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Question to our California Pards


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This is less political, than you might think, but not living in California, I would like to have some of our California Pards respond. I am tired of rumor, and hearsay, and opinions, of those that do not live there. 

I am sure those of us that do not live there, would like to get ya'lls take on what direction your State is going, and why you think that is.  We all see, on some type of media, how high prices are, and how major corporations are relocating out of the State, and the same folks are being re-elected, over, and over, again, and you have wild-fires at regular intervals during the year, and high taxes, and brown-outs, and such.  

The Pards on here, and the one's I am friends with, that live in California, are such great folks, and I just wonder what their take on things are. 

Frankly, for those of us that don't live there, many things we see and hear, don't make a lot of sense to us. No use getting the information from any sources that don't live there, so that is why I am asking on the Pards that live in California what their take is on all this, and of course, if they have any suggestions to change anything..

Thanks.

W.K.

 

  

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You've got a good handle on how things are here.

 

About fires, we built our house out of Hardie-Board (fiber cement) and the roof is metal. Hubby trenched from our pool to various sprinklers around the house. He installed pumps to pump water from the pool.

 

We live in the country, on 10 acres. We have good neighbors. It is quiet here, minimum property size is 10 acres. (Much more so than 9 blocks from the Capitol in Sacramento. ) It is a red county. Produce may be cheaper than it is in the Midwest. Gas is expensive; but, we have low mileage insurance. So, I guess we're homebodies. We've talked about moving; but, love this place.

 

 

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Politically it's going down the drain,  but there are signs that people are starting to get fed up with some of the garbage. 

 

Wildfires every year,  but that is nothing new. What is different now, I think, is that several things have come together to make them worse in some cases. First is drought,  second is pee-poor wildland management policy brought on by the misanthropic self-styled environmentalists. Tied in with those policies is the fighting against power companies when they try to comply with the law and keep their rights of way clear. Even as the Glass Incident Fire was raging last October idjits over near Sacramento were sitting in trees to keep PG&E from clearing their lines.

 

My view of the Glass Incident Fire about 4 hours before we bugged out.   About 600 yards away.

 

Power outages stem from the same environmental policies.  No significant sources of reliable electricity have been built in decades even as the population has exploded.  Couple that with the screaming that power companies need to Do Something!!!!!! to reduce fire danger and any time that there is low humidity and high winds power may be shut off.

 

On the plus side,  we have some of the most beautiful scenery in the US (i know that will trigger some folks to post the stock photos of San Francisco or LosAngeles...to which I say, Grow the hell up).  

 

We also have some of the best food in the world locally produced.   

 

We don't have the yearly massive flooding,  the yearly tornados, the hurricanes,  the 6 months of ice followed by 6 months of 99 percent humidity.   Or year round 99 percent humidity. 

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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I don't live in California, and the only time I did was for a year as a freshman at Cal in Berkeley in 1966-67. The politics nowadays are too bad, but California used to regularly produce both Dem and GOP governors and senators until recent years.

 

I live in Washington, in the Puget Sound area, extremely beautiful, but when all is said and done, I think that California is the most beautiful single state in the United States. My late uncle had a ranch in the hills in Sonoma, in the Russian River country. Redwoods in the draws, oaks and California buckeyes in the uplands. Rugged and spectacular. 

The East Bay; oaks in the draws, grasslands above.

 

Walk around old Pasadena and see the bouganvilla climbing the stuccoed houses....paradise.

 

The gold country in the Sierra foothills from Colona to Jackson; the Central Valley-- the richest farmland in the nation.

 

I never tire of San Francisco; I still get there every few years. Unlike many cities, the old SF still exists alongside the new. When I go, I go back into the past. Tadich for lunch, walk Chinatown, a drink at the Fairmont, a cocktail at the Top of the Mark, dinner at Alioto's....

 

In so many cities, Seattle included, the past is gone. In SF, it's never left, even though the new is everywhere. Lefty O'Doul's has closed, though, as has Spenger's in Berkeley alas....

 

Anyway, I love it there. But I'll still live here....

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Well, I live here but it’s definitely not ‘my state’. It stopped being that long ago. We only moved here this time to be closer to our daughter, son-in-law and grandson and to put 4 more years on my retirement fund. 
 

If you didn’t watch the news or read the papers you’d really never even know that anything was out of the ordinary except for all the people wearing masks. 
 

