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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) thinks Donald Trump’s personal vendettas could lead to the collapse of American democracy.

Sanders told The Guardian he believes the “bitter” and “humiliated” ex-president would be more vindictive than ever, if elected for a second term later this year. I could not agree more!

Yesterday Trump told the people of Iowa, “You can’t sit home. If you’re sick as a dog… even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it,” mimicking a dying supporter as he delivered the line.

What kind of human being would say something so cruel! Iowa is facing a brutal cold front as voters prepare for the Republican caucus on Monday, with reports saying with wind chill, the state could reach 35 degrees Fahrenheit below zero the day of the caucus.

Thanks to Trump and his Congressional enablers,

America has become the Devil’s playground!

Now he’s subliminally trying to manipulate Supreme Court judges. As a subtle threat he said, “he hopes the Court does “the right thing.”

He said the same thing regarding Mike Pence on January 6th, 2021. Remember, the judges on the Supreme Court have sworn to uphold the Constitution and are supposed to be apolitical!

This comes on the heels of the bomb threat called into the home of Judge Engoron!

I believe Trump not only promotes violence against anyone who tries to hold him accountable, he also enjoys it! That’s why he waited so long on Jan 6 to call off his dogs! They erected a gallows and intended to hang his VP! Trump tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” prompting rioters to chant “hang Mike Pence” and erect mock gallows. Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney has described testimony from Trump aides saying he responded by saying Pence “deserves it.”

Until Trump is held accountable for his many crimes it will only get much worse! No one in the Republican Congress condemns him for his despicable behavior! Their Parents must be so proud of what they are doing to our country!

All of these people need to uphold their oath because they are the role models for the rest of us! They all swore to uphold the Constitution not anything else!

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Jan 15·edited Jan 16Liked by Robert Reich

Iowa, why restrict political confusion just to the state of Iowa. I listen to the interviews conducted with the local inhabitants and wonder what planet these people are really from. How do every day ordinary citizens develop thinking, or the lack thereof, seen in these people. They express opinions I would expect to find in disillusioned young children, not in educated adults. I have a feeling the word "educated" takes on an entirely different meaning for people who live in rural areas. It would seem their schooling is complete after a student earns their GED. It's not just Iowa, the lack of political vision is more of an epidemic that is rapidly spreading, at breakneck speed, across this country. It is almost as if our neighbors are endeavoring to emulate the dysfunctional mentality found within the mind of Donald Trump. Stupid is as stupid does, our own people exist as if they were in some sort of trance. How do we break the spell?

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15Liked by Robert Reich

Donald Hodgins, another "great and intentional" benefit of GOP defunding schools for decades, keep them dumb to facts and truths so they are easier to manipulate and also won't most likely have the resources to learn the truth or get in their way. Add onto that the limited contact with counter-views to oppose the goliaths of propaganda being pounded into their heads day after day in church, on the radio, in the coffee shop, and on cable propaganda shows and you have GOP winners. They have been conditioned on steriods. I don't believe they are less intelligent than me, just conditioned differently.

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M--Whose idea was it to remove "Civics" from the list of required classes taught in our High Schools.

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For more than a decade I worked in the educational publishing business in the social studies area (1976-90). Our civics textbook, I thought, was especially good with lively illustrations and lots of questions to stimulate discussion. But we had an increasing amount of trouble selling it, because people were nervous about asking middle schoolers to think. (Every chapter ended with a short commentary from a historical or contemporary figure, and students were asked, "What do you think?") It didn't help that the Reagan and G.H.W. Bush administrations pushed a curriculum that was oddly elitist. (Thank you, Lynn Cheney and E.D. Hirsch.) And something began to eat away at the market—an insistence that a kind of consumer economics was more vital and necessary. Students, they claimed, wanted to learn to make money for themselves. Proctor and Gamble even gave away curriculum materials so that schools got free teaching materials for students and teachers. I'm not sure why the social studies groups did not push back harder, but my company got out of the market entirely.

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Around here, we were told we needed to focus on the basics and couldn't afford the extras like art, music and civics. What will happen now that big banks are buying single family homes to rent? They won't want to pay property taxes for schools. Public education may soon be finished.

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Tying school funding to real estate taxes was a terrible idea from the start. It just guarantees that wealthy neighborhoods get the best schools, and there was a failed push in California to put a stop to it at some point.

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I taught in NYC public school for over 30 years, and they have been trying to destroy the public school system from the early 70s. Discipline has been destroyed. Teaching ,unless you are connected, is a dead end job . They implement program after program ,example Common Core , to make fortunes for corporations ,that are worse than useless. Now it is Charter Schools ,publicly supported schools that when teaching similar students as public schools have not been found to be any better . The teachers are less qualified ,make less , have no representation and that's exactly what big money wants.

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The plan is to turn us all into ignorant sharecroppers ruled over by a small group of Oligarchs. After that our organs will probably be up for grabs. The lower and middle classes will become a consumer product used by the rich for whatever purpose.

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The banks will just pass these costs on to the hapless renters.

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tho eventually, surely (hopefully) banks etc. will realize they need an educated sane population...

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I wonder if the federal govt. could 'outlaw' or put a stop to banks buying homes,doesn't seem to work out well.They're already too big for their britches!

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Liberal Arts is no longer considered the template for a basic, well-rounded education. It seems the vast majority of undergraduates want to specialize in a field WITHOUT being exposed to the Arts and Humanities. SO, instead of a student who is taught to think critically for themselves at the undergraduate level, they fast-track to a "business" background at the expense of delving into the intellectual realm of ideas and fact-based research. "Higher-education" appears to be emphasizing "training" OVER thinking and experiencing...

