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Are we already living in a dictatorship?


Skoo

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Just now, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I agree with Jon.  The Senate had everything they needed to know that Trump was guilty of the charges and that these were text book definition of what Madison, Mason, and Randolph had written about as far as removal prior to an election when the discussion of impeachment was going on during the Constitution convention and later during ratification.  Witnesses were only really needed to provide a defense but there was none.   Cowering to Trump's supporters whims on the other hand is not something that decent people should "get over".

The Trumpers made a lot of noise about no one testifying about hearing of the quid-pro-quo directly from Trump.  So that lack of first-hand testimony was what many of them were hanging their "plausible deniability" hat on.  Bolton might have destroyed that position for them.  Of course they were always going to acquit, but it would have been nice to see them at least go through the motions of having an actual trial instead of engaging in a blatant cover-up.  

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15 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Yes his reluctance to use executive orders to try to accomplish anything once congress was obstruct everything mode is the evidence that your points are utterly ridiculous!

Weird how "your guy" could never be accused of anything you accuse the "other guy" of.  

I wish I wasn't the only NOT blinded by pure partisanship!  :lol:

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2 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I agree with Jon.  The Senate had everything they needed to know that Trump was guilty of the charges and that these were text book definition of what Madison, Mason, and Randolph had written about as far as removal prior to an election when the discussion of impeachment was going on during the Constitution convention and later during ratification.  Witnesses were only really needed to provide a defense but there was none.   Cowering to Trump's supporters whims on the other hand is not something that decent people should "get over".

In your opinion.  But the clamoring to impeach him cut down party lines, which is also exactly what our founders wanted to avoid.  I would have liked to seen both Clinton and Trump removed.  But neither party had the backbone to do it to their side.

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22 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

The jury had heard all the witnesses.  Our Constitution was followed.

That is false. No witnesses were heard in the Senate trial. The Senate voted down along party lines against hearing from any witnesses, including John Bolton. 

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11 minutes ago, squistion said:

That is false. No witnesses were heard in the Senate trial. The Senate voted down along party lines against hearing from any witnesses, including John Bolton. 

I love when you say 'That is false', but completely fail to contradict anything I said.  

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On 2/12/2020 at 8:52 AM, Murph said:

Less snarky answer. We live in a country where the executive branch has way too much power. This didn't start on January 20 2017. It won't end on January 20 2021/2025. Framing the problem as living in a dictatorship is not helpful. What we need is sustained pressure by the citizens on their Senators and Representatives to re-assert legislative power. We need a new Church Committee but bigger and bolder.

This is mostly how I see it. 

It's also a huge reminder of the power of the Legislative Branch and how important it is to have majority there. 

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Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump

Now it looks like the fore person in the jury, in the Roger Stone case, had significant bias. Add that to everything else, and this is not looking good for the “Justice” Department. 

 

Cast doubts about your own justice department: CHECK
 

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3 hours ago, BladeRunner said:

You don't think he didn't want that?  Please.  His rule by Executive Order should have shown you that.

No, Obama did not want to be a dictator. He decided he needed to rule by executive order because congress decided to no longer cooperate. I thought it was a mistake at the time, it's been proven over time, but I also understand why he made that decision. When you're put in a lose-lose situation, which bad option are you going to choose?

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So far, 2020 has brought a dose of sobriety for the Democratic Party: the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump gained little viewership, while the President's approval ratings hit a personal record high. Even more troubling is the turnout in last week's Iowa caucuses. One would expect the prospect of voting out Trump to bring record-shattering numbers of energized Democrats to the polls. Instead, the turnout was lower than expected, an ominous sign for what's to come. 

This shouldn't be surprising. It's becoming clear that the fault lies neither in the White House nor in the American public, but in a troubling undercurrent at the heart of the Democrat-led resistance to the Trump administration. Unless we acknowledge and address this, we're looking at a repeat of 2016. 

In nearly every other use of "the resistance" -- from World War II to "Star Wars" films -- the term refers to individuals battling actual tyranny while actually risking their lives. People saving Jews in Nazi-occupied France didn't advertise their bravery. Harriet Tubman didn't walk around the South soliciting accolades. For them, being discovered meant being literally slain. For them, there were consequences. 

Conversely, Democratic resistance leaders have often accommodated Trump while simultaneously casting themselves as martyrs in primetime passion plays, appropriating historic tragedies and pretending they live in a dictatorship. 

