I got some texts today from our webmaster J.C., now back home in Atlanta:

We applied for mail-in (absentee) ballots that could be dropped off before 7 pm at a few places around the county. And then we filled them out and dropped them off down at the Auburn Ave Research Library. Then drove back via our polling place and this other mutant multi-precinct polling place set up at a restaurant/bar (!?) at the SE corner of Piedmont Park, called ‘Park Tavern.’ The lines circled the buildings multiple times and were not moving and people looked miserable. In an hour or two we’re supposed to get some residual tropical storm Cristobal rain. Reports are Fulton County voting machines are broken down in huge numbers. Total total clusterfuck.

It goes without saying that it is absolutely positively inexcusable for this to be happening in the United States, let alone in a thriving city. The photos from the Journal-Constitution are the Wisconsin primary with T-shirts instead of parkas. The copy says “elected officials (are trading) blame” for this fiasco. The governor and secretary of state are both Republicans, and I don’t know enough about the forces at play here to blame them specifically, but every single part of this was predictable. And probably avoidable, as long as one upholds certain values. Voting is important, and should be made as easy as possible for the widest range of qualified citizens.

I’m volunteering to be trained as a poll worker here in November, barring a disaster. Planning to vote absentee, myself. But it’s going to be a struggle for every vote, I am sure. I have to do something, and this is something.

Meanwhile, I see Rod Dreher and other panty-wetters are drenching their drawers over “defund the police.” As I remarked on another page, it’s amazing what you can learn when you dare to read a news story to the fourth paragraph and even beyond. I think John Scalzi gets it right here:

“Don’t make cops the people who have to handle every damn thing because we’ve defunded social programs and the experts who would do a better job with those issues and also don’t have guns to shoot people, let’s fund those programs with some of the money that we’ve given to the cops because we made them do all that stuff,” which as I understand it is closer to the generally accepted understanding of what “Defund the Police” means.

Yes, exactly.

And while we’re at it, re-collect all that military surplus gear we’ve been bestowing on them all these years, that they often don’t know how to use in the first place. My quiet little suburb of 15,000 souls, give or take a few hundred, has an armored troop carrier. Why? Because the chief filled out a form and asked for it. It might be useful in an active-shooter situation, he says when asked about it. Mainly now it’s driven to block parties for kids to climb in and out of. Beat that crap into plowshares, now.

OK, you can see I’m testy, which I tend to get when the temperature creeps close to 90 degrees, as it is now. But storms are expected, followed by another lovely weekend ahead. I’m down. Happy midweek, all.

Posted at 10:00 pm in Current events |

40 responses to “Disenfranchised.”

  1. Mark P said on June 9, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    The *only* saving grace for the situation here in Georgia is that it’s the primary election, and most of the contested races are for a bunch of damned Republicans. We didn’t even vote because there were no contested races in the Democratic primary in our district. I thought about voting in the Republican primary just to vote against some of the idiots who are running. They are trying to outdo each other in their demented rantings. One woman poses with a semiautomatic rifle. An ER doctor claims he will fight socialism in the form of universal health care. Dog I hate those people.

    The situation in Atlanta was inexcusable. The secretary of state was blaming local officials for not doing his job. I think it’s a practice run for suppressing the vote in November. Dog I hate those people.

    A lot of people never received their absentee ballots. That’s the reason we didn’t apply. I didn’t trust election officials to get an absentee ballot to us in time. I know I’ve turned into a conspiracy theorist, but I wouldn’t put it past them to do it intentionally. Dog I hate those people.

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  2. Connie said on June 9, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I teared up. https://babynames.com/

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  3. Mark P said on June 9, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    I’m watching the 11 pm Atlanta news, and people are still standing in line to vote.

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  4. jcburns said on June 9, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    Wrote some of this up in: I voted. Mark’s quite right. The Secretary of State and some guy who has the odd title of “Secretary of State’s office COO” were blaming the Fulton County officials, because, you know, they play for the other football team. Okay guys, what about Gwinnett County which had huge problems of machines not delivered on time or supplies not delivered on time? Oh yeah, another shade of supression, slightly more Latinx. Okay, but let’s see. 20 Georgia counties had to extend poll hours because of these problems (and that will still probably leave thousands out in the swelter)…? After a while (as we’ve been saying about so many things), it just becomes exhausting.

