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"I’m overjoyed, deeply moved…. There’s so much about what’s happening in the world now that is presenting some of the worst of this moment and human behaviors. And then we have a moment like this.” – Kamala Harris

Perfectly stated.

Thank you, Heather, for documenting this most historic day.

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We danced here when we got the news. And on the Nicolle Wallace show, Eddie Claude a Princeton professor and one of her guests, called the confirmation "an eruption of possibility." https://www.msnbc.com/deadline-white-house/watch/the-confirmation-of-judge-ketanji-brown-jackson-opens-an-eruption-of-possibility-137253957518

I love that expression and his explanation of what the means. But, it doesn't really need an explanation. Biden has again helped black women to break their own glass ceiling, and with that more and more possibilities ahead. Bravo!

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I watched Roland Martin's podcast. He features prominent Black Americans in his discussions and the dialogue is very candid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8zrbB-kY18

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Thank you, Nancy! I love that!

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Hear, hear!! 💜👍

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Daria, I missed your comments , but more importantly, you.

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Thanks, Linda🌷. I'm purposefully not participating for a bit. Miss you, too.

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I literally cheered when I saw your post today, Daria. I’m back from traveling and feeling a bit sassy on the forums I participate in. Toasting all compatriots of peace at happy hour today.

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I will raise my glass to you and all compatriots at happy hours well! Stay sassy!!!!

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Please don't stay away for long, Daria.

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Mim, you know I won't!🌷

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Daria I have done the same from time to time. 💕

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It does the soul good.🌷

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Yes, it does. 🌻

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I'm glad you brought up that Gideon v Wainwright is on the potential Originalist Chopping Block. Add in Mapes v Ohio (reasonable expectation of privacy and requirement of a search warrant) Miranda v Arizona ("You have the right to remain silent...") EVERY civil right that is the result of the court extending the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause to bring federal civil rights to the states, is on the chopping block. Do not think that Brown v Board of Education is not also on that list.

Then get into the entire regulatory state through the court's use of the commerce clause. These people will not be happy until they take economic life back to the days of Lochner v NY.

These people are the furthest thing from "small government" conservatives. They're all in favor of using as much government as necessary to enforce their world view and re-establish white supremacy as the law of the land. Some of them are in favor of re-establishing property requirements to vote.

And right now the people whom H.L. Mencken described as being so massively stupid that "no one ever went broke underestimating" their intelligence, are divided 43-43 on the "generic congressional ballot."

Remember what I tell myself every time I walk out my front door "fifty percent of the people you're about to deal with are 'below average'" and then remember they can vote.

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You have nailed them, and we had better recognize that you are 100% right. The Republican Party of old is long gone and now they are the wolf disguised as the grandmother. Rank and file republican voters (previously sane), now either support the wolf or are too stupid to even see that grandmother has been eaten alive, leaving only deception and destruction. Is there a happy ending anywhere?

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Jeri At this historical juncture I don’t know whether, in American politics, “there is a happy ending anywhere.” In my lifetime there was Huey Long, who mounted a dangerous ‘populous’ movement that was threatening to FDR’s presidency. He was assassinated in Louisiana.

Joe McCarthy held sway for four years, as the Republicans supported his false and staccato Communism charges that rattled our country. Finally, his bubble was burst, he was mildly censured by the Senate, and soon, in the political wilderness, died of alcoholism.

There has never, in American history, been such a national aberration as we have recently been experiencing. The traditional Republican Party has morphed into an amalgamation of ‘false facts,’ nihilistic, white-colored gyrations, and a fervent hero worship that borders on evangelical babble.

A striking difference today is that the rowdy ramblers have been co-opting the levers of power. With the Federalist Society as its scouting militia, A Neanderthal majority has turned the Supreme Court into the Stench Court. This creates a generational disbalance in the checks-and-balances that the Founding Fathers had woven into the Constitution.

Moreover, these policy-less ragamuffins are steadfastly seeking to control voting mechanisms in nearly half of America’s states. This structural re-engineering has the capacity to distort fair voting that would deny the vote to a host of non-white citizens. It would also permit local officials and state legislatures to be the ultimate judge of which votes should be considered ‘legitimate.’

Jeri, as an historian I fear that America’s historical pattern of ups and downs with a strong, long-term ‘up tendency’ is in jeopardy. What we are witnessing is the most dangerous national political crisis since the years that resulted in the Civil War.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Keith, yes, and there is another very disturbing trend.

Republican campaign events are looking more and more like the old evangelical tent revivals that existed in America from the mid 1850's until roughly 1980 when those revivals moved to television instead of tents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/06/us/christian-right-wing-politics.html

Having actually attended a couple of these tent revivals in rural East Texas I can tell you that demonization and fear are the main dishes served up by the White Man at the Front of the Tent.

This results in two things:

1) People "come forward" to give themselves up to Jesus and

2) They also, while they are in the throes of emotion, give their money up to the white man at the front of the tent.

So, Republicans are just WAY smarter than the Democrats.

They know how to fleece the ignorant better than we all imagine.

It seems that the new Republican Playbook is the book:

ELMER GANTRY, by Sinclair Lews. A stupendous picture of American evangelical life.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Mike, Glad you saw 'The Growing Religious Fervor in the American Right: ‘This Is a Jesus Movement’' in my comment about how most Americans are getting their news today from digital news gathering outlets. Religious zeal has always be part of right-wing zeal and this is a new wrinkle. The authors of the piece in the NY Times, Elizebeth Dias and Ruth Graham, have been covering religion in America for years. They put this new coming together of the right and religion this way,

'This was not a church service. It was worship for a new kind of congregation: a right-wing political movement powered by divine purpose, whose adherents find spiritual sustenance in political action.'

'The Christian right has been intertwined with American conservatism for decades, culminating in the Trump era. And elements of Christian culture have long been present at political rallies. But worship, a sacred act showing devotion to God expressed through movement, song or prayer, was largely reserved for church. Now, many believers are importing their worship of God, with all its intensity, emotion and ambitions, to their political life.'

'At events across the United States, it is not unusual for participants to describe encountering the divine and feel they are doing their part to install God’s kingdom on earth. For them, right-wing political activity itself is becoming a holy act.'

'These Christians are joining secular members of the right wing, including media-savvy opportunists and those touting disinformation. They represent a wide array of discontent, from opposing vaccine mandates to promoting election conspiracy theories. For many, pandemic restrictions that temporarily closed houses of worship accelerated their distrust of government and made churchgoing political.' (NY Times)

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Yeah, reading that yesterday was "chilling." Remember what Barry Goldwater said about the danger of the Christian Right:

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”

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Right out of Goebbels, 1939.

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It is all about the money!!!

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TCinLA:

Those of whom you speak of are NOT Christians. They speak of division not Love.

They are first distracted and then deceived into believing their demands are of a god of their own image. They do not know the Love of GOD.

Christians are only about love. GOD's Love.

Christians serve the needy in your communities without honking horns over loud speakers!

