Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Boston Celtics return the ECF for the first time since 2012; Celtics get the #1 Draft Pick in the NBA Lottery   Leave a comment

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…The rich get richer as the Boston Celtics got the #1 Draft Pick in the 2017-18 NBA Draft. The NBA Lottery took place last night in New York. The Celtics went in with a 25% chance of getting the #1 pick. Not only are the Celtics back in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) for the first time since 2012, they will have the means to challenge LBJ and the Cavs next year in the ECF. The Celtics secured the #1 seed this year by luck. Next year will surely be different.

Last year’s draft was a 2-man draft (Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram). The Celtics lucked out when they drafted Jaylen Brown third: Simmons missed the season due to injury while Ingram and the Lakers tanked hard enough to get the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft due to the very public Family Feud at the top.

Now the Celtics have the #1 Draft Pick which means they will likely go with the best prospect available: Markus Fultz. Speaking of the NBA Draft, everyone knows about LaVar Ball and his son Lonzo Ball. I’ll be blunt: Best-case scenario, Lonzo goes undrafted. That’s what he deserves no thanks to his outspoken father.

The 2017-18 NBA Draft will happen on June 22.

Let us all take a moment to thank the Brooklyn Nets, who we got us this pick from the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn back in 2012. As of last night, history will probably record the trade as the worst trade in NBA history. The Celtics have had the rights to the Nets pick ever since.

Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Evan Turner (now with the Blazers), Jared Sullinger (now with Toronto), Terry Rozier, Jae Crowder and many others drafted since then. Would people be talking about them if they were drafted by Brooklyn instead of Boston? Nope!

 

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The other big Celtics-related news is of course, the ECF. Game 1 is tonight in Boston. As usual, the pundits say the Celtics have no chance. They said the same during the first round vs. Chicago. The Celtics won in 6 games. They said the Celtics had no answer for John Wall and Bradley Beal in the Second Round. the Celtics sealed the deal in Game 7.

This brings us to the Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics vs. Lebron James and the Cavs in the ECF. LBJ and the Celtics have quite a history going back to the 2008 playoffs that ended with the Celtics winning their last NBA Championship. The Celtics denied LBJ again the following year, leading to him taking his talents to the Miami Heat. Backed by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, LBJ won two titles with the Heat before returning to Cleveland. He fulfilled the promise he made when he returned by leading the Cavs to the franchise’s first title last year.

The odds heavily favor the Cavs. Some even say the Cavs will sweep the Celtics. Many of the same chatter said the Bulls would win in 7 (Boston won in 6) and the Wizards would win in 6 (Boston won in 7).  Do the Celtics have a real shot at beating the Cavs? Yes they do but it will take a team effort. We saw Kelly Olynik step up and help get the Celtics past Washington when they shut down IT4 in games 3, 4 and 6. Gerald Green’s sure to see alot of minutes in this series. Possibly Jaylen Brown.

Boston getting swept? Not gonna happen. My prediction is this: Each game will be decided in the 4th Quarter. IT4’s going to remind everyone why he’s called the King of the 4th. I also see 4-7 other players having big moments, too. Among them Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Avery Bradley. I think the Washington series–and especially Game 7–was the confidence builder the bench needed to know they need to step up big time if they want a real shot at getting past the defending NBA Champions.

I know they can.It’s just about making it happen ^_^

Trump’s first 100 days should have made one thing clear: The GOP wants to rule, not govern   Leave a comment

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…When you keep this in mind, everything that’s happened since Trump won the White House should make perfect sense. For those who don’t know, Henry Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States opposite Franklyn D. Roosevelt during World War II. Now more than ever, his warning against the Oligarthy is painfully relevant. We are seeing what he warned about 70 years ago: What will happen when the rich and powerful control the government, rewrite the rules in their favor and put the squeeze on everyone else. It’s an exaggeration to call it a form of enslavement but it’s not that far off from the reality either.

