When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

(The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry)

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A few hours ago I wrote to my TX state representative about being on the right side of history and defending democracy by voting against the voter suppression bills. My promise to him is that I will not vote for any candidates with a R by their name name at all levels up and down ballot. Next I wrote to consumer services at Coca-Cola to to thank them for supporting their consumers and democracy. Finally I wrote directly to Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, again in gratitude for his support of voting rights and asking that Dell not donate to anyone that doesn't support and doesn't vote for SB1 the For the People Act. I encourage everyone to write to the companies and your elected officials to put pressure on those sponsoring voter suppression bills across the country. We need to put together a list of the contact emails and phone numbers for these corporations. We the People, All of Us This Time!

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Republicans are telling us a couple of things, by their actions. One is that they know they’re a minority party, if everyone votes. There aren’t enough bigoted, evangelical white guys without college degrees to win free and fair elections in most places. That they respond to that problem by suppressing the minority and youth vote, rather than changing their platform, tells us the second thing. Which is that they are hostage to their deplorables. Republicans fear that if they modify their platform to support popular positions (like citizenship for Dreamers, or sensible support for immigration, or gun control, or support for minority and gay rights, or addressing climate change, or expanding healthcare) they’ll lose their deplorable base. If this GOP dilemma was just a theatrical production on Fox News, we could make some popcorn, put up our feet and watch. But Republicans are determined to drag the country down with them, rather than change. That is neither funny, or amusing.

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It seems to me that Republican claims that more voter participation in elections will “disadvantage Republicans” at the polls is a tacit acknowledgement that they are very unpopular with a significant number of voters. Shouldn’t it be self-evident that they should therefore promote government policies that would appeal to a significant number of voters? Isn’t that the foundational principle of democracy we were taught in oh, the third or fourth grade?

Ignoring that basic principle, the Republican Party claims a legal right to suppress the vote in order to avoid their acknowledged electoral disfavor.

Wouldn’t this cognitive dissonance be obvious to any judge presented with a legal challenge to voter suppression legislation?

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You know what's going to annul the Georgia voter suppression initiative? When the University of Georgia's football program can't recruit the athletes it needs to field a first-class team. Says a great deal about many things, but it's the absolute truth. Watch and see.

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Such a flurry of news at the end of a week dominated by Derek Chauvin's trial and the horror scenes that led to George Floyd's tragic murder. Thank you, Prof. HCR, for putting in these extra hours of writing to bring us up to par with all these events! You deserve a medal for your considerate determination to give the daily socio-political outcomes your very best historical overview. You never disappoint! More than that, you highlight the most significant issues that we, as historical witnesses, should not neglect.

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I would like the narrative to be reshaped a bit so we can truly and proudly own it. Instead of calling it “cancel culture and woke political activists” call it "consequence culture and woke Americans." I am proud that this is what is happening in our country!

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I'm thinking back to one of Jon Stewart's appearances on the Fox network, probably around 2004-5. I think he appeared more than once. He tells the hosts, "You're hurting America." Truer words were never spoken.

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Thank you, Professor Richardson.

So much afoot, too much to follow.

A bit weary, worry and uncertainty here on the other side of the pond.

Numbers rising and a slow, slow hiccupping rollout of the precious medicines.

This morning a vaccine lottery for my age cohort, that in one minute – one minute – was over-subscribed. And so, we wait.

Off to water the garden now, to spread seeds for bee-friendly flowers.

And wait – a better wait – for them to rise.

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I called Governor Kemp’s office and spoke with the same young woman that I normally reach. My comment this time mainly was about Brian saying that “we will not be bullied”. His idol is a bully and his bill is full of Bull! Sad that out city has to be hurt financially by these hate mongers with no policies of their on. I love and am proud of my state. We only have left to remove these cancers of division from our capitol. We will then begin and continue to lead the south in growth and opportunity for ALL.

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This may be the saddest commentary yet on the dismal state of the Republican Party:

“... the rise of the internet meant that by 2010, Republican lawmakers were taking their orders from internet media websites and the Fox News Channel, their only aim to keep viewers engaged and cash flowing.”

It helps explains why the GOP has totally abandoned their own conservative principles. It’s the means by which corrupt media savvy twerps like Matt Graetz and deranged conspiracy nuts like Marjorie Taylor Green have become the party’s leading lights.

