486 Comments

I think the maggats are just stupid. They don't even realize that trump and the Repugnicans are taking away their own freedoms! If the 99% could only realize that the 1% are against them, we may get somewhere. It's the people against the rich. It's the rich stupid! It's not the Democrats or Democracy.

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@Stephen. Not stupid in all cases, but gullible and ignorant in all cases. Gullible to think Trump's coalition will do anything for them policy-wise, and ignorant not to realize that the destruction of democracy is not the solution to their problems!

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@ Benjamin. The Thiel investigation should include whether he personally benefitted by causing the bank failure.

Did he hold short positions on the bank's stock?

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@Daniel Solomon, Enter into the record: https://www.axios.com/2023/03/14/founders-fund-run-silicon-valley-bank. If Thiel personally initiated the bank run on SVB, what benefit would accrue to him? Any shorts?

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Martha Ture ; Good question.

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Martha, thanks for the perfect link. Great questions, all.

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Now we're getting somewhere! We have exposed the roots of the tree of deceit and marketing to the light of day.

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Rebekha: ... and it's not even lunchtime yet! A good day's work already.

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@Daniel. I totally agree! I wonder how we can foment that action?

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I like your drift here. I wonder if it's possible to prohibit short positions on financial institutions. Currently, it's clearly not if you're raising the question. I wonder if such legislation/regulation would get past this SCOTUS. Just wonderin'! (But I like the idea!)

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I doubt SCOTUS would allow any legislature on controlling that prohibition-let's not forget the RW members are beneficiaries of dark money fro Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society.

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Barbara D. Reed ; All the more incriminating to SCOTUS if they do not allow any legislature to attempt to control or prohibit malfeasance, to get to the root of the problem. Why should they get away with it?

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which agency of the government would conduct that investigation?

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FBI, SEC.

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If I wanted to catalyze these investigations, I would also enlist the interest of some top-flight reporters who cover financial shenanigans.

And by the way, Vanipenta v SVB Financial Group et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 23-01097 https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/48111312/Chandra_Vanipenta_v_SVB_Financial_Group_et_al.

Also https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/business/svb-collapse-peter-thiel-silicon-valley-

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Thanks for the all-important links.

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I certainly enjoy your writing Robert and so enjoy all of the comments from the very smart people who follow you!

(Of course I include myself in that group as well!)

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@Benjamin, you're absolutely correct. Not stupid. The marketing to keep people deceived is INCREDIBLE! and intentional...

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@Kimberlee. The whole Murdoch enterprise including Fox noose is primarily to keep people deceived (AND to extract their money).

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Benjamin R Stockton ; Fox Noose : Good one!

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Yeah I also agree not stupid. There was a Briton commented recently that Americans appeared uneducated and unintelligent. Lesser educated I see an argument for as school funding is being attacked. Unintelligent? The US has some of the most intelligent people I've met. We have a lot of "lesser educated" intelligent small business owners and also intelligent employees in this country who dont have college degrees. Both the uneducated, educated and the intelligent and not are susceptible to Narcissistic ploys. Ie misinformation in social media and in the news.. Prime example, the NY Times a paper that is regular read by the "Cogneceti" is read by many bright folks. And unfortunately it never blames peoples poorness on the Oligarchy, provides numerous rebuttle opinion pieces on climate change and likes to fight the culture wars instead of the root cause of wealthy donors pushing candidates to fight culture wars to keep the rest of us fighting each other. So yes, the main issue is misinformation and selective and biased news that people get to digest. What results is a bunch of folks of all backgrounds supporting Republican Oligarch talking points. Its easy for both educated uneducated and intelligent or not to fall for Narcissists misinformation (see FTX and Sam Bankman Frieds ponzi scheme, Berni Madoffs ponzi scheme etc). I personally have had hours of "lively" discussions with bright folks pushing Tucker Carlsons misinfo world views. And the other thing to remember there are a lot of "stupid" people who support our cause. I would avoid calling them that.

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Mar 23, 2023·edited Mar 23, 2023

Stupidity is a relative term. Look at Ron DeSantis. Harvard, Tufts ; no lack of degrees. But he qualifies as stupid to me.

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Ron De Santis is not stupid. He is very crafty and to be feared. Watch his moves closely. He knows history and law and he will win. That’s my guess. He is gaining control of any opportunity, controlling the education narrative in Florida, setting up a world of us/them with his anti woke campaign. Controlling the media narrative as well.

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@Margeaux. I like your analytical perspective. For discussion's sake, I'll propose that puffy Ron can't win. His first problem is Trump; numerically one cannot get a Republican majority without Trump's loyal cohort. Second, which plays with the first is the national primary and straw poll process. It is doubtful that either candidate can run the field. This potentially sets up a scenario like Ralph Nader who arguably siphoned off enough Democrats to give the Republicans a win. In this case, puffy Ron siphons off enough Republicans to give the Democrats a win over Trump. Third is puffy Ron dee sancto himself - his crap is not that popular nationally AND he won't have the power of a governorship to ram things down people's throats when its an election. I'm actually not worried about 2024 from the view of the Republican effort. I'm more worried that the Democrats will screw it up from their side....

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We had better make sure we don't.