 

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…Keep this in mind: We may never know who ordered the hit on JFK (everyone agrees James Earl Ray wasn’t acting alone) but we do know why. The timing for this quote is just like that of Martin Luther King’s last speech the night before he was killed. JFK learned about a conspiracy by some very powerful people who had no problem having him killed to keep power. The elite ruling class who now control this country care only about power and profits. They could care less how many lives are destroyed or killed along the way.

Nevermind Donald Trump. Like I said before in past blog posts, he’s the distraction they’re using to keep the public and the media’s attention. Now, it goes without saying Trump himself is not a Republican. Everyone knows that. Trump himself proved something very important that he said during the second debate last fall. He proved beyond reasonable doubt Democracy in America is a lie. He proved an admitted sexual predator and con artist can become POTUS. He proved it by actually becoming president.

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…The irony of quote goes without saying: Originally used by racists and the GOP as justification for their personal attacks against Barack Obama during his presidency, it has taken on a whole new meaning in light of the 45th President. Trump has made it no secret he’s an egolomaniac who can’t handle criticism from even his own base of supporters. He was one of Obama’s loudest critics during the past 8 years. Now, he only surrounds himself with Yes-Men and conspirators who have their own self-interests in mind.

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…Folks need to keep in mind Capitalism by its very nature means anything including an idea has a price that can be bought snd sold. The irony of the board game Monopoly is it’s no longer just a “game”. Laws and Regulations were passed in the 60 years after the Civil War to stop the Tycoons and Barons of the era from having dominating the economy. The Great Depression says hi. After the country collapsed and faith in the state was at an all-time low, newly elected president Franklyn D. Roosevelt introduced policies and reforms that helped prep the U.S. for World War II: A Socialist Economy. If not for this policy, the U.S. wouldn’t have been as prepared as it was to commit fully to the war effort in Europe and the Pacific.

The obvious question to be asked: Why is a Socialist Economy so vehemently opposed now? I’ll tell you. It’s because it’s a threat to the interests of men and companies who only care about money and greed. It is for this same reason they are so against welfare programs and social services aimed to help the most vulnerable. Their logic is “Why should I have to give a starving child a free bowl of soup or a homeless man a free pair of shoes when I can sell them and turn a profit?” Even worse, they brainwash those who don’t see the big picture into believing “You don’t want to pay taxes to help the homeless. They’re lazy bums who don’t want to work.”

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…This is the logic of the GOP and the Elite Ruling Class. This is also why they not only ensure public school students are denied a proper education AND force college students into debt for life but continue to perpetuate the lie “This is the way it should be”. No, what they’re doing is ensuring future generations will be easy to fool, control and exploit is all. The most effective form of slavery is convincing the slave they’re “Free”.

It’s as MLK said:

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America has been morally bankrupt for decades. That much is certain. The difference is now it’s simply more clear and apparent. The question to be asked is how long will it be allowed to go on?

 

 

 

Review: Power Rangers (Movie, 2017)   Leave a comment

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Yours truly got the see the movie the morning of its launch March 24, 2017.

To get the 3 biggest things out the way now:

  1.  Amy Jo Johnson (Played the original Pink Ranger) and Jason David Frank (Played the original Green and White Rangers) make a cameo appearance together after the Power Rangers beat Rita Repulsa and Goldar. They’re standing with the crowd of people gathered to take pictures of the Megazord.
  2. Speaking of cameos: Alpha 5 says the iconic “Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!” a few times in the movie, which was the catchphrase of the original Alpha 5 in the 1992 TV series. Rita also says “Make my monster grow!” and laughs maniacally as Goldar makes his appearance.
  3. The post-credit teaser confirms there WILL be a second movie and Tommy Oliver will presumably play a key role then.

 

Speaking of the Green Ranger, remember this?

