427 Comments
Mar 23Liked by Robert Reich

I so enjoy the Saturday Coffee Klatch!! Thank you, Professor Reich and Ms. Lofthouse for your discussions that help me see things a bit clearer. The question about trump being broke was difficult and I say that because he has always slithered his way through and manages somehow to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last moment!! His propaganda social merger will get him through this bond thing and he will continue to flaunt his ability to fool some of the people all the time!! A lot of the American people are fully aware of what these mega corporations are doing. I, for one, do not have any idea how this can be reversed!! I feel that it is so huge, it will take a Democratic president, Democratic Senate, and Democratic House to break it up and fix it for the middle and lower classes. Not just for four more years, but for however many years we need to bring our country back and make it as strong as it once was. I am not saying the same president, but after President Biden concludes his second term, we need another strong candidate waiting to take over and continue what he has started. Vote Blue, America!!

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SCRAM (Supreme Court Republican Appointed Monopoly) has been bailing Trump out bigly! He has lots of oathbreakers helping him like Moscow Mitch who helped Trump Corrupt the Supreme Court. SCOTUS should have knocked Trump off the ballots in all 50 states! We have a two tiered Presidential Election coming soon. Billionaire’s candidate Trump vs Working Class candidate Joe Biden! True conservative voters had better come to their senses and vote for the guy that protects, defends and supports the Constitution of the United States!

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I agree, Keith! Is it just me or have so many Americans been asleep at the wheel so to speak? I know this has been in the making for some time but it seems that here, right now, many are waking up to discover that these republicans - putin's party - have slowly taken over and turning the United States into an authoritarian regime!!

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It sometimes feels like we are the only ones fighting this battle - when you ask friends and family to support the BLUE to keep despicable Trump out - they hesitate saying both candidates ste too old - I come back with my standard….look at the economy - we could be in a massive recession right now with Trump, plus all the other cheating, racist, misogyny, homophobic conditions he will create - making our nation a cult following a DICKtator to destroy the constitution-

People are afraid to talk-

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Keep right on speaking it, Susan!! We may not get through to all of them, but we will move some that are just simply hesitant. President Biden is not too old. Look at what that man has accomplished in his first four years!!! Give him four more and WOW!!

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Plus Trump hates dogs. Stole from kids with cancer!

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Threw babies in cages, called our military losers and suckers, made fun of President Biden's speech problem (which I think President Biden has done an amazing job working on that!), hated President Obama so much he was determined to gut ObamaCare, insults other people, has a love affair with dictators, will implement Project 2025 if he is reelected, had his wife buried ON HIS GOLF COURSE!!!,.......I'm just going to stop because there are so, so many vile things that man has done it gives me a headache and pure nausea!!!

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@ Susan Beall. Find out what benefits they lose when Republicans are in power. Nothing as ironic as someone who votes to cut off their own benefits.

As gestalt therapy, Field Team 6 has lists of millions of unregistered voters who trend D. They WANT to hear from us. Stats show that 60% have never been asked. Makes you feel fulfilled! https://www.fieldteam6.org/volunteer-ops

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What are they afraid of?

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Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll tell you who *I’m* afraid of. Where I live, I see “F**k Biden” bumper stickers on cars, “Let’s Go Brandon,” “Trump Won” and entire displays of Trump paraphernalia in people’s front yards. We don’t dare put any type of sticker on our car for fear that it will get vandalized. These people are deranged; I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of my neighbors were at the Capitol on 1/6. All I can do is vote, and think fondly of the 3 other Dems who live in my immediate neighborhood.

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Strongly recommend that you move.

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Yes I see those stickers in suburban St Louis. We as a soceity have let those of nefarious intent poison many minds. I don't think that is allowable, not at certain levels anyway. If enough people agree on that then our government will not think so either, although this is not wholly a governmental problem. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-u-s-history-could-provide-a-path-out-of-polarization

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Do speak with your 3 neighbors. You can be mutual support for each other. Also give money and time to the cause. You can do those things quietly and out of sight.

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The Dems are not the ones inciting strong arm tactics or violence .Trump has normalized it, one never knows what will trigger one of his brainwashed supporters from violently lashing out. Look no further than the violence his supporters unleashed at the Capitol to overthrow our government.

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Afraid of talking about which candidate they will choose at voting booth in Nov 2024 - or they say, I’m not going to vote and throw their hands up

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Re: "Can't we talk about something nice??"

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One of the values of mittelAmerica is conflict avoidance.

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eg: "Can't we talk about something nice?"

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I find an old Irish saying perfect for such situations...

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and irritates the pig."

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Trump lies about everything, the poor slob just can't help himself. As soon as Trump stated he had $500 million in cash on hand everyone knew the guy was broke. Monday will come and Trump will watch his empire of corruption evaporate before his eyes. He will bitch and moan about how unfair this entire punitive persecution has been for him. He blames the establishment for attacking him unfairly. A witch hunt is his favorite cry. Sadly, it's true because Trump is this country's wicked witch of the west. If only we could find that damn bucket--

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I am so tired of hearing about, seeing, or listening to that whiney little orange man!!! I can't go through any news feeds without seeing his putrid, rotten face!!! I want him and his moaning little carcass to go - anywhere but here!!!

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Peggy--You sound like I think.

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Hahahahahahaha!! I guess I lost it there for a minute!! I am tired of trump but I will continue to send postcards, sign petitions, and talk to people about the importance of voting - hopefully blue - in November!!

