290 Comments
Jan 6·edited Jan 6

It is disturbing to see Trump being given every benefit of the doubt, where there seems to be none. Abuse of power and financial fraud are so evident, and yet we all must look on as he slips from one situation to another, untouched. It feels like there is no justice unless you can buy it. It has been 3 years; none of us would have such freedom and so much time. I hope the coming weeks prove me to be incorrect.

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That's exactly how I feel, Bonnie. I can only imagine what we look like as a country to our allies and enemies, that someone so ignorant is allowed to get away with everything. That he's dragged us all around for eight years now - and counting. Those who have the power to stop him are too cowardly to do so and don't mind being seen as such. I was flabbergasted that he holds no office, has been indicted and then actually oversaw the election of the republican House Speaker and they chose his man - are you kidding me? Unfortunately, other dictator wannabes are watching, learning, and will be applying what is on display.

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"I can only imagine what we look like as a country to our allies and enemies, that someone so ignorant is allowed to get away with everything." Indeed. Replace ignorant with malevolent or deceitful or corrupt or nefarious. All words that indicate he knows what he is doing, as opposed being ignorant. As for our allies and enemies - I agree 100%. They are all watching a sh_t-show inside the world's preeminent democracy that strongly suggests we have become an unstable country that cannot be relied upon, or a country that can be taken advantage of. And this I believe is regardless of the outcome. Similar travesties have unfolded with many of our allies as authoritarianism seems to be contagious. But none I know of (except Israel) involving an indicted candidate. But we should be immune from it. Instead we have a way too-strong political party that is attempting to usher it in hook line and sinker. The damage Trump and MAGGOT Republicans has caused this country already is immeasurable. The SCOTUS has the opportunity to end this and at least limit the damages. All they have to do is stand behind what is already the law, and not quibble with weak technicalities. But nobody will be more surprised than I if they actually come through.

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If the members of the Supreme Court want to end the damage to the Republican Party, they will follow the text of the Fourteenth Amendment and disqualify tfg. They would, of course, be simultaneously protecting democracy, the country, and the world from further depredation by tfg.

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Except me..I’ll be the most surprised

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It would be more in keeping with their being Americans who have by actual merit succeeded to the highest level in their profession, for them to rule against the former President.

I may be off base, but at this level of our judicial system I suspect however mistakenly, that most justices want to be recorded as actual arbiters of justice rather than political appointees. Unlike the turnover of Roe this decision does not have the sanctity of religious belief to lift it above the fray.

Part of me wants to see him and his Congressional followers go down at the polls while my more pragmatic self says get rid of him now.

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We look very, very bad and it's not out of paranoia They see what's coming and as a super-power, just like when the Baltic states crumble, so goes the world.

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On display: how easy it is to lead those who ignore reality

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It’s so irritating that the very legal system he is able to play to his advantage at every turn probably won’t exist if he gets to be president again🤬

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There is absolutely NO DOUBT THAT IT WILL NOT EXIST. In fact the SOUPreme court may not exist--what's the point if there is only one decision maker and no options for argument.

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Bonnie, I totally agree with you. My mother used to say, "Money talks." "If she were here today, she'd not believe that a former (or current) POTUS would pay to have the justice system go out of their way to keep him from being punished, especially under those circumstances.

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Jan 6·edited Jan 6

I don't think he is paying the justice system, but he has surrounded himself with people who take good care of him. It also appears those in politics are afraid to confront him at all, either because of real or perceived threats, or fear of being primaried. His money brings him great advantage.

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I think I may have used the wrong expression. Your comments make a lot more sense! In any event, he's like a spoiled, rotten brat who always finds a way to get what he wants. Let's get SCOTUS to surprise him and do the right thing. We don't deserve anything less than that.

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Some Republican Senators said they did not vote to impeach Trump because they feared for the safety of their families.

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They are cowards.

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They ARE cowards.

Ask Paul Pelosi if their fear is justified. That little freak had only a hammer.

My county is run by a sheriff affiliated with Proud Boys.

The country is armed to the teeth with military weapons, and the fanatics who brandish them are MAGGOTS

It’s all of a piece.

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Yep, it is and I'm sorry but I'm actually going to respond at the top because everyone should know what I just saw that's also part of this.

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Exactly what happens to get Mike Johnson into speaker role

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I appear to be the lone ranger screaming, "Ask Christine Blasely Ford." She was the first I remember to be attacked. She suffered, no one was held accountable, and we got a whiney-ass dope in scotus. Whiney-ass = a disgruntled maga or in rump's case a "Strongman". Ugh.

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shee-rah, I beleive Tr**P deserves all the negitives heaped upon him, but feel the cowards in the retr**plican party deserve every bit the same. They took the same oath of office and failed to put Country and the Constitution before personal wellfare.