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In the movie, it’s comfirmed Rita Repulsa was the first Green Ranger. 65 Million Years Ago, Zordon was the first Red Ranger. He and the other Rangers battled Rita Repulsa, who betrayed the team and killed them all. Everyone including Zordon would fall to Rita, who betrayed the other Rangers because of her lust for more power. Using the last of his strength, Zordon seals away the Power Coins just as a blast of power rips Rita’s body apart and hurls her into the sea. The place where this epic battle took place would later be known as Angel Grove (of course).

A huge nod to the TV series only those familiar with the original franchise would have caught: Rita sought the Zeo Crystals (!), which had been hidden somewhere in present-day Angel Grove. At the end of the Mighty Morphin’ storyline, The Rangers were sent back in time to retreive the five Zeo Crystals. They would harness their power to become the Zeo Rangers. In the reimagined storyline, the Zeo Crystals are connected to the Morphing Grid. Whosoever possesses them will gain unimaginable power.

That aside, Rita says something really interesting just before she’s literally slapped into space by the Megazord: “Others will come after me.” While the movie’s plot was a closely guarded secret (props to Saban and Lionsgate for that), there were rumors Lord Zedd might make a cameo appearance. On that note, apparently the plan is to make the Power Rangers movieverse a 6-movie franchise. The right tone was set in this one if you ask me.

Anywho it’s probably fair to say Tommy Oliver will be a prominent character in the second movie (which Lionsgate has apparently already greenlit to happen) which obviously means Elizabeth Banks will reprise the role of Rita Repulsa. Speaking of, she did one hell of a job. All questions about weather or not Banks could pull it off were answered by her performance. She made Rita a twisted character and gave you plenty of reasons why she’s one bad…well, you know.  Remember the clip released last year of her throwing Trini around her bedroom? One of her lines during that encounter was “I’ve killed Rangers before.” This isn’t just in referral to the opening minutes of the movie. I won’t spoil what happens about 15 minutes later but someone kinda kicks the bucket.

…At the end of the day, if you are a fan of the original series I think you can rest easy. Don’t go by objective reviews. See the movie and judge it for yourself. On that note, I give the film a 9/10. Only reason it didn’t get a 10 is because there was no remixed Power Rangers theme music.

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Rap and Hip Hop’s Dark History: Hijacked by Greed   Leave a comment

 

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…Right.

This is the first of what will probably be a monthly series on the subject of Rap and Hip Hop’s evolution. I’ve thought about doing this for some time and more so after I wrote that blog post on why I never liked BET. I plan to write on this topic through June ^_^

Before we can talk about Hip Hop’s history over the last 30 years, we first need to talk about its origins. For those who do not know, Rap is basically poetry over beats. Rap as a genre dates back hundreds of years. Like Rock & R0ll, Blues and Jazz, its origins are African. The difference is unlike those three genres, it was not white-washed when it became popular in the U.S. Not until very recently, anyway.

Before it was…”re-discovered” in the Bronx in 1983, Hip Hop was lost to time. Much of that was due to the slave trade in West Africa that saw over 15 million Africans forced from their homes, packed on boats and sent to The Americas as slaves against their will. Before Slavery ravaged Africa, Hip Hop was used as a form of spoken word to preserve the histories of families, tribes, nations and traditions. Written literature did exist but it was far more efficient to use hip hop and rap to preserve and convey important and practical information.

When Africans were brought to the U.S., they used music to keep the old traditions alive as well as to communicate in secret under the watchful eyes of their new masters and overseers. The rise of Abolitionist Movement during the 19th Century saw most African American Slaves stripped of what was a way of life for them. They would begin to regain that lost knowledge before and during The Great Depression. As time marched on, old traditions long lost to time began to resurface.

 

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…It would be fair to say that Hip Hop was re-discovered in 1983 in the Bronx. Talk to anyone in the Bronx today and they will tell you that what Hip Hop was in the span of time from 1985 to about…I wanna say 2009 was not what Hip Hop was back then. What happened? Greed, that’s what. The Music industry wanting a piece of the pie and the allure of fame were the main reasons but they weren’t the only reasons Rap changed so suddenly and drastically in the mid-80s.

