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Guns were invented for one purpose. TO KILL!!!

Many on the right say that “guns make us safer”. If that were the case the U.S. would be the safest country on Earth!! Well guess what, our country is the most dangerous country on earth! The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre said “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well how did that work in Uvalde, Texas?

In the USA in 2020 including accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides – guns killed 4,357 CHILDREN (ages 1-19 years old) or roughly 5.6 per 100,000 children! There have been 547 mass killings since 2006. There have been 2,847 victims as of April 29, 2023.

America’s mass shootings: Virginia Tech, Columbine, the Aurora movie theater, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the El Paso Walmart shooting, Parkland, Las Vegas, Binghamton, San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs, Thousand Oaks, Virginia Beach, Monterey Park, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Uvalde, the Covenant School in Nashville in March and Louisville in April.

The latest execution in Texas by a drunken idiot is just another example of how dangerous our country has become. The victims asked him to stop shooting his weapon because they had a newborn child that couldn’t sleep. This was after 11 pm!

He took exception to their complaints and proceeded to execute 5 of them! This loser had been visited by authorities previously for gun issues. PURE EVIL

Here’s where the majority of Republican Politicians stand after each and every school shooting: “You get gunned down, we send you thoughts and prayers, and then you shut the Hell up about it!”

Yet they claim to be PRO-LIFE PARTY = Hippocrates All!!

How can any human being care more about owning a gun than they care about the lives of children???

All of Our elected members of Congress need to emulsify to come up with ideas to address senseless killing of people young and old.

In other words show the American people you truly are PRO LIFE !

We are becoming more and more unCIVILized thanks to our political dividers in Congress!!

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

If you plot, for each country in the world, gun ownership per 100 citizens, versus gun deaths, there is a strictly linear correlation. America doesn' t have more idiots, fascists, and insane people than any other country, just way more guns. It's that simple.

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You're right. but how do you reduce gun ownership in America? There are over 400 million guns, increasing by millions every year. Millions of our fellow citizens WANT to own a gun. Forced confiscation appears to be out of the question due to SCOTUS interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I'm tired of the daily gun slaughter in our country but see no obvious solution to it.

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I live in New York. Despite what you see in the media, New York is not a crime-infested swamp, it's a decent, progressive and wealthy city. We have had no school shootings because we have restrictive gun ownership laws.

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What, New York City isn't a hellhole? The media is lying to me again! Concerning "restrictive gun ownership laws", the Republican solution to gun violence is exactly the opposite. Make it EASIER to own a firearm! The wrong answer that will make things even worse.

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Just charge $5k per bullet.

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If high taxes were placed on ammo and insurance was required for gun ownership, some would be happy to not buy an arsenal! The funds going to help educate on mental health issues could also help.

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Beth B ; Then billionaires would still have an unfair advantage. It would limit most of us though.

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That’s what Chris Rock recommends! I’m with him too!

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Most reload their own ammo-that wouldn't be effective, unfortunately.

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Spot on.

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Or castrate shooters.

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NYC has a lot of theft right now. Not a crazy amount of gun crime. Which is due to a lot of people not having money. The main cause of which is Wealth and Inequality. I heard a robber once pray to god when he thought he got a good haul that would help him and I assume his family. How can you hate theives like these? Normal people in abnormal circumstances. Getting tough on crime wont help their issue. Making pay higher and decent jobs more available would.

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We need a several-pronged approach: what works in Oregon might not work in Alabama, but we need to start chipping away at attempts to make weapons more accessible and to begin to get guns off the streets. Background checks, Red Flag laws, and licensing are things most Americans support. Write to your Congresscritter, write a Letter to the Editor, consider getting a group together and protesting at your state capitol (and make sure you alert the press.)

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May 2, 2023·edited May 6, 2023

Also laws that make it illegal to cross state lines with a firearm unless you abide by the gun laws in the states you are crossing into.

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May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023

It would be Great if the makers of these products/killing devices were sued, with no right to 'settle' out of court. Fox 'news' was able to 'pay to continue to play' which is what an out of court settlement is. It disregards the harm done to the Common Good, To pretend that the lawsuit is only about harm done to , in that case,,Dominion. With guns, Everyone is at risk.and many have been injured or killed.

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Agree, but hasn't Congress in its infinite stupidity made the gun and bullet makers immune to lawsuits? Need to repeal this and file class action lawsuits. I suspect the financial costs would put most of them out of business.

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May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023

Tim Baldwin; I agree! How dare they put us all at risk for private profit! What Injustice! This should be repealed! Ended! Even punished!!! When was it done and by whom!?? Talk about acting with impunity! Talk about entitlement! CRIMINAL!

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What about the wars we enter into for private profit, to advance the interests of good old red-blooded American-based global corporations? How many lives do they destroy, both directly and indirectly? And how much does a trillion-dollar military budget cost all of us? INSANITY!

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"In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a federal law that provides broad immunity from many lawsuits to manufacturers, ..."

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Let's hope that a lawsuit would put them out of business! NO out of court settlements! No secret sweetheart deals!

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You want to see gun manufacturers run for the hills. Serve them with disclosure. They'd be ******.

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NRA lobbyists got a law passed that gun manufactures and sellers cannot be sued! WTF?

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The NRA should not exist.

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"Unsafe at any caliber", this is a product that should be off the market. No insurance required. Gee; I wonder why!?

