178 Comments
May 28Liked by Jess Piper

With the GOP it's never about protecting life. It's about controlling life, about whose lives are worth more than other lives. They want to keep those in poverty in poverty. They want to control women and take away their choices, birth control is next on the agenda. It's a dehumanizing and disgraceful way to govern.

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May 28·edited May 28

Just whose God is a white supremacist’s anyway?

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May 28·edited May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Read "Toxic Charity" by Robert Lupton. Explains a lot.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Texas here. Seems TX and MO are in a race to win “worst state for women and children”.

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Agree.

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Add Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and more states.

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And Iowa. They are going to shut down the Rape Victim Advocacy Program at the University of Iowa and likely replace it with a right-wing "Christian" program that won't give women all of their options.

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Disgusting. At least we have 34 guilty convictions as a battle victory but as we know, winning a battle does not mean winning the war.

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No, and the media reported Trump was angry as he left the courtroom. I watched it live, and he looked broken. Weak. Same old dull talking points...and as far as I can tell that isn't being reported. I thought he looked pathetic.

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He's been looking terrible lately.

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But why don't the media say that?

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Having always been a broken person of weakness and false bravado, I expect him to act out even more irrationally, if that is even possible.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

I live in South Carolina, we are definitely in contention for "Worst..." Republicans in total power for 20 years.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

second that!

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Central CA right behind you- if not for the big cities and non-maggat voters...-shudder-

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Don't forget Kansas. We definitely in the running for "worst state".

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Sam Brownback's legacy.

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It's infuriating. I like Kansas...but the vile GOP and the Xtian right have just ruined it for me.

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Considering Musk's name change of the social media platform he ruined, I had to think twice what Xtian meant! Unfortunately, it works either way you think about it.

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Unfortunately, I feel the same way about Missouri

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At least you have Laura Kelly right now. But is she pretty much toothless, with a Republican Legislature who can overrule her?

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GA as well. Billions in surplus but no money for expanding Medicaid, worst mortality rate for women and infants and on and on. And so we fight, resist, vote, donate. Thank you Jess and everyone out there working to save our children and our democracy!

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Don’t forget about Alabama. I believe we’re in the running too. Not a race I want to win, but a race nonetheless.

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You actually might be winning

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😭

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Cat, Texas will flip blue…it’s keeps getting closer. I had hoped Beto was going to make it. But once we win in Nov and get real progressives in, we can address the monopolization of right wing billionaires owning the media. It has become a dangerous propaganda machine for trump et al.

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Indeed we hope it turns a corner, it’s simply a non voting state. I’m moving to NM asap. The triumvirate of evil sits in charge and Tim Dunn billionaire radical religious nut job literally owns the state lege. Disappointed in the primary results for senate, but hey, if Colin can win, I’m all for it. Beto is the best 💙

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We live in New Mexico and we love it and we love our governor. She ain’t perfect, but she’s pretty wonderful.

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Love NM too. What do you think the chances are that NM flips to Red at some point in the future? Just how Blue of a state is it? I’m in Austin with a transgender teen and I’m just so sick of Texas politics, along with the now-overcrowded and very not weird Austin of today. It upsets me to no end, and I’m tired of being upset 24/7. Anyone got land on Mars they’d be willing to sell?

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Good to hear! We look forward to getting settled there 💙

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🙏🏻

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Nebraska hanging by a thread.

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Iowa here. Florida, Iowa, Texas AND Missouri are all in a race to the bottom and trying to see who can get there fastest. I swear Greg Abbott, Kim Reynolds and Ron DeSantis are constantly trying to outdo each other with each law they enact. It's sickening.

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Ohio’s GOP are working overtime to be contenders for worst.

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I think all red states are trying…

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Minnesota does universal breakfast and lunch. It’s common sense and yes, very much supportive of children. It’s disgusting that it requires a democratic trifecta to get that done these days.

Don’t forget that Missouri refused expanded Medicaid despite billions in bonuses during the first two years of Biden, and tried to sandbag the voter expansion even still. Ugh!

