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 "Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 



"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 



 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 

  

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

  

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  

  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Thursday
Apr282016

POKER ANYONE?  

Wednesday
Apr272016

THE DONALD AKA "DR. STRANGELOVE"  

    The results of the recent East coast primaries over the last two weeks, make it clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off against each other in November.

     This will pit a candidate steeped in foreign policy expertise vs a novice who acts like a bull in a china shop. America has a choice - to vote for hope or vote for fear/competence or megalomania.   

     Will we elect our first woman POTUS or a con artist who has mastered so-called reality TV.  The video below illustrates the media's complicity in the voodoo candidacy of The Donald.  It would be funny if it wasn't so scary.    

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“Trump’s Television Takeover.”

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     Donald Trump in a so-called 'major' foreign policy speech proved he could read from a teleprompter instead of just rambling on and on. He didn't scream or throw out invective at his audience.  It demonstrates he can be disciplined when he wants to be. 

     But the speech was superficial and lacked the detail of how he would accomplish his objectives - in that regard it was the same old "trust me, I'm a smart guy" and can make America great again. 

     The speech lacked nuance.  It's like so much of The Donald's rhetoric - high on verbal bombast, low on details.  I think the man is intellectually dyslexic - he can't go from one idea to another in any logical way.  But his illogic sadly has appeal to the pissed off voter.  Trump as a political 'clear and present danger' raises the stakes for November.  

     More importantly the speech must be viewed in the larger context of his campaign which has maligned Muslims and immigrants from Latin America, promised to build what amounts to an 'Iron Curtain' between the US and Mexico while humiliating them by somehow making them pay for the wall.  Trump has also made wild assertions of how he'll destroy ISIS and make China behave itself.  And he feels his "art of the deal" can be applied to foreign policy like it does in his own business enterprises. 

     The 'art of the deal' must be placed in context as must this hastilty prepared speech by his foreign policy team.  As much as one can criticize the neo-con or neo-lib foreign policy establishment types who have dominated US foreign policy since the end of WWII - at least they have expertise and experience whereas Trump's team are thin at best, amateurs at worst. These are not this generation's "best and brightest" they are a hastily put together gaggle of foreign policy light weights with short resumes.  

The Donald's talking points: 

  • How can anyone be against "America First" unless we know the origins of this phrase which came out of the neo-isolationist/fascist ideas of Charles Lindbergh?

          We don't live in isolation or fortress America, we live in a global geo-political and economic village where for every action there is an equal reaction which must be carefully calibrated lest we fall over the abyss or into a military quagmire.  World leadership requires humility not bluster.  

  • How can any not feel we need to stand up against China for not playing fair in the global economy unless we realize we don't want to unleash a global trade war against one of our biggest trading partners?   

          China doesn't play fair but it occupies the largest land mass in Asia, is the world's second largest economy and has a huge economic posture in the US.  One can't threaten them without shaking the foundations of the world economy and risking gun boat diplomacy in the nuclear age. 

  • How can anyone not agree that American foreign policy has been a disaster, unless we realize it's a disaster Obama inherited from George W. Bush whose party The Donald has captured in a hostile takeover?   

          It's taken the Obama administration two terms to settle the dust created by the failures of the Bush II era's hubris.  It will take a careful strategy to unravel the chaos of the Middle East that must be led by the people of that region not a return to Pax Americana.  We can't bomb our enemies into submission. 

  • How can we not feel that our NATO allies should share more of the financial burden for European security unless we realize that NATO was created to halt the spread of communism after WW II and now Putin's Russia?  

          Bush II looked into Putin's eyes and saw a friend he could "trust."  Putin didn't reciprocate did he?  Quite the contrary Putin is trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of the old Soviet Empire despite Russia's economy being in tatters. This makes NATO even more important, we can't simply walk away!   

  • How can we disagree with The Donald when he wants to make America Great again, unless we realize this masks a xenophobia towards the "other" whomever The Donald would target - ISIS now, Iran next up? 

         Trump has tapped frustration over an economy that has sacrificed generations of Americans.  But pointing to "the other" abroad or at home is not the answer.  Turning to a thugish member of the 1% is the most unlikely of solutions imaginable as Trumps employees in Atlantic City or Dubai know well.  

     What Trump did is splice together the badly sutured body parts of his campaign rhetoric.  He's like the TV anchor on Network who goes mad on air saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking it anymore."  This was not a foreign policy speech but a toned down primal scream without any coherence or rationale. 

     in fact he proudly claims in a globally unstable world "America should be unpredictable."  That's a prescription for creating more global chaos and as a businessman Trump ought to know better - "uncertainty" is our worst enemy whether it in foreign policy or global markets.  What we need is a  POTUS who is Cool not Madmax!  

