409 Comments

Interesting, isn’t it, that the “family values” party proves time and time again that they don’t value families in the slightest when their economic and physical well-being threatens extra profits for big donors.

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Agreed that the "family values" party is anything but. However if dems are the answer why is the messaging so poor? The Ohio train derailment hit in deep red country and could have posdibly been prevented with safety regulations that Trump removed. Yet here we are with dems on their heels, Trump throwing water to an adoring crowd and the Fox narrative painting Biden + the administration as the villians. And locals believe it. It works for R's because the local anger shifts from the train company to Dems or the big, bad government. We have to do better fighting back against the propaganda because it is tearing this country apart.

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Ah Julie, you have nailed it! Democratic messaging has been poor. I suspect it is not just because Democrats are poor communicators, but when all the media are pretty much supporting big business and whatever it wants and the courts keep bringing down rulings that are against the people and what the people want, and lies are so much more fun for the uninformed, it is hard to get any kind of message out to the world beyond the people who actually read the news and listen to more than one source. The one-source folks depend on the lying of Fox Not Nearly News so have no clue, and really don't want a clue. Every single day Congress is in session, Dems need to stand up and call out the people who are undermining our government and give examples of their bad behavior. EVERY DAY, not just now and then, trying to be polite or something. Those Republicans like Greene and her cult are not polite, they are evil, and are reveling in their bad behavior. They have no sense of consequences because right now, there are none for them, and they are covered almost daily in the media. Maybe Dems need to bring a story of an immigrant child working to the floor of the House every single day. There are enough of them that this could go on for a while and maybe that would get some coverage. Maybe Republicans would find their compassion too, if any exists, and act to help those kids and their families. Ha! I know, dreaming!

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Democrats are bringing up these issues every day. I watch the news closely, and I see Democrats calling out Republicans on a full range of important issues on social justice, the economy, civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, LGBTQiA+ rights, gun control, policing reform, education, healthcare, climate change, environmental regulations, sustainable energy and freedom of expression.

Republicans don’t care, and their base of ultra-stupid people doesn’t care.

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Tom, you are right Dems are calling out the issues but need to do it more dramatically. The media needs (or thinks it needs) drama. Greene and her ilk give it to them, so they cover her almost daily. We need some of the Positive Team to produce some positive drama that can be covered. I am not sure how to do that, but it will be worth it if we can get media people to pay attention to it, to cover it in a positive light, not just because they have to for their fake "balancing act."

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the media won't do it, because their masters are the plutocrats. biden has always been probusiness, despite his prolabor messaging. he is a corporate democrat, which is like repugnant lite in some cases. also, the mantra of job killing regulations avoids the reality that regulations and enforcing them, and finding solutions to pollution creates jobs, more jobs than are outsourced overseas. the few progressives are marginalized/demonized by the media for simply wanting to help the people, which should be the function government. oh well.

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I believe Biden is working to bring people to together and to bridge the polarities. The truth is that fair and moderate policies will benefit both labor and business

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Raskin has been doing a really good job of it lately.

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Jaime, you are right about Raskin, a true hero, but alas, his comments appear only briefly, a sound bite while Greene, Santos, and McCarthy are allowed to rant on. I guess the ignorance of the Repubs is more interesting than the truth-telling of Raskin and the couple of others who are trying. I did love his bit about the "banana Republicans." Having heard that, I can't unhear it, thank goodness. Maybe Democrats have a tiny wedge they can use in future.

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"Republicans don’t care, and their base of ultra-stupid people doesn’t care."

...wait until those on Social Security and Medicare who support the party see the (R)s try to gut their income and medical coverage.

...then maybe not, as many are so drunk on the far right Fool Aid they' won't stand up and say a thing just to "own the libs".

Party loyalty can run thicker than common sense.

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BC, I think you are right that party loyalty for some of the Republican cult is far more important than common sense. I suspect they have had common sense brainwashed out of them a long time ago as they blame everyone else for their troubles but those who are actually at least partially responsible for them. They re-elect and re-elect them and suffer on. I guess that makes them feel holy or something.

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Our economic system is so complex that people give up on understanding it and flee to cheap slogans; hence the culture war. Of course, that’s because there’s no decent education in economics offered in public schools.

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Duh, yuk-yuk, you’re so smart.

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It is actually worse than that. Republicans do care...about themselves. And while many may be wicked stupid because they keep voting against their self interest...I think the reality is that MAGA people are just fucking selfish. Like angry, evil, self absorbed and hatefully selfish.

They don't see all of humanity in the same boat. For them it's a zero sum game. They don't believe that "others" working hard and paying taxes would add to the prosperity of all.

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Bill, alas, I think you are right about the sheer self-centeredness of Republicans, even the ones who are struggling for every penny. They would rather be seen with the loud-mouthed lying whiners who complain all the time and do nothing to help anyone than to be seen with the "libs" or the "woke folk." They can't be seen as doing anything to help anyone else. They claim a hold on Christianity when they can't even begin to follow its basic precepts: Love your neighbor, do good to those who hurt you, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned, bless the poor in spirit, forgive 70 times 7 times, you know the drill. I don't even want to know what their faith actually involves because it would depress me, a UCC minister. Can we reach these people who act as though they are superior to everyone else while inside, they are actually scared of everyone else, fearful that "they will replace us." Trust me, no one wants to replace those crazy scared white people. No one wants to live like that for their whole lives. I have no idea what the wording on the message would be if it were to be able to reach any of those pathetic Republican cult members.

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Diagnostically, you are correct, but could the cause of their meanness be just sheer stupidity, specifically, they believe the hateful propaganda spewing from Fox Entertainment, OAN, News max, and Sinclair Broadcasting? It is well-done, widespread, and relentless. And it seems to work: Notice the enthusiasm at Trump's many hatefests all over the country.

If so, they are, in a real sense, not responsible for what they do, at least, ethically. Yes, if they break the law, they need to be punished nonetheless. But at least we can understand why they, for instance, support Putin's War, loathe minorities, and will never accept gays as people worthy of respect.

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Well said. In many cases they have truly been shafted (disenfranchised). But who was it that moved their factory to Mexico or China? Who was it that installed a robotic assembly line that replaced many jobs? It wasn't some fantasy deep state. It was the Oligarchs. The rich shareholders.

The fact that they don't realize that the same billionaires who are funding the likes of Greene and Santos also stole their jobs is partly caused by the failure of Democratic and Union messaging. We should have been hammering it home for decades. Many MAGA folks have some legitimate gripes. They are just blaming the wrong people.

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But when there's a environmental or weather based crisis they cry out for help from government.

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Shouldn't "ultra-stupid" people get a pass? Understanding the necessity of ethical behavior requires a higher level of intelligence, yes?

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No. Understanding the ethics and morality of the society in which they live is a rudimentary trait.

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Exactly so, Tom. If people are incapable of grasping basic morality, by definition, they have the understanding of infants (or they're sociopathic). I have yet to see an infant vote red and spew propaganda. Sociopaths, on the other hand....

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Rather than, "ultra-stupid," I'd use the term, "willfully ignorant." There's a fundamental difference between being unable to understand basic societal concepts and refusing to look at the real world. I think the vast majority of MAGAs fall under the latter description.

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Falls under both descriptions. Unlike in the fabled town of Lake Wobegon, half of the children really are below average....and they grow up.

