Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents Day: Did Washington Predict Donald Trump?

Mod: Thoughtful New York Times op-ed for Presidents Day. Please remember that we are living in interesting times. Times George Washington might have seen coming.

Did George Washington Predict Donald Trump? (The New York Times link): In September 1796, George Washington, weary of partisan combat just eight years after the ratification of the Constitution and the founding of the nation, wrote a farewell address explaining why he would not seek a third term. His message is worth remembering in our current political moment.

In elaborate and thoughtful prose, Washington raised red flags about disunity, false patriotism, special interests, extreme partisanship, fake news, the national debt, foreign alliances and foreign hatreds. With uncanny foresight, he warned that the most serious threat to our democracy might come from disunity within the country rather than interference from outside. And he foresaw the possibility of foreign influence over our political system and the rise of a president whose ego and avarice would transcend the national interest, raising the threat of despotism.

Washington certainly had great confidence, but in his address he didn’t brag about his accomplishments. On the contrary, he beseeched the Almighty to soften the impact of his errors and expressed hopes that the country would forgive them. He established a standard for presidential self-deprecation out of the fear that a president of grossly inflated ego could become a threat to democracy.

He cautioned against both overly friendly alliances (lest another country’s interests and wars become our own) and excessive hatreds (lest we provoke unnecessary conflict and war with others). Forbearance in the use of power was another of his major themes.

“A free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another,” he declared. Such encroachment, he said, would lead to the consolidation of power and create “a real despotism.”

Some of Washington’s most prescient warnings were about the dangers of factionalism. He wrote that should one group, “sharpened by the spirit of revenge,” gain domination over another, the result could be “a more formal and permanent despotism.” The despot’s rise would be fueled by “disorders and miseries” that would gradually push citizens “to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual.”

“Sooner or later,” he concluded, “the chief of some prevailing faction, more able and more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purpose of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.”

As if envisioning the political tribalism and 24/7 cable news culture of today, he urged political leaders to restrain “the continual mischiefs” of political parties. The “spirit of party,” he wrote, “serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

And then he arrived at one of his greatest concerns: The ways in which hyper-partisanship could open the door “to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

On Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, charged 13 Russians with trying to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. One need only read the indictment to understand what the first president was talking about.

Since 1893, a senator has read the farewell address on the floor of the Senate every year on Washington’s Birthday, alternating annually by political party. Bluntly speaking, it’s become little more than an exercise in bipartisan lip service. The House of Representatives stopped reading it decades ago.

This was, at least, a form of honesty. Clearly no one was listening anymore. In 2016, fake news, gerrymandering, voter suppression and disenfranchisement were “the mischiefs” employed by the Republican Party to propel Mr. Trump’s campaign. And Mr. Trump, perhaps “more able and more fortunate than his competitors,” stumbled to victory using mendacious appeals to voters squeezed by a greedy economy — even though Mr. Trump had himself profited handsomely from that economy. If only we had heeded Washington’s warnings, would the election have turned out as it did?

Washington’s goal was to ensure that the young country became stable enough to withstand the threats to liberty and freedom he saw on the horizon — a horizon that has now stretched 220 years into the future. We can never say he didn’t warn us.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

84 comments:

  1. Fake news. Washington is conspiring with the Clintons, Obama and Deep State to stop America from being great again.

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  2. OMG. You still don't get it!
    The people have spoken and unlike you, understood that the threat to Democracy was President Obama.
    This is why unanimously, the left Coast and East Coast the exception, Donald J Trump won.
    President Obama gave broken promises, including many made with China and Russia.
    The American voters had finally grown wary of lies and deceit from politicians.
    The time is now and history is showing that the vote for Donald J Trump was initiated to make the necessity of regaining this Countries Democracy back in ggood standing.
    Mod, well rewritten article, you just missed the mark on which guy was the tyrant and threat.
    Have a great Presidents Day.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know they celebrated Presidents Day in the former Soviet Union, 6:10. How do they celebrate? Shoot President Putin's opponents dead in the streets?

