Mea culpa.

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What became the Byzantine Empire started here in America way back in the beginning of the first millennia. Henry Bartholomeus morphed into Henry Bartholomew, Byzantine capital in 1453 AD, met with Christopher Columbus' father when the child was 10 years old on Bimini Island, discussed the future discovery of America for the rest of the world... later became Henry VIII.

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I think we needed to abolish Citizens United like yesterday! Nothing has caused more harm to Democracy & the USA than this SCOTUS law! It’s time to overturn it somehow.

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It was a 5-4 decision. It struck laws that limited the ability of corporations and labor unions to spend their own money to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate on the basis that they violate the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. Struck the McCain-Feingold Act) that banned soft money donations to political parties and banned independent electioneering before federal elections.

I repeat that there was an error reporting Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the case that falsely states that corporations = people according to the 14th Amendment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Southern_Pacific_Railroad_Co.

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I’ve written a proposal for how to effectively overturn Citizens United without having to amend the constitution, which is likely impossible anytime soon. The proposal is at https://www.winwindemocracy.org/p/2022-06-reducing-power-of-corporate-money.

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founding

Interesting proposals, Lee. I’m not sure if they would work but I do feel a bit of moral outrage at the idea of corporations paying no taxes even if and perhaps with individuals having to make up the difference. Part of my problem with this is the way they behave: they’ll just give the extra profit to their executives and shareholders and shaft the workers. Perhaps I missed your remedy for this as I skimmed your article. Can you please comment on this? Tx!

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Paula, I hear you on the moral outrage! That said, to have any chance of something like this ever passing we'd have to do something to have corporations at least not fight it as hard as they can. And, in practice, one of the main ways that executives and wealthy investors build vast wealth is by deferring payment of capital gains taxes. The press tends to talk about capital gains taxes being taxed at 20% instead of at 37%, which doesn't strike many people as a big deal. But the big deal is deferral. I've discussed this in the issue of my Win-Win Democracy newsletter at https://www.winwindemocracy.org/p/2022-04-growing-oligarchs.

I've discussed how we should tax capital gains as ordinary income in another issue of the newsletter, which is at https://www.winwindemocracy.org/p/2022-07-taxing-capital-gains-as-ordinary-income.

Hope these help.

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The day the decision came down, my immediate reaction was (and I had not been following it), "What the HELL were they thinking???????"

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I immediately thought they wanted more deductions to offset their tax bills but I do not believe campaign contributions by individuals or corporations IS a legitimate tax deduction, I could be missing something though. Aside from all the money & tax benefits. I really don’t like the idea that a corporation can call itself a person with human like advantages?? I hated it when Romney said it & I hated it when the result was Citizens United! That’s an oxymoron in my opinion bec a corp is not a human, humans work for the corp & it’s certainly not a citizen. The challenge & intent to simplify the tax code has been the predominate focus while making it more fair to everyone! Multi millionaires & billionaires & wealthy corp have taken advantage of the country’s tax code for a very long time & created the Oligarchy we all despise! It will not get better, there’s only one direction it will keep going unless something is changed & that seems to be the tax code. Make the tax code more progressive & more fair to all the middle class strugglers & the folks trying to make their first million!

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Every time I read your words I feel dread for the future. I feel amazed at the gullibility of the American people. I feel astonished that every single woman in the USA doesn’t stand up , protest and vote Democrat, I feel that the gap between the very rich and everyone else is not shrinking as it should , as it must , but it is increasing , I feel that children will receive an increasingly narrow and whitewashed education. I feel despair.

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founding
Aug 12, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Faye, try not to despair! We will turn this around, somehow, and the important thing is to never give up and always renew yourself, spend time with what you dearly love so that you can keep going. Friends, family, the beautiful natural world - these are our touchstones! And we must stand for them and not back down.

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I feel the same and it makes me glad I’m old…when I see the apathy among the younger generations, I despair.

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We cannot place the entire burden of saving democracy on the young. There is equal apathy among all ages. I volunteer for my state representative and local candidates and see fellow dedicated citizens, young and old helping every day to elect more compassionate Democrats who reflect my values here in AZ.

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founding

👏👏

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founding

Mary, in my life all I try to do is to appreciate what I am living and encourage those around me to also feel that connection for themselves. I do think it reaches across any divide. If you are enjoying yourself, having fun, soon everyone is. From there, it's a small leap to getting involved, pitching in, becoming a part of the work. One person at a time! I hope your own low spirits will lift soon.

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Aug 12, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Dr. Reich has laid out a pretty depressing set of info about political donations. No human being in a democracy should be able to donate more than a couple of thousand dollars to any candidate or political organization. The only hope I see is that if enough Democratic small donors are interested enough in putting their limited cash on the line, maybe they will be sufficiently invested in the Democratic candidate and message that they will go out and work to get their friends, relatives, co-workers, church members and other acquaintances to vote for the Democratic candidates who actually care about this nation and its people and our rights while the Republicans clearly care about only money and power to control others. If Dems can get that message out to their donors instead of just constantly begging for more money from them, it could be inspiring and earthshaking in November.

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Eliminate fundraising. Politicians spend way too much time searching donors then doing their jobs. Politicians have to pacify the money before every election instead of gaining support from the people. Americans were once a strong people, now dependent on government hand outs.

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The government hand outs you refer to where are they? The only hand outs in any of 4 counties around me come from Churches and other Religious organisations. Community's used to build houses for each other remember the term "Barn Raising"? It was quite literally that! With a big party and the whole town!

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Most jobs are paid for by the government to Corporations who employ them. Also, there are social programs... like smash and grab. Won't name the retail outlet, but they have people who come in and steal literally thousands of dollars of goods everyday. Employees are forbidden from calling authorities, they just write the theft off... as in a social contract. Like approved drug dealers, who the authorities never impose upon.

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There are able bodied homeless on the street receiving $1500/mo in assistance from the US Govt. It’s no secret!

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I beg to question then how did they get there? Why with an income are they still homeless? Perhaps they lost jobs, an income sufficient to pay rent or perhaps they just went shopping one too many times!?

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Politicians in modern age must have super large piles of money to win elections. Senator seats must cost 100 million bucks at least. Prez election costs maybe a billion bucks.

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Hopefully some of that money could then go to infrastructure, health and education. As to education would it be great if all K -12 schools had equal resources.

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founding

All that begging is undignified and doesn’t paint a compelling picture of the candidate. We want to feel that they’re strong and competent. I agree with Eirik below. Get the money out of politics.

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