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Denise, I typed a really supportive reply to your post... it went poof! So, in short. I agree, willfully ignorant is more accurate. These people aren’t stupid. They’re vicious. The high they get from the hate fueling MAGA’s is what drives them to act like animals. Corporations are fomenting another insurrection, using the disgruntled they created to push their oligarchy. They will be discarded, they have lost their humanity. Dangerous, misguided behavior.

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The media I consume informed me that Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was in East Palatine telling residents to take money offered by Norfolk Southern but not to sign anything, not to sign away their rights. He met with local leaders, organizing and scheduling a return visit. He is a real champion of working people who makes things better. Republicans are just trolls throwing out water bottles and red meat.

Please stop blaming Democrats.

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It is no longer Fox news. We know that. Fox lies all over the place for the Republican party. We need to start calling them what they are fox Entertainment. Not Fox News never Fox news. Instead Fox Entertainment.

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Fox was never a news organization. Their brand, gop propaganda, LIES, was brought in, in the 1990s to be the mouthpiece, a 24/7 Republican Party infomercial. I knew back then, especially after Reagan (FAIRNESS DOCTRINE REPEALED) was elected and the “big tent” of democrats voting for him and his and the GOP “act” that our country was headed south. History tells me everything I need to know about voting today. Unfortunately, too many voters don’t know or READ or even know and understand the issues before them, past and present. They also vote how their parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc. etc. voted. Of course the Democratic Party isn’t perfect by a long shot, but without them, especially going back to FDR and the depression that he masterfully led us out of, we as a nation would not be benefiting from Social Security, Medicare that President Truman signed into law, the Civil Rights act under president Johnson. After Nixon’s resignation due to his paranoia (watergate break in) the party of NO family values, went ballistic with revenge politics. Where we are today with bitter cut throat partisan politics is the culmination of the last 50 years of human rights vs money, all the wealth and power madness for the few. The Republican Party has morphed from conservative to fascism and nazism. A political party controlled by special interest, a few world billionaires, throw in the mix of toxic religion that bears no resemblance to morals and human values and refuses to compromise can only bring ruin to our country.

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The word “entertainment” does not apply, as that implies harmlessness. Fox PROPAGANDA.

And I believe the Left made a fatal strategic error years ago when they encouraged homosexuals in being loud, angry, confrontational and coercive. This triggered a much harder, fiercer backlash in the fundamentalist community than they thought possible. This precludes compromise now, this division is visceral.

Racism is another element, but not as basic. Racists are just taking advantage of the morality passion to amplify the rage. The fundamentalists don’t all hate brown skin, they just believe an orderly world keeps each group in its “place.”

The Left thought their bright new rainbow world was just in reach, and are nonplussed by this annoying mob that suddenly stepped in the way. They shouldn’t be so surprised.

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Good point that people who watch Fox News do not really WANT to know what is going on. Then they do not have to feel bad about it or work to improve it. They are benefitting from the exploitation of others. This is a story that humanity has repeated many many times.

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Ruth, I’ve been dreaming right along with U about those Rethugs ever doing what’s honest & the right thing for humans! We r wasting our time though bec it will never happen. We just need the Dems to get tough, play as dirty as those Rethugs & find a way to force the regulations on corps & make them permanent! Everyone is sick & tired of Dems getting important work done only to be reversed when the next Rethug comes into power. It’s pathetic & makes people cynical of government so they skip out on voting altogether!

If Biden & Congress can get their minimum Corporate tax bill passed that will begin a process of curtailing Corporate greed but a lot more needs to need done like breaking up monopolies & refusing to allow other corporations from merging into more mega monopolies like the Kroger/Albertsons potential merger & small no frills airlines attempts to merge. Somebody must keep those approval & oversight agencies awake so these things don’t happen! Whose job might that be?

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Shirley, we do need to get tough, but playing as dirty as they do, I am not sure. We need to not always take "the high road," but slinging mud and blaming people for just existing must never be in our playbook. I am liking Raskin's "banana Republicans" used to prove a point about Republican disrespect. I have heard the phrase and am liking it more and more. It should be sneaked into speeches "by accident" and then as a matter of course, describe why "someone" just might use that term for Republicans: their desire to ban books, hurt vulnerable young people, control what is taught in schools and colleges (white history, you know), force women to stay pregnant until their life is sufficiently threatened, blaming immigrants for bringing drugs into this country when it is actually their own neighbors doing it, calling fraud on elections in other states to cover up the fraud they are perpetrating in their own states, and on and on, things that are clearly not democratic or Democratic. Yep, Banana Republicans!

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Wonderful summation Ruth.

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1 of 876

It's Easter.

Donald Hodgins <silencenotbad@gmail.com>

11:04 AM (0 minutes ago)

to

There is a small isolated piece of rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, its name is Rapa Nui. It is actually a territory of Chili which seems rather odd because of its location. Easter Island is 2,300 miles off the West coast of its mother country. That would be like New York laying claim to Los Angles, give or take a couple of hundred miles. Distance aside, this little jewel is composed entirely of volcanic rock, other than being a good respite for long-distance swimmers Rapa Nui has a history. Its original inhabitants are credited with the construction of the Moai, monolithic statues varying in size from 30 feet tall down to the smaller ones which were more in line with human figures. More than 900 of these colossal figures have been discovered on the island. The average height is around 13 feet weighing in at an astounding 13 tons, that's approximately how much 3 cars would weigh today. The population of Rapa Nui peaked at about 10,000 inhabitants prior to the island's discovery by the Europeans in 1722. The size of the island itself is about 40,400 acres or roughly 64 square miles. Why the island's people decided to carve the Moai in the first place is still a mystery. I have a different position relating to the origin of these statues. Not to take any credit away from the Rapanuians but what if they didn't carve the statues they simply dug them up? Remnants of a past civilization lost to time. There are pictures showing these huge monoliths buried up to their necks in the hillsides. Why take the time and effort to carve these things and later attempt to bury them? It gives a person cause to wonder. If, for whatever reason, as a culture, you wanted to bury these massive objects wouldn't it make more sense to lay them down and then cover them with dirt? Why try to bury them in a standing position? Another virtually unknown fact most don't know is these figures, at one time, had huge white eyes placed where you would imagine for them to be. How do we know this to be true, a large pile of the eyes in question were discovered in a pit where they had been removed and discarded. The inhabitants unknowingly deforested the island and used the tree trunks as a means to move the unearthed statues from one location to another. In doing so the island people lost their ability to build the boats needed to fish, and as a result starvation eventually began to reduce the population. There are stories of extreme hunger that drove competing groups to cannibalism. The Europeans brought disease and an unwanted guest to the pristine little oases. Rats! These rodents lived on board the ships that came to visit Rapa Nui. Once loosed on the virgin island these rodents multiplied in an uncontrolled manner. Food sources for the new rat hoards were found in the seeds from the indigenous trees. Once eaten there was no way for the islanders to regrow the very trees they relied upon for their existence. Starvation, rats, sickness, and cannibalism reduced the island's population to roughly 1,500 inhabitants. Visiting ships reportedly killed many islanders and what they didn't kill they abducted to work as slaves aboard their ships. Who is to say what really took place on the little island but the mysteries held by her still live for future generations to ponder? Whether the islanders were carvers or diggers is a subject still to be discovered.

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Unfortunately, 30% of the country appears to be irretrievably stupid.

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We don't control the media. The medium is the message, not the other way around.

BTW the victims in East Palestine will be represented by trial lawyers, not the government, certainly not Trump.