The message and Hip Hop’s purpose were what changed. Remember what I said at the top: Rap is basically poetry over beats. In the early years Hip Hop was used as a way to talk about politics, where you came from, who you are and what you’re about. You had rappers and artists talking about real issues, empowerment and learning from the mistakes of others. NWA’s “Express Yourself” is pointed to from that era as a song with positive messages though of course you had your occasional diss tracks. They were nowhere near as direct and person as they would become a few years later though.

Starting in 1985, we would see a dramatic shift in how Rap and Hip Hop would be used and how it would be viewed and consumed. People like to blame Public Enemy and later NWA for the dramatic shift but it would be more accurate to say the intentions of those who got into “The Rap Game”–and I will talk about this in a separate blog–were motivated by fame and fortune more than anything else.

…To Be Continued.

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The silence of the Dems is deafening in the afternath of the GOP’s hostile takeover of Washington   Leave a comment

…And no one should be surprised.

A few months ago, I made the case for need for a third party. Others across social media share my opinion on this. There are those feel “it would be more efficient” to reform the party from within than to commit to a new political party.

Recent history says otherwise:

  • How quickly people forget about the rise of the Tea Party Movement, which was the pre-cursor to the Alt-Right Movement within the Republican Party during President Obama’s first term. They came about in response to the implosion of the GOP during Bush 43’s 2nd term and the Dems regaining control of the White House and Congress in 2008.
  • Oh, how the Dems continue to insist on passing the blame for losing the 2012 election. They had a sure thing with Bernie Sanders but decided to bet everything on an unelectable candidate. It would be fair to say the Dems HANDED the White House to Trump and the GOP. When they pulled out all the stops to prevent Sanders from ever having a chance, that ensured Trump would win the election.

“Reform the Party”, Shaun King keeps saying. Yeah, that was why Bernie Sanders ran as a Democrat and they rejected him outright. “We need someone with REAL ideas”, Liberal Progressives said. “We need someone who can continue Obama’s legacy”, Establishment Dems said. THAT was why the Dems lost the election: They wanted someone who would maintain the status quo. Bernie Sanders ran to force the party to move in a different direction. So, to those of you who said “Sanders supporters need to get over themselves”, now you know how they feel.

…And the GOP is loving it. LOL.

Yes, the GOP is still divided but they are united when and where it counts. They know when to put aside infighting for a mutual benefit. The Dems haven’t had to do that since Reagan and Bush 41 were president (The last time a party controlled the White House for two consecutive presidencies actually). The Dems got lucky in 2004 when then senator Barack Obama spoke at the DNC in Boston. That set the stage for his run four years later and his subsequent two terms as president.

The Democratic Party revealed their true colors in the aftermath of the 2016 Election: Having lost the White House and are now at the mercy of the GOP–and EVERYONE should be concerned Trump supporter or not–the Dems have elected to still tout the same public shaming tactics that ultimately cost them the White House. That’s a waste to even try on the GOP, which doesn’t know the meaning of the word. The Dems had no contingency plan going into the 2016 election if Hillary lost. It was all or nothing as far as they cared.

…The GOP on the other hand did have a backup plan after the 2008 and 2012 elections: Take control of Congress, which they did. Republicans also control all 3 branches of government in all but 4 states. This is why the Dems lost so many seats in the 2010 and 2014 elections in traditionally “Blue” States and the “Battlegound” States: ALL of them have a Republican Governor, Congress and State Supreme Court. If the Dems want to regain power in Washington, they first need to focus on State and Local politics.

Take a look at my own state of Massachusetts. There have only been 2 Democratic Governors over the last 25 years: Mike Dukakis (early 90s) and Deval Patrick (late 2000s). Three Republicans held office on Beacon Hill after Dukakis: The Late Paul Celluci (died 4 years ago from M.S.), Jane Swift (first female MA Governor and the first U.S. Governor to give birth while in office) and of course, former presidental candidate Mitt Romney (also tried running for governor in New York after he left MA). Charlie Baker easily won the 2014 election to replace Deval Patrick (served two terms) and honestly, I don’t even remember who the Dems picks to run against him. I do know and I’m sure Baker knows he won’t get a 2nd term. LOL.