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He didn’t pay himself but he did pay via Leonard Leo et al and he did appoint them and was explicit about why he did it and his expectations. Alina repeated those expectations yesterday. Enough to “make a person gag” 😂. He will lose the immunity but will stay on the ballots per Tribe. His spaghetti at the wall arguments too. More gagging .

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Him being a thug has brought him great advantage, i guess his money allowed that. And, our republican representatives who FAILED in putting country over party because why? They were/are SCARED?

Really? Of the mob boss?

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They were scared of the “well organized militia” of proud boys and other maggots armed as they are to the teeth with automatic weapons.

I think we underestimate, or perhaps just can’t bear to admit, how much damage they have done. And I’m speaking of the Supreme Court here with its misinterpretation of the second amendment. This is perhaps a well organized militia, but not in control of the government. Unless the “government” that controls it is actually the Supreme Court.

I don’t expect anything better of them now.

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Hur-rah. I call them maggots, too. It really fits the meaning. I also get comments banned due to it :) .

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Exactly.

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There’s a tag on that “Money talks” line. “Money talks and shit walks”. Seems so in tfg’s case.

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and his MAGAt followers are his 'made men'. This is all so mafioso... Russian mobsters, Putin taught him well. Now all the MAGAts are tRump's hit men, and everyone is scared... including judges, citizens, other politicians, etc. etc. It's unbelievable, but it's our reality.

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Jan 6·edited Jan 6

The Justice System is designed to keep would be Judge/Jury/Executioners from running things as they see fit as has been done numerously in both ours and the worlds past... Which is why it is setup to only allow convictions' when there is little to no doubt of guilt... Public opinion is always a bad method to determine guilt... Those like myself who loathe him and his type would hang him in a heartbeat, while those who think he's the 2nd coming would hang everyone trying to convict him... That would be Mob rule, no one wins under that system...

Our best bet is to work at getting MAGA Candidates out of Office and Trump fail in his 3rd bid for POTUS... At that point the GOP will start to turn on him...

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I suggest that it's the point that he's currently above the law in his minimum of just 91 felony counts and still has stolen documents or by this time, all the people who will benefit from the.. So, I agree, no justice unless you can buy it.

Obama said he'd get rid of lobbyists. He couldn't and gave up. But if our future is as dark as I see it, lobbyists won't matter anymore.

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Trump also has a seemingly endless supply of money from people willing to give to defend him, which most of us would not have either. For all people are calling him an idiot, he has a strategy, and given what he has done, it is having some effect to help him. He is a "charismatic" leader, what most of us would call a charlatan, but preaching to a willing audience of faithful sheep. It is these people that are most disturbing. One would wish that they would wake up from their Trump induced coma. However, I am grateful to the people in the Substacks I read like this one, who are showing that there is a community of thoughtful people who are WOKE! I say this in the best of senses, meaning aware of what is going on!

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Linda, the Trump base is unified by animosity towards government in general and Democrats in particular. Having Democrats to hate gives Republicans an advantage because that makes everything personal for them. While Democrats are in the position of trying to rescue our system of government—a relative abstraction—Republicans can vilify Democrats and easily stir up personal anger in their voters, which is much more motivating. That’s the essential asymmetry between the two parties. One is aspirational and the other is vengeful. One has a complex focus and the other has a simple one.

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That said, it’s clear the Democratic focus is tightening around fear of Republicans. The President’s speech yesterday is evidence, as are many comments on this board.

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Well put. That is why I see rallying people around strong feelings about the anti-abortion agenda of the Republican party might be a more concrete then the rallying cry of "save our democracy." That is too abstract. Lots of women need to get out and vote and the men that support their health care and the right to choose. We need to be stressing the negative effects that the Republican legislation is having on women's health care in general, including the right to have a healthy baby, and stay alive and in good health while carrying it to term, or to choose not to have a child if it is not right for them.

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And I would add that the Democrats need to amplify the message that taking away abortion rights is just the beginning. Clarence Thomas has made it clear that all of the rights that have been secured over the years under the equal protection clause are on the chopping block.

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I agree, but I was formerly a teacher in a John Dewey school. He believed in learning through experiences. Those lacking the creativity and imagination to understand the things one is predicting will happen will do much better with illustrations of the dystopian things that are already happening. I have been grateful to the alternative press that every woman horror story of a wanted pregnancy gone wrong, is illustrated with White women. In this way, they cannot pretend that it is only a problem for non-White women.

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Even Bolsonaro got the heck out of Brazil when faced with prosecution for similar incitement and outcome. Since I am not familiar with the legal system there and I have heard horror stories about 'third-world justice', as hard as it is I must temper my agreement. The Senate could have largely taken care of the matter but didn't. That is the real injustice. SCOTUS will do as SCOTUS does and they have been a mystery to me but for this Substack. They must know their legacy will outlive the #BO-butt-makeup infused perpetual victim.

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I think all someone has to look at immediately is what is happening in Argentina with their newly selected right winger. Most of us with any age around us have seen the horrors play out all over this old world so while it helps to be a student of history it certainly isn’t necessary any longer.