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I took a business major at the university but was still required to take electives to round out my education. My philosophy class was on a Friday evening. I could barely keep my eyes open. Same with banking course...boring. Today I have no idea what they teach about banking. It is so corrupt and unorganized thanks to de-regulation and international banks. CEOs steal as much as you can?

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There's your answer. As usual, public schools are in the hands of state governments, whose political leaders have their own objectives. But they would do well to go back and read John Dewey, who understood the primary importance of teaching each student to understand the workings of government and what it means to be a responsible citizen participating in the democratic process.

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Actually, governing schools is largely in the hands of local governments—usually cities or counties but sometimes larger districts. State funds vary, and broader rules are in the mix, but local politics can play an important role.

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Progwoman --My roommate in my first year in college had a father who was big in the publishing business centered around textbooks. His Name was Hobbs, ring a bell, he lived on the East coast. This would have been in the 60s.

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Probably before my time. I came in just as the big publishing houses in Boston and New York were beginning to lose power. I can remember when the art deco McGraw Hill building in mid-town NYC sat almost empty because it had never been air-conditioned and it was too big a job in a recession.

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Progwoman - Your up close and personal commentary explains a lot!

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I remember those books. They were awful. Teachers should know their subject and teach it. The book is a supplement and a guide at most.

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Jan 16·edited Jan 16

Right. Teachers have a curriculum they are to follow. NYS gives Regent exams to check they are.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15

Donald Hodgins ; And financial literacy, in addition to Civics, which may never have been taught to those on the bottom, and they are lied to as they are fleeced to the max.

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Laurie--It is easier to take from those who don't understand. It is easier to lie to those who have trouble thinking, and it is easier to control those who don't know what freedom really is. To those at the top, ignorance is bliss.

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Donald ; Yes , it was against the law to educate the slaves, for a reason.

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THANK YOU!!!

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Donald: When I was in 4th grade they taught us financial literacy by taking time out of class to have anyone who wanted to sign up for a savings account at the local S&L (the only one in town).

I guess they wanted us to save up for college (my town was 90%+ white). I deposited 25 cents a week. Had at least $30 in my account when I graduated from high school. even in 1969, at the (cheap then) U of Delaware, I think that was not quite enough to pay for my first class (Calculus I at 8 am on Monday).

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Now if you had put it in McDonald’s stock back then…

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Donald Hodgins, exactly! The R's not the D's.

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M--Those letters are out of alphabetical order but what you said is so true. Keep the overall understanding of the public at a low level and they are easier to control.

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Keeping the people controllable by denying them access to an education has been the most effective method used by all authoritarian governments for millennia! Religious institutions have been doing the same thing for centuries,let the masses have just enough of approved teaching to make them able to do the bidding of those in charge!

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It seems to be working, to judge by MAGA’s hold.

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This was a required and needed fundamental class on how to participate as an informed citizen in my day. The kids today are unaware of how our system actually is set up to function much less given the critical thinking skills required to participate and sift through all the mixed messaging out there (in every form).

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Karin--I hear you, that's the way it was when I was in school. It would seem the class was systematically removed to suit someone's agenda. The loss of that class is exactly how we got Boebert.

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When Boebert announced she was running for Congress, she didn't even have a GED. Eventually, she got one.

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Not to mention the popularity of drugs and booze…

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While Congress is busy persecuting Hunter Biden, I wonder why they're not asking how Boebert (who was bankrupt prior to election) is now worth $20 million?

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I found that the most textbooks in the USA are produced by California and Texas. Comparing what each state chooses to include in them is enlightening : https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2023/california-property-map/

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I am opposed to standardized anything in education.

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Jan 17·edited Jan 17

NY State has had Regents Exams for ages. It tests to make sure students are learning the lessons given. You need a Regents Exam diploma to get into public university and state teachers colleges.

Standardized testing is good if not abused like the Bush administration did to make money on them.

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You can look it up. The answer is GOP congresses. And presidents.

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They took away Boebert's chance at being normal.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15

That ship sailed long ago.

I finally realized that Boebert was an escaped character from "Dilbert." Like Dogbert, Catbert, and Ratbert. Alas, "Dilbert" is gone but Boebert remains.

(This is probably the wrong time and place to mention Robert, LOL.)

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Greg--It never a bad time to smile, unless the woman's husband is bigger than you. LOL

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BoBo Boebert is the poster girl for what's wrong with Congress.

This ignorant loser got fame and glory and tons of money (she went from bankrupt to $20 million since being elected).

And with gerrymandering, when she's set to lose in CO3, she simply moves to deeper-red CO4.

This would all be a comedy/parody if it wasn't so sad and sick.

God Bless America

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There seems to be an active movement to degrade the overall understanding of how our country actually works, I wonder why that is.

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When the government decided in the 90’s on state testing and they decided what should be tested. Also book companies control what is taught it all political and money driven. There is big money in testing.

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Joan--Get this, I live in a district where the schools give mock exams that reflect the state tests given in the fall. They give these things over and over again to improve the results from their kids. Then they brag about how well their students did, and how progressive their educational programs are. Like Trump they cheat to get what they want.

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Charter schools are full of fraud and cons.

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Donald, I understand. I have my masters in elementary education. I taught in the central city. (98 %poverty) it was my choice. We worked very hard teaching our core subjects. When we took our tests we came so close. We teachers would say next year we got this. The government would again raise the “bar” because the districts with a low percentage of poverty scored so high!

Now, our country continues to dumb down. If trump gets in the poor will have less opportunities for success. The rich will get richer…

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No one. That's a myth. I taught was civics for years and my grand daughter is taking civics now. The problem is fully funded public education stops at age 18. Then it is up to the media to educate the adults.