In 2018, after Trump held a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, lawmakers and commentators compared the meeting to the Japanese slaughter of two thousand Americans at Pearl Harbor. Others went further, likening the Trump-Putin meeting to the Nazi pogrom of Jews on Kristallnacht. 

Last year, California Rep. Eric Swalwell invoked the Holocaust after the Trump campaign issued a memo telling television producers Swalwell and other members of Congress weren't trustworthy. It was pure trolling, malicious yet toothless. But that didn't stop Swalwell from comparing himself to Holocaust victims by referencing Pastor Martin Niemöller's "First they came for the..." poem about vulnerable groups targeted by the Third Reich. The need to explain why a powerful member of Congress in the greatest democracy in the world has nothing in common with Holocaust victims is one of the more depressingly unnecessary exercises of the past three years.

The Niemöller poem resurfaced this week, when prominent Resistance member Benjamin Wittes tweeted "First they came for Comey, and I said nothing." Anne Frank huddled in an attic, then died in a Nazi concentration camp. James Comey was fired from the FBI and is currently raking in millions from book sales and speeches. 

Apparently to some people, those two situations are comparable. 

The performances aren't limited to Twitter. Last month, during Trump's impeachment trial, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler publicly called the President "a dictator" from the Senate floor. Again, it's hard to explain just how absurd and insulting this is, especially for someone like me, who came to the US as a refugee from an actual dictatorship. 

But perhaps the most telling encapsulation of these theatrics is the video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump's State of the Union address. The problem with Pelosi's gesture is that last June, she and the rest of the House leadership bankrolled Trump's dark vision for America by approving the Senate's emergency funding border bill. Other than curtailing the amount toward building Trump's wall, the bill had nearly everything the president wanted.

The House Democrats couldn't stop ICE's predations on vulnerable immigrants and asylum seekers. They couldn't negotiatedelivering basic sanitation supplies to the camps. They couldn't even bring themselves to censure Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has a track record of spewing the same talking points as white supremacist terrorists.

But they sure could preen during the State of the Union. 

Over the past three years, the US courts, human rights groups, media organizations and countless ordinary Americans have stood up to the White House's attempts to circumvent our democracy. But those actions stand in stark contrast to the cynical choreography of prominent resistance champions. And if words matter, and gestures matter, and actions matter, the answer to Trump requires a sober commitment to avoid meaningless words, gestures and actions. 

I remember the awful helplessness of living in refugee camps and praying for America to grant asylum to me and my family. Our living conditions were nothing like the horror today's asylum seekers are going through, but still, they gave me an appreciation of true versus empty acts. And it didn't take long to realize that the people who helped us the most, bragged the least while the ones who did little, bragged the most. 

Comparing America to a dictatorship didn't aid a single child in the camps. Ripping up the State of the Union speech didn't help the families huddled in terror of ICE raids, or millions of individuals deprived of food stamps by the Trump administration, or Jews and Muslims fearful of getting gunned down by terrorists. If tearing up pieces of paper is the best that powerful American Democrats can do, is it any surprise to see low voter turnout? 

If tearing up pieces of paper is the best we can do, we're in for a depressing November.

Democrats need to stop pretending they live in a dictatorship

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2 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

It’s more of an oligarchy than anything else.  And it’s been that way for a long time.  But it’s not a dictatorship.  Calling it a dictatorship is just alarmist, reveals people to not have a sober understanding of the past 20 years, and cheapens the word completely.  

Agreed. Kind of like calling anyone who doesn't vote like you "racist".  Cheapens the term and it loses all meaning.

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10 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

So far, 2020 has brought a dose of sobriety for the Democratic Party: the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump gained little viewership, while the President's approval ratings hit a personal record high. Even more troubling is the turnout in last week's Iowa caucuses. One would expect the prospect of voting out Trump to bring record-shattering numbers of energized Democrats to the polls. Instead, the turnout was lower than expected, an ominous sign for what's to come. 

This shouldn't be surprising. It's becoming clear that the fault lies neither in the White House nor in the American public, but in a troubling undercurrent at the heart of the Democrat-led resistance to the Trump administration. Unless we acknowledge and address this, we're looking at a repeat of 2016. 

In nearly every other use of "the resistance" -- from World War II to "Star Wars" films -- the term refers to individuals battling actual tyranny while actually risking their lives. People saving Jews in Nazi-occupied France didn't advertise their bravery. Harriet Tubman didn't walk around the South soliciting accolades. For them, being discovered meant being literally slain. For them, there were consequences. 