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Yes, using the very system designed to be fair to the innocent to twist it. Of course he is not smart enough to be doing any of this thinking or plotting, it is the others twisting for him.

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Amen, sister!

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I was hoping Joyce would comment briefly on Bidens speech today. I thought it was one of his best. Finally took the gloves off and blasted Trump for jan.6, Arlington remarks, and dictator remarks, using Trumps own words. I think it makes a huge difference when THE PRESIDENT makes this kind of direct, passionate denunciation. He's tried to stay above it, but his silence has registered as acceptance. And weakness.

He has the bully pulpit, and he has passion, and he has right on his side. He has to speak forcefully, repeatedly, against Trump and the others. Repetition works, we've found that out. Being above it all has left open space for Trump to saturate the airwaves with toxic sludge. I'm a strong Biden admirer and even i felt better hearing him name the enemy. Like when Dumbledore insisted on using Voldemorts name, not meekly referring to him as " he who must not be named."

You go, Joe. Keep it up.

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I agree. I still don’t get why, according to polls our fellow citizens prefer republicans over democrats to keep them safe and run the economy. Of course I mostly ignore the polls*. But still, what is wrong with people? Why is trump still a thing?

During the 2016 campaign when we were all flipping out about trump winning and all the whiners, (I don’t like Hillary. Oh those emails.) I remember Obama giving a speech where he said, “Look, the American people are smart” in the context that Obama was assuring us that trump would lose. I remember thinking; “No, no they are not. We can not count on the american voters being smart enough to pull the blue lever and turn their back on the despicable in so many ways candidate trump”. Well, Trump did lose the popular vote but not the election. And apparently a large number of voters have gotten more stupid, mean, selfish, racist, etc. in the intervening 8 years.

*I say this over and over, ever since the Great Polling Debacle of 2016, I ignore the polls and I urge others to do so as well. It became clear that the old ways of polling do not work in the current iteration of our society. As recent as 2022, the polls were wrong. Remember that red tsunami that turned into a trickle? There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and then there are polls.

And I wonder if the predictions of a red tsunami made some blue voters stay home, as the prediction for a strong Clinton win did in 2016. Which is why every sane person with a clear moral compass needs to vote blue up and down the ballot. Don’t stay home. Don’t vote for a third party. Vote blue as if your life depends on it, because it does.

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🇺🇸 VOTE BLUE 🇺🇸

IT MAY BE YOUR LAST CHANCE

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I agree, I don’t get it. I don’t know how people could watch J6 on their television, watch or listen to his rants and not conclude he’s a danger to America and democracy.

I have little faith that the illegitimate supreme court will rule he is ineligible under the 14th Amendment. Thomas won’t recuse himself. He, Alito and Gorsuch are in his camp. Regardless what Gorsuch said previously. All he needs is two of the remaining three, two are his appointments.

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I think there's a very good chance that the people who watch Fox News, or other far right news programs, never watched any of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings, where many of the people who testified (like Brad Raffensperger & Jeffrey Rosen) were Republicans!

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Very true, but at least some of them had to have watched J6 as it happened. Some may have watched the real news on that day. Put that day aside for the moment. Listen to what he has been saying recently, how can anyone not come to the conclusion he’s a danger.

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Hey, I agree with all of you. Mike: Their leader loves violence. He makes statements to satisfy the base and piss us off. It works well. When you have H U G E silos like fox, sinclair, FB and twit you live in a different plane where much of the truth is unreachable. When it is, they've been radicalized (brainwashed works) to say the truth is a lie.

Yep to scotus. Court stacked - never forget McConnell allowed this by keeping Garland out, don't know about the FBI (is this true?) didn't follow @5000 leads about the whiney sllimeball AFTER Christine Blasely Ford was under attack because of her brazenness to tell the dang truth about him).

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Thomas? I don't know. So far neither Alito nor Gorsuch have shown any inclinations towards given deference to Trump in his muliple attempts to overturn election via courts or to grant any executive immunity to his docs or o those he confided. If Ms. Vane is correct and Roberts is desiring a unanimous decision, pressure will be placed on Thomas to recuse or to join a majority. And while justices shouldn't make up thei minds before briefings are filed, they often do and in granting certiorari, I believe they already know how they feel bout Trump and Jan 6.