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Mac--Myth or no myth, all I know is the course needs to be put back into the mainstream of core classes needed for graduation.

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Jan 16·edited Jan 16

I can only speak for California, Oregon and Washington. Civics and government was taught in every school I worked in, where my son went to school and where my grand daughter is now. She knows a lot! Especially in 6th through 12th grades, but it is woven into history and social studies classes all the time. The problem is when education stops at 18. They're not even fully grown yet. And some people forget or don't keep up. I would support continuing education and more non-profit news media.

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Not going to happen. If you didn't listen in school it is your fault not media.

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@Donald Hodgins, this is a perfect teaching moment, in which we can practice what we preach. Look. It. Up.

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No teaching allowed! It's the MAGA law.

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In my life, I have encountered very little that can't be resolved with psilocybin or dynamite.

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I think the MAGA law is No "learning" allowed.

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Martha--All I get are ways to make a perfect teacher.

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And that is a large part of our job.

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More than a hundred years ago, during the educational reform period at the turn of the twentieth century, the decision was made to not teach information and knowledge in the schools.

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Conformity and obedience disguised as education were the mandate of that era and still are; more easily aided and abetted by political polls, social media stars and influencers in our daily flood of noisy misinformation. The question we must routinely ask ourselves is, 'Who planted that and why?' Though such a question may appear paranoid, it isn't. It's part of the cure for the ideological cancer that is eating away at our minds and by extension at our democracy.

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some people have what is called an "authoritarian personality" where (for whatever reason) they don't want to learn, they don't want to think, they don't want to take responsibility for their own actions; instead, they gladly surrender their thinking (and their money) to follow the Authoritarian Leader who tells them what to think and what to do. They also find security and power in submerging themselves in a mass movement.

Here's a short review of Erich Fromm's "Escape from Freedom" - written in 1941 to explain why so many of his countrymen surrendered themselves to Hitler; it's scarily prophetic of today's MAGA crowd surrendering themselves to Trump.

https://neofascism.substack.com/p/erich-fromms-escape-from-freedom

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Tanitil--That was an idiotic idea thought up by stupid people.

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I can’t find a reference for that. I’m unfamiliar with the term.

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Jan 17·edited Jan 17

My great grand father was teaching at that time. Believe me, no one came into his one-room school house, grades k-12 to supervise content. Nor my grand mother's classroom, nor my mother's, nor mine. Not until George W Bush. NCLB was purged of content and now students are tested on skills, only. It's why I hate Bill Gates, for starters.

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Troll.

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Right. The USA has been turning out complete dolts for 100 years.

That's why we had to wait until the aliens landed to build rockets for us, and where would we be if Wakanda had not carelessly tossed out that computer for some midwit to find and get working again somehow?

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troll.

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Nailed it. It’s like the iceberg of the First Amendment broke off the glacier of morality and is headed for the ship of democracy.

The first amendment was meant to allow controversial speech, but not let deliberate deception spread unrestrained, as it is now doing. Morality was supposed to act as a limitation.

Edit: I should have have said “and is now grinding along the side of the ship of democracy.”

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Exactly - the first amendment was not meant to help liars promote their schemes

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it's the conundrum of liberty - it has to be curtailed to be functional - otherwise you get fox 'news' - also the problem of modernity: so much going on, world so complicated, and one has to keep nose to grindstone...no time or opportunity to learn everything one needs to know, politically and otherwise - as someone said: we're stone-age minds with medieval institutions in an advanced technological world...a lot of us peasants still learning how to make flint knives

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well said, Gina.

In "Escape from Freedom" Nazi survivor Erich Fromm said it this way:

“Man’s brain lives in the twentieth century, but his heart still lives in the Stone Age.”

Written in 1941, it describes how and why his German countrymen surrendered to Hitler, and a prophecy of the millions of Americans who are turning to Trump.

https://neofascism.substack.com/p/erich-fromms-escape-from-freedom

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Mr. Washington, thank you for the work you put into your substack piece, I learned a lot. :)

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more accurately, our tiny forebrain lives in the modern world, but the overriding lizard brain is back with the dinosaurs

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liberty exists in limitation, like art.

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the 1st amendment was not meant to imply that those with the most money could be free to drown out the voices of the many, despite what SCROTUM said in Citizens United.

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the first step in electoral reform (if Trump gets beat and America gets a chance at electoral reform) is to overturn Citizens United.

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Stan, your analogy is superb!

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I just edited it…

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Stan, both are good analogies!

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More interested in "protecting" liars than "teaching" facts...

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founding

Donald and M Tree, I lived in a rural area of northwest Montana for twenty years and observed with dismay how the political climate changed. However, it is our part of creating the divide when we look down upon our rural countrymen and women with disdain. With one statement, by calling Trump supporters “A basket of deplorables” Hilary Clinton only succeeded in driving a deeper wedge into the division in our country. Her disconnect from our rural cousins and disdain for them may be a significant part of what drove them to Trump.

Yes, you and I are better educated, but we are not necessarily better people. Joe Biden and current Democratic leadership do not know nor even try to relate to these citizens. In contrast, John Tester, a grain farmer has survived as the lone Democrat holding high office in Montana. He is a brilliant and highly educated man, but he talks with Montana voters, not at them. This linked article give a bit of insight into his critical importance in keeping the senate Democratic. Personally, I think he should be a key advisor to the Biden reelection campaign who do not seem to be able to put on their britches straight. https://apnews.com/article/tester-senate-montana-2024-election-197d50f3aef99d35148e775acff52ed9

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I agree. Attack the candidate not the supporters -- they can have an epiphany.

