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The true threat to our Democracy is conservatism and its brethren, libertarianism. These philosophies argue for a minor role of government. Allow the “Invisible Hand” to guide the market place. "Government is an intrusion! Starve this beast!,” stated conservative ideologue Grover Norquist during his time as the ‘general manager’ of the Reagan revolution in the 1980s

The “beast” happens to be our government, which redistributes (taxes) wealth to fulfill human needs. Government is vital because capitalism DOES NOT fulfill human needs. Government is vital because our “free market” system DOES NOT care for the earth, or provide for healthy and safe citizens. Capitalism simply provides for the creation of private wealth. The conservative mantra of less government means 1) Less taxation, 2) Less Regulation, 3) Less Responsibility. Less government. Less opportunity. Less liberty and justice.

Private profits MUST be taxed to simply to correct the negative symptoms of capitalism: the exploitation of humans and the earth, our source of all life on this planet. Understandably, NOW we need MORE government. The term “government" is now being used interchangeably with “Democracy” by our wise Elder, President Biden. Democracy (our government) is meant to insure the rights of people, as established in the Preamble to the Constitution.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Let’s add to this one more line ....

The moral underpinning of the US (in my humble opinion) is our last line of the Pledge of Allegiance, “for liberty and justice for all.” Let’s combine the Preamble and the Pledge - THIS is our moral compassion! This is progressivism or liberalism. To ensure Basic Human Needs.

The generation, or creation, of wealth MUST be taxed at a rate commensurate to fulfill the societal needs AND for the protection of the Earth, our home to all life. Massachusetts has the highest tax rates AND the highest average incomes, highest college graduation rates and highest percentage of post graduate degrees. High incomes. Spending on the Common Good (as opposed to Corporate Greed). In the future, I hope to see an America which guarantees universal health care; universal college education; and a safe planet for all peoples and creatures. Let us take care of our home )Mother Earth), as we do our own home.

So, let America tax and spend, on the healing of society and our Mother Earth!

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George Orwell summed it up well when he said

"For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”

George Orwell, 1984

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The majority of Americans identifying as "conservatives" or "libertarians" have no idea what the words actually mean. They have become short-hand for "white supremacist", and are used almost exclusively to deflect from the user's racism by implying that high-minded "principles" are involved in his or her political and social choices.

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And many of them are called rednecks. Yesterday, while listening to the Tom Hartmann show, a caller called those who don't get vaccinated "redspreaders."

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If only Orwell had lived longer to write more. He died the year 1984 was published.

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Thank you, Frederick. In a world facing extraordinarily complex problems and threats, so-called conservatism is a growing clear and present danger to our nation as well as the planet. This irrational philosophy of greed neither recognizes what's gone terribly awry nor offers solutions. It's intellectually bankrupt.

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Very well said, Frederick.

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Hear, hear!!

Let's nominate Frederick to the U.S. Senate!!

What say ye?

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Hey, great idea! From PA, nonetheless and all the more !

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Bravo. Can I share?

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Heya Dave. Well, if you insist 😎

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“The real villain of the piece is one Jeffrey Bossert Clark.” Yes, Clark is a real villain, but in the end the fundamental problem is the 60% of the white electorate that votes Republican because that is the party that pledges to preserve white rule.

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Here, here. Well and perfectly stated. Thank you.

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AMEN TO THAT !

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There it is. That is our “Greatness “.And weren’t we all told in the ‘60’s ‘ “ It wasn’t nice to fool Mother Nature”. My State (FL.) has an added perk to it’s Non-profits. An umbrella I’m told to allow profit. There are other states also that allow it. I do believe some Republican Voters will agree with you’re comment Sir. Excellent !

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Beautifully said. It gives meaning to the mere of our democratic tenets. Thanks. May we share this otherwise?

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Yes you may, Fred. Thank you

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Bingo!

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Excellent. Thank you.

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Illuminating. Thank you!

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And that includes those people, especially Democrats, who call themselves centrists and moderates.

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Absolutely.