I do think Thomas might favor the disintegration of the American system , I have not receied that impression from Gorsuch. Alito probably should recuse himself because he is barely able to conceal his contempt for Trump. Barrett, whatever else she has been in her brief tenure, she really has in no way exhibited any inclination towards a disorderd justice system.. The problematic Trump appointee to me is Kavanaugh who sort of slides around the map in his jurisprudence. In Dobbs he couldn't actually bring himself to overturn Roe so he writes that Casey requires continuous litigation and he thinks, in order to vote with the majority, since Casey effectively overturned Blackmun's trimester scheme that the only way to have judicial peace is to vote against Jackson's Health. Then on turning over certain documents he once again sided with the majority but suggested perhaps the idea in Nixon which unshields unprivileged documents might need to be reexamined, but once again chose not to do.so. I find him difficult to read. Of course all of us will hear some inclinations in how they are thinking on Feb 8, and I expect a rapid decision

One other thing to consider--the conservatives are all very much inclined to override the supremacy clause and favor state regulation and law against federal authority. That would tend to counter the idea they would favor Trump's argument that the president has greater power concentrated in his authority, when their argument (even during his presidency) that suggested he did not and could not exert authorities of executive supremacy.

Of course I have no more foreknowledge than anyone else how they will decide or whether it will be tailored to just Colorado or disqualify Trump generally.

But a couple of other things to consider is how they will interpret if the president is disqualified by the language of the amendment. One argument that was presented to me was that officer includes executives in authority, and electors and congresspersons were listed separately because they are not executives and hold no office. and since the same categories in the amendment were extended to state positions, the governors would not have been prohibited. No officer, etc, "federal or state" could serve again. The amendment, however does include congressional authority---for pardoning officials to serve again. They do not at all give themselves the authority to determine who should be disqualified other than those who engage or give aid to participants in an insurrection. That authority was taken up by Attorney General Stanford and sometimes the courts and congress never said---wait, that's our job.

And maybe I'm just too optimistic. But I look at Trump's long record in the courts and he has a very consistent record of delay, we know that, but whenever the cases finally get heard by the courts or by juries he has hardly ever found himself on the winning side of an legal action. The only way he has ever won is to settle before trial.

His tactics have never been very successful from a legal standpoint.

Finally I don't think that the SC can redeem itself from its judicial bentness---that will remain however they decide, but Trump defies the direction in which they seem to be bent and he defies the direction of any jurisprudence no matter the political persuasion that extends itself to jurisprudential interpretation--see the recent Israeli supreme court devastation of Netanyahu's attempt to limit the courts power there through his strong-armed attempt to provide a legislative shield for himself. Unless a court, like Russia or Singapore, where courts perhaps, lack any judicial authority to make decisions not predetermined by the state, Trump's appeals won't go anywhere in any worldly court.

I could be wrong, but that's how I read Trump's past relationship within the legal system, and I would be greatly surprised if that changed.

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People forget one of the poll questions being asked. If Trump is convicted, will you still vote for him? A majority said no.

That changes a lot of things.

I don’t have the references handy but I know I saw it on MSNBC.

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I believe you.

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Biden finally raised his voice today. He sounded like he meant his accusations. He tends usually to begin mumbling as he reads his speeches, and he must learn to keep his voice strong. and enunciate clearly. He also needs at the end of his speeches to stand and nod and wave to his crowd of listeners.rather than turning and leaving. Joe Biden -- we are counting on you to fight for our democracy ! To borrow a phase from Day-One Dictator Donald, "We'll fight like hell right along with you !"

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Susan, Thank you for writing. I simply would add, while Biden’s speech Friday afternoon, even if repeatedly delivered, though necessary, is not sufficient. Hence my urgent call not only for Biden but also for Democrats-at-large, drawing upon their long history of building social movements, to build a nationwide pro-democracy movement rooted both in mutual respect and social accountability and also in its fidelity to the rule of law and the Constitution. My point is that our side, contrary to MAGA whose leader presents himself as the savior particularly of white people, requires a kind of public awakening that allows us to transcend our egocentric predicaments and connects us to a profound sense of what it is to be a citizen among citizens.

In a word, I envision a call to action: uniting, inspiring, and educating people, who know we are under threat, to commit to participating in saving our democracy and also, hopefully, waking up those asleep to the necessity and urgency.

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Biden & his team also have to address the situation at the border, with some kind of major speech - and perhaps appointing a bipartisan commission of some sort, to come up with a comprehensive immigration plan.

But, of course, the Republicans don't really want to solve the immigration problem. They just want to use it as a cudgel against Biden & the Dems.

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BS ON THE BORDER. I live in TEXAS. He cannot fix what the congress DOES NIT LEGISLATE

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@KMD, Regrettably, due to strategic Republican obstructionism, a bipartisan commission, while a good idea, would be hamstrung. Accordingly, I advise Biden focus on whatever can get done through executive orders, starting with DACA and TPS—two issues of paramount importance, particularly to young people and people of color.

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I like this idea particularly with a label thats not partisan. (However, most of the good names have been co-opted by the right.)

I have wished for 7 long years that Dems would get savvy about PR. About how to use your opponents words to defeat them

I get apoplectic when I see an MSNBC host show clips of Trumps performances -a 30" blast of a forcefully and confidently delivered "truth" - followed by a panel discussion of lawyers and historians dissecting it. They should be reading his text, not delivering the whole blast which is powerful and compelling. I keep thinking Dems should hire McDonald's PR firm, or Coke or Previgen or some group that understands how to sell things. I wish all the prominent people who worked in his administration would make ads denouncing him.