Haley and DeSantis missed their chance to attack Trump's Achilles heel. On MLK Day, it's the content of his character.

Hates dogs!! 2/3 of American families have pets!

Stole from kids with cancer and disabled veterans.

Pederast, if not a molester.

Etc.

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You forgot rapist.

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And so many more. The Big Lie. Insurrection, etc. But those issues mean nothing to the cult. They would gladly offer their wives and mothers to him.

He is still in denial about politics. Can't deny that he hates dogs -- had to pay fines for stealing from kids with cancer -- fined for using illegals on his work sites.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15

Marc Nevas, you addressed your response to Donald but replied to me. Not sure who you meant, but that's okay. You made good points. I grew up in farm country and some of my ancestors on this land have been farmers since colonial times. Even have some iin Iowa I have never met. So deep in my heart I feel them and appreciate your kind reminders for us to dig deep and remember that our ancestors were most likely farmers at one time or another.

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I grew up in an entirely different part of the continent (Alberta, in Canada) and my relatives were 90% farmers - religion, suspicion of outsiders (esp the feds, who were so far away in the evil East), group-think, isolation from anything resembling culture - people who were deprived but didn't realize it, and the education offered didn't seem to make a dint - and now their way of making a living is being transformed and leaving them behind (tho they seem to have shiny new big trucks, RVs, boats...) - anyway, point is the population is varied but of necessity the ways of governing are simpler; country & uneducated people tend to be small-c conservative and city people more progressive by osmosis, and all sorts of shades between, and it makes it difficult to achieve national coherence - OH, AND THE ENORMITY OF THE LAND: European countries have more coherence cuz size...the US and Canada are just too big and too varied for any kind of efficiency or commonality, even in these days of transportation and communication...

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Not until Nixon did we have that problem. Although until

Trump was it ever so dangerous and traitorous. GOP can't govern but only destroy it.

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M Tree, we should also dig deep and remember that our ancestors were also "immigrants"

And reject totally this anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Right.

Anti-immigrant is anti-American.

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When less populated and not technology based immigrants still had it hard adjusting to the language, culture, etc.

We have immigration laws because it did become a problem. Many different administrations passed them for various reasons. It is not good to let in the whole world in without knowledge of who they are.

Get real...anti-immigrant is anti-American BS. We have laws for good reasons like it or not.

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Marc, Agree and Tester is key to keeping the senate under control of the Democrats. I’ve commented before that national and rural candidates need to talk with, not talk to, the people from whom they seek votes, whether they be rural, blue collar, or urban. No voter wants to be talked to or told what they should think. (Well, except members of the tRump cult.) My previous posts have highlighted how tRump got the rural vote in 2016 by purchasing every commercial spot 24/7 for the two weeks prior to the election on rural farm cable network RFD-TV for $150,000. Not a single female voter, who watches RFD-TV when polled said they’d vote for Clinton.

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Clinton was an elitist mess! She and Bill are part of the New World Order of Devos, now called the World Economic Forum. They'll tell us mere mortals what to do and how to think too!

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... and Trump isn't telling you mere mortals what to do and how to think? Who said "I am your voice"?

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Jan 17·edited Jan 17

BS. You are uneducated period is what you are saying.

Believe the propaganda. Better to vote for a liar, con and dictator, eh. Troll.

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Michael, you nailed it with your line:

"No voter wants to be talked to or told what they should think. (Well, except members of the tRump cult.) "

There's a book called "Escape from Freedom" that describes the "authoritarian personality" as people who DO want to be told what to think"

The book was written in 1941 by Erich Fromm about how and why his German countrymen surrender their hearts and minds to Hitler; it's an important book because it's also a prophecy of today's MAGA cult - people who WANT to surrender their thinking (and personal responsibility) and submerge themselves in a Supreme Leader and mass movement/cult.

It's a difficult book to read, so here's my short substack review: it explains a lot about how and why tens of millions of American (the ones wearing the red MAGA hats especially) seem to be losing their minds.

https://neofascism.substack.com/p/erich-fromms-escape-from-freedom

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Leave Hillary alone. She did not create this divide

Trump and have since Nixon.

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Marc, Hilary Clinton did not call "Trump supporters" deplorable: that day a poll was released in which 38% of Republicans self-identified as "racist". THAT is what she called "deplorable", that a third of Republicans openly admitted they were racist.

But the right wing media immediately (and intentionally) applied her comment to ALL Republicans. She never called all Trump supporters deplorable; she said it was deplorable that a third of them weren't afraid to say openly that they were racists.

It was "spun" at the time, and it's still being spun. The tyranny of repeated lies.

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Marc, I'd say that second-time orange voters, and those who'd vote for him a third time, are unquestionably deplorable. If one votes for him, one supports what he is. First-time orange voters....just gullible. Hillary's mistake was saying it out loud, and demonstrating her disdain. Not an effective campaign tactic, as she found out. And yes, I realize she won the popular vote, but had she conducted herself differently, she might have put the EC results over the top, as well.

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"I don't believe they are less intelligent than me, just conditioned differently."

Agreed. They have been taught not trust their own thoughts and that they need validation from outside of themselves.

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Adam, and that is so opposite of the image Iowans are trying to portray, the independent, prove-it attitude. So many in that state and other "white" states have bought into the fear that they are going to be overwhelmed by those horrible not-white people, anger that they are being dismissed as unimportant, resentment that factories and other businesses have left the state along with their kids, and hatred of anyone who is not them (and they don't seem to like themselves too much either). How can a different perception break through. They are in a loop that keeps repeating and pumping the same nonsense into their circle over and over and from every quarter. They no longer permit themselves to hear or see anything else. Then they resent the "city folks" for not going along with the nonsense the rural folks have been fed for years. It is hard to watch and harder to realize that this whatever it is, is spreading across our nation like a sickness and the Republican party of today is the vector of a lot of the contagion.

