Donald Trump: Myth maker

Source: NYT

The levels of fake news and whataboutism he helped blossom into real threats to logic and reason are capitalizing on a lack of civic knowledge and engagement. Increasing numbers of Americans are susceptible to believing anything but the truth without any skepticism. It is creating an environment that empowers both his myth-making and supporters.

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Why Our Neighbors Still Support Trump

Well, think about it. If the Democratic Party had not vacated rural America, there would not be such fertile ground for someone like Trump to take advantage. It’s no surprise that they feel as if they know him; he was in their living rooms for decades selling the other big cons of his narrative . . . that he was a strong leader, that he was successful at business. 

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12 July 2022

Miller’s Fruit of Nostalgia Plain

Politicians are known by their fruit. “Politicians are known by their votes and the policies that they promote, ” Miller went on to say. We know how she started her career on Capitol Hill. We know what she has voted to bring home to our district: Nothing at all. She’s the farmer that brings nothing to the farmer’s market but takes the biggest subsidy check home to cash anyways. She’s got to pay the nanny to homeschool her kids that yours are all going to hell.

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Memorial Day: Every Day We Lose More

Since September 11th, we have lost over 40,000 of our soldiers and veterans who fought and lost their lives for each one of us, whether we supported war, conflict, or our national defense strategy, or lack thereof, at the time. The sacrifice of these soldiers and veterans is significantly high, for their families, as well as their communities. The sacrifice is for us to live and explore our rights and freedoms without trampling on others, to make our lives worthy of the liberty they died protecting, and, with hope to leave our nation and our community better than we found it.

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Uvalde Is US; Take a Good Long Look

We are more inclined to hide our brokenness to the detriment of both self and others. We won’t stand for others pointing out our mistakenness, either. We refuse to hold ourselves or those closest to us accountable, which is why the rhetoric about some distant, physically removed ‘other’ becomes more poisonous, more targeted, and often more distant and disconnected from reality.

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Evolution in Georgia Primaries? Doubtful

When a Georgia Senate candidate recently mused out loud about evolution and apes, I knew it was going to be an interesting primary season. Especially when, despite being challenged by five other candidates, this Republican candidate elected to not attend a debate.

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National Guard Shouldn’t Sacrifice Education to Serve a Schedule

Too many know that service can lead to sacrifice. We shouldn’t be asking the National Guard to sacrifice anything else at all. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice anything in their college and university education.

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Thank you!

My interest in each of you is for a reason. I appreciate your interest in my life and what I do
May we find a better way forward than we have seen in any of the days that have come before us.

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Miller a Ghost, Davis Pontificates, FOP Endorses

From Rollcall.com

Davis is simply trying to distract from his lack of results for his much longer tenure in Congress. He said he was for all of these principles. When it came to voting to support those principles, he couldn’t do it because of who was in the White House.

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Mary Miller Not Responsible for Past Actions of Volunteer

Andrew Harnik/AP

Full disclosure, I’ve known Brad Graven my entire life. He was in fact my Sunday school teacher, so long ago

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Board In the Dark Regarding Member’s Employment with Speaker of the House

During the board meetings that Weaver attended and never disclosed her potential conflicts of interest, she motioned and voted to not only bar the public from ever having access to the minutes of executive board meetings, she also motioned and voted to destroy all audio documentation of those hearings. Any potential evidence in these and other cases were lost.

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PTSD Looms Large; Access to Mental Health Still at Issue

US Army Reserve Photo by Timothy L. Hale
-Kim Raff for New York TImes

Since September 11th, 2001, 30,177 active duty members and veterans died by suicide. It’s a jaw dropping number compared to the 7,057 killed in what I will label “military operations.” Anyone who is going to tell me that those 30,177 suicides aren’t part of active duty deaths isn’t being serious about this issue.

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Homelessness, Republican Morbid Fascination and the Millers

Wash Post, Tennessee General Assembly

We need someone that is going to fight for our communities, not about some special interest BS that only divides our nation further. We need someone to fight to build roads, bridges, and rails, that fights to prepare every kid for a better paying job, and fights to make government services work better for less money wasted.

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Debating Inflation with Blamers

biztimes.com

It’s similar to a child touching a hot stove and burning themselves. You would think a person, at some point in their adult lives, would learn how to regulate their emotional responses to stimuli they should at least anticipate encountering in their daily lives, but to no avail. They just want to hear what they already believe.