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Outlaw private ownership of AR-15 style weapons and confiscate them, as a reasonable start. Reimburse the owners? That’s a political question. What is NOT a political question is having assault rifles in the hands of civilians, running into the schools of this country. THAT is not a political question. That’s madness.

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offering a buy back plan like AU did could reduce a large number. I'd sell mine to avoid them getting into the wrong hands, but cannot control where they go if I sell to a gun dealer, and have no trusted family who wants them. Restoring the ban on assault weapons will allow confiscation of war weapons that have no place in public hands, and reasonable safety laws could slow the huge glut of weapons now on the market. No action is the same as condoning the violence...

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How to reduce gun ownership? Follow Justice Kenedy's suggestion and get behind a repeal of the 2nd Amendment for a start.

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NO

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States can and have imposed severe restrictions on guns. Same as abortion, the states are the proper venue for such restrictions.

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But state laws don't prevent people from just crossing state lines to go buy a gun where there are no restrictions and bring it back and use it in states that have restrictions.

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Besides, SCOTUS recently struck down a New York law that imposed gun restrictions. So much for states' rights....

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/23/us/supreme-court-ny-open-carry-gun-law.html

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The State can make it illegal to enter with a gun.

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Here's a novel idea. When a gun is misused as in a crime or with wanton disregard (e.g. firing your weapon in your neighborhood "for fun"), it should be removed and immediately MELTED DOWN.

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I live in Christchurch, New Zealand and we had a mass shooting a couple of years ago. The government introduced a mandatory gun buy back for all semi automatic guns. Huge outrage from the gun lobby but it worked. Australia did the same in 1996. Look at their results since.

Your SCOTUS are originalists. Fine! Make it work for sanity for a change.

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Follow the money. Huge.... huge ... huge federal tax on the guns at sale time . Huge tax on ammo at sale time.

Guns only sold at federally owned gun stores. All profit and taxes go to teachers and to schools and to mental health overhaul!!!!!

I am so god damned mad I can’t think.

I am so angry that Americans are playing games with lives.

Read “American Madness” Atlantic magazine, May issue.

Then read the equally great piece on DeSantis in Florida. Same issue. No one will doubt the importance of genuine journalism.

Since the states making up their own laws seem to think they can get away with it, cut all federal spending ( close the purse), and let them follow the satanic cults to hell! Since shame is not a word Republicans understand, use $$$$ to break their greedy banks.

Start firing a few judges who do not value the law! Begin at the DOJ.

Fire anyone in Congress by withholding the paycheck “we the people” pay them

to work for us.

I learned how to get good honest work

done by employees . It was called fair but equal discipline. Kind of what people who know how to parent a young person understand.

I am also sick of( as long as I am on the subject) people who don’t signal while driving, don’t stop for RED lights, and drive 4-5 times over the speed limit. In VA. those people armed their cars with that notorious license plate “don’t tread on me” while they tread on every law out there. Of course they do not know the history behind that quote, but they think it means @FUCK YOU”!

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"I'm tired of the daily gun slaughter in our country but see no obvious solution to it." Since, according to the National Institutes of Health, "The majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by a small number of persistent violent offenders, typically males, characterized by early onset of violent criminality, substance abuse, personality disorders, and nonviolent criminality.", it's quite obvious that getting this small number of habitually violent criminals off the street would eliminate most of it. Alas, that is the opposite of the current policy trends in big-city DA's offices.

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Thats scary.

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That’s easy - examine the political landscape as it’s morphed over the last + - 30 years.

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May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023

Smith & W ;We have had a crazier Republican party and an NRA boosting gun manufacturers who market assault weapons like they are m&ms. That last 'president' openly encouraged violent assault. He wants his own unregulated militia, and has a "court' to allow it! Apparently

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deletedMay 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023
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I think you got that wrong. “ Published by Statista Research Department, Dec 7, 2022

In the United States in 2022, 48 percent of Republicans reported that they owned at least one gun, and 66 percent said that they lived in a household with a gun. In comparison, only 20 percent of Democrats owned at least one gun, and 31 percent lived a gun household. ”

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May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023

Today's assault weapons are no comparison with 200 year old guns.also, we have an internet to market them on.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Keith, thank you. That was an excellent rant! I am so sick of Republican excuses for their hatred of children while they claim to love them and the fetuses they want forced to be born. What liars! I have realized that Republicans have lost any moral compass they might once have had. They are obsessed with money and power and can't see beyond that. They get one stupid hateful law passed and decide that was not enough pain for the people, so they pass another, then another, each time, just a bit more terrible and rights removing. A 15-week abortion ban just wasn't enough pain for women, so they had to move it to 6 weeks and in some states, the woman, to get an abortion due to rape, must have reported to the police who would have put the woman through hell. The point is cruelty, the more cruel, the better. There are a bunch of rich white, supposedly straight, pseudo-Christian men and a few women out there just salivating at making more laws that do harm. Even the governor of Montana, already a jerk, signed a bill that would have targeted his own son. Just in case anyone is wondering what evil looks like, well, it is Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Republican attacks on the American people. Now, what are We the People going to do about it?

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Ruth Sheets; vote 'em out and sue the bastards for harm they cause with hateful, hurtful legislation. Clean up the 'Supreme' court of it's partisan Republican corrupt 'justices'! End imposition of religion and other. Unconstitutional rulings and laws!

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VOTE THE REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE IN NOVEMBER.

JUST BECAUSE YOUR FAMILY ALWAYS VOTED REPUBLICAN IN THE PAST YOU CAN CHANGE IT NOW.

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Not as we do!