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

Julie Kolbow : Do you have any money to buy a major media source? Have you ever seen a beaten donkey? The endless rant against the 'Poor messaging of the Dems' is getting old. Big Media Is owned by the wealthy! Even MSNBC hosts were going on yesterday about the inevitability of either tRump or DeSatan as the GOP candidate for 2024.

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The "poor messaging" rant needs, itself, to be the message. Many voters are likely wringing their hands, frustrated that the Dems just can't seem to accomplish what needs to be done on fronts such as climate change. But it's a vicious cycle: the Dems don’t get the message out, people are discouraged, they don't vote, the Dems lose more ground. Bernie Sanders is apparently the only one with a megaphone. How? He uses every opportunity to pound on his main points, and he isn't corporate-owned. He uses voter lists, he speaks out in the Senate, he talks to anyone who will listen (NYT columnist Maureen Dowd did a piece on him last year, and I've read a couple profiles in just the last month or so).

And then there's campaign literature. I have yet to read one flyer from a Dem, even during national election seasons, that actually names names and skewers the GOP. At the midterms, the Dems did the best job in years of pounding on a key issue, abortion rights. Why doesn't that happen every time? Why aren't House reps and Senators getting up every session and calling out what the GOP has done?

MSM likes a street fight, and the GOP gives it to them, constantly, in spades. If the Dems spoke the truth, forcefully, at every opportunity, in blunt terms, they might garner their share of the spotlight. Time to fight fire with fire.

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Denise Donaldson ; Money is speech. Republicans have more money. tRump got elected, partly at least, by the media's constant and free coverage of him (no cost to him, because he was going to give them big tax breaks). Even 'lefty or 'progressive' leaning media spins plenty of messages showcasing the worst of the MAGA people and messages. Constant clips from Fox with pictures of tRump.

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I don't know that Republicans have more money; I've never researched the figures.

And you're absolutely right about all the free publicity TFG got in 2016 and afterward. Most unfortunate. What's emphasized most---even negatively---is what sticks in people's minds. Reference George Lakoff's "Don't Think of an Elephant."

Even so, as I said, there are ways that Dems could use to get their message out effectively, but for whatever reason, they seldom take advantage.

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You seem to be getting out a very negative, and false I might add : "message" . Why don't you go work for the GOP!?

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Denise Donaldson ; I wonder what "ways that Dems could use to get their message out effectively" are? Our President had a very strong SOTU speech which even the media highlighted. If he does not have a bully pulpit who does? It was truly GREAT.

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Denise Donaldson ; Voters are not wringing their hands ; They are voting! And Winning!

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Less than 47% of all eligible voters participated in the 2022 midterm elections. That's not encouraging. And while the Dems did better than expected, they did still lose the House, and lost a few key races, such as the Ohio Senate contest, wherein Tim Ryan ran one of the most tone-deaf campaigns I've ever seen.

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Denise Donaldson : go pound away: Democrats are Winning by voting!! They know enough not to vote against their best interests. Look at the last couple of elections. They speak for themselves. We need this negative viewpoint like we need a hole in our heads!

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Denise Donaldson : Rubbish! PRESIDENT Biden and the Democrats are doing fine! It's people like you who don't seem to notice who are winning elections! It is the Democrats! THEY don't have to cheat!

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Haha, no. I don't have the money to buy a media company but you have a good point. Maybe someone with power and influence could start a media company or coop with grassroots support that wasn't beholden to oligarchs. Crowd funding?? Maybe we need propaganda PSA's and local support groups and mentors for the lost souls looking for a different way.

I believe the vast majority in this country want change for the better. A more positive way forward. Maybe organizations exist that could lead the way. There is huge potential.

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Julie Kolbow; That is an interesting idea. Remember when Jane Fonda and Ted Turner started a progressive network.? It ended badly. I think. Maybe was bought out. Long ago, so I can't remember the details. Somebody probably sued them or threatened them. Something went wrong.

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Ted lost the Americas Cup yacht race. A little dry humor for the day.

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Rebekha Simms ; Hahaha!

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EXACTLY! You said it much more succinctly than I did, JCM.

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Denise Donaldson ; Exactly how do Democrats achieve this communication?

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Please see my initial comment, as I wrote earlier.

One thing is certain: if one gives up and decides something can't/won't ever happen, then it assuredly won't.

If no attempt is made, nothing is accomplished. I've watched the Dems remain supine in the face of uncounted attacks by the GOP, seen them mute no matter how many opportunities there are to make their case. If they've held repeated press conferences to call out TFG's lies, even the usual liberal media outlets haven't covered them, which I don't deem likely.

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JCM ; How do you propose that Democrats achieve this communicating of achievements and what plans should they have to implement same, to move the country forward and make lives of the majority less of a daily struggle?

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JCM ; "That isn’t my job as I lack a leadership position." I wonder why.

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

JCM : I think President Biden has done an excellent job of governing AND communicating! The messages that YOU and others like you post seem a false narrative. It is like you are working for the other side!

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BS. Biden does not have the capacity to regulate independently and SOTUS has been limiting Agency rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Whose side are you on?

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Todd Telford ; Yes, especially when it is not THEIR families that are at risk.

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And "Their" families are never at risk and their children will never work in a slaughter house when you g!

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

Al Ross III ; Yes! That is why people from "The wrong side of the tracks" are usually poor and downtrodden . The wealthier live in better environments. Including pay and working conditions

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Well, at least we now know that the Republican Party has no tie to Family Values. They know nothing about nor care nothing about family values.

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Nonsense! just becuz a little Alright Down There recreation has to be Hushed . .for the sake of the children . .

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For example: https://youtu.be/ReEHjMwYUS0

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DZK ; Thank you for this! Biden is a strong messenger! Has a great sense of humor too, as he NAILs it!

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Except in the womb...

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E Sonoma: What post are you replying to?

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Family values…

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

E Sonoma: In what sense does ' protecting family values in the womb' help the victims of the train de-railment and poisoning in East Palestine? How is forced birth a good family value in that scenario?

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Except in the womb...

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NDA signing became standard at Evango wedding ceremonies . .unless I've been DisInfo'd ..

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In the words of the Dalai Lama:

“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.”

The US is pathologically in love with profit, possessions and wealth. Change can only happen when the basic values systems are examined and corrected.

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Judy, thanks for the quote. I have thought about that perspective for a while and am trying to figure out how we can change our nation's perspective. We make all kinds of excuses for undervaluing people and overvaluing stuff and< I suspect, can't break out of our priortizing of things. It is clear we need things, but the truth is, every study that has come out over time tells us we need people more. We tend to ignore that.

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No easy answers for sure. Having lived abroad for many years, I see that other cultures really have managed to build societies based on different values systems. Why and how these systems have been created needs careful analysis. And then these findings need to be honestly communicated to the people - and then honest people who are truly committed to change need to run for political office. It’s time to stop saying politics is a dirty business - it’s time for good people to enter in and commit to doing the necessary work.

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Your point is well stated and is food for much thought.

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Corporations Without Regulations is equal to a Country With No Laws! Banana Republic

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Existing laws are broken. Crime should not pay.

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It pays in Ohio.

$61 million dollars to be exact.

- Covers the costs of ;

Re-election of former nefarious speaker of the house.

Plus covers campaign contributions to elect 4 speaker's allies.

- to insure a numerical vote advantage.

Nebulus housing/ vehicle/ trip expenses.

Publicly getting the extortion called a bribe.

- to create a haze of innocence.

Put a fence around "The Congressional Transfer Facility" and hire guards.

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"Banana republicans," Jamie Raskin used as an example of incorrect usage when responding to boebert's repeated and disrespectful use of the noun "Democrat" when an adjective is called for.