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`Historic Justice, PB and J6, Hanging Juries, ACLU Stops Congress

NY Times

Big day in the justice system. Here are four news stories that will reverberate for years.

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SCOTUS Blurs Lines on Ideology and Fourth Amendment

Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg)

When I wrote it in that exact way just now, I shuddered. It doesn’t sound so good for the average American, now does it?

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Illinois Secure Choice Stopgap for Lack of Rural Leadership

Mike Miletich, WGEM

Republicans Rodney Davis and Mary Miller will never be able to vote YES on what our district, our seniors and people living with disabilities deserve and need. Their partisan politics just won’t let them do the right thing.

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Immigration: European Union Learns What America Never Could

Refugees signing up for potential jobs at a center in Warsaw.Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times
Refugees signing up for potential jobs at a center in Warsaw.Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times

Europe is finally figuring out what Americans forgot 50 years ago.
Refugees, migrants, and immigrants are good for the economy, especially during a labor shortage. Countries are even waiving visa requirements.
The European Union may have learned something from watching how America has never directly tackled its own border and broken immigration systems.

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Rodney Davis: Embodiment of Establishment Elitism

Rep. Rodney Davis in Havana at Babe's

I doubt it’ll be that easy to ignore the real challenges and frustrations that voters have in every single community in our district, which is exactly what Rep. Davis is doing by huddling in private luncheons and wineries in hushed isolation from the people he answers to and seeks to represent.

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Not Part of the Game

In my travels this petition cycle, the conversations had a far more serious and at times darker hue. Many of my closest friends have similar and deepening reservations regarding the Democratic Party and its intentions regarding rural Illinois.

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Miller, Trump’s Affection for Putin is Misplaced

NBC.news

It’s stunning that now, while out of office, Trump seeks to not only weaken the current President, but mislead on his own record and fortitude.

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Rep. Robin Kelly Inspires Quincy

https://www.whig.com/news/local/kelly-urges-downstate-voters-to-build-the-bench/article_dcedea98-9696-11ec-bb04-ef1f12d126ff.html

Whenever I have heard Rep. Kelly speak on the House floor, she spoke directly to both my heart and my head. I knew instinctively that when afforded the opportunity to meet her, she would live up to this image I had long been developing about her—that she was both down to earth and simultaneously uplifting and inspiring. 

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No Time for Rubber Spines with Putin

The Atlantic

I don’t understand these American sentiments against our own national security and economy. These new Republican talking points from talking heads seem alien to me.

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High Price of Gas: Solutions or Anger Only?

The politicians that focus on stoking anger and anxiety in voters about gas prices seek to bring out the worst in us.

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VP Harris in Munich: Strength and Solidarity


Vice President Kamala Harris was in Munich this morning while most Americans were sleeping She delivered a tough speech that connected our vital interests in Ukraine to our long term alliances with NATO and the European Union.

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Choose to Breathe, Choose Community

It’s amazing how much can take place in four years. We can endure so much. We can grow and learn if we choose to do so, but we don’t have to choose that path.

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ISIS Leader Dead While Putin Dances with the Dragon

Now, in 2022, there’s another Olympics that Putin hopes to use to distract us while he dances on the global stage with the dragon in Beijing. He is desperate to find any way to fill the holes in his economy before Biden and NATO slice up the Russian economy, his gas pipelines, and his private assets hiding in the Russian oligarchy.

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Don’t Burn the Library Down

Outrage and the need to eradicate the voices of others is not owned by either fringe. Both sides want to burn the library.

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Where We Are, Biden’s Tough First Year

The struggles, obstacles, challenges, and threats that our nation and her people face today have not relented with legislation, executive order, public health guidance, or learning from our own direct experience. It’s true, many people are upset. It makes sense they would focus their ire at our political leaders. 

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Dems Should Tackle the Issues, Not Each Other

If Democratic candidates and current legislators would take a break from attacking each other, they might realize the real threats are much larger and longterm than any disagreements they have with one another.

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Filibuster or not to Filibuster. That isn’t the question.

Sometimes, we don’t get our way in a democracy. That is a fundamental part of what makes democracy function. We are not a monolithic people. It is our individuality, coupled with our ability to work together, that has made America the nation it is.