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While you wait for that glorious day, work hard to crush him under the biggest landslide in history.

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Absolutely, Tracey!! Vote Blue, America!!!

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While in the White House, Trump’s businesses collected millions from at least 20 foreign governments, including a vast majority spent by China, according to a new report by House Democrats based on hundreds of pages of financial documents obtained from Trump’s longtime accounting firm. The report, which details dollars spent at just four of hundreds of businesses in the first two years of his term, found foreign governments funneled $7.8 million to Trump properties. Chinese government-controlled entities alone spent over $5.5 million at three of Trump’s buildings. Saudi Arabia ($615,000), Qatar ($465,000), Kuwait ($303,000) and India ($282,000) rounded up the top five spenders, but countries from across the globe spent money on Trump properties while he lived in the White House.

https://ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2024/01/04/trump-china-saudi-arabia-hotels-trump-tower-report

Last year, under oath he disclosed details about roughly $1 billion in earnings in a revised financial filing covering much of his post-presidency, including money from foreign ventures, speaking fees and a Florida golf course. He listed least $2 million for speaking at events hosted by Hak Ja Han Moon and a group she co-founded with her husband, Sun Myung Moon, the late leader of the Unification Church, and $2.5 million to comment on a boxing match. In addition, he disclosed that Melania earned $1.2 million from speaking fees. Trump also added in the new report that he paid off an additional loan held by Deutsche Bank, a mortgage on his Doral, Fla., golf club valued at between $25 million and $50 million. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/07/13/donald-trump-financial-disclosure/

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Daniel--Any monies that have changed hands for any reason should be of public record so we all can see there the money goes. Trump's little fingers are as "Greene" as they can get.

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As a candidate he has to file financial disclosures.

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So he can easily pay that 4.5 million!

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What's needed is a federal

prosecutor with the "chops," experience, funds and the team to really bring this criminal to justice!

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& melt him!

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founding

People are afraid to talk.

We keep forgetting about the militant Evangelicals who believe that Trump will make America a Christian country.

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I’m halfway through The Handmaid’s Tale, which should be required reading in high schools.

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Don’t miss the sequel by Atwood: “The Testaments.” Set many years later, it is another gripping story. In his eye…

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No one need be afraid of that little orange man or his cult following. We must speak out and speak truth to his crazy lies. I simply will not sit still and let him or anyone take my Democracy and my country away from me!!

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His cult is armed and dangerous. So, I, for one, am afraid.

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Liberals have guns too.

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It's okay to be afraid, Marthe! Just remember, there are so many more of us than there are of them and because they are narcissistic bullies, they will run from someone defending themselves. I told someone on one of these posts that although I am not good with a firearm, I can wield a cast iron skillet with pretty good accuracy!!!

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There are more of us than there are of them. They will see that and turn tail and run.

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Trump Voters - It’s the Dopamine. The same brain chemical that floods your awareness with happiness and belonging at a Beyonce show or a Taylor Swift concert or a ball game works on Trump supporters at a Trump rally. Hurrah! O Wow! Seig Heil!

To keep the drug going and reinforce the rush, you can watch videos of the event, and Fox TV. When Congressional MAGAns orate and their speeches get repeated on Fox, this reinforces your involvement. Oh, the sweet drug of fellow feeling. And like a soap opera, oh, woe, our hero has been distressed, our hero is in danger, enemies are attacking him, they are lying about him, taking his money, threatening him with unfair lawsuits, but we, we, have his back, we are with him, we are for him. Stay tuned! The Congress MAGAs don’t actually have to do anything, they only have to get seen perorating on Fox to keep the drip going.

What is dopamine? It’s a neurotransmitter and hormone that acts on areas of the brain to give you feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. But it doesn't actually make you feel good or happy, it simply makes you want to do the thing again.

Which is what cigarettes, alcohol, heroin, adderall, methamphetamines can do, will do when taken to excess.

And it is also why we are not going to see any rational behavior from MAGA Congress members. They have no incentive to reduce the drugs. Nor do I expect to see rational behavior from Trump cultists.

The serious problem is the group of serious people planning to take over the United States government and turn us all into Soviet subjects. They may be dopamine addicts too, but they are not fools and their plans are quite well documented. See their plan for 2025.

But GOOD NEWS - over at https://playbook.galvanizeaction.org/ We’ve identified 44M moderate women—women who are not ideologically entrenched—and developed 476 messages proven to move them on key issues.

So head on over and read and organize.

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For the last decade, all of the decisions of this court have favored the rich over the poor, men over women, white over Black, states over voter’s rights, and they have always ruled that anything that might affect corporate profits - regulations, workers’ rights, workers’ safety, or product safety, is unconstitutional. That includes making guns always available to anyone. And now, they are going out of their way to protect Clarence Thomas' wife's preferred candidate, the man who committed the worst crime since the Civil War, from suffering any consequences.

Because they feel they are untouchable, the current court has become isolated, arrogant, and corrupt. They have lost the legitimacy to control our lives. Their behavior needs to be challenged, highlighted and shamed. We, the people, need to hold them accountable. I do not trust them to protect a fair election. Call out their corruption!

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"Senses"?!"True conservative voters"?! There seems to be an oxymoron lurking in here somewhere.