That same year, Massachusetts State Rep Marty Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston. after the late Tom Menino announced he would not be running for re-election. Menino died in 2015 after serving as mayor of Boston for 22 years. You literally had a whole generation who only knew Menino as the mayor of Boston.

Getting back to my original train of thought: The founders of this country actually warned against the dangers of a 2-Party system. There were always at least three parties until just before World War I. The other two most notable parties that no longer exist are the Whig and Federalist parties. This was wav before Perot and Nader championed the Green Party.

The first President, Washington was a Federalist. Federalists championed Checks and Balances. It stands to reason given Washington was the Supreme Commander of the U.S. Army, which fought and defeated what was then without question the most powerful military on earth. Sometime during the 2nd half of the 19th Century they merged with the then emerging Democratic Party. The Whig Party was basically the party for the Upper and High Class. They merged with the Republican Party in the years following the Civil War.
The thing about Donald Trump most Liberals and Democrats don’t care about is even though Conservatives and Republicans know he’s not one of them, he’s said and promised to do alot of things they agree with. THAT is why they’re tolerating him for the time being. As long as that remains true, they could care less about everything else about him.  The same can’t be said about most Democrats and Liberals, who like to deflect responsability to everyone but them.

It’s time to bring back a third party. The Democrats and the Republicans are tearing this country apart.

As Paul Pierce plays his final game in Boston, the future of the Celtics is bright   Leave a comment

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…Paul Pierce and Isaiah Thomas. One is sure to have his number added to the rafters after he retires. The other is primed to lead the Celtics to their 18th NBA Championship. This is the first time since the 1980s that the future of the Celtics isn’t in doubt.

Who could have imagined the Len Bias incident would have seen the Celtics drop out of the playoff picture for almost a decade? When Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish retired (1993, 1994 and 1996) and when Reggie Lewis died in 1995, there were serious questions as to weather or not the team could return to who they once were. The ill-fated Rick Pitino era–and then the now-imfamous “Larry Bird is not walking through that door” jab on his way out after failing to lead the Celtics back to the playoffs–made the possability of a 17th Championship feel more and more like a faraway dream.

Then the Celtics signed Paul Pierce in 1999. Three years later Danny Ainge hired Doc Rivers, who led the Celtics to the 2nd Round of the NBA Playoffs in his first year as Head Coach of the Celtics (2002). The untimely death of legendary Celtics coach Red Aurbach (8 Championships in 10 years) in 2006 reminded the team that although they were getting good, they weren’t good enough to contend with the then emerging superstar LeBron James or the favorite to return to the NBA Finals, the Detroit Pistons.

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So, during the summer of 2007 Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on a trade that brought Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gerald Green (who is now back with the Celtics this year) and 3 other young players. A few weeks later, the Celtics signed Free Agent Ray Allen. Just like that, the Celtics were now contenders going into the 2007-08 NBA Season. 1 year later, the Celtics woyld raise Banner 17 to the rafters.

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As the last and most beloved member of what was then The New Big 3 prepares to retire, the Celtics firmly control their own destiny. Isaiah Thomas, who was drafted last in the 2nd round of the 2010 NBA Draft is 2nd in Points Per Game behind Russell Westbrook this year. He became the first Celtic since Paul Pierce back in 2006 to score 50+ points in a game in December. He has had SEVERAL 40+ games since mid-December including Friday’s win over the Lakers.

I haven’t even gotten to the supporting cast: You’ve got Al Horford (signed with Boston during the offseason), Avery Bradey (when he returns from injury), Terry Rozier and 1st Round Draft Pick Jaylen Brown (A workhorse with LeBron James’ basketball IQ). You also have Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynik.