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I watched a report on PBS Newshour yesterday evening. They interviewed a university professor who recently published a book about gun sellers, who promote a gun ideology to their customers. Unfortunately, the people purchasing guns now are not just white Republican men; it is also women, Black people, even those who consider themselves liberals. They see guns as a way to keep themselves and their families safe. The professor hypothesized that, because our social safety net is so tattered, guns are used as a substitute for quality of life issues; they are seen as the solution to all problems. Maybe you don't have enough to eat, but you can certainly acquire a gun. Some posters on my local Nextdoor social media site offer guns as a solution to common problems.

We are indeed becoming more and more uncivilized. We need a shift in our cultural paradigm.

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This is a perfect example of a vicious cycle. More people have guns so more people buy guns to defend themselves from the people with guns.

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there is a new Bass Pro opening in my area tomorrow. To me, at this point. it's just a gun outlet store bringing more guns into my community.

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And the gun makers get richer, along with the NRA!

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Also the repugnants who get millions of dollars from the NRA ; MITT Romney received 13 million dollars !! Follow the money !!

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Kimberlee Avery Wilkins ; That is one of the reasons I dislike Mitt Romney. see the 47% tape recorded by a young bartender at a high dollar fund raiser for Romney. Also, he tied a dog to the roof of his car, I have read. Can believe it.

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EXACTLY my point, above.

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AND have more funds available to buy more politicians. It's really all about the money, imo. Until and unless that changes, little else will.

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cathleen707 ; End Citizens United!

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In general terms, having a firearm in your home INCREASES the odds that you will be killed by a firearm, either by suicide, homicide by a member of the household, or accident. You are less safe.

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Or god forbid you try to use it in the rare case of home invasion or to protect yourself from someone, it is likely to be wrested from you and used against you.

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Good point! Or you take a shot at the "bad guy" and end up shooting and killing an innocent bystander (family member!). Seeing your mug shot on the evening news and your bank account draining to zero with the legal fees, not to forget the lifelong guilt trip for killing another person.

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For those who are determined that guns are everyone’s right, the gun deaths are collateral damage and do not change their thinking. Their response is that people die in car accidents but we don’t ban cars. When it’s pointed out that people need to pass a test to get a driver’s license, they switch their argument to bicycles.

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Donald Hodgins

Writes Donald’s Substack

just now

     Robert, I personally think the world of your achievements and your views on most issues run parallel to mine. However, the subject of transgenders participating on equal terms with the other athletes of the sex they choose to identify with is a bridge too far. The example of the transgender swimmer from Florida, who couldn't win as a male contestant but blew the field away when he entered as a woman event. There are situations that arise in a person's life when their desire to spread their wings and push the envelope of their physical abilities comes to the forefront. Competition on any level is an adrenaline rush. That exhilarating feeling flows through every part of your body as you attempt to overcome your opponent's efforts to leave you behind at the finish. Some people are designed to compete in a particular sport, while others have the desire but can't find the niche through which to display their talents. Then there are those of us who are left on the sidelines, for one reason or another, where dreams are all we will ever be victorious in. Life can be cruel, we have to accept that fact, with that in mind if sports is an endeavor they choose to peruse the rules of that particular discipline set the stage. There exists a line drawn in the sand that dictates women compete only against other women and men compete only against other men, with maybe an exception given to our younger contestants. There can be no exceptions in an adult environment, and because of the advantages that men have over women with regard to muscular development, that separation must be maintained. Whatever genitalia is present at birth will designate the group of athletes that individuals must assign themselves to if they choose to compete in sports. In almost all cases where strength is involved men will come out on "top." Consider the blind child that dreams of becoming an Airforce fighter piolet after listening to the movie "Top Gun." Dreams are dreams, we must operate within the parameters we are born with, and some things will remain out of reach because of the choices Mother Nature made for us. Except it and find something you can dedicate yourself to that delivers the euphoric feeling one gets by knowing they did their best, win, lose, or draw.

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One issue with bringing Mother Nature into this argument is sometimes even she throws curve balls into the picture. There are children being born with both male and female organs. How do you decide what to do with that?

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Pat-- Why do we need an answer? If a child is born with only one leg they learn to live with what life has given them. No matter how your body is formed you go through life with what your given. Love and respect belongs to everyone. We learn to live within our limitations.

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Very well said Keith! U hit every point accurately & fit it squarely on the shoulders of the hypocritical GOP, extremists as well as “normal” Repubs if there are any left ! What r we to do with these Rethugs, Retrumplicans, whatever we call them??

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Shirley, I call that group of cruel hateful whining toddlers, Hypocricans.

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This attack on neighbors comes right after a series of shootings of people making innocent mistakes or engaging in normal activities, like accidentally knocking the door of the wrong house looking for some friends (reminds me of the song "Silhouettes": "You're on the wrong block!"), cheerleaders mistaking a car in the parking lot for their own, a car turning around in someone's driveway, children running after a ball that rolled into their neighbors' yard, someone using a leaf blower in his own yard (actually, the extreme noise & pollution of leaf blowers drive me crazy, too), all met with gunshots.

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I'm with you about this part. I was recently calling some DA in another state leaving

feedback about the shooter being released before being charged after shooting the child on his doorstep. (The man was charged a couple days later). Seriously, where are people getting the idea it's ok to shoot first and ask questions later?

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The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is to take away his/her m*****-f***ing gun!

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For your critical review:

- TRAUMA TRAINING IN TEXAS SCHOOLS:

https://youtu.be/d_Px833tzfs

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It’s really sad to think it’s come to teaching our kids how to be military medics!!