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    2. 6:10, we all know the low class things your savior Dump has said and done, way too many to list, but you as his supporter, please tell me 10 things he has done that are good for the country. I’ll be waiting for your reply. Good luck.

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    3. 6:10 - I call BS.

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  3. 6:10 bueatifuly stated.

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    Replies
    1. I think the comrades need to send you back to English class.

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  4. After Weekend Twitter Meltdown Trump Wishes a 'Great, But Very Reflective, President's Day!'

    After a wild weekend of tweeting — in which Preisdent Donald Trump called Oprah Winfrey “very insecure,” slammed “big ratings loser CNN,” called “Liddle” Rep. Adam Schiff a “monster,” bashed his own national security adviser, mocked Democrats for failing to pass gun control under President Obama, and blamed the FBI’s Russia investigation for the Florida school shooting — the president compelled followers to have a “very reflective” President’s Day.

    While this tweet is certainly more professional than Trump’s many holiday posts dedicated to his “haters and losers,” the ominous, seemingly trollish message isn’t entirely clear.

    Trump’s tweet just prior to his President’s Day wishes was a direct attack against Oprah, who many believe is plotting a 2020 presidential run on the Democrat ticket.

    https://www.mediaite.com/online/after-weekend-twitter-meltdown-trump-wishes-a-great-but-very-reflective-presidents-day/

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  5. 6:04am That's just silly news. President Washington has been dead over 200 years ago.

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    Replies
    1. Somebody missed the joke.

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  6. 6:46am. You just got Trumped! Old news, Oprah said she did not have what it takes to be President and there for will not run on the Democratic ticket.
    With no celebrates tossing in their hat; what will the Democratic party do?
    Maybe your gal Nancy will run!

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    Replies
    1. “Celebrates” indeed

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    2. Oprah could easily kick your ass, 6:58. And millions would pay to watch.

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  7. This blog would have nothing to write about if it weren't for President Trump. Remember there is more than one way to chop down a cherry tree! Have a great President's day and continue writing!

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    Replies
    1. 7:00, what’s your point? We have a horrible president and yes, this blog has many postings with facts that prove that point. Read whatever blogs you want.

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  8. "A former Trump staffer told me tonite that w/ news that Mueller has been able to flip Rick Gates, in addition to Mike Flynn & George Papadopoulos, “there’s nobody more nervous than Trump” right now. He added Trump’s “always been paranoid” but his paranoia has reached new heights." - Jon Cooper via Tweet

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  9. 6:16am - Yes & No.
    Yes Russians shoot opponents in the streets; but the USA has Chicago, same difference.
    And no, Communism celebrations are for the passages of Season's; the rite of Spring for example.
    People are not placed above the importance of the Sickle and Hammer; but hey, that's Communism for ya.
    Have a good day.

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    Replies
    1. I was always like it when Trump supporters claim the United States is just as bad as a corrupt dictatorship. You know, as a form of excuse for their Beloved Leader. It really lets their patriotism shine.

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    2. The 1960s had Hanoi Jane. Today we have Trump Troll.

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    3. At least Hanoi Jane stood for something, which was protesting the illegal Invasion of Vietnam

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    4. 7:12's equation of a national leader like Putin ordering the execution of opponents with gang bangers killing each other in the streets is yet another example that stupid cannot be cured.

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  10. “President Obama gave broken promises, including many made with China and Russia.”

    What were they?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we should be very concerned about offending Russia. Big troll theme here.

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    2. How does one give broken promises?

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    3. Cyrilic mental dysentery.

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  11. If anyone is interested in what a 'hemorrhoid' feels and looks like all they have to do is say 'donald j. trump' and the answer is put forth and yes that what they looks and sounds like - stinks don't it? Time to apply some serious impeachment cream.

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  12. Hard truth: You are to blame, too. One of the Russians named in Mueller's indictment emailed a family member: "I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”
    We live in era of blaming others. But the Mueller indictment makes it clear that many 2016 voters didn't pay attention to what they read, shared or reacted to. So they were easy prey. Still are. Nothing has really changed.

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  13. Didn't pay attention because there was a 'bad hair' monkey jumping around on stage - didn't they usually have a tin cup and chained to a monkey grinder "Russia'. Glad we got that over with - no fake news around here.

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  14. A New Idea About How to Stop School Shootings. A nationwide teacher walkout could be the one thing to shake us out of our stupor.
    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/a-nationwide-teacher-walkout-could-shake-us-out-of-our-mass-shooting-stupor.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When they made schools "gun-free zones" the number of shootings increased. Hey I know, lets make other parts of American "gun-free". How about instead teachers and admins are allowed to have guns on school grounds so someone can't walk around for 6 minutes shooting people like fish in a barrel.

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    2. I have a better idea. How about we take semi-automatic weapons away from crazy people? Or do you feel threatened by that?

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  15. Everybody have a Happy He's Not My President Day!

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  16. Question for the day: does anyone feel that d.j.t. is stable enough mentally to qualify for 'gun ownership'? If the answer is NO then maybe he is not mentally stable enough to be president of the USA, a third world dictatorship there are no qualification to do so.

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    Replies
    1. He might not be stable enough to own a gun, but he does have a nuclear football.

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    2. unlike you trump has had a concealed carry permit for years. get a grip

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    3. 6:04am. No joke! I agree, Washington D.C., Clinton, Obama and Deep Six have weakened the Democratic Party
      Clean the Swamp. MAGA.

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    4. Mueller is cleaning the swamp. Stay tuned maga-fool.

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    5. 10:15, dump permit result of making infinite enemies while spending daddy’s money

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  17. 7:53am. You must have tonsillitis by now! Keep screaming at the sky.

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  18. 7:43am. Like you say, that's old news. President Obama is out of office.

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  19. 7:51am. A Nationwide walk out for a new Union contracts that does not bleed taxpayers would make more cents!
    Why the school did not help the young man find the professional help that he needed speaks volumes to how badly broken the educational system is.
    What happened to no child left behind?

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    Replies
    1. BS from the beginning

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  20. In 2016, President Obama was in office, napping or conspiring or both.
    Prez Obama made Russia a promise if he got reelected.
    This country now understands what he promised; total infiltration by the Russians.
    Stay strong America, happy Presidents day.

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    Replies
    1. Just saying it doesn't make it so, Comrade Troll Fool.

      The evidence is building up, and will show just how Trump and his ilk sold out America to the Russians.

      Don, Don Jr, and Jared are gulping Tums, and will soon be trading striped ties for striped pajamas.

      On this Presidents' Day, just imagine if General George had them in his ranks.

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    2. What was the promise? Second time you’ve been asked

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  21. 7:16 The 1960s had Hanoi Jane, today we have Trump. A big difference was Jane was young and didn't know better, Trump knows better. Trump is a threat and trader to life as we know it in the USA.

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    Replies
    1. Vietnam was a fake war

      Screw the right wing bastards that lured America into it

      Jane Fonda wasn’t wrong

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  22. 7:51, when I send my kids to school I expect the teacher to protect them. It appears that teachers are not taught all the ways of protecting their students, "our children".

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    1. Not taught ways to teach them either.

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    2. The President could help protect our children by taking semi-automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals and crazy people. Instead he took $30 million dollars from the NRA.

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  23. You accuse Mr. Sho of not posting all comments to his website while you also do not post all comments to this website especially the ones that show how ignorant and uninformed you are (while you pretend otherwise). you have no integrity and are dishonest in your behaviors

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    Replies
    1. 11:03, learn how to post, then come back with apologies

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    2. 11:03 isn't making any threats today. Looks like his therapist is making some progress.

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  24. 10:40am. More like an equal opportunist.

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  25. Why do some people support Trump despite all his lies and flaws?

    Dunning-Kruger Effect:

    "The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.

    Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, 'The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.' Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb."

    Hypersensitivity to Threat:

    "Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening."

    "These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Mexican immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch."

    Terror Management Theory:

    "Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not."

    "By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric."

    High Attentional Engagement:

    "According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

    Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. ... They are happy as long as they are kept entertained."