The cost of living is high here. People say the weather is worth the money it costs to live here. The weather is really nice but the shine’s been knocked off by regulations, silly laws, fees and costs for pretty much everything. People that have never lived anywhere but here are like frogs in a pot of hot water that’s getting ever hotter. 
 

Nearly everything is taxed here. Sales tax runs from 8% to over 10.25% in some counties. Cell phone bills, utility bills, car registrations, smog checks have multiple taxes and fees associated with them. These bills are 10-20% higher because of this. When the rest of the nation spends $1.60 per gallon for gas ours is nearly double in some locations and even higher in others. 
 

You can hardly find recreation here that doesn’t cost you something. Go to a park, there’s a fee to park. Go to the beach, there’s fees to enter the state and county beaches or you have to pay to park. Want to go to a state or national forest, pay for wilderness pass fees. Want to launch a boat, pay excessive launch fees. Want to hunt or fish, pay exorbitant fees then deal with hundreds of regulations. 
 

I have moved here 4 different times. Yes, I am insane... Each time I have found it more and more oppressive financially. But, the folks that live here and have never left see all this as normal. That’s obvious, or they wouldn’t vote the way they do. It’s not that they are dumb. They are just ignorant. They just do not know what freedom or free thinking is. I do not mean that in a disparaging way. It’s just the way I see it or the only way I can fathom why things are the way they are. 
 

In two years I will leave here unless something glorious or awful occurs to make me leave sooner. Once I leave I will never come back here again. 

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California is a big place, so it depends on where you are talking about. Alli Mo lives in the woods in Northern California, where is it very nice and rural. Pat Riot lives way done below Los Angeles in San Diego, with nice beaches and lot of Navy bases. I live in Silicon valley, where it is very crowded, but it is still light years better than living in Los Angeles, where my wife has lots of relatives. In spite of being a liberal area, there are still at least 5 places I can shoot SASS matches with 90 minutes, with my home range only 20 minutes away.I like to ride motorcycles, so I love the weather here. I don't like that my gun selection to buy is very limited by the state, especially if I want any sort of semi-auto. I have been here, mostly in the SF Bay area, since 1968, and many things have changed, but I am sorta used to things here. But I basically have never lived anywhere else, so I have no comparison. A few years ago I had a list of states I might move to, but in the last election a few of them had gone blue, and my list changed. So, I may stay here forever, it all might depend on where my 2 kids move to when they get out of college, or whether I can even afford to stay after I retire. It is a nice place, for the most part, and I have quite a few nice memories, but it isn't the California I grew up in.

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I live on 3.3 acres outside of a town of about 7,000 in the northern Sacramento valley. My daugters both live within 30 minutes of us with their families, 3 grandsons 6,4 and almost 2. The other states that many have considered moving to are becoming more like California faster then most had anticipated. 

There's various matches every weekend and I've got a good supply of reloading components. 

 

I'd want to move somewhere with at least a few acres, water, not snowed in and freezing, not humid in the summer. It's hard to find places that have nearly everything on your list. Absolutely the politics suck. The counties around me and much of rural California are red but the state with LA and SF have the massive population.

We've got goats, milk goats, layers and meat chickens. Along with a donkey to keep an eye out. I'm not moving away from my grandkids.

If I was quite a bit younger I'd have to figure out somewhere to go.

20201203_120749.jpg

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I agree that politically the state’s not getting any better. We can’t even hunt with bullets containing lead for crying out loud! I’m pretty lucky that we live in rural areas so all of the big city strife doesn’t affect us much and we have decided to avoid the big metro areas like SF, LA ect. The last time I was in SF, the area we used to stay in has become dirty, unsanitary &  just plain disgusting, not to mention dangerous, hence we just quit going.  We discussed moving to another state or maybe getting a house out of state & establish residency there & that’s a viable plan for the future. The things that keeps us here are my children & grandchildren, plus geologically, I can’t think of a better place to be! We have the ocean, mountains, deserts with many interesting places to visit that are all relatively close at hand. I’m reminded of this every week when I road bike down the coast where I live. It’s just so pretty in the area we’re in!
 

Cost of living is high here for sure with all of the taxes & price of property, groceries & things you need for everyday living  but as long as we can afford it, we’re going to stay for awhile. There may come a time when we pull the pin & are forced out if things continue to get worse. Last but not least is the fact that we have an idiot for a governor!