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Keith Olson; yes, we need to emulsify into a solution to heal this deadly rash on this nation's right and wrong! We must work together before our country is destroyed. Ban the guns!

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"Yet they claim to be PRO-LIFE PARTY = HYPOCRITES All!! "

Hippocrates said, 'Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm'

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/hippocrates_132961

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

With every new initiative by the GOP I am reminded how precious democracy is. Many of us sit back and criticise, shake our heads - and do nothing. We need to own our personal power and become the decision makers. We need to take the responsibility of actively participating in democracy by speaking at public forums, becoming involved in local groups and running for office. Inaction results inevitably in a power void which those of devious intentions are happy to fill.

The choice is ours.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

As someone who was born in Iowa and had to move to Arkansas at 16 I know how bad both states are becoming. Unfortunately even though I’m older now I can’t afford to move to a more progressive state.

Politics is always about the money trail, it’s why President Biden is allowing the new oil drilling. It’s why the Supreme Court has become a corrupt horror show.

Also as outlined by Mr. Reich so eloquently above it’s why guns and child labor have become more important than the lives of the citizens (of any age) of this country.

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Derek, I can't help but think there must be something we can do about it. We have let Republican whining and bad behavior become the norm for them. Our media reports on the Republican party as though it is an intelligent actor in our democracy when it is an outlier that has been steadily wearing away our Constitutional rights and is being supported by the institutions that should be protecting our democracy, like the Supreme Court, impairing our ability to vote as all citizens should be able to at age 18, and even crippling Congress who should have the best interests of our nation at heart, not just their own power and the money they can accumulate. Now, Republicans are targeting our children, our precious future because their donors want cheap labor. They want guns too even though those guns kill our precious kids. And, then, there's forced birth. Forcing birth, "letting" kids work too young at dangerous jobs, and a free rein of guns put our kids at risk for lifelong poverty for themselves and families. Yes, that's just what one must expect from today's Republican party.

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The GOP want to take us back to the early 1900s. At this point, I don’t think a disaster like the shirtwaist fire would bother them. (They want to take power away from gov. agencies). They’ve tried to keep out a previous source of labor, immigrants, so now they must come up with another for the real rulers of this country. From education, labor, healthcare, environment, and more, the GOP are not for the people. I don’t know what civility was like in the early 1900’s but I think the GOP have taken us to the lowest point of civility this country has ever known. They are a narcissistic party of greed, chaos and destruction.

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If 15 year olds could vote, we would not be struggling with the GOP and child labor expansion and lack of gun regulation, except for the obvious problem of gerrymandering. The boomers are still in control and if you want change this huge voting block needs to rethink the value of their retirement portfolios against the well being of other people's children and stop voting for the irrationals that are driving democratic process and any shred of antitrust and labor regulation into the toilet. I don't know when that will happen. Politicians know children can't vote, so they are an easy target. It's depraved.

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Anne, wouldn't it be special if Republicans actually cared for the children as much as they claimed to. It seems the only thing they care about is hurting kids as much as they can for the benefit of business or something, I haven't figured out what their end game is beyond intense cruelty. I can't help but wonder if Republicans are practicing to see which cruelties they can get away with for when their fascist party takes over. I hope we will be able to stop them before it comes to that. They go for the vulnerable because they themselves, are weak, pathetic, and evil. R.Sheets

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Like an abusive husband who keeps pushing the limits of what they can get away with until the abuse escalates from all its forms such as verbal, mental, financial and then suddenly it becomes physical. When the woman tries to leave that is when the danger of her being killed is the highest because the abuser's dark soul is losing the source of where they derive their feeling of power to fill their empty void of a soul. Just as an abusive husband will keep testing the limits of what they can get away with, so will the republican party until we stand up and fight back.

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Eileen, excellent analogy. The Republican party has truly become like an abusive husband as you describe (mostly all rich white men too). It is hard to know just how far along the road toward physical abuse they are, but I want us to act before they get there. I fear it is pretty close, though with some of the appalling laws Republicans are passing in the red states and the infection is spreading.

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Anne Whitney ; I'm sure many boomers voted Democrat in the last two elections! I would add that 15 year olds can be easily swayed; and until they are taught civics, could be led by a demagogue. It is not a panacea to judge voters by age. We do need good honest factual journalism for every voter to be informed.