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Mar 24, 2023·edited Mar 24, 2023

Benjamin: Don't blame Nader if the Dems can't put up a decent candidate who will FIGHT to win, or run a decent campaign. The blame for 2000 lies with the party organization, and a cowardly candidate who walked away instead of fighting... apparently he didn't want the office as much as W and his minions. We are still paying today for the Dems' "Al Gore Rhythms."

The Dems do not OWN my vote and never will, until we purge the traitors, cowards, and DINOs from the party.

"If God had wanted us to vote, She would have given us candidates." (Terry Leonino)

Nader is still with us, and I haven't ruled out voting for him again in 2024. OTOH Jill Stein is poison.

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The problem is people have different types of intelligence. Guys like Trump have high emotional intellifence but he's weak on everything else. I mean everything. So the appearance is dumb and brilliant at the same time. Ron Desantis deal? God knows, it seems like the culture war misinformation machine is proping him up in Florida. He doesnt have the emotional intelligence of Trump and his decision making seems to be fight with everyone. Since the Florida misinfo machine is regulated to a few states Im not sure his "appeal" will translate elsewhere. Can you imagine him in a debate? As weve seen with Trump there is only so much Bullying you can do when your not facing a high schooler with a mask. Stand up a person who is used to facing off against bullies and it will be a different story.

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I always thought high emotional intelligence would include empathy? maybe not. wait, did you mean sociopathy, the ability to make people believe you care? is sociopathy on the intelligence spectrum?

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The president-reject has "high emotional intelligence"?????? He has the emotional intelligence of a rock. If he had high emotional intelligence he would not have thrown paper towels to people in Puerto Rico recovering from a disaster. If he had high emotional intelligence, he would not have mercilessly mocked a disabled reporter during his campaign. What he has is a high con man intelligence formed by his greed and psychopathic narcissistic personality.

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Shrewdness or craftiness does not make one truly knowledgeable. Can still be stupid.

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Calling Rhonda a snake would be an insult to snakes.

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Seems that way,but it can blow up on him in a flash.Let's sic Ben Crump,Marvin Dunn,Al Sharpton and all the LGBTQ organizations there are.THey are humans too!!!

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Yes, higher education does not appear to correlate with making smart decisions. Thats why the majority need to rule and not a select few.

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Bill Reitz ; I definitely agree.

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There is a Shakira song Try Everything which talks about trying and failing learning from your mistakes and keep failing because you will learn and succeed (you cant succeed if you dont try and you cant try without failing). We as the majority need to be able to try. The oligarchs are so worried about their world failing. Well I dont guarantee we wont fail. However we will try fail and then succeed as opposed to try succeed for there own interests and then give up on all other interests and fail the world and us forever.

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He's more like a self-serving wannebe Mousillini ...

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Mousseline, a type of forcemeat

?

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Anyone can regurgitate information. That's what you do in school. It doesn't mean you understand or believe what you were taught.

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Yes this is true. The troubling thing that Qanon does is tell you a narrative and lay bread crumbs for you to discover the answer yourself. The narrative of course is BS and the bread crumbs is like a self fulfilled prophecy, Ie they know what answer they want to steer you too so the Narrative matches those "facts" even though its all garbage. This lets people feel like they figured it all out for themselves and leads to a LOT of engagement and resistance to the truth. Because they "discovered" the truth themselves. Far be it for us to tell them different.

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Amen to that.

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You know 2nd thought here. The school I went to seemed to value memorization more than critical thinking. Indoctronizing kids to think that memorizing is more important than thinking. That school is raising kids to regurgitate just like you said. Add misinformation and there they go fighting the enemy the other.

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School is obsolete. School is child apartheid. Build the village.

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@Laurie. Stupid is as stupid does....

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Worse than that,to me he'll be OUT before he's IN! He's made alot of enemies(mashed alot of toes),He's oppressed too many people,just watch the human spirit rebel!

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Bill Reitz ; Tucker Carlson does his own propaganda show on stations allowed on Russian TV. One does not have to be very educated to see that he is not worth listening to!

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You ain't kidding. I knew they broadcast him in Russia I didnt know he had specific material for them. Either way he shills for Russia all the time. It's the Oligarchy hour! (or however long his show is). I've heard the statement I don't listen to Tucker anymore and when I mentioned how messed up it was that McCarthy gave Tucker the Jan 6 tapes to make his "peaceful mix tape", the response the person had was that I wasnt getting the whole story about Jan 6. I asked if the person had seen the Jan 6th hearings and the violence in the footage. They said no and that he saw no violencd and then commented that the Democrats changed the Narrative. I mentioned how it was nearly entirely Republicans testifying at Jan 6th. He said that you have to look at the source of the information and keep your mind open to other sources. Says the guy who obeyed Tucker Carlsons directive to not watch the Jan 6th "show trial". Its exactly what a person defending a Narcissist would say. There is certainly a reason why TC broadcasts from the butt end of nowhere in Maine. The people he unjustly attacks and the people who realize theyve been duped (not including my friend) would probably harrass him to no end.

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Schmucker Snarlsome is an enemy combatant. He belongs in Guantanamo.

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Or wherever court Joseph Goebels would have ended up had he not poisoned himself and his family.

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a work camp in the GULAG!

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RedElisa: More likely a seaside dacha in Crimea.