And why we see Republicans engaged in heavy handed attacks on their own corporate supporters.

It’s hard to imagine where this will all lead.

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Quote of the week goes to John Boehner.

[begin quote from review]

Boehner tried to "explain how to actually get things done" to new members, but a "lot of that went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn't have brains that got in the way."

[end quote]

Boehner is referring to new Republican politicians from the 2010 midterms.

This short but sweet review of a Salon article about Boner’s, uh Boehner’s new book is highly entertaining and highly recommended. I’m not quoting it all here, don’t want to deprive anyone of this fun.


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Good morning, Heather. Much news in your letter. 19 phone calls between Oath Keepers speaks volumes about the instigation and management of the Capitol insurrection. Thank you for the news summaries.

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I intuitively thought that the MLB decision was "courageous" as I had an image of the baseball fan that might put the game largely in the Republicans' lap.....so I did a bit of research on google. Surprised I was with the result too.... so I thought I'd offer up a few little nuggets:

........The game's audience is in decline these last twelve years at home but growing abroad ( Japan, Mexico)

........The games revenues are increasing and far outwiegh the other sports at over $10B in 2019

and so it is advancing uniquely by increasing prices and broadcasting rights.

........In 2018 over 23% of the population are said to have attended at least one game against only 12% for any other stick and/or ball game

.........The gender split of spectators was male dominated 70-30 in 2013 but has, according to certain studies, moved in the direction of balance since

.........Political surveys (2013) suggest that Democrats were the largest spectator group at 38% followed by Republicans at 32% and Independents at 30% with Dems supporting particular teams going up to 42% but never less than 35%.....always ahead of the Republicans

.......Average fan base for MLB teams is 2,5M people and up to 73% of the audience is local (ST Louis Cardinals are highest) explaining the absolute necessity of a large urban base

.......Ethnic make-up of the teams is now 57% white, 32% Hispanic and 8% black showing a massive improvement over the last decades of hispanic participatiion

.......Ethnic make-up of audiences is 60% white, 16% Black and 20% Hispanic

.......Age composition of the audience gives 50% over 55yrs, 26% from 35-54yrs and only 17% between 17 and 34yrs and the average was 57 years old

........Average income is also interesting as 33% of spectators made in 2013 over $100K, 32% earned between $40-75K and only 9% under $20K

.......Top sponsors (in $$$$ order) of the sport are the Banking, Insurance, Beer and Airline sectors

Not quite what I expected....so it is not a "Trumpian" natural, but a Dem/Ind game with a declining, aging audience of middle class white and hispanic urban audience. So the move by the MLB out of Atlanta was a natural extension of their values and in no way in contradiction with the major part of their fans beliefs. The only problem that they are now going to find is in choosing a a "non-voter suppression" replacement without it seeming to overtly favour a Democratic State and their local team.

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Thank you, HCR, for putting the current voting rights crisis into context. As a Georgia resident, I and fellow Democrats are witnessing something out of a Kafka story in which voting rights are being suppressed right before our eyes and lies are pushed as truths. We're helpless against the Republican controlled statehouse. No matter how loudly we scream, this law will not be overturned under the current administration. Republican reasoning is clearly Another Big Lie.

The actions of Georgia legislators and those around the country to suppress the black and brown vote points to one truth: Republican are fueled by pure and ugly desperation, which usually spells its demise. They offer no new policy recommendations and their game plan is to obstruct, obstruct and obstruct. They scrambling to keep their party, and their waning power, afloat.

The main question in my opinion is can we trust American voters to see through Republican rhetoric and see it for what it is--another attack on our Democracy. Voters were duped in 2020 by wild conspiracy theories and misinformation and I don't see any indication that they will take the blinders off in the next election cycle. Democrats may be "woke," but many Republicans--good, hard-working Americans--remain in a sleep-state, unable to think for themselves.

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I just received my copies of "The Death of Reconstruction" and "How the South Won the Civil War" and I cannot wait to read them.

You kept your eye on the ball and hit your first home run of the season after spraying base hits with the news of the day: "But the lasting story today is the one that will hang over everything until it is resolved: the attempt of Republican legislators in 43 states to suppress voting with what are now 361 voter suppression bills across the country." So it is.

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