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Nice comment. I Like it!!

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I believe that condition is defined as Anarchy. Or maybe it is Free Market economy. Or maybe it is Coporate America. So many choices, that it is difficult know where to begin in this deliberate unravelling of American Democracy.

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Rebekha, I'm sure which it is either. I think it might be a combination. Free market is not what we have had here despite a lot of folks saying that is what we had and what they want. There have always been some kind of regulation depending on which government was involved. Then corporate greed warps any system a nation can have. For the past 50 years or so, corporations have been able to impact laws so they encouraged bad behavior and gaining at the expense of everyone else. I think that kind of wild west business arises from war time and it sure did during Vietnam and has not slowed, but spread to other industries, including the new tech empires.

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Nobody has a "free market"; there is no such ideal. Markets are social constructs with rules created by people; there is no such thing as a market without rules and restrictions. And the choice of rules and restrictions encodes social aims: particular market designs will tend toward different aims (whether those aims be conscious or not on the part of the designers).

Ironically, some of the markets that are probably most beloved by capitalists are the most highly regulated. I wrote software to do automated trading of futures and options on stock exchange indexes, and the regulations (made by those with seats on the exchange, not the government!) were incredibly strict compared to the free-for-all and bring-on-the-externalities approach of so-called "free market" wonks in consumer markets.

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We have a system of crony capitalism brought to you by Citizens United. As long as $ flows to bribe legislators, it will purchase the policy outcomes the buyer desires.

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We are no better than a third world country putting children to work in factories, putting profits before public safety. I don’t just blame the Republicans as you say Robert. The Democrats are almost as bad. Greed is a powerful motivator in this country and it infiltrates our politics so badly that it is shameful. It seems that it is not enough to expose these politicians for the greedy, horrible people they are, nothing seems to change. Entire communities like Palestine have to suffer, children suffer and we just have to stand by and watch. I wish I knew the answer.

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"The Democrats are almost as bad."

BS. Speak for yourself. Republicans are ENTIRELY to blame.

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I would agree with you except there is Corporate money in the Democrats pockets as well. They may fight for a better American agenda but, why have they done nothing to tighten regulations in the past forty years?

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You obviously do not know history and with your attitude we will be condemned to repeat it.

Bush, Trump administrations rolled back regulations. a Republican SCOTUS is removing the authority of agencies.

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Ramona appears to know her history just fine and her observations are spot on. Dems are just as culpable in sucking up $ and getting bribed.

I agree with you that they are not as blatant about the roll back of regulations and power grabs as we saw during the trump and Bush years. But there are too many of them that take the money and stand by silently.

BTW, you can disagree with folks without being disagreeable and demeaning. Your

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Attack on her knowledge of history is pretty insulting.

If that's the best you can do you might want. To reconsider your ability to participate constructively on social media.

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Screw you.

There is NO evidence that Democrats, especially the party, are behind it.

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But what about the filibuster when legislation is proposed?

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Thank you Daniel! I am truly disgusted with the "everybody does it" BS. It truly is Republican bad behavior and their decisions to cut regulations over the decades, and their basic racism, misogyny, homo/transphobia, and pseudo-Christianity that have moved us into this even more inhumane system than we have had in the past. We should know better by now, but the people perpetrating the deregulation, the moves against immigration, the permission for corporations to do pretty much whatever they want in the name of profits are Republican positions and have happened nearly exclusively under Republican administrations. There are a few Democrats in power who buy the Republican BS, like Manchin and Sinema (and Sinema is not even a Democrat), but few and mostly from the crazy red states that want to ban everything except greed and white, straight comfort.

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Ruth Sheets ; Well said!

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Republicans do not care anything about the American people but only about power and their self worth.

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Yeah, no🤣 Plenty of Democrats are neo liberals and take money from corporations.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-democratic-partys-tortured-relationship-with-corporate-pac-money

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That doesn't mean they support using child immigrant labor, overturning regulations, eliminating power of agencies to regulate, support the big lie.

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Jasmine Wolfe ; There are limits ; I would not say 'plenty' of Democrats. Who are the Progressives mainly working with? the Social Democrat, Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats. There is no equivalence with the Republicans here. they don't even try to have a real Democracy and now openly consort with Putin and Orban and others like them, as they move towards authoritarianism. The laugh emoji seems out of place ; this is not really funny.

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My father was a child laborer in the 1920s and it is painful to see this country has reverted to the practice. Greed is not in any way good. I don’t think the current children working illegally in dangerous conditions have nearly the same chances my father had.

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When I was working for DOL, we had some child labor cases. Invariably the parents were involved. I never knew whether they were charged with a crime, probably because those are state matters and my cases were mostly limited to the penalty phase.

DOL is aware of the problem. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20230227

These immigrant kids are alone. In my experience labor contractors mainly worked through our temporary visa labor program. They supply "casual labor" to employers. Most of the respondents in my temporary immigration cases were represented by the same lawyers -- who at one time had worked for DOL when Elaine Chao was the Secretary. At one time, I was a member of the BALCA Board, but most of the time, I heard cases in the penalty phase, after there had been an adjudication against "employers." https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oalj/topics/libraries/LIBINA

Although I did not have jurisdiction, I know that DOJ also had brought some cases - some alleging that workers were virtual slaves. Most of these fact patterns involved agricultural labor.

It seems to me that the children involved might be victims of a common scheme--- a conspiracy that DOJ should be investigating. The one company that may be, at a minimum, a material witness is Koch Industries. What did they know and when did they know it. https://thehill.com/latino/549785-koch-groups-call-on-administration-to-release-all-temporary-worker-visas/ Smoke leads to the fire.

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Daniel, what are the chances that DOJ will take on any of the cases you allude to? Is DOJ willing to stand up to those abusive corporations that have huge amounts of money they can use and have used to buy candidates that can stop DOJ once they are elected? Even though some workers have gained greater pay and some unions, there is still a "government" unwillingness to get involved to fix anything, even though Biden has tried to champion such changes. I am so discouraged that anything will be done for the child workers. I truly did think we had put that child worker bit to rest permanently. It seems Republicans are hiring people who can look up ways to ignore any law on the books except the antiquated witch-killing ones.

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I can't speak for DOJ. I am mystified by Garland.

The kids involved should get lawyers, if they haven't already.

I watched the "debate" in the Senate Judiciary Committee. yesterday. Much of the Republican "questioning" was an exercise in "badgering."

The questioning was unfair. But Garland should have known how to jujitsu the accusations. It was like Garland had never been attacked, had never been exposed to cross examination, did not know how to react.

The parliamentarian was the chair, Durbin. The Democratic members should have objected. Most of the questions assumed false underlying facts. Should have asked Durbin to have a chance to answer. Gone through each false fact.

As soon as the hearing was over, should have asked Durbin to sanction for obnoxious conduct. Badgering.

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Daniel, I was worried about the future of the DOJ during and after the meeting too. I only got to see a portion of it, but I was embarrassed by the stupid lying questions and by Garland's less than excellent responses. How did Garland get such a stellar reputation that he was nominated for the SC, then for the position of AG? I don't understand, but am angry at the slow movement toward addressing the top folks in the Jan. 6th insurrection. Biden truly needs to replace him with someone fair, but willing to move forward on behalf of this nation that Republicans are now doing their best to tear apart.

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Most witnesses cannot handle cross examination. I don't think Garland has seen many trials. But that doesn't mean that he's not qualified.