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Bill Reitz: I would say that one of the most important observations in your commentary is that the Oligarchs in this country will do what they must to keep the "lessers" fighting among each other, taking their eye off of the ball (as if it ever was on the ball). This has been a useful ritual throughout our nation's history, right from the formation of the 13 colonies forward. Actually, there hasn't been a time in our history where the proletariat, the unemployed, the hungry, the poor; basically everyone below the pay grade of the rich landowners had the opportunity to unite as one and work for the betterment of their fellow man. There are many examples of this: every time a new ethnic influx hit the American shores, they became the target of American citizens. In many instances, previous immigrants were among the people who fought against the right of the current immigrants to make the United States their new home.

Americans against Italians. Americans against the Irish, the Jews, etc. More currently, Americans against Mid-Easterners, against the Mexicans and Central Americans. As long as this continues, the Oligarchs can sit back with their feet up, a big fat cigar in their pie-hole, safe in the knowledge that they can get away with pretty much anything they want.

Keep 'em fighting.

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So we got rid of King to replace him with Oligarchs. The time between the great depression and pre Reagan wealth kick backs seemed progressive. I cant accept that we are forever going to be an Oligarchy (I know you didnt say that). I would like to keep fighting against the Oligarchy and avoid following an idealogue who promises me he/she can fix everything. Which shouldnt be too hard since anyone who claims that is lying.

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"While it's not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." John Stuart Mill

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yup...by simply calling americans unintelligent - well, the Germans were stupid as S-t then...it's a useless argument which denigrates human beings to a level of unimportance. Instead, we know that our society has honed down information so we can easily live our lives intaking only what we agree with. I read a book long ago called "Agents of Power" about the media manipulating the public and then the public reiterating the message creating a circle of misinformation. Here we are.

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It seems that studies have shown no link between intelligence and gullibility

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Thanks Sean ..... gullibility sounds like a significant association to consider. People who fear losing 2nd amendment rights and conspiracy believers choose extreme views to justify their fears.

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Robert: Anyone using the 2nd Amendment as a defense on weapons charges should immediately be DRAFTED into a "well regulated Militia*" as specified in the 2nd. Refusal to serve would be tantamount to draft refusal or desertion from the military and dealt with accordingly.

* A REAL militia, part of the US military (preferably the Space Force), not a collection of assorted cosplaying wingnuts like the Loud Noise or the Oaf Creepers.

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To Bill Reitz and Laurie Blair: There are many educated and intelligent folks on both sides of the aisle. Each time I label a "big Lie" supporter as stupid, I am shamefully reminded of the cognitively functioning, well educated, people I have met who have views that I consider anti democratic (stupid). The one point I would make is that our laws are written to define that which is allowed (intelligent) and that which is not (stupid). If our Justice Department would more forcefully enforce the law, (use of the 14th Amendment), those of us who respect laws would find it easier to condemn those who don't. It would be correct to call them stupid because they broke the law. I don't need a conviction to understand that hush money payments, extortion of votes, proven misinformation, kissing Russia's ass, are wrong, but many "stupid" people do. You are correct that under the current circumstances using "stupid" and "intelligent" deserve scrutiny when describing the American voter. Lost in American's fierce need for independent behavior we are unable to properly identify the mechanics of that which benefits us all.... democracy.

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Robert Kain ; Do we now need a list of banned words in order to properly give vent to frustration with otherwise intelligent people who are greedy and shortsighted, to say nothing of unethical and without empathy? Do the 'right' twist themselves into pretzels to appear 'civil' and avoid scrutiny, lest certain 'people' feel insulted? Who decides when language is appropriate?

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Hi Laurie. According to my Thesaurus words like greed, stupid or intelligent are clear. I am requesting from our Justice Department, to help us all by giving clearer meaning to "stupidity" by identifying and prosecuting those who break the law. Convicted peoples actions are stupid. People who follow rules are intelligent. Misrepresenting factual information is not intelligent and shouldn't be called free speech on TV. In America many (biased) folks might benefit from an FCC or Justice Department that identified FOX News lies and called it unintelligent. Calling intelligent FOX celebrities like Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Hannity unintelligent or stupid for their actions would be quite convincing if there was a consequence for their stupidity and greed. Alas, in America we fear truth if it is offensive to someone who does not have a Thesaurus.

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Robert Kain ; I wonder if any of them know what a thesaurus is?

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Benjamine, you have initiated an extremely important subject and all of the responses to today's "letters" is a giant step in our discussions. Thanks for the lucid observations to everyone from an old listener.

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I understand and applaud your right to tone down from using "Stupid" to "Gullible" but honestly I know too many Magates and feel strongly that they are not that intelligent.

Good writing though!

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@Al. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Al: This reminds me of something my father often said: "If you want to be considered a brilliant conversationalist, then whenever your instinct is to say 'Bullshit!' say 'Fantastic!' instead. Means the same thing."

This has worked well for me, whenever I remember to do it, which isn't often enough.

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To be fair though, I live in Buffalo, NY and the ONLY people I know who voted for Bunkerboy ARE stupid! The only man I know who did is a high school drop-out who recieved 'C's' and 'D's' and 'F's," then got into a fight with a psychopath currently in prison and quit. (He's still a lovely person and my second best friend, just not bright.)