Christians pray in the Church purchased with the blood of CHRIST.

Christians give instead of take

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Hi Fern. Great to hear from you to be sure!

My apology for not referencing what appears to be, as you noted, a similar reference on this board. I honestly did not see your post but I agree 100% with the analysis you have posted here.

Also, I wanted to thank you for your providing me feedback to make my posts better by improving my referencing. I have, quite honestly, tried to do that very suggestion from you since you made that suggestion.

Mike

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

You're welcome Mike. We all learn from one another. I was sure you had seen the article in my comment because you gave it a like.❤️. That was yesterday. Your memory of 'tent rivals' was somewhat different than what the reporters noted, so thought to provide an up-to-date account through their words. Cheers!

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The truth, facts -- that's what counts and what we look for. Are you referring to your Voice of America comment? As I recall it wasn't a referencing issue.

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I have a great niece who has become this type of religious person. She complained that people could go to the grocery to get food (or in our case, pick it up) and yet could not go to church. If God is omnipresent, why do they need to be in a church to pray. Personally, I think they are drawn in by Elmer Gantry type pastors who love running the lives of their congregations and it looks to me like a power trip.

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I don't know the poisonous mixture, but the government let many millions down beginning in1980. It became easier for the MONEY Crowd and right-wing leaders to grow the anti-government, anti-taxes and anti-regulations movement. They have been organized and the Democratic Party -- that is another matter. We've had a few Democratic leaders that have been and are culprits as well.

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Read Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer." Those people love giving up their power to a grand authority figure.

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Michele,

Interesting question: What draws them in?

Many are just born into the "faith" and indoctrinated from childhood to "Believe in" and "have faith in" (whatever story that cannot be proven is being told).

However, I was, for 3 weeks, in a Baptist Student Union as a first semester A&M attendee and, after 3 weeks left. At that student union there was a personality named "Ron" who ran it.

Ron sought adulation and basked in it openly and people gave it to him willingly. Seemed sick to me so I left. At that time, I felt that if you are going to "worship" something it should be the texts of the New Testament. Later on I even relaxed on that except where it is obvously valid (Love our neighbor as yourself)....

So, yes, I think you are right. People are drawn to configent, BS type personalities because they simplify complex living down into simple concepts, short words, and easy paths.

Plus, religion itself is easy: Remember these 5 things which remain constant all your life without change or confusion or bafflement.

The real world is complex, opaque, requires thoughtul action and can be confusing. WHY DO THAT WHEN YOU CAN JUST BELIEVE some easy story that always has an easy answer?

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Michele:

A magic happens in Church among faithful believers that can't happen any where else on Earth.

It is wonderful!

Too bad some people choose to never be able to share with each other the knowledge of such marvelous freely given Love!

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But, Jesus would not do what they do!

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I would like to know what Jesus thinks should be done with them. I hope this doesn't wake George up.

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Hi, Fern, checking in from Saskatoon and headed to Regina tomorrow. We'll get into our apt Monday. Our family, friends, home and pets are safe and well. We are just sick about events at home and wish the governments would give Ukraine offensive weapons

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We've been in agreement from the beginning. Did you read T. Snyder's piece the genocide Putin is committing. I have thought it so for about 2 weeks -- absolutely believed it. I'm Jewish Allen. 'His' evil doesn't need a label. If you look you see.

Extremes, I had the best couple hours this afternoon. The day was 'spring'. We had several stormy, very harsh weather days. Today was heaven. Lots of little children in Central Park. Happy little bodies running free. Joy is contagious. I got infected.

Thank you for dropping by, Allen. You lifted me even higher. You and Tanya will finally have a home. Take a hug, please. 🌻🍎🎸🌿

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...And what' even scarier is that there are "evangelicals" who are conflating abortion and birth control as being the same thing and are beginning to push for forbidding birth control as well. If they succeed in killing that, will they next decide that there should be "legal"involuntary impregnation?

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They were *always* using Roe to go after Griswold.

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Good question, Barbara. It sounds outrageous only if you have not been following what has been happening in the USA.

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This weekend we had Flynn and Eric Trump actually in a tent in the baseball stadium in Keizer. I read an account of what happened more fully yesterday. It is indeed a hatred and white supremacy revival. Local officials in Keizer mostly tried to dodge their actual support of this nonsense. There were some protestors, mostly focusing on the stolen land issue and yes, they were harassed. Proud Boys also present. Thankfully they are gone, but the hatred remains.

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demonize and fear brings people in like dung brings in flies.

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Thank you for this information Michele. Putin is committing genocide against Ukrainians -- what is the U.S. and NATO going to do about it? I am not pointing at you. We must get the West to finish 'him'. He MUST be stopped.

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Hello Fern:

I am wondering if you might agree:

Generalizations couched in familiar classifications distort reality.

Because:

Those who you identify as "Christians" are NOT at believers in JESUS CHRIST and are NOT Christians but, instead whoreshipers of the Great Deceiver.

Christians know the Holy Bible and daily attempt to live by the life lesson explained by examples. It is a instruction book about love written by GOD's inspirational love. It is all about love.

Those who you, and others, to be sure, label as "Christians" are not espousers of HIS Love, but instead are mislead into Deceptions enslavement of hate's clandestine fog of lies justifying their focus upon power mongering at the cost of others pain and suffering.

I do not see our FATHER's Love mentioned any where in your comments.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

If you reread George E. you will realize this quote is from an article in the NY Times. Seeing in this case, would be helpful, and, with reference to your reply to me, knowing the source you are referring to would also be useful. Salud.

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Very well said, Mike. One quibble: You say, “Republicans are just WAY smarter than the Democrats.” I heartily disagree: RepuQs are not smarter. It’s just that Democrats don’t think like criminals.

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Exactamente. Good clarification, SLWeston.

Salud!

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I agree entirely with SLWeston’s simple and clear assessment. I have a problem solving mind that turns on making things better. It is useless for thinking about committing crimes but very good at spotting a problem. I knew nothing about Trump before he went into politics except that everyone I knew New York thought he was a jerk. Then his face was everywhere and far to often. I thought, now that is a criminal, a sneering, vicious, pompous, ignorant and nasty person. Problem!! Two ways to deal with it: don’t repeat the trash talk and the threats and stand up to it every time with the truth. Thanks for the encouragement, Heather. It helps a lot!

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Right. They’re only smarter in the realm of evil where most good people try not to go. They are very very good at it. Lots of practice, unfortunately.

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Yes. Excellent observation.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Spot on, read "Christians Against Christianity", "Jesus & John Wayne", or "The Power Worshippers" which reveal how the GOP is using cheap grace theology to hijack Christianity for political power. It is time for another Barmen Declaration, which the Confessing Church in Germany issued in 1934 against the "Christians" supporting Hitler.

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Thanks for introducing me to the Barmen Declaration. Time for one here.