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Economic, Pandemic, Political Threat Looms for Restaurants

Restaurants across the nation are in trouble. Not many policymakers are even talking about what is happening to these small businesses in nearly every town and city in America.

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A Brief History of Fear in American Politics: AIDS, 9/11 to Covid19

The need to have a villain does conjure memories of the fear tactics by the Christian right involved with the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

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Doing the Difficult

Let’s hope Biden was honest when he said he would be the President for all Americans, regardless of what candidate they voted for in this election.
The pandemic has only intensified and deepened the issues within the education system as well as every other aspect of basic living and survival.

And, yet, Americans may not tackle these problems. Americans may continue to reward failure in their leaders. Americans may continue to not engage with those they disagree because it’s just too difficult and uncomfortable.

I thought we did difficult things.

Maybe, that was another America.

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Payroll, Priorities and Pandemic

The American people have been suffering and dying all year from Covid-19. Our economies are suffering and many small businesses are on the brink. We need you, Senate Republicans, to focus on us, what we need and on saving our jobs, not giving one lifetime appointment out in a rushed manner. We know you’re not working on a healthcare plan.

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Trump’s Taxes

For as much as I’ve heard people claim what a great businessman Trump is, all I see is evidence that he is a carnival barker who has been able to capitalize on our nation’s lack of investment in education and infrastructure over the last 50 years.

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Wounded Wet Nurses

Meadows sounds more like a Russian news agency mouthpiece for the Kremlin attacking American intelligence and law enforcement agencies then he does an American public servant doing the work of the American people and protecting our national security.

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Dems Outclass Trump Again

Not only did Speaker Pelosi outshine President Trump and congressional Republicans, she outclassed them. Feeding children and families is better than sending blank bailout checks to the richest farmers in America.

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Experts Aren’t Leading on COVID

Trump is not just a failure. He is a threat to our national security, our public health, our economy and our longevity as a nation. Don’t see President Trump through the filter of your choice in 2016. See President Trump as he is.

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Denying Reality: Gift-Wrapped Misery and Death

Republican economic and budgetary failed policies have gift-wrapped misery and death to the American people and American small businesses.

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COVID Restaurants and Bars

With no national strategy to help stabilize the restaurant and bar small business industry during this difficult time, it is up to states and local communities to fill the gap with ever diminishing resources.

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9/11: Loss, Mourning, Solidarity

September 11th. A time of loss and mourning for our country. 
It was also one of the last times our country came together in solidarity. 

Shared pain and suffering has a way of bringing people together. How could we do anything but coalesce as a nation and a world after such an attack?

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Labor Day: The Fight for American Workers

Yes, Republicans have pounded the idea that Democrats are bad and low wages for American workers are good for the economy, but is this really what rural Americans are going to continue to swallow election after election?

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A Candid COVID Conversation with Chris Cuomo

It just doesn’t seem that there’s a coordinated strategy at all. And, that alone, is a real problem, it’s a real threat.

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Support Cannot Be Blind: Dueling Charleston Rallies

It is time to inform our passions. Blindly following those who say they are on your side has not achieved many results for any of our rural communities. And, the consequences of failure are mounting, becoming more grim every single day we do not stand up with a sincere and focused will as a culture and a people.

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The “I Know Best” Cult

The times we are enduring right now are requring us to be better citizens. We must live up to these times.

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EIU Reopening???

It takes strong leaders to stand up and not lead from fear. Demand better or you receive less. No wonder rural communities are struggling.

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Missed Opportunities in Education

“There are places where educators have already forged ahead in the past months with creative plans for remote learning.” -Dana Goldstein, NYT The places that have forged ahead are models, whereas the countless missed opportunities keep stacking up...

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Rewrite Tomorrow

We’re less educated, so we’re less able to understand what’s happening right now. 
Our country is crumbling around us, so we’re less able to act upon what’s happening right now.
We’re not as healthy as we could be, and our knowledge and access to becoming healthier is limited.
Services and officials are less able to meet the demands and needs that we have and deserve.

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Trump Wipes Out 5 Years of GDP Growth

It is now apparent the American economy has been traumatically damaged, leading to increased crime. More costly consequences are days away as the Senate decided not to collaborate on a bipartisan bill this week.

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Flush: What to Do about Trump’s Election Delay?