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Geographically, CA is far and away the best state. But in order to bring balance to the universe, God made the politics the absolute worst.

Edited by Tall Tale Todd
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I have always wanted to visit the beautiful state of California, but it has never happen. Selling my place here in Missouri I was thinking of Arizona. I have relatives and friends living in the Cave Creek area. But due to a bit of weather changes along with becoming a blue state I changed my mind. I did advertise my place in the L.A. paper and the older folks that called had mostly lived there all their life. I think those folks really didn't know where Missouri was.

Now to my question. No need to give your income, but I have always wondered around how much income do you really need to live in California? Here in Missouri it is not uncommon for folks to survive on 12 thousand to 24 thousand a year. A very comfortable life as I know it would be over 30 thousand. Now I do understand those living on 100k and way beyond consider anything under 100k as poverty. Just a matter of how you live. Make 100k live on 150k you got problems. Income 30k and live on 28k you are rich. So, what does it take on average to survive comfortably?

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Hi Smoken D,

 

All I will tell you about our income is that I pay in all of the bills when they arrive. We've always saved to buy a car for cash. We paid off our house in Sacramento way before the loans would have been paid. (Then it only cost $28K in 1973. LOL!)

 

We built our new house without incurring debt, except for the kitchen cabinets from Lowes. We used one of those zero interest thingies and transferred to a new credit card when the Lowes thing was due. The new card had zero interest if paid within a year. Lowes also had a special on at that time. If you spent a certain amount or more you got a coupon. I think our coupon was $700 or $800. We used that for the light fixtures. Hubby installed the siding, did the electrical work, installed the trim, and painted the walls. I painted the trim.

 

We never bought anything on credit (other than cards I pay in full when the bill comes) and had no children. Our income is quite a bit less than 100K; but our history makes it livable, even in CA.

 

My key to living comfortably in CA is frugality and don't buy on credit.  I really can't compare our standard of living and income with a norm because we are different from the norm. I do not know what anyone else could live on. 

 

Also, how much you need depends on where you live. SFO and LA are notoriously expensive. I suggest you Google to find the answer. You will need to be more specific.

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All I will say is for what we sold our Ca home for.

We paid cash for our larger-4BR, all brick Missouri home, and have cash left over.

Not hard to see the stupid high costs of liv'n under the suppression of PRK. Then moving to America. 

OLG 

 

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1 hour ago, Smoken D said:

So, what does it take on average to survive comfortably?

In SoCal $100K and a couple are living okay, not going on fancy vacations or driving cool vehicles, just living, paying bills, occasionally eating out or going to movies. 
 

Average rent here $3000 / month

Average home cost $700,000

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20 hours ago, Injun Ryder, SASS #36201L said:

Lived there for 43 years and did not believe that the situation could be changed for the better. :angry:

I was there from 1974 until 2014 when I sold my property and rode out of town.  I've been back only once and see no reason to ever return.

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Our story is similar to Allie Mo. Before I retired I planned to have the house paid off. Eventually refinanced but stayed on my timetable to pay it off and did, earlier actually. Knew we were going to need a new roof and got a metal one installed while I was still working. Cars paid off but getting older and can buy one when needed outright. No credit card debt, monthly charges paid off every month.

 

We live pretty frugally with the exception of my shooting hobby. But I reload everything and am well stocked up at normal prices. We don't go out to eat much and I build most of what we need. We redid our kitchen with us doing most of the work. We did have new cabinets made and replacement doors for the old cabinets. Had stainless steel counters made and installed. My wife loves them.

 

We've tried to demonstrate to our kids to live within their means. Even the best couples will have problems when you can't pay the bills. My wife has a few years left working but we've really taken advantage of her 401k of course depending on what shenanigans occur in the future. Bottom line is that too many people set themselves up with mortgages, car payments and other bills to the point where they will just barely make it if everything goes perfectly. The first bad thing that happens puts them in the hole.

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14 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Pat, you mentioned sales taxes. Is that just the county tax, or the total tax bill? That is, when you buy a $100 widget, what’s the tax added to the bill?

$7.25- $10.25

 

The state base rate is 7.25%. I was mistaken before when I said 8%. Cities and counties can add percentages if approved by voters in that jurisdiction. LA county is a 10% sales tax but LA City is an additional  .25 or .5%.
 