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  5. Linda said on June 10, 2020 at 1:13 am

    I guess I have supported police defunding for a long time, if that’s what you call it. I have seen police used to deal with the problem of the homeless and mentally ill in our downtown area, because we will fund cops before housing or mental illness problems, or thrown into neighbor disputes that they hate to get involved in and are ill equipped to deal with.

    But money flowing in is only half the issue. We as citizens call the cops too much because we don’t want to deal with problems any other way. We are scared of our (possibly) armed neighbors and don’t know them, and see every stranger as a threat, so we may or may not blast one first and ask questions later.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on June 10, 2020 at 2:02 am

    Defund the police sounds like let’s cut off and starve out the cops, but a rudimentary study reveals it means a redistribution of city, county, and federal funds to create once again agencies to deal with homeless, mentally ill, and all other social services, as Linda points out. So yeah, do that.
    Lawrence O’Donnell had a lady on his show saying she waited hours to vote in Atlanta, in a district populated by people of color. Then out of curiosity she drove to some suburban polling place…no waiting.
    And Tuesday in Auburn, Indiana , 90 people protested on the sidewalk at the courthouse, calling for justice and an end to oppression. One person stood 5 feet away with his sign, stating white lives matter.

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  7. David C said on June 10, 2020 at 6:04 am

    It’s sometimes hard not to go conspiracy theorist, Mark P. We applied for absentee ballots for our shit-show Wisconsin primary and never received them either. They found them after the election in a mail sorting center in Milwaukee in bins that only had ballots in them. Our city clerk and our Assembly rep haven’t been able to pry an answer to what happened out of anybody. We have a Democratic Secretary of State, but the Rs in the lege and ‘lil Scotty Walker as he was being kicked to the curb have stripped him of most of his election related duties. We applied for absentee ballots for all elections the rest of the year, so I hope things get sorted out.

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  8. Deborah said on June 10, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Since we’re discussing various states, here’s a positive article for a change, check out this piece about Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of NM https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/michelle-lujan-grisham-covid-19-testing-new-mexico-1011803

    She explains the Virus situation with the Navajo Nation and other Native American communities in this interview in Rolling Stone. I really like her. I vote in IL but thinking about changing that, probably not before November though.

    I have read that Gov Grisham is being vetted along with some other highly qualified women for VP on the Biden ticket. While that would be great for the country, NM would miss her as governor.

    Currently, I’m hoping Rep Val Demmings gets the VP nod.

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  9. alex said on June 10, 2020 at 7:36 am

    I received my absentee ballot in time but I know plenty of other people who didn’t.

    And I keep receiving mailings from Trump that say “official notice–do not destroy” or some such, and it’s always a survey full of leading questions (“Do you support Donald Trump, or do you want to see this country go down the toilet while liberals confiscate your guns and redistribute your money to lazy no-good welfare cheats?”) and these are always followed by a pitch for money.

    It’s surreal.

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  10. Connie said on June 10, 2020 at 7:57 am

    And yesterday I learned about the Colfax LA massacre in 1872, during reconstruction. The issue that brought it to my attention is the monument to the three white men who died while over 100 African-Americans were being murdered.

    I have not been one to wish Covid death on the President. But the crowded R convention he wants, now in Jacksonville, is likely to kill a lot of Republicans. Florida of all places.

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  11. ROGirl said on June 10, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I ended up on some right wing email list and I couldn’t stop all the different sources, so it all goes to spam.

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  12. Icarus said on June 10, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Anyone else subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson (from her nightly email):

    “Georgia’s voting system has been unworkable for years, either from incompetence or design, and a new system put in place before this election is clearly inadequate. Democrat Stacey Abrams, who lost the race for Georgia’s governor to Republican Brian Kemp, who was at the time Georgia’s secretary of state and thus responsible for overseeing his own election, called the 2018 election “rotten and rigged.” Of today’s election, she said Georgians “deserve better.” Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger blamed local officials for the problems, but Democrats say he owns this debacle, and must fix it before November.

    He must fix it before November, but has little incentive to, because for the first time in decades, Georgia appears to be in play in this year’s presidential contest.”

    and also


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  13. Deborah said on June 10, 2020 at 8:57 am

    I read Heather Cox Richardson every morning. We had a ritual going for a while that my husband would read it outloud but then his allergies got so bad he could hardly speak because breathing through his nose was gone, so I got used to reading it myself first thing.