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Sorry for what happened at the Tops massacre. Im a downstater near NYC I went to SUNY Buffalo. Its guys like the exPrez and Tucker Carlson rhetoric that caused that. They should be brought to justice for what they say.

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Thiel stands truth on its head when he states that capitalist democracy is an oxymoron. And what a decade to pick - the 1920s - as an exemplar for societal brilliance, a decade that destroyed economies and ended in his native country with nazism.

As Reich correctly points out, people like Thiel, who play with money but don't create much, want to avoid paying taxes on their empty fortunes. They see taxes as antithetical to capitalism, whereas the founder of capitalism, Smith, and his torch-bearer, Keynes, saw progressive taxation as a necessary part of a productive and decent society.

It is Thiel who gets capitalism a bad name, and he belongs in the company of Ayn Rand, Goldwater, Lewis Powell (Jerome Powell?), Friedman, Reagan, W, and Trump, as an anti-democratic agent.

The fact is that American prosperity and democracy reached a high point when taxes were high, between 1950 and 1980, when Thiel's parents were sufficiently impressed that they immigrated here.

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As an Ohioan, I find it infuriating that Peter Thiel bought JD Vance for our new Senator. Tim Ryan loves our State and would have cared for All his constituents.

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And Thiehl furthers the war on women! Now he’s funding that VIVEK guy.

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I was broken hearted!

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Me too!

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The irony is that Thiel's lifestyle is antithetical to the party of "family values."

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Daniel Solomon, absolutely true, in as much as we can tell. My thinking is, why should he pick and choose politicians when he can USE the greed of the entire republican party.

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And now Thiehl invests in some media interests, too...he furthers the war on women. Nuts, just nuts.

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as is the majority of elected repugnants and possibly (probably?) a significant number of corporate dems.

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Yes. You said it. The 20s were a terrible time for those who had little, but those robber barons laughed all the way to their own banks.

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@Michael. hear, hear! And Musk is not far away...

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I wish I scrolled further and saw your post before I wrote mine. I mentioned the same incredulity at Thiel looking fondly at the 20s for the exact reasons you cited. Totally agree with your post.

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Precisely why I continue, and will always continue, to try to explain this to right wing voters, even though it's very difficult to break through their stubborn outlook. They have to be shown that they are signing their own death warrant.

Want to help? Turn them on to Robert Reich. Share this latest substack, which is an excellent explanation of how what they are doing is self destructive.

But by all means, DON'T tell them they are stupid! (if they don't change their ways, they will figure that out on their own)

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And a lot of them aren't stupid, just deeply frustrated that their pockets continue to be picked by people like the Clintons. There is a very telling statistic from 2016: about 25% of Trump voters would have voted for Sanders, had Sanders been the Democratic nominee. It would have swung the vote almost 2:1 for a Democratic president, and could have reversed four decades of societal decay.

The solution is not to refer to people as a basket of deplorables, but to field strong Democratic candidates.

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Be careful with your statistics.

It may be that "about 25% of Trump voters" CLAIMED that they "would have voted for Sanders", but that does not make it true.

A large number (a majority?) of these claims are made by people who recognized that Trump was terrible, but for whatever reason would not vote Democratic. I know some such people. And if Sanders had been the nominee, then their claim would have been something like: "well, I would have voted for Clinton, but Sanders is just too extreme".

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I still think the attraction in large part comes because Trump speaks to the collective racial subconscious of his cult followers.

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@Daniel. There is a book by Guillermo Jimenez, "Red Genes, Blue Genes". Explores evidence that people are at least partially influenced by their genetics in terms of how they process fear of outsiders, in-group relations, concerns about change, paranoia and blame-seeking. Quite interesting that you can look only at a dna sample to determine with high accuracy someone's party affiliation.

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DNA testing was authenticated about 1990. IMHO organically, it's a question of development of the amygdala. I don't know whether anyone has substantiated a direct relationship. I do know that men are predisposed to underestimate danger until about age 25. Many criminals have low emotional ages.

Jung was controversial, but he was pretty accurate about the Nazis.

But it's also a question of acculturation.

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Thank you, Benjamin, for recommending this book. I shall look for it.

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Very true,he also works on people where they feel bad.

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Yes, but you don't know this for sure - you have to make use of the information you have.

I would ask you, what is the secondary gain for a Trump voter to lie about a vote for Sanders? At least 75% held fast. My impression is that many Trumpers were just vehemently opposed to Clinton, so I find this statistic plausible, their vote for Trump was really a message to Clinton, who was, and would be, an appalling candidate.

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In some cases I do know if for sure; as I said, I actually know some people like this.

One might also point out that, had 25% of Trump voters voted only against Clinton, then the 2020 election should have been a landslide for Biden, as those voters abandoned Trump.

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Mar 24, 2023·edited Mar 24, 2023

A lot of former Trump voters did vote for Biden, which is why Biden won, after all Biden is not Hillary. But he is also not Sanders. If a true progressive had run in 2020, he or she would have won by an even larger margin than Biden.

That said, I do agree with you that most Trump voters are venal, racist, and stupid - I just also think that a large chunk of them are not.

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Yeah, let’s blame the Clintons. Please sit down.

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It is sometimes difficult to determine which donkey to pin the tail on... so many choices available.