Then we have the income tax...I pay 9.3% Grrrrr....

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2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

In SoCal $100K and a couple are living okay, not going on fancy vacations or driving cool vehicles, just living, paying bills, occasionally eating out or going to movies. 
 

Average rent here $3000 / month

Average home cost $700,000

 

Thanks, guess I'll never be there not on a cop's pension which here in Missouri I'm happy as a lark. I can't even imagine rent at $3000 and don't believe there is any place in the entire Benton County, Mo. at $700,000. Seen some 350,000 to 600, and I only seen one at that 600. I live on a bluff over a large lake, (1 mile across to other side) 3188sf and only $280,000, for sale. California has 840 miles of shoreline. Truman at normal pool has 958 miles and connected to Truman is Lake of the Ozarks which has 1100 miles. At flood stage Truman has over 1400.

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My wife and I get by on my $19/hr and her SS Disability.  Not much extra, but we get by.  Rent for the mobile home pad plus utilities runs to about a grand a month.  Our meds and health insurance run another grand a month.  Then there is food, phone, internet, television, gas for the truck.  

Not wealthy, not weeping. 

 

I just looked it up, and I guess we would be in the "upper, lower income" range, since the sites I looked at have middle income for Sonoma County to be about $65,000.

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

$7.25- $10.25

 

The state base rate is 7.25%. I was mistaken before when I said 8%. Cities and counties can add percentages if approved by voters in that jurisdiction. LA county is a 10% sales tax but LA City is an additional  .25 or .5%.
 

Then we have the income tax...I pay 9.3% Grrrrr....

Thx. Around here (Metro KC) total taxes vary depending on where one shops, from 9+% to just under 12%. Local jurisdictions can raise sales taxes to offset the cost of tax breaks lavished on developers. They have the authority to do so without voter approval. The result is a variable sales tax rate from one shopping center to another. 
 

Overall cost of living is lower, but our Balkanized tax system is maddening. 

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:ph34r:  We moved to Orange Co., So. Cal from Seattle in 1966.  As we crested the Grapevine and descended into the LA basin I told my wife, "Look, dear, we've made it to the land of milk and honey!"  She mentioned the other day that the State must not have liked us coming here....it's gone straight to Hell ever since.

 Escaped OC madness for beach area of San Diego in 1974.  Nice, but still a city and had to look at clock to see if we were actually going to go somewhere of just sit in the vehicle on the freeway in traffic. 

Wound up in the High Desert by accident (planned as a brief stop on our way out of state) and kind of got stuck.  Great place to raise kids, plenty of inexpensive recreation, fantastic motorcycle riding, dedicated CAS range 11 miles from my door, and great people.  About as cheap to live here as anywhere in the state.

8.25% sales tax, business  considered essential so we still are able to work (and deduct), keeping other taxes bearable.  We tell newcomers that while we aren't ACTUALLY at the Ends of the Earth, they CAN be seen from here..... 

Shall issue CCW, lots of local shooters with multiple ranges available, pleasant weather, no hurricanes or tornado worries.  Close enough to large metro medical

facilities and expertise.  Our fuel runs 15 to 20 cents/gallon less than most areas (LA/OC).

Where we are, 40K/year is adequate for comfort, if not lavish stylin'.

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On 1/14/2021 at 7:32 PM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Nearly everything is taxed here. Sales tax runs from 8% to over 10.25% in some counties. Cell phone bills, utility bills, car registrations, smog checks have multiple taxes and fees associated with them. These bills are 10-20% higher because of this. When the rest of the nation spends $1.60 per gallon for gas ours is nearly double in some locations and even higher in others. 

Our (Amador County) sales tax rate was 7.75% (6% state and 1.25% local) in 2020 (and will be the same in 2021). I use a "dumb" prepaid flip phone for which I pay $100 per year ($8.33 1/3 per month). We have central heat and air; but, Hubby burns wood in the cold weather. We have an unlimited supply of free wood.  There are no smog checks in Amador County.

 

I also noticed from the COL Website that I posted a link for, that Fresno and Bakersfield are below the National Average. Both Hubby and I grew up in Fresno County.

 

I concede that the State political situation stinks.