    Every once in a while I get a Trump ad on my FB feed, every time I tell it I don’t ever want to see those ads. Ever. And I mentioned this before, that I saw a really lame Trump ad on MSNBC the other night, it looked like it had been produced by 2 nineteen year olds in their basement. I guess that’s what his base likes.

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  14. Deborah said on June 10, 2020 at 9:45 am

    I forgot to say that I watched the Hannah Gadsby Netflix show called “Douglas” last night. I thought it was excellent. I liked “Nanette” too, but this was laugh out loud funny. I highly recommend it.

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  15. diane said on June 10, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Democrats are going to lose in November because we are still too fucking stupid to grasp how much more the sound bite matters than the actual message. So much of the country has been moved by the George Floyd murder and is coming to understand and support Black Lives Matter. So do we do something with that to turn it into votes? Of course not because it is time to shoot ourselves in the foot. “Defund the police” is great when explained. But when your tag line needs to be explained because not only do people not understand it, it actually scares them, maybe it is not the right tag line. People are afraid of crime (didn’t we learn anything from the effectiveness of the fucking Willie Horton ad?) so do not make them think you want to take away what they view as their protection against crime. Say reform the police (or something else since admittedly decades of ‘reform’ efforts haven’t worked so that’s probably too lame a term now) but then get in office and make the reform/change/fix the things described when you have to explain “defund the police.” Campaign on the exact same concepts but don’t have to start from way behind because you have to convince people you aren’t going to eliminate their protection from crime before you can affirmatively talk about improvements.

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  16. LAMary said on June 10, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Someone I know on FB posted a Candace Owens video that basically says George Floyd was a bad guy so stop canonizing him. All sorts of people piled on saying yes, he had a criminal record so he had it coming. Aaaaaaagh.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on June 10, 2020 at 11:06 am

    The only way Republicans maintain power these days is by suppressing votes. They aren’t particularly subtle, either. Florida votes to allow convicted felons to vote, so the GOPers race to enact a “poll tax” requiring them to pay off all court costs associated with their trials. Alabama requires a state-issued photo ID, then closes all DMV offices in majority black counties. And as David C. notes above, Northern states are just as likely to play dirty as those south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    If –and it’s a large if– but if the Dems take the White House and the Senate, I hope to see a flurry of bills to make voting rights easy to exercise in every single state. This “state’s rights” shit has got to stop when it comes to voting.

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  18. Sherri said on June 10, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Democrats didn’t come up with Defund the Police, either the slogan or the policy, frankly. Activists came up with the slogan and the policy. Yes, it’s scaring white moderates and those who love them.

    But not scaring white moderates hasn’t exactly been the most successful strategy for Dems. Maybe embracing a slogan and policy that would actually inspire activists, much like Republicans have done for decades, would work better.

    And remember: not everyone has the privilege to view the police as their protection from crime.

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  19. beb said on June 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

    What happened in Georgia is a feature not a flaw. Reducing the number of polling places in urban areas where there would be larger numbers of citizens wants to vote, sending non-working machines to black majority districts, etc. This can all be fixed by returning to paper ballots. You don’t need an all-electronic tone screen, or a “ballot Marking device” or an optical scanner to read them, in fact you dont want a machine to read them because machines can be programmed to say whatever you want. Just a panel of people from both parties to publically count them. The important thing about paper ballots they are an exact, permanent record of what the voter wanted.

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  20. Deborah said on June 10, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Someone on Twitter said “reinvent the police”. I thought that was a good one.

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  21. Suzanne said on June 10, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Indiana is heading to stage 4 of reopening on Friday, several days early. Infection numbers in my area are steadily moving up, but, I guess, never mind. Social gatherings of 250 allowed, stores and malls allowed to go full capacity. The governor admits that people aren’t wearing masks but encourages people to do so, but seriously, they aren’t now so why would they start?
    In other words, we are tired of being cautious and we need to get the economy moving, so some of you will need to die.

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  22. Mark P said on June 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    beb, did you see the XKCD strip about voting software?

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  23. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    “I have to do something, and this is something”.