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Actually, polls show 11% of Iowa Republicans support Biden.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/poll-nearly-half-haleys-iowa-backers-say-ll-vote-biden-trump-rcna133821

A general election will be different.

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I think so too. When it comes down to it, I think this will be like the vaunted "red wave" that failed to materialize.

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Daniel Solomon ; The very few seconds that I watched MSNBC's coverage of the Iowa caucuses, I heard it said more than once that 11% of Republicans will vote blue.

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Plus, they get the incessant drum of the Fox network every day.

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Adam, yes, I think you are right, it seems to be for some very pronounced.

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Adam, you are correct: "they have been taught to not trust their own thoughts and that they need validation from outside of themselves". Thanks for identifying this.

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not quite the way it comes across - they're all too trusting of their own thoughts

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M Tree, maybe we should take something from the Republican/conservative playbook, do a little propagandizing ourselves, making the truth something people really want instead of being lulled into believing whatever lies come down from Republicans on high. How is it their lies are so much more palatable than the truth, even when the truth would mean something positive for the people? I don't get it, but I know money has a lot to do with it, and Republicans/conservatives have a lot more of it than anyone else due to the way we the people have not properly regulated business. Ugh!!

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One of MLK's prominent themes, often forgotten today, was his insistence that materialism was a threat to American society. I think he would not be surprised that consumerism is rampant.

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Rampant for luxury goods by the rich. Many are homeless and jobless otherwise.

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REALLY good point, progwoman!

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Dems make the mistake of using rational arguments while Republicans use emotional ones with fear being uppermost! People are motivated more by emotion than by intellect unfortunately.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15

Ruth Sheets, what a great question!!! How do we get people to want to hear the truth? My first thought is get them to not want to hear lies. I don't know for sure, of course, but I'll take a try at it. You asked why are lies much more palatable? I think it's how their life experiences conditioned them, particularly when they were children. The ego, a conditioned mind pattern, crowds out logical reasoning, especially in a person with a very strong ego Then, they do mental gymnastics to justify and rationalize their chosen candidates who will be detrimental to them but who will resonate with their egos. A person strongly conditioned by love rather than ego, would choose candidates that resonate most closely with fairness and kindness for everyone. People need to unlearn their egoic conditioned patterns of behavior by waking up, becoming aware of their conditioning. Not an easy task.

But you made me think of the people who don't have the time or interest, or perhaps even confidence to learn about the differences between the two parties. They just vote like someone they trust, like a spouse, friend, or parent tells them they to. They may be open to some truth if it really isn't their strong ego that chooses their candidates. I'm sure there are so many other possibilities.

Whew, Ruth. I think my brain is smoking; you made me think so hard. Not that everything I said is true, just some thoughts based on my life experiences. Thanks for your great questions and helping me clean out some cobwebs in my brain and probably grow some new brain cells.

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It's worth noting that three of the most successful Republican candidates in the past have been actors: Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Trump. Many vote for images they have in their heads; these images are created by media, and have nothing to do with expertise. If an actor enters politics with a prefabricated positive image he is hard to beat.

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Yes M Tee...the repubs have won the media war...and Dems are consistently on the defense. Could Dem Dept of Ed make civics mandatory in high schools? Reagan dispensed with Fairness Doctrine which allowed RW media to flourish. And Dems did nothing in response.

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Douglas D Greitz, yes, great point. What has been or could be the Dem response? They have missed the mark also.

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Take FOX off the air? The fascists are relentless and have engenuity....many other disinformation stations would pop up. Note that Sinclair Comms has bought up thousands of TV stations nationwide and use some news time to spread propaganda...Goebbels & the Nazis would be utterly dumbfounded at the level of media domination repubs have acquired.

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This is why MAGA really should mean Make America Gullible Again. Nothing is more appealing to psychopathic politicians than a way to create a playground in which they can manipulate others and enrich themselves along the way.

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I agree if people in rural areas do not enlighten themselves about real world issues their beliefs system remains the same as past generations.

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M, While I greatly appreciate your comment, I would add an additional noteworthy distinction between you and they—the ability to think critically, to put up a fight against the junk food of propaganda, to ask questions and be skeptical.

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I don't think the education system has anything to do with it. People believe their own propoganda,people see what they want to see and, hear what they want to hear.

This board or any other board is the same.During Covid Bezos gave around $500 million to feeding America.He did that because he can. The propoganda made up is ,sits there counting money,doesn't pay tax,steals from the poor etc,etc,etc.Nobody should be allowed to have more than say $5 million.How many people may have died because of self delusional stupidity.How can be donate $500 million if he should never be allowed to have more than $5 million .

CALPERS ,Vanguard,Black Rock,State Street etc produce fact sheets.CALPERS is a very simple one to analyse.They give you the breakdown of assets,say 40% goes into the shares of companies around the world,,35% US companies.10% fixed interest ( govt bonds etc).They will give you the breakdown every year.People would rather believe their own self delusional rubbish.Where does the education system fit into said self delusional rubbish.

CALPERS will supply you with how the fund has grown,around $40 billion in 1988 to around $800 billion now.People contribute for a secure retirement.Share prices rise,dividends rise,they get richer because the wealth is shared around.

As obvious as that is,as easy as it is to check people are going to deny it every day of their lives.Denial to the grave,generation after generation.

