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Alabama Senate race: Democrat Jones wins in stunning upset

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Doug Jones greets supporters and voters outside Bethal Baptist Church Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham , Ala. Jones is facing Republican Roy Moore. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

— In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama's special Senate election on Tuesday, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.

It was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama, one of the reddest of red states, and proved anew that party loyalty is anything but sure in the age of Trump. It was a major embarrassment for the president and a fresh wound for the nation's already divided Republican Party.

The victory by Jones, a former U.S. attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for Birmingham's infamous 1963 church bombing, narrows the GOP advantage in the U.S. Senate to 51-49. That imperils already-uncertain Republican tax, budget and health proposals and injects tremendous energy into the Democratic Party's early push to reclaim House and Senate majorities in 2018.

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At left, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Doug Jones speaks to reporters after casting his ...

Associated Press

Still, many Washington Republicans viewed the defeat of Moore as perhaps the best outcome for the party nationally despite the short-term sting. The fiery Christian conservative's positions have alienated women, racial minorities, gays and Muslims — in addition to the multiple allegations that he was guilty of sexual misconduct with teens, one only 14, when he was in his 30s.

A number of Republicans declined to support him, including Alabama's long-serving Sen. Richard Shelby. But Trump lent his name and the national GOP's resources to Moore's campaign in recent days.

Had Moore won, the GOP would have been saddled with a colleague accused of sordid conduct as Republicans nationwide struggle with Trump's historically low popularity. Senate leaders had promised that Moore would have faced an immediate ethics investigation.

Jones takes over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The term expires in January of 2021.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed hopes of scheduling a vote on their tax legislation before Jones is sworn in, but lawmakers are still struggling to devise a compromise bill to bridge the divide between the House and Senate legislation that can win majority support in both chambers.

The Republican loss also gives Democrats a clearer path to a Senate majority in 2018 — albeit a narrow one — in an election cycle where Democrats are far more optimistic about seizing control of the House of Representatives.

Ultimately, Tuesday's contest came down to which side better motivated its supporters to vote. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said turnout likely would not exceed 25 percent of registered voters.

Jones successfully fought to cobble together an unlikely coalition of African-Americans, liberal whites and moderate Republicans.

"This is an important time in Alabama's history, and we feel very confident where we are and how this is going to turn out," the Democrat said after casting his ballot Tuesday.

On the ground in Alabama on Tuesday, those who stood in line to cast their ballots were far more focused on the candidates than the broader political fallout.

Teresa Brown, a 53-year-old administrative assistant, said she preferred Jones, in part, because he would be better positioned to work across party lines. "We don't need a pedophile in there," Brown added.

She was among more than two dozen people queued up in the chilly morning air at Legion Field, a predominantly black precinct in Birmingham, to cast their ballots. Al Bright, 63, who does refrigeration repair, said he voted for Moore.

"Regardless of the allegations against him, I believe he is an honorable man," Bright said.

Mary Multrie, 69, who works in a children's hospital, disagreed.

"He's not a truthful man," 69-year-old Mary Multrie said of Moore. Multrie wasn't influenced by accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore, she said, because she already did not like him. "He talks about God, but you don't see God in his actions."

Moore, who largely avoided public events in the final weeks of the race and spent far less money on advertising than his opponent, bet big — and lost — on the state's traditional Republican leanings and the strength of his passionate evangelical Christian supporters.

He sidestepped questions about sexual misconduct as he arrived at his polling place on horseback.

Democrats were not supposed to have a chance in Alabama, one of the most Republican-leaning states in the nation. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton here by nearly 28 points just 13 months ago. Yet Moore had political baggage that repelled some moderate Republicans even before allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

Virtually the entire Republican establishment, Trump included, supported Moore's primary opponent, Sen. Luther Strange in September. Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was one of the only early high-profile Moore backers.

Moore was removed from his position as state Supreme Court chief justice the first time after he refused to remove a boulder-sized Ten Commandments monument at the state court building. The second time, he was permanently suspended for urging state probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In his final pitch before polls opened across the state, Jones called the choice a "crossroads" and asked that "decency" prevail.