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American politics is a constant game of Pin the Tail on the Jackass.

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Good one, Greg!

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Yes, I DO blame the Clintons, because Hillary lost an unloseable election. I even voted for her because the alternative was just too awful. Wasted two hours of my life. It's such a shame we had only those two choices in 2016.

Yes, Comey didn't help, but she was underwater before Comey. And why was that? Sleaze, corruption, a condescending demeanor, and a genuine lack of talent.

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Hillary is an aging Marie Antoinette with an Arkansas accent.

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I like it.

Christopher Hitchens had her nailed, long before she ran for president - you can watch him on Youtube. She is a proven liar without any claim to competence. When I heard "basket of deplorables" I knew in my bones she was going to lose. Went out to vote for her in 2016, all the same.

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No, Hillary is very intelligent about the world. I've heard the long speech she made during her campaign, explaining international relations, and it was one of the most intelligent speeches of that season by anyone. I wasn't allowed to continue watching her speech all the way to the end. The North Dakota station cut her off in mid-sentance.

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Except she never had any of Marie Antoinette's charm or allure.

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Agree completely, Michael. Except I didn't vote for her; couldn't bring myself to do it. I voted Green, and no, that wasn't a vote for TFG, before anyone gets started down that path.

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@Rick. Thank you! Yeah! That's it - the worldwide secret conspiracy known as the Clintons!!

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Or folks can come into the present and look at real politics

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Bill Clinton has a LOT to answer for. NAFTA, for one (although it was drafted under GHWB). The repeal of Glass-Steagall, for another. Hillary is an unabashed corporate shill and a devoted hawk. They represent the worst of the Establishment Dems.

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. . . not to mention ending Aid to Families with Dependent Children. That plus the firing of Joycelyn Elders caused me to vote for Nader that term.

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Yep, I did, too.

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Glad someone agrees.

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Although we're in a pretty small minority....

But never mind. Bill and Hillary are NOT admirable people, regardless of being Dems.

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unfortunately, calling people stupid will not help win them over. Be as strategic as they have been. What do we do then??

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We organize, educate and go on the offensive! We don't have to sit by idly--when we unite, we are the superpower the world has been waiting for!

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Ax Granu : the super wealthy are not going to be won over.

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Of course, they aren't going to be won over! The super-wealthy don't NEED democracy. They have money as their equalizer.

The rest of us--the NON-super wealthy, is the MAJORITY. We have numbers, intelligence, and passion-loving freedom on our side- we only lack unity. We allow them to keep us divided, and they win.

We unify, and we are unstoppable.

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@Kimberlee. Research has shown that only a few thousand votes (out of millions cast) in a few key districts would secure a democratic House. Let's get those votes!

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What are they thinking, letting the rest of us have all these guns?

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@Greg. Ha ha ha ha! I often reflect on the same thing.....

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I agree with you sis

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Awesome, Marianne! Glad you are here!

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Calling names was the mistake Hillary made.

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Trump voters would NEVER have voted for Hillary or any Democrat. “She called us names” was their weak excuse for voting for a name-calling toddler who reflects their beliefs perfectly. He enabled an entire party to drop the civility charade.

Being a supremely qualified woman and a Democrat was the mistake Hillary made.

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You said it. We are one of the last so-called democracies who've never had a woman leader. That's really telling about how deep misogyny runs in this country.

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Look to the fate of women leaders in our country and abroad.

Death threats and planned kidnapping and murder with attacks on family members for us; hounding and critical attacks with threats forcing women leaders out in other countries.

This sickness is world wide.

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@J. Nol. The misogyny runs so deep that even most women won't vote for a woman for high positions. Seems to be changing tho...

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It's not only misogyny, on the part of women, but many women feel protective of their men, so they would rather vote for an incompetent man, than betray their own men by voting for a women.

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Agree wholeheartedly. Hillary was on spot when she made those comments.

She had the audacity to call it as she saw it and how right she was. Those who objected proved that when they voted for that spoiled man-child wanna be king who was a great friend of the ultra rich. The person they voted for proved over and over again just how stupid they were. P.T. Barnum said it correctly, fool me once it's on you, fool me twice, it's on me. They have been fooled so many times it's laughable and yet they keep on following him down that road of tom foolery. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Applies to fools as well whether they like being called one or not.

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Funny how that works, considering the atrocious language the orange traitor used.

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Yes that was a grievous error. But you do know that Clinton was Putin’s target? And that much of what is going on in this country as well as Europe is directly traceable to Putin’s long game? Recommend reading “road to unfreedom” by Tim Snyder and signing up for asha rangappa’s “freedom academy” on substack. You’ll be shocked.

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Hillary made mistakes, but using the word "deplorables" was not one of them. We were just beginning to see how right wing media would create memes then feast on them.

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I respectfully disagree, progwoman. I think it was a huge mistake for Hillary to refer to Trump's followers as "a basket of deplorables." I understand her frustration that caused her to say this, but the Trumpsters seized upon this statement as actual evidence of their perception of the Left's elitism and snobbishness towards them. It confirmed their feelings towards us. Never mind that name calling is what they do all the time. We do need to be better than that if we ever hope to evolve to the egalitarian place we need to be. Bullying back only increases the divisiveness which is why, in my view, I agree with those who have said that it's also best not to call anyone "stupid" for all the reasons already stated.