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I will never forget what they did when we passed Medicaid expansion...they said "okay, but you didn't tell us to fund it." Ughhhhh!

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Insanity given how much extra they got for setting it up and how much money it saves if it’s properly funded! Ugh! So frustrating and cruel.

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Scum all politicians.

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Most red states did, IIRC

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May 28·edited May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Illinois here.

I very much want all students to receive a nutritious lunch -- and it should be paid for the same way the books and desks are paid for. There should be no two-tier options for rich or poor. If all kids are given the same good food, there's no shame for the ones who cannot afford it.

Now, having said this, may I tell a funny story? When my son was in elementary school, he began pocketing the lunch money I sent and accepting a free peanut butter sandwich each day instead. He loves peanut butter and was happy with this arrangement.

This went on for some time before I found out. I was MORTIFIED. Yes, I was a struggling single mom, and we didn't quite qualify for free or reduced lunches, but I always found the money to feed my kids! What did the school think of me? My daughter always had money for lunch but my son did not! I put a stop to it but my son was disappointed. "But Mom, you don't have to pay! They'll give you a sandwich for FREE!"

He is grown up now and still has trouble spending money even though he has a stable job and could afford to loosen up a bit. He saves money like mad. Some of this is the legacy of him growing up in a household that struggled. That part of it isn't funny at all, but I know where he got it -- I'm the same way.

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Not willing to spend money can be a virtue if not carried to extremes...I have a grandson who shares that. When I was a kid we apparently didn't have a lot of money, although my dad was a CPA and employed. The lunch my mother prepared for me--my parochial school didn't have a lunch program--consisted of Hellman's sandwich spread and nothing more. I liked it and didn't give it a second thought. Fast forward decades. We were looking for a boarding school for my high school aged son, and the school he liked (they would let him have his gerbil) had a two-tier system whereby students getting tuition assistance would do work jobs and the rest didn't. We didn't send him there. That may be why your story resonated with me.

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That's funny. My mother always made and packed our school lunches (1950s Canada). We also had very little money, and one of our sandwich options was "sandwich spread" as well. Most folks I knew at the time were not well-off, but there was always enough to make sure every child in the family had a lunch. There were no lunch programs. Obviously, low income people have become poorer since then. It may be wages; it may be the need to allocate income in different ways; ie: cell phones, cost of rent/mortgages etc.

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Although this isn't the cause of poverty by a long shot, a lot of low income folks also make very unwise money decisions. When I worked a season at H&R Block, a lot of lower income people, in addition to not doing easy tax returns themselves, would go for "refund anticipation loans." If you had a huge refund (which they never did) the flat fee Block would charge was negligible. But if you had a small refund, the % you were paying was very, very high. We couldn't give them advice, but even when I did anyway they would still take the loan so they could buy a stereo or something. Didn't want to wait. It was never for food or clothes. It was so depressing I quit and moved on.

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I agree that taking a refund anticipation loan is a very bad idea. However, I take issue with the idea that poor people make worse money decisions than wealthier people. I see wealthy people blow a LOT of money on very dumb things -- luxury vehicles, designer purses and clothing, that sort of thing. Nobody needs such things, but people tend not to judge wealthy people for indulging in them. I can imagine if you have few small pleasures in life, getting something like a stereo with your refund each year could seem like a well-deserved highlight.

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Also, remember "wealthy people" who make those types of purchases might very well be making them on credit cards - which they have access to because of their wealth but they're taking a loan in another way... Poor people can't get as much credit to rack up.. :/

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Beg to differ. Have a compulsive spender relative. It's nearly impossible to keep them from getting a credit card and running it up. Despite their abysmal credit they get constant offers of credit cards in the mail, for relatively small amounts, and apply and get the cards, then immediately spend to the cap on things like telephone psychics, and online CBD oil products. They are judgement proof at this point, with no assets, destitute, and living with relatives, but this continues to happen despite careful efforts to monitor their mail.