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I haven't read "Christians Against Christianity" yet, but "The Power Worshippers" is terrifying. It seems to me that this is another case of a fringe group getting approval. The evangelicals, at their worst, are--excuse the southernism--bat-sh*t crazy and they have been denied the one thing they wanted. The GOP offered it--a seat at the table.

Barry Goldwater, of all people, said that if the preachers took over the Republican Party there would be no more Republican Party

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From "Strongmen" by Ruth Ben-Ghiat: "Rallies were the fascist strongman's favorite form of political theatre and Mussolini and Hitler used them as sites of emotional training to create a violent, lordly, fearless cruel youth, ready to do what was necessary for the nation. ...Who would the strongman past and present be without those crowds that form the raw material of his propaganda? His secret is that he needs them far more than they need him". Sound familiar?

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Ruth has a Substack that is really good.

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Yes, thanks. I have subscribed to Lucid for some time now. More people should, if only to be aware of this threat of autocracy which is becoming stronger every day.

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Annette, Thanks for the references. Back in the day, I once attended one of George Wallace's rallies in Montgomery. I'm not sure I've ever been that frightened. The energy in that auditorium left no question in my mind. One word from Wallace and that crowd would have taken to the street and slaughtered every black man, woman, and child they encountered. There is a power in those events that is irresistible. Hearts and Minds.

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Dean Robertson:

That power that grabbed at you was the Great Deceiver's unsuccessful attempt to distract you into temptation's hatred of something you did not understand.

You did know in your heart that power was evil.

So you naturally rejected that power after it washed over you.

Most of the people surrounding you in that "Rally" were the lost simpletons ignorant of a love of their neighbors.

They are the ones easily distracted/influenced into hatred's mass hysteria feeding off each other into enslavement/mindless obedience to the Great Deceiver's power.

They effortlessly, uncontrollably were feeding off each other convincing/pressuring each other at that moment to destroy a Love they did not themselves have the capacity to understand existed.

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Luke 23:34

This is a love we can not ever fully comprehend in this lifetime, Eh!?

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Mike Spot on! The Great Awakening in the 1830s was inspired by an evangelical re-uniting with God. The sermons were long and the preachers were not bejeweled in fancy horse and buggies. In Chile in the 1960s, I found a come-to-Jesus-spirit at the Pentecostal services that I attended in the provinces—nothing fancy with poor farmers, saw dust on simple floors, lots of shouting, and part-time preachers.

I’m certain that there are at least a few evangelical churches today where Jesus might feel comfortable. Certainly not at these mega churches where the pastor has a personal jet and a life style that might make Trump envious. These ‘mega churches’ often are a founder-oriented business. As they become political vehicles breaching the barrier between church and state, they should lose their 501 (c) 3 charitable status and be taxed like any other business. This should also apply to local real estate taxes.

ELMER GANTRY reflected both the good and the tawdry of evangelical life. Hallelujah!

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Thanks Keith. Elmer Gantry was one of the best books of my life portraying the confusion that comes with "belief", the weakness of church leaders, their good and their bad but most of all, their first and foremost goal of raising money.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Mike, God and Gold! I’ve just been re-reading Barbara Tuchman’s FOLLIES OF HISTORY segment on the Renaissance popes—would love to have the TV rights for the sex, corruption, and money guzzling. The sale of Cardinalships seemed extreme. One Cardinal was 11 years old and another first visited his cathedral when he was buried there.

Weitzel went to Martin Luther’s parish to sell indulgences to finance St. Peters. Martin, reacting especially to Weitzel’s offer of forgiveness for sins not yet committed, posted his 95 complains. There is a fairly recent book, GOD’S BANKERS, that underscored that the Catholic money grubbing has developed new and disgusting dimensions.

GOD AND GOLD—I failed to find this in any of Jesus’s preaching. Also, he walked or rode a donkey. Were private jets available, I seriously doubt that he would buy one or establish a credit-card church. In fact, if he ever entered such a monument to $$$, he might shout ‘Oh, Jesus,’ and repeat his ousting of the money changers at the temple.

St. Francis founded a church order of poverty. After his death, he was ‘saint hooded,’ while several of his key monks were severely punished, since poverty was a negative message for those soliciting funds for the new St. Peters church.

Now the Catholic Church has the problem of protecting its assets and parishes while paying out billions for the sins of its priests, bishops, and others. Meanwhile, most evangelical mega churches are operating a profitable business for their top folks as they prey on their parishioners.

Oi vey, Mother of Mary, Allah u Ahkbar.

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Mike S:

"...belief, the weakness of church leaders..."

Those "Leaders" were gifted mountebanks, and acolytes of The Great Deceiver.

Indeed their god was their deception into greed's easy money.

They chose to resist the One True Love implanted in each newborn's heart as evidenced by the pinch of flesh in the upper lip just below the nose of every human being...GOD's certification of HIS Love freely given to each infant plainly seen by every other human.

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With all due respect to the truth of your description of this phenomenon, I think we need to be careful about identifying the purveyors of these awful messages as "the White Man at the Front of the Tent." Here's a horrifying speech (link below) from NC Lt. Gov. Robinson riling up "people of God" about there being only men and women. His rhetoric is powerful "You can get dressed up, drugged up, cut up but in the end you're just a dressed up, drugged up, cut up man or women." We can hear the cheers of the crowd, and perhaps even more disturbing read the 3000+ comments on youtube. I didn't take time to read every one, but I scanned the first several hundred. I only saw one comment that didn't "praise this man of God," for telling the truth finally, "boldly and bravely" and praying for him to become governor or even president. The lone negative comment asked if there would be more transgender suicides or murders as a result of this talk, ending with , "Oh, wait, you don't care." I wrote what I hope was a message of some comfort , seeing that they are not the only one who knows this hate-spewing is wrong. But this is a clear example of how emotionally charged it is to blur judgmental "religious" messages and power grabbing political rhetoric. I'm hoping that offering an alternative view whenever I can will make some tiny contribution to shifting the energy from hatred to love - Not the mushy kind but the good, strong, love your neighbor kind! https://youtu.be/5GxN5tyLl0A

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Thank you for your message, Chaplain. I just had the best hour in the park among children - playing, active, happy little bodies in the grass and around the trees. I cannot now listen to the recording you have linked. II will try to later or tomorrow. Joy is contagious and wish there was more of it.

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Fern, you are so welcome! Don't listen! I think you can get enough from my post - and protect that precious experience of children's joy moving your heart. Joy is contagious, and I always feel a bit of conflict when I am moved to share something painful or negative, and I try to balance the energies. I'm starting a project, "Calling all Grandma's" to reach grandmothers in the "mushy middle" who might be open to stories that contradict the misinformation that might be coloring their voting decisions. It's very early stages - not sure of vehicle yet - I think probably starting with youtube.I will keep our community posted! PS I grew up on Long Island and I love NYC!

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Looks like political religious fervor is trending:

"NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams and dozens of faith leaders held a Christian praise rally in City Hall Park on Thursday — an event that featured Adams invoking the apostles as justification for his policy of removing homeless encampments from city streets.