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I keep trying to convince people that are CONSERVATIVE like me except for their attraction to the FPOTUS and his political party!

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Keith - I agree, and further, there is at least one conservative "democrat" being funded by billionaires who will effectively tip the senate red if elected, just as sinema and manchin did. Slotkin of michigan is an example.

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I'm curious: in what way will Slotkin tip Michigan red?

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Cyrano - here is a link to an article about her:

https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/elissa-slotkin-for-senate

So when I said she'd turn michigan red, I was speaking metaphorically and pragmatically. one can call oneself democrat yet still fundamentally espouse repugnant values. as did manchin and sinema, two very self-serving "democrats".

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I see. Thank you. Manchin and Sinema are trouble. Slotkin certainly isn't perfect, as your eye-opening attachment shows. Nevertheless, I'm won over by her advocacy of reduced health care costs, stopping Betsy DeVos's attacks on Title IX protection for survivors of sexual assault.. Also so her advocacy for pro-choice, enhanced maternity care, Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act. to name a few.

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Peggy Freeman : If all else fails, it would be interesting to see if a General Strike would be effective against the Greedheads! The Covid Pandemic gave them a taste of how bad that could be. How do the French do it? Are there other European countries that have done this?

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Laurie, I would like to see that happen, too! If enough people came together, then I think a General Strike would be very effective! People over power and money! Vote Blue, America!!

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Emails and on-line petitions vanish into cyberspace. We need peaceful, public demonstrations against the internal insurrection that is eating our freedoms. We need to protest the disfunction Congress, and the fascist Supreme Court. There is a lot of money being spent on making sure rich, white, straight, male, Christians get to run this country. It's time for American's to WAKE UP and get REAL. MAGA has been cheating and lying for ten years!!

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I’ve thought about this too - stop buying - make it hurt the billionaires- young people are very weak and spoiled though

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Susan Beal: Those who have experienced shootings at school may have a stronger viewpoint. There are many young people who are broke, sick and hungry. Angry, too! They are getting elected as well. They have effectively pushed back ! It took real courage to face down their enemies in the statehouse! to run for office. Violence is not the answer. Civil disobedience works, sometimes, at least! Good trouble moves things along. Progress can happen. It's not easy, but worth it!

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David Hogg and Max Frost (Florida) and Jasmine Crockett (Texas) are heartening examples.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

All outstanding! and this is just a beginning!

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founding

The problem is that many of those billionaires get their money from things other than consumer goods. It's very difficult to affect anything related to industry or business. I'm not saying don't do it but I wouldn't expect much.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

Susan Beall ; Some young people are 'spoiled' as in being misinformed and disinformed.

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General strikes and sympathy strikes have been made illegal in the U.S. I don't know what the penalty is. Civil disobedience is an option.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

If it gets bad enough, it is a necessity. They mess with our rights and stack the courts: they deal with millions of angry patriots, and disobedience! It could get very expensive!

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But January 6 was OK. Grrr.

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How is it illegal?

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Hear, hear, Peggy. The Robber Barons, the Transnational Corporations that see the American economy as their own piggy bank, the Fascist Theocrats drooling at the gates …. This is their BIG PUSH, November 2024.

Folks who resist voting for Joe may be missing the reality. Vote for yourself this year, people. VOTE BLUE THROUGH AND THROUGH!

It’s a vote for the people and not The New Aristocracy.

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Well said, Pat!

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Mmmmm, I must credit my nephew. He said, People aren’t voting for Biden because they’re mad about some things he did?

Have they SEEN Trump?

Have they SEEN the Theocrats?

Have they SEEN the Oligarchs?

Do they know about Project 2025?

Are they insane?

Don’t vote for Joe. Vote or yourself. And work on getting things better. But don’t make them worse.

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Great comment. Trump is a con man and always will be. He should be behind bars. I have lost family because of him. The Lord says forgive, but I will never forget the damage done to my family and our Country.

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Biden says WE support Israel. Truth is HE supports Fascist Israel without our permission or approval. Are those crazies in our government not realizing this very bad idea. WE do not like it. It is cruel and unjust and the world is upset.

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Mar 23Liked by Robert Reich

“Trump is broke!”

Is this a question? For years, I’ve told anyone who would listen that Trump will do to America, what he did to his businesses; make America insolvent.

Trump didn’t manage to completely destroy America, although not for lack of trying. I guess we were built to withstand at least one Trump term.

That said, he did manage to add $8.2 trillion in debt (more than any president before), and increased the deficit from $536 billion to almost $2 trillion a year.

Not to mention his mishandling of the COVID virus which killed almost 1.5 million Americans, leaving this country in a recession and the loss of seven million jobs.

And I wasn’t entirely wrong about Trump destroying America. He turned the RNC into a third rate boiler-room operation, and itself insolvent. And he destroyed the Republican Party, turning it into a dysfunctional mental facility, run by the same people who manage gay conversion therapy clinics in red states.

So to answer your question, Trump won’t pay himself. Either donations pay for his legal fees and fines, or he covertly gets Russia or Saudi Arabia (using straw-men) to make an investment (overpay) in one of his failing properties or businesses to foot the bill.

That said, if someone asks you what will a second Trump administration look like, it’s best to say, “is it worth the risk finding out?” Just saying?…:)

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As I understand Trump's playbook, his wealth is on paper, based on valuations of his real estate minus his debts. This leads to two important points;

1. Considering his valuations have already been proven to be fraudulent, and the commercial property market has recently seen valuations plummet (particularly in New York), it would be a very good moment for a revaluation of his supposed asset base.