     Trump has endorsed waterboarding which is against the law and talked about using tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East.  His inflamed rhetoric is causing members of the Pentagon, CIA, NSA and State to ask themselves what they would do if a President Trump ordered them to carry out an order that violates the Geneva Convention's rules of war.

     What The Donald proved today is that he totally unfit - intellectually and psychologically to be the most powerful person on earth, one trigger finger away from the nuclear football. He's Dubya and his henchmen on steroids.  He makes one have sympathy for our military industrial complex.  Wow.  

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Reactions to The Donald's speech.  If I was grading it as a class paper - it would get a C- due to content incoherence, D for a lack of historical depth/understanding and a C- for poor drafting/writing...   But then, he's a college drop out...  so one can't expect much.      

Tuesday
Apr262016

FREE COLLEGE TUITION, HOPE OR HOAX?  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:   I've opined that The Bern's promise of free college tuition for those attending public universities is a pipe dream.  Here are two articles which back up my argument.

     The first article explains how the cost burden of a college education would be shifted to lower income students and their families...  

     The second article explains how "merit" scholarships cause a similar shift.  As a faculty member at Pacific I saw this happen.  At my 50th alum reunion at Whitman much more endowed, I heard the same rationale... 

     At Pacific I was proud to teach mostly first generation college students compared to their more affluent counterparts at sister colleges like Lewis & Clark and Willamette.  But are my successors in a new normal now?  

     This is another way that "income inequality" is increased when everyone is told that getting a college degree is the entrance fee to a good job and a middle class life.  As usual old myths die hard...  

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Gail MarksJarvis, Chicago Tribune

Sun, Apr 24, 2016

How could anyone be against free college tuition?...  Millennials, suffering from debilitating student loans, love it.  Parents, who can’t... save for college and retirement, see it as salvation...

Sun, Mar 20, 2016

Are you getting gouged on college? If you come from a... low-income family, there’s a strong chance you are. In fact, you may be subsidizing the education of a student from a more affuent family...

Monday
Apr252016

BLACK LIVES MATTER & THE NEW "JIM CROW" ERA?  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  I listened to an interview on PBS radio's On Being Sunday program produced by Christa Tippet the program's moderator.  I think Tippett does compelling interviewing on matters of faith and consciousness taken in its broadcast context. 

     The interview of Professor Michelle Alexander was riveting and troubling to me.  The topic is the punitive culture of mass incarceration and the school to prison pipeline...   in the name of law and order an idea born in the Nixon years but continued over the last 6 decades in the name of the war on drugs and mandatory sentencing.   

     The civil rights lawyer and professor of law Michelle Alexander is waking us up to history we don't remember and to structures most of us can't fathom. She calls the punitive culture that has emerged the "new Jim Crow" and is making it visible in the name of a fierce hope and belief in our collective capacity to engender a transformation to which this moment is calling us.  

     Specifically, Professor Alexander focuses on the issue of "mass incarceration" that has taken place in the USA since the mid-60ss accelerated by a 1994 crime bill passed in the Clinton years and by 3 strikes and your out laws at the state level.  This has resulted in the disproportionate jailing of African-American males.  And it has also led to punitive treatment of felons after they've done their time.  

     As a housing advocate I've heard time and again that a convicted felon is not eligible for subsidized housing after release from jail.  Neither are they able to get food stamps or Medicaid.  And NPR today noted in a story that released felons in Baltimore can't get medicine they need to battle HIV, addiction or other chronic illness - meds they got in jail.  So how can we expect ex-felons to reclaim their lives and enter the mainstream of society?  

     Alexander eloquently calls such discrimination the face of the new Jim Crow.  She also cites the profiling of Black men by cops which has resulted in killings with police not being prosecuted by local DAs, one might term this the "Ferguson Effect."  Such examples raise the specter of "white privilege."  White persons pulled over for a traffic infraction will most likely not face gun fire but will get a warning or at worst a ticket.  

     While Alexander's points are compelling and disturbing, I have to push back a bit.  Hillary Clinton has courageously called the marginalizing of people of color by another name - "institutional racism."  Such examples fit this terminology more than "Jim Crow." 

     Jim Crow laws were passed in post-Reconstruction America to suppress voting by former slaves in the South who had been freed and took power in the South after the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.  The tools of Jim Crow to roll back Black power included the violence of the KKK, white primaries, literacy tests, poll taxes, denying Blacks the right to register to vote and economic sanctions against those who dared to do so. 