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Wealthy people can absorb a lot of stupidity before they start to feel the pinch, unfortunately.

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My son and I carry this to extremes. I'm really trying to do better, and I'm encouraging my son to be willing to spend money on necessary items that he can well afford (like basic clothing to replace worn-out stuff). Last week two of my European husband's siblings came to visit us, and they wanted to go shopping, because many things are cheaper here. My husband and I never go shopping for anything but groceries or specific items we need, like home repair items etc. I didn't really want to go shopping but we found a really good sale, and my husband and I both ended up buying some new, inexpensive clothing. We should have updated our wardrobes a long time ago, but are always so cheap. It comes from years of not being able to afford anything but the bare necessities. If my book continues to do well I'll think about some new shoes next!

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My wife hates shopping, but will do online. Europeans tend to dress better than we do, as I'm sure you are well aware!

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My BIL actually wore a scarf with his shorts and shirt, and it looked good. That is something we do not often see in my small town! I've never been able to pull off a scarf. I try occasionally but tend to take it off, feeling it just doesn't look right on me.

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I don't feel comfortable going out in shorts. That's because I spent so many years in places like Africa and India, where only "small boys" (meaning menials) wore them. Now I'm too old to even think about it! I'm sure your BIL carried it off very well though.

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when I was in 6th grade, my folks divorced. since the last 2 babies were "irish twins" still in diapers, and childcare for 2 infants and 2 elementary kids was unaffordable even then, mom was a SAHM. dad left us with no $$, no water, gas (hot water), fuel oil(heat) electric--in january no less. he just plunked a 19 yo Bleach blonde with a 4yo son on his Harley n split for sunny CA. that left us on ADC and foodstamps. my sister n I were lucky to get free lunch, but in 6th grade, free lunch girls had to serve in the cafeteria and boys help the custodian. several classmates, one in particular bullied me over it. I complained to my mom, who told me, "there's no such thing as a free lunch. do everything those ladies tell you, and serve that girl with a smile or it's your ass when you get home" to this day I wouldn't piss on that girl to out her out if she was on fire--- trash, just trash.

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Jess you give me hope. Please stay safe as you fight the good fight. You are a jewel in MO.

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Absolutely a disgrace. It reminds me of that line in Sir Thomas More's "Utopia": "For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them."

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Vote against republicans in EVERY election until they KNOW that we will NOT put up with their cruelty.

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I’m happy to vote against republicans, but apparently, they don’t even know they’re selfish and cruel. As long as they stay in power, they’ll do just about anything. And if enough people vote against them, they’ll start all kinds of mayhem.

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That's sad!! But, still, vote against them!!!

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Oh, I will!! Always do!

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May 28·edited May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Correct me if I’m wrong, Jess, but my assumption is that the troglodytes in the Missouri legislature point to the surplus billions Missouri has, as proof of the fantastic job of governing they are doing. Meanwhile, the quality of life in their state is getting deeper and deeper into the shit zone. I cannot make it make any kind of sense.

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Yup

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We must be sharing troglodytes, because we also have a budget surplus up here in Iowa, and our Republican governor and Supermajority aren't shy about flaunting it. All the while they cut public school funding. Again. And then give vouchers of public money to parents of kids attending private school. Parents who can well afford to pay tuition.

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Running surpluses while schools are falling apart and children without lunch money go hungry? If I live to be 1000, I’ll never understand why these regressive policy makers keep winning elections. This should be a major scandal, and it seems like the majority of voters in these red states, couldn’t care less. Damn.

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I think the majority do care. We just fell asleep at the wheel as the GOP slowly & surely took over. Now they are supported by the Supreme Court to gerrymandering State districts, so even if the majority vote, we can't win. It will take a fee generations to turn this around, but it's our duty to start!