    Change doesn’t come easily or without pain. I was reminded of that today in the book discussion group I’m in. We’re reading How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, which seems to be the book of the hour. The group was planned about six weeks ago and I’d been thinking of it as an intellectual exercise, another way to get in touch with my tiny black roots.

    Reading and talking about this book has been visceral and soul-searing for me. I see how my liberal white lady complacency is responsible for not getting involved or even paying attention. And it’s hard to acknowledge, hard to talk about, and hard to change. But I am trying.

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  24. Suzanne said on June 10, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Today I am in shock after discovering the number of army bases that are named after CONFEDERATE generals! Really?!?!


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  25. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Suzanne, exactly. And the number of Confederate statues still up in public places, even in the north. Or that we’re just now getting around to banning the Confederate flag at military bases? At Nascar races?

    The couple who bought our house went out for a jog the other day and were almost run off the road by a grinning maniac in a pickup. She is white, he is black.

    I thought we settled all this back in the 70’s. I have been so, so wrong.

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  26. alex said on June 10, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    So what does increased testing have to do with anything? How does it explain away continuing 3-digit numbers of people diagnosed daily with COVID in our state and double-digit numbers of people dying daily? I keep hearing people defending reopening with this line of argument and it doesn’t make any sense to me–“The only reason we have these numbers now is because they’ve increased testing.”

    It’s not like anyone can get a test. They only test people who meet certain criteria for being sick.

    I’ll admit I’m feeling conflicted. They’ve got me back at work in the office. I’m going out to buy food from restaurants during the day and have begun dining out again on evenings and weekends because I don’t feel like cooking. But despite all of the reassurance I’m getting from a lot of people, I’m still not comfortable.

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  27. LAMary said on June 10, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Here in the City of the Angels anyone can get a free Covid 19 test. My son got one today. Not because he isn’t feeling well but because a friend of his tested positive. There’s a very well organized testing center at Dodger Stadium. My son made his appointment yesterday for 1:15 today. Got there at 1, was home by 1:45.

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  28. beb said on June 11, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Mark P there have been reports since voting machines were installed in 2004 about machines changing votes, not registering the voters selection and the way tallys from districts with voting machines seem to have more votes for conservatives or less votes for Democrats then there were in prior non-machine voting elections. It was clear, even before the 2004 election that voting machines were unreliable, easily hacked and provided no proper way to audit their operation. But republicans love those machines.

    It’s incredible the number of people who are opposed to massive testing for the Covid-19 because it will make the numbers look bad. They seem to believe that testing creates infections. I suspect they are doing it because of our idiot president.

    There’s a strange story on Raw Story about a black Amazon driver being arrested in the Detroit suburb of Warren because he had parked on the wrong side of the street to deliver a package. Both Channel 2 and The Detroit News report comments from the police department that the driver refused to show ID, resisted arrest. etc. when all the cop had to do was tell him to not park on the wrong side of the street and got out of there. Warren police says officers are trained to deescalate situations but this case seemed to go from zero to “down on the ground” in less then 10 seconds. More reason to “defund the police.”

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  29. Suzanne said on June 11, 2020 at 6:58 am

    A friend who is a therapist posted this on Facebook. Describes Trump perfectly, although I doubt that was my friend’s intention
    “Any time you set a reasonable and appropriate boundary on a toxic person it indicates to them they are losing control over being in control of your thoughts and emotions. Losing this control is what causes them to rage. Rage can show up in various flavors; victim role, anger, projection of their own insensitivities onto you, accusations of your cruelty or selfishness, self-promotion, cheating, threatening, lying. This reaction from them is a positive sign that we are taking steps in the right direction. So, instead of allowing their tantrums manipulate or intimidate you, stay strong in the limit you set. They will always feel you owe because they’re so entitled, but you owe them nothing. Keep this mindset any time you start to fall victim to their emotional bait. You owe them nothing. It’s not your job to raise them, financially support them, emotionally serve them or to heal their wounds. It’s your job to take care of you. Remember, toxic people aren’t in relationships to see what they can put into them. They enter relationships for one reason; to see how much they can shamelessly take from them.“
    ~ Dr. Sherrie Campbell

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  30. Maria said on June 11, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Something to make us smile:

    Seattle mayor’s response to Trump’s tweet demanding she take back her city was “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.”