The problem I have is that there are so many eyewitnesses to Jan 6 who have not been questioned, let alone scrutinized. E.G. IMHO, Hawley and Cruz are viable suspects in the "Green Bay sweep" and in the fake elector plots.

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Ruth Sheets ; Don't give them any ideas.

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As always, Dan thanks for the all-important links. I continue to become more informed here every day.

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If you notice, these immigrant children are all working in red states. No, surprise there! It seems like anything goes in these crazy states including child labor.

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Thank you for the links and your comment.

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Abolish capitalism.

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Jasmine, And replace it with what? Most important, I suggest, whatever your answer, that you establish your way of understanding your proposed replacement—your way of describing or defining it. Otherwise, no intelligent, reasoned assessment of your thinking can ensue.

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It makes for a good “bumper sticker”, Barbara, but like you I am not sure what in the entire history of humankind has worked without “takers” and “taken.”

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Jaime, I just replied to Jasmine’s response to my original comment. Once you get past the first part, I pose a question, wherein I articulate a social democratic vision that exists in much of Europe that I hardly would reduce to “takers” and “taken.”

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Thank you

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Nothing 🤦‍♀️ We don't need a "system". And we certainly don't need to use money. But apparently you're a capitalist 🤮 Oh, capitalism will collapse. It's an Imaginary system and ALL SYSTEMS are subject to entropy.

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Jasmine, I dare say, given I simply was seeking clarification, I find it highly inappropriate for you to make assumptions about my beliefs regarding how best to organize human labor. That said, considering we likely agree that capitalism is not very good at distribution, I have a question. Would you object to a system aimed at leveling the effects of capitalism by wedding it to social democratic institutions that contained its excesses and moderated its self-serving impulses, a system, to be clear, in which there was a modicum of social and economic justice for large numbers of people today who feel oppressed and marginalized by a runaway wild capitalism?

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Money is a powerful motivator across a broad spectrum.

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Sadly, so true.

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And wait until it hits in our own backyards.

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Someone (a CEO, etc.) needs to be held personally accountable. We see that fines don't work against large corporations; someone needs to go to jail for breaking a law.

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Not only does big money buy votes

but it also buys teams of lawyers who will fight and win any attempt to indict a ceo.

They win bc the laws are watered down and weak. Again the doing of big money lobbyist.

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Yes Bret2, even though the Supreme Court has erroneously called corporations "persons." We all know well that if they were a corporation, they would have to beheld accountable for actions the way other persons are. I think that should be the CEO or owner when the corp is liable or performs criminal behavior. A few dozen CEOs in real prisons would make a huge difference, I think, and with terms longer than a month or two. I think 3 years for even the small crimes could provide a lesson for our corporate world. Right now, only the little guys get to pay. We are seeing that too in other areas like the January 6th insurrection prosecutions, not one planner, inciter, or cover-up artist has been held accountable and I am pretty sure none of them will be. I do wish we had a more motivated AG.

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Ruth: Yes indeed. A prime example is Rick Scott, who presided as CEO of a company assessed the largest fine ever for Medicare fraud. Not only was he not held accountable but he is now a US Senator! See https://www.newsweek.com/rick-scotts-connection-massive-medicare-fraud-scandal-resurfaces-1780279. How interesting is it that when bad or even illegal behavior in their company comes to light the CEO gets to claim ignorance but when profits go up they claim responsibility and get big bonuses.

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Right. I know, the money and the lobbyists... again capitalism and greed. But Martha Stewart went to jail... So we need to strengthen the laws and force our reps to do what's necessary. "We get the government we deserve."

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Not always. Never up, never in.

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

Aside from being economic nonsense, saying that regulations stifle growth and jobs is the exact equivalent of the mafia telling you that you do not need the protection of the law. Paying the mafia boss will do. Ohioans recently had a taste of what that costs.

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Excessive and poorly conceived regulations, aka "red tape", CAN stifle progress. I saw it first hand in the Naval nuclear power program. Regulations are critical in nuclear power for safety reasons. But sometimes the regulatory burden would become so great that it became almost impossible to accomplish needed tasks. We would then have to "weed out" and "fix" the regulations to keep only those that are truly necessary.

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Absolutely. However, my point was about the ideological stance that regulations in general, not specific ones, should be considered detrimental to the economy. Some will be ill-conceived but this has nothing to do with the fact that the economy necessarily builds itself within a legal frame. Who would you have writing the law: competent people with integrity or crooks with a political agenda?

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Yes, without a decent set of rules you have chaos with the strong crushing the weak. Definitely want competent people with integrity writing them, but lately they seem hard to find with all the Trump clowns and fools in government.

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The way it's supposed to work is the Administrative Procedure Act gives everyone involved a right to discuss regulations. Regulations must be published, there is an open response period, public hearings with witnesses are held, before regulations become enacted.

However, SCOTUS is now dominated by justices who publicly reject administrative due process, in an effort to reduce "the administrative state."

I don't know about those specific Navy regulations but I was asked to be the "parliamentarian" for OSHA and Mine Safety regulations. I had no vote. The last hearings I was involved with were OSHA silica hearings in 2014. https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/03182014

We called experts from all over the world, who were hotly contested.

As a judge, I heard, among others, nuclear whistleblower cases, where the primary law was from the EPA, although the nuclear industry is regulated by the .Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Some regs are continually reviewed.

I was never asked about some of the regs that I enforced, which I felt had flaws, like the Black Lung Reform Act, although I did send comments to the DOL IG when asked.

We also had "Electric Boat" and other defense contractors in other venues, such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Act and extensions like the Defense Base and and the War Hazards Act, where some of the review involved nuclear industry issues.

I know that there were accusations that some of the regs were written to sell the government a single vendor's products. Internally all of these rumors were investigated. But in the defense industry there are only about 5 vendors. DOD has recommended opening up the process, permitting more...... https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/what-if-us-armys-big-five-weapons-programs-had-failed-165555

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"Regulations must be published, there is an open response period, public hearings with witnesses are held, before regulations become enacted." Do Republicans know that?

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I worked for the railroad in my mid twenties. My brother worked for the railroad passenger trains 10 years ago. He is a very bright man he was offered to take the Engineer test, but refused because it scared him that he would or could take a train into a small community and destroy it, because 1 wrong turn too fast or brakes not working correctly could kill people. Just take a look at the routes taken with trains full of dangerous and explosive tankers. Through low income, poverty filled communities with cheaper, non effective brakes, and less crews to effectively check every connection. And not enough RR staff to check rails and vandalism among many other items. Corporate greed. They shouldn't be forced to give their workers 2 or even 7 days sick leave a year, they should want to do that. Makes for healthier, more aware staff to do their jobs. It will be blamed on RR workers, you can count on that, and they will be fired or forced to take early retirement because they need their pensions. Shameful.

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Well said, the owners should want to have happy workers.

But at the moment everything is done to placate Wall Street. Profits not as great as you would like? Then put one man on a train with 150 cars of flammable and carcinogenic materials, and fire the guy who used to inspect the wheels. Don't allow the driver two minutes to take a piss, let alone go to a doctor. And don't act surprised when you have to shell out billions of dollars in compensation to a community you have ravaged.

The railroad owners should be firing their Wall Street accountants.

Forgive the pun, but capitalism has gone off the rails.

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Well said. It's the truth. I worked there. I would call the crews in, some with only 5 hrs sleep or working a double. 1 engineer, 1 conductor, 1 brakeman for the train. All for profits. Shameful

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GREED is GOOD... and is the cornerstone of a American capitalist system which promotes efficiency.