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Barbara Lucas : among others.

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Then how do you explain the juvenile epithets and name calling of the "winner" - TFG??? I'll wait for your answer. That was NOT the reason Hillary lost!

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I only remember my heart sinking when she made the remark. Her remark gave fuel to the already burning fire. Trump and his followers have always gotten away with horrible behavior.

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The remark was true, but it was stupid to make it.

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I read this last night in The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan: "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new ones rise."

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Yes, it is amazing how some of us who were hurt by outsourcing, oligarchical practices in business, high-tech layoffs and the like, realize what is REALLY happening while others fall for all the MAGA malarkey.

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So true! Still can't understand it!

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Mar 24, 2023·edited Mar 24, 2023

Posts like this are needed daily! The oligarchy of Plutocrats, that sit 'on high' and pit us against one another, for their own benefit, like Greek God's in Olympus, or like Capital Citizens in 'The Hunger Games'! All of our ills can be traced back to them by following the money (who ultimately benefits most). Thiel, Mercer, Uline, Koch... we have to continue linking our common problems to those creating them!

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Mr Blackburn et al.:

Before we go calling people "stupid," let's ask ourselves what argument has ever been won by shouting, "You're stupid!"

Not many, I think.

Vince in Grand Rapids

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Vince: Which is a bigger insult: to call someone stupid, or to call them a fascist?

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See my comments below. A lot of Trump voters are not at all stupid, just deeply frustrated that their pockets continue to be picked by people like the Clintons. In 2016, for example, 25% of Trump voters would have voted for Sanders had he been the Democratic nominee. This would have resulted in a landslide for the Democrats.

The solution is not a pompous declaration of their deplorability, but simply the selection of more suitable Democratic leaders.

I fear Hillary is still in the wings, if not as a candidate, then as a power broker in the DNC. Why won't this pompous windbag just go away? I would love to see a woman candidate for president (Elizabeth Warren, if she polls well?) just not THAT woman.

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It makes no difference whether you are right or wrong. If you cannot get elected you have no say in the matter. A good example is Liz Cheney. She did not lose her reelection bid becasue of Donald Trump. She lost her job becasue she did not do what her voters wanted done. How much effect do you have when you lose your job. NONE! Most people just want to put it on cruise control and not have to be bothered about things tht they do not care about and too much is made of thing that do not affect them

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@Philip. I respectfully disagree. Cheney changed the world by her selfless act of patriotism. The perspective you shared is too much like what too many politicians assert - they want to keep their job regardless of the issues, ethics, benefits/damage to their constituencies. Adam Kinzinger too. Making the January 6 Committee bi-partisan was an heroic act. A job is just a job, even if the job is working for Congress. There are higher values in this world than keeping a job (though you wouldn't know it by the behavior of most public servants).

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I disagree, Philip. Being right about matters that effect us all does make a difference. Just because it doesn't work out the way you want at the beginning, working toward what's right is the only way to effect change.

Liz Cheney is not going into an early retirement from politics. I don't know what her next steps are, but she has said she will continue her work.

Quitting is not an option, unless you think it's okay to hand over the country to a bunch of traitorous criminals. I don't, and I don't think you do. I'll continue to get the word out and get more people registered to vote. I'll encourage THEM to get others to vote as well.

I encourage you to do the same. Forget cruise control...put your foot on the gas! What you have to say does matter, and the more who hear it, the better. Whether you have the job or not.

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then there are those who are complacent... thinking "it won't happen in America."

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There are two groups. One is the Peter Thiel’s, the other are the people of whom you speak. One group is ignorant, yes, the other is very intelligent, crafty , rich and egomaniacal!.

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The State of the Union

Republicans have gotten to the point that they don’t believe they can win a free and fair election, and in their conviction that Democrats will destroy the country, they believe cheating to win is justified. They cannot condemn Trump because he delivered what they wanted: a victory.

FOX NEWS reported on March 22nd that since Trump declared that he is going to be indicted he has raised $1.5 million!

And because Republicans are willing to cheat to win, it no longer has to work on policies that appeal to voters!

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Good summary of HCR's posting.

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The truth bears retelling. He added much and crunched it well.

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And from many other sources. Certainly worth repeating.

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He's raised a lot more than 1.5 million. You'll never get an accurate figure from FOX because they are trumps propaganda department. Clowns like Tucker, Hanity, etc. are all in it for the money. They don't give a damn about trump or the truth. Nothing they say or report can be trusted ever.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Since TFG insists he won in 2020, he would now be in his 2nd term. Therefore it would be constitutionally forbidden for him to serve another (3rd!) term, no matter who runs in 2024.

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Bring that to light!

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There was not any free and fair election.

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Get help.

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Fantastic!

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Yes, Professor Reich, I have long recognized the intense hatred these billionaires feel toward all other human beings, with women and persons of color, being a particular target of their hatred. What I don't understand is why so many Democratic Presidents, have kept their enablers as part of the executive branch. Why is Jerome Powell still chairman of the Fed? Clinton and Obama also kept evil holdovers from their republican predecessors. Why?

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Fay Reid ; They would not attain the offices they seek if they did not give something away.