"We've had this history in the past, going down the road that ... has not been productive," Jones said. "We've lagged behind in industry. We've lagged behind in education. We've lagged behind in health care. It's time we take the road that's going to get us on the path to progress."

Comments

Chris Anderson

Repubilcan?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Bob Summers

Liberal elitist.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

That's right. Doug Jones is better than Roy Moore, and the people who voted for Moore are better than those who voted for Moore.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Even the majority of Alabaman's can see what a lot of posters on this site can't:

The GOP is morally bankrupt and sane people are over it.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

It is horribly unfair to say that this is a GOP problem. What about Anthony Wiener? Conyers? Al Franken? The Clintons? You can find dirt on either side of the aisle so to say that just the GOP is morally bankrupt is a farce.

6 months, 1 week ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

Well, at least the Democrats cleaned house. The Republicans have yet to clear out the one at the top, who also has a history of sexual harassment.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

You really think Democrats cleaned house? Only a few counts of sexual harassment in the entire Democrat delegation? I highly doubt it. Not saying that there are not more on the other side of the aisle but do not come at me like a saint because your party got a few people to step down. The problem is embedded in your party and has been there since as long as I can remember. Let us not also forget about the many Hollywood leftists who have yet to be caught. Cleaned house my a**

6 months, 1 week ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

My, my,my. Getting a little testy aren't we,?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

No, it's not a farce, Josh. Name a Dem who is in favor of letting CHIP fail, of essentially raising taxes on the lower an middle classes for the benefit of the ultra-rich, of trying over and ever again to kill access to health insurance for lower-income people. I could go on and on, Josh, but the essential truth is that the Dems are in favor of ALL the people prospering and the Regressives are in favor of the very few, having convinced themselves that the very rich will make things Utopian for the working class. That isn't an unfair telling of the truth, and you and yours would do well to stop parroting Regressive talking points that lead invariably to what I just wrote.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

So I am parroting regressive talking points and you use the Democrats biggest talking points when you say the tax plan is raising taxes on lower income and middle class? 7 out of 10 people will see a tax break with the new plan. In case you want to accuse me of lying again, I can provide sources if need be.

The problem with you is that you think prospering is handing out billions of dollars to people and I think prospering is putting them in a climate to be self sufficient.

Lastly, because I am completely sick of you, I think it is funny that you act as if your post had any effect on me. I do not care if I say something that leads to what you write because your opinion is full of garbage

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

"7 out of 10 people will see a tax break with the new plan. In case you want to accuse me of lying again, I can provide sources if need be." At no point was I accusing you of lying in your post. The problem, Josh, is that you didn't go far enough into your "research". As it stands right now (subject to revision, I know) the individual tax cuts phase out over ten years. Ergo, the middle class gains a tax increase. Fact.

"I do not care if I say something that leads to what you write because my opinion is full of garbage." There. I fixed that last statement for you. And I have no illusion that anything I say has any effect on you. You have shown again and again that you have no ability to think things through or to actually address facts, and maybe someone else will see my words and take the time to find the truth. That's why we post, Josh, as a part of a conversation that might lead to an informed electorate. I don't give a tinker's dam whether you change your mind or not, but I will never give up hope for you.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

We are here to address facts and yet all I ever see from you is denial of everyone else's opinion. And unless you have read the tax bills, you have no idea what you are talking about. Let us not also forget that they are currently resolving both versions of the bill into a completed version so you literally have no idea what the bill will do 10 years from now. Get off your high horse and sell some cars.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

You are ignoring the fact that they are following on the same failed experiment that almost did in Kansas. There will be a bubble of short term growth that will make the rich richer, and very little trickle down, then a crash, which those with a lot of money will ride out easily, but will further destroy the middle class. The bigger the gap and the smaller the middle class the more unstable our country will become. But is that the plan? Nast little dictators like to step into unstable times.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

Actually that is what the Democrats wants everyone to believe. Truth is that nobody has their taxes cut to zero like in Kansas with the llc's. There are many reasons why the tax cuts did not work as quickly in Kansas but to say that the folks in D.C. copied the same Kansas plan is horribly ignorant. Besides, you would be getting a tax cut Dorothy so I am not sure what you are arguing about. You are arguing that you want to pay more money?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

