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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15081 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-April-05, 10:37

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-April-05, 03:49, said:


You claim a lot more than what TPM claims. I did know about the seizure of PPE shipments. Where is the evidence that they are handed over to PP partnerships, ran by Kushner's friends?
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#15082 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-April-05, 13:50

View Postawm, on 2020-April-05, 01:22, said:

While I agree with you in principle, isn't this what America voted for when we chose Trump to be our president? It was widely known that he was a grifter at the time he was elected, with his fake university, casinos bailed out by his dad, multiple bankruptcies... at best he was a reality TV show host who pretended to be a successful businessman.

Well I didn't vote for him, and couldn't really do anything about the idiots who did.

When he won I knew it would be bad, but I figured it would hopefully be just 4 years, and we've gotten through bad presidents before. We survived Watergate, and 8 years of GW Bush didn't destroy us. Trump is an idiot and a grifter, but I never pegged him as a ruthless murderer.

We started to see his true colors when he put children in detention centers at the border. But I still couldn't have imagined that he'd try to hold the nation hostage during a medical crisis like this.

#15083 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-April-06, 06:46

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

It’s not clear yet how the various elements of Congress’s “phase three” relief bill are working out, especially those intended to save small businesses and thus people’s jobs. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann has an excellent reported item on some of the problems that people are running into early on (see also here, here and here).

I’m inclined to be charitable to Congress for problems in the bill that set up these programs, and also to President Donald Trump’s administration for the initial rollout. Although it would’ve been nice to have had this essential aid even faster and with fewer difficulties, overall Congress acted very quickly, and having the program up and running only a week after the bill passed is pretty good.

However, the crucial next steps to make sure the program works don’t appear to be in place yet. As Jonathan Cohn says, “Congress needs to get to work ASAP on fixing flaws/addressing inadequacies in the program — and in the CARES act more generally.”

Absolutely correct. And where is Congress? Dispersed around the nation, without firm plans to get back to Washington right away. Both House and Senate are guilty on this one, and both the leadership and rank-and-file members.

What should be happening is aggressive oversight of every bit of the pandemic response — public-health measures, economic policy and everything else. At least on the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a special oversight committee. But the Senate hasn’t matched that, and House Republicans are blocking action for now — which is possible because Pelosi allowed the House to recess.

Meanwhile, the White House should be aggressively managing all the relief programs, which are essential for future economic recovery. What administrative steps need to be taken to get things running smoothly? What new legislative language should be sent up to Capitol Hill for quiet action to fix poor drafting in the original bill? What jawboning from the president, or from a top staffer with the president’s full backing, can remove logjams within the government or in the private sector?

So far, all this seems to be beyond the capabilities of Trump and his White House. It’s not even clear who’s in charge. Is it Vice President Mike Pence? Jared Kushner? Incoming Chief of Staff Mark Meadows? Someone else? All the reporting indicates chaos; as usual, flattering the president so that he doesn’t wreak havoc seems to be the priority. Does anyone really think that a new chief of staff with no relevant experience is going to know how to resolve interagency problems and eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks? Does anyone think the president’s son-in-law can do that?

The problem, of course, starts at the top. Trump’s approach to the pandemic from the beginning has been to try to win each day’s spin war, rather than attempting to solve underlying problems. That’s not going to work. The strength of the U.S. political system is that there are multiple avenues for publicizing government ineptitude or wrongdoing, and a president willing to take minor public damage can use that system to learn what needs to be fixed and how to fix it — and thus wind up stronger in the long run. But of course that requires exactly the kind of long-term thinking that Trump has never been able to manage.

I hope I’m wrong on this. Perhaps Pelosi can get oversight in place rapidly. Perhaps the Senate will join in. Perhaps the White House will function more smoothly now than it did for Trump’s first three chiefs of staff. But I’m only mildly optimistic about the first of these; the others seem highly unlikely after all that we’ve seen. It’s going to be costly to the economy, and to Trump.

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#15084 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-06, 08:48

View Posty66, on 2020-April-06, 06:46, said:

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:


Quote

Meanwhile, the White House should be aggressively managing all the relief programs....


Trump just fired the impartial IG and is trying to place his own attorney in that oversight position - how much more aggressively should he act to aid his grifting?


The WaPo:

Quote

April 6, 2020 at 5:31 a.m. CDT
Michael Atkinson, the inspector general removed by President Trump late Friday, said he believes he was fired for having properly handled a whistleblower complaint that became a centerpiece of the case for the president’s impeachment.

“I am disappointed and saddened that President Trump has decided to remove me as the inspector general of the intelligence community because I did not have his ‘fullest confidence,’ ” Atkinson said in a seven-paragraph statement issued Sunday. “It is hard not to think that the president’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial inspector general.”