And...

2. His so-called empire runs on debt, and much of that debt has seen interest rates go from 1% to 6% in the last few years. As much of the debt will be on interest-only basis, and so his interest payments have increased six-fold, all of which has to be paid out of rental income.

I very much doubt that Trump would have factored in either the falling real estate values or the current interest rates, so I wouldn't be surprised if he is falling behind on his repayments and his debts are no longer covered by current valuations.

If that is the case, then I wonder if he is propping up his businesses with money from his political supporters?

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Most likely from shady businessmen with ties to Russia, China or Saudi Arabia…:)

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Alias Sheik Xi Jin-Putin perhaps? 🤔

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Mar 28·edited Mar 28

Robert Jaffee: "trump didn't manage to completely destroy America, although not for lack if trying. I guess we were built to withstand at least one tRump term." He isn't finished. Though he should be. Ukraine remains under funded, because he controls Congress, even while not in office. His private 'Supreme Court' gives him what he wants. He must be defeated.

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Amen, brother. I believe a second Trump administration will have people saying "Heil, Furher Trump," if they don't want to go to "camps" for indo trination.

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I’m thinking some people may front him the money with a risk premium betting that he’ll be in a position to pay them back down the road

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🤣🤣🤣 (at the idea that Trump would ever pay anyone back “down the road”!)

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Possibly, but his properties and resorts are leveraged to the hilt. He supposedly owns 70% of truth social, but he can’t sell for six months (lock-up period), and the company is a “dog” and will never make a dime.

It’s a pump and dump scheme, similar to Game Stop. So whether the easy marks (MAGA retail investors) hold for six months, inflating the price, is the real question, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some Russian or Saudi Straw-man doesn’t buy his interest before the six months lock-up period, and takes a loss so Trump can cash out.

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Agree with almost all you said, Robert. Somehow he'll muddle through without paying his own bills. Can he file for another bankruptcy for legal debts? But do remember that a BIG chunk of the national debt accrued during his presidency was due to the cost of Covid. I can't blame him or anyone in Washington for that.

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You can blame Trump for mismanaging the response. He knew it was a respiratory virus in January and refused to allow the CDC to release the information until the epic spread worldwide and the stock market tanked in late March.

He refused to release the National Strategic Reserve of PPE’s, respirators and ventilators when our hospitals had a shortage of all and ICU’s were inundated with COVID cases. Remember when Kushner said “it’s ours,” meaning the that somehow the Strategic Reserve isn’t the taxpayers.

We had states competing for resources while our healthcare system was falling apart. The cost of supplies skyrocketed when he could have release the reserve or called a National Emergency to make sure companies didn’t price gouge.

So ask yourself, would we have had to spend trillions to combat this issue if Trump took the virus seriously, instead of claiming it was a “democratic hoax” or Chinese flu; muddying the waters with snake oil cures and recommending that people don’t get the vaccine?

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Well, I actually do think the pandemic was inevitable and it would have spread worldwide. I also believe the cost would still have been horrendous.

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I didn’t say it wasn’t inevitable and wouldn’t spread worldwide. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

I said it wasn’t handled properly and it cost this country unnecessarily.

Yes, the cost is horrendous, but at least 400,000 Americans died needlessly as well as monetarily, according to research by the Brookings Institute.

https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BH1DJ/

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He is to blame, sumac01, for driving up the cost and the consequences of that pandemic…Before it even happened, he dismantled our worldwide pandemic research and response team, saying they could be hired back if we need them! So, they were not on the case to head this off , or to deal with it from the get go…And he screwed with our national emergency stockpiles of resources. And then took CREDIT for vaccine development that was ALREADY underway…

He is a Giant Orange Disaster of the most horrendous proportions!

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well said, Pat, and thank you. but I stand by my statement (s) that the cost of the pandemic under his watch would still have been horrendously huge

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Thank you, sumac01 — and I agree, but what you initially said, and I quote: “But do remember that a BIG chunk of the national debt accrued during his presidency was due to the cost of Covid. I can't blame him or anyone in Washington for that.” You said you can’t blame him or anyone on Washington.

Such is the statement that I took exception to.

Your later statement that the worldwide pandemic “would still” have been huge, of course, is true. But it would not have hit us as hard nor damaged our economy and deficits and debt as badly as it did without the monstrous ineptitude and outright refusal to do his job that Donald put us through during his administration.

That’s my perspective.

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Well said..:)

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Thanks, Robert It’s just true, but people need to understand why he has responsibility.

Not the least, the Obama team left a set of guidelines for worldwide pandemic detection and response, and a national stockpile of resources, all ignored or sidelined. T could have put in a national security order for ramping up production of PPE, but he told governors to vie with each other and the rest of the world buying it on a truncated and under-sourced open market — the brazen NERVE of that man! … He could have taken the threat seriously from day one … He could have AVOIDED making the whole thing a partisan issue or a test of his own machismo, for the luvva pete.

Egad

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Some people can’t figure out what’s important. and what isn’t important. Trump can’t figure it out. One

reason he can’t is probably because he’s completely

devoid of empathy.