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Frederick, in writing, “Government is vital because capitalism DOES NOT fulfill human needs. Government is vital because our “free market” system DOES NOT care for the earth, or provide for healthy and safe citizens. Capitalism simply provides for the creation of private wealth,” you present a dichotomy, that in reality is more gray than black and white. In fact wealth generated by capitalism very much provides for the common good. Think Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation and numerous others and private wealth that fund PBS, hospitals, think tanks, museums, the arts, education, research, I could go on and on and on.

I certainly believe in the importance of Government to wit the accelerated development and distribution of the Caronavirus vaccines, and helping businesses and people economically devastated by the pandemic and recession. And I hope the Democrats somehow find a way to pass the two voting rights bills before Congress. But, I would argue for BALANCE between Capitalism and Government, if you will, and somewhere in between lies a sweet spot where both work for the common good. Conservatives and Liberals should recognize this and work together to find it.

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Well said, thank you!

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"The shocking revelations from former acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen about former president Trump’s direct efforts to use the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 election…"

From my perspective, the use of the word 'shocking' is entirely overdone. Angering, certainly. Distressing, obviously. Enraging, a bridge too far, simply because we do not know the man, who at the last moment, apparently remembered his oath of office, and refused to cave into Trump's demands to subvert the recent election.

The real villain of the piece is one Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the then-acting chief of the Civil Division who acted on behalf of President Trump, prepare draft letters to state officials in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere that expressed official concern that the recent election had been manipulated and that the vote counts in those days should not be honored. Had Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue acceded to Clark's suggestion, and sign the draft letters that Clark had prepared, the Trump coup d'état would likely have been successful. Subsequent news reports indicated that division chiefs within the Department of Justice at Jeffrey Clark's grade level had no independent authority to contact the White House on their own motion. Clark comes off as a scheming adventurer, a freebooter on the make, who sought to leverage his subordinate position, important enough as it was, into something much grander. Jeffrey Clark has since left the Justice Department, and according to Wikipedia, he currently serves as the Chief of litigation and Director of Strategy at the conservative-libertarian New Civil Liberties Alliance. But that may not last.

How long he remains with the New Civil Liberties Alliance remains to be seen. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Clark exchange his bespoke suits for prison khakis or an orange jumpsuit. Understandably, Dr. Richardson is not a lawyer, but I would wager there are enough lawyers in her fanbase who would be able to comment authoritatively on the treasonous behavior that we have witnessed emanating within the Justice Department as knowledge of their sordid acts gradually became public. As of right now we do not know the lengths to which Acting AG Rosen or Associate Deputy AG Donoghue went to fend off President Trump's requests, until it became obvious that they were being asked to sign their names to a letter that was subversive in purpose and treasonous in content. It is our collective good fortune that they resisted. We know that Jeffrey Clark was scheming with the president to replace Jeffrey Rosen with himself. Several weeks ago, it was reported Rosen and Donoghue had threatened to resign in protest if Trump went ahead with his scheme. Eventually, this will all be sorted out, whether it will be as part of the House of Representatives ongoing investigation into the January 6 insurrection, a report by the Department of Justice Inspector General, or a grand jury indictment. I believe the latter will be the case, and here is why. I believe that the facts will support an indictment against Jeffrey Clark for conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States, as defined by 18 U.S.C. 371. One of the public resources that I have used over the years in my law practice, and elsewhere, is an online document titled the Justice Manual, a compilation of Department of Justice policy statements along with a Criminal Resources Manual that describes in detail the elements of various crimes, the facts that need to be proved, and the burden of proof.