“We are on the wrong road as a city. We have tolerated homelessness, walked past our brothers and sisters who are living in tents on the street, and we’ve normalized it,” he said. “I can’t help but to believe that if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John was here today, he would be on the streets with me, helping people get out of encampments.”

NYC Mayor Adams

And here is the link to the article:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mayor-adams-invokes-apostles-to-justify-policy-of-clearing-nyc-homeless-encampments/ar-AAVYN8u#:~:text=Mayor%20Adams%20invokes%20apostles%20to%20justify%20policy%20of%20clearing%20NYC%20homeless%20encampments

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I say that Democrats (most of them) spend most of their brain power and energy on governing, and yes, since 'pulling the levers of power to their own craven interests is Republican politicians' game, they are smarter since Dems aren't even alert to that this trend 'best' be countered, finding ways to counter it, and working to do so (from what has so-far been evidenced.

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Agree

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Dems spend too much time talking indirectly. they are always explaining. they talk about the historical precedents for depriving people of the vote and go on and on about freedom and democracy. everything is built on a long-winded moral basis. they qualify statements before they even make them. republicans simply file a lawsuit claiming that gerrymandering on the part of democrats gives them an unfair advantage. Once you start explaining in public you're done for. Do your 'splainin' in court.

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Stage backdrop at recent campaign rally of Ron DeSantis read: AWAKE not Woke

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Sarah I prefer SANITY NOT DESANTIS

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Yikes.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Keith, I find your analysis distinguishing current trends from historical antecedents both accurate and terrifying. Still, as much as I grant that no amount of organizing can supersede the current obstacles you rightfully note, at the same time, I am indebted beyond words to the people in my life who maintain that our continued engagement, our energy, our caring, and our work can make a difference.

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Yes, Barbara Jo, absolutely. It’s all about our synergy.

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SLWeston, First, my apologies for my delayed words of thanks for your validation. I also write to clarify my understanding of what you mean by “synergy.” I interpret it as meaningful inquiry and dialogue, the lifeblood of democracy predicated both on bonds of trust and respect and on a sense of the public—a sense of what it is to be a citizen among citizens.

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Beautifully expanded on, Barbara Jo. (Or maybe distilled?) My simpler brain was thinking more like when two or more people create a greater, more meaningful contribution together than they can individually. Of course, your more focused interpretation is exquisite. (I’ve labored with executive dysfunction for decades.)

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Yes, the people who prioritize others, not themselves. They exist.

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This "historical pattern of ups and downs" is like a pendulum. From slavery, it swung over to the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, and then back to an era of Jim Crow and unregulated businesses, and then back to anti-trust legislation and progressivism, and then back to post-World War One isolationism and unregulated business, until the Crash and the Great Depression swung us back with New Deal reforms, and then once again back to Reagan era conservatism, with a short swing back again with Barack Obama's election. We are swinging rightward again and will until the pendulum eventually swings too far and starts back again. It always does. It has always been that way, all over the world. The process is self-correcting but not necessarily quick, comfortable nor without violence.

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The pendulum of history does not swing in the absence of human energy.

"the arc...only bends toward justice because people pull it towards justice." - Eric Holder

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After a great degree of consideration, I have come to believe that Obama was the greatest Republican president since Eisenhower.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

I think it's a close call between Obama and Eisenhower. Perhaps, Obama is a bit ahead because 'Moscow' Mitch was very much in his way. The Republicans weren't big fans of Eisenhower, but I don't know that they provided such an obstacle. The Republican party of then was not the Party of now. Obama is a Black man and Eisenhower, a greatly admired WWII general. I'm glad you brought them up, Ally - two leaders worth thinking about.

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I always remember the quote from Harry Truman about Eisenhower being in politics: "He knows as much about politics as a pig knows about Sunday..." Eisenhower would probably be a Democrat, or at least considered center/left politically this day & time. From what I've read, Eisenhower went into politics reluctantly. He didn't want to strictly adhere to the dictates of one party or the other and figured he'd ruffle feathers on both sides of the aisle...and he did. He was more or less what the country needed at the time.

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In 1950, looking forward to the 1952 elections, both parties went after Eisenhower, since no one knew what party he had voted for (a tradition in the military then was not to vote). The Republicans really wanted Senator Robert Traft, a 'true" Republican - isolationist, anti-New Deal, etc. - but after 20 years they wanted more to win, and they knew all those GIs who he had led would vote for him, so the "practical" ones overthrew the "true believers" at the convention and got Ike, and went on to win. But the "true believers" never forgave them. And thus we moved on to the next "real Republican" candidate in 1964 (Nixon in 1960 would have been a continuation of Ike with nods to the Right), Barry Goldwater. They got "practical" again with Nixon, and then they got their "true conservative" hero, Ronnie the Ray Gun.

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Apr 10, 2022·edited Apr 10, 2022

It was Obama who brought me back to civilization, then Heather, then you, and now perhaps KBJ and AOC and others here who bring the sun back. Our great leadership is here. It is amongst us and I am a great full puppy. You all can take the reins guiding this rickety old wagon and we’ll keep it running.

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Was thinking a lot about President Obama, the First Lady, and his children this week, Ally. I always listen every time he speaks.

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I can’t resist listening to him. He is one of the most scholarly and eloquent speakers of all time. In the pantheon.

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I’m so glad you brought up Obama. I agree and I’m so heartened to see that Biden had him speak in defense of his signature and most important act as president—-the Affordable Care Act. What really struck me is that it is truly a crisis moment for all hands on deck for our ship of state, to paraphrase the wonderful columnist Dana Milbank. If Republicans can trot out Trump constantly then we should do the same with Obama. Glad we did!

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

What a very interesting comment. I think you might be exactly right. In my book, a compliment to both men.

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Ally. I agree. Obama enriched the insurance companies with Obamacare beyond any possible previous state the could have imagined.

Opeing up the US Treasury and printing money right into their pockets?

Brilliant.

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Mike, I'm not sure that's exactly what she meant. Eisenhower was a man of integrity and very good sense who has been re-evaluated in recent years. Certainly no liberal, on the domestic front, he continue New Deal Policies, expanded Social Security, and was involved in the establishment of the highway system. He didn't support Brown vs. the Board but enforced its ruling without question. He bridged a gap between the Democrats and his fellow Republicans. Obama, celebrated without much examination as an idealistic liberal, was in fact a realistic pragmatist, especially about his own ideals. He didn't sell out to the insurance companies. He knew what he wanted and, more importantly, he knew what he could get and what he would have to give. Read his book.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 10, 2022

Here we are, together again. I know you want to reference your research on the subject. No question there are flaws in ACA and look how long it took this wealthy country to get it done as well as how difficult and necessary to keep it alive. There are probably several tall stacks of information on the subject - maybe, mountain high. The following is a short piece from Politico.