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  31. Sherri said on June 11, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Around 115,000 Americans have died from C19 as of now. We’re still many months from a vaccine. A number of states are opening up without a lot of care for pushing things like mask wearing.

    So, if I set the over/under of C19 deaths at 500K, would anybody here bet the under? Surely, I try to tell myself, if the death toll continues, that will change people’s perceptions and behaviors, but I’ll admit, I have no idea what it will take.

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  32. Sherri said on June 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    “ That has to be a large part of the mindset of Goodell: While the safe thing three years ago might have been to capitulate to Trump, the safe thing now is to do the exact opposite. In 2017, you knew you had to deal with the president, one way or another, for the next three years. Now? Now you might be rid of him in a few months. And you’re aware — more aware than you were then — that his bark is a lot worse than his bite. This is the one trick he has, the Big Kneeling Threat. He’s beginning to look like an elderly coach trying to win in today’s NFL with the old T-formation playbook he used in the 1950s — in other words, like someone whose time has passed.”


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  33. Jakash said on June 11, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    So, the carnival barker is gonna rev up the midway again. With all the sacrifices so many have made due to this crisis, does no one shed a tear for our Toddler-in-Chief, who’s been forced to give up the thing he may well like best about the whole charade of him being president? This tweet is fine by itself, but also drew several swell responses.

    “Enjoy them while they last, Typhoid Donnie.”


    “Red state fever I think they call it.”

    “Doesn’t he realize that he could be shrinking his voter base.”

    “NASCAR came out against the Confederate flag before any members of the Senate GOP.”

    And then, there’s this confederate flag parody:


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  34. Sherri said on June 11, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    So the loonies in Forks driving off the family camping made the national news, but the crazies with guns in fear of antifa haven’t gone away. In the Tri-Cities are of Washington (Richland, Pasco, Kennewick), a FB group called “Defend the Tri” has been created for organizing the armed vigilante mob that patrols public parking spaces at night, with the tacit approval of law enforcement. Or more than tacit, given the number of instances of law enforcement posing for pictures with these vigilantes.

    Similar actions are happening in Bellingham. The effect is to intimidate the non-white community in those areas, who no longer feel safe to even move about those communities, much less protest.

    I’m not sure Defund the Police is radical enough.

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  35. Sherri said on June 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I’ll say this for JK Rowling: at least now maybe I won’t have to spend so much time explaining what a TERF is.

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  36. brian stouder said on June 11, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Complete digression; here’s a photo of our beautiful daughter, who has been home from IU Bloomington for awhile, and who is now doing summer work for the Fort Wayne Parks Department.


    She gets her good looks (and light complexion!) from her beautiful mom, of course!

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  37. diane said on June 11, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Sherri@31, I won’t take the under at 500K but I will take the it still will not change people’s perceptions and behaviors side of that bet.

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  38. beb said on June 11, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Video from 2019 has surfaced when a black man being arrested says “I can’t breathe” and the cop says “I don’t care.” The black man died. U think the cop’s “I don’t care” amounts to a confession to 1st degree murder.

    Trump wants to hold his first campaign rally in Tulsa, OK on June 19th (Juneteenth) providing a two handed fingers in the eyes to Blacks.

    Elizabeth Warren’s proposed amendment to the military budget calling for removing names of Confederates from military bases was adopted in committee.

    The land Lady Antebellum has decided after all this time that maybe their name was racist. They will now go as “Lady A.”

    Nascar has banned any and all displays of the Confederate flag at their events. One driver has already vowed to quit because of that. Fine by me there are already too many drivers on the track, they keep running into each other.

    JK Rowlings has really put her foot in it but I still know what a TERF is. (My daughter who is a recovered harry Potter fans says that Rowlings would do herself and the reputation of the Potter books if she would just stop nattering on about them.

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  39. Deborah said on June 11, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I read that to get a ticket to the Trump rally in Tulsa, you have to sign a waiver (or whatever it’s called) that says you won’t sue if you contract the virus there.

    We Finally cut The cable cord in Santa Fe. Our Xfinity bill will now be half as much per month. We still have internet. We just weren’t watching cable enough to make it worthwhile. We have Netflix and Prime and thinking about getting Hulu. We get our news mainly on the internet anyway.

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  40. LAMary said on June 11, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I think Lady Antebellum should have gone with Lady Antipasto or maybe Lady Antifa.

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