I'll leave it there.Nothing is ever powerful enough to shatter self delusion.

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Aussie, I agree we are our own propaganda hunters. But were we born delusional? No, we were conditioned by institutions, all of us were, by families, churches, governments, schools, etc. and by our life experiences in the wider society also. Some of us have more profound blindspots (delusions of grandeur for example) than others due to the frequency and intensity of our conditioning.

Right now, we have state boards of education rewriting curriculums, tossing out books, using fear and intimidation of students and teachers to further their self-delusional propaganda goal that whites and white men are superior morally, intellectually, physically, etc. to non-whites and women. This is an example of what I meant by the correlation between education and propaganda.

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Jan 15Liked by Robert Reich

One note about the GED. I was a very troubled and frustrated student who resented the "by-rote" style of teaching and rebelled all of the time.

I took the GED and got 296 out of 300 points. My secret weapon? My love of reading. This love allowed me to educate myself and gain new skill sets as needed.

To your point, no one monitored the books I read, nothing was "off-limits" as such and I was not hindered by any family history or my townspeople's parochial attitudes.

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Adam--My 3 kids were so considerate of their old man none of them graduated from High School, saving me from having to purchase any gifts to reward their educational efforts. They all got their GED. My oldest had an IQ of 165, she dropped out because the school system helped the average student but those who needed special assistance and those who were gifted were pushed aside and basically neglected. The test they gave was given in two parts and on consecutive nights. My child looked over the test and raised her hand. Once called upon she simply asked if she finished the first half could she take the second part that same night? The teacher conducting the test laughed at the question and sarcastically said, Yes sweetie, if you can finish part one you are more than welcome to have a crack at completing the second part. She did both parts on the same night and got a 97% as an overall grade. They wasted an opportunity to reach a truly gifted young thinker. Considering she skipped her entire senior year.

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Donald, as a retired teacher of gifted students, I am so sad your daughter's school didn't respect her enough to offer her what she needed. I would have loved to have had her among my students. I worked hard to find paths for them to do a lot of independent but guided learning. The classroom teachers worked hard to see that they were challenged. We didn't have the resources wealthy districts have (as the poorest district in my state), but I and the other teachers offered many opportunities for them to learn and develop their skills in and out of the school setting. I often took on students not officially tested gifted because their teachers knew tests don't tell everything about a student. I hope your daughter and your other "children" used the GED to find a valuable place for themselves in this crazy world, using their gifts for the benefit of their community and beyond.

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Ruth--My daughter was given a special exam that they gave to all perspective members of a special group of young students, she scored in the top 1/2 of 1% of all the gifted kids in the country and she was only 5.

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She was fortunate to have parents who supported her.

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Awesome! Donald, that must have been a bit tough for you at first. Having a gifted child is a challenge most parents are not ready for. It appears that you were and did the testing that would have helped her school provide the accelerated programs that would have made her education interesting and challenging. When they did not properly follow-through for her, it was just plain wrong. There is no excuse today because there are so many resources online and even in teacher manuals the teachers could have consulted to stimulate her learning. I hope that with your family's guidance, she found all kinds of things to keep her mind whirring along, growing into the amazing gift she was given.

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Schools dumb us down! Homeschoolers do so much better usually. I tried teaching High School in a rural, Republican area. It was glorified day care! I had four students who loved electronics and won a State Championshiip because I let them loose to take anything they needed while I babysat the rest! No support from administrators who were content to collect their nice paycheck! Worse job I ever had and they werren't going to fund the class for 10 years but we did get new Football bleachers!

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I was fortunately to be born a few years after Sputnik, when the US was afraid of falling behind the USSR. Thanks to that and a dedicated teacher/administrator Henrietta (Hattie) Glenn who created the gifted program for Jefferson Co, KY and ran it the way Adm. Rickover ran the nuclear navy. She oversaw all aspects of the program, and made sure everything was top notch. After I was recommended by my 1st grade teacher, Ms. Glenn gave me the evaluation test personally. Ms. Glenn would come to our class 1-2 times per year to observe, and teach a short lesson. There were 40-50 gifted elementary classrooms in the district, and she made time to visit them, while administering everything else. Thanks to her and a bunch of amazing teachers, most of whom Ms. Glenn hired, I got challenging, top notch education. It’s a shame we needed to be losing a missile race to create support for good education.

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Bill--It is said- there is some good in everything. But like you said it's a shame.

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Yes, that's a problem with schools today. They're designed to keep the top students down to the level of the average students, failing to take advantage of superior skills of top students to advance them on a faster scale which they can handle.

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Jaime--It was a case where my daughter was smarter than many of her teachers. She even told off the principal for interfering with her education, you should have sat in on that phone call.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15

In 8th grade I was called to the "guidance" office for allegedly sleeping in algebra class.

Me: Have I ever disrupted the class?

Counselor: No.

Me: When I've been called on to answer a question, have I ever not given the right answer?

Counselor: No.

Has the teacher ever tried to catch me sleeping, and did he?

Counselor: Uh... no.

Me: I'm sorry, can you please explain again why I've been called down here?

Counselor: Go back to class. And try to LOOK like you're paying attention.

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I would've loved that. I often corrected my math teachers. One of them took revenge on me by not crediting answers without writing down the "work", unnecessary intermediate calculations that I always skipped because my mind could reach the answer more directly. That held me back & discouraged me about math.

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true that - I was a very bright student (dumb in other ways, but that's another story) and was neglected, ignored, while teachers tried in vain to penetrate the cement skulls that just laughed at their efforts...a little better when my kids went to school...

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Gina--When I was in grade school the disfunction we refer to as Dyslexia was an unknown.