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Susan, I thought you would be interested in knowing I’m working with a small group that is at the stage of reaching out to a handful of standout Democratic leaders, who would be particularly effective in galvanizing young people.

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I wanted to see it but wound up missing it. Thanks for the info, will find it tomorrow and listen.

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The full video is on the Joe Biden You Tube channel. The intro speaker begins speaking at 2 minutes and Biden begins speaking at 5 minutes and ends at 38 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ictnsmrAntc

Enjoy!

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Just my opinion but let’s take the case of Kavanaugh. Today, I believe, Trump’s perky but dark lil’ attorney, Alina Habba, stated that she thought Brett Kavanaugh will “step up” in Trump’s ballot cases in Maine and Colorado. Basically, she’s put the hit out on Kavanaugh if he doesn’t pay back the honor of having Trump put him on the bench. Not so subtle of a mob warning. Twenty-five years ago, good ole Brett wrote that a president who upends his duties cannot serve the country anymore. The onus is directly on him and that’s why lil’ Alina targeted him. I cannot predict what SCOTUS will do. I know that I gnash my teeth throughout the days and nights frequently. I know that I want Thomas impeached or have him resign. I know that I would love to see a big earthquake happen in Congress where we win both the Senate and the House. I know that I want those in Congress who helped the insurrection happen, be held accountable and serve jail time. I know I want real justice to prevail where we see Donald J. Trump and his ilk prosecuted for every crime they have committed, indicted, and imprisoned. I know I want peace in the Middle East and for Ukraine to achieve success against Putin. Too much to ask for?

In the meantime today, Biden gave a helluva speech. I laughed heartily when he said: “Let’s be clear about the 2020 election. Trump exhausted every legal avenue available to him to overturn the outcome...every one. But the legal path just took Trump back to the truth that I’d won the election and he was a loser.”

Also in today’s news, the great Harry Dunn announced his bid for Congress from the state of Maryland! All was not lost today.

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I also want the hostages that Hamas is holding, freed!

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As the elected Republicans who had attacked Trump and now bend the knee, both your comment and the article ring true. I’ve read about Trump’s intimidation, fueled by the Russian mafia as far back as the 1980s. And it’s amazing watching basically movies about the mafia played out by Trump’s attorneys and public relations people. And add to that the Hitler references. Ted Cruz basically started the ball rolling when after Trump went after Cruz’s family, he capitulated. Who knows what non-public pressure is added to the flagrant public statements. It’s hard to see the SCOTUS justices, some already bought and paid, standing up. Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong.

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Wit’cha, 💯🇺🇸

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It was a good day.

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“Let’s be clear about the 2020 election. Trump exhausted every legal avenue available to him to overturn the outcome...every one. But the legal path just took Trump back to the truth that I’d won the election and he was a loser.” Let’s see how many times MSM repeats these words of President Biden or any words from his speech. They run the orange fascist scab’s deplorable remarks 24/7/365.

More Democrats need to speak up, loud and proud, hope it isn’t too late for the blue party to look strong, speak up and speak back to the weak infested MAGA party that bends to the orange ilk at every turn.

We need to demand CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS give Joe equal time. NPR, PBS, even the BBC give more time to Joe and how great the American economy is, bouncing back from the orange hell of the previous admin. GOJOE #VoteBiden2024 #VoteBlue2024

Question: isn’t the Supreme Court ruling on 3:14 applying to the office of President, not just one orange fascist president? If so, they rule in favor of allowing a president to plan, lead and incite an insurrection, it applies to all US presidents, same for the immunity question. Essentially this will give Joe Biden, the current president, the right to remain in office for the rest of his life. He will be able to do as he pleases; including indict, arrest and imprison every single Congress person who was responsible for J6, clear the federal offices of any orange appointees, expand the Supreme Court, impeach the justices who lied during the Senate approval hearings, abolish the Republican party and let the Dems run Congress. Hmmmmm. Joe could clean up America and return it to the respected around the world Democracy it once was.

But no, Dems won’t take the ‘two can play at this game’ road. But Dems need to wake up and get the word out that America is its best as a Democracy. And be LOUD about it.

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This morning the New York Times published my letter, along with three others, on whether Trump should be excluded from the ballot pursuant to Section 3. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/04/opinion/trump-ballot-2024-election.html

Among other points, my letter explains:

“Those who argue ‘let the voters decide’ ignore that it was precisely the point of the constitutional provision to prevent voters from deciding to put insurrectionists back into power.

“Anti-democratic? In a way. Those who wrote Section 3 of the 14th Amendment recognized that American democracy remained at risk from those who had once tried to overthrow our government. When it came to insurrection, their view was: ‘One strike, you’re out.’