Conversely, Democratic resistance leaders have often accommodated Trump while simultaneously casting themselves as martyrs in primetime passion plays, appropriating historic tragedies and pretending they live in a dictatorship. 

In 2018, after Trump held a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, lawmakers and commentators compared the meeting to the Japanese slaughter of two thousand Americans at Pearl Harbor. Others went further, likening the Trump-Putin meeting to the Nazi pogrom of Jews on Kristallnacht. 

Last year, California Rep. Eric Swalwell invoked the Holocaust after the Trump campaign issued a memo telling television producers Swalwell and other members of Congress weren't trustworthy. It was pure trolling, malicious yet toothless. But that didn't stop Swalwell from comparing himself to Holocaust victims by referencing Pastor Martin Niemöller's "First they came for the..." poem about vulnerable groups targeted by the Third Reich. The need to explain why a powerful member of Congress in the greatest democracy in the world has nothing in common with Holocaust victims is one of the more depressingly unnecessary exercises of the past three years.

The Niemöller poem resurfaced this week, when prominent Resistance member Benjamin Wittes tweeted "First they came for Comey, and I said nothing." Anne Frank huddled in an attic, then died in a Nazi concentration camp. James Comey was fired from the FBI and is currently raking in millions from book sales and speeches. 

Apparently to some people, those two situations are comparable. 

The performances aren't limited to Twitter. Last month, during Trump's impeachment trial, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler publicly called the President "a dictator" from the Senate floor. Again, it's hard to explain just how absurd and insulting this is, especially for someone like me, who came to the US as a refugee from an actual dictatorship. 

But perhaps the most telling encapsulation of these theatrics is the video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump's State of the Union address. The problem with Pelosi's gesture is that last June, she and the rest of the House leadership bankrolled Trump's dark vision for America by approving the Senate's emergency funding border bill. Other than curtailing the amount toward building Trump's wall, the bill had nearly everything the president wanted.

The House Democrats couldn't stop ICE's predations on vulnerable immigrants and asylum seekers. They couldn't negotiatedelivering basic sanitation supplies to the camps. They couldn't even bring themselves to censure Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has a track record of spewing the same talking points as white supremacist terrorists.

But they sure could preen during the State of the Union. 

Over the past three years, the US courts, human rights groups, media organizations and countless ordinary Americans have stood up to the White House's attempts to circumvent our democracy. But those actions stand in stark contrast to the cynical choreography of prominent resistance champions. And if words matter, and gestures matter, and actions matter, the answer to Trump requires a sober commitment to avoid meaningless words, gestures and actions. 

I remember the awful helplessness of living in refugee camps and praying for America to grant asylum to me and my family. Our living conditions were nothing like the horror today's asylum seekers are going through, but still, they gave me an appreciation of true versus empty acts. And it didn't take long to realize that the people who helped us the most, bragged the least while the ones who did little, bragged the most. 

Comparing America to a dictatorship didn't aid a single child in the camps. Ripping up the State of the Union speech didn't help the families huddled in terror of ICE raids, or millions of individuals deprived of food stamps by the Trump administration, or Jews and Muslims fearful of getting gunned down by terrorists. If tearing up pieces of paper is the best that powerful American Democrats can do, is it any surprise to see low voter turnout? 

If tearing up pieces of paper is the best we can do, we're in for a depressing November.

Democrats need to stop pretending they live in a dictatorship

No need to hide these contents.

All the Democrats need to read this and understand the difference between their "suffering" and, y'know, actual suffering under a dicatorship.  I bet not a single Democrat (at least in here) currently lives or has lived under a true dictator.  If Trump were a true dictator most of them would be imprisoned, dead or both. 

This article hits it dead on - I laugh when people compare themselves to victims who actually endured suffering or compare themselves to resistance fighters.  Give me a break.

This hysteria is beyond ridiculous.

Edited by BladeRunner
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Succumbing to totalitarianism is a bit like falling in love. It happens little by little and then all at once. 

The entire point is that once you have Killing Fields, it’s too late.  The guy who coined Godwin’s Law has said that there are valid comparisons to be made between Trump and Hitler. Because we shouldn’t have to wait for him to open Dachau before we sound the alarm. 

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2 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Succumbing to totalitarianism is a bit like falling in love. It happens little by little and then all at once. 

The entire point is that once you have Killing Fields, it’s too late.  The guy who coined Godwin’s Law has said that there are valid comparisons to be made between Trump and Hitler. Because we shouldn’t have to wait for him to open Dachau before we sound the alarm. 