The sickenss sabotage straegy of Trump begins to make a bit more sense when he pondered delaying the 2020 election. He can’t win on the merits nor on votes alone.

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We Can Reopen Safely, But Will We?

The damage done over the course of my entire life by not investing in our nation’s children and in our nation itself is evident wherever you look and especially when looking into the eye’s of nearly every single person you know.

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Listen to Biden

No matter if you feel you agree or disagree with Joe Biden, if you support his campaign or do not, he’s going to be on the ballot in November. Take a moment and listen. If at all possible listen without providing commentary until the end. That’s a big ask. Just a moment.

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No Face-Mask Bailey Demands Audit, Offers No Solutions or Money

Bailey either didn’t bother to check if there were any bills he could have co-sponsored or didn’t care and thought both the media and his supporters wouldn’t care as well. Isn’t that the foundation of the anti-face-mask movement . . . not caring?

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Do Nothing COVID County Boards

They are just planning on sitting there for the rest of 2020 and doing nothing . . . no contingency cutting ahead of the winter we’re facing . . . no property tax mitigation efforts to help landlords and small businesses, property owners feeling the pinch . . . no trimming or discussion of potential slimming down ahead of a large drop in tax revenue.

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Bolton Tenure: Keep The Lie Going

Suddenly, the value of those 520 days Bolton sat in his position, and those 139 days we waited for his book to be published after the trial was over, begin to seem as large as the 293 days that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee sat before the Senate, twice as long as any other Supreme Court nominee in American history.

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Don’t Buy Trump; Fight for Change

Let’s do better than crying about crowd size and hand size! Let’s finally replace the pipes in Flint, MI! Let’s do what we haven’t done in the last 4 years or the last 40 years by investing in the best in each other, not the worst!

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Covid Spikes, Trump Attempts Hail Mary

Why is it that Trump can say anything, do anything . . . do nothing for them and their communities . . . but because he can say anything and do anything toward the people that actually do things for their communities . . . that makes their support stronger for Trump?

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Coming Out Bi Creates Rift with Church of God

Just days later after delivering that message about love, he drove into my hometown, walked into the Church of God and wouldn’t even listen to a mother he not only had a predisposition to disagree with but he also didn’t love enough to have an open mind to hear her expressions of love and devotion to Christ.

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Why are White Facebooking Fire Chiefs Free and Black Men are not?

I have seen black people thrown in jail, charged with federal crimes, and hefty bail applied for posting and promoting violence, riots and looting. Why not these white public officials? Is there a disparity at work here? If you believe the gentleman in Wichita, Arkansas and Peoria should be held accoutnable, why is Fire Chief Dunovsky any different?

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Trump Calls for Retreat Abroad

Trump has called for a 25% reduction in troops in Germany. Since Russian annexation of Crimea, American troop withdrawals from Europe are sending the message that Putin’s territorial aggression in Eastern Europe means America will turn tail on allies and retreat.

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Cop Stops Trash Pickup: Insight into Dismiss and Discredit

We all have little to no concept of what another person has been through, what level of empathy and how the traumas that have been perpetrated upon themselves and upon so many others has compounded and distilled an understanding of a situation that you may not yet be capable of appreciating.

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Media Mistaken, Mayor Resigns, Chief Walks

It’s unfortunate that nothing would move fire chief Dunovsky to do the right thing, even someone else taking the fall for him. Mayor Goodman is a good man that cared to get involved in the management of his town. He appeared to be deeply engaged and working with others that were similarly motivated.

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Out of the Silo

If it took this handful of Republicans this much, how much more is the entire Republican Party not being honest with self, with citizen, with country and soul about what is holding our country and our communities back?
This is why tackling the system that allowed a police officer to press his knee into the back of the neck of George Floyd until he died is nearly guaranteed to fail.

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BS: No More All Lives Matter

Which is why I am not going to just sit and meet people, discuss their fascination with “All Lives Matter” and their lack of curiosity about why that’s completely ridiculous, offensive and with no regard for anyone who has lost anyone to violence or has had violence done to them.

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Cognitive Dissonance Hot Zone

I think the point of the Open Moultrie signs, next to the Pritzker Sucks signs, cozied up next to the Trump 2020 signs is to clearly paint a bright arrow to show passersby that this is where cognitive dissonance has taken root, could be airborne, and efforts are underway to make it hereditary.
If anybody wants to have a frank, honest conversation about reality and solving the myriad of problems that we all face together, they should definitely turn themselves around and drive 100 miles away in any direction … because that conversation is most likely not possible in this Cognitive Dissonance Hot Zone.

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The WHO Wears Face-Masks

The WHO guidelines for healthy members of our community make the most sense to me given the breadth of all of the science, the public health data and all of the commentary on both sides, with a minor addition.

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Killing George Floyd: Pleas and Protest

George lost his life. The people protesting that lost life, at least they’re not protesting against public health guidelines that help protect the lives of other people, at least there is hard, cold and decaying evidence that real harm, real loss, real threat, and real trauma have actually occurred here.

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Stardards Doubled, or How Many Asterisks Does It Take?

The problem with double standard living as a nation is that no one respects our word, no one respects our work, and no one respects our nation.
Anyone else notice all the farm bankruptcies forcing auctions across our lands over the last 3 years? That’s new. No one was looking for Rauner’s ass during all of that? Nor were they looking for Trump’s either. Hmmmm.
But, a pandemic happens, and all of a sudden, everybody around here is a public health expert, a doctor and doesn’t need to respect the law, the order or each other. I will not like when those lessons come back to bite us all. And, they will.

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Illinois: What Has Gone Missing

What has gone missing is any hint of a strategy by either political party to build change in America for her people and her workers. #DemandBetter

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COVID and You

Pretty ****ing typical American model for governance. Businesses violate, let them skate. Individuals get sick, indict. Businesses will be able to operate which is great for them since they have no legal consequences. Individuals having a gathering? Not...

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What security role should the U.S. play in world affairs?

American leadership, both from the Oval Office and Congress, has lurched from too much involvement with no strategy to win, to too much caution to a confused amalgamation of the two under President Trump.

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A Pro-Growth Investment in the Future of Sullivan

Let’s think about what Sullivan needs to make life better for those who are here and for those who are growing up here as well. We need to make it even better for those who are children so that we give them reasons to plant root and seed here. That is how communities grow again.

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I Will Never Forget

On this World AIDS Day, as I do every day, I remember so many friends, loved ones and people around the world that have died after being infected with HIV and succumbing to AIDS. In America, despite having...

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Rep. Shimkus is Retiring

Ask most farmers, they’re over President Trump’s Trade and Tariff War.

Ask businesses, both small and large, the growing uncertainty in the Trump economy is making life more difficult.

Ask working families, they’ve not received much if any of the benefits of the Trump-Republican massive tax cuts that have created historic Trillion Dollar Deficits.

It would be difficult for anyone to defend let alone to fight to prolong these failing economic policies for our rural communities.

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Challenging Extremism at Home

There is so much mistaken in “Jesus Made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve.” It appears this statement was intentionally crafted to be political, divisive and discriminatory.

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Sensitive President, Party Flails in Europe

Considering the unfortunate state of our international relations with our longterm allies, the frayed nature of the alliances that have helped prevent a third World War continue to be stretched under the Republican Trump Administration. On one hand, you have the President demanding our NATO allies to step up to the plate with more money and forces. On the other hand you have both the President and Sen. Graham complaining about these same allies discussing setting up such an army while they increase funding to the alliance. It’s not easy to see through the hyperbole and double standards.

Subservience to a party over the people is a road paved in good intentions without checking in on the results.

When our national security is at stake, it’s crucial we get it right.

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A Campaign About People and Policies

This campaign was about people and policies for an economy that works for everyone, education that prepares our children for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and a healthcare system that is both affordable and accessible for our...

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Solidarity After Anti-Semitic Attack

The fear of being attacked and killed for who you are and for your faith is something no one should have to experience. It is the experience of many Americans. We can do better. We do that by working together, standing up to hatred and bigotry in all of its forms, and not turning away when those in our own families and communities use divisive and hostile rhetoric that we know is against our American values.

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The Saudis, Arms and American Values

As your representative, I will fight to end the abdication of the Legislative Branch. We need stronger and more independent oversight of the Executive Branch that challenges and holds the President and his administration accountable, regardless of party.

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Social Security Fairness Act

I would support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017, which has broad bipartisan support. It’s one of the areas where my opponent and I are in agreement.

Unfortunately for our teachers and spouses, this bill has been sitting in the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security since March of 2017. It is not even listed on the Subcommittee’s website as a bill introduced in the 115th Congress, so the GOP is not serious about solving this problem.

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Early Childhood Education

If we don’t create equity in the early education system in the 15th District, many of our communities will never catch up in the modern global economy. We all know that funding education through property taxes is a failing policy for businesses and families alike. Rural school districts suffer while booming communities are able to fund robust education programs. Our children deserve better. Early Education is the foundation on which a child’s future is built. With a renewed American investment in our children, we will better compete in a global economy, halt the brain drain, and bring better paying jobs back to the 15th District. This is what having a broad, generational vision can bring to America. It is long overdue.

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9/11: Loss, Mourning, Solidarity

September 11th. A time of loss and mourning for our country. 
It was also one of the last times our country came together in solidarity. 

Shared pain and suffering has a way of bringing people together. How could we do anything but coalesce as a nation and a world after such an attack?

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A Testament to Public Service

As many of us have witnessed over the last few days since his passing, he has many loud critics on both sides of the aisle.

That’s what happens when you stand up to your own party and stand up for what you believe in, regardless of the political fallout.

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Gaither Speaks Out on Ballot Referendum

The Republicans need this ballot referendum because they have no positive agenda or results on which to run this November. My position on the Second Amendment has remained consistent. I will never support legislation that bans firearms.

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Tired of Falling Behind

Instead of electing career politicians who rely on big dollar donors and offer rubber stamps and excuses, we should be focusing on what will build an economy, rebuild our infrastructure, and deliver education that provides for a better future. 
That’s why I decided to run against a 21-year incumbent who I saw as being out of touch with the hardworking people of the 15th District. They deserve someone that will listen to their experiences and concerns and act upon them in Congress. 
That’s what I will do as your representative and why I am fighting to earn your support and your vote this November. 

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Separating Families: Broken Immigration

I’d say there is plenty of common ground, common sense, and common values on this issue. Separating children from their parents is not just a tragedy, it’s traumatizing. I’m also concerned about our broken immigration systems, as many Americans are. We need to fix our broken immigration system so that people can come here legally, so that those seeking asylum can do so safely, and that we can grow as a nation and provide for hardworking Americans that have spent a lifetime working hard for their own families and communities.

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People Over Party.

To me, I’m focused like a laser on changing the conversation. Moving beyond this blame game. Finding common ground, using common sense, and utilizing common values to move our district forward. That is why I’m showing up, standing up, and speaking out everywhere I go. Wages have been stagnant for decades, in some industries wages have actually been decreasing. This is why the economic environment is so hostile to both workers and especially to business. Without eliminating the disincentives and punishments for getting back to work, the bridge to self-reliance is non-existent. When you examine downstate politics, the Republicans have one mantra. “Madigan.” That’s all they run on mostly, adding in one or two social issues that divide and separate as opposed to build and boost our local economies. I know that the People are exhausted by that boring, tired playbook.

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Voting Rights, SCOTUS and You

Check your voter registration.
Start voting.
Become engaged in your local, state, and federal government.
It matters.
Other than that, the people are going to have to elect different representatives that fight to change the 1993 Voter Registration Act to protect your rights to ballot access. 

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Memorial Day: Sacrifice and Service

Each of us has something to offer our country. What we remember on Memorial Day are the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters.  This sacrifice means everything to protecting our freedom, our liberty, and our capacity to be...

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The Time for Accountability with Firearms is Now

At some point, all of the people supporting the Second Amendment and all of the people that want to minimize gun violence in America, especially at our schools, must come together. I stand with both. Some people refuse to do so. Those that do not aren’t really in the conversation. 

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Gun Sanctuaries and Broken Immigration

Aren’t we sick of the partisan bickering, the pundit speculating, and the status quo strangling us all?

I know I am. That’s why I’m running for Congress because I’m sick of both parties doing nothing but make our problems worse.

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Fiscal Failure Under Shimkus-GOP

Yes, our 21-year incumbent representative in Congress, John Shimkus, did vote for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have allowed the federal government to raid the Social Security trust fund in order to balance the budget.
It’s about time we throw them out and get back to work.
Failure is not an option because our communities are on the line.

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Middle East Diplomatic Vacuum

The lack of a diplomatic presence in the region is harming our efforts considerably.

Regardless of the results of the missile strikes, without a diplomatic strategy there is no chance for success.

From the hollowing out of the State Department to the continued struggles at the VA, when are the People going to hold Congress accountable?

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Responding to Syrian Chemical Attack

By allowing these regimes to use these weapons without exacting an extremely high cost, we’re sending a message to other hostile regimes that we will look the other way while their innocent civilians are tortured and slaughtered.

When Assad did this during the Obama administration, I thought military action was justified. Congress flinched as did the President. When this happened last year, the Trump administration waited too long, allowing Assad to move his air force units elsewhere, making the strikes less effective.

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Waterways, Economy, and Mental Health

Commitment to Ohio Valley watershed, Economic Development Strategy, Mental Health Treatment

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On Tariffs and Trade

I’m all for a reinvigorated American-based steel industry. We need these jobs to come back to America. Not only does that increase inflation risks but it could lead to layoffs in the manufacturing sector. We need to elect representatives that listen to workers, stand up for workers’ rights, and start doing their jobs. The people deserve nothing less than that. 

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Firearms, Rights, Action

In the last two weeks and wherever I go, the issue of gun violence has been raised. It’s a serious problem in our country.
For a few, some types of firearms are simply more important than children. And, I’m a supporter of all of our rights not special interests.

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Focused on the 15th District

My dedication and perseverance is to each and every citizen here, not some committee in Springfield or Chicago. Not some group that came up with a talking point list for politicians to regurgitate on command. 

I respond to and for the constituents of my district. That’s what they should expect from their representative, and that’s what they should demand from any candidate seeking their support and their vote in any election.

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School Threats and the Gun Debate

A number of our schools in Central and Southern Illinois have been receiving threats or rumors of threats in the wake of the Florida school shooting.

I’m tired of the ‘for or against’ culture in America because it doesn’t serve anyone.

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News-Gazette Candidate Questionnaires

Here’s a side-by-side comparison between Carl and myself and how we approach the various issues.

What are your questions?

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Immigration and Economic Insecurity

This is about depressed wages, fewer opportunities for Union workers, and lack of fairness for taxpayers. 
Just like this mother is fighting for her family’s future, these families are fighting for the future of their children.

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‘Pray the Gay Away’ Still a Threat

There are some that strive to demonize, castigate, and perpetuate subclasses of humanity in order to raise their own stature above others. This behavior is the reason why children, adolescents, and adults are traumatized, roughed up, and killed. This behavior is why Ryan White was cast out of his home when he was suffering from HIV and AIDS. 

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Building a Better Campaign

We’ve raised nearly $6,000 in just 6 months. That’s not a lot when compared to Rep. Shimkus’ special interest money, but it is more than our opponent in the primary has raised in a year.

We also have more cash on hand as well, because I spend only the money necessary to reach the citizens of this district. I also spend campaign monies at great Illinois union businesses that do amazing work every day.

One thing I will never do is loan our campaign any money. My primary opponent has loaned his campaign over $12,000. That’s nearly triple what he’s raised. We all make choices, but that’s just a bridge too far for me.

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Shimkus’ Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Reality

In Rep. John Shimkus’ recent WJPF interview, he offered the usual GOP talking points demonizing Democrats. What he failed to mention is that the legislation he helped to craft and push through Congress will ultimately end up increasing...

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A New Year, A New Direction

2017 was a year of tremendous change for our country.

So many of us have responded to this change by standing up and doing something about the problems our families, our communities, our state, and our country face.

As the drivers of the change we deserve, we can lift our families and communities up.

We can only do that together. 

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Ending Net Neutrality

With the ending of net neutrality, providers can make consumers pay for faster speeds. They can limit what sites we have access to unless we pay more.
It’s actually the same dilemma workers often face when negotiating with the boss, which is why collective bargaining is such a crucial right for workers. Individually, they have little power.
There are reasons why consumers see rises in both their prices and the profits of these companies. We have few mechanisms afforded to us to protect us from the decisions of companies and government.

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What Makes Me Different

I’m not one to blame our problems on one person or one party.
I also don’t believe that one solution will solve any of it.
Throughout much of my life, when I see a problem I do something about it.
I don’t complain, I get to work instead. 

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The Reality of the Shimkus Tax Plan

Our current over two-decade incumbent Representative John Shimkus is now sitting on the House-Senate conference committee responsible with hammering out the final tax reform bill to be sent to the White House to become the law of the land.