“We face the very same risks today. An insurrectionist wants another shot at dictatorship. The Constitution says no way.”

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If folks’ vote counted! The Electoral College & state gerrymandering decide.

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Just read your letter in the NYT. Thank you for writing.

It's absurd for people to believe that the President of the US is not an "officer". On his Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021, Donald Trump placed his right hand on the Bible and literally took the "oath of office"!

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Right on, Mitchell!! Bravo!

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founding

On point Mitchell. Thank you. I'll read your letter.

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I wish I could read the letter. It’s behind a paywall. But one strike is all anyone should get at insurrection

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The full letter:

To the Editor:

Re “How Justices May Weigh Trump Case,” by Adam Liptak (news analysis, front page, Dec. 30):

In 2000, I wrote a statement eventually signed by 673 law professors (and run as a full-page ad in The Times) denouncing the Bush v. Gore justices for acting as “political partisans, not judges of a court of law.” Will they do so again?

The Republican-appointed justices can escape partisanship by rejecting the feeble arguments against removing Donald Trump from the ballot.

First, the 14th Amendment plainly applies to the presidency. Who can take seriously the notion that the amendment’s authors wanted to prevent insurrectionists from running for dogcatcher but not the most powerful office in the land?

Second, Jan. 6 was obviously an insurrection — a violent attempt to overturn an election and prevent a lawfully elected president from taking office.

Finally, those who argue “let the voters decide” ignore that it was precisely the point of the constitutional provision to prevent voters from deciding to put insurrectionists back into power.

Anti-democratic? In a way. Those who wrote Section 3 of the 14th Amendment recognized that American democracy remained at risk from those who had once tried to overthrow our government. When it came to insurrection, their view was: “One strike, you’re out.”

We face the very same risks today. An insurrectionist wants another shot at dictatorship. The Constitution says no way.

Mitchell Zimmerman

Palo Alto, Calif.

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The constitution is not undemocratic, and the 14th Amendment is no exception. Defending the constitution is not undemocratic. Primary election ballots are not covered, and really no ballots are. So what's really being decided is if Trump is disqualified from, ineligible for, the presidency. Common sense is all anyone needs to know beyond any doubt that not only is Donald unqualified but he is a clear and present danger to the United States and by extension the rest of mankind.

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Thank you for posting your letter, Mitchell. So important to write editors of newspapers because they do grab a reader’s attention.

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Anti-Democratic? Why? Is there any example out there that is Democratic, yet does not have a set of laws, rules, or other set of governing criteria, that is at least tacitly agreed to by all participants?

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In that it precludes a possible majority from getting their way. But I obviously agree that a constitutional democracy can insist on certain values participants must agree to.

As had been said in various contexts, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

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founding

I read it and again, on point for sure. On another note, I was born at the old Palo Alto Hospital and growing up in RC had a classmate, a Nancy Zimmerman. Slim chance, but maybe related.

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Nope. No relation. I grew up in the Bronx!

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founding

You're in my old hood now!

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We’ve been here since 1976!

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I would like to read this but cannot it is fenced by subscription.

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I POSTED THE FULL TEXT OF MY LETTER ABOVE, in response to someone else who also coukdnt read it because of the pay wall.

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The letter is excellent. Your words express clearly what many of us are feeling.

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founding

Thank you.

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The person of the century with the bloodiest hands, Wayne Lapierre the NRA monster has “retired” as he enters a courtroom on multiple charges. Ding Dong this witch is almost dead.

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My Birthday is Jan. 6th and it gives me yet another reason to loathe Trump.

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I hope you spend your birthday celebrating you. Don't give it away! Happy birthday.

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Have a happy birthday and don’t give TFG the benefit of ruining your day!

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Let me just say, Beth, that my husband’s 77th is on the 12th, 6 days after yours. You are important and so is your birthday!! Happy Birthday tomorrow! Be well.

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Celebrate YOU! Happy birthday!

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Happy birthday from a fellow Capricorn. Don’t let that worthless sack of orange fat ruin your day.

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Beth, you have an amazing day for a birthday! Jan. 6th is Epiphany or Three Kings Day. It is when the wise men, after visiting the child Jesus and his mother Mary and being warned in a dream, went home "by another road" and FOILED the murderous Herod. Have a Happy Day!

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Enjoy! Forget Dump and celebrate another trip around the sun!

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Jan 6·edited Jan 6

Beth, happy birthday! Enjoy your special day, It comes only once a year, so make the best of it, okay? Think about you!!! Forget about that slug (sorry to insult slugs) and don't allow him to get into your head to ruin your day. If you happen to watch TV at some point. stay away from networks that would make any mention of that horrible day. Watch a movie or "binge-watch" a channel that plays re-runs of your favorite old shows.

Have some cake and ice cream and enjoy! God bless!

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Happy Birthday! I wish I could bake you a beautiful ORANGE carrot cake for you to slice up and distribute to friends.