Right.  But are you of the same crowd that pooh-poohs what will happen if Sanders - a true Socialist - gets into office? 

You say "little by little" but then suddenly when it comes to Sanders it doesn't apply.

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Just now, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Succumbing to totalitarianism is a bit like falling in love. It happens little by little and then all at once. 

The entire point is that once you have Killing Fields, it’s too late.  The guy who coined Godwin’s Law has said that there are valid comparisons to be made between Trump and Hitler. Because we shouldn’t have to wait for him to open Dachau before we sound the alarm. 

Can we at least wait until he actually does something dictatorial before sounding the alarm?  

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Just now, BladeRunner said:

Right.  But are you of the same crowd that pooh-poohs what will happen if Sanders - a true Socialist - gets into office? 

You say "little by little" but then suddenly when it comes to Sanders it doesn't apply.

Are you asking if I’m worried we’ll become Denmark or Finland?  Nope. I’m a big fan of the Nordic model. 

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9 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Succumbing to totalitarianism is a bit like falling in love. It happens little by little and then all at once. 

The entire point is that once you have Killing Fields, it’s too late.  The guy who coined Godwin’s Law has said that there are valid comparisons to be made between Trump and Hitler. Because we shouldn’t have to wait for him to open Dachau before we sound the alarm. 

Really?  Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933.  The Enabling Act was passed March 23, 1933.  Less than two months seems pretty darn swift to me.  

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13 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Purging career civil servants and putting kids in cages qualifies for me. YMMV. 

Firing people is well within his rights.  Obama put kids in those same cages- albeit when they were on their own-and only ceased by court order.  Regardless, Trump exercising his right to terminate those that serve at his pleasure or detaining people crossing into the country illegally are not, in any way, dictatorial.  YMMV be damned.

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41 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Are you asking if I’m worried we’ll become Denmark or Finland?  Nope. I’m a big fan of the Nordic model. 

Yeah, I assume that you knew exactly what I was talking about but tried to be funny.

Sanders isn't of the vein of the "Nordic Model" of Socialism.  The dude is a TRUE Socialist.  I know you know what that means.

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Just now, BladeRunner said:

Yeah, I assume that you knew exactly what I was talking about but tried to be funny.

Sanders isn't of the vein of the "Nordic Model" of Socialism.  The dude is a TRUE Socialist.  I know you know what that means.

He’s absolutely in the vein of the Nordic model. All of his policies copy the Nordic model.  Because he honeymooned in the Soviet Union he’s a Bolshevik?  I mean, by that metric Trump is absolutely a totalitarian dictator considering all the nice things he’s said about Kim Jong Un  

Let’s assume Bernie really is a Democratic Socialist with all that label means. No, I’m not worried about that either.  That movement envisions state control of the means of production as a goal achieved through Democratic consensus. 

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10 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Let’s assume Bernie really is a Democratic Socialist with all that label means. No, I’m not worried about that either.  That movement envisions state control of the means of production as a goal achieved through Democratic consensus.

Yes, this is why it makes sense to vote against Bernie. Because if people vote for him (and for legislators who support that goal), that's the democratic consensus needed to start nationalizing industries alphabetically.

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3 hours ago, BladeRunner said:

Weird how "your guy" could never be accused of anything you accuse the "other guy" of.  

I wish I wasn't the only NOT blinded by pure partisanship!  :lol:

The question is whether or not the previous president

  • that wasted 6+ years trying to build a consensus that was not going to happen
  • consistently stated that it took "we" to achieve big things
  • had an unshakable faith in the power of ordinary Americans rather than himself
  • was exhausted and couldn't get out the door fast enough

wanted to be a dictator that remained in office forever.   You said because at the end of his term he started issuing executive order to accomplish what he couldn't do legislatively was evidence for this, I stated that trying to do it legislatively for 6+ years was evidence to the contrary.   None of those observations or reasonable conclusion I made are partisan at all.  What is "blinded by pure partisanship" is projecting what one side is doing to the other side.  And labeling oneself an independent doesn't negate this.

But if you want to go back to a president on the other side.  Do you think W wanted to stick around beyond 2008?   Or was enough, enough?

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4 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

You guys arguing in here that next week DC will be named Trumpingrad are just using hyperbole to point out some of the more alarming things Trump does right? 

In all fairness, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Trump renames the White House to the Trump House.  

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2 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

In all fairness, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Trump renames the White House to the Trump House.  