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Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned from reading Jess Piper’s posts, Is that every elective office matters. I believe the regressives built their base by contesting every race. It didn’t matter if they had no chance to win. It didn’t matter if the election was for Dogcatcher, or Mine Inspector, or Justice of the Peace, they had the persistence and fortitude to build their base and fight for everything. I can only hope those of us who call ourselves “Progressives” can summon up the will to do the same.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Tennessee here. We have similar issues with our "super" GOP government. It saddens me how petty these pro-life, self-righteous, wicked folk choose to behave.😖😢

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

I couldn't click "like," for I certainly don't like what you said about Missouri kids suffering under a GOP supermajority. But I like that you said it and how well you said it. When are the people in rural Missouri going to wake up??

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Like means you appreciate the writing and the points being made. It doesn't mean you like the bad stuff being discussed. Jess always deserves a "Like."

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Begs a few questions, doesn't it? Why are Republicans loathe to help low income people? Why do they think poverty is a moral failing? Where are the voters who put these monsters in office? Why do people not get the hell out of Missouri? I despair over this country sometimes.

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I think it's pure resentment that comes from Reagan who called single mothers "welfare queens." The message that everyone can succeed in America is bullshit, but even Biden still parrots it. Instead, there's a lot of suspicion directed at people who appear "able bodied" even though it's hard to make a decent living anymore without a college education.

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President Biden isn't "parroting" meritocracy. He is trying against GOP pushback to fund supports for people in poverty to help them "make it." He says folks have capacity to "succeed" if they are supported in their efforts. Just like wealthy people are. We are all better off when we take care of each other. President Biden is working towards those ends. God knows we need him foe the next term of office.

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No, my dear. The "American dream" myth is still alive. That myth says anyone can succeed if they have the guts and determination to do so. It's just not true and never will be.

You clearly took my comment to mean something different. People's chances of success are always greater when they have help, but that's not the same as the myth which says America is the land where everybody succeeds.

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Bootstrap mentality. The idea that a person should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, without needing any kind of assistance while trying to better themselves.

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Another myth of the past that never really lived up to the hype, but is now accepted as gospel by the willfully deluded. Even the pioneers needed community to make it work, trade, people sharing exchanges of skills, a large family so you could add the kids to your workforce. Then the further you get into modern times the more misleading that myth became, until now it's virtually impossible to bootstrap because the system is so heavily weighted against it.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

I had no idea the lead positivity level was so high. That's unconscionable! Not that any of the rest of it is acceptable, but that one actually shocked me. SMDH.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

It’s part of the GOP plan. No prenatal care, no food, (chew a windowsill for some tasty lead) sit in a classroom with outdated books, and wonder why we don’t see higher graduation rates.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Still strange to me how concerned the GOP/MAGA is for a child prior to birth and unconcerned they are after the child is born!!!! Hypocrisy on steroids!

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Once again Missouri rises to the top, or should I say sinks to the bottom, of caring for and providing for it’s citizens. How can anyone, anywhere deny free breakfast and lunches to all children? Disgraceful. I hope your Substack gets out to everyone in Missouri and they think before they vote. I know a few Missourians who know nothing about what’s going on in their state which leads me to wonder if they even care. Just because I “don’t have a child in school, or a daughter who might need an abortion” attitude is no excuse for not staying informed. Remember the greater good? I no longer think anyone cares about others as long as they themselves are doing well. And I know persons who feel this way…..all republicans by the way.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

Just the idea of school lunch debt fills me with despair. My son had a medical bill go to collections, and it is in HIS name, not mine. How can that be? Pediatric urgent care centers are a scam, we have Medicaid for him and I just got insurance through my job. They still want their money, and I will pay it, but it is infuriating that they can saddle a 12-year-old boy with medical debt. I am going to write a letter to Elizabeth Warren about it, she will also be infuriated on my behalf. Can we not all agree that it is wrong to indebt children? Apparently not.

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May 28Liked by Jess Piper

I felt intense relief when I found out the summer school my kid will go to is free breakfast and lunch. It’s close to $5 (x19 days)… so just about $100 I’ve saved! Only one of my 5 kids is attending summer school, but if they all were… ouch! That’s a lot of money!

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