'He’s (Obama) had a love-hate relationship with the insurers ever since the early days of the health care reform debate. He yelled at them in public for giving people skimpy coverage, then slipped them a gift-wrapped box of chocolates — the individual mandate they wanted to gain millions of new customers.'

'Even during the implementation of Obamacare, he has stuck with the industry, staying in the rocky relationship despite all the petty bickering. He has to use them as a foil to advertise the law’s benefits, like all the rebates from greedy insurance companies. But he also needs them to make the law work — which is why he has been careful not to raise his voice at them even as they sent cancellation notices to individual insurance customers throughout the country.'

'Now, Obama is putting them on the spot. The message of his proposed one-year fix to the cancelled policies is this: I’m giving you a chance to clean up the mess. If you don’t clean it up, don’t blame it on me.'

“The bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014,” Obama said at his Thursday press conference.'

'Industry CEOs have been summoned to a White House meeting Friday that’s sure to be full of those awkward conversations about who did what to whom, and who’s being unreasonable this time.' (Politico) See link below.

Some background, Mike, and interested subscribers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/magazine/will-obamacare-really-go-under-the-knife.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/barack-obama-health-insurers-obamacare-affordable-care-act-099900

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Right now, the horror and fear of replacement is fueling the swing towards authoritarian control. there are only several decades left before diversity is the majority. While we wait for white supremists to deal with their anxiety and come to terms with being in the minority our freedoms are in jeopardy.....and our democracy.

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And the climate. Latest UN report gives humanity seven years to do some very heavy lifting. Here in California, we are not even willing to take the drought seriously and cut our water usage.

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Jack “Always” having the historical pendulum swinging right and left is a reasonably accurate historical observation. Of course this might take decades or even generations. (When is the next Ice Age coming, according to scientists?) But what is this pendulum is broken by an unprecedented occurrence, like a Stench Court, restricting voting, and Trumpites in the White House and Congress? At 88 my long-term perspective is shorter than most others.

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Then, there is a violent reaction to restore the pendulum. Revolution or Civil War. It happened to Oliver Cromwell, the Tsars and Louis XVI and it will ultimately happen to those who broke the pendulum. How long did it take the Russians to get rid of the Tsars? It may take centuries but it always happens. (We won't see it. I beat you by one year.)

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Jack, Were one to subscribe to your contention, what would one do in the interim—simply watch and wait?

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Yes, there are always activists pushing for change, but usually a nation just watches and waits, as you put it, until they become fed up, and opt for change by voting for Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, or Barack Obama ... and at the other end of the swing of the pendulum, for Rutherford B. Hayes, Warren Harding, Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump. It happens everywhere; In England, Oliver Cromwell got rid of the King and when the people were fed up with him, they got rid of him.

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Jack, Pardon the delayed response, but I’ve been off-line since early this morning. That said, mostly, I struggle to reconcile your notion that “usually a nation just watches and waits” with former A.G. Eric Holder’s contention (thanks to Ellie Kona for inserting it in this thread) that “the arc…only bends towards justice because people pull it towards justice.”I draw this comparison to underscore my problem with those who expect others will carry the weight, for example, of tackling the present existential battle between democracies and authoritarian regimes, as opposed to those who recognize that maintaining our democratic standing will entail all of us taking full responsibility for our individual and collective destinies.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Jack, you are more sure about the future than HCR. What confidence on your part -- are you also familiar with the failure rate of democracies?

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Just a remark here: the AZ Supreme Court rejected a GOP bid to abolish early voting.

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Amen, and while Judge Jackson's ascension to the the high court is to be celebrated, we are unfortunately adding public legitimacy to an institution that has been so degraded that in my view it cannot stand without reform or we will all be taken back to the worst strictures of the 19th century. Don't be fooled by "it-looks-like-America" rhetoric. In terms of votes on the court, we are exactly where we were before. Everyone who voted for Justice Jackson needs also to voice a demand for Supreme Court reform.

As Madison long ago said in the Federalist Papers, "It is ESSENTIAL to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic. " We are allowing such a delegation to five individuals chosen by today's equivalent of tyrannical nobles.

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I appreciate your comment but do not think “In terms of votes on the court, we are exactly where we were before.”

I believe SCOTUS Judge Jackson’s voice does have the tone and judicial wisdom to change thinking.

Unlike McConnell, I’ve had a strong feeling that President Biden will be nominating 1 or 2 more judges to SCOTUS. I believe Judge Jackson’s consenting and dissenting opinions will matter mightily. So begins change in one of the branches of government.

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Your keyboard to G*d’s ear, Christine.

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My own view is that with the possible exception of Roberts, the Republican court members are not there to advance justice or the common good but are there to protect economic elites and their interests and supporters. In other words it's about power not"wisdom" or reason. Brilliant "reasoning" isn't going to make much difference.

Perhaps there will be another chance to replace a justice but the oldest (thomas) is 73 which is in our era, relatively young (life expectancy more than 12 years). Also if the Dems lose the Senate, I think we can assume that McConnell and friends would not allow anyone to be confirmed before the 2024 election.

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And maybe we can also look at ethics for the SCOTUS.

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Wow, finally found something to disagree with you on, Christine. Judge Jackson will likely become known, as was Oliver Wendell Holmes, as a Great Dissenter, because she is going to be arguing with six True Believers who see the time has come to bring their Great Project To Reclaim America to fruition.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Totally agree. But watch how thinking will change amongst people. Perhaps not the other justices, but I’ll bet you she keeps them more on their toes.

I still feel that Pres Biden will get two more justices nominated and will get them seated. Would not be surprised if Merrick Garland is one of them.

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"or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans,"

Thanks for the quote.

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"There has never, in American history, been such a national aberration as we have recently been experiencing."

Keith, that fact has been the chief source of despair since the campaign against Secretary Clinton. This is, for me--and I am an old warrior--am alien landscape, and I cannot, honestly, see the way either back or forward. Echoes of Macbeth and his lady, only far far worse. Today's reality is unprecedented in every way I can see, and they are not losing. Thank you for your comment.

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In the measurement of human behaviors (education, sociology, behavior, aptitudes, attitudes, political thought, knowledge) there is the phenomenon of "regression towards the mean" that is generally observed with repeated testing of the same population over time. Gains (loses) observed become the outliers absent treatment or education or cultivation of the group. This is one reason that ongoing vigilance and advocacy are so important. "Never forget," a motto of many persecuted groups has to be one progressives live by. Vigilance and advocacy to counter infection and regression.

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Fred With regression analysis how does one handle what appears to be 2 or even 3 sigma variation from the mean? With what is occurring now, might that be an asteroid? And if there might be a “regression towards the mean,” might that occur years or even decades later? I was a MIT Sloan Fellow 1971-1972 and higher math came much easier during my slide rule days than 50 years later.

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Seems like more stuck than has been lost since the 1970s. I was, at that point, 1970, trying to save up enough money to buy to frame for my diploma from University of Illinois-Champaign while taking my first research position in Cleveland.