Kevin, you are getting perilously close to agreeing with me, I'm afraid. The diminishing tax break for the lower and middle income classes was, indeed, a part of the original bill. It may well be negotiated out. But, at the time of this writing, it has not been taken out. So, my "opinion" is based on a FACT that you conveniently ignore or interpret as you see fit to fit snugly within your Regressive notions of right and wrong, as evidenced by your posts. Have you read the tax bill? Thought not, as your defense of it goes to the heart of Regressive "news" outlets and leaves no room for facts to the contrary.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

No, I don't deny "everyone else's" opinion. Only those who exhibit stubbornness in really researching the facts of which they speak. Like, oh, you. There are many here who say and write things I agree with, and others who express a differing opinion. You just happen not to be one of those. If you want to read only stuff that agrees with you, go to Breitbart, Fox News, or start you own opinion rag. Won't bother me a bit.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Calvin Anders

Wow, somehow Alabama is smart enough to keep from electing a horrible sex offender but the US is not able to avoid electing one for President. I guess we have to stop joking about what backward racists they are in Alabama. They actually made a sane choice.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

Let's hope Kansans make a sane choice in next year's elections. It's not like we are immune from being targeted with jokes about our backwardness. If Kobach is the GOP nominee, all you have there is Roy Moore's ideology presented with articulate slickness. Kobach is Bannon's boy, all the way.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Good for Alabama. It was close though. Now the Moore supporters can keep Moore in the state, and he won't be moving to DC.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Richard Neuschafer

It's about time that one of these phony Christians went down. He doesn't walk the talk. Now I wish that this would sink in to his supporters. Moore isn't much different than Jim Jones and David Koresh were. This cult mentality has to be broken. These people are doing much more harm than good. And people had better wake up regarding Ted Cruz and the other phonies who hide their hideous actions and beliefs behind Christianity.

Kansas doesn't have any good representatives or senators at the federal level. All are have been bought off like prostitutes. Voters need to pull their heads out and get them out of office.

And shut off Fox "News," Rush Blowhard, and the other BS artists. And forget about getting any truth from Freitfart, Alex Jones, Pat Robertson, and other extremist, power-hungry, greedy sources.

Most Kansans have come out of their sleep with Brownback. But, too many still have the wool over their eyes about Colyer, Kobach, Pyle, Wagle, Barker, Masterson, and these other fat cat-owned slimeballs that are ruining the state. Just because they have an "R" next to their name it doesn't mean that they are good. People are terrible at checking out candidates before voting.

I have a lot more to say. But, I'll leave it at that for now.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Gary Stussie

"This cult mentality has to be broken."

Exclusivism - Cults often believe that they alone have the truth.

Opposition to Independent Thinking - Some cultic groups discourage members from thinking independently.

Lefties are the posted children for cult mentality and you, Sir, seem to be Exhibit A.

"shut off Fox "News," ... No room for any opposing views?

Compare and contrast FOX and the other media sources for a couple of days ... you will be amazed at the difference in content and the outrageous bias becomes so very clear.

Harvard University Study - The worst two U.S. offenders were CNN, publisher of many fake news stories about Trump, and NBC (not counting the outright liberal lunacy of MSNBC); these two outlets portrayed Trump and his administration in a negative light 93 percent of the time.

According to a chart published by researchers:

— CBS coverage of Trump was negative 91 percent of the time

— The New York Times was negative 87 percent of the time (why does that seem low?)

— The Washington Post negative 83 percent of the time (again…)

— The Wall Street Journal, which was generally considered to be moderate-to-right leaning, at least on the editorial page, covered Trump negatively 70 percent of the time.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Chris Bohling

When you're talking about a person who consistently does and says vile and mean-spirited things like Trump does, the majority of the coverage is going to be negative.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Gary Stussie

When a pack of hyenas constantly nip at the hind-end of a lion, can you blame the lion from slamming them? I have not seen President Trump maliciously attack anyone that did not initiate the attack.