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Yes but, what they give away, Laurie, is our freedom. Our freedom to peacefully live a decent life. To get a decent education - at least as much as we're capable of achieving. To get reasonable health services. And for what purpose? So they can have more, more of everything, more than they need or could ever use.

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Fay : That is my point. They compromise themselves and their constituents when they give away the store, so to speak.

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Indeed! If enough is good more must be better!

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Fay: Powell isn't the only one. Don't forget DeJoy. I'm sure there are more more, but I haven't finished my morning coffee yet, so I can't remember any at the moment.

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Greg DeCowsky ; They are too numerous to mention ; salted and sprinkled around our government, like an infestation.

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Thanks, Laurie, that's a picture I won't be able to get out of my head for awhile.

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Mar 26, 2023·edited Mar 26, 2023

Jan Churchwell ; Sorry for that! I can't help but think of it. His MO was to 'fire' anyone he did not like, then replace them, and we have not seen as much openly obvious corruption ever before in our government. It is heartening to see what could be the beginnings of actual action when some of the top perps are being ordered to appear and testify under oath or face jail! Some of them coming back to court for a second time, because they have not cooperated.

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Laurie: Try boric acid.

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Imo they're the most egregious, Greg, but there are probably more lurking in corners

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Mar 26, 2023·edited Mar 26, 2023

Jan Churchwell ; It would be great to see a cleansing of corruption from our governmental system ; a general healing as the sunlight sweetens away the rot, caused by the rotpublicons, AKA 'rot cons' : my answer to their name for liberals or progressive democrats : "libtards'.

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DeJoy is in a "protected" status. We can only get rid of him by having the board of governors for the Post Office vote to fire him. When the post Office became a quasi government agency in 1970 (thank you tricky dick) it was set up to be self governing and 'supposed to make a profit'. This was part of the Republican plan to privatize everything (yeah, that worked out great) I'm sure if Biden had the say so, DeJoy would be history.

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Fay: That's an excuse for people who are afraid to play dirty. "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio." I'll bet tRump could have gotten rid of him if he wanted to.

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Fay, I read an article today about why Biden nominated Powell. It's the usual combo of personal style (Biden's) and political views: 1/ Biden isn't a rock-the-boat type; 2/ he thought it might strengthen bi-partisan support; 3/ Powell had Wall St. support. And more.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/22/why-biden-picked-powell-523214

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Thanks, Jan. I suspected something along those lines, but now that he is witness to the damage Powell and cronies are heaping on the American populace it's time for the President to get rid of Powell. I do believe President Biden cares about us, and he has often stated he favors bipartisanship BUT you can only cooperate with reasonable intelligent, open minded persons, and like their namesakes, maggots have no brains.

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Fay, by definition, you can't have bipartisanship unless the "other side" (whatever it is) wants it too. Pretty basic imo. Dem leaders keep thinking reason will prevail because "everyone" wants what's good for the USA. No, "everyone" does NOT want what's good for the USA. By now Dems should have figured that out. MAGA Republicans don't want what's good for the USA, they want what's good for THEM, which is whatever they WANT. Period.

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Agreed. The new "definition" of bipartisanship is if you can get one or two (out of 228) to vote on a needed bill, that is bipartisan LOL

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So true. Thanks for the laugh, Fay. It's a good way to end the day. 🙂

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Jan Churchwell ; In a system so thoroughly rigged like ours, optics might be the only way to persuade the Rs to be 'bipartisan': When it is so painfully obvious that their policies or actions make them look bad, Biden wants to ask for a bipartisan action from them that, if they refuse, will cause them to lose votes. When we cannot vote anymore, even that will be useless. Then there is only the sound of one hand clapping, which is not even a sound.

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Mar 23, 2023·edited Mar 23, 2023

Excellent question. Doing this allows folks who were part of previous routs of sound policy to perpetuate the wrong.

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Ugh! I didn't finish my comment.

No matter which party occupies the White House, the uber wealthy will always be protected. The is the very clear message sent by the latest act of socialism for the very wealthy.

Meanwhile, millions are now facing a "hunger cliff" and cutoff from Medicare , as expanded benefits are coming to an end.

America's poor choices regarding its pitiful safety net programs is a sign its priorities are poverty in the truest sense of the word.

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Mar 23, 2023·edited Mar 23, 2023

Superb piece from Pr. Reich. Naïve folks like myself would have thought that the world was definitely over with the era of Lords and serfdom. But we aren't. It is just stunning to see people like Peter Thiel, born and educated in a country professing that genuine freedom means equality of rights, say that democracy is somewhat a relative value.

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He calls himself a 'libertarian' but that just means 'let me do as I wish', NADA to do with liberty. Thiel belongs to the "Libertarian Party" that says, let me Pollute the earth if I own it; Let me kill my slaves, if I own them;

When Theil ran PAYPAL he ripped people off as much as he could, he's always been a common criminal that steals nickels from the poor; Musk was the innovator, but Thiel was the control freak

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He's Bilderberg Group USA president, Bilderberg runs out of City of London; They rule the world and Thiel is the decider for USA;

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Philippe: Rockefeller, Astor, JP Morgan, Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, etc. weren't called "robber barons" for no reason. Massive wealth was the Gilded Age (and American) equivalent of titled nobility. They were quiescent for much of the 20th Century for various reasons, but have reappeared in force since 1980. Want to tie that to RR's election? It's probably justified.