BUT, without safeguards and protection for the people; unbridled greed leads directly to the distorted system that we find ourselves living in today. Our entire government appears to be COMPLETELY CAPTURED and run by corporations. It is not too late to correct this unfortunate situation; but damned near!

We must repeal the lousy Citizens United decision to dampen the power of BIG MONEY.

We must take steps to reduce the cost of political campaigns in this country, so that our elected representatives are not slaves to their high dollar donors and once again listen, just a bit, to hear the needs and wants of NORMAL PEOPLE instead of being just a corporate puppet.

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I’m not a religious person, but there’s a reason greed is one of the seven deadly sins. It isn’t in any way good. Self interest is healthy, but not everyone understands what’s in their own self interest. That’s where guidelines, rules and regulations come in. And watchdog groups and agencies because greed is a thing and we have to guard against it.

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The deadliest sin of all is stupidity.

Next is cowardice.

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Cruelty is the deadliest.

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Until our republican friend come out of their slumber this cycle will continue.

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Takes prosecutions.

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So what’s Garland waiting for?

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

I noticed in this newsletter, as in virtually every other document that rightly calls for needed regulations to contain capitalism’s excesses and moderate its self-serving impulses, that the terms “regulations,” “protections,” and “rules,” are used interchangeably. While denotatively the three terms are fundamentally synonymous, in contrast to the terms “regulations” and “rules” that, to many, have a substantially negative connotation, we hear or read the word “protections” and our response expectedly is positive, or maybe for some emotively neutral. Accordingly, I propose we rethink our usage of “regulations” and “rules” in our political discourse and focus, instead, on “protections,” so astutely defined as to not only withstand the predictable counter arguments but also to render them virtually moot.

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Also, the Right has co-opted the word Freedom to mean "freedom from rules and regulations," instead of "freedom from oppression," which is how most of us would define it.

Now the word Freedom, to the American ear, belongs to the same set of nice words as flag, mom, apple pie, (and to some people, God and guns). So, in the mouths of Republicans it actually means the opposite of what people think, as in "freedom to have your small town destroyed by petrochemicals and carcinogens."

This is as ingenious as a cancer fooling your body into thinking that it (the cancer) is normal tissue.

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Michael, Your comment illustrates how deeply divided a nation we are wherein the people whom we perceive as the real threat to our freedoms paradoxically believe they, in fact, are defending freedoms that currently are under assault by the left.

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Yes, it's interesting how relative the word "freedom" actually is. It's not an absolute thing that everyone can agree on.

The declension might be: "I am free, you read the New York Times, he is a commie."

George Orwell might have had something to say about it.

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Michael, As I imagine you know, we have a long history of the powers-that-be appropriating the newspeak vernacular of George Orwell’s “1984.” Recall, for example, they gave us a program vowing “No Child Left Behind” while cutting funds for educating disadvantaged kids. They gave us legislation cheerily calling for “Clear Skies” and “Healthy Forests” that gave us neither. And that’s just for starters. Recall that in Orwell’s “1984” Syme, one of the writers of that totalitarian society’s dictionary, explains to the protagonist Winston, “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?”

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It's no wonder that, according to a 2018 poll from Gallup, young Americans are souring on capitalism. Less than half, 45 percent, view capitalism positively.

“This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68 percent viewed it positively,” notes Gallup, which defines young Americans as those aged 18 to 29.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of young people are positive about socialism. This age group’s “views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year,” reports Gallup, “but the 51 percent with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/fewer-than-half-of-young-americans-are-positive-about-capitalism.html

I suspect there'd be a further decline in approval of capitalism were the poll redone today.

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This is a pity. As somebody who grew up with a mlld form of socialism, in England in the late 60s and 70s, I can attest to socialism's dreariness and general unpleasantless.

To all those who say capitalism is BS, I say read Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. The Smithian form of capitalism is what we see in modern Scandinavia, highly regulated market economies with very high standards of living, one year of paid maternity leave, guaranteed high quality healthcare, etc, and a content, largely nonviolent, population.

We had Smithian capitalism in the US for 30 years, between 1950 and 1980m and the economy boomed. America still did some pretty bad things, from McCarthy to overthrowing of democratically elected governments, to Vietnam, to race rioting, but these were not the products of the economy.

It would not take much to turn America into a truly great country, with the society of Denmark combined with the free enterprise spirit of Old America.

But socialism is not the way to go.

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I enjoyed England's mild form of socialism in the late 60s and early 70s as a Marshall Scholar at the University of Leeds where many of my friends came from working-class families. They couldn't afford to go to university in England now.

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Easy access to university was one of the few things socialists got right, but even today, the cost of a first-rate university education in the UK is still a small fraction of what it is in the US. The larger picture of socialism is the moribund economy and the widespread social discontent.

I think we have a socialist economy in America, not for the common man, but for the wealthy. What else is not paying your taxes but government welfare for the rich? Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are the new Welfare Queens.

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According to Shirer, you've just described National Socialism. See "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

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It's not just the cost of tuition that keeps bright but poor young people out of university; it's the cost of books, rent, food, clothes, and other living expenses while not being able to earn much. I was amazed when I went to England to discover that, if a student got a place at university, ALL of that was covered.

Positively comparing the cost of post-secondary education in the UK to that in the US is setting the bar too low for a snake to limbo under: ditto health costs.

As for a moribund economy--sounds like Brexit to me--and that is NOT a socialist idea.

And, as for widespread social discontent, what do you think spurred both Brexit and Trumpism (not to mention the Canadian convoys)?

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Maureen, we could have an interesting conversation about all of the points you have raised.

1) I think tuition and other educational costs in the UK, while not zero, are not crazy, even now. The equivalent costs in the US are a national disgrace.

2) The UK economy in 1970 - 1980 was indeed moribund, and as a student you were likely insulated from it. If you recall, England was then, justifiably, known as the "Sick Man" of Europe. This was almost entirely due to the socialist model embraced by Harold Wilson in 1964.

3) As for Brexit, I'm an agnostic, but believe me the post-Brexit UK economy is way better than the UK economy was 4 decades earlier.

4) But I do agree on the confluence of origins of Brexit and Trumpism. What spurred both was the sense by ordinary working people, in both the US and the UK, that they had been left behind.

I think of economics as a kind of balancing act. On the one hand you have dynamic capitalism, which is capable of an enormous public good, but which must be carefully regulated. A very important part of this regulation is taxation. Smith actually predicted the end-stage capitalistic morass we find ourselves in, and to avoid this he prescribed strong government to raise taxes and break up the inevitable monopolies his system would create.

The raising of taxes (incidentally Smith invented progressive taxation) served two purposes. First it would redistribute wealth into infrastructure spending for roads, bridges, canals and schools, which would benefit all of society. Second, it would have the effect of blunting the wealth of the richest, so that they would not be sufficiently powerful as to be able to buy the government and thereby distort the market.

What do we have in the US? A self-inflicted wound. America had a Smithian economy between 1950 and 1980 until that horse's ass Reagan showed up with his Brooklyn pipsqueak Milton Friedman (wasn't his the worst Nobel ever? Trickledown economics my arse), and stood Smith on his head.

Borrowing the bullshit rhetoric of Ayn Rand and Lewis Powell, they declared government as the problem and went about busting unions and encouraging mergers and acquisitions.

The result was the rise of Wall Street and the emergence of a society where 300 families own everyone else. Sounds familiar? It's the same type of economy as Colombia and Russia. Except we make better weapons.