That Atkinson issued a statement at all is unusual — inspectors general usually stay silent when removed, but the circumstances leading to his firing are also highly unusual.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15085 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-April-06, 21:24

Posted ImagePeter Navarro with President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a coronavirus briefing last week.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

NYT: Navarro warned in January that a pandemic could imperil the lives of millions of Americans.

A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.

The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, is the highest-level alert known to have circulated inside the West Wing as the administration was taking its first substantive steps to confront a crisis that had already consumed China’s leaders and would go on to upend life in Europe and the United States.

“The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil,” Mr. Navarro’s memo said. “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

Dated Jan. 29, it came during a period when Mr. Trump was playing down the risks to the United States, and he would later go on to say that no one could have predicted such a devastating outcome.

Mr. Navarro said in the memo that the administration faced a choice about how aggressive to be in containing an outbreak, saying the human and economic costs would be relatively low if it turned out to be a problem along the lines of a seasonal flu.

But he went on to emphasize that the “risk of a worst-case pandemic scenario should not be overlooked” given the information coming from China.

In one worst-case scenario cited in the memo, more than a half-million Americans could die.
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#15086 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-April-06, 21:29

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-06, 08:48, said:

Trump just fired the impartial IG and is trying to place his own attorney in that oversight position - how much more aggressively should he act to aid his grifting?


The WaPo:



It is obvious to me that the Grifter in Chief should appoint Don Jr to the position which will eliminate the middleman.
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#15087 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-06, 21:52

Surely this is some oversight. Trump would not tout a drug simply so he and his minions can make a profit, would he? <_<

Quote

The Times reports that the president’s family trusts all have investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding is Sanofi, the manufacturer of Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine. Associates of the president, such as major Republican donor Ken Fisher and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, have also run funds that hold investments in the pharmaceutical firm.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15088 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 03:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-06, 21:52, said:

Surely this is some oversight. Trump would not tout a drug simply so he and his minions can make a profit, would he? <_<



And surely the Grifter in Chief wouldn't sell out his country for the promise of a string on Trump hotels in Russia B-) , or use the US government, armed services, and Secret Service to bleed money into his hotels and golf resorts. B-)
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#15089 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 06:46

View Postcherdano, on 2020-April-05, 10:37, said:

You claim a lot more than what TPM claims. I did know about the seizure of PPE shipments. Where is the evidence that they are handed over to PP partnerships, ran by Kushner's friends?


Take a look at this thread

https://twitter.com/...335425074696199

In particular, the discussions around Mike Gula and John Thomas
Alderaan delenda est
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#15090 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 07:58

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-April-07, 06:46, said:

Take a look at this thread

https://twitter.com/...335425074696199

In particular, the discussions around Mike Gula and John Thomas


The U.S. (meaning we, the people,) need to rewrite the constitutional definition of "treason" to include government corruption during national emergencies.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15091 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 08:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-06, 21:52, said:

Surely this is some oversight. Trump would not tout a drug simply so he and his minions can make a profit, would he? <_<



To be fair, they probably own dozens of mutual funds. Pick any industry or company and there will be quite a few funds that are invested in it.

#15092 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 08:41

View Postbarmar, on 2020-April-07, 08:21, said:

To be fair, they probably own dozens of mutual funds. Pick any industry or company and there will be quite a few funds that are invested in it.


Very true.

However, Ken Fisher who is a really really big Trump doner has a massive investment in Sanofi, as does Wilbur Ross.
Alderaan delenda est
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#15093 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 08:49

Only in America- the quest for the hydroxychloroquine truth

Quote

What started as a Twitter discussion on March 11 among strangers led to a thinly sourced Google Doc published on March 13 that grabbed the attention of Silicon Valley elite and conservative media. Within days, the paper scored one of its authors a spot on on both Laura Ingraham’s and Tucker Carlson’s Fox News shows. The day after Carlson’s show, Trump made his first mention of hydroxychloroquine from the White House podium. After that, presidential allies like personal attorney Rudy Giuliani started trying to dig up any information they could find.

Now, Trump is vowing to distribute millions of doses of the drug to people through the country’s strategic national stockpile, even though there’s no conclusive research that the drug works for coronavirus.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15094 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 08:57

What happens when you place a snowflake under a heatlamp? :

Quote

WASHINGTON — Trump used Monday’s briefing of the coronavirus task force to lash out at several members of the press, despite having recently praised media coverage of his response to the crisis as “very fair.”