Note" Everyone has big concerns about Russian collusion ...DEMs think they helped Trump, REPs think they were working with HRC. I think they accomplished their objective (diverting the government's attention and undermining whomever got elected as POTUS) as they currently have 2/3rds of the Congress and government engaged in conflicting investigations!

6 months, 1 week ago

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Gary Stussie

The guy could discover the cure for cancer and you butt-hurt liberals would cover his hair color!

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

We'll never find out if that's true, Gary, because Trump couldn't even discover a way to get his own Congressional majority to fix "Obamacare" after promising he would, over and over again.

You can feel sorry for Trump all you want, but he brings it on all himself. I'll give him credit, though, he handled the thrashing that he and Bannon and Moore got in Alabama in a somewhat mature way. Much, much better than Roy did, but that's not saying a whole lot.

Your side loves to tell other people that they need to take personal responsibility for their actions, especially when someone's on food stamps or Medicaid, but when it comes to owning up to the mistakes of your boy in the White House it's always, always someone else's fault--and then you go calling other people "butt-hurt." No wonder you like Trump.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Richard Neuschafer

Thanks for being an example of the typical brainwashed idiot that I wrote about, Gary. Everything you posted is false.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

Keep in mind that this victory was not a mandate in any way for the Democratic Party. It was a hard-fought battle between ideologies tainted by apparent moral turpitude. A great many Alabama voters indicated that they still were in favor of "The Judge" regardless of his moral, political, and legal shortcomings. It is awesome that the state saw fit to elect Jones, but it's still necessary that other races in other states be decided by rational thought and for the good of the entire nation from here on out. And each and every one of us needs to make more effort to be informed as to the truth of any political claim, else we fall into the trap of electing ideologues who have nothing but interest in special groups rather than for all of us.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/1...

It appears Alabama just elected and ideologue with interests in special groups. Doug Jones is nothing more than a pawn put into office by the big wigs who you claim to hate so much. I am not endorsing Moore at all and I am glad he lost but let's not pretend like this guy, who was appointed a U.S. Attorney by Bill Clinton, is anything different than the norm. He has proven he will be a "yes" man for Schumer and will only get more corrupt with every day he spends in D.C.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

I didn't say I hated anyone, and I don't. But I reserve the right to hate some things some people do or stand for. That Jones got a lot of money from someone is a problem with all politicians in terms of how our system works, but, in the end, the voters had to make individual decisions, and this election turned out differently than the Regressives envisioned. And I think you make a gigantic leap of "logic" by pedicting his allegiance and corruption. Time, though, will tell, as it always does.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

A Republican runs for office in Kansas and is immediately labeled a Koch person. It is the same leap in logic as saying this guy has been bought because a big portion of his funds were from the Democrats version of the Koch brothers. If this is a leap in logic then look to your own on this board.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

No they are not. Do you think we are that stupid? We know who the moderate real Republicans are compared to the radical Republicans, who are funded by the Kochs and whose strings are pulled by ALEC.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

To answer your question, I am unsure as to the level of your intelligence Dorothy.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

And you, Josh, rank me for denigrating individuals? Pot, meet kettle. Besides which, what has her intelligence level got to do with her post? You just don't get it, do you?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Bob Smith

It's amazing what a candidate can do when every media outlet in the country is cheering him on.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

I don't think it was the media cheering Jones on so much as the media making a point of how unfit Moore has shown himself to be in upholding the Constitution. Yes, there was a ton of media that, in the final analysis, showed Moore to be just what he is and a great portion of the Alabama citizenry took that to heart. That's is why voters must be able to get all the information they can, factual and non-factual, to make a decision that benefits the rest of the citizens. Moore was not able to put forth enough of his drivel to convince the voters to elect him. And that is as it should be. Doesn't always make all of us happy, but that's the rules and we've gotta live with them.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

No, the media outlets you like (for example, Breitbart and Daily Caller and FOX) cheered on Moore, and they are powerful media outlets, too.

It's amazing what people can do when they organize to vote for the better man and take a stand against outsiders like Donald Trump and Steve Bannon telling them whom to vote for.