Vigilance and advocacy (intervention, treatment, education) directed toward getting those so identified those -2 and -3 sigma enabled (create awareness of possibilities) and raise expectations and performance among those in the +1 and +2 sigma. An example would be how we have gone about addressing Covid: Intensive outreach with education and engagement among the most disconnected, the -1 and -2 and -3 (low yield returns, often) with intent to change the outliers combined with massive delivery of treatment to those who might benefit causing more of the +1 and +2 to become +2 and +3 and those are no longer outliers. Ergo, to prevent regression, change the distribution (vigilance and advocacy) or collect way more measurements from a vastly higher portion of the population. One of those other facts is that if you include 95% of the population, the mean and standard deviation stablizes.

Or, as has been done in a Trumpian economics, you through out the outliers and believe that the more restricted sample will come up with the same outcomes as the original representative research sample predicted. Sometime know as a casino method, where you change the odds once you know how gamblers gamble.

That aside, unobserved and untreated over time and the typical behavior will be that most easily attained with no more than minimal effort. The standard declines in direct converse to the elimination of the spaces between, so to speak, or, another way, by not attending to the smaller correlates, predictors, of an outcome. For example, obtaining a college education was one of the best predictors for upward economic movement among (White) students from public schools. Things like early childhood poverty, race, socio economic status, health, talents, experiences, learning style, social intelligence, field of education, nutrition and other correlates got a lot less attention as we pushed for graduating from college as not only the best predictor, but the real cause of economic mobility. Over time, the best predictor, the (only) option for upward mobility collapses. And, were I to extend my thought on how we treat Covid, without sustained attention (vigilance) and advocacy (it will strike again and we should be prepared to treat it), it might well be that we find higher percentages of people becoming regularly infected and dying and that becomes the standard. Statically and socially, the mean for the population (accurately tested) regresses.

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Fred, what is the historical data base for conducting regression analysis on a 'regressing' population? I feel compelled to go to my statistical Bible: Michael Wheeler's LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS: THE MANIPULATION OF PUBLIC OPINION IN AMERICA.

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I know it's just the optics of the moment, but when I see an entire Senate floor rise to their feet in a roaring standing ovation, while a cadre of 5?-6? thugs skulk out with their tails between their legs, I think numbers. If we work to get out the vote like our country depends on it, we've got this.

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It wasn't 5-6 who walked out, it was every Republican Senator except Romney.

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Yes, let's put white supremacy back on the fringes.

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Blame cheap grace theology & Fox "News" propaganda.

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Anyone see Sean Penn confront Tucker Carlson on Fox? 'I don't trust you.' https://www.foxnews.com/media/sean-penn-ukraine-zelenskyy-will-win

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Nancy, Thank you very much for providing us with access to Hannity's interview with Sean Penn. It was fascinating to watch the two of them together. And subscribers you will see Hannity not Tucker Carlson. Hannity is as wily as they come. It was with humanitarian spirit that Penn went on Fox. He represented the incredible bravery and commitment to Democracy of the Ukrainian people and president Zelensky. Penn seemed as though he was traumatized by being in Ukraine during this war. He was shaken, nervous and less focused, perhaps, as a result of being an eyewitness to the deaths, extreme suffering and menace to the Ukrainian people. Hannity make all his points in favor of Trump, sympathetic to the Ukrainian people and he overwhelmed Penn's distrust of him. Penn, emotionally conveyed Ukraine's agony, which most Americans already seemed to be in sympathy with . Some non-fox viewers who see this interview may leave it favorably disposed to Hannity. The man is a top-notch performer, right-wing Trumpist.

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Sean Penn has finally found his calling with his CORE organization.

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... 'this too must pass' ....

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I agree with you, Jeri, except for one thing: the wolf isn't bothering to disguise himself anymore.

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Ain’t that the truth… the evil has an attraction that is a siren song for the power hungry and the greedy. No pretense of any greater good, just Dem hate and lies, lies, lies.

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I agree, Jennifer. This is what I call Blatanism, with no disguise or political cover. Soon a major politician will say something like, "I want to suppress the vote because Blacks aren't smart enough to vote" and millions will jump on the bandwagon.

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It does look like the veil they've had "concealing" the racism is thinning.

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I thought it was revealed when Trump was elected.

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Apr 10, 2022·edited Apr 10, 2022

Wow. Party pleas with honey and sugar may some damn fool wield that sword! I once outran a hungry grizzly bear but that’s child’s play compared to trying to walk that back as you are being gutted by your own sword.

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So far it has not emerged, how some for ever you are still in the fight Jeri.

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There was the glimmering moment when Romney stood like a man to honor KBJ.

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Apr 10, 2022·edited Apr 10, 2022

People may say he shot himself in the foot, but I think he just took a paycheck to the bank. That is to say his people will give him due respect for the right thing.

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He seems like he still has that little man who shits on your shoulder.

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Yes, all but your last sentence. Many of my smartest friends and relatives have been sucked in by the trumpist call. We are under siege.

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Brain washing was declared illegal (wasn't it?), then everyone recognized propaganda (especially when it was labeled), now we have fox entertainment labeled as news, and still folks seem addicted to it.

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And bootcamp too I suppose.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

And yet, American voters chose Lincoln over Douglas and Breckinridge, FDR over Hoover, Landon, Wilkie and Dewey (who together did not get enough electoral votes to elect a president), Kennedy over Nixon, Obama over McCain and Romney and, yes, Biden over Trump. It’s easy to run down the average voter, but the average voter has a pretty good record.

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I hope u right !

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Except now the Republicans are going after both those who vote and those who count the votes.

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Good reminder! Hope!

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Thank you for listing many of the fundamental cases that are on the chopping block. Most Americans have no clue about what is taking place. The Supreme Court is dismantling our form of government, not with a wrecking ball but by systematically removing the beams and trusses that hold it together. And the Republican justices are so cowardly that they're doing much of this dastardly work with no written rationale, thanks to the "shadow docket."

They are defying the will of the people — the majority of citizens. So much for settled law. So much for stare decisis. So much for freedom.

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Is there a way to rein in the shadow docket?

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Apparently if the majority of justices want to use the shadow docket, so be it. Even if other justices criticize it. Here's a good overview: https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/oct/18/supreme-courts-shadow-docket-what-you-need-know/

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How convenient. And Professor Richardson said it was a rarely used thing—just for emergency use and now this court is using it for their right wing agendas. That’s partisan. That’s bias!

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Thanks.

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Yes, TC, and also the average is low and getting lower.

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Great post, TC. "So massively stupid," indeed. There have been numerous comparisons of Hitler and authoritarian leaning Republicans. The basic basic despot moves of oppression of groups of people, political vengeance and restricting basic rights are alive and well in the U.S. Hitler used Germany's defeat in WWI as a call to rise up and, in the throes of wild, misguided patriotism, Germans closed their eyes to the dictatorship which was to come. Many massively stupid Americans don't even perceive that our Democracy is being dismantled from within.