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true that - a lot of the cement heads were just wired differently

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Adam, I do not think anyone should disparage the GED. It has made life better for a lot of students who could not for a variety of reasons, manage regular school and either dropped out or didn't complete classes to get the diploma. Several of my "gifted" students did that and I am glad for them. It seems that public education needs a boost in funding, course requirements, but also in attitude. The charter schools get lots of public money, in our state, off the top of the state budget, so they can advertise a lot while the regular public schools can't afford to, they are just there, even though in general, regular public schools either outperform or match the charter schools a vast majority of the time (in one study 83% of the time), which means we the people are pumping a lot of money into entities that really don't need to exist at all. Then, there are vouchers (OK, that's a story for another day). When a political party decides public schools need as little support as they can get away with, the children and the state as a whole suffer. We must find ways to let all people come to believe that education and life-long learning are critical to a successful life and society, the economy too.

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I totally agree, Ruth. If the right had its way, public schools would cease to exist, and depriving them of funds is one way to move in that direction. Both teachers and students suffer.

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Two of my sons homesshooled. They'd finish all their work in the Morning and made money with a paper route in the afternoon beside playing outside or helping me. They both took the GED and finished their college degree. One even had a scholarhship. The other paid for all his music lessons and equiptment and is now a teaching musician.

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Keith, good job all 'round. Congrats to you and your sons.

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Thanks, Ruth! My wife had a degree in English and she was a great mother and teacher! All three boys are doing well.

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I dutifully conformed to the teachers’ “by rote” lessons (& graduated with high honors). I agree that learning & critical thinking are a product of a totally different approach. I also eschew the growing used of videos & other passive activities in the classroom. Students need to interact with their teacher, read more, & acquire a love of inquiry.

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RemovedJan 16
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Did everybody who posted get this response? I know I got one. Is it really Robert Reich? Or a ghost.

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I did. Clearly a scam of some sort and certainly not from Mr. Reich.

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Ya... That was my conclusion too.

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Donald, I, too have been disheartened and disturbed by the comments of the Iowans interviewed about the Caucus. I am not sure, though that it is entirely the fault of Iowans themselves. The interviewers rarely ask "real" questions, only questions that will get the mixed-up, pathetic answers the people give. Have you heard any follow-up questions like: name two positions your chosen candidate has that you are in agreement with, then 2 that you oppose; have you ever considered or voted for a Democrat or independent candidate, and if not, why not, if so, why; how do you feel about the violence Donald Trump is suggesting should happen if he does not win the election; do you receive Social Security or Medicare and if so how do you feel about Republicans desire to cut those programs. I hear a lot of interviewees mumbling that they don't know who they are supporting in the caucus (but of course they know), and mouthing their unsupported choice for the caucus but no follow-up to give them a chance to explain. Now, is that because the pieces aired are only specifically chosen phrases or that there was nothing else? The Republican candidates, like the voters are not asked challenging questions either and are permitted also to mumble or writhe their way through an answer with little to no follow-up. Maybe the voters are just following what their candidates do as though that were some kind of badge of honor. I do wish our media and screen media journalists would do better; I know the Republican candidates can't do better.

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1,000 likes from me. I’ve often thought the same thing. But not even one “and just what exactly do you think trump will do to make it better?” Whether it’s the economy, the war in Ukraine or Israel, inflation, the border etc. etc.

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Ruth--The average Iowan doesn't seem to be concerned with positions they only know candidates, and if you're not Republican to them you need to move.

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We lost an experienced Democrate doing a very thorough job as tax collector to a 20 year old who lives in his mother's basement, is still in school and his only work experience is selling on EBAY and cutting grass! All a candidate needs here to win is an "R" after his name!! So discouraging!

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Keith--That kid has a real future in the Republican party, he knows nothing, and he'll fit right in with all the others.

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TJ--I'm just an ordinary guy trying to find my way through this unordinary world. You misjudged me and I don't hold that against you in any way. I find it odd, that what lies at the heart of this country's problems, is exactly what happened between us. People making themselves unapproachable because of their ideology and the fear that their world will be broken by a new sense of reality. We need a wall at our Southern border, but we don't need walls between our people.

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RemovedJan 15
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Please read Reich’s essay again. I think you misconstrued it.

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"Don't believe everything you think."

- Sign in a gas station, Chestertown, MD

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Greg--Interesting words from someone that seems to have issues with their thoughts. L:OL

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I paint what I see.

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Greg--If only I had the colors to express my displeasure.

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Sounds like a liberal statement, straight out of MAD Magazine. My favorite is "Stomp out violence"

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I had to turn off the Iowa PBS show that showed MAGA Iowans (and not all of them were rural) explain their fealty to Trump. Nauseating. I live in rural Iowa, and I cannot stomach their nonsense, but we only have one state-elected Democrat in office, State Auditor Rob Sand, and Gov. Kim Reynolds has hamstrung him in the extreme. She publicly stated during the election cycle when Sand was running for re-election that she wanted someone to unseat him because, get this, she wanted "her own" auditor. That tells you everything about the state of Iowa's politics and lack of transparency and ethics. Sand would make a GREAT governor, but the DMC will never back him because state politics runs deeply red.

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Joan--I live in Michigan and my neighborhood is infested with Trumpers. One individual on the other street has had dozens of Trump signs on her front lawn, and they've been there since 2015. I thought I had it bad, but your entire state is holding you captive.

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Ignorance is chance. Stupid is a choice.