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Hi Laurie, agreed, was NOT suggesting 15 yr olds vote, that would be a disaster, we'd be closing schools and opening gaming parlors everywhere, but was illustrating the absurdity of 15 year olds having to navigate adult environments before they are even fully grown and not having any say in the matter. Youth employment was supposed to be a starter PT job to make some $ and learn how to be a functional person, not bear the brunt of a fake 'labor shortage' amidst huge stock buybacks and payroll cuts from big corporations. Ditto for women with no ERA because Reagan scared my parents by saying they would draft their daughters not a decade out from vietnam ending. Meat packing plants are no place for growing teens, but we're not even asking as a society why this is even happening to begin with. Corporate greed has been unbridled in the form of 'tax cuts', threats of 'gay rights' were the reason Bush 45 was able to take Texas governorship and Ohio in 2000. the GOP has been scaring them every cycle for 30 yrs. about 'socialism' and now we are here with dems holding a wet string, Biden trying to tie the econ and foreign policy/trade reform package together so we can get through the next challenge of world resource management. My comments are entirely rooted in demographics and the effect of gerrymandering, look at info from Pew, Kaiser, US census about voting blocks - over 65 as a whole breaks GOP, breaks away from climate and business regulation, breaks for tax cuts - and they have by virtue of being first dominated leadership through the development of the issues we are dealing with now. It's NOT blame, it's an observation that corporations were founded on, where go the boomers go the rest - but unfortunately they lived through unprecedented economic and relative political stability that is no longer sustainable, which clouds their view of what's really at stake in each cycle - so there's a power vacuum, wealth has moved upward and everyone about to retire is trying to hang on to their standard of living for dear life. If they are voting about 'the economy' or 'tax cuts' their vision is going to be shorter than someone who is currently 30. Both the young and the elderly are going to require more resources because they are BIG groups of people, and Gen X is small, something has to give - and the solution is child labor? IDK, maybe Musk shouldn't be in control of billions of our GPD and spending it on rockets? Billionaires want to increase taxes. Young republican voters want real CO2 capture programs NOW but boomers think they can just plant trees. This bears out in data about generational responses to all you mentioned, and yet the dem leaning boomers in leadership are being routinely out-shouted and out-maneuvered and we have an almost mathematically insurmountable gerrymandering problem if they don't break Dem as a group by a large margin. every election. GOP is minority by the numbers by a larger margin than you'd think, and popular vote goes dem, but Dems can't get a filibuster proof majority anywhere and state governments are crumbling, and it's 1845 at the chicken factory in Iowa. There is going to be a reckoning when the kids organize. Honestly, how many people do you know who say they don't even pay attention to what's going on or who to vote for, or don't vote - and I'm not talking about people under 30 - because they are too busy just trying to get through the day or the year or to retirement? That's what child labor and regressive education policy is doing for the youth who the GOP now fear - keep them too busy to be able to challenge what's going on until it's too late.

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May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023

Anne Whitney ; Boomers are also part of the 99 % who are not wealthy. Don't buy into ageist divisions. Lots of 'boomer' aged people are still anti war and care about the climate. Many protested and got punished for it; had and still have 'skin in the game'. It's a myth that we are all wealthy.

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I also have to say, it's not about the 99%, it's about where they are on the 50-99% in terms of capital holdings, retirement funds, pensions that no longer exist, social security benefits that started at 62 instead of 70, real estate purchased before corporate speculation and giant sweeps of residential housing into money grifts, it's an endless tide of shrinking pie for the 50% that generate a huge % of GDP and yet take home a fraction of it. When pensions were converted to 401ks, it was the dawn of every man for his capitalist self against the market, which inevitably pulls more resources upward.

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The truth is that there is something we can do, hold these people accountable for their heinous choices. The problem is not enough people care (nor the right ones) to actually do that.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Distraction

The Greedy Oil Party supports the top 0.001%. With profits at 2.8 billion per day and Citizens United they can buy a lot of government including fossil fuel subsidies of ~11 million dollars per minute.

They pander for votes using social issues that they don’t really care about and often can’t even define (woke,CRT)...

Distraction

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Exactly. The fog of cultural war allows the wealthy elite to crawl under the radar and control public education and the media in pursuit of their greedy economic agenda. They don't want thinkers and leaders. They want worker bees. They promote the fear of gun violence, homelessness, and nuclear war, along with the continuous fog of culture war that keeps us in survival mode rather than using our higher brain functions to problem solve and create a society that benefits everyone.

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it's a win win for the religious right and the wealthy elites who are using them for their greedy agenda

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founding

Yep. Keep the attention of the masses focused on the culture war issues so as to deflect attention from the real issues

CU

income and wealth inequality

Union busting

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founding

The top .001% get a good return on the $$ they spend keeping the culture war issues on the public agenda so they don't have to fight a class war.

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Jim, yes, and Republicans are totally willing to keep the cultural wars going for the ultra rich. So many Republicans have proven themselves racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homo/transphobic, urban-phobic, and more, they have lots of hate material to work with. Since the media is obsessed with "balanced" reporting, Republican cultural sickness is covered regularly, even pushed, particularly on Fox et al. Everyone not rich, white, "straight," pseudo-Christian, and male is a potential target if not already designated for Republican vitriol on behalf of the ultra rich.

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The infiltration of the far-right evangelicals is to blame...

The blurring of the lines between church and state has blown the hinges off the doors...

Christian Libertarians have all the simple/convenient answers to solve complicated problems that require much collaboration - WAY TOO MUCH WORK!!!

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Jim Cossitt ; don't forget the fear of being gunned down!

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founding

Tucker Carlson was a master at stoking fear period of course he was following the lead of Donald Trump.

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Jim Cossitt ; Fear and misinformation will sell more guns. tRump wants his own private not so well organized militia. Deniability!

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founding

Fear 😨 of immigrants, liberals, LGBQT, minorities and if someone Knocks on your door or enters your driveway. , blow em away.

It's the Republican way and we're in favor of the 2nd amendment by God.

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Jim Cossit ; yes, they love the misinterpreted version of the second amendment. This carnage is not produced by a "Well regulated militia". Although, I bet tRump thinks it is.

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Yes, distraction, confusion and chaos, along with feeling powerless to do anything about these crimes. They expoit our children and then sell them guns!