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Toxic narcissism in serious business, Susan. We all have a touch of the narcissist. Especially as kids, we want people we value to see us as good, to let us see that they see us as good. As kids, we depend on the people who take care of us, so we don’t want to lose their love. It’s almost functional, when we’re kids. But when it becomes an obsession, when we can’t learn to love ourselves even if we’re not perfect, it’s a problem.

In the original myth, Narcissus fell in love with his REFLECTION in the water, and that’s why the disorder is named after him. Narcissists must see themselves reflected in the eyes of observers as wonderful, smart, above average in everything they do, more deserving of success and praise than the next guy… But deep underneath, they kind of fear the truth that they are phonies, and they cannot brook ANY criticism that might unmask the garbage they think they are inside. It’s even hard to treat them in therapy because they are so afraid of seeing their “real” selves, which they believe are bad people, they can’t even admit that to themselves. That describes Donnie to a T.

Another thing about them, they obsess about their “image” and have to constantly polish and preen, and they constantly carry on about being victims of people who are jealous of them and out to get them. They can be brutal at getting revenge for imagined slights.

And when they are TOXIC like Donnie, they are sociopathic, as you said — lacking sincere feeling for people, no understanding of how other people feel in this world.

Every time someone tries to hold Donald accountable and he wiggles out of it, he gets a shot of happy-sauce that tells him he’s some kind of Superman who deserved to lord it over the lesser folk.

I just hope all the trouble he’s getting in now is putting cracks in that Superman image he has tried to maintain. That makes a narcissist VERY scared {enough to throw tantrums}.

He’s one sick puppy

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We can arguably blame stupid Republican people and their cohorts who effectively shouted down the CDC and medical epidemiologists' recommendations on containing a dangerous, deadly disease for the sake of profits, ending with the deaths of 1.5 million Americans.

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Mar 23Liked by Robert Reich

I would say Trump won’t pay what he owes, but

his finances are now being monitored. It looks like

he’s going to make some money on Truth Social,

but it’s probably a drop in the bucket of what he owes. His fans will keep throwing money at him

for awhile longer, but I just read that he’s lost a lot

of grass roots donors.

As commenter Trudy said, he doesn’t pay his bills

and it looks like karma will have its way with him at last.

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The proper term used here should be the word "Broken," and that he is, Like a horse.

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He is a horse being ridden, too, Donald. Certainly not REALLY a guy holding the reins. Pavlov ‘s Politician salivating at the sound of ka-ching and doing the Oligarchic Theocratic Ultra-Right’s bidding.

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Pat-- All the while as the hounds sit and droll.

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founding

Yes, Susan - karma does not make mistakes - only humans do. I cannot begin to imagine Trump's karma. I have to close my eyes!

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I hope, hope, hope, Susan G. B.

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I agree Susan. His last bloodbath speech dug a new deeper hole for him. I thought I heard some in the audience boo when he said that but haven’t heard anyone discuss it.

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I'd like to know how "his finances are being monitored"...and by whom.

He will find a way to channel foreign $ into his (or his childrens') coffers.

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founding

His company is being monitored by a judge. Personally, I don't know but I read something that said if he really does have $500m that Letitia James can shut down his bank accounts.

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The Truth Social thing is most disturbing, and if it all comes true for DJT, it shows how severely messed up things are in America. I read a BBC-linked article on it, and it was gut-wrenching how someone whose middle name should have Greedy will stand to profit off what many feel is often, if not always, commentary, written to inflame, damage or even destroy all those involved with it. On Substack, many of us try our best to keep it as neutral as possible and hope everyone understands that what is stated is an opinion and everything is taken with a block of salt if applicable. If Truth Social becomes a windfall for DJT, it represents a clear signal that bad behavior is to be rewarded and signals to perhaps many that it's fair and legitimate. The common good could not be more distant to social media like Truth Social.

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Agree 100%.

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That social media site is so gross - it’s like a Hitler page - plus there’s porno dating sites-

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Can’t like that, Susan, but can join you in feeling sickened by it — Gross!

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I was out of work for 5 months because he never pays his bills. My company was irreparably harmed.

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Trudy, I'm sorry to learn that. I hope you can regroup.

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It was in 2016

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So many people hurt, Trudy. So sorry to hear.

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I'm so sorry to hear that! He should be strung up by his toes.

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I think traditionally it would be heels. Like Mussolini! 🙂

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founding

Either is fine with me.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

One of the most important points that Robert and Heather raised today was the problem of private equity buying up housing. How is a household going to compete against an investor offering all cash and promising to close in "just eight days"? Fortunately, our HOA just passed a deed restriction limiting these purchases to 10% of the houses in our neighborhood. (That means that there is only one more that they can buy.) Housing values in Columbus, Ohio, where I live, have been skyrocketing, and City Council is looking into the impact of investors and how to blunt it.

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Bill - I strongly agree! Affordable housing must become available again and this intrusion of investors into the housing market has to be stopped. Society cannot function if families have nowhere to live or cannot afford the skyrocketing, obscene levels of rent.

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I answered ‘Other’ b/c I think it might be a mix of all of the above. He will try not to pay the portion he can’t get from the RNC and hopefully the NY AG will thwart his effort not to pay by seizing proceeds from his media merger and assets.

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Trump will get bankrolled by someone who ultimately wants favors!

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Drumpf has already declared that, in a war between NATO and Putin, he’ll back Putin. Quite a favor.