After kicking off the briefing by praising his own administration for its response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trump opened the briefing up to questions, during which he refused to acknowledge any criticism of his handling of the pandemic that has brought the United States to a virtual standstill.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15095 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-07, 15:25

It is past time to end the reign of this would-be king.

Quote

President Donald Trump removed the inspector general set to probe corruption and provide oversight of the government’s massive response to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, the last sign of his disdain for any oversight of his administration.


The WaPo:

Quote

CORONAVIRUS
Trump removes inspector general who was to oversee $2 trillion stimulus spending

Glenn Fine was removed from his position as acting inspector general at the Pentagon, making him ineligible for the spending watchdog role. The move will be seen by some as another instance of the president chafing at independent oversight.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15096 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-April-08, 05:25

Mario Parker at Bloomberg: Trump Team Preps Plans to Reopen Economy That Depend on Testing

Quote

The White House is developing plans to get the U.S. economy back in action that depend on testing far more Americans for the coronavirus than has been possible to date, according to people familiar with the matter.

The effort would likely begin in smaller cities and towns in states that haven’t yet been heavily hit by the virus. Cities such as New York, Detroit, New Orleans and other places the president has described as “hot spots” would remain shuttered.

The planning is in its early stages. But with encouraging signs that the outbreak has plateaued in New York after an aggressive but economically costly social-distancing campaign, President Donald Trump and his top economic advisers are once again boldly talking about returning Americans to work.

“We’re looking at the concept where we open sections of the country and we’re also looking at the concept where you open up everything,” Trump told Sean Hannity of Fox News on Tuesday night.

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said earlier Tuesday on Fox News that reopening might begin within four to eight weeks.

“We are coming down, I think, the home stretch, that’s what the health experts are telling us,” he said at a White House event. “Once we can reopen this thing, I think it’s going to be very successful.”

The S&P 500 surged 7% Monday on investor optimism that the U.S. and other countries were potentially turning the corner in the outbreak with a slowing death toll. The index fell slightly Tuesday.

‘Greatest Economy’

Trump has sought a pathway to return Americans to work and schools since early March, even when his top health advisers recommended against it. As the outbreak mushroomed to hundreds of thousands of cases -- filling hospitals in New York City and threatening to overwhelm health systems elsewhere -- he backed away from a return to normal until at least the end of April.

Read more: When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End?: QuickTake

But he continues to show his frustration with a pandemic that has blunted his best argument for re-election, the strength of the U.S. economy.

“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world, we had the most people working in the history of our country, almost 160 million people, far more than ever before. And then one day, our professionals correctly came to us and they said, ‘sorry, sir, we have to close down our country,’” Trump lamented Monday at a White House news conference.

The White House’s dilemma is that Trump didn’t lead on social distancing -- he endorsed the practices only after many governors, municipal leaders, businesses and ordinary Americans had already begun isolating themselves. It isn’t clear that they will respond if Trump urges Americans to resume normal business practices and socializing before the outbreak abates.

One person familiar with the White House’s planning said that a reopening effort is likely within about 30 days and that it’s expected officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other government health professionals may object. Further outbreaks are likely and the economy won’t turn back on like a light switch, as Trump has portrayed, the person said.

Rapid, Widespread Testing

The administration sees rapid and widespread testing as a crucial step, one person familiar with the matter said, allowing public health authorities to better identify infected people, including those who don’t show symptoms, and isolate them from healthy people who could go about their businesses.

Testing for the virus initially faltered in the U.S. because the CDC had difficulty developing and manufacturing a diagnostic tool. The country hadn’t tested 1 million people until March 31, well after states and cities had begun ordering their residents to stay home to curb the outbreak. The U.S. only recently achieved a pace of more than 100,000 tests per day, according to the Covid 19 Tracking Project, which relies on state data.

Trump has championed an Abbott Laboratories’ test that provides results in 15 minutes, and it has begun to be administered to all White House aides and anyone who comes into contact with the president or vice president. Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said the administration aims to have “millions” of tests on the market by May that can tell if healthy people have been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it.

“A combination of that kind of test with the current kind of test we have now is how America opens back up again,” Giroir said Monday.

But hospitals and laboratories are still encountering difficulties scaling up testing because of supply shortages and bottlenecks at commercial firms.

Read more: U.S. Labs Lurch From One Crisis to Next Despite Gains in Testing

A vaccine for the virus isn’t expected to be available until next year. Meanwhile, the U.S. should ideally pair “very aggressive surveillance” for the virus, through widespread testing, with an effective therapeutic to treat people who become infected, said Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner under Trump who informally advises the White House.

“We tolerate that risk every day with lethal pathogens,” he said. “The therapeutic gets us into a frame of mind that gives us a confidence to go back to some elements or most of the elements of normal life.”