Edited by Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217
smog
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Sales tax in Sonoma County:
 

City Sales Tax Rate Tax Jurisdiction
Santa Rosa 9% Santa Rosa Tourism Business Improvement Area
Petaluma 8.25% Petaluma
Rohnert Park 8.75% Rohnert Park
Sonoma 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Windsor 8.25% Windsor
Sebastopol 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Healdsburg 8.75% Healdsburg
Cloverdale 8.25% Cloverdale
Cotati 9.25% Cotati
Forestville 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Penngrove 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Guerneville 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Glen Ellen 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Boyes Hot Springs 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Geyserville 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Occidental 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Kenwood 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Sebastopol 9% Sebastopol
Bodega Bay 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Graton 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Cazadero 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
El Verano 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Fulton 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Monte Rio 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Vineburg 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
The Sea Ranch 8.25% The Sea Ranch
Bodega 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Jenner 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Eldridge 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Rio Nido 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Annapolis 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Camp Meeker 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Valley Ford 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Rohnert Park 9.25% Cotati
Villa Grande 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Duncans Mills 8.25% Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area
Stewarts Point 8.25% The Sea Ranch
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On 1/14/2021 at 8:25 PM, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

BTW Here are some photos of why I love it here.

 

Front "yard," back yard, my favorite tree, deer, and much much more. I don't think we could find a place that checks all these boxes and is warm enough for Hubby.

 

 

 

 

 

march2020-03.JPG

march2020-01.JPG

Pine Cones.JPG

Deer in Dog House_Cropped.jpg

View out Guest Bathroom.JPG

Checkout my neighborhood.  Four kinds of deer, pronghorn. a few elk, bobcats and cougars, red foxes and coyotes, javelinas, an occasional porcupine, some skunks, birds of every description (Including bald eagles by the hundreds about ten miles form here), lizards and snakes no end, and a few water fown.  There is some decent fishing, mild winters (ususally), summers in the high 90s and once in awhile a day or two above 100.

 

We are about a mile high average in this are, ponderosa forests to the south west, barre desert north, a short 100mile south of here is the Sonoran Desert, and further north are amazing canyons.

 

Taxes are weird, but acceptable.

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I caught part of a tv news story the other day talking about a "Reverse Gold Rush".  Apparently a lot of folks from CA (They called it an "exodus") are moving out and a favorite destination seems to be Missouri.  My first thought was "aw, crap.  There goes the neighborhood."  I can only hope the libs find someplace else, I recommend Illinois, and MO gets more of you folks on the SASS wire.  Apologies to my IL pards.

 

My daughter and son-in-law are in CA.  They should stay.  Their politics fit right in.

 

Angus

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On 1/14/2021 at 8:41 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

On the plus side,  we have some of the most beautiful scenery in the US (i know that will trigger some folks to post the stock photos of San Francisco or LosAngeles...to which I say, Grow the hell up).  

 

We also have some of the best food in the world locally produced.   

 

We don't have the yearly massive flooding,  the yearly tornados, the hurricanes,  the 6 months of ice followed by 6 months of 99 percent humidity.   Or year round 99 percent humidity. 

 

California is a diverse and beautiful state. It is sad what the politicians have done. I have many good memories from the 80s and early 90s. I have not been back since.

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9 minutes ago, Okie Sawbones, SASS #77381 said:

 

California is a diverse and beautiful state. It is sad what the politicians have done. I have many good memories from the 80s and early 90s. I have not been back since.

 

If you search for Geomorphic Provinces of California you can almost see how it could easily be broken into about 6 or 7 sections of economic and political interests. 

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I've looked at just under 200 properties in AZ and NV...
As for fleeing CA.. that ship sailed 20 years ago.

The vast migration from CA, NY, etc is flooding the Red states with Blue puke.
They are increasing the price of housing radically, which is a corresponding increase in property taxes.

Financially we are FAR better off staying in our paid-off home and low property taxes.
Politically, I do believe the rest of the country isn't all that far behind the Communist/Nazi mentality that runs the Blue states.

The Democrat trifecta gives them unlimited power to push their nation-wide agenda with vigor.
I see NV and AZ turning Blue.
I see UT doing a no-bail Catch & Release of that ANTIFA thug who infiltrated the Capitol and screamed BURN THAT SH*T DOWN.

Personally, I think either civil war is coming soon, or total capitulation.

Edited by bgavin
edited for clarity
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