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Happy Birthday. Don't let the Orange Toad spoil it.

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Jan 6·edited Jan 6

Surely this is and will be the single most important ruling a Supreme Court has made at least in my lifetime.

The chaos, either way, is what each and every one of us must expect and ride firmly through. I have hope and I have fear, and I'm an American and I'm not caving to the latter. Period. It is our Republic, if we are strong enough to stand firm for it. I know where I stand.

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The ruling one if he is a king or not will be next.

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Thanks to Senator McConnell. Everywhere, at every turn, when democracy is bleeding out he's there with something sharp.

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You read my mind. He really is a little prick.

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I truly despise that turtleneck bastard.

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I would think the justices would come together and tell Thomas to recuse himself given the circumstances with his wife.The 14 th Amendment seemed pretty cut and dried to me. Then I heard Trump’s lawyer saying that since Trump helped them get their places on the Supreme Court that it would be a slam dunk. Trump thinks he owns the court. I hope they prove him wrong. Trump is unqualified in so many ways. I still remain hopeful that are Constitution will stand and Democracy will reign.

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I heard that trump call out to Brett Kavanaugh today saying that he (trump) had a lot of trouble finally getting him on the Court. That's clearly a dog-whistle reminding Kavanaugh - in front of the whole country - look what I did for you. So, I wonder if now that trump has spoken out to Kavanaugh obviously expecting a favorable ruling for his 14th Amendment case they just accepted to hear on an expedited basis, will Kavanaugh recuse himself? (Would you like that with fries, Mr. Trump?) I bet Thomas will not recuse himself, probably has never crossed his mind. I agree with Joyce that since they're expediting the hearing, they're wanting him to be on all the ballots.

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So now trump has clearly threatened to sic his armed magates on Kavanaugh and his family, should he vote against trump.

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I retain a strong (if ill-founded) hope that SCOTUS will be able to figure out how bad tfg would be for *them* nail him with the 14th.

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Just remember who we're dealing with; blatant hypocrisy causes them no outward appearance of shame. They need to face consequences, years to regret their hypocrisy.

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Near the end of the 14th Amendment, it talks about "aiding & abetting our enemies" and certainly that is an area where trump has also ravaged the country by sharing our National Defense secrets with foreign nations most likely for some of that $7.8 million discovered this week, or the $1 million Jared Kushner got early on or the $2 Billion he received later. trump broke every law possible while in office & must NOT ever be near the WH again. I yield back my time.

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It would be wonderful to believe that SCOTUS would do right by the Constitution. But I know in my heart of hearts that when they deliver their decision, it will give me the same sick feeling I got when the decision was made on Roe. I know that President Biden has said he does not favor re-structuring the Court, but I believe it is the only answer to bringing the Court back in balance. Eliminate life-time terms, implement a rotation, add 3 justices, and find a way to hold them accountable ethically. It would be great if Thomas and Alito could be forced to retire.

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I see this as the only way to preserve our democracy because of all the people who are enabling and directly supporting autocracy.

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Our Supreme Court will show its colors with this ruling and I only hope they are red, white and blue

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He feels they “owe” him.

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You may be right, but I hope they don't. That would truly be a shameful betrayal of our nation. Unfortunately the Court's religious beliefs have already betrayed women with the overturning of Roe v Wade. Church and State have never made a good mix, especially for women

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You can see the writing on the wall, though, can't you? The Supreme Court will dillydally beyond the patience of a saint, then point out that the 14th Amendment doesn't say anything about names appearing on ballots nor about primaries. Each states will still need to make their own decisions on what names will appear on their ballots for the 'general election' but that will lead back to the Supreme Court yet again. Meanwhile Donald is permitted to continue running his mouth as though he's a legitimate candidate.

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At this point he is a legitimate candidate and if his Supreme Court appointees shun their role to uphold the law he may be allowed on the ballot in November.

While this would certainly open the door to our nation's political demise, my sense is the overwhelming majority really are too smart to make a mistake of that sort ......again.

Since he cannot keep his mouth shut we all know his plan and for all our faults we the American majority, are not fools.

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Legitimate he may be in a legal sense, but illegitimate in most other senses. Anyways, I am in agreement that Donald will lose the election if he is running. The majority are not fools.

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I don’t trust SCOTUS to rule that until he is actually convicted of insurrection a man/woman is innocent until proven guilty. They are looking not on the ramifications of our democracy but an easy way out. Thanks Joyce

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That is not correct Christopher. The Colorado case is a CIVIL case not a Criminal case. Thus, for the Burden of Proof is "more likely than not". Defendant Trump was a no show at the Colorado case nor did offer any defense. Nada. Zip. Zero.

No worries Art Melber got it wrong this afternoon when Ari was interviewing JANET GRISWOLD. Janet retorted that the CO case was a CIVIL case & noted there have been hundreds of Section 3 DQ's not limited to "civil war combatants". Fact Check: TRUE.