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founding

YES!!! The goal is 'Ultimate Power' that can not be challenged. To do this, they are destroying DEMOCRACY- control of an organization or group by the majority of its members, and replacing it with Authoritarianism, Oligarchy, MINORITY RULE. Many of their culture wars are designed to distract and divide. Distract us from the real goal of Minority Rule, and divide us so there is not enough of a majority to overcome current obstacles like the filibuster, gerrymandered districts and numerous voter suppression efforts. While they add more obstacles or end democracy (Jan. 6) to retain Ultimate Power. Sheldon Whitehouse has pointed out their use of the courts to strengthen their power (Dark Money), to weaken voter's power, to weaken the oversight power of Government, and to create more chaos used to distract and divide us (attacks of Gay rights, Women's rights and Minority rights established during the Civil Rights movement, unlimited and unrestricted access to guns while creating more and more division and distrust). These efforts should, instead, cause us to come together and use our power-in-numbers to combat a common threat/enemy. Instead of 'loving our neighbor as ourselves', selfishness, self-interest, self preservation, etc. work against what is truly in our own best interest- Unity, building coalition, strength-in-numbers. https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/videos

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You do know that the greedy oil companies wouldn't exist if there weren't a demand for their products.

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Facetious I hope.

We have an electric car and heat pump; solar is next.

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Dr. J: not facetious. I live in an all electric home and bicycle for most travel, but the fact remains that demand creates its own supply.

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Price impacts demand and oil is subsidized. The cost of oil does not include the cost of pollution in exhaust or spills.

Your life style and charging the true cost of oil might reduce demand.

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Creating a slave child labor class indeed follows this pattern, lower wages and restrictions for kids, fire the adults, make kids drop out of school to support the family, reduce career prospects due to lack of education, next generation is even cheaper to employ. Add alcohol to promote teen mothers. Nice to be at the top and have a government that supports this process. Election dollars well spent.

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Some may be in conflict with federal law -- Fair Labor Standards Act.

Minimum Age Standards For Employment

The FLSA and the youth employment regulations issued at 29 CFR, Part 570, establish both hours and occupational standards for youth. Children of any age are generally permitted to work for businesses entirely owned by their parents, except those under age 16 may not be employed in mining or manufacturing and no one under 18 may be employed in any occupation the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous.

18 - Once a youth reaches 18 years of age, he or she is no longer subject to the Federal youth employment provisions.

16 - Basic minimum age for employment. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

14 - Young persons 14 and 15 years of age may be employed outside school hours in a variety of non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions.

Under 14 - Children under 14 years of age may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations covered by the FLSA. Permissible employment for such children is limited to work that is exempt from the FLSA (such as delivering newspapers to the consumer and acting). Children may also perform work not covered by the FLSA such as completing minor chores around private homes or casual baby-sitting.

OCCUPATIONS BANNED FOR ALL MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18

The Hazardous Occupations Orders (HO)

The FLSA establishes an 18-year minimum age for those nonagricultural occupations that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old minors, or detrimental to their health or well-being. In addition, Child Labor Regulation No. 3 also bans 14- and 15-year-olds from performing any work proscribed by the HOs. There are currently 17 HOs which include a partial or total ban on the occupations or industries they cover.

HO 1. Manufacturing or storing explosives—bans minors working where explosives are manufactured or stored, but permits work in retail stores selling ammunition, gun shops, trap and skeet ranges, and police stations.

HO 2. Driving a motor vehicle or work as an outside helper on motor vehicles—bans operating motor vehicles on public roads and working as outside helpers on motor vehicles, except 17-year-olds may drive cars or small trucks during daylight hours for limited times and under strictly limited circumstances (see Fact Sheet #34 in this series for information about on-the-job driving).

HO 3. Coal mining—bans most jobs in coal mining.

HO 4. Occupations in forest fire fighting, forest fire prevention, timber tract, forestry service, and occupations in logging and sawmilling operations—bans most jobs in: forest fire fighting; forest fire prevention that entails extinguishing an actual fire; timber tract management; forestry services; logging; and sawmills.

HO 5. Power-driven woodworking machines—bans the operation of most power-driven woodworking machines, including chain saws, nailing machines, and sanders. *

HO 6. Exposure to radioactive substances and ionizing radiation—bans employment of minors where they are exposed to radioactive materials.

HO 7. Power-driven hoisting apparatus—bans operating, riding on, and assisting in the operation of most power-driven hoisting apparatus such as forklifts, non-automatic elevators, skid-steers, skid-steer loaders, backhoes, manlifts, scissor lifts, cherry pickers, work-assist platforms, boom trucks, and cranes. Does not apply to chair-lifts at ski resorts or electric and pneumatic lifts used to raise cars in garages and gasoline service stations.

HO 8. Power-driven metal-forming, punching and shearing machines—bans the operation of certain power-driven metal-working machines but permits the use of most machine tools.*

HO 9. Mining, other than coal—bans most jobs in mining at metal mines, quarries, aggregate mines, and other mining sites including underground work in mines, work in or about open cut mines, open quarries, and sand and gravel operations.

HO 10. Power-driven meat-processing machines, slaughtering and meat packing plants—bans the operation of power-driven meat processing machines, such as meat slicers, saws and meat choppers, wherever used (including restaurants and delicatessens). Also prohibits minors from cleaning such equipment, including the hand-washing of the disassembled machine parts. This ban also includes the use of this machinery on items other than meat, such as cheese and vegetables. HO 10 also bans most jobs in meat and poultry slaughtering, processing, rendering, and packing establishments.*

HO 11. Power-driven bakery machines—bans the operation of power-driven bakery machines such as vertical dough and batter mixers; dough rollers, rounders, dividers, and sheeters; and cookie or cracker machines. Permits 16- and 17-year-olds to operate certain lightweight, small, portable, counter-top mixers and certain pizza dough rollers under certain conditions.