The majority of Alabama voters decided that character matters. Simple as that, and all the sour grapes and snow flaking in the world won't change that reality.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ken Schmidt

Easy, non-partisan way to eliminate 90% of the arguments in government and on these boards. 1.) Enable term limits. (House, 10 years--5 terms / Senate, 12 years--2 terms) 2.) Bring back the DISCLOSE Act of 2010 and furthermore, enable campaign contribution caps.

Members of both parties of congress would *staunchly* oppose this but get PAC and wealthy special interests out of our politics. Allow new ideas to flow into Capitol Hill on a regular basis. We are forced to choose new legislators in party movements which reflect the social norms, ideas and ideals of the electorate at that moment and not those of 20 years+ ago.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Bob Summers

Democrats have lost thousands of seats across American from dog catcher's to Mayoral races to you name it over the last several years.

Good job Ala dad gum bama for giving the congenital Liberal what they so desperately needed.

A victory.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

A short one at that. It took every ounce of their energy just to beat a guy accused of rape. I highly doubt Jones can win again, especially when he will accomplish nothing and fall back on his promise of not being part of the machine.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Bob Summers

Not to mention the fantasies the congenital Liberals had to create to pull their emotionally elite candidate to the finish line.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

No fantasies. Just the reality of the majority of Alabama's voters getting organized and getting to the polls to elect the better man. Call him elite, no problem--he is better than Roy Moore, intellectually, morally, emotionally, any standard you care to name.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Richard Neuschafer

The congenital idiot Bob is at it again.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Ray Mizumura

We know you're upset that your tax dollars won't be going to help pay Moore's US Senate salary, but look on the bright side--there are rumors he'll run for Alabama Governor, or even President. Put your money where your mouth is and help Roy avenge his loss. Maybe he'll let you take a ride on his horsie, too.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Steve Jacob

The problem for the Republicans in 2018 is losing the suburban moderate votes.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

The problem for the Republicans, in my mind, is that they are Republicans of the current ilk. Eisenhower would not recognize or approve of today's iteration of his party.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

And Kennedy would look at Bernie Sanders and Hillary and not laugh as well?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Greg Cooper

Probably so. Times change. But Kennedy, I don't think, ever advocated tax cuts that removed health care, or other stuff that the current proposal does.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Josh Berg

Predicting the future now huh?

6 months, 1 week ago

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Michael Kort

41% of female Alabama voters,actually voted for Roy Moore (?) which proves that you can fool much of the public, most of the time, by lying on stage at public political rallies...........or were they just voting their GREED (?) for the Republican financial promises made to them by Trump and company ?

The GERMANS voted their Greeds and they got HITLER and the destruction of WW2 for their troubles .

Stupid is...... as the deliberate choice of IGNORANCE does.........and to try and wrap that up and sell it as Christianity is DEPLORABLE .

6 months, 1 week ago

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Bob Summers

Case in point this above post. Emotional hypersensitivity symptom of those under the influence of the Liberal gene.

Cool stuff Michael.

ps Oh, and btw, you ever notice today's congenital Liberal, when in a fit of emotional hypersensitivity, indubitably brings up "Hitler". A bloke that had ALL the symptoms of the bona fide congenital Liberal today.

Projecting is another symptom of those under the influence.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Steve King

Gosh Josh. You do know the cuts are for the wealthy so it can "trickel-down" to you. In the meantime you get a little (temporary) cut. Have you forgotten how it worked in 1929? It gave us the Great Depression (The GOP controlled all 3 branches) or how Regan trashed the economy, had to raise taxes 11 times, stole $2.4 Trillion from the SS trust fund? The Bush tax cuts? The Great Recession which started under Bush? Do you remember Brownback doing the same "trickle-down" gag and how it destroyed Kansas economy?

Do you believe letting the coal companies pour their waste into our rivers and streams are going to make America great again? Please please rationalize that decision for us.

6 months, 1 week ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Some of the conservative' favorite conspiracy theorists are trying to say there was cheating, but what's funny is Alabama has strict voting laws, like Kansas. They have to show their picture id. They thought that would stop some people from voting, but they persevered. Some were conveniently dropped from the voting rosters, but they voted provisional and they are following through, making sure that they will be added back to the rosters, and that their vote will count. In the final canvass the gap will be much larger.

6 months, 1 week ago

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