1016 Comments
Mar 30Liked by Joyce Vance

The whole world is watching as Trump is allowed, enabled and empowered by a failure to hold him to account. Time for someone to step up.

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Dennis, that’s the issue. The whole world is watching … because the media, especially the liberal media gives him so much airtime. What would happen if we ignored most of what he does? I do not want to hear that we need to shed light on these antics. The media has gone beyond that. Biden has accomplished so much as president- focus on that. Then in a small sidenote state the crazy, cruel demagoguery stuff Trump does. Don’t compare apples to apples , compare apples to to oranges

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Agreed! Want to know something strange? In the part of Canada where I live, you have to pay extra to get FOX News, so almost no one see's it. The end result is that we see all the good stuff that Biden is doing, we see and benefit from the booming U.S. economy. We watched as the Infrastructure Act starting having effect, etc. It feels like we have a much better sense of the overall health of the U.S. than do many Americans. And yes, most media gives volume and breadth to Trump's lies, although I do see some change in journalists starting to step up and push back in interviews, asking tougher questions. It's frightening, and the autocrats are taking advantage of it all. That's why this community, here and at Heather Cox Richardson, give hope when all seems lost.

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Back in the day (long before trump) I used to travel a lot for work. I delighted in locking put Fox not the News on hotel TVs. Yes a tech savvy person could figure it out. I assume most who would choose that channel are not very smart.

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That's my kind of subterfuge. LOL

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Yes, also here on the west coast we have to pay extra for Fox. Plus it is not on in the lobbies of any hotels.

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Back in 2008, when Obama was running for President, I had a primary care physician who had large screen TVs placed in both his waiting room and his nurses station. To add insult to injury, I had to listen to a 15-minute monologue about how evil Obama and the Democrats were when I got into the examining room. I am a registered Independent. I found a different PCP and never looked back. Who needs that kind of BS?

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Project 2025 is the only reason one needs to be aware of to Vote Blue. The Orange dictator in waiting is foreshadowing what he will do on Day 1....and every day after.

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Project 2025 is scary enough in itself, but even scarier is that those people seem to think they can control Trump if he gets re-elected.

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STRONGMEN....MUSSOLINI to the PRESENT.......author Ruth Ben-Ghiat........the go to book for this pivotal time in history. My copy has been read 3 times and is filled with underlined pen and pencil marks.

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I had to change my dentist for exactly that reason. Dental work is painful enough without having to listen to that garbage.

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Most doctors think they are lawyers but lawyers do not think they are doctors.

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In the current age, I believe that a flagrant display of far right sympathies by any physician or within their office and tolerated by them is a strong indicator that good science is not supported and the care will be substandard.

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He should have been reported to the American Medical Assiciation.

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For sure! And for a physician!

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Does it still run 24/7 on every military base? I have never understood that.

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I may sounds like a consiracit, but we have to keep an eye on the military. In 2022, every single house member voted down a bill to root out extremism in the armed services. Fortunately it passed but there are people out there who would like our miltary to belong to MAGA.

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It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s blatant. From the Fox News nonstop to the forced brainwashing by Christian dominists in their ranks, Republicans have been engaged in brainwashing our military for an intended authoritarian coup for decades. Sadly we let them. 😳

The bullies keep winning.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/05/19/politics/pentagon-combat-extremism-military-republican-attacks-teixeira-leaks

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It isn't a hoax conspiracy theory, it's a tactic enacted by people with a common goal of laying fertile ground for bringing about their preferred form of government. It has impacted the judiciary and the Secret Service as well, and I find that equally frightening.

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One more!

Knowledge (wokeness 😉) is everything when it comes to resisting the propaganda!!

https://theanalysis.news/powerful-christian-nationalists-in-military-see-trump-as-vehicle-for-authoritarian-religious-state-mikey-weinstein/

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Have to confess, consiracit was a new word for me. One of the reasons I follow Civil Discourse - to learn new stuff. Thanks, Kim.

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That’s a good question. I was so pissed when I read that! Why on earth would they feed all the lies and hate to our military? Grrrrrr

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And here in NY - Fox is one of the "basic" channels - cant opt out. Wonder why that is. I dont watch it so I guess I "miss out" on all those lies. Oh well.

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Who knew what a blessing that would turn put to be, hey? :)

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And Fox is not liberal media. My husband is a trumper and won’t watch Fox anymore. He’s all about Newsmax, and all I hear from them is “President trump” as if he’s still in office.

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Oh man, that's terrible. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I and we are here for you in those tough moments.

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Sorry but “trumper” and “husband” could not possibly exist together in my world. Kudos to you for being able to bridge that chasm.

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lol, agreed!

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I truly don’t appreciate how anyone can live under the same roof as someone like your husband. I’ve know one other person in that situation and most friends see the husband as a debilitated old fool.

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Why are you still married to someone like that? Mind boggling. Seek help & get away from him.

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Easy to say from the outside - but HER decision.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 31

Thank you Maggie. It is telling that anyone on this Substack would make such a directive about a personal choice. This substack was created by Joyce as a venue to protect our democracy. The cornerstone of our democracy is choice. Whether the choice is personal or political we should never forget that we are fighting to preserve choice for everyone. As well, we need to remember that Trump‘s primary motive is to divide and conquer, and to cause discord as every fascist does. As all fascist.reigns have been temporary and will be temporary no matter the amount of discord, or even war created, we need to remember that we are working for something that will be around much longer. At the end of the day, if we have to resort to telling others what their choices should be, we haven’t gotten very far at all. I appreciate your response very much. Trump and his minions and Trumpism will be gone, but relationships will remain. We can’t get rid of everyone just because they have been taken in by a cult or a cult leader. And we on the Substack have no idea how long anyone’s relationship has been going on before the cult leader arrived. I think sometimes we just need to be a bit more patient with friends and family. They are going to be around a whole lot longer than Trump. I don’t think he’s going to last much longer physically, and when he is gone, so will his cult be gone. I’m not one of the naysayers who see him winning against Biden. But even with that win, and even with Trump, losing the election, Trump‘s health is pretty terrible. He’s not going to hold much together very long, and his finances are in the toilet. Truth Social joined with the shell company is only worth something if he wins the election and he’s going to lose. He’s a desperate man and no one would like to take our democracy and our right to choose away from us more than he. I just wanted to thank you for recognizing that our foundation is that we have the right to choose.