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One of the most alarming signals that we are in a special amount of trouble is seldom mentioned. We are losing our language, literally losing vocabulary. LOL is not a word. We can't think without words. Words are what we have to formulate thoughts and name objects. We can experience emotions and sensations, but it isn't possible to think without words. I find this more frightening than even the most brutal political realities. Amazingly few decades ago, the first computers arrived on the desks of schoolteachers, of parents, of children, and the excitement of the new technology enticed children and teachers while the convenience of online shopping was such a blessing that we were caught off guard. By the time we began to notice our dependence, it was already too late. The technology is clearly driving the bus, and I believe we only know a fraction of it. The technology has made it possible for at least one full generation to communicate without language and has given us the opportunity to destroy the planet much faster than we could have imagined.

As a disclaimer to this reply that even to me reads like the ravings of a conspiracy theorist, I'll say only that I am the despair of my friends because they think my basically reckless nature refuses to see conspiracies when perhaps I should.

I just know that the absence of words is characteristic of the dark ages.

The dumbing down of America was in full bloom long before Donald Trump.

I just don't see the way back until all of us here, and our children and grandchildren and possibly those after them are long gone.

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Thank you for your insights, Dean. One of my biggest regrets as a parent was to allow my children to have phone and ipads at a relatively young age. They are smart, but the not the readers I had hoped them to be.

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I have read several articles over the years that say the big tech giants don't allow their own children to use these creations which speaks to the issue of extreme capitalism. They knew darned well what they were unleashing. I have had the joy of reading aloud to both my son (now 51) and my grandson (almost seven) from birth. We rocked in my own grandmother's rocking chair, the babies nursed, and I read from whatever I was reading--Jane Austen, Faulkner, it really didn't matter. They grew up associating words with pleasant sound, soothing motion, and warm milk. Hard to resist.

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If the originalist position is so rigid as to deny the effects of the ammendments, or any ammendments after the first 10, the implication is that they deny the right of the citizens, through their elected representatives, to change the constitution. The long term result of that will be the death of the constitution and the country.

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... and, since when does the "originalist" (missionary?) position endorse or allow departure from due process as in "the so-called “shadow docket,” a system, rarely used in the past but now a key part of the court’s decision-making process, in which the court hands down decisions on an emergency basis without briefings or written decisions, so we have no idea on what grounds they are making their ruling" ...?!

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Excellent question!

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I wish Prof. Richardson could speak more to this.

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Yes, this is what struck me too. It is so ugly and the use of the shadow docket is also nasty. Not only will we have no rights, but the environment will disintegrate even more than it is right before our eyes while the greeds prevail and only later will find out that they aren't safe from the results of their greed.

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... not to mention the vitally important Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA):

https://lakotalaw.org/news/2021-09-17/icwa-sovereignty

Chase Iron Eyes on Texas ICWA case:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0JiAn0cps4

https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/protect-icwa

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My only knowledge of ICWA has been through sitting in on child dependency hearings at our juvenile court (cases where through parental conduct, be it drug use, criminal activity, or the inability to provide adequate care for the child) a child is placed in temporary, sometimes leading to permanent removal. Lane County does not have a high Indigenous population, but I am guessing that easily 15% of our cases had ICWA component.) I know that the Court did its level best to keep Indigenous kids within their tribal structure, but frequently had trouble certifying placements to "standards" set by the state.

There are studies going on right now regarding Indigenous children who died at some of Oregon's chartered "Indian Schools" that would curl your hair.

https://www.opb.org/article/2022/04/04/finding-the-truth-indian-boarding-school-forest-grove-oregon/

https://www.oregonlive.com/education/2021/07/feds-may-investigate-chemawa-indian-school-in-salem-after-discovery-of-canadian-mass-graves.html

https://www.kgw.com/article/life/indian-boarding-schools/283-33780bb7-cdc4-4ad8-80b4-b95de7554297

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

I posted about this further down in the blog ... the challenges are complex indeed. Sadly, though standards set by the state may appear to provide better homes, and too often fall short of the mark. Beyond the historic travesty of the Indian Boarding Schools, plenty of state sanctioned homes are challenged with the same issues of parental mis-conduct, be it 'alcohol/drug use, criminal activity, or the inability to provide adequate care for the child' - not to mention cultural disassociation of placing indigenous children in families more identified with colonizing contingencies, completely alien and hostile to the child's traditional roots ... maybe a bit like giving Type A+ blood transfusion to someone with Type B- blood ...? So many layers of difference - why not leave the children with their blood families and home cultures, and support those communities' healing process from the devastating impacts of colonial expansion - starting with the novel idea of honoring the treaties and stop ripping the scab from wounds that still bleed ...?

Chase Iron Eyes on Texas ICWA case:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0JiAn0cps4

https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/protect-icwa

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Kathleen, I am currently reading The Indigenous Peoples History of the US. In my life, my Dad was so worried that we, his children, would have to go to boarding schools that he left the village.

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I've heard the title of this book Kathy, will check it out - thank you for the reminder ... even when dinosaurs ruled the land, other critters survived - just didn't dominate, as mammals have since that mass extinction ... now, the spirit that powered the dinosaurs has risen - we smaller ones must scurry for cover to survive between the lines - and who knows, even greater powers may prevail ... let is hope they will be benevolent and just!!

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"why not leave the children with their blood families and home cultures, and support those communities' healing process from the devastating impacts of colonial expansion - starting with the novel idea of honoring the treaties and stop ripping the scab from wounds that still bleed ...?"

Kathleen, Anglos of British descent did not think of the Natives as human. They thought of them more like they also thought about dogs. They could own them, kill them, take their children, and, of course, if they wanted too they could rape their women.

Anglos of British descent, at that time, were among the most brutal humans that have ever existed on earth.

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Thankfully Mike, the rivers are flowing ...

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Ally: I too worked in child welfare (in Northern CA)and ICWA was an integral part of our initial investigations. We were lucky if we managed to place children with their tribes early on; when court proceedings continued and “prospective adoptive parents” became advocates for the child, there was resistance to that placement. “Best Interests” became a type of buzzword for “we can provide so much more for this child”. I developed respect for tribes who had so much work to do throughout the decades since 1978 trying to organize their social work programs and overcoming the poverty and discrimination they faced.

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... and still face to this day!! Thank you Carol - your recognition and respect are appreciated ....

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Sizzlin, TC, sizzlin.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

I wonder what kind of person it is that will lie at the foot of a spiritually and psychologically bereft master, slavering over his every word. Don't any of them, excepting three of their party, see how pathetically disgusting it is to watch these people we should be able to respect, groveling in fear that the mean master will kick them down at any minute. It must be horrible to fear every minute of every day, that Trump will look over his shoulder and say, "off with their heads!" My hat's off to Murkowsky, Collins and Romney for doing what is just.

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Since all three have repeatedly demonstrated that their normal tendency is to do the opposite of what they did today (Rmoney voted against KBJ last year when she was nominated to the court of appeals), just remember they all three have backbones made of a single strand of overcooked Angel Hair pasta.