      An echo today are voter suppression laws in the modern era and gerrymandering used to dilute the black vote in Congressional, state legislative and local government districts

     In the wake of Brown vs. Board White Citizens Councils across the South refused to abide by the law by erecting White academies to stop school desegregation.  And  southern pols like George Wallace committed themselves to "massive retaliation" to preserve segregation 'for now and forever'.  But these these tactics of oppression were eroded over time, but at high cost, by the Civil Rights Movement and the passage 1963 and 1964 Civil Rights Acts.  

     The more enduring problem is that while overt racism has become a lesser evil in the USA, covert racism practiced in the North more than in the South through real estate practices like red lining or its modern form - gentrification - perpetuates patterns of housing and school segregation across the nation, especially in large urban cities such as Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago but even here in Portlandia. 

     But these practices are not official practices racism as were Jim Crow laws but of covert 'market based' racism which has as much to do with class as they do with race.  Nevertheless, Alexander has forced us to look at the soft underbelly of American racism and white privilege most of us would prefer to ignore in light of the election of our first Black president in a presumed "post-racial" society. 

     Last week Terry McAuliffe (D) governor of Virginia (and close friend of Hillary Clinton) signed an executive order to allow over 200,000 convicted fellows who have served their time to reclaim their voting rights.  In Oregon we've banned the "box" to help former felons get a job interview.  Other states should follow suit so as to reintegrate such people into our communities - granting them the right to welfare, food stamps and housing along with the vote.     

     So whether one terms such discriminatory practices as Jim Crow or institutionalized racism - it's past time to help those who have served their time to join the "beloved community" especially in a time when many of the crimes committed were drug related non-violent life style choices - smoking dope et al which more and more Americans don't think of as crimes such as voters in Washington, Oregon and Colorado 

      Mandatory sentencing and 3 strikes and you're out laws which have criminalized thousands of Americans must end. 

     This is not to minimize the scourge of drugs that the mis-named War on Drugs targeted.  But to  put young people in jail for minor drug offenses rather than getting them into rehab and community mental health clinics was bad public policy and a waste of tax payer dollars.  I'm all for putting drug lords (predators) away but let's distinguish between users, those lured into gangs versus those making profit off of the victims of racism and poverty.  

     Let's end the double standard where mostly White college kids illegally buy booze or drugs and cops rarely pay attention but if one is a person of color, despite one's  zip code or economic status, a cop is more likely to profile you and maybe even shot you.  As persons of the cloth remind us on the Sabbath - we're all sinners but Ferguson et al show some sinners are more 'unequal' than others.  

     Young people often make poor choices but that's no reason to punish them for life or to take their lives.  But let's also admit that gangs kill more people of color than cops do.  With freedom comes responsibility.  This requires moms and dads despite their circumstances do their job before it's too late.  Parenting is not a noun but a verb form.  One is measured by the "content of one's character" not the size of one's paycheck.  All parents need to step up!  

     While were at it - let's do what Hillary has argued on the stump - "there are no banks too big to fail and no CEOs too big not to jail."  It's about time we focused on 'superpredator' White collar criminals like the Donald Trumps who destoy neighborhoods under the aegis of economic "development."  After Watergate Allenwood federal prison was populated by Mafia and Nixonistas.  It's time for Wall Street goons to pay their time! 

 
Sunday
Apr242016

THE DONALD, IN HIS OWN WORDS

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I got this memo from Hillary's campaign operatives a few hours ago.  The fall campaign has begun! 

     Donald Trump is preparing to pivot from this Republican primary to the general election -- and in order to make himself palatable to voters outside the Republican base, he’s preparing to undergo an extreme image makeover.

      “I’m very capable of changing to anything I want to change to,” he’s said. “At the right time, I will be so presidential, you will be so bored.”

      Trump thinks he can bully us, fool us, or cajole us into forgetting how he has derided women, Mexican Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and people with disabilities. He thinks he can trick the country into making him our president.

      But we know the truth of who Donald Trump is, and we’re not going to let anyone forget it.

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  • We’re not going to forget that Donald Trump called Mexican Americans criminals and rapists on the day he launched his campaign.

  • Or that he called for a ban on Muslims coming to America -- and surveillance of Muslims and mosques on American soil.

  • We won’t forget that he said he’d eliminate gun-free zones in schools on his first day in office, or that he advocated for the murder of innocent family members of suspected terrorists -- that’s a war crime, by the way.

  • We’ll remember how he mocked a disabled journalist with crude gestures, and we’ll remember how he implied a female journalist who asked him tough questions was menstruating.

  • We won’t forget that he said women who get abortions deserve “some form of punishment.”

  • We’ll remember how he incited violence at his rallies, encouraging his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters.

  • And we won’t forget that when he received the endorsement of the notorious former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump said he didn’t know enough about white supremacists to disavow their support.

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