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some people extricate themselves from ignorance - just read how Ray Bradbury couldn't afford to go to university so he went to the local library (at least he had one!! god bless Carnegie) and read everything there...but not everyone has the inclination, the time, or the individuality (we're group creatures after all) to go it alone

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Jen--Ignorance is fixable, stupidity you're stuck with.

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Jen--I had a small growth on my neck, it turned out to be a left over from my chem class, probably the result of working on too many "Molar", equations.

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Donald, "spell" is the right word, and some of these individuals may die for the sake of Trump (some actually did on Jan 6). Trump is a savvy actor, and we need actors to confront, question and ridicule him. Biden cannot do it.

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Victor--Maybe not but "We the People" can.

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Ask the Democrat entrepreneurs on here - what do we need for a fair and just marketplace and ideas.

I've seen amazing booths at Farmer's Markets. BUT , I don't have the extra income to buy from them. It's a coping mechanizing for the middle class - but it highlights the amazing entrepreneurs that are out there. They must be supported.

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Janet--So true.

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Mr. Hodgins,

The way to break the spell is to let Trump keep pumping out his verbal diarrhea. Sooner or later these MAGA folks will realize they are drowning in it. Hopefully sooner. I only have a GED but I have some Common Sense! I would question how many of MAGA have GEDs?

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Kieth0-- Good morning, Sir. Your GED is more in the line of a PHD around here. A guy that went by the name of Paine would love your "Common sense." Pumping the Don with as much crap as possible just might cause the orange guy to over amp, as it were.

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Iowa has been draining brains since WW2. The left-behinders fall into two categories. Those who work in factories and those who own the factories. Don't let the bucolic fields fool us. Every square inch of Iowa is a factory engaged in ruthless resource extraction.

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Mac--Robotics would feel right at home.

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Iowa is experiencing brain drain. The college graduates are leaving the state for better pay in other more progressive states. Also Iowa has become much older and more “Christian” thus less open to forward thinking. “It was fine when I was a kid” type thinkers.

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Alice--Iowa gives a look into what life would be like under Trump. Poorly educated but still our people, Iowans are a small segment of our population that teach the rest of us a good lesson--stay in school.

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Actually I think it’s the canary in the mine. Shows that something is killing our people. This problem in Iowa started with “No Child Left Behind”. Iowa used to rate very high on how well students did in school. Then the world changed and lots of changes happened because we lost something - the different paths one could follow. There used to be shop class, drafting, office skills and the like taught in high schools. The schools taught to the child’s interests (and parents wishes) rather than to a series of tests.

But what you say is also true.

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Alice--

Donald Hodgins

Writes Donald’s Substack

1 min ago

Joan--Get this, I live in a district where the schools give mock exams that reflect the state tests given in the fall. They give these things over and over again to improve the results from their kids. Then they brag about how well their students did, and how progressive their educational programs are. Like Trump they cheat to get what they want.

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It’s not even that they’re stupid- it’s just plain denial. When presented with an undeniable fact:

Me: Trump thinks Dad is a chump for his service as a Marine and cop, because there was nothing in it for him - no way for him to become rich. Here’s the quotes….

Mom: I’m not buying that.

The facts or intelligence do not apply. I think that generation spent so much of their lives denying all the bad stuff going on around them (people born in the 1930s), and following the patriarchy blindly- it’s genuinely scary 🫣 for them to veer away- even if it’s hurting themselves

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Susan--Aside from mass hypnosis there is no explanation to explain their behavior.

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Yes- lol that actually is helpful, because trying to figure it out is not working x too many years. Steeling myself for a birthday visit …. Therapist on call

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Susan--I wish it was that easy, I'd just clap my hands and the country would be as one once again.

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lol- well from what you’ve written, I wouldn’t mind living in your world 🌎. You might not like having me there hahaha

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Yes!!!!! I am pretty sure that Civics and civility are not being taught in school now and it is a shame. No intelligent person should support #45. He is deranged and a threat to our Democracy. Wake up America!!!!!

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We continue the prosecutions,then kick his ass into a dungeon.(A muzzle might also work

very well)One way or another people need to be deprogrammed and see the light.This maniac will do nothing for them!Maybe someone from the Biden campaign can reach the people that need it the most.

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Red--The truth must come from the Republican side of the aisle.

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Yes, we feel the same about you educated, heavily medicated urban degenerates. We'll all be happier when there's a border between us.

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TJ---- Why are you moving to Mexico--

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Maybe he wants a Trump wall around Iowa!

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Keith--I don't know if he knows what he wants.

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Donald - when I watched "Idiocracy" years ago, I did not fully grasp its message. I do now.

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james--I hope the meaning you infer is on the good side of life.

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Well no actually, if I get your intent. That movie was a spoof of course, or a satire, but its plot involving ignorant unintelligent and cowed people being ruled by corporate elites has all kinds of corollaries for today. And the writers could not have known then just how prescient they were. That is very sad.

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James--If I remember correctly, I made a comment to TJ about there being a border between us. That is still a question to be answered.

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The problem really goes beyond trump. It goes right to our fellow Americans who allow a cretin like trump to exist in American politics in the first place. These are people we see every day, and they like what comes out of his mouth. Something has happened to make them hate, and trump has made it not only ok to hate but the righteous way to be. He's made it ok to hate their fellow Americans. That's why I hate him!

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I think ConDon is a vile human being, I will not let him turn my heart black with his hate..instead I hope.. hope the justice system brings him to his knees and he continues to tell his follower they are but mere pawns needed for votes then they can die ..

Media needs to do much better at covering him is another hope..

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msaw,

I couldn't agree more with everything you said. We may have to vote him out. Then, send I'm on his way to hell.

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He was never supposed to win - surprised EVERYONE, even Trump.

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