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Hard to find a hero, they cannot be counted on for anything, like Malevolent Manchin and Sophomoric Sinema.

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If the appointment were going to change the balance of the court from 6-3 to even 5-4, it would have been a totally different story. Nothing the Senate Republicans do is without a political motive.

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TC. Romney made his money at a Hedge Fund.

This means he is cravenly without any sense of right and wrong and lives only for money, never mind the Mormon indoctrination propaganda.

His Hedge Fund destroyed many small manufacturing outfits in middle America and he did not mind one bit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bain_Capital

"In 1993, Bain acquired the Armco Worldwide Grinding System steel plant in Kansas City, Missouri and merged it with its steel plant in Georgetown, South Carolina to form GST Steel. The Kansas City plant had a strike in 1997 and Bain closed the plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers when it went into bankruptcy."

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I disagree, Mike. We live in a capitalist society, whose underbelly unfortunately often rears its ugly head, we're all free to make boatloads of money legally. Being a capitalist and possessing honor and integrity, which I believe Romney possesses, are not mutually exclusive.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

We live in a democracy capitalist country - democracy provides the rules and refs for our economic engine, capitalism. When capitalists rule and ref, we risk losing democracy, and integrity. We are not free to make boatloads of money without guardrails.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=th3KE_H27bs&feature=share

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I would argue that as it manifests today, there is no honor in capitalism. Pursuit of the almighty million dollars is all that matters.

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Randy, I appreciate the diversity of perspective. If you read about Bain capital you will read that most of their "deals" lost money and Bain was saved by very few deals where they gutted manufacturing and sold the assets.

So, IF capitalism is associated with success, Bain Capital is not capitalist. They were more like the horse in the house. After much destruction they found the doorway out.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

We’re living in the era of neoliberalism starting around the 70’s and taking off like a rocket with Reagan. It’s extreme capitalism such as we’re seeing now. Many social norms are gone or declining as we can see in the republicans in office at all levels of govt.

Wealth stays with the oligarchy, hence our extreme wealth gap. I have no problem with capitalism such as it was before the 70’s when the social norms were there and corporations paid their fair share of taxes and there was a sense of decency in our economic world. That is what we’re trying to achieve again. And hopefully we will. What we truly need is both socialism & capitalism in our form of govt. but the republicans won’t agree, hence the behavior of Trump and the Republican cabal. And Fox News is the media sponsoring it.

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I don't think it's a question of capitalism's dark underbelly. There is no underbelly; American capitalism, the purest form of the system, is brutal through and through. Is there such a thing as capitalism with integrity? I can't think what that would look like in a system designed with one purpose only--to make more money. Mitt Romney is a highly skilled capitalist and an equally impressive shape-shifter. He almost overplayed his hand when he got in line at Trump Tower because Donald Trump has tricked him right up there with the possibility of a position in his administration. Tricked him, then pulled out the rug and made a fool of him. Romney occasionally does the right thing but integrity? Not a bit of it.

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022

Here's a fabulous interview just done at The University of Chicago by The Atlantic of Sen. Amy Klobuchar of new anti-trust bill re: social media and other corporations. The goal is to pass by 4th of July! "Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy."

[Not sure I have the exact link. Worth a search to find - this is happening live, so final link may be different]:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3107495849494020&id=29259828486

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Except he has none. Go back and listen again to his "47 percent - makers and takers" speech. When he was in college, he organized pro-Vietnam War rallies and then found a way to avoid service. For those like me in our generation who took the different path (going or opposing) for whatever reason, that act is character-defining - as in no character. It's also why I never voted for Bill Clinton, and events proved with him that I was right.

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"he organized pro-Vietnam War rallies and then found a way to avoid service."

Yep, otherwise known as all rich white boys in the 1960's and 70's

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Well, I can say that there were indeed a number of rich white boys who were involved in the antiwar movement - I knew most of them. :-)

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One can be of two minds, thankfully. Being a capitalist and a proponent of democracy may be axiomatic for some. I think they can complement, much as creativity and conscience do for us. MarPat has it right.

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When hope dies, what do we have left?

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Anger. We have anger which drove away fear and sustained us in battle.

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In my experience, anger is full of hope - take the term "righteous anger" and the sense of just action that it engenders, for example.

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Here here. And when the evening sky fills with red tracers searching for you like a swarm of locusts “righteous anger” mixes with adrenaline and by golly you’ve got something to fight with.

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Disagree about Murkowski.

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I was watching the video of republicans walking out, with sound off, and imagined cowboy donald chasing his mooing herd out from afar.

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I was able to turn the TV on as VP Harris made announced the vote. Sweet joy bubbled to the surface of my soul hearing her words and then abject disgust upon noticing the empty seats of the sorry excuses for American leaders on the R side of the aisle. The immaturity displayed on a daily basis by these elected officials gives me little hope for the future during a time where every starry-eyed little child in America should be celebrating.

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The racists raced out.

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Sure did!

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Yes Marlene they declared the content of their character for all to see, forever. They have stepped across the river Styx and can never walk it back.

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I sit here pondering the reasons for this display of disrespect. It was definitely childish behavior….we didn’t win so we’re taking our marbles and going home. It was rude. The Bible, which their master held up in front of the church and supposedly totally believes in, specifically states that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It was cowardly and a perfect example of fear that they might lose the support of trump, mitch, their buddies in the Senate, and their voters….their love of power “trumped” their love of country. And it was racist….bottom line….racist.

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I engaged on fb with one of these people using the golden rule to justify their treatment of KBJ saying that if u do unto others they will do that to u, a real twisted version.

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Imagine the power of a black woman that she can force people into a "cloakroom" Of course, Graham has been in the closet for years.

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Excellent point, Pam. But I thought all Republicans were straight! Was I wrong? (sarcasm).

How brave of them to hide from her by not wearing a tie. Rand Paul was late, just so people would have to notice him. Spoiled brats.

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Along with all the obvious racism, I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said “immaturity “. Really - Lindsey Graham didn’t have a tie so he had to vote from the cloakroom? He’s a child. That these are the people governing us is heartbreaking.

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I imagine that the cloak room has a bunch of ties for times like this....just like restaurants that required ties had some.....(deep sigh)

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Yes, and I am sure Graham has one or two in his office, too. I have a mental image of him jumping up and down, stamping his feet, like a spoiled two year old. (Another deep sigh)

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Absolutely! I mourn for the US of yesteryear--not the racism, sexism, etc, but for a time when gracious losers were the norm, when polite society worked for the greater good.

No wonder there is so much mental illness in our country. Either people have let the demons out and are consumed with hate and greed, or the rest of us feel anguish over the loss of humanity.

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I would settle for a time when most Republicans were human beings

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Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul could not even be bothered to put on a tie to vote no in Chambers.

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Oh please Olof. Real cowboys demand fair play. Pick any other metaphor, please.

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You mean letting the cattle grase and have their calves, instead of driving them to the slaughter house?

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