440 Comments

Like others I'm appalled by the mainstream media (MSM) and turn to newsletters like this one for insight and understanding. I'm well aware most of the MSM is owned by 5 corporations. I would like more exploration of how corporate ownership influences/controls what's on the top of the news/front page. It's time for that monopoly to be broken up. A spotlight on that issue?

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Hey Judd, love the newsletter. Keep up the great work. There are two angles that have been weighing on me, that I think are very important. The first one is just how much damage the Supreme Court has done and continues to do to our democracy, and the dire need for reform on the nation’s highest court. Second, and vitally more important- is just how close the Republican-led states are getting to garnering enough votes to call a constitutional convention and rewrite the Constitution. With this new tsunami of voter suppression and disenfranchisement legislation passed or in the pipeline, I think our democracy is blinking red. This issue is incredibly important, and the only person I hear talking about it is Thom Hartmann. Can you imagine Trump Republicans rewriting the Constitution? That keeps me up at night.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Why is Louis Dejoy still in place to wreck the post office?? I was in Texas a few weeks ago and as a test I mailed a letter to my home in NC. It took 2 weeks to arrive. That is crazy

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I'd like to see you write more about the right's antidemocratic election rigging legislation at the state level. Congress desperately needs to get its act together to save our democracy and I don't think they understand that. You can't out-organize the type of legislation they're passing. Even with several-point national margins of victory, the Democratic party barely got a majority in the House and Senate. With these restrictive measures, or democracy is truly toast if the federal government doesn't take swift action to ensure representative elections in the midterms!

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What I'd really like to see Judd is an extended look at the media bias towards chaos and against governing - which overwhelmingly translates to an anti-Democratic/anti-Biden bias.

Not only should we all keep looking at who, individually, favors fabulism over facts, but also which news orgs have a habit of prioritizing false equivalence - and who is bankrolling those individuals & organizations.

If some highly-placed media talent lose their job over their bias - it could be an educational exercise, a bloody scalp to wave at others in our media industry as clear message: Choose bias over facts? Prepare to lose your head.

Optimally, I'd love to see our media improve, so that such isn't needed.

For now, I'd be happy with a pointed look at how biased our national media has been against Democratic governing under Biden & Democrats vs how they acted under Trump.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

The right accuses the left of socialism, even communism. All the while the right is creating a theocracy and no one talks about it.

Way back when, Barry Goldwater spoke of the preachers taking over the Republican Party and that you couldn’t reason with them because their on a mission for God.

Well, they took it completely over and it drives them into the abyss of power at any cost because instead of God making them in God’s image, they make God in their image.

At its core it’s not about God or baby Jesus, it’s about power. It’s still a man’s world where men run governments, religions and most households in the world. The Trumpian patriarchy love the Bible because the Bible validates the patriarchy and puts them in charge of the home which extends to being in charge of all else. Women are to submit and become the enablers. Just look at the Texas abortion law. Exactly like the men who screwed the prostitute threatened with stoning in the Bible, the men who impregnate and screw the women are never mentioned.

It’s the elephant in the room no one talks about and yet is the center of all that this powerful newsletter talks about and that’s power power power.

Too many of these men “feel” they have been displaced by women and minorities and that’s how it all ties together.

Thank you for all you do.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Like many I subscribed to Popular Information because I want to be informed not led by mainstream media reports. I don't have cable so I listened to national news on ABC, but started to turn them off because of their negative reporting on the only party that's governing right now. They keep giving the republicans a pass never holding them accountable for anything. It would be great to understand what's driving this type of reporting and how it's driving people like me to seek independent news outlets.

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what's on MY mind right now is this: just as we're never making real progress legislatively or even democratically without a bulletproof majority in congress in '22 and thereafter, we're not achieving that (in my view) without decisively trouncing the flood of dark money fueling our growing fascist movement, AND/OR the Murdoch propaganda network that drives it, AND convincing our media whores that their duty as citizens of a democracy outweighs their duty to excite mouse clicks with invented narrative. I guess we readers could each pick ONE (or something entirely separate, of course), and put our energies in that direction, but I think taking on Beltway media in an organized fashion might be most fruitful (others may disagree, of course). My question is, HOW? We have astute press critics (Jay Rosen, Dan Froomkin et al.) but no clearing house that would help focus our efforts. Anything you can contribute along those lines,Judd, I would be very grateful for.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I don't know where this fits into the big picture, but the advertising to convert to Medicare Advantage programs - particularly TV and robocalling - has been overwhelming. And, of course, no response from the gov't, because Medicare can't fight back. While not a particularly good deal, it also puts for-profit insurance companies at the center of health care decisions and ensures them a seat at the table, even in the unlikely event of "Medicare for All". NYC is in the midst of a fight to try to move a quarter million retirees from traditional Medicare (with supplemental plans) to a Medicare Advantage program. Insurance companies are self-vaccinating against public interest health care.

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I’d like to see more coverage of the unceasing efforts to stop Enbridge in MN, WI & MI in its unrelenting construction & operation of pipelines that are hazardous waste sites before they are in the ground, specifically, for example, in 28 frac-outs in MN. Relatedly how does Enbridge continue to illegally operate Line 5 in MI after its permit was withdrawn by MI governor? Cover how our federal and state governments, & “mainstream” media have been CAPTURED by Enbridge & other corporations that drive our fossil-fuel addiction.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

In line with some of the other comments, I'd like to see more exposure of the actors in our national media who contribute to the growing perception that no journalism is based in fact, or reliable, or anything else we need it to be. When I see/hear even public news outlets just following along the commentary of (pick a 'hot' topic) rather than redirecting attention to the real news or even the truth about that 'fake' news, it perpetuates all the storylines, further separating us from reality. We don't need fewer sources of cold, hard facts, we need more. As much of a rock star as you are Judd, you can't do it alone!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I am appalled at the MSM demonizing our VP. Our 1st female VP, a woman of color. What is it about strong, educated, women they hate? Even women ‘news readers’ are doing it. I don’t believe that many have actually worked as a reporter. They are young, attractive and do not know 2 cents about history. Since when do you go to work in outfits you’d wear to a night club? When i went to college, I chose an all women’s college. Because of that, i am very comfortable with women in power. I see our VP as professional, smart, personable and truly a credit to our country. She gets trashed for saying “thee”; seriously. I can no longer watch network TV, or listen to MSM.

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Never drop the issue of January 6th. Judd’s work on its corporate enablers is what I signed up for in the 1st place. Even Liz Cheney knows: that’s your rotten core, and it has to be dried up if the house is to stand.

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Judd, you do such a great job at holding organizations and politicians accountable for their hypocrisy. It would be great to tally the number of Republicans taking credit for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) in which they voted against it and vilified those Republicans that voted for it, at least in the House. Note as follows from Crooked Media's "What A Day":

Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is now Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, and you know what that means: Time for Republicans to claim all the credit.

• Directing credit where it’s due will require continuous effort. Part of the challenge stems from the fact that the projects the law funds will be completed over many years. Another is that most voters don't make voting decisions based on specific policy changes. Yet a third is that Republicans will vie for credit for the programs, too. In this case, a few of them will at least have some claim to it—Democrats went out of their way to make sure the bill was bipartisan. But multiple Republicans have already tried to claim the bill wouldn’t have passed without...Donald Trump. And now Republicans who voted against the bill have begun bragging about the benefits it will bring to their states and districts.

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There's a big movement in the US to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis voting rights act, and DC statehood. The press is covering this solely as a voting rights issue, perhaps because they think racial conflict sells better than other aspects. The mainstream media have refused to cover DC statehood, the anti-gerrymanfering provisions, the required disclosure provisions, and the provisions mandating neutral election administration. It would be great if you could find some way to break this log jam or to investigate whether there's any kind of tacit agreement among mainstream media to embargo the most popular provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act.

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founding
Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I too am so grateful to you. I'm losing the willingness to connect AT ALL with other news sources, because even with places like CNN and MSNBC with few exceptions, I feel manipulated and as with social media, like the product. I become a "viewer" that they can count. All the bullshit talk about inflation, about the tragic and sad circumstances around us - target Biden, discount Biden. This country, this world, has been through one of the most tragic and frightening periods of time in MY Lifetime, and I will be 82 any minute. There was a time whenm we pulled together, stepped up, helped each other. Now everyone just wants someome to point a finger at, and WTF - the jerk who deservedd the MOST Fingerpointing is still apparently in cotntrol of a ton of politicians who have adopted his way of thinking. Can't we once in a while give some credit to a White House occupant who is trying to correct the imbalances in our world, who is trying to do the right things after a disasterous four years of nonsense? I don't undertand the subtle attacks going on daily when, to me, it seems so many efforts are made to put our country back on track and to help other parts of the world that SO need some help. Thanks for letting me rant!! XO

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I think one of the most under-the-radar issues of corporate capture is state preemption. I would love to see more investigations about how corporations are using money to influence state legislatures to limit the power of local governments. https://grassrootschange.net/preemption-watch/

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I am hoping you can cover the Kevin Strickland case in Missouri, and the governor and GOP who refuse to pardon and release him in spite of the prosecutors who tried him saying he's innocent and witnesses recanting testimony. Really just anything about the incredibly corrupt GOP governor and legislature in Missouri. It includes bribes, threats against a journalist for exposing a government website that had private teacher information, and a representative who doesn't even live in the district he represents (not to mention a certain US Senator from the state who also doesn't live in the state).

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I would like to see more coverage of the assalut on school boards nationwide. In Doylestown Pa, a hedge fund titan gave lots of money to fund far right candidates. Obviously long term goal, no public schiools.

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I want more coverage about what the Biden Administration has accomplished the stability of our economy and why the media is only focused on inflation and job approval. There is a media blitz going on. Call out the media.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I would like to learn more about efforts to restore the US Postal service to full functioning. How can citizens advocate for a fair, independent members of the US Postal Service Board of Governors?

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Wow! Your comments are good! (I rarely read comments because they are usually mostly grandstanding) They are a phenomenal advertisement for you and the good work you all do! How can we reduce the broadcasting of misinformation is my issue. The Columbia Journalism just announced an effort, and a preliminary report. It is a hard issue, and much (all?) of the problem is due to the blind acceptance of slavish followers of talk radio. But let's look for better solutions.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I’d like to see a deep dive into the price gouging being carried out by the shipping and container industries with names and faces. It appears to be a big inflation factor, but it get only a passing mention. Another issue: why is gasoline production so low? How is the industry manipulating the market? What are the details and who are the actors. Again, names and faces. Thanks.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

You’re SO good at following the money. I invite you to investigate the incredible corruption in state politics here in Ohio such as the HB6 First Energy scandal and Gerrymandering scandal. There are plenty of money trails to follow and the corrupt players (individuals and the corporations propping them up) need to be exposed.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Firstly, thank you for your dynamite work. I sincerely would like to understand the following: Democracy must be dead, must it not? The rule of law submits to fascist oligarchy. How else to explain an entire party and its leadership - having committed untold crimes against humanity and mass-murder of its own citizens while supporting fascist ideology and a violent coup attempt - go unpunished and are held in false equivalency to "incompetent democrats". Why isn't this news?

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

In my state, Pennsylvania, the GOP led legislature is working around our Democratic governor’s veto pen by using the constitutional amendment process. Already passed as an amendment bill is a slate of voter suppression laws, including voter ID and signature matching. Amendments must pass twice in the legislature and are then put on the ballot. Last year they were able to limit the governor’s emergency powers through two constitutional amendments which they packaged up with an equal rights amendment to garner Democratic votes. According to my Democratic state rep, the Republicans have dozens of these amendment bills in the pipeline, including ones to limit the regulatory powers of the governor, to make it impossible to address methane and CO2 emissions in the state, and to gerrymander our statewide courts - our last line of defense against the Big Lie. I am not sure from what angle Popular Information could investigate this, but surely there is money behind these efforts to undermine democracy in the state of Pennsylvania. Even raising awareness in the electorate would be helpful. Thanks.

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How about the funneling of money to our arms manufacturers by giving money to oppressive regimes which then use the money to buy arns from us - Al Sisi in Egypt, MBS in Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.

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Feels like one the most important stories to track is the status of the sedition caucus (House and Senate). And who is providing them support. Is there a Wiki like site that shows who they are in detail is: district, committees, term ect... and link to a list of their donors. I would also add personal net worth estimate day of the announcement to run and current. Funny how on US Reps salary so many become millionaires.

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What about discussing how the book by Timothy Snyder, “On Tyranny, 20 Lessons from the 20th Century” (especially the new version with illustrations by Nora Krug) could serve as a blueprint for resisting tyranny. Instead of us spending our time ranting about how bad the Republican Party has become, why not work on ways to encourage people to think about what we could do better to encourage Democracy.

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Firstly, thank you for everything you do! It's not easy and I so appreciate you. Secondly, I have shifted my focus to local news and the batshittery that is happening in my city. Proud boy cops and a Qanon infested city council being the top issues.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Thanks for the fresh air this newsletter provides....pray that the facts you put forth reach the right eyes and result in positive action. I was incensed by a news item on NPR this morning discussing the inability of recently separated military medics and corpsmen to find employment in emergency medicine without basically re-taking all the training they have been using in the field for the term of their enlistment, often employing skill-sets far beyond anything they might encounter in a civilian setting. It seems that each state in the union has their own set of licensing rules that are inconsistent, redundant and downright foolish in the face of the huge shortage of health-care professionals. This story needs to blow up!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

What you do for us is fantastic and should serve as a model for responsible journalism.. However, the mainstream news media - both right and left - is loaded with gotcha journalism geared towards generating fear (and profit) instead of the unbiased journalism we so desperately need. I'd love to see more stories about media hypocrisy, fear mongering, reporting geared towards "bang for the buck" stories valued for their salacious content rather than factuality, and the nonsensical use of valuable time to cover celebrity instead of stories that affect real people.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I subscribe to many publications, but I have limited funds, so I must be somewhat judicious about who I subscribe to. Keep up the excellent work, and you can count on a contribution in the future. Thanks for what you do.

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Please talk about the roots of the madness we are drowning in- the ocean of misinformation and disinformation that manipulates people like the Virginians who voted for Youngkin. It goes way back to Limbaugh and his ilk and has grown exponentially over many years.

Also please talk about how important voting rights are and what will happen to the country when that gets fully out of control

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

How public universities have been corrupted by budget cuts and private investments. e.g., Koch brothers funding positions in econ departments so they can generate academic work that "supports" a libertarian, free-market worldview.

I'm thinking specifically about Art Pope & the University of North Carolina System because that's where I have the most experience, but rich people do this all over the place.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I would like to know what AT&T is up to with CNN and other far right media. When did they start their right wing swing and who are they accountable to?

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Assault on freedom of press ( Project Veritas), prosecutorial misconduct in Kyle's case, voting abuses in nursing homes. Thank you!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

1. I would like to see a look at the corporate contributions to top level Democrats, especially Schumer.

2. I would like to see a look at WinRed donations versus the outrage cycle. Additionally whether the small dollar donations are offsetting the corporate donations.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I would like to see cogent, thorough journalism (aka Judd) on:

1) Trump-era plans to sell American nuclear technology to Saudis.

2) High control groups that enjoy tax exemption (like Scientology, Inc.).

3) Is this coup thing really over? It doesn’t seem like it.

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I am most frustrated by the Democrats' reluctance to take on the Republicans at the level the Republicans are operating. As the child of a lobbyist who went to many "receptions" with my Dad (Mom refused to go), I experienced the wheeling dealing of both parties - "you pat my back and I will pat yours" of the old days. In my youthful idealism, I was offended by that and felt that congressional representatives should be reflecting the will of their constituents. After working for a Senator during summer vacation for several years, I began to see that the will of their constituents was not uniform and opinions were quite varied. From there on, for congressional representatives, it was a process of acknowledging various realities, deciding how you wanted to vote on an issue (based on feedback and your own values) and then explaining that to the constituents.

The present situation - largely created by corporate dollars in the system - has changed the process of decision-making (I am simplifying) to one of who can financially support me and how can I be assured of keeping my job, i.e. tell people what they want to hear.

But that is all beside the point......D. Trump, with his philosophy of "win at any cost" has reduced the congressional process to a level of deceit that is astounding and apparently powerful. I think people with standards and concern for the common good have reacted with disbelief and amazement that people believe the lies and manipulations of Trump and his allies. 😊 I do not think the Democrats should respond in kind but I do think they need to respond with truth. They need to forcefully respond - which might risk their jobs - and frankly, not worry about the consequences. The battle is no longer between Dems. and Repubs. The battle is about values, priorities and the bolstering of democracy in a very fragile state. Those of us that are wedded to the "way things were" should respond more to the way things are and look at our shattered nation. Democrats need to educate themselves and strategize about how to restore people's faith in the government (imperfect but better than most). They need to understand "the enemy", in respect the values, perspectives and priorities of the Trumpites, and develop strategies to minimize it. They need to give up their egos and understand that this is not about them, it is about a country at risk. They need to work as a group towards goals for the common good. They need to leave their egos at the door and understand that in 30 years, their opinions, actions and preferences are going to be remembered by none. But if they don't get out of their own way, they will be living in a world where values and governing are very different than today.

They will not like it!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Politics and the end of our democracy - wildly important topic. Important to look for less reported issues as well. I find comments and discussions favoring the resumption of construction of nuclear power plants most alarming and least reported topic, probably because big money controls discussions and big money controls energy. Spent fuel rods contain gamma-radiation emitting isotopes. These emissions remain toxic for roughly 60,000 US presidential election cycles, should this democratic republic continue to hold elections. Most spent fuel rods are stored on major rivers. If, during any moment of those 60,000 elections cycles, a leak develops in the storage device and gamma radiation contaminates the river, all life downstream will become radically different or cease to exist. How many Popular Information readers are aware of the proximity of the nearest spent fuel rod storage facility and whether or not they and their loved ones are located downstream?

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I have two thoughts: 1) Is it time to start naming names in the climate crisis? Who are the individual lobbyists, executives, board members, politicians, media figures, "think-tankers" etc. who are most responsible for inaction and impending mass death? It might be several thousand names, and I understand that one should be "kind to individuals and vicious to institutions" in theory, BUT.. in our current era of institutionalized oligarchy, where a relatively tiny number of individuals controls the major economic and political machinery of society, and the list of international, public casualties is about to massively pile up, into the millions no doubt, I think it's time to start naming names. I'll leave it at that. 2) There seems to be broad consensus that we should "tax the rich," but it troubles me when this is proclaimed without the corollary demand that the US needs to defund its military, as in drastically reduce its funding and scope. What is the purpose of raising tax revenue when a disproportionate amount of it will only end up in the hands of death-making war profiteers and fossil fuel interests (see #1)? Why is there an assumption that higher tax revenue would be accompanied by more progressive policies? (That seems willfully naive given the current evidence, particularly in our supposedly Democrat-led moment (Glenn Greenwald seems to have gone nuts for some reason, but his "rotating villain" theory continues to check out)). Anyway that's what's on my mind.. thank you for everything you do!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Love your great work, keep it up. I have read recently that the global spending on fossil fuel subsidies amounts to 6% of global GDP, per the IMF. Could you check that stat please. I bugs me when fossil fuel propagandists say we can't pick winners when looking to subsidize renewables.

Vic Davis

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

The inflation issue is a hot button with a lot of people, especially gas prices. I suspect this is frontal attack on the move to green energy. Koch Industries knows the Dems are going to move to renewables and wants the Dems out of office. We saw their work in the Carter administration. I want them exposed for the pirates they are. Not a small task. They are funding and working hard to own the Supreme Court and are buying politicians. The price of gas looks like another point of attack. If you can, expose it!

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

How CNN calls out Fox regularly but ignores OANN, perhaps because their parent company helped $$ OANN start. Call out Stelter and all of the others who attack Fox, but ignore their own employers' hypocrisy. At least Fox and MSNBC don't pretend to be anything other than their respective political camps.

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I’d love to have an understanding of how cryptocurrency will affect fiat currency and whether those of us who have already saved for our retirement need to worry about the security of our investments. Do those who are still saving, or have yet to start, need to be aware of crypto? China has made it pretty clear they want no part of crypto. How does that affect the rest of the world?

And speaking of China….how bad is the threat from their authoritarianism to us, combined with that from Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia? It seems they are almost working in concert to destroy democracy world wide. Scary stuff.

Sorry if this isn’t particularly articulate. As I said, I’d love to understand more which, of course, would make it easier to ask the question. Thanks!

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Nov 18, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Late to this party, Judd. Two overlapping ideas for future coverage, one swift with elliptical orbits, the second with more frequent revolutions.

#1) Take a look at how much $$ has been appropriated for defense spending over the past 10 years and contrast this with the combined total of what would have been the complete Build Back Better bill. This is relatively straightforward using a site like <b> https://people.defensenews.com/top-100/ </b> You could even contrast merely a single company, like Northrop Grumman, which has received over $224.7 billion in the past ten years, or go for broke and feature Lockheed Martin, which received $62.5 billion just last year alone. How much did taxpayers cough up for 20 years in Afghanistan and what did we receive in exchange? We need an informed frame from which we can pick apart anyone objecting to investing $3.2 trillion over 10 years.

#2) Expose the US Chamber of Commerce, which has become a tool for mega business rather than the smaller, often family owned businesses that provide over 75% of US jobs. We need small business (NOT Corporate America) to support climate change mitigation. Good for jobs, good for the environment, and good for our children. We cannot retain our democracy when Corporate America's concentrated power eludes account.

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Nov 18, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

I would welcome more coverage about the political power and control that factory farming of meat cows, dairy cows, chickens and pigs has over politicians. The ag industry exerts so much downstream power and control with catastrophic consequences for the climate, the environment, workers health and safety and the millions of animals that suffer daily in these hellholes. There is no other industry so closely adhered to our political system that negatively impacts so many other news worthy topics. Do you think this is worthy of additional investigating?

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Nov 17, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

Social media with its many lies has taken over because access to local news, especially in the form of local newspapers, is dying. If you don’t know what is going on in your local area, then you turn to platforms like Facebook or Twitter which is full of garbage.

There’s also the problem with TV news which is programmed for sensationalism and spectacle, not truth. It’s harder to fool people locally.

It’s no wonder we have a growing divide in this Country!

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Also! Listing of Republicans who didn’t voted for any of the Infrastructure spending who are now taking credit for same and how much they are claiming to be responsible for and how they square the circle on nonpartisanship and responsibility for creating and passing the spending bills which they now claim credit for.

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