Utah, North Dakota Moves

The president has allies for a relatively rapid re-opening in some of the country’s statehouses.

Last week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, announced a plan to allow any resident in his relatively sparsely populated state who wants a coronavirus test to get one. The state wants to assess every resident for risk of Covid-19, test widely, and trace the contacts of those who test positive, state officials said last week.

The state is encouraging every Utah resident to respond to an online survey at the new TestUtah.com website, regardless of whether they have symptoms or known exposure to the virus. Those with symptoms or other risk factors will be directed to drive-through testing sites.

North Dakota plans to conduct drive-through testing in two communities, Amidon and Gladstone, that have been relatively untouched by the virus. The state aims to test as many people as possible there, including those with no symptoms. Governor Doug Burgum called it a “proof of concept” for a system to monitor the country for recurrences of the virus after the peak of the outbreak.

Business leaders are pressing the administration to hold firm to the May 1 date to restart the world’s largest economy. They’ve advocated that it be done on a gradual basis, based on infectious data, to determine which parts of the U.S. should re-open first, said Stephen Moore, a conservative economist and Trump ally who says he’s in regular contact with the White House.

Moore said parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin could be examples of other areas that may be able to initially re-open.

“The worst thing of all, probably both politically and economically, is to start to open up the economy in May” only to see cases increase again, forcing another shutdown, Moore said. “That would be catastrophic.”

re: "It isn’t clear that they [governors] will respond if Trump urges Americans to resume normal business practices and socializing before the outbreak abates".

I don't know about Bloomberg and others but this top down approach to governing the U.S. isn't working for me.
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#15097 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-08, 10:11

After reading articles that questioned the source of Trump's claims about 100-200,000 thousand deaths in the U.S. and remembering his penchant for exaggerating for his benefit, it occurred to me that the real number told him might well have been 25-50,000 and he bumped it up to 100-200,000 so when "only" 50,000 died he could proclaim himself a hero for saving so many lives.
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#15098 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-April-08, 22:02

As mentioned in the Coronavirus thread, he also likes to quote the 50-100 million death toll of the 1918 flu, even though it's the most extreme of all the estimates. This way, when COVID-19 isn't nearly as severe, he'll be able to proclaim how correct he was when he said this won't be as bad.

#15099 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-April-09, 02:23

There are some sick bastards in the right fringe Republican world:

Louisiana Pastor: ‘True Christians Do Not Mind Dying’ Of Coronavirus If Infected At Church

Quote

Palm Sunday services at Spell’s church, held last weekend, are reported to have drawn hundreds of parishioners. Local police said many arrived in a fleet of 26 buses that the church, which is located near Baton Rouge, sent to pick them up.

In a TMZ interview on Wednesday, Spell shrugged off critics who say he is putting his congregants at risk of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“The Bible teaches us to be absent from our bodies as to be present with the Lord,” said Spell, a Pentecostal preacher. “Like any zealot or like any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcome friend. True Christians do not mind dying. They fear living in fear.”

Just to be clear, those people should donate to his church before they kick the bucket.

Bill O’Reilly: Dead Coronavirus Victims ‘Were On Their Last Legs Anyway’

Quote

Disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly resurfaced on Wednesday to share his thoughts on the wave of deaths due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

And he doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for the victims, who tend to be older and are more likely to have other health problems.

“Many people who are dying, both here and around the world, were on their last legs anyway,” he said on Sean Hannity’s radio show, according to audio posted online by Media Matters. “I don’t want to sound callous about that.”

Hannity interjected: “You’re gonna get hammered for that.”

“I don’t care,” O’Reilly said. “A simple man tells the truth.”

Why are these wackjob Republican politicians and spokespeople so willing to deprecate the lives of older Americans? Obviously older people should be willing to die so that the Dow Jones can reverse its downward plunge and big business can get back to making profits.
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#15100 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-09, 04:48

Andy Borowitz from the New Yorker writes:

Quote

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—People should get in the habit of thoroughly disinfecting their televisions after Donald J. Trump has been on, a cross-section of experts confirmed on Tuesday.

“If you have access to disinfectant wipes, thoroughly clean the television,” Dr. Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, said. “If the television is on your kitchen counter, wipe down the counter and put any dishes and other kitchen items that were exposed to Trump in the dishwasher. This won’t eliminate all traces of Trump, but it can’t hurt.”

Dr. Carol Foyler, of U.C.L.A. advised that “disinfecting your television is good as far as it goes, but everyone needs to be aware that, if Trump has been on TV, it is possible that Trump has been transmitted to you through the air.”

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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