HO 12. Balers, compactors, and power-driven paper-products machines—bans the operation of all compactors and balers and certain power-driven paper products machines such as platen-type printing presses and envelope die cutting presses. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may load, but not operate or unload, certain scrap paper balers and paper box compactors under very specific guidelines (see Fact Sheet #57). *

HO 13. Manufacturing of brick, tile and related products—bans most jobs in the manufacture of brick, tile and similar products.

HO 14. Power-driven circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs—bans the operation of, and working as a helper on, the named types of power-driven equipment, no matter what kind of items are being cut by the equipment.*

HO 15. Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations—bans most jobs in wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations, but does not apply to remodeling or repair work which is not extensive.

HO 16. Roofing operations and work performed on or about a roof—bans most jobs in roofing operations, including work performed on the ground and removal of the old roof, and all work on or about a roof* (see Fact Sheet #74)

HO 17. Trenching and excavation operations—bans most jobs in trenching and excavation work, including working in a trench more than four feet deep.*

* The regulations provide a limited exemption from HOs 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 17 for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs.

The term "operation" as used in HOs 5, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 14 generally includes the tasks of setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling or cleaning the equipment.

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I don't believe that any of the States enacting these heinous laws care about abiding Federal law. They seem only to care about money and power. The Party of "less government" has no qualms about indirectly controlling parental decisions regarding health care and child labor. Thank you, once again, for providing real information.

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Good information. Thanks!

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Mostly reasonable limitations, although in my childhood during the '50s most kids in the neighborhood 10+ picked strawberries and the like at the local truck farms. That's how we got money for new school clothes instead of hand-me-downs. Seemed to work out all right. Of course, there were several mothers along with the kids so the supervision was on the spot.

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This is scary including them indoctrinating children in private and charter schools using state paid vouchers to become little republicans.

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Beverly, yes, and in Pennsylvania where I live, there is little to no accountability for what happens in charter schools: not on how their money is spent, how they recruit kids, what they are taught. There is a little oversight in the students' taking of the state tests, but nothing happens to the school if all the kids do poorly. Paying for private and religious schools should be unconstitutional, but Republicans have already proven they care nothing for the Constitution except for the second amendment and maybe the fifth if they get caught breaking the law.

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Not everywhere! Here on the West Coast, "objective truth" has become a second class citizen in many classrooms.

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I just this past weekend read about labor conditions in the late 1800s including kids working 12 hour days in mines. It was a horror show. There’s a reason Labor Day is a holiday... it was a HARD fought battle! We must stop our slide down this slippery slope immediately and strengthen and fully restore workers pay, rights and benefits again. With AI now threatening yet more leverage against workers we can’t afford complacency.

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Remember this, based on all the examples that Robert has spelled out, today’s Republicans are #ProSTRIFE. Not only do they not care about the physical, emotional, and economic suffering that their policies and laws lead to, they see some twisted advantage in making things worse.

Republicans provide a picture of how to end our civilization in decades not centuries. They are the #PlanetKILLERS, and greed provides the bullets fired at Mother Nature like Bonnie Parker in slow mo.

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Same playbook all the damn time. Gin up culture wars, stoke fear, wrap it in “ rights” or “ patriotism “ language, and meanwhile extremely powerful entities are writing these examples of garbage legislation to feed through willing and eager Republican- led statehouses. Need more workers? Hey, kids work cheap. Want to sell more guns? Hey, here you go….no problem. It’s always the money.

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Not to mention...need more workers? We’re forcing females to provide them.

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Yes Lisa, and Republicans will do their best to make certain those forced birth kids are working as young as possible, well, probably not the white ones since getting more white kids is the real reason for forced birth right now. Hey, those Republicans, or at least a lot of them are descendents of slave owners and I have heard some say how valuable slavery was for our economy. Hmmm!

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Got that right.

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Feels like living in a mad house now - I'm a Brit of 83 years & I basically grew up assuming rights to most things in normal life as a female, but now it feels like this US is hell bent on taking us back to the 1800's - and here in the US we are being ruled by crazy people. I trust Biden, I certainly do not trust ANY Republicans as they appear to have lost their minds ! But all of this is entirely about their terror of losing control & knowing the numbers are not on their side - hence the move towards despotism instead, else they lose everything ! So they are doubling down nationwide instead of changing their policies towards what the public actually wants & increasing their vote share via that means !

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My wife and I were talking last night and neither of us understood the world we are in today. How a cult can be in control and be so unreasonable and unresponsible to both the country and their citizens

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Everything the Republican Cult says is nothing but a distraction. They can’t erase or remove 1/6, so they resort to distractions hoping that voters will vote for them, and forget about 1/6 don’t fall for their lies come election year VOTE THEM OUT.#SAVEAMERICAVOTEBLUE

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"It's all about the most important thing: corporate Profits." Which become dividends. Which increase the wealthy of the Very Wealthy. (Like they _need_ more wealth. For what? "He who dies with the most wealth wins"?) Unless a danger is to them, personally, they will tolerate most **anything** that supports ^that goal.

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Confounding in that it would seem corporate profit would fall dramatically if the debt ceiling is allowed to explode our financial stability.