On the other hand, you have socialism, where everyone gets taken care of, to an extent, but the economy flounders and there is no innovation. The end product is Russia, where 300 people own everyone else, just like America (except we make better weapons).

The point is, democracy and democratic capitalism, are highly desirable but fragile birds.

In 1980, Thatcher, with considerable opposition from the working classes in the UK, took on the unions and restored a vigorous economy where everyone benefited. The coal miners in Newcastle no longer had to work in filthy pits, but earned better wages working in a clean Nissan factory, doing something productive.

The mistake Gordon Brown made was to overencourage the London financial sector, which, along with New York, engaged in all sorts of sterile financial shenanigans which went into meltdown in 2008. The British people then turned on him (even though this was a global phenomenon) and brought in that upper class twit Cameron, along with his Chancellor, upper class twit Osborne, who did real damage by imposing austerity and lowering taxes when the answer was Keynesianism and raising taxes. Which led to Brexit.

In the US, the corrosive effects of money, spurred by the outrageous Citizens United in 2002, which spurred a massive corporate lobbying effort, which distorted the government and the economy, which led to that corrupt and untalented carpetbagger Hillary Clinton losing the unloseable election to........a fascist with an IQ of 85 and a really, really, bad orange combover....which led to an attempted insurrection.

The solution? Back to Adam Smith: tax the rich then tax 'em some more, tax their wealth, and build infrastructure like crazy.

As for healthcare reform? Make me the Czar.

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1) Even if post-secondary education costs in the UK aren't "crazy," they would still be a barrier to some of the working-class kids I knew in the UK. I think that, just as primary and secondary education are provided by the state for the common good, so should post-secondary education be.

2 & 3) I can't speak to either of these points but I'm not really sure how a "good" economy is to be defined. Is a "good" economy one which produces a lot of wealth but in which all the wealth accumulates at the top while those in the middle and at the bottom can't make ends meet? The Washington Post just had a series of interviews with people from a number of walks of life in the UK who can't make ends meet as background to all the strikes going on in the UK right now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/02/uk-strikes-inflation-pay/

4) I think working- and middle-class people in both the US and the UK had good reason to feel left behind; they have been left behind. It's just that neither Trump nor Brexit was a valid solution to their problems.

I admit I have not read Smith; are Keynesian economics, which dominated US economic thought from the Depression to the 1980s in accord with Smith's theories?

BTW: I have read that Smith said his theories would only work in a closed national economy, not in an international one. Is that true?

I'd say the problem in the US goes back further than Reagan. The 1971 Lewis Powell Memo to the US Chamber of Commerce was a blueprint for corporate domination of American Democracy--a blueprint which has been faithfully followed ever since. Reagan was just the first president they got elected.

I certainly agree with you about Friedman and the Chicago school.

Russia was never socialist. As soon as Lenin established the cadre system, he established a class system which undermined Marxian goals. You can't have socialism (or true democracy, for that matter) without equality. Probably the best examples of socialist economies are traditional Israeli kibbutzim. I don't think socialism has ever been tried on a larger scale; possibly it can't work on a larger scale.

If Thatcher benefitted the working class, why was "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" #2 in Britain when she died?

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made the same mistake Bill Clinton did in embracing neoliberal economics in an attempt to win votes from the right wing embodied by Thatcher and Reagan. They did abandon the working- and middle-classes, which is why the latter were so open to being manipulated by Johnson and Trump, but I see the hand of the Lewis Powell memo behind both.

I agree with you about the solution, but I'm not sure it will happen.

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Maureen, I read the piece you provided, and while the young people polled expressed legitimate grievances, nowhere could I discern whether they even shared a basic understanding of socialism: what it is and what it is not. Frankly, I am no more able to reasonably assess their thinking than I am to assess the thinking of some of today’s commenters who also are not establishing their way of understanding— their way of describing or defining—the “isms” they’re proposing.

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Perfect incite Barbara. I know I find myself facing the same conundrum with my own thoughts from time to time. Perhaps that is why we call it opinion. Or maybe even speculation. Indeed, it may be the seeds that begin the path to Critical Thinking.

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Rebekha, I appreciate your comment and simply would add, in my view, no intelligent, reasoned thinking can ensue without first establishing some understanding of the nature of the issue at hand and some idea of the factors involved.

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Indeed! Once the problem (event) is defined, the facts must be sought. Anon

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But they do have a pretty good idea of what largely unrestrained capitalism is and is not, and they have good grounds for disliking it.

That's a starting place for considering alternatives. That doesn't mean that socialism is the best alternative, but, all their lives, they've heard that socialism is anti-capitalism, so it's not surprising that they think it might be better, even if they know little about it.

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Maureen, While I agree that considering alternatives is a good start, I expect more from young adults than to advocate for a system “they know little about…”. Once it’s established that capitalism is not very good at distribution, I expect young adults, before taking a stance, to understand the varying systems that offer increasingly more social and economic justice for the large numbers of people who feel oppressed and marginalized by a runaway wild capitalism.

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You're assuming that young adults actually do know little about socialism. Defining socialism isn't what they were being interviewed about, so it's not surprising that you could not discern what they know about it from the interview. As a university professor, I can say that quite a few of my students know what socialism is.

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Maureen, In my initial comment, I made no assumptions; I simply stated, that not knowing whether they shared a basic understanding of socialism, I could not assess their thinking. Later comments, clearly, were influenced, largely, by your words, “even if they know little about it.”

Btw, I, too, have students.

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Sorry I misread you.

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Barbara:

If you think of "capitalism" and "socialism" as opposite economic systems, and if you are dissatisfied with your own system, then, being young, you are naturally drawn to the alternative. American young are drawn to socialism, Russian young are drawn to the "freedom" of capitalism. (Oscar Wilde perhaps said it best: the only problem with youth is that it's wasted on the young).

But the Russian and American systems have a lot in common, as Orwell presciently pointed out. In our own era, we are witnessing end-stage capitalism (the US, most of Western Europe, Japan, South Korea), and end-stage socialism (Russia, China, North Korea). Particularly the US and Russia. These two societies have a great deal in common, aside from nuclear arsenals which could reduce us to dust.

In particular, what America and Russia share is an economic system in which the vast majority of people are well-fed peasants, and a tiny minority are overfed oligarchs. Are the Russian people starving? No. They like us, have food to eat and alcohol to consume. Do the Russian people have no clothes to wear? No, they have clothes similar to ours. Do the Russian people lack access to shelter? No, for the most part they have houses and apartments, as do we. Do the Russians lack access to education? Well, they probably have better access to a good education than most Americans.

The point is, despite the economic systems, life in Russia is pretty similar to life in America. Are there differences? Yes, we have better automobiles, they have better trains. But like most Americans, Russians try to raise their children to be "good citizens" and worry about their ageing parents.

You would never guess there are so many similarities judging by the press in both countries. In Russia, people read about America as the land of racism and mass shootings, Americans read about Russian bread lines and political assassinations.

In contrast, Americans read all the time, in their own press, about American exceptionalism, which is never explained, simply taken as an obvious truth (never mind the British wrote this about themselves in the 19th Century, and the French wrote this about themselves during the Napoleonic era, and the Chinese (China is the "center of the world") and the Japanese (land of the rising sun), and the Germans......the Germans....well, you get the idea.