The unfortunate reality for the 50% under the median is that they will be hurt by this tax bill. That’s what happens when you focus on one point along a continuum in order to obscure the massive tax cuts for the top 50% and permanent corporate tax cuts that we all know won’t be used to increase wages but be given to stockholders instead.

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Say Never to Privatization of VA

What we should do is the following:

continue repairing the damage of decades of denial and decay
have representatives show up and hold the VA accountable in hearings
have representatives show up in their districts by listening to veterans and the groups that serve them
increase assistance to hard hit areas like Danville and Vermilion County
open VA sites within community health providers where VAs hospitals don’t exist
make the pipeline bigger for people going into healthcare specialties
increase grants and scholarships for students
increase money to colleges and universities
increase faculty and staff that educate and train these specialties
actually stabilize funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and local healthcare providers instead of starving them of resources.

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Allegations, Realities, and Standing Up

These allegations and realities from the past and present are as disturbing as they are common. We have to do better.
What we can do is to take the politics out of the equation, focus on the facts, and respect one another without ignoring the reality staring us in the face.

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Infrastructure: All of the Above

The costs of rebuilding America are high.
The costs of doing nothing are much higher. 
I will fight to rebuild this District on every level and on every day. We can only do this together and by creating jobs, in the present and for the future.

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Medicaid Work Reqs a Costly One

Enter the GOP plans to ‘overhaul’ the Medicaid program nationally by imposing work requirements on recipients.

I would call this effort an attempt to disrupt healthcare for millions of working Americans, veterans, the chronically ill, and many others. 

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2016 Primary Redux

These old squabbles are as counterproductive as they are useful for Trump and the GOP to continue avoiding accountability and responsibility for any forward leaning vision for all Americans. 

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Terrorism, Immigration, & Precise Action

I believe we should be talking about real immigration reform, not immigration deform. We need to be focused on real threats to our country, not some expensive unfunded Trump Wall that would be ineffective at stopping ladders and tunnels.

I believe we should be debating how better to track visa overstays, not hyper focused on people who’ve been here for most of their lives, working, paying taxes, and living their lives for decades free from violent crime.

I believe we should be talking about real policies that protect people instead of dividing the country on cultural and racial lines.

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Savings Drain, Wage Stagnation Major Concerns for Economy

Signs of strain emerge in the Trump-GOP economy, says Chandra and Golle of Bloomberg. When savings are drained, it limits consumer spending. This is especially troubling ahead of the holiday season and the all important 4th Quarter where...

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Applaud Opioid Talk, Verify Actions

It was good to see the President come out with policies that may help alleviate the opioid crisis. This crisis has expanded from opioids and exploding into heroin use. That adaptive expansion as access to opioids is decreased...

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Trump to End ACA Subsidies

President Trump used the power of the pen to issue executive orders to take away the healthcare of the poor this week. He did this by removing subsidies offered to enrollees that couldn’t afford the high premiums and...

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Unions, Wage Stagnation, & Labor

It’s time to balance the power between workers and employers By Lawrence H. Summers Wash Post, September 3 Lawrence Summers is a professor at and past president of Harvard University. He was treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001...

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Working Together, not Fighting Allies

Instead of fighting amongst natural allies, we should be working together. There is nothing wrong with moderate and centrist political language as the vast majority of voters are moderates or independents. Pitting the center against the left and...

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Fundraising Highs & Lows for Dems

In a year with many special elections, the most expensive House race in American history, and much frustration with the direction of the country under the leadership of President Trump and a GOP-led Congress, most would believe the...

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We Must Stand FOR the People

I continue to see so much animosity and outrage pouring out on social media and in public regarding the President. This is not all that helpful in the upcoming midterm elections. The Democratic Party becoming the anti-Trump party...

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A Different Take on ‘Conservative’ Illinois

RoadSnacks just made a study that declared the 10 Most Conservative Cities in Illinois. This can be of great concern to those living in or around any of these cities. I have a different take. Most of this,...

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Student Loans: My Ideas vs. GOP/Trump

The GOP-controlled Congress, led by President Trump, has already targeted student loans, loosening protections for students as well as discussing moving loan servicing from Department of Education to Treasury. Their new plans are far worse. They want to...

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