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201609/the-psychology-behind-donald-trumps-unwavering-support

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  26. Can we lay off Trump for awhile so we can concentrate in getting Goss, Arizmendi and Delmar elected? What has Andy done in all his years of volunteering in Monrovia and now Sierra Madre? What are his qualifications besides knowing land grab laws? Where does he stand on current issues besides generalization

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    1. Undoubtedly he will say, "I love Sierra Madre."

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    2. Andy is probably the only person who ever ran for a Sierra Madre's City Council seat by campaigning in Arcadia.

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    3. I agreee 11:12. I see Andy signs springing up all over. He has shown his colors. I for one fought too hard to preserve what we have.

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  27. 11:12pm. Who really cares about the up coming election? The fix is in.

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    Replies
    1. Is it a fix, or have people finally figured out where their interests lie? Property values are through the roof in Sierra Madre because preservation works. The big lie that development is necessary or the town will fail has been completely discredited.

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    2. 11:40A If you live here, you should. If you do live here and don’t vote, or pay attention to the politics in town than you are part of the problem. You should care about what happens in your town. By not caring, you allow the “fix.”

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  28. 10:11am. Lol. Joke of the day. Blame Jane Fonda's leftist views on youth! She ain't young anymore and her views haven't changed she just added her Harvey Weinstein pink hat to her wardrobe when she gets paid to appear in public.

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    Replies
    1. You completely missed the point.

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    2. At least Jane Fonda is a real American

      Unlike you

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  29. How many of you Arcadia readers are ready to confront Shogun at this Tuesday’s city Council meeting ? Careful though, he’s probably packing heat up there.

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  30. 11:12am. If it was reverse and President Trump had General Washington in his ranks, the General would have had the option of enamel teeth instead of the wooden ones.
    Optional President's Day off, enjoy.

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    Replies
    1. I suppose that somehow that makes sense in your mind. Weird. Time to lay off the vodka--it's not presidents' day in Russia.

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    2. Every day is Presidents Day in Russia.

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    3. He had ivory teeth
      I saw em

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  31. Conservatives urge Trump to issue blanket pardons to Flynn, Manafort, and everyone else in the Russia criminal interference investigation, including Trump himself.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/19/trump-russia-pardons-mueller-flynn-417094

    Wanna bet that Flynn wishes conservatives would just shut up, considering the sweetheart plea deal he's getting and fact that post-pardon state criminal charges for bribery, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and maybe tax fraud could put him and his son behind bars for a decade or more?

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  32. 7:53am. The Russians got to you.
    Thousands of dollars were spent after the Presidential election for advertising pro and anti rallies at the same time.
    Just not all of the public drank the kool-aid like you did.

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  33. 12:41pm. Was this your excuse for your President Obama? He took money from Planned Parenthood and Unions.
    In 2014 Obama was in office when the Russians began trying to influence the elections.

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    Replies
    1. Right. 2014 started the last 2 years of Obama's term. They were getting ready for 2016.

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  34. Any of the SMRealtors are very scary. they want to sell and flip and/or destroy beautiful homes here and build McMansions. It is all about the money.

    Keep the existing City Council members in office: Delmar, Goss and Arizmendi!!!!
    Get Andy OUT!!!

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  35. The poster who boasted about the grinder monkey on a chain getting a concealed weapons permit, someone claimed he had one? A bribe paid to the right people gets you a permit, but it's only good in and at Disney World Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I get the impression there are certain people in Arcadia who think having a carry permit makes them elite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or manly

      Either way

      They are cowards

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  37. Jose Andres Bencosme's yard signs dont have any "paid for by" language on them. sad.

    ReplyDelete
  38. http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/TAD/Campaign%20Documents/CampaignAdvertisementDisclosure/Political%20Advertising%20Disclaimers.pdf
    ...up to $50,000 fine for not disclosing supported by on yard signs...

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  39. Tattler has one:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/heres-russian-government-trained-online-trolls-infiltrate-favorite-social-media-groups-websites/

    ReplyDelete

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