Isn't there some requirement that most federal things can only be named after people that are deceased?   Assuming that this isn't a figment of my imagination then I would think that this would be evidence that Trump is behaving more like a dictator [wanna be] than adhering to American democratic norms.   Or evidence that Trump is now a ghost.

  

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1 hour ago, BladeRunner said:

No need to hide these contents.

All the Democrats need to read this and understand the difference between their "suffering" and, y'know, actual suffering under a dicatorship.  I bet not a single Democrat (at least in here) currently lives or has lived under a true dictator.  If Trump were a true dictator most of them would be imprisoned, dead or both. 

This article hits it dead on - I laugh when people compare themselves to victims who actually endured suffering or compare themselves to resistance fighters.  Give me a break.

This hysteria is beyond ridiculous.

My father-in-law lived in Iran before and after the fall of the Shah. He permanently moved to Oklahoma in 1980 (maybe 79) and became a US citizen. His mother passed last year but prior to that he had visited Iran every year to see her. He has been detained and held at gunpoint in Iranian airports while they tossed his luggage and questioned his loyalty to Iran. He also experienced hostility in the US during the Iran hostage crisis to the point he was scared enough for his family to start telling people he met that he was Mexican. Here is a conversation he had with me while the Senate trial was going on:

Him - "I feel sorry for you guys."

Me - "Why's that?"

Him - "It's becoming more like Iran here every day."

Me- "You really think it's that bad?"

Him - "Yes, I'm too old to see what will become of all this but I will never vote Republican again. For anything."

This is coming from a guy who worked as an engineer for big oil and was a supporter of the various Iraq invasions for obvious, biased reasons. Until recently, he generally voted on the conservative side of things though he said he voted for Clinton's 2nd term and both of Obama's terms. I asked why Obama instead of McCain and he said he thought McCain would die and Palin would be President.

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On 2/12/2020 at 7:44 AM, Skoo said:

A few years ago this would've sounded insane, today not so much. Some of you may have seen Bill Maher's closing remarks on Friday, they were chilling to say the least.

Basically what he said is that when you switch over to a dictatorship, it still has the appearance of a democracy. Showed pictures of Russia and North Korea, how they still technically had a "parliament" but obviously they're just for show.

I realize some people here indeed still think this is a crazy thought. But how far have we already gone?

The checks and balances of our 3 branches no longer exist. The President is impeached and witnesses aren't even allowed at the "trial".

The President is instructing the DOJ to do his bidding, whether it's sending Guiliani to dig up dirt on Biden or trying to lessen Roger Stone's sentence.

Say Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office, siting voting "irregularities".

What happens next? What do we have in place to stop him?

We do not live in a dictatorship. 

The President is unconventional, stubborn, not informed on most topics (to be kind) and may not respect the different branches of governments or other institutions, but some Democrats may not have accepted the results of the most recent election. There will be another election this year, and the country will make a decision (probably driven by a balance between a good economy and the constant drama that he creates).

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6 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Not quite yet. Once we have experienced both Trump &  Bloomberg then it will be official.

I think that's when we transition to the Corporatocracy where a hedge fund owned shell corporation rules from on high by executive memo.

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1 hour ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Yes, this is why it makes sense to vote against Bernie. Because if people vote for him (and for legislators who support that goal), that's the democratic consensus needed to start nationalizing industries alphabetically.

I can't claim to be world's authority on democratic socialist thought, but what I've read has largely viewed nationalization as a long-term goal that the authors concede to be impractical now.  As you know, there is a dissonance between Bernie calling himself a democratic socialist and Bernie advocating programs and usually citing exemplars that suggest he is a social democrat.  

I'm just saying that that even if I thought that Bernie's goal was to nationalize all industries (and not just public goods as in the Nordic model), I wouldn't be particularly worried about his ability to meet that goal through the Democratic process.  He is, after all, 78.  And whatever else I think of Bernie, I'm pretty confident in his commitment to Democratic governance and the rule of law.  

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2 hours ago, parasaurolophus said:

Bernie says he is a socialist but isnt a socialist. 

Trump admin has been sued 189 times by just one organization and has lost 90% of court battles involving deregulation and we are in a dictatorship. 

Interesting times indeed. 

I say it daily, “ what a dumb time to be alive.”

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7 hours ago, BladeRunner said:

Except Obama was putting kids in cages too.  I assume you were as equally outraged and called for his impeachment?

Telling that there's crickets from him regarding this.

People start to use terms like "dictator" a lot more often when their guy isn't in charge.

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