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Melanie Tonia Evens has the best NARP (Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program ) available online that is out there. I was saved from a life of hell through it. Trump supporters are nothing more than "supply" for the Rapist in Theif.

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Cindi, you have a right to your opinion about what others should do. But choice is foundational to democracy. In fact, it is the tenant on which democracy is formed, and the Civil Discourse Substack was created and founded to protect our democracy. That applies to personal and political choices. Long after Trump is gone, which will be very soon because he won’t be reelected and his health is quite awful, relationships will still exist. It’s your choice to get rid of everyone who is a follower of a cult leader. But not everyone chooses to close the door on relationships, whether, friends or family who have been misled by a cult leader. It’s an easier choice to not associate with new acquaintances, but it’s not always so easy to ‘get away from’ a family relationship, especially a marriage. The chances of Marcia remaining married, and having healing conversations with her husband are much higher than Trump being elected on November 5, 2024. I have chosen to keep my friends and family whom I had prior to the fascist fraud arriving. It’s an always difficult conversation to have but I’ve been having it lately, and pointing out that he wants to create a dictatorship, and he has aligned with those who want to create a theocracy. My message has always been to think about voting Blue to get rid of him, and then they can always, see what a Republican party looks like after he’s gone. But they have to become informed that their choice right now is not having a Republican versus Democrat administration. I’m pointing to them that their choice is keeping Biden and having a Democrat administration or having a dictatorship administration, with none of the freedoms they currently have or want to have. If they arr still speaking to me, I remind them that they never have received trickle down monies from Reagan’s years and we have lost and are continuing to lose financial ground, and Trump gave tax cuts to billionaires and not to any of us. The bottom line for us is to get rid of Trump and not fall into the trap of dividing our foundational relationships, which is what Trump wants us to do. He would be delighted that relationships are breaking because of his screwball message of creating a dictatorship with him at the helm. Anyone is free to choose to reevaluate relationships at any time, but let’s wait to see what the landscape looks like when Trump has lost the election and is spending the rest of his life in a cell with no venue in which to organize his cult minions. So far is seeking help: that’s probably an excellent idea for the cultists who have been swayed by the now deceased Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh, the Murdochs, soon to be imprisoned Steve Bannon who used his military training in psychological warfare to collaborate with Cambridge Analytica to steal 75 million Facebook accounts and illegally use data to elect Trump, and it’s still speaking to Trump’s minions like Marcia’s husband from his War Room. The DOJ indicted Bannon for his fraudulent build the wall scheme. And Trump pardoned him. He’s being tried in New York now with the trial beginning in mid May. It’s easier said than done dismantle this damaging machine that has been created to tear apart our democracy and create a theocracy for the right wing Christian nationalist Republicans. Fascism is simply a platform being used to spread a message of hate and discord. My hopecis we support one another as wd get rid of Trump and spend the next three presidential cycles, repairing the damage Trump has done (and part of that repair includes our acknowledging how complacent we were, and not confronting Reagan and his own minions). Now we know better.

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founding

I attended a very large meeting in Santa Barbara, a Carter lecture, who was introduced as President Carter. I understand this is customary, for former politicians. BTW Salinas has a FOX station "on air" so is free. I very occasionally watch their local news, which in my opinion is "honest".

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KION 5/46 produces news for the first 1/2 hour and I've found they are not critical of Trump - ever. Sad, because they always post weather for my area...I've even stopped watching shows produced by FOX. (Just in case they're broadcasting secret messages - just kidding, I just don't want to support them!)

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Had a small business in my hometown and a woman that was a local tv anchor came in all the time with her small child and her mother for treats. They were good customers and friendly. She approached me saying she wanted to feature my business on the channel she then worked for. I said "fox" she said yes and I refused, she didn't understand but I didn't try to make her. This was 2015 and the threat in my mind of trump was already looming. I did wonder after the fact if it was not the best choice for my business but then realized it would have brought more trumpers into my business which would NOT BE WELCOME.

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founding

It's not the business of news broadcasts to criticize. That's opinion. However, a "balanced" news will report both Demo. and Republican events, etc. How is watching Fox, support? Your secret messages? Subliminal propaganda?

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Great solution. Can’t wait til my Canadian citizenship papers come through this July. I will not live in an autocracy. I signed up to be an election judge. It may be the last thing I do for this democracy. As a Jew, it’s not going to be safe for me here. Although anti-Semitism is rising in your great country too

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I wish I could get Canadian citizenship. As a fellow Jew I am extremely anxious about safety. But nearing 80, I'm not sure where I could go and get the health coverage I need. And my (not Jewish) husband doesn't have the same level of danger warning signals I have, so he's not thinking 'where can I go?'.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

Even without citizenship, you can spend a few months in Canada each year to relax and feel safer. It's usually better to be in a smaller-town environment. It's usually easier to access doctors in smaller communities that still have many conveniences. You can even call random family doctors' offices in a few places of interest and ask them how overburdened the health care system is in those areas. You can find info about new doctors who are taking new patients from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the province you're thinking about spending time in -- for example, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which is the main self-governing regulatory body for doctors. And you can call Jewish Federations or Jewish Community Centres in those areas to ask about available services, levels of antisemitism, places to avoid/prefer.

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But isn't it really expensive to live in Canada? I am also Jewish, married to an Englishman who isn't Jewish. We are seriously considering moving to the UK. I would prefer Canada but I don't see how that's possible. We're too old to get jobs and housing is worse than here in LA from what I can tell.

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Dennis In the United States FOX is in the chicken coop.

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FOX is 'Chicken Poop.'

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We have Republicans to thank for that. It’s a tool in their toolbox of their theocratic/autocratic coup from within

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Yes, Dennis. Yet, while our country is economically healthy the broader population is sicken - whether trump supporters or anti-trump resister - we as a people are losing our grip.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

100% Vickie. The damage he has done is temporary, no matter how severe. Relationships are forever and some of the strongest defenders of our democracy will be those who have seen firsthand what he has done to their lives. We all have been complacent beginning with when Reagan first suggested trickle down economy would benefit the middle class - and continuing to today. That was a lie, and he knew it at the time. It benefited him and his wealthy friends. There is lots of waking up to do. We will defeat Trump on November 5, and then we have to work to repair the damage. And that will take at least three presidential cycles. 12 years at least. Biden has done an absolutely phenomenal job of turning back so many of Trump‘s bad bad bad policies.