So there it is. To paraphrase Orwell, we are surrounded by bullshit. We read BS, we listen to BS, we speak BS. Very occasionally, we are lifted out of this morass by a Mozart sonata (although remember he also wrote "Lick my arse" in frustration about all the BS he was dealt) or a brilliant piece of blues, or rock, or a sonnet from Shakespeare, or an enlightened thought about the nature of gravity or quantum mechanics (although PLEASE no more panegyrics to Stephen Hawking).

Whatever economic system you ascribe to, human society is basically a massive filter, an organic filter, rather than a constructed one, that focuses a particular line of thought or a particular narrative.

You ask yourself why someone like Desantis, or even Trump, has any place in the establishment, thinking the way they do, and the answer is they are not there despite what they think, but because of it. It reflects the fact, simplistically, the American establishment is profoundly racist. So why was this less of an issue by the voting public in the past? Because the establishment was, for many years, able to pick the pockets of average Americans using useful idiots like Bill, Hillary, and (though I hesitate to say it) Barack, for example, without having to play the race card.

Short of war, this is their last card.

Many years ago, while a student, I had a friend who was studying History. While drinking beers one evening, he announced "Damn good newspaper, the Times [of London]. Always gives you the facts." To which I responded "Even if it's the case that what they say is factual, what may be more important is what they don't say."

Years later I was delighted to read that Orwell had the same view, long after my friend had joined the establishment.

So, what's the best economic system? I would say Adam Smith's. While no system is perfect, Smith's seems to maximize material wealth and constrain the capitalists with high rates of taxation and strict government regulati9on of the market. In the US we had a Smithian system between 1950 and 1980, and America was widely viewed as an economic aspiration for other countries.

Then along came Lewis Powell, a pillar of the establishment, and a couple of useful idiots (Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan) who said that the rich are not wealthy enough, we need to encourage them by cutting their taxes. Don't worry, everyone will benefit through the "trickledown" effect. Turned out, of course, trickledown was just trickleup. Just another example of "No child left behind."

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Michael, Aside from your opening remarks, I have no idea how your extended exposition relates to my expressed perspective to Maureen that one ought not, at any age, advocate for a system “they know little about…” (Maureen), particularly when there are varying alternatives to the system one opposes.

Because on more than one occasion you cite Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations as mirroring “the best economic system,” I would note that the one common factor between Smith and every other alternative to brute, unfettered capitalism is the understanding that raw capitalism is not very good at distribution. While I typically advocate for an economic system that levels the effects of capitalism by wedding it to social democratic institutions that contain its excesses and moderate its self-serving impulses, I imagine you and I mostly are committed to a system in which there is a modicum of social and economic justice for large numbers of people today who feel oppressed and marginalized by a runaway wild capitalism.

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So maybe young people aren’t as out of it as some of their elders like to think… even if the biggest crisis facing them is unavailability of Taylor Swift tickets, LOL.

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Spot on, as usual.

I have experienced deregulation first hand in the most visible of industries: in the 80s and 90s, I was working in the airline industry and had a long career in that field. Although the Airline Deregulation Act was passed in 1978 under the Carter Administration, the front-line workers in the industry really paid the price in the Reagan/Bush years - Frank Lorenzo (Continental/Eastern), Carl Ichan (TWA), are just two examples of corporate raiders who saw cash cow companies and broke the back of labor to get at the cash. Our union contracts were sent to the shredder. (this behavior was glorified by the Reagan Administration when Reagan unilaterally fired all of the striking PATCO members)I don't want to go into the weeds on a history of the airline industry, but let me make a couple of points:

In 1978, 10 airlines controlled 90 percent of the market. Today, four airlines control just under that same market share. (The same thing has happened in the railroad industry). But hey, you have a $39 fare from San Diego to Sacramento, and that's good, right?

Well, sure, until a meltdown occurs over a holiday and an airline cancels 90% of is schedule because the company doesn't invest in technology - it's too expensive! - and there's no other alternative because of the market concentration. (On a side note, just think about how that mindset carries over into the maintenance and safety operations). And you don't think about the flight attendant who is working for less than minimum wage when you add up the hours they are away from home. Or the ramp agent tossing your bag who gets injured on the job but isn't entitled to the airline's workers compensation because the airline outsourced ground handling. All because of deregulation.

In short, people don't pay attention to the issues unless it impacts them directly - and even then, cognitive dissonance reigns supreme.

Strong labor laws provide workers a degree of protection (collective bargaining provides even stronger protection). Strong regulation provides a degree of protection for the public.

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Ronald Reagan who played President in a role for which he was not qualified did untold damage to our Democracy.

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But he was great on Death Valley Days, with a 20-mule team’s worth of BS.

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In his defense (?) I should note that he was a Democrat and a union president.

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Reagan was a horse's ass and a useful idiot for those who took Ayn Rand seriously.

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Greed has no medicine, and it is, of course, incurable. Insatiable greed burns oneself - inside out, brings heart troubles, high blood pressures, and lead to cancers in oneself and society at large. Every greedy person wants to see his 99 cents become a dollar and billions ended up in trillions. Indeed, greed makes the capitalist theory alive and kicking - bulldozing the rest of the population in a nation, which leads to poverty of nations and population.

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"If enough is good More must be Better!"

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Satisfaction with little should be the - life motto!

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I do not even recognize this country anymore. We have gone so far backwards on a great many levels and each day I lament more and more and yet it is overwhelming and so my question to you, Professor Reich, is what is the answer? What do you suggest a collective “we” do? 🌻

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If you want to get a good look at this country, step back a bit. I spent a year (1967-68) living and going to high school in West Berlin. I met people with firsthand experience of both fascism and Stalinism. And the Tet Offensive and the assassinations of King and RFK looked a lot different outside the shadow of the US corporate media.

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I am most familiar with the problems of the lack of regulations and the lack of monitoring and enforcement of regulations from the healthcare industry and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I wrote my graduate thesis for a Master's in Health Services Administration. Health insurers apparently consider me disabled. I had access to an actuarial library in Chicago. That's when I learned that the significant sounding protections written into laws and codes are useless because there is little monitoring or enforcement.

As a nursing home RN employee, I witnessed state regulators of nursing homes cower in the face of losing their jobs when nursing home administrators threatened them. These weren't idle threats. Corporate owners of nursing homes contribute big money to candidates who influence the heads of state regulatory agencies.

When I wasn't hired for a nursing teaching position that didn't require lifting, I was told that the fact that I couldn't lift was why they didn't hire me. I tried to use the ADA in court, but it was no use.

A cap on malpractice awards is the final blow to injured victims because attorneys can't afford to take cases when the award doesn't pay their expenses. Look up the definition of fascism. That's where we are. We are supposed to feel protected by Acts and laws, but we aren't. I was told by an official in D.C. that the chance of winning a lawsuit under the ADA concerning employment is the same as winning the lottery. Band aid legislation isn't going to fix this. The structure of our capitalistic system is the problem. It was repaired after the Great Depression, but the fix was dismantled a piece at a time until we are back where we were 100 years ago.

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Excellent analysis 👏 👍 I was a nursing home RN for 25+ years before I started having heart and lung problems which ended up disabling me in 2020. The nursing home had no sympathy whatsoever,if I wasn't able to take care of 65+ patients with only 2 CNAS every night.

Since nurses have no pension, if it hadn't been for Social security disability money from all the years I paid taxes don't know what I would have done!! All for the name of corporate greed!

Not even Covid laws are working, they already have a 2 year delay of new laws for safe staffing because it's too much of a financial burden for companies all at once here in Illinois. So once again the Almighty Dollars and their lobbyists have gotten the last word unfortunately 😔

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