[T]fg knows the rules as the Liar argued Obama was DQ'd because he was born in Kenya: Fact check: FALSE. Obama was born in Hawaii but, Obama is also DQ'd in 2024 because Obama has already been President twice. Dern it.

My favorite Congressman is also DQ'd because. he is not even 30 years old.

A presidential candidate must be 35 to qualify. Too young.

Schwarzenegger? Nope, the Austrian bodybuilder is not a natural born citizen. So Arnold will not "be back".

My concern is the Chief Justice is a coward an "orginalist" coward. Regardless, there are many ways to dodge the merits.

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Thanks for the clarification Bryan but SCOTUS has consistently surprised us with their interpretations. I guess we will see. Thanks again.

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Keep us posted Ransom Rideout cuz' "democracy dies" in clicks.

SATURDAY UPDATE: "Former Trial Attorney & host of the Podcast "Justice Matters' GLEN KIRSCHNER gave an excellent Opening Statement on former Trial Attorney Katie Phangs MSNBC show this morning;

Glen says three (3) Issues:

1. The definition of "insurrection" in Section 3 & SCOTUS' deference, if any, to state court factual findings.

2. Is the "office" of President an "officer" of the United States" Glen says that question can be handled by a 3rd grader.

3. The 'Big One" - what process is due? Glen means "process" in Constitutional terms specifically Life & Liberty not the 5th or 14th Amendments' due process.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a former Trial Attorney and we always say there are

"3 big issues" ... "ladies & gentlemen of the Jury".

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founding

As I said yesterday Bryan, I value your comments. No response from the WaPo hot shot yet either.

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But the amendment doesn’t state “must be convicted.” It states “shall have engaged in insurrection.”

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Exactly, as the Colorado Sec'y of State mentioned in an interview with Ari Melber. Totally agree. As self-executing as the more familiar qualifications in Article II, Sec 1, Clause 5, about being natural born citizen, 35 years old, etc.

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Fact check: TRUE.

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And to have a legitimate opinion Mr. Thomas must recuse himself. If he does not then the ethics agreement he signed mean nothing.

Canon 3.B.(2)

"A Justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the Justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, that is, where an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant circumstances would doubt that the Justice could fairly discharge his or her duties."

https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/Code-of-Conduct-for-Justices_November_13_2023.pdf

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Marlene, John

All true.

However, if Thomas does not recuse, then he will prove the "Code of Conduct for Justices" is a nothing burger and give Congress (Senator Whitehouse) what they needs to enact in law an ethics code with enforcement and consequences. And the public confidence in the Supreme Court will take another hit.

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Sheldon Whitehouse is a legal pit bull. He won't be letting go of SCOTUS's ass anytime soon.

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Well their ethics agreement is a nothing burger so…

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Michael, my money is on “he will not recuse himself.”

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Another thought:

If Thomas does NOT recuse himself AND the makeup of Congress changes in 2025 to be more favorable to the Democrats, could Thomas be impeached for violating the Code of Conduct for Justices?

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Absolutely.

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In my view, there is no question that the authors of Section 3 of the 14th intended to inscribe into law assurances that no one who had taken an oath to the United States government and then engaged in insurrection, or aided and abetted an insurrection against that government, would ever again hold office without both U.S. Chambers voting two-thirds in their favor. That said, I fear, by caving to those who would view efforts to enforce the 14th as political, we run the risk, as we speak, of a currently confirmed insurrectionist returning to power, rendering laws inscribed in the 14th to prevent it irrelevant.

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Jan 6·edited Jan 6

This would be much easier to bear if the extreme right, aided by a long-standing effort to place conservative judges on the courts, hadn’t eroded our faith in public institutions because it served their needs for power and fame. Trump is their idol because he is a means to those ends, both for a voter who might now feel free to slander or even stalk a public figure he dislikes or an elected official who rides on Trump’s coattails hoping for enrichment or attention. It all ends in a place that harms all of us.

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The erosion is just what Trump’s team, including the GOP congressional members, want.

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Well said.

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You see it clearly, that common sense shows the motives, and it's hard to bear the endless loopholing. We're watching con men get away with picking pockets without bothering to even try to hide what they're doing. Lack of accountability has gone on for long enough.

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Going to be so interesting to see how the "Originalist" Court extricates itself after tfg attorney said the quiet part out loud. Such gall. I don't really care and almost would prefer to see SCOTUS cement their legacy as worst ever. Takes away a whining point from tfg and no red state will remove him from the ballot.

The important one, I believe, is the immunity question. Send him to court and let him be convicted.

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They will duck the question by stating “no one, including them, has clearly defined what an insurrection is.” I have no faith in SCOTUS. As others, I “hope” they prove me wrong.

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Keeping my fingers crossed. Our democracy depends on the Court doing the right thing (hint, hint, SCOTUS).

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