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We need Fox, Newsmax and OAN removed from all pay providers. Let it be a streaming service that people have to pay for exclusively, can’t be DVRed and watch the amount of people drop off that doesn’t hear the lies.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

How does a network, licensed by the FCC, and which has been made to pay something like $765 million in fines for having told lies, hang onto its FCC license to broadcast anywhere? That’s what I’d like to know.

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Cable, satellite and streaming isn’t controlled by the FCC. Only over the airwaves is controlled. Basically Fox, Newsmax and OAN have a license to lie and promote propaganda.

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Rusty, speaking of a license, it's the law that when someone is arrested for DUI, they are hauled to jail, their car is usually impounded and they lose their licence for a year, even two years if they refuse to take a breathalyzer. So why is it that the "law" is not taking Trump's "licence" as he continues to threaten, slander, lie, and promote hatred and violence?

WHO can stop him is the question all law-abiding citizens have been asking themselves for eight years.

His followers should be arrested for DUI- DANGEROUS UNDER the IINFLUENCE of Donald Trump.

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Unfortunately until his cult crosses the line of actual violence or threats of violence then we have to ignore them. They are a cult that drinks the foolade because these people have lost every shred of common sense and decency they may have had, remember these are the uneducated.

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“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and international communications through cable, radio, television, satellite and wire. The goal of the Commission is to promote connectivity and ensure a robust and competitive market.”

Source: https://www.usa.gov/agencies/federal-communications-commission#:~:text=The%20Federal%20Communications%20Commission%20(FCC,a%20robust%20and%20competitive%20market.

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Well they have changed then. We need a strong advocate that can deliver either a petition or letters in person to the FCC and hear our demands. Maybe they need to understand how this is killing our democracy. I hope it’s not a holdover like DeJoy that’s ruined the postal service. The rate hikes he’s doing are putting the prices closer to FedEx and UPS to ship packages and priority letters.

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We are subsidizing those few who want those channels. If they had fewer subscribers then those who remain will have to pay more for it.

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Exactly! That’s why we should demand our providers drop them. We pay over $5 a month alone for Fox in any cable, satellite or streaming platform.

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Why Doesn’t President Biden reinstate the FAIRNESS in Broadcasting rules that Reagan did away with?

If a president can remove it, another can reinstate it.

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I’m not really sure. Maybe we should email him.

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There was a movement "UnFoxMyCableBox" and I don't know what happened to it: https://www.facebook.com/UnFoxMyCableBox?mibextid=LQQJ4d

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I remember that and several petitions on the petition site calling for Fox News to be taken off the air or removed from cable and satellite. But many of us stream (love my Hulu live with Disney) so we need to push them also. If 80 million people would demand it be removed then these companies would have no choice. The other choice is to pay for separate channels like peacock, paramount+, Disney, etc.) honestly the channels I watch could possibly be cheaper.

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Excellent idea!

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Could this be done?

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If we start demanding our cable, satellite and streaming providers take them down then yes. Demand the same from Roku. I put a child block on Fox News on Hulu.

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These are not "antics". I think it is important that we all read "The 11 principles of Nazi propaganda" by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister and an architect of the Holocaust.

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They are definitely inspired by the fascist playbook, as Ruth Ben-Ghiat often explains. I've sometimes called Trump #OurFatGoebbels on social media but it never caught on.

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Oh! Wow! That would really be a read to unsettle the nerves!!

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Its a short piece, just a very few minutes worth. It will raise the hair on your arms as you will see it all around you in Trump's approach.

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It's not the media, it's the freaking candidate posting these horrific things, because we all have "free speech".

One of us, Alot more than than the rest!

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Lynn, IMO our extremely liberal interpretation of the free speech doctrine is an important player in what’s happening. DJT and his cadre of supporters, legal advisers in particular as well as ardent supporters, are openly abusing the “free speech doctrine”. They feel empowered to do so because they’re convinced with all of DJT’s court appointments that DJT will not be hold accountable for pretty much anything he does. And so far they see every reason that their suppositions are true.

My question for Joyce is how can the decision making employees of DOJ become more actively involved in responding to DJTs open disregard for the laws, norms, and practices that once made American democracy admired around the Western world?

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I agree, he has made a mockery of our DOJ.

WHO among us could get away with his crap? He is NOT a king, he is an emperor with no clothes, a highly leveraged mob boss.

UNTIL he is held to account, our democracy is lost. WHY did.his bond get reduced???

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Yes. Can you imagine what would happen if one of us were to threaten Trump?

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Well actually, we are all legally allowed to post pictures of Trump being kidnapped in the back of a truck as well because it’s free speech and in no way does it imply the poster is doing that. Right? tbh free speech means I can say “I think the best thing for the country is the assassination of ____” right? It’s my political opinion so telling me I can’t say that would be a violation of my free speech. Especially since I am not saying anything about what I personally am doing/going to do, but what would be best for the country. Voilà welcome to the 1st amendment which no one else has like ours, for reasons exactly like this one.

I am also wondering if lawyers are starting to make arguments for their clients referring to Trump’s cases and treatment in court. Obvi there is no reason to put someone in jail for sharing 1 classified or multiple classified documents as quickly as before given it’s obviously not such an important thing after all. Honestly, this double treatment needs to cause a revolt in everyone facing indictments today who face similar circumstances but are treated entirely differently. It’s a smack in the face considering the leniency shown to him despite such constant criminal behavior is all over the news every night.

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Kathi, I’m right there with you. This morning I opened my NYT app, and here is the order of headlines:

1) Trump

2) Baltimore Bridge

3) Israel

Really?

I don’t presume to think this is a random choice. If the press would stop giving him top-choice coverage, the country could move on with the important issues of the day.

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I don't understand why you blame the media.

Put blame where the problem lies. On the fat stupid mentally ill coward and his venal supporters, including the entire Republican Party.

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Kathi, you're right about ignoring him. He thrives on attention. I actually thought that after Jan. 6, 2021, he would be ignored by the media, but no, he gets more coverage than ever. If he had NO audience, his playbook wouldn't work at all.

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Agreed!