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"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

--Anatole France, The Red Lily

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Robert, I think our debt bubble is going to burst if the Fed continues down the road it’s going down and I fear we are paving the way for our Hitler. I think if he wins it will be DeSantis not Trump that we have to fear. His ideologies are much scarier than Trump’s blustering.

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Ramona Agin : who would vote for that little snot, De Satan? What does he have to offer anyone not white supremacist Christian or racist? Jail for any infraction of his draconian rules? He hates women and considers them government property. Gotta be kidding!!!

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Only all the White Christian Nationalists and bigots that belong to the GOP. They love the trash he is peddling.

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“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”

~ Sinclair Lewis

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Mar 23, 2023·edited Mar 23, 2023

Those working poor and middle class who are not white nationalists nor GOP would have very little to gain from a DeSantis presidency. He has said he can't wait to put offenders of his rules in a jail cell.

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My way of contending with today’s newsletter is to take a deep dive into the resistance. Earlier this month, as an antidote to Reich’s portrayal of the “anti-democracy movement,” a Reich subscriber heralded HJR48 We the People Amendment as legislation that would “save us.” The subscriber rightly added, “It will shift the power balance back to We the People, and We will once again REGULATE the banks (and save our planet)!”

I noted then, and repeat here, while a stunning agenda, HJR48 We the People Amendment would require a two-thirds majority in both U.S. chambers plus ratification by three-fourths of the states, an impossible feat for the foreseeable future and probably even for the relatively distant future. Accordingly, I proposed we focus on passage of H.R.1 For the People which, in 21, passed in the House by a simple majority and could get through the Senate were there 50 Democratic Senators receptive to a modest filibuster rule change that would move the legislation to the floor for debate and an up or down majority vote. H.R.1’s provisions would ensure all eligible votes were cast, counted correctly, and certified without interference and without their being diluted through partisan gerrymandering. Its provisions also would initiate aggressive stipulations that would get dark money out of politics. Of note, the legislation would have a real shot at passing if we retake the House, seat 50 Senators receptive to a Senate rule change, and hold the Presidency.

Lastly, I would note, that were this progressive legislation to stall in the typically more moderate Senate, the alternative would be to pass the edited down Freedom to Vote Act whose provisions are nearly the same save its far less aggressive stipulations for getting money out of politics. Hardly ideal, but, as a pragmatic progressive, I say we focus on what can get done, and then continue building.

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Great post, Barb, I couldn't agree more. As they say: Baby steps can lead to great leaps of progress! We need to start somewhere don't we?

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Rebekha, I appreciate you writing. Like you, while I expect attempts to improve social and economic conditions to proceed incrementally, I also recognize it is impossible to foretell precisely when any of our endeavors might suddenly produce powerful results.

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Excellent analysis.

But what is remarkable is not that people like Theil and Elon Musk are such self-centered hypocrites.

What is remarkable is that almost half of the population of the United States would drink the Kool-Aid and vote for Trump.

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founding

@ 2Peter. As Laurie said, when fully mobilized (as they were in 2016) the ignorant and gullible Trump supporters amounted to about 32% of the voting population (74 million out of 258 million qualified to vote, but nearly half of actual turnout, near 160 million). I don't call them stupid - some have PhDs and/or very advanced training and experience, and people in this group have real problems. No, not stupid in all cases, but very gullible in all cases, to think that Trump's coalition will do anything policy-wise to help them, and very ignorant in all cases, to not realize that the destruction of democracy is not the solution to their problems. I don't think 2024 will bring them out in the same numbers as previously - even gullible, ignorant people can see through the Trump carnival show. Now I worry that the Democrats, perhaps in majority control of the government, won't do enough to reverse anti-democratic trends and capitalistic hollowing out of the USA heartland.

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Benjamin R; They must dance with them that brung them ! So many Dems on the take .

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Benjamin: I wrote my previous comment before reading this one of yours. We clearly agree.

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Benjamin: Some educated tRump voters are voting their wallets, too. The stock market went up for awhile, didn't it?

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2peter ; It's more like a weak 3rd of the population.

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founding

@Laurie. 46% of turnout. Let's not underestimate the problem...

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Ben R ; I do not trust the polls aired on TV or any other media owned by the obscenely wealthy. I remember a story buried in the back of the local newspaper when tRump was campaigning several years ago, that said he was caught buying a poll. I believe that if the Supreme Court can be bought, along with seats in government, so can a poll.

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Laurie: One of the things they teach Communications majors is how to construct a poll to get the results you want.

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Benjamin: there is an important difference between turnout and population. A relatively small portion of the population can be riled up/motivated to vote and have a disproportionate impact on elections. That has been the strategy of the far right for decades.

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Benjamin R Stockton ; 46% of turnout. Was this an exit poll? 🤔

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founding

@Laurie and Harry. Polls can be designed to produce a particular outcome. Hard to trust polls, and the media parades around the polls without providing any critical analysis. Shameful...

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Benjamin R Stockton ; Exactly ; polls can be gamed, and, therefore, hard to trust. That is why privately owned media parades around the polls without providing any critical analysis. It is shameful. People consume this misleading hogwash.

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