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Considering there’s no chance that any of the criminal cases against Trump, possibly barring the violations of federal election laws, will be tried and adjudicated by Election Day, I fear that efforts to confiscate Trump’s properties, his things, instead of hurting Trump, will help fuel a sizable aggrieved swath of the country who themselves feel victimized by a system they believe is rigged.

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It was reported in the media that President Biden is telling jokes about Trump's money problems. I hope he stops! IMHO, this could hurt Biden and help Trump (as the so-called "victim" of the Democrats) with some voters who don't think any of this is funny. Biden needs all the voters he can get this November. Let Jimmy Kimmel tell the jokes!

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Tim, Given AG Garland’s unfortunate reluctance to pursue Trump in a manner that could be perceived as political retaliation, or as a Democrat pursuing a Republican, in concurrence with your point, I view Biden’s jokes about Trump’s money problems as ginning up the very partisanship that, in my view, overly concerned Garland, much to the country’s detriment. Accordingly, I wrote a letter to the White House urging Biden to exercise better judgment and requested it promptly be passed to Biden and his advisors.

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Excellent! I hope they follow your advice.

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Mar 23Liked by Robert Reich

Thank you, Heather and Robert, for another great Coffee Klatch! It is nice to see you together! This was a little less dark, even though the subject concerned tRump and his donors, and the Chaos cult, and how it rules with money. I agree that it would be an improvement if the truth of just how much we are owned by big money was emphasized by President Biden. He has done a lot more than recent presidents to boost unions and talk about taxing the wealthy. His megaphone could get the word out more clearly!

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Yes, Laurie. I am glad they talked about the outrageous real estate market currently eating up residential ownership —- Some elements of our society have found access to home-ownership a tough nut to crack forever [racial red-lining, anybody?], but now ALL non-uber-wealthy people are up against it, as the monied buyer swoops in, out-bids, and rushes to closing on residential housing all over the country, putting it back into service as rentals, and driving rents arbitrarily into the stratosphere. So, maybe some of the people who thought finding an affordable house to buy was easy, and being shut out was “somebody else’s” problem…well, maybe we’ll all begin to recognize that making homeownership accessible to hard-working Americans is part of how we keep out economy one of the strongest on the planet …. At least it was that, once !

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founding

Pat, I follow real estate every day and the increase in prices from one week to the next is obvious and outrageous. Tiny houses in my area are now going for upwards of $1.5 million with medium-sized houses coming in over $2 million in many cases. I have no idea who can afford them but I can tell you that in the last couple of years my cul-de-sac has become much more crowded as people move in together. We now have houses with three generations living together as well as those with older parents living with their adult children It's quite unnerving and there seems to be no end in sight.

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Tough to put a “like” on that, though I agree with it 100%, Paula.

We exacerbated the already bad unhoused problem when the economy tanked in2008, and even many, many hundreds of thousands of families {maybe even more} tried to hold onto their homes by renting them for a period while they regrouped. Or so many tried a simple refinance, and banks originally were happy to accommodate, but they couldn’t figure out the logistics of those “bundled” and resold loans! Who owned what? Who still held authority for decisions? Who was owed the money? Homeowners were left holding their dollars, ready to pay to stay, and no one to take the money and let them stay in their house!!

Instead of reselling empty houses, some midwestern localities bull-dozed them {after vandals broke in and stole wiring and plumbing!}.

Other houses were scarfed up out of foreclosure, sometimes getting them cheap for taxes owed, by speculators who rented them, renovated them, and sometimes flipped them, or sold them to these guys who are now buying up residential housing all over the country to turn it to rentals.

It was and is a serious national sh*tshow.

We should be putting laws into place to protect the existence of owner-occupied residential housing. It is one of the foundations of our vibrant economy {a source of family “wealth,” and a driver of a level of consumerism that is NOT bad for the economy, but keeps it active}. Instead of locking the rest of us out now, we should have been expanding access to segments of our population who were redlined out in the past…

Instead, we’re going backward to a time when families could not afford their own home.

The New Aristocracy must be celebrating big time to see it happening.

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founding

Totally agree, Pat. And one way to protect single-family housing is to reverse the horrible zoning laws our California legislature--run by Democrats, I might add--put into place that say there effectively is no more single-family zoning. A developer can build an apartment building next to your house and there's nothing you can do about it. So much for community. But soapbox aside, I completely agree. Housing is for living, not for investment.

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I had reported on town planning and zoning committees for a lot of years. I have seen zoning used to red-line poorer families out and maintain a town’s higher-income population, and I’ve seen green-space ignored for businesses or to allow high-density development that decimated trees and open space and quality of life.

There needs to be a MIX. Open space needs to be considered. Defensible spaces {adequate but not overdoing the lighting, safe parking and walking, ADA compliant, etc.}, recreational and public spaces like parks and playgrounds {if we’re talking about towns where kids can’t go and play in the woods, because there are no woods}, drainage and groundwater issues, capacity for road system to handle traffic generated by more people and cars, and making sure affordable and subsidized residences are not isolated from the general mix of the community ….And single-family zoning on reasonably sized lots is DEFINITELY a good thing!

If single-family is no longer allowed, are multi-family options limited in some areas? Limited to duplex? Fourplex? As big as they want?

It is patently stupid to get rid of single family zoning. The unintended consequences of that are mind-boggling.

I CAN see telling towns they can’t zone their entire space to lock out affordable housing and denser construction {because I have seen towns zone for ONLY multi-acre parcels in order to keep out poor people, and an area of unending single-family developmental sprawl is NOT better}, but forcing ONLY the possibility of any size a builder chooses is a recipe or chaos, and horrible neighborhoods.

Dumb.

I have to read up on it to see if they put ANY thought into what the alternatives can be…

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founding

I don't know the answer to that but I'll look it up. I think cities have a limited ability to impose restrictions but I know the only way to really change the law is through the state legislature. Let me see what I can find.

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Wish they'd talk about things we can do -- like registering more Democrats to overwhelm the forces of evil. https://www.fieldteam6.org/volunteer-ops/actions

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Taylor Swift encouraged 35,000 non voters to register to vote blue, my husband told me.

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Other: Getting money from Russia and/or Saudi Arabia

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I, too, greatly enjoy the Saturday Coffee Klatch and always find it interesting and provocative. But, Dr Reich and Ms Lofthouse, I urge you to broaden your coverage. If the sole source of one's information were this weekly conversation between you, one would never guess that 96% of the world's people live outside the United States or that anything that happens in the rest of the world has any significant effects on America. Specifically, there is never a word about what is happening in Israel-Palestine, the Ukraine, or in Africa, Asia or South America. Nor is there ever a mention about climate change, which does indeed pose an existential threat to our civilization (if not quite our species' existence), which, of course, includes America and its society. To be clear, I am not asking that you abandon your focus on American politics and economics, just that you expand the scope of what you review. It would be absolutely fine if in doing so, you always brought back such discussions to the consequences for America. This American, who lives in Europe, would be grateful but I am certain that many other listeners, who reside in the US, would too.

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There’s only so much that can be covered by a 22-minute video. Years ago, when NPR’s All Things Considered radio show purportedly asked Click n Clack of Car Talk for a solution to its problem of too many topics, the Car Talk guys suggested renaming NPR’s show Some Things Considered.

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Ha! Yeah, Adam. No small point to make.

Prof. Reich does hit on these other topics from time to time in his daily messages, but his focus tends to be close to home.

Those other messages ARE of vast importance … I kind of DO see them covered by discussion on these threads!

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Stan, thanks. Sure I agree, one cannot expect the Kaffee Klatsch to cover everything, it should not try to be the Week in Review. But occasional comments from Robert and Heather on events abroad and their fall-out for America would not crowd out their coverage of domestic affairs.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

I fear that tRump will sell some secret documents to the big money interests, if he hasn't already. It may take time to launder his ill gotten gains, though. How long will it take before the obscenely rich figure out that the road to heaven is not paved with gold? Do they know what they are buying/stealing? What happened to the idea of stewardship? Their security could be compromised, too! "What goes around, comes around"!

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What’s the going price for how our nuclear submarines avoid detection?

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

My son in law was going to be on one of those subs. Working as a nuclear engineer. I'm glad that the job was not open for him on the sub he was assigned. He got out of the Navy. It makes me feel sick that tRump 😑 has no concern for our military! Not only does he call those who served and were captured : "losers", but he calls active duty "suckers"!. He does not care if they die! The same way he sees women! He does not care if they die when they need medical care that he has stacked the Supreme Court to ban!

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founding

I just finished reading one of Mary Trump's books. He got that from his father.

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Paula B. ; Sadly, in a culture that traditionally kept women in a second class status, that is not a surprise, although there are many stories of dads who loved their daughters, the culture, at large, valued sons more. Women's work was unpaid, pretty much. Even today, women make less money and are less likely to have pensions.

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founding

Yup, although Fred Trump didn't even value his sons either until Donald made him look good. He was a monster.

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Paula B. ; That explains a few things ; It must not have been so great to be a child in that family. the wealth allowed things to get worse and affect more people who had to interact with the messed up offspring. It is sad, the ripple effect. and the rippling has not stopped yet.

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Mmmm, Laurie, yeah. I’m not sure we ever found out what happened to that binder they were talking about a few weeks ago. That’s pretty scary, isn’t it…

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Pat Goudey OBrien ; Yes, it is scary ; I hope it is much a-do about nothing, as some documents were recently reported to be. I'm concerned that the chain of custody of the most important secrets was broken. WHAT was tfg doing even seeing them, let alone getting them out of a skiff? If he could not get a security clearance, what is he doing running for president again? Why was he allowed to run in 2016? and all these sycophants installed everywhere around government!? Explains why he seems to get away with so much?! Money talks and commits crimes, then decides what is allowed, or not allowed!

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We are two-tiered, not matter how we want that not to be true.

NONE of us would be able to game the system the way Donnie is doing — the proof of that is seeing guys go to jail for doing what he put them up to do …

Their trials have come and gone, and he’s still diddling around and running for office again.

What’s wrong with this picture?

{Even more to the point….How the hell do we get it fixed??? HINT: We do NOT fix it by letting the guy we just said should not be in the picture get elected again.] [EDIT: Proofread only. Occupational hazard.]

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Pat ; let's see how the election interference ("hush money") case goes. I hope this long overdue case is the beginning of the end, in the sense that justice is actually done, and the rule of law finally holds sway! As Alvin Bragg has said ; "Enough is enough!"

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👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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Pat ; We lock him up! If only! Maybe Alvin Bragg can get it done! that would be delicious!

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I’m for that, Laurie!! Keeping good thought …

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He's going down! Also Senator Whitehouse is getting after the Supreme court's corrupters, like Leonard Leo, I saw on Meidas Touch the other day.

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founding

Absolutely, Laurie. Anyone who does business with someone with his reputation gets what they deserve.

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Paula ; Too bad those in our government/political system and media sold their influence to boost him. Because even though most of US did not want him, he got into power. The rest is continuing history. They failed to do their jobs as representatives of and messengers to the people, (as in humans), respectively.

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Do you think that very wealthy Trump funders are using the sale of Truth Social as a back-door to fund Trump's campaign for President?

And if yes, what will they expect in return?

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More of what they got during his first term…

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I think it might be more personal and perhaps private, because the nature of a hidden 'gift' to Trump's campaign is, I would think, a hidden reward to the individual or his business.

Or perhaps it is to avoid the rules on funding? (Lax though they are.)

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Mar 24·edited Mar 24

Yeah. I am thinking you’re right, if he gets control again the payoffs will be much more focused and private quid pro quo…

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The sale of Truth Social may just be something as simple as an arms-length way to give Trump the cred to fund the bonds he needs for his Court cases.

It'll be interesting to see if the deal actually goes through, or if the funders will pull out once Trump has his Bonds.

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Was thinking his recent visit with Elon was about this: agreeing to merge TS into X, with a return of tfg to his millions of X followers and Elon’s assurance he would be totally unfettered, uncensored, etc on X as he continues his slo-mo coup these next 10 months.

Elon not only gains an advertising bump, and larger/ more viable AI training base for LLMs, BUT may get tax protection of his companies, protection for his anti labor legal positions, protection of assets in China, and continued hands off of his personal control of Star-link strategic satellites by U.S. military. Tfg’s just a protection racketeer.

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Very interesting analysis. Makes sense to me. Musk funds and enables Trump, but keeps his deeper involvement mostly hidden.

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Great job guys! Look forward to the Coffee Klatch every Saturday morning.

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Does it matter? The RNC is paying his legal bills. He is financially disabling his own party and yet the Republicans continue to support him. Where are all the right-wing nut job billionaires like Elon and Harlan? They don’t seem willing to put their money where their mouths are either.

Trump’s own anointing by God is not raking in the money either. He was a losing bet before the primaries, yet he keeps on winning them and most Republicans are so far gone up his ass they can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m sure there’s a psychological term for this behavior. I just don’t know it yet.

The Republicans have made Trump the man he is today. Unfortunately, for all of us, they’ve lost all control over their monster creation. He’s off the rails and so are they. They have all sown their chaos and don’t know how to put Pandora back into Pandora’s box. So, they persist with their knowing lies unashamedly. Look at Biden’s impeachment hearing this past week where we got proof that Russian agents using propaganda and lies got our fellow Republicans to do the same all the while knowing none of their bullshit was true.

Where is Russia, China, or even Jared Kushner’s $2 billion deal with the Saudis? Trump is already compromised (that Chubb money makes me nervous). Do Republicans want a presidential candidate beholden to foreign adversaries? I hope this is not a possibility with Engoron’s new ruling making Trump’s benefactors known and the financial monitor he has installed within the Trump organization overseeing his business shenanigans.

The saddest part of all of this, and the most infuriating and disturbing, are the people who continue to defend his unhinged behavior and illegal actions. These individuals irrationalization of Trump astounds me. Logic, reason, and truth have long been dumped by the wayside replaced by hate, ignorance, and smoke and mirrors. I’m living at the circus surrounded by clowns. Clowns terrify me.

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I don't understand how it can be legal to use campaign money for personal reasons. I've seen politicians get into trouble for doing that.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

I do not understand all the ins and outs either. Alabama allows this and even allows PAC to PAC money from out of state PACs. We’ve got Tim Dunn, the Texas white Christian nationalist billionaire, giving our governor Kay Ivey a lot of campaign money. I guess the red states have to stick together? I don’t like it though. Dunn gives congressmen in Texas scores ranging from 0-100 according to how likely they will do his bidding. People with low scores don’t last long. This is all Alabama needs🙄

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WOW! Scores??? How very "Elon Musk"! It's truly stranger than fiction!

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I was following the money for a Facebook group I started about the corruption of Alabama Power and the Public Service Commission. I stumbled on Tim Dunn and went down a rabbit hole. I had no idea out- of-state PACs could give money to Alabama political campaigns. I believe Dunn gave Ivey at least $500,000 and probably more. The trail went cold and there’s no information on the internet about this particular PAC. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

Suspect if you’re trying to donate 1M$ you need to talk to a PAC.

But if you’re trying to buy the US government for 1B$, it may not go through ‘normal channels’.

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That’s why I think Engoron came back with this additional ruling. He’s trying to safeguard the country. He knows Trump and his lackeys have no contrition over the massive fraud they committed or moral qualms over taken foreign or domestic dark money. Thankfully, he has put some guardrails up. I hope they hold.

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I recently read that Engoron ruled that if Trump was taking over $5 million from a donor or company to help pay the fine, he would have to give a 5 day notice. Also, he told the financial monitor (I can’t remember her name) to report unusual business activities too. Now, this is from my memory. I may have some of it wrong. That was the gist I got.

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Sounds familiar now, thanks, AL!

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founding

No, I heard that too. Pretty sure you're right.

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Remind me of which ruling?

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