There’s also the Brooklyn Nets picks from the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn. Looks like the Celtics are primed to hit it BIG in the next draft to boot: Last year’s draft was just about Ben Simmons (missed half the season with an injury) and Brandon Ingram but Jaylen Brown’s been having one hell of season. Don’t even get me started on the NBA Players who have come up in conversation for a possible trade to Boston before the deadline.

…Getting back to The Truth, he ended his final appearance in Boston with a streak that would remain unbroken: He has scored a basket in every game he’s ever played in The Garden. Fitting that Paul Pierce would score the final basket and his only basket of the game. It would not be enough as the Celtics would go on to win the game 107-102. The three-pointer was more of a token from the home team, who gave him the wide open shot. No doubt the “We want Paul Pierce!” chants during most of the fourth quarter will be a moment he will never forget. As many have said, you can be sure Celtics fans will see more of The Truth after he retires as a player.

 

The time is now to think about who will come after Trump   Leave a comment

This is the GOP’s message to the world more or less.

Based on the events of this past weekend, there are serious questions as to weather or not Trump will even last the rest of the year: Republicans have already started to rebel barely two weeks into Trump’s presidency. Of course, we knew the GOP was just planning to use Trump to deregulate everything, increase military spending and give tax cuts to those who don’t need ’em. That was the plan from the beginning but things have clearly escalated much faster than expected.

We’ll know for sure over the next two months for sure. That brings me to the subject of the title: Mike Pence.

We will need to watch very closely to see how they package Trump’s exit and how they present Pence being sworn in as President. I see one of two things happening:

 

  1.  Pence starts publicly speaking out against Trump in the next few weeks or months (“My loyalty is to the will of the American people first”, etc.), leading to him asking Congress to impeach Trump (Very Likely).
  2. The GOP moves to impeach Trump on their own and declares Pence will be acting President (Most Likely).

 

I doubt it will be anything other than one of those two things. It will all be about how the GOP packages Trump’s exit we need to pay very close attention to. He will likely be presented as a “Benevolent Ruler” or a “Savior” coming to fix everything Trump did. In fact, that should be the assumption unless there is a full reset on the cabinet.

One thing you should know about the GOP if you don’t already: They ALWAYS do what they say they will. Of course, it’s early to be thinking about that but it’s something to keep in mind. It’s not a matter of if but “WHEN” and When is probably happening alot sooner than anyone could have imagined:

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In case you don’t know who she is, this is Sally Yates. Until Monday afternoon, she was the Federal Attorney General. She was fired by President Trump within an hour of declaring she would not defend Trump’s controversial anti-Muslim executive order last Friday Jess Sessions was appointed acting AG and has ordered Federal Judges nationwide to upjold Trump’s executive order. Of course, they can’t since the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the government to court over it and won. LOL. Round 2 should be in a matter of days if not hours. Thanks to the $24.1 million in donations they received over the weekend–20 times what they normally get a year–they’re good to go.

…Mind you, This is on top of Trump removing the the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council and replacing them with Steve Bannon on Friday. Yes, THAT Steve Bannon.

The thing about all these moves that folks need to keep in mind is there ARE checks and Balances. Some of those in the middle and most on the Left are wondering why the Dems aren’t doing anything other than angrily shaking their fists at the White House. Some of those in the middle and many on the Right are cheering on Trump’s actions so far, feeling “This is how things are suppose to be”.

…Weather you’re in the middle, on the left, on the right or wherever, this is something you should know: There are checks and balances and what Trump is doing IS a blatant abuse of power. It’s just a question of when the GOP will move to impeach Trump and I can assure those of you who are pro-Trump, they WILL. They’ll do it when it’s most convenient for them to do so. Timing’s not quite there yet.

When you know what’s going to happen next, you have no reason to be too concerned. By all means, be careful but what will happen in the near future is too easy to not know at this point. Please donate to the ACLU. They are non-partisan and are for everyone.

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