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The sadistic "conditions" that the pea-brain of power-drunk Kevin McCarthy has issued as extortion over the debt ceiling keeps him in the public eye as he wields that gavel he listed over. He seems giddy as his slimy ego gets stoked while he pretends to be a "real boy" and not the wooden block headed puppet of his makers and masters. Republican, aka CorporatePuppetry, are always about privatizing everything, corralling profit and wealth for the few and controlling the many. We are witnessing the rapid development of what may be a new construct, some amalgam of plutocracy/oligarchy/kleptocracy/fascism/organized crime as government.

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(Nice wording. Clever.) What befuddles me most is that there are nearly **a hundred million** -- think on the sheer mass of a number that big -- Americans who empower the GOP and their serve-the-Wealthy policies, against their own best interests. Duh. No, make that a monumental DUH!!!!. The greatest proof that Humanity is breeding itself towards extinction.

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I don't quite understand these Republican lawmakers. What is their endgame? Are they so greedy and shortsighted to the point of destroying humanity? To what degree? All I can think of for the future of this country (& beyond) is a dystopian nightmare that you see in some science fiction movies. I don't understand why anyone would want a future like that. Prof. Reich says to "act". And yes, "act" against those things, we must. However, there are more and more things to "act" against. What we must do, I think, is to educate voters and vote these criminals (against humanity) out. For that, we must talk to our family members and friends and open their eyes.

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JJ, yes, that's the challenge! How do we get folks hypnotized by Fox et all to wake up to what is going on. I don't think Republican leaders care about the dystopia. They assume they will still be living in luxury and that their money will protect them from the horrors. They think that because of their deep ignorance. They forget that it is workers and supply chains that give them their lives of luxury. Without banks, Wall Street, and the like will leave them with nothing, and they are not exactly skilled at anything but lying and gaslighting. Those skills might help them for a while, but not long. Clearly Republicans don't even care about their own children since they are willing to let them suffer due to the bad behavior of Republican legislators. Those legislators are taking away people's rights to transgender care and the right to just be a child without having to work in dangerous jobs while the legislators should really be working to stop global warming. I guess for them cruelty works. Yeah, that's real Christian! Hate is right there in the center of Christianity, right, Republicans?

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yes on destroying humanity. Banality of evil. And many of our corporations are all in on it. Knowingly or not.

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May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023

Their endgame? POWER! In Florida we have the governor/fascist dictator gerrymandering, loosening gun laws, taking away women's rights, far right judicial appointments, supermajority legislature, removing elected local officials who disagree with him, book banning, suppression of peaceful protest, limiting teachers from teaching truth & history, denying diversity, imposing religious beliefs & more that I'm sure apply. All this in just 4 years! This with the help of Rubio & Scott. I'm exhausted! I consistently vote & just don't understand how everyone buys into the direction this guy has taken Florida. I feel like I'm a losing David to Goliath. Never thought I'd be living my final years in a country governed by Nazis & fascists. As Joni Mitchell put it long ago, you don't know what you've got till it's gone! It's going fast!!

Early voting started yesterday for Jacksonville mayoral election. Will complete & submit my ballot & hope more folks will vote now than they did in November 2022. Jacksonville had the lowest voter turn out in 20 years then. Tune in 2 weeks from now to see if the Republican power trip is still moving at an excelerated pace. I suspect it will.

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I'm with you Marsha. I really wanted to spend my golden years not having to worry about the destruction of humanity. Having lived under Abbott's oppression for a few years while most of my neighbors and the town were completely against him, I understand the frustration. I remember the last time I voted in TX (with Trump on ballot). The voting machines in our precinct were down for most of the early voting period (our town was a known blue), so we couldn't vote. When we went to a town next to ours to vote, we were greeted by a few men in full military fatigues and assault rifles. I never felt so intimidated to just vote. I wonder about how the insane Republicans attack and accuse the sane side of doing the very things that they do. And I wonder about those supposed 70M votes that Trump got....

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JJ, the world seems to have gone topsy turvy, spinning out of control. I really hate clichés, but tried & true ones keep coming to mind: be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. The trump, DeSantis, Abbott, etc followers are truly blind to what these guys are bringing. One day, and I hope I have departed from this world by then, those followers realize what they got wasn't really what they wanted & it will be past the point of returning to democracy in America. At that point, those people will be the target of the next despot in the line of succession. I'd like to think I'll be looking down upon them & asking are you happy now? You got what you THOUGHT you wanted & now you're as oppressed as those you oppressed.

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It is up to us. The Senate can't do anything because 49 Democrats are not enough to pass anything meaningful. Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin are not really Democrats and will not vote for anything smacking of gun control (or gun sense) and will not pursue ethics on the Supreme Court because they can't go anywhere with it unless they find, somewhere, a Republican with sense, which does not seem possible anymore. Given that we are weeks away from default (totally the Republicans fault) I suspect our only hope is a collapse that wakes people up to the travesty that is the Republican party, accompanied by just enough corporate Democrats to facilitate disaster. You would think the corporate titans that run our government with donations above and below the table would stop a depression that would wipe out their stock portfolios, ill-gotten gains from stock buy backs, but that would be asking for intelligent behavior on their part. Dream on... How many millions of letters, phone calls and emails can we generate on the gun problem, child labor, and debt ceiling in the next month to get the politicians off their collective butts?

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The Republicans have had a long term strategy for winning local elections for judges, school boards and state legislatures so they can gerrymander, decide laws and what happens in schools. We see now that they are reaping the results.

The point is that Democrats need to work hard during off year elections when these local issues with national consequences are decided. Local elections are also good opportunities to register voters on issues that are real. to them. Many citizens are cynical about Washington but not as much about happens in their community.

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