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Rachel Bitecofer, a Democratic strategist, would point out that most people actually do *not* watch news media. I think she said only 15% of Americans watch regularly. Most get their "info" from quick bites on social media, from comments made by friends or associates, etc. She says that because of this, and because Republicans are a threat to people's freedom and rights, it's important to make sure that people who are persuadable become more aware of the threats Republicans pose. She also has data that suggest it's not nearly enough just to inform people of the good things Biden has been doing. She did post-graduate work in her field and on the subject of fascism/right-wing authoritarianism.

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more like apples and rotting oranges...

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He should not be ignored! However, the media attention doesn’t call him out. They’re afraid he’s going to win.

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SS loves Trump

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And who will be the “someone” to step up? And what might they do when they “step up?” This is truly a man and a moment when this country faces a serious crisis with one bully ruthlessly driven by the imprint of Fred Trump - “never accept a loss” - “loss is not acceptable.” He truly is one evil person surrounded by people and groups who have enabled him for their own ends.

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Hi John. Your question is one of "the" questions. Who, indeed? I'm not advocating someone doing something irrational or illegal. But we do need to get out of our own way. Trump is a master at using our own rules and laws to his benefit. The reduction in required Bond this week is a decent example. For reasons that I fail to understand, the Appeals Court (or Board, I'm not certain what that was exactly) agreed to reduce his Bond from $454 Million to $175 Million. Why? I don't know, but I'm certain there was some good legal reason for it. But it benefits him, doesn't it? And it hurts us, because we all know that us normal people if in a similar situation likely wouldn't have gotten an commensurate reduction, and therefore causes us to lose faith in our legal system. There was, no doubt, good reason for this reduction, but in this time it provides power to Trump and hurts the rule-of-law. So when I say "someone needs to step up" what I mean is we need to start actually enforcing the laws that he violates. When he violates a gag order, that Court needs to enforce their sanctions against him. When he threatens a sitting President, the Secret Service needs to enforce the SAME laws against him, that they would against me or you. The "someone" is everyone. It is every agency, every bureaucrat, every judge, every prosecutor, every American who thinks that this experiment of democracy is maybe worth saving after all.

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Thanks for this response, Dennis. I agree with you, but I wouldn’t go so far as to believe the Appeals Court had a good reason. I really do think the courts are giving him way too much that he does not deserve, even if they believe they are giving deference to a former president, Trump has moved beyond that with his hate speech and violent rhetoric. Again, Thanks!!

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I think this is because there are Trump supporters willing to subvert protocol and laws in order to help him. They are everywhere, and this is why I think our country may just have to fall before it can be reformed, because it’s become too weak structurally and it is not reformable within the processes outlined by our constitution.

I don’t think we are holding anyone, Trump or his fellow political conspirators accountable, unlike Brazil, for a number of reasons:

1) immense inequality-we are radically divided now regarding wealth and opportunity- truthfully, we became an oligarchy a long time ago.

2) the original myth of our “democracy” reinforced via a religion to create a moral undertone to it. When “E pluribus unum” was replaced with “one country under god,” the concept of communal unity was replaced with one dependent on a fundamentally individual belief in and relationship to an implied, IMHO, Christian concept of “God.”

This is divisive, because a relationship with god is fundamentally individual- we are no longer united by each other, but by a god who for many of us is either not the same, or entirely fictional. I doubt this was the intention of the founders if their texts are to be considered.

And, that we are a “democratic republic” is nonsense- when half the states aren’t democratically run and have *never* been, but instead are minority run oligarchies, the whole is not a democracy; a pie that is half banana and half blueberry isn’t a blueberry pie. Our basic definition of ourselves is a lie.

3. Corruption. Political bribery and corruption are legal here. One can buy a politician in the US with the same ease as in a country deemed corrupt by say, the World Bank. This I believe is corrosive to our sense of integrity, as myth and reality now clash openly.

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Lesley, this seems like a pretty bleak and honest assessment. But does it encourage us to blow the place up as many of Trump’s supporters seem willing to do or ignorant of his ambitions and the Project 2025?

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I do not agree w/blowing up anything before any and all other options have been tried. Chaos and blood don’t even necessarily achieve ending an authoritarian regime anyway (see Syria).

I vote. I want our votes to be counted so for history’s sake the truth can eventually be told. Knowing that over 50% of a state’s electorate vote blue but achieve only a handful of representatives in the entire state legislature is important to understanding our history, identity, mythology, and political failures.

So no. But there are silver linings to every situation no matter how dark, and radical change sometimes only results from disintegration. Sometimes it doesn’t; 9/11 gave us an opportunity to look at our own foreign policy and how it has affected each country in the Middle East and make some changes. Did it? No. And it’s terribly sad because it’s led to so many needless deaths of our own and others, and we seemed to have learned nothing.

I think we can all agree our country stopped evolving a while ago with a few important exceptions. In terms of governance, we’ve even devolved. But this is where I think another silver lining exists in the devastation climate change brings- weak governments will fail. Authoritarians don’t like to work-neither do their cronies. It will be bloody all over the world, but change- both good and bad is going to come. Just my 2c

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AGREE!!!!

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But who is that "someone"??

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The justice system. Enough is enough

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Who do we write, who do we call to insist that something be done?

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Watch it, you could be investigated for threatening a former president.

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I wanted to remember to come back to your comment. Yes, and to add clarification I absolutely did not mean "step up and do anything bad or illegal" along the lines of how Trump commands his zombie army (i.e. "stand by and stand back"). I meant, those "agencies, bureaucrats, judges and prosecutors who have been granting Trump incredible leeway due to his status as a former President" need to "step up" and start applying the rule of law to Trump in the same fashion that it is applied to all other criminal defendants. I hope that makes a bit more sense.

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Okay.

Who?

And what do you think has stopped them so far?

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Who would that be? Republicans? Voters?

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Voters in November for sure. Republicans now would be nice but almost certainly won't happen. Those who don't agree with Trump seem to be just quietly sneaking out the door. I once had great hope in Robert Mueller. Then I had hope in the Jan. 6 committee. Then in Jack Smith. But the clock is ticking and things have become so predictable that I'm not sure if anything will ever be done. I was in a group that meets to talk politics and world affairs last Sunday, and the entire group agreed that we all expected the court on the following Monday to give Trump some kind of "free pass" in regard to his $454 million bond. Sure enough, lets cut a few hundred million off that number to help the poor guy out. When the corruption or ineptitude becomes that predictable, things are bad. I don't know what the answer is, and I don't think someone of Joyces' caliber does either, so that scares me. The only person with the power that is needed may in fact be Joe Biden, and that leads to a whole new set of problems. All I know is I'm here to help if I can.

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The one thing that could save us is. In my opinion” the Supreme Court”. If they dare to say that he had complete immunity in all of his Crimes. If this were to happen… they should all be replaced. They have over-stepped any bounds of law. I really am sick of quote “NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW” end quote. Guess we will see. The time is NOW he is DANGEROUS PERSON. 🆘

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If the Supreme Court grants him immunity, that means we no longer have a president, we have a king.

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If he gets immunity I'd encourage Biden to IMMEDIATELY RENDITION tfg & claim he was saving Democracy & our nation. Thoughts???

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Exactly… I’m wondering how much power the actual POTUS has. Right Now. I seem to remember the shock I had hearing that the notion of elections - presidential elections for instance, are not even obligatory selon the constitution…What if Biden declares we won’t hold any new ones until there is a reasonable alternative to himself.

We allow the tables to turn! We say ok Biden! You keep the helm and steer us out of this mess….

Thoughts ?

Au secours 🛟! M’Aidez ! Mayday

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Precisely. And Bannon, Miller, Stone, Kushner etc

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Correct...

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Justices of the Supreme Court, along with all other federal judges, receive "lifetime" appointments. Until this nation fixes this problem by setting fixed term limits for ALL judges, this problem will ever be solved. Given the state of our country's politics, I won't hold my breath.

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The United States is so far behind the rest of western world regarding modernization of its courts - particularly the SCOTUS. Other nations have age limits, rotating members, mandatory retirement, expanded numbers and independent panels to nominate judges. As with many things (IMO) the US is stymied by a written Constitution that is onerous to amend.

Many might recall recently that France became the first country to guarantee the right to abortion in its Constitution. Indeed their current Constitution has been amended 25 times since DeGaulle introduced it post world war II. This could never be achieved in the US. because of a cumbersome and outdated document that has been shredded by politics.

The Supreme Court in the US is not, however, mandated or created in the Constitution. It was “made supreme” in Marbury v Madison. I don’t know if Biden would attempt a “court packing” plan such as FDR’s failed attempt but the US is increasingly behind other democracies in embracing modernity. We citizens suffer because of that.

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I agree with you. The US Constitution is a highly problematic and outdated document. A parlamentary system with easier options to amend would be much better. The prime minister would have to sit in the legislature, where s/he/they would be forced to answer questions from opposition parties, and that requires a degree of intelligence, coherence and policy knowledge that people like Trump do not have. Cabinet ministers would likewise have to run as candidates in a district and then answer questions in the legislature too. Biden has shown himself very reticent about altering the Court but it would require legislative intervention too, which seems unlikely. I think the filibuster principle in the Senate is another obstacle, as are overly cautious Democrats in both chambers.

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it's pretty much impossible, within the Constitution, to replace the justices. It requires people to act who absolutely will not act. That means only a revolution could accomplish what you seek. And a revolution is one possibility if Trump comes to power again. Sadly it would probably be a kind of civil war like they had in Northern Ireland. The country would probably end up breaking into pieces, which in the medium and longer term could benefit areas that are more liberal or moderate.

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I don’t get that either, but it doesn’t absolve him from the entire amount. As I understand it, he has to come up with the reduced amount just to appeal, if he can. If he can’t, or if the appeal fails, he’s responsible for all of it, plus the interest..

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Yes, that's my understanding too.

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I don't remember hearing which court it was that granted tfg the lower amount & was it one judge? Trump appointed?

Anyone have the 411.

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It was a New York State appeals court, so Trump (theoretically) had no influence over it. This case is not a federal case. It is a state case.

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Here is the order from the panel. Note the names of the justices at the top of the order. I read somewhere a few days ago that they are all Democrats. The link is gifted.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/03/25/nyregion/trump-bond-civil-fraud-ruling.html?unlocked_article_code=1.gk0.g8BH.Qz6-sWKlZdOq&smid=url-share

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Thank you. I did check the list & Dianne Renwick leads the appeals court. Although her Bio didn't state her party affiliation she was nominated to the position by Gov David Paterson, a Democrat. I'll look at the others later

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No it was a panel of 3, as I understand it. No explanation, no nothing. Sorrowful…

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This thread is really interesting. Deesy commented that Trump may not have had influence over the decision, and Lynell provided the link to the Order noting that the Judges involved may all be democrats. For me, as an outsider, we are not accustomed to thinking in terms of "who appointed the judges" and "whether they are Republicans or Democrats". Those are wholly strange concepts for me, but entirely relevant in the American context. But that wasn't the premise I was making. It seems to me that a super-power that Trump actually does possess is his uncanny ability to use our own laws and norms against us in extraordinary fashion. He hid behind the "we don't prosecute a sitting President" for the better part of 4 years. Now he's attempting to use "President's have immunity" to inoculate himself from the onging legal threats. "I have the right to appeal" every little fricking issue, so as to delay any trial and therefore delay any sort of accountability. Right? Can everyone agree he has done or is doing all of those things? AND WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW HIM TO DO SO! Why? Because we need to honour our laws, and we need to honour and follow our own Norms & Mores. We can't break "the rules" in order to stop him, even though more and more of us are starting to think that that is the only ting that will stop him. I get that. I don't want to break our own rules either. I want the law to apply to everyone, equally. But where will we be if we allow him to hide behind our own rules and processes just long enough to gain power one last time? We will lose all those things we cherish anyway. And let's be honest, we can all see the path this is taking. He delays and avoids prosecution in maybe all his cases. If one of those cases does actually make it to court, he manipulates and threatens and cajoles everyone involved and maybe ends up with an acquittal or a mis-trial (same result for him if he wins in November). Holy smokes, he was actually found guilty. APPEAL!! Of course he will appeal, and of course the courts will agree to hear him because it is a novel case. No matter the case it is novel because it is the first criminal trial of a former President. And what will an Appeals Court do, well they might quash the guilty verdict and he wins again! Or, and this is how I see it going, they might Affirm the guilty verdict and guess what? APPEAL!! Right to his group of corrupt golf buddies at the U.S. Supreme Court. And at that point they will overturn any conviction because this has been the plan since 1980. They won't need to worry about their legitimacy because he will be the next President and they will be protected from any legislative oversight in a Trump dictatorship. So, after all of that, it is brilliantly obvious that the only, the ONLY, way to stop a Trump dictatorship is with an overwhelming Democratic up-and-down-the-ticket victory at the ballot box. The Democrats need all three Houses to finally stop this threat to American democracy. The courts aren't going to be able to get it done folks.

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Movements like Republicans Against Trump are going to be important. So will individual Republican voices that worked for Trump and discovered how dangerous, unfit and crazy his is. They need to go into places where there's any prospect of a "blue flip" and talk to people door to door, set up billboards, set up booths, distribute flyers. No point wasting time in districts that have no chance of flipping blue, but with the overturning of Roe v Wade, some districts once considered lost causes for Ds are potentially in play.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 31

Well Hermina, to date they have shown NO backbone or desire to stand up for decency and democracy. And those who do are confronted by the jerks in those flag bearing trucks, harassing, intimidating and in some cases being violent.

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Yes - 100%. The justice system, media, and congress need to hold Trump to account and we citizens need to take action to demand that they do, and do all we can to make sure this repulsive thug doesn’t return to the White House.

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It seems to me the only thing left is a citizens arrest by thousands and thousands of us.

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It’s time for a test. We all should photoshop a picture of Trump bounded, gagged and hanging from a gallows. Maybe I’ll put it on my blog and connect it to my book. There ya go. Get some mileage out of it.

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The window to reign in this psychopath is rapidly closing

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End of the day, the insurrection buck stops with Biden. He needs to be doing more than watching the DOJ.

Happy if what he’s preparing is discreet, but he needs to be preparing to be bold if things don’t sort soon, in my view.

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Normally (back in the days when "normal" was actually a thing) I'd be replying to you and saying something like, "Well, Biden has to "presidential" and he can't be seen to doing something that could even be interpreted as inappropriate, etc. etc. etc." But naaahh, those days are over and I completely agree with you. All that shit that Trump says frequently, "We gotta FIGHT like hell if we want to save our country!" He isn't wrong, but it is us and the democracy-loving non-MAGA people who need to take his advice to heart. WE need to fight like hell!

I wrote a piece earlier today about the Federal Reserve, while considering lowering interest rates because the economic indicators are suggesting it is the right time to do that, are also taking into consideration how Trump might respond to a lowering of the rates. WTF? Do your job according to the norms and rules that you would normally follow. Ignore the deranged former guy. Do your job!

So yeah, Biden et al, best be having a plan and be ready to do whatever is necessary to save the democracy. As Joyce always say, "We're in this together."

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Totally agree. 'Stitch in time' thoughts.

I think one doesn't want to react to the problem on Nov 6. Think it is past time to nip it in the bud, but might still be able to save the tree with some timely surgery.

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I read something this morning that made me want to come back to this particular article and thread. Because I have an excellent example of how trying to do the right thing, may very well be what ends democracy in the United States.

Each morning I receive a newsletter from the New York Times called "The Morning". Todays' topic is how the Federal Reserve faces a predicament in the next few months of possibly lowering interest rates. This would be a good thing, both for consumers and for the current administration, but the article goes on to argue that the Fed may not lower interest rates because it doesn't want to appear to be political, and a rate cut could appear to benefit the incumbent Democratic administration. And of course Trump, always aware of any threat, has already gotten out in front of this possibility and is crying "political favoritism" on part of the Fed. So the NYT author, Jeanna Smialek writes "Fed officials insist that rate changes would respond to economic conditions, not politics. Still, they can't ignore the vitriol." STILL, THEY CAN'T IGNORE THE VITRIOL. Grrrrr, ... THIS is exactly how Trump will win and will destroy American democracy. Yes!! Yes, they CAN ignore the vitriol. And they SHOULD ignore the vitriol.

When I first posted this response To Joyces' article, I wrote "time for someone to step up". I later expanded upon that to say that by "someone" I meant "everyone". And this absolutely includes the New York Times. And it includes the Federal Reserve. Do your job! Do it as you have always done it. Follow your Standard Operating Procedures. If the economic conditions of the day indicate that your normal course of action is to lower rates, then lower the rate. If economic conditions were to call for a rate increase right now, would we even be talking about this? Again, the fear that Trump has instilled across all aspects of American life bubbles to the surface. "Ooooh, you know, we don't want to be seen as putting our fingers on the scales." I've seen THAT frickin movie before. It's called "Comey and the FBI Infect the 2016 Election"!

Do your job. Do it as best you can. Follow all your own rules and regulations. And don't be so easily intimidated. Someone needs to step up. Maybe it will be the Federal Reserve, and who had them on their Bingo card this year as potential defenders of democracy?

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Well put Joyce.

Do you ever feel like you're screaming into the abyss?

It's like we're all screaming and no one is listening.

What will it take for trump to be held accountable for SOMETHING?!

He is becoming more dangerous by the day. I honestly think he does these things for the sole purpose of causing an uproar. He's the poster child for any attention being good attention.

We are reaching some kind of tipping point and I can only hope it tips our way for once.

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author

With all of you here, I really don't feel like it's screaming into the abyss. I think we can do this and play our part in restoring sanity to the country. And if you bump into your Republican elected officials, ask them why they haven't called Trump out for this and don't let them off them hook easy just to be polite!

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It reminds me of a line from "Roadhouse": Be nice, until it's time to not be nice. Well my friends, it's time to not be nice!!

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Clearly, Joyce is Dalton in this scenario.

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She is!👊👊

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Excellent comments, thank you for sharing them. We must stop excusing his behavior.

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Ms Vance, all this is an American problem. You Americans cannot behave and thus you cannot insist that this insect gets crushed. No European country would accept this.

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I live in NC and my GOP reps are notoriously heinous and loathe to call out the Orange Pustule. I will write them AGAIN.

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Jena,

OMG, I love your name for "it." As kids growing up decades ago, do you know what we did with pustules? We would POP them!!!!

Unfortunately, it would take a sturdy needle about two feet long in his case.

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Yes…I even remember the technique we employed. I hate to further gross you out, but I picture not one but many orange pustules, plus an array of blackheads, adorning his belly and nether regions. I know that each soul comes into this world to play a role and learn, so if he has chosen to learn how to play a villain he has more than achieved his goal. His behavior is so abhorrent and his lack of compassion so flagrant that it has served to shine a very bright light on the areas humanity still has to work on. For the life of me I still can’t grasp why his mockery of those with disabilities and his “grab em by the pussy” remark didn’t eliminate him from the running at the very start.

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Jena, you must be a mind reader. You said right here a lot of things I've thought about but just couldn't put it into words. Maybe my standards for what I look for in a man are way too high, or I'm too old-fashioned, but why he thinks of himself as a "stud muffin" is beyond my comprehension. Makes me wonder how many other women, and possibly very young women have been victimized for years but have been afraid to come forward.

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p.s. Trust me, it takes a LOT to gross me out. Trump is the exception.

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I thought you lived in HI. Oops.

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Used to - for 10 years.

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Joyce.

When you said, "We need to talk," you were right! I agree with you 100%.

I think that because of what happened today, this is something that all of us definitely need to tell everyone we know about it. We should forward today's Civil Discourse (if that's okay) and talk to them about if once they've had time to read it.

We should also ask them to check out Slimeball's Truth Social, and once they've had time to recuperate, contact their elected officials on The Hill and take this line from what I think was the movie "Network," where they yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!"

I may regret this, but I'm going to take it a step further. I plan to send a note to the head of Secret Service and remind him or her that I am paying for their salary, and as such, have a right to know why they're looking the other way, and treating him like an innocent little angel --- when he's the exact opposite!

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I clicked on the link to truth social. The video has been trimmed. But scarier is the privacy rights of Truth Social. I suggest people don't go there. I will be getting emails - just waiting...

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🫨😰

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Debbie,

Thanks for the heads up!

Is there a way you can make their emails go directly to your junk mailbox?

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I admire your initiative, though I've never thought the "I pay your salary" line really works on people. On the rare occasions I complain in this manner, I tend to go with "you have a duty to...", and cite whatever provisions in a law or mission statements on the website say.

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I like YOUR idea much better than mine. "You have a duty to..." is stronger and sounds more professional.

Thanks for the suggestion! I appreciate any guidance to keep me from making a fool out of myself.

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Nah, you were never a fool. It's more about the people on the receiving end and how they tend to react when you put them on the spot.

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I wrote to Garland, my senators, and my Congresswoman the last time he pulled this (the bloodbath remark). I heard back from Senator Padilla immediately. Never heard from the others and they're all Dems.

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Paula, did you write emails, or mail them? And what did Senator Padilla say?

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Dianne,

I wrote emails via their online forms. Argh, I didn't save Padilla's response but as I remember he was very supportive. At the time I was just really impressed with how quickly he answered. I'm sorry I don't remember. Actually now that I think about it I think he said something about Trump facing all these trials. I write a lot of letters and get a lot of answers so I'm not absolutely sure.

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At least one responded. Maybe the others will at least READ what you sent. If enough of us can do the same thing as soon as possible, maybe some of those on The Hill will get the hint.

And "We" should continue OUR campaign of getting the word out several times before November comes.

Thanks again.

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Paula,

I was re-reading your email here, but I think I was so shocked that Senator Padilla was quick to respond to you that the fact that the others (Democrats, of all people) didn't reply went right over my head. I don't understand that at all. We would expect the Republicans to ignore these issues and our questions, but Democrats?

All the more reason for us to really encourage EVERYONE to vote Blue this November.

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Dianne,

I'm not sure if Senator Butler engages much because she's just a placeholder. My congresswoman always answers so she's probably just backed up. As for Garland, I wouldn't expect him to answer. I wouldn't read too much into this.

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Paula,

But you did get one. Think of the thousands who did only "get one." That's STLL going to be a lot who DID get educated by Democrat supporters, don't you think?

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SS loves Trump

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I believe it.

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deletedMar 30
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Thanks! So she won't mind? I think everybody needs to "get enlightened" as soon as possible, because that clock is ticking.

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I live in California. My senators are Dems as well as my congressman. My friends and family are too. You are probably saying, "well, lucky you." My hometown doesn't have a newspaper and I live in the eleventh largest city in the state. Joyce, who should I be talking to. or writing letters too? Can we afford to wait until November? And then what?

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I live in SC and in a sea of red. I have adopted Sherrod Brown as my Senator to fight for. I composed a letter and sent it to all of my friends asking them to contribute to his campaign... with a link to his website... and a suggested donation of $10. I would suggest you too "adopt" a senator in a close race. I also made a list of my federal, local and state legislators with their office phone numbers and contact them regularly calling them out on their obscene behavior. I'll be on the phone bright and early Monday morning!

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And there are also now Representatives (Congresspeople) who are in "newly tight" races because of the overturning of Roe v Wade and the power of women's votes.

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Barbara, get on the Women for Biden emails. They will direct you to Nevada or Arizona to get out the vote. You don’t have to travel. You can call or send postcards. We in Maryland get out the vote in PA. I’ve been doing this since 2008. Normally once our primary is over(because we don’t have rank choice) we know who will be the winner in November. This year Dems in #marylandstrong better not stray and vote for Hogan for senator

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Thanks. Signed up.

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In SoCal I’m going to join a group tomorrow (yes, on Easter) of 50 or more people who get together twice a month to write letters. I have to do something. Our country needs therapy.

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I'm in California too, Barbara. When the orange idiot made that bloodbath remark I wrote to Garland, our senators, and my congresswoman, Julia Brownley. I heard back from Padilla immediately but I still haven't heard from the others. I will do it again. Meanwhile I plan to write letters to voters with Vote Forward again this year. I really don't know who has the power to stop this other than people in Trump's circle themselves. As if. (Mary Trump is doing wonderful work but of course she has no influence over him whatsoever.)

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Thank you. Another reader suggested Women for Biden who are calling voters in Nevada and Arizona. I will contact both of them.

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😀

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I live in a "mostly" blue state. Our governor, representative and senators are Dem.Most of my family are Dems and almost all my friends are. One pocket of good friends are Rep.We've all been thru alot together and It pains me that they are rep.and therefore we just never talk politics.

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I feel the same way Barbara, living in what some refer to as the “Northern California liberal bubble”. The main person in my life who may vote for Trump is my son-in-law and to keep the peace we don’t speak of politics.

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Did you see what Judge Luttig said to Nicolle Wallace today? He is very unhappy with the justice system's inability / unwillingness to deal with who Trump is... even as he admits the system has NEVER had to deal with someone like Trump before. Here's the video link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDOl3n8wz4E

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I like Judge Luttig; he seems to be as exasperated as all of us, but explains it so well. Worse too is that sleazy guy Steve Bannon who threatened all Democrats today (they rolled tape of his banter on Deadline Whitehouse). These guys are ratcheting up the rhetoric and I think the country has been very patient.

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Just because this situation has never happened doesn't make it something we can ignore. Trump is a defendant in a legal case, and if any of us did what he is doing, we'd be fined and/or spend some time in jail. He's not better than the rest of the US population; he just thinks he is. If I hear the word "unprecedented" one more time as an excuse or explanation for inaction, I may just run around screaming uncontrollably.

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Anyone else who threatened a judge or his/her family would end up in pre-trial detention. Yes! Lock him up, for once and for all!

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He is plain ole Mr. Trump or citizen Trump.

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"Citizen?" That is a stretch.

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I agree, Wondering Woman.

I think the reason for the what feels like paralysis for each of Trump’s ratcheted up calls for violence is that all the people who’ve threatened Trump with jail or imposed gag orders have never followed through in any meaningful way. Fines are ignored. The fee for appealing a guilty verdict is automatically reduced just because he asked? No reason, not a word of explanation just, “Sure Donald whatever you need”.

And we’re wondering tell WHO?

Michael Luttig is wondering where is the outrage? The outrage is high and in every corner of this nation. We have no one to tell. So in lieu of getting any protection from Trump, we’re just biding our time, waiting to vote out every traitor, every Republican, every single person who even hints at supporting him.

We have nothing further to say, no one left to tell.

We’re depending on ourselves. As you can see from all the grassroots action groups have taken over the situation as best they can, doing a hell of a job!

It on us. Because we’re all in this together.

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I totally agree with you. Do you think they are afraid of violence by his followers? I think it will happen regardless. If they arrest him and cut off his access to the internet and media, he can't campaign. The rightwing media wingnuts will lose their minds, and his white nationalist followers are already standing up and standing by. These are dangerous times.

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deletedMar 30
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Vickie, go ahead and scream if it helps. Personally, I find throwing rocks into the ocean and screaming into the wind mildly therapeutic.

We are all with you.

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Judge Luttig was, as usual, masterful, but Glenn Kirschner is the one who totally nailed it in that segment.

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I watch MSNBC clips on YouTube. So far, I have not found his part of that show. I’ll look again later. Happy he said some good things!.

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Kirchner's comment started at about minute 33 on yesterday's Deadline Whitehouse. Hope that helps you find it. It was excellent!

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Thank you. I’ve been busy but will look for it soon.

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Joyce: thank you again! This is truly different in the history of presidential campaigns! But I believe that hundreds of thousands of “business Republicans and lifelong moderate Republicans” will be turned off by his extremism in posting this appalling photo! He is losing voters daily and he will continue to do so week after week over the next seven months! They have had it and those potential swing voters will influence the final result.

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As Eliza said in Pygmalion, "Words, words words. I'm so sick of words!"

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I do that on an almost daily basis, Joyce. Funny, my Rep is Joyce - Dave Joyce, R-OH. And all I get from him is crickets. He does not possess the manly parts required to speak out, as Ms. Chaney has, or as Ms. Hutchinson has. Seems mostly females have the manly parts needed here; certainly no one in the once-Republican party does.

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Though it may seem to be out of reach, write to congressioanl representatives in House and Senate. The Senate has a Judiciary Committee with ability to consider a "review of ethics" and take actions to investigate SCOTUS and other federal court judges. Sen Whitehouse (D-RI) has posted sessions on youtube. Send messages to all congressional representatives requesting action to uphold the Constitution, rule of law, and the application to our system of governance.

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Well Andrew Clyde would approve it along with sporkfoot. Then it would get ugly and someone would need to post bond for me. I personally don’t feel like going to jail over these MAGAts.

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Everyone together on this helps, reminds us that there are other same people.

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I don’t have any elected Republicans here in #Marylandstrong. And hoping no Democrat in Maryland thinks it’s a good idea to vote for Hogan. He was a solid governor checked by a super majority Democrat led legislature. This time he would be the vote adding a right wing Justice or dismantling gun laws or giving corporate billionaires more tax breaks

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What I hear is that they're afraid.

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I did. Cue: he is joking. We are all joking. Yall are snowflakes rhetoric.

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Judges and prosecutors need to worry less about appearing to be partisan or biased and treat Trump as what he is: a defendant in a legal case, presumed innocent, but subject to the same rules as anyone else in his situation. The daily display of two systems of justice - one for the rich and connected, and one for the rest of us - is as damaging as the threats and vile statements of Trump and his enablers.

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Hear, hear!! It's thoroughly disgusting that they don't have the balls to do the right thing.

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Do they not have the balls OR are they complicit? How many of these judges are closeted MAGAs?

Which judge lowered his bond? Who appointed him/her?

Did I miss that discussion?

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I think Joyce very briefly mentioned the NY appellate decision to reduce the bond the day after it happened. But there wasn't anything for her to explicate - the appellate panel did not provide any rationale for their decision.

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Thanks... I did just look it up & you're right the 5 Judge Appellate court didn't give any reasons. Now I'm going to have to look them up and get details on their appointment OR were they elected.

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I tried looking up the names of the 5 at the time, but couldn’t find any mentioned. Please let us know what you find.

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Please share this info !

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Tim, great idea, please follow through with it and inform us so we can follow through, too! "LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!" Great Aunt

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

What would a weekend in the slammer do to Trump? If he knew he'd be out in 48 hours. How could he win an appeal if he only spent a short time in jail?

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He deserves pre-trial detention.

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Sorry to say, but I’m pretty sure it would earn him a few bazillion $$$$. His cult members would be outraged and dial up their criminal attacks on civil society. I don’t know what should be done. I fear we are months, if not years too late. We’ve allowed this forest fire to burn out of control for so long. I feel hopeless and see only ashes in our future.

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A failure to do what the law requires (i.e., pre-trial detention when a defendant is a danger to the community) because of fear of what might follow destroys a nation built on the principle of laws, not individuals.

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