Without getting into a lengthy dissertation, it is sufficient to say that Mr. Clark, based upon numerous authoritative press and media reports, has apparently put himself in legal jeopardy with a high potential for prosecution. This is the most egregious case that I have come across in the 53 years that have passed since I graduated law school, where a government official, falsely and with knowledge of the facts, sought to achieve an illicit end by manipulating a government agency to take action and had no business doing. The closest example I can recall was when Richard Nixon told his Attorney General, whom I recall to be Richard Kleindienst, to warn off the FBI from investigating the Watergate break-in on the spurious grounds that it was a CIA operation. Here we have Jeffrey Clark preparing an array of draft correspondence addressed to election officials and political bodies in various states that were hotly contested in the 2020 election, the gist of which letters was that the Department of Justice had determined that the election returns in those states were fraudulent. In law school, we were taught that the substantive crime of conspiracy involves the agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. The substance of the crime is the agreement in and of itself, supported by an 'overt act', which act itself might not necessarily need to be criminal, but which indeed was intended to further the objective of the conspiracy, such as an arsonist purchasing a quantity of gasoline that would then be used as an accelerant in the subsequent fire that followed. We have an agreement between President Trump and Jeffrey Clark to overturn the election by misleading election officials in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and other states where Trump was contesting the vote count, where the purpose of such misdirection was to put the moral and political weight of the United States Department of Justice behind the false allegation that those state elections and their results were tainted by fraud, when no proof of the alleged frauds existed anywhere. How do we know that there was an agreement? We know, because the news reports had Trump and Clark linked together, with Clark on track to supplant and replace Jeffrey Rosen, with Clark being in personal communication with Trump, and taking direction from him, resulting in the draft warning letters that he asked his superiors, Rosen and Donoghue to sign and transmit to their respective addressees. Like pieces of an intricate jigsaw puzzle, the pieces of evidence fit together in only one way, because without the other pieces which they were connected, none of them make any sense standing alone. That rules out any sort of innocent explanation for what was going on.

It follows, then, that the agreement between Clark and Trump was intended to disrupt the official counting of the ballots of those contested states as reflected in the recorded votes of those states in the Electoral College. On January 6, Congress would be counting, ceremonially at least, the ballots of every state in order to determine the winner of the 2020 election. It follows further that Clark and Trump intended to inject confusion and ambiguity into that vote counting, with the hope and expectation that the final vote would be pushed into the House of Representatives where each state delegation was entitled to cast a single vote. With most state delegations favoring Trump, Trump's reelection would have been assured. That was the purpose of staging the January 6 insurrection and invasion into the Capitol building on that same date that Congress was tallying the Electoral College ballots. And it almost succeeded!

I believe it is imperative that we get to the bottom of this. And Jeffrey Clark is a key figure in that accounting. Undoubtedly, Clark will not be spending a great deal of time overseeing the litigation schedule of his new employer; rather, I strongly suspect he will be looking to hire the best criminal defense lawyer he can afford to avoid going to prison for the foreseeable future, possibly decades. By linking his fortunes to that of Donald Trump, Clark has made himself criminally accountable for whatever criminality, and punishment, that the ex-president has created for himself. On his own account, Clark may have incriminated himself in a variety of crimes stemming from his conspiratorial agreement with Trump. Right now, I anticipate that Justice Department attorneys and their investigators are conducting interviews and compiling evidence to see where that evidence leads, and identify the individuals to be held accountable. And in Jeffrey Clark's case, the sheer outrageousness of what he did may, in and of itself, to be sufficient to indict him and bring them to trial. But, as the saying goes, the wheels of justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine, and we may yet see an entire laundry list of criminal acts that Jeffrey Clark may be called to account for. I certainly hope so, and that it not take too long.

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Wonderful post, Artsilen, thank you. I have a question: while it seems clear that Clark’s criminal exposure is real and hopefully imminent, what about his co-conspirator? What about Trump? I personally think that indicting Trump is crucially important to the health of our democracy. We must demonstrate that no one is above the law.

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One step at a time. Rosen and Donoghue were passive actors in this drama, and we certainly will not be hearing from Jeffrey Clark, who, undoubtedly will be following his lawyer's advice to keep his mouth shut tight. In this story, Rosen is the bright shiny object that distracts people from the real story about how Trump found himself a willing accomplice in the person of Jeffrey Clark. There is no Perry Mason moment in this story where Clark confesses on the witness stand. Anything like that, if it comes, would be in the form of a plea agreement between Clark and federal prosecutors attesting to the facts supporting Clark's guilty plea. It's important that people understand exactly what Jeffrey Clark was up to, which is why the details matter. Laying out the logic of the case is harder than stating the conclusion, but it is the facts and the reasoning that I want readers to understand and remember.Then they can come to their own conclusion.

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Thank you, Artsilen, for this thorough and clear description of what Jeffrey Clark and trump were hoping to accomplish and how, at least one of them, can be held accountable. I pray the DOJ can nail these traitors!

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As I mentioned in my original comment,Trump and Clark are joined at the hip in the scheme to overturn the election. They are jointly and severally liable for the acts of each other in matters covered by the conspiracy. Clark's crimes are attributable to Trump, and vice versa. Like Michael Cohen, Clark was working for Trump, and he should be punished accordingly.

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It is frightening how close the DOJ came. But let's not forget the 100s and thousands of DOJ officials who put pen to paper in public condemning Trump, Barr, Flynn etc. (a few examples below). Even GOP members of the NSA put their names out there. These are non-trivial acts of patriotism.

While it is healthy to find all this stuff horrifying, the less we succumb to the tactics of fascists - creating broad labels infused with anger - the larger the coalition for common-sense, democracy and humanity will be.

Strikes me as very important to remember that Trump is not all Republicans. In fact - recognizing those in the GOP who stand up and do the right thing could be the essential component to ensuring our nation gets back on track.

https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/national-security/

https://www.wxyz.com/news/national-politics/more-than-300-former-doj-attorneys-sign-statement-saying-the-believe-trump-obstructed-justice

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/politics/michael-flynn-justice-department-william-barr/index.html

https://medium.com/@dojalumni/doj-alumni-statement-on-the-events-surrounding-the-sentencing-of-roger-stone-c2cb75ae4937

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Yes, and more and more of them need to come out. Where are they? I appreciate that Biden thanked those Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill.

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Great stuff, Artsilen. It seems personal ambition got the better of Rosen and he has made himself a target. Can someone please explain to me why Georgia, my home state, has not brought charges against Trump for instructing state election officials to "just find the votes?" Fear, perhaps?

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This is just a wild thought…I think this cases are like airplanes getting ready to land at LAX. When I lived there you would see then lined up in the sky, talking to the tower, getting all the information they needed to execute their landing. I hope I live long enough to see the beginning of those planes start landing. I believe in our justice system didn’t they take down Al Capone?

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People pooh-pooh the fact that Vance & Co. are going for tax fraud. But that is precisely how you often get a gangster. They cheat and steal and then can't help but cheat the IRS.

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But Capone was a gangster. These people are embedded IN THE SYSTEM

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That's their day job for sure.

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Georgia?

I read an article (one of many) this morning about the community of Buckhead attempting to secede from the city of Atlanta and become its own municipality in Georgia.

"Bill White, the CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, told Fox News Tuesday of his fight to have the area separated from the city of Atlanta entirely in an effort to create their own police department."

In other words Buckhead wishes to become its own segregated community based upon income or wealth. Apparently the Atlanta police force is not paying enough attention to it by running out the homeless encamped on "The Hill."

The philosophy is evident here. We pay our taxes and those resources should be spent in our area as we pay more than people in other areas. The proposed idea by Mr. White is to make more arrests in Buckhead and run the people off of "The Hill" and our problems will be solved.

Not to pick solely on Atlanta as I have seen the same in Detroit, an economically and legally (SCOTUS) walled off city located in Michigan. The city provides almost 50% of the GDP to the state which Republicans are very happy to take and leave the city lacking resource to fix its issues with water, remove lead pipes, and fund its schools. SCOTUS blocked busing children to the wealthy suburbs which would have been a real equalizer. But then, Detroit has Black Americans . . .

But to the other story of Atlanta. It is not unusual for a portion of a city wishing to break off and become independent. It does happen. Mr. Bill White the caricature of the well-off white-America appeared on Fox news with the proposal. He is supporting a person of suspicion to come to Buckhead "to institute law and order" and "making it (Buckhead) the safest large city in America.

Mr. Bill White is calling for "former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani" to come to Buckhead.

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This is all true...but I'm not sure how much traction it has with residents of Buckhead. The City of Atlanta will fight this with all its might, of course, the primary reason being that the City of Atlanta and Fulton county will lose a large chunk of their tax revenue that they use to fund their governments. One of Buckhead's main complaints is getting protection from crime, which has ticked upward recently. They see themselves as "the rich being preyed upon" by criminals from other parts of Atlanta. Well, yes and no. The racial aspect does crop up, but Buckhead is also home to a fairly robust Black upper-middle/upper class that are also complaining they don't feel safe either. It does cut across racial lines somewhat. Residents there also see their infrastructure not being addressed by the City of Atlanta in a manner to their liking, but Atlanta's mayor, while trying to be sympathetic to their concerns also has a very large metro area to try to police, and their forces are stretched thin right now. If Mr. White grabs the spotlight about this issue and solicits a character like Giuliani for help, my gut feeling is that this could very easily work against him. There are also a LOT of young Democrat-leaning rich White residents in Buckhead who could very easily get turned off if the issue becomes too aligned with a polarizing far Right person like Giuliani. The demographics of Buckhead and north Atlanta have shifted a lot recently from "old White Southern money" to younger, prosperous, and more liberal transplants from other parts of the country. I don't see them taking kindly to Rudy Giuliani and all he represents.

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Oh, good grief, I knew about the secession uproar, but don't know how I missed the Giuliani segment of this soap opera! Bruce, I agree that I doubt Buckhead would take kindly to Giuliani. Even the older conservatives know what a clown show that would be, and you're correct about younger, more liberal people moving into the neighborhood.

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It might ne worth the price of admission if Buckhead could be sealed off and put under surveillance and televised.

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Now that's funny! Of course, you know that nothing illegal ever happens in Buckhead - it's just those tacky people who invade the hallowed halls . . . .

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Ha! I'm sure you and other's are thinking about how to counter Bill White's attempt to have Buckhead secede from Atlanta. Interesting he's trying to hire Rudy Guiliani. I don't suppose calling Rudy a carpetbagger would help, even though he is an amoral opportunist from the North. No doubt White's cohort would be happy to label anyone not upholding the values of the old South and the Lost Cause as a "carpetbagger." Sorry. It seemed like a useful idea for about a half second...

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Bill WHITE…says it all?!

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Incredible

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Hmmm?

Perhaps, "artsilen" said such?

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You have to ask?

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But Randy what exactly is the fear of? Is it being booted out of the club? Is it some kind of Republican cult or what?

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Is a citizen’s class action suit against Clark a possibility? If yes,how can one sign on? What is reqired? Just think of rise of Htler. The German government had to be full of Jeffrey Clarks but no Jeff Rosens.

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I’d always admired, or at least never thought corruptible, the DOJ. The number of people who play a part in trump’s criminal machinations is astounding. We’re they tending to corruption before they were hired or did they become corrupted as a result of working there, I wonder.

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One thing for sure. No moral compass. That didn’t just “ happen”. And let's not forget SPINELESSness

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Or where they blackmail?

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Is there evidence of this?

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Google their home towns + sex scandals when they were younger.

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That would account for their timidity.

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Being corrupt was probably a prerequisite for the job.

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(Sweden)

Wonderful precision in your words artsilen! I particularly liked "subversive in purpose and treasonous in content".

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Artsilan, do you realize that your ‘comment’ is longer than HCR’s entire post?

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I think of it as a” footnote” filling us in on what is behind. Important to see all that unseen political machinery trying to screw us

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Are you objecting? The comment was informative throughout. Clark may be one spoke in Trump's wheel at the Department of Justice, what about Barr before he left and how many more spokes among members of the cabinet, in governmental departments, in business... where might the wheel still be turning?

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I am not objecting. I think most of us know what was posted already. Yes, it was an informative comment. However, HCR’s writing today was distinctly NOT about the Rosen/Clark crap.

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'Crap' to you Deb, is gold to me.

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"Where might the wheel still be turning?" Good question. The judiciary springs to mind -- and that concerns -- no, scares me.

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Ruth, I believe Garland and others have Justice covered. The organizations and Donors, some mentioned in Jane Mayer's, The Big Money Behind the Big Lie, are necessary targets. Link to Mayer's article below:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/09/the-big-money-behind-the-big-lie

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I say, keep it comin', Art!

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I saw that. All to explain that Rosen’s revelatory testimony was not “shocking” as HCR noted it. Whatever. Rather hear Durbin get it from Clark’s treasonous mouthpiece when he is brought forward to testify.

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Hshahahahahahaha

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Those Third Reich dudes have been reborn here.

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No matter. Both are terrific.

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We came SO CLOSE. I still shudder to consider.

The system held. There are still enough good people to keep us safe. For now.

Holding the perpetrators criminally accountable is essential to prevent recurrence.

Unbelievable that the January 6 crowd doesn't realize how they were misused in a sinister plot.

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Artsilen, thank-you! Most informative. Naive question here. Can you conjecture as to why Trump would go to such lengths to remain in office? His narcissism? To avoid SDNY prosecution? Back door payoffs/accumulation of wealth? Russian affiliation? Power-hunger?

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This is painfully simple: if you lie and steal in prison you cannot hide behind a pile of lawyers. You end up on the wrong side of the dirt. He is terrified of going to prison.

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All of the above and his willingness to screw those people who keep donating to him, thinking he's fight for them, despite the fact he's engineering the donations to go into his pockets instead.

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Thank you for your analysis Artsilen, but I say it SHOULD be SHOCKING to us ("From my perspective, the use of the word 'shocking' is entirely overdone.") Just as what Nixon and his minions did and we were shocked by each revelation. However, the last 5 years has exhausted us - unlike Nixon's time.

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Well said, Artsilen (but may I suggest you skip that third cup of caffeine this early in the day).

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Please, House "progressives," for once in your lives take "yes" for an answer and realize you are not even the majority in Congress, and are far from that status among Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans whose votes you are going to be in desperate need of next year. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If you people were to do that, you might have a chance of keeping and even expanding your numbers and not have to lose the opportunity to do even more during the last two years of the first Biden term. Just once, don't get greedy and miss the opportunity. Shooting the moon hardly ever gets there, in Hearts or in politics.

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TC I agree wholeheartedly. Listened to a disappointing interview with Ayanna Pressley yesterday--disappointing not because the interviewer didn't try (she pushed her hard) but because Pressley wasn't willing to admit that pursuit of perfection is the enemy of the good. I agree with the Progressives about everything they want to see happen, but they don't seem to understand that action must have primacy over ideology. Many, many of us want to see all the things in the human infrastructure bill happen. But let's start with this bill and then move on to the rest of it. Plodding and grit will win over ideology any day.

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"Action must have primacy over ideology". Spot on!

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Unfortunately, Linda, this is a clear sign of people adopting wholesale an ideology without adapting it to circumstances and who have insufficient capacity for refined thinking of their own. Ideology is like econometric modelling...it must "simplify" reality to make the mathematics work. It will always leave out human nature as it requires an infinite number of equations and goes way beyond their computational power.

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This zeal for "perfection" plays right into the Republicans' hands. My-way-or-the-highway thinking like this could well cost Democrats control (limited as it is) of Congress. Biden is far from perfect, but he's working to appeal to a broad swathe of Americans, including working place people who once reliably voted Democratic.

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So incredibly and painfully true. "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good." Sorta like Warren Buffett (a serious social progressive and supporter of civil rights) comment "better to be roughly right than precisely wrong"

This is such a great message for me to read. Often feel afraid to voice the view "more to the middle gets more done" due to the outrage. Mixing ideals with pragmatism is not always easy but it sure beats forfeiting progress at the hands of perfection.

Just what I needed to read this morning. Thank you for the thoughtful post!

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Agreed. The quicker progressives understand that compromise is required in a representative republic, the quicker the needle will move from the damage created by the ultra conservative Norquist, Tea Party, and Koch Krowd

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I agree - but self-righteousness is so satisfying!

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Yes, the "shoelace" we always trip over.

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Such Tongue in cheek!

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As the Republican Party, burdened with the unbearable load of promoting "trickle down" for four decades sinks beneath the waters, we will be left without an opposition party. Could we end up with a new two party orientation, one dedicated to preserving government's role in seeing that the economy benefits all Americans and the other willing to give away the store in order to "achieve perfection," which as commented upon above, is the enemy of merely "achieving what is good."?

And off on another tangent, "good" might not be sufficient in dealing with Covid19. There we must set a much higher goal. A lot more than the economy is at stake there.

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Good points.

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What are all of these gains Biden is getting passed if not progressive ideas from a long time back??? I disagree with you in that we need more progressive ideas......

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True, we need more progressive ideas, because those are our best hope for survival. However, what TC is alluding to here is what Jim Wright terms "Unicorn Politics" where every dream comes true. It would not surprise me at all if the Progressive Caucus shot themselves (and us) in the foot in the vein of "purity" for every one of their goals. We have to start somewhere, and this bill appears to be it.

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Do you suppose we would have gotten this big of a package if there was no progressive influence??? Do you think Bernie Sanders and the progressives are not influencing Biden and the dems to some extent???

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Bernie needs to have a serious conversation with the Progressive Caucus

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My thoughts exactly!

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That's not what I said. I said that until we get another win in 2022 that makes it possible to continue to govern and accomplish the things we know we need to do, we need to concentrate on winning that election. The stuff that is in the current bill is achievements that are popular and can be a platform to run on successfully, so let's not get too many cooks in the kitchen right now. If we don't win next year, Trump will be president again in 2024, and I am pretty sure nobody wants that. Right now, we are still in "all hands to general quarters" mode like last year. Anybody who doesn't see that has no business in the business of politics.

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Sadly, the jobs report was blown from the top of the news in such a short time span due to so much going on.

However, I would suggest that our elected officials tout it and shout it from the roof tops. Especially since so many are getting ready to go back home.

Here's another suggestion for our elected officials.

Business cards, for informational purposes that has info on both sides about the big issues that are coming for a vote or have been voted on.

When my husband first got Lewy Body Dementia, we had business cards made up. One side explain LBD and Aphasia in short bullet points

The other side had his medical info and my contact info.

We made them back when he was still able to be out on his own. Mostly because we worried that something could come up and this could explain things, but also as a way to educate people.

I still carry my knot making cards in my purse, because I don't remember a lot of them, but if I ever need to know how to tie one, I've got the info at the tip of my fingers.

Stay safe. Tell people you love them.

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Beth, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks everyone.

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Thank you Beth. My wonderful brother has LBD. It’s devastating. I so appreciate you sharing this story. I’ll pass on to his family the idea of carrying cards. An acquaintance who had a stroke and can no longer speak nor write does this too. It’s a strategic way of lessening isolation and encouraging caring, supportive behaviors. A win for everyone. Thanks, too, for the reminder to tell people you love them. I love you for your brave contributions to this community. You are a treasure ❤️

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Another way to provide information is to make up an In Case of Emergency card for one's self with medical issues, medications, contact info for your family & medical personnel to carry with you. I drafted one on my computer and set it up so it's a 5.5" x 3.5" 2 sided card & saved it in order to modify it as needed. I used a laminated card to protect it. (I'm a retired RN-does it show? LOL!)

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The card idea is excellent Beth. Thank You. And blessings to you.

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Those cards are a great idea. I'm sorry your husband has that terrible disease. I only learned about it recently when a former sergeant of mine had his wife come down with it.

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Blessings, Beth.

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Peace to you✌🏻

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"In the next ten years, [the first infrastructure bill] is expected to create nearly 3 million jobs."

The bulk of those jobs, as I've understood, will require a high school diploma, but not a college degree. This has the potential to rebuild the middle class and to reduce poverty. And that will help rescue our democracy.

There's a glimmer of hope!

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It boggles the mind that real ( not for-profit ) trade schools have been nearly eliminated in so many districts over the past 30+ years. In what universe is understanding how our infrastructure works a job for “dummies”?

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This is where the free 2 years of community college come in. They teach the trades mainly. So HURRAY!

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"What are the costs if we do not?"

Time to rock and roll, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Climate, people, and our resilience in the face of predicted change of climate. FAST, we must move and our country has a hope that we will lead in the slow race to mitigate our fossil fuel catastrophe. Partisan tropes be damned, keep us below 2 degrees C!

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Hi Kim, thanks for keeping the home fires burning in my home state of Washington! Seattle born I live in the UK, (Wales) now.

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Speaking of climate, these days we have to clarify what we mean by keeping the home fires burning...

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I meant the cozy and true flame of love in the heart of sentient beings.

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I knew what you meant, which is so lovely. Climate driven wildfires, not so much.

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Ellie, I was about to jump in before seeing that you did. FIRE has become a alarm in our minds, along with FLOOD, DELTA, McConnell...

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Activate that amygdala...

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I knew that's what you meant, Robin!

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How nicely you put that!

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Morning Elie....Taking you at the surface level as opposed to your understood meaning......we are certainly not all going back to the wholesale destruction of our forests to put wood in the family hearth, nor coal to create "London's smog", nor electricity if it comes from nuclear or carbon fuels, nor peat cut from the drying of wetland moors.....we haven't all got a handy waterfall nor the space for geothermic soltions.....and heat exchangers need electricity to function! The simple question of how we heat ourselves on a cold winter day is indeed going to be a conundrum. We are heading straight towards a very large conflict of objectives....classic problem faced by all psychotherapists! We are a lot more people on the planet than we used to be.....

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Dead on, Stuart. I wish we had a handy waterfall (or even 3 meters drop in our creek!). Trying to run a 21C existence, let alone a lab, on solar and increasing cloudiness, really concentrates the mind.

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Not to mention the tropical temperatures that often reign outside the lab. What price climatisation.

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Our issue isn't temperature here - seldom rises above 32C, it's humidity - seldom falls below 80%.

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Can you create a dam?

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Sadly no - neither the appropriate geology, physiography or drop. dammit!

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Warming, this week, but as a friend says, this is a "god-spot" of climate change. SO many climate refugees coming.

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That is the part of the letter than jumped out at me as well. Indeed. The last 40+ years have shown us the costs. I don't want to keep paying that bill.

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George H. W. Bush used the term, "Voodooo economics" to criticize the manipuilations of our economy. HW is the only Republican since Eisenhower that I had any respect for.

The longheld myth Republicans hold about themselves is that they are good for a growing economy. They are not. They are good for growing the wealth of the wealth class; period. As one who spent a fifty-year career in the private business sector, I know from fact and experience one important axiom: Money out, money in. Ploughing more money "out" into the economy as the Biden administration is attempting to do equals more money into the pockets of families. Ergo, more money for those families to spend. Thus, more money flowing back into the economy. "Trickle down" is a sadistic myth.

Ronald Reagan was Middle America's economic death knell. Since Reagan, every Republican with the exception -- perhaps -- of HW has been yet another ringer of that death knell.

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When will the expose of Reagan's wrecking ball be written.? That guy has PR working from the grave! When he fired all the air controllers he broke the union and that massive crack has widened to where we are now.

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Reagan also instituted taxing Social Security Income, drastically reducing corporate and wealth taxes. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 took away most of the tax write-offs or deductions from everyday Americans. Reagan was phony to his core, a lousy actor and worse as a president.

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Please write the book You know a lot Long overdue!!! It is like in the Wizard of Oz Drawing away the curtain to see just who, in fact, is that little guy with the big microphone ...

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Thank you for your generosity of thought! A book? Perhaps. But, there are so many of us "crying in the wind".

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I take down St. Reagan whenever I can especially when his destruction is plain to see with the unhoused among many other problems. Not about to write an expose however. Someone should.

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Waiting for it.

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Good points here, Kinsman. "good for growing the wealth of the wealth class". Gods, how I wish I could get some of my good hearted but conservative brethren to see that. Let them understand that the common welfare is for all, not just those that you think "deserve" it. Maybe, just maybe, with better resources, food and housing security, and child care these people could ascend to your lofty position of "deserving".

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The pernicious and persistent lie that the poor are somehow lesser than or are failures helps perpetuate systemic injustice. Christians often equate economic success with godliness. Charity eases our guilt, but, changes little.

We are willfully blind to the enormous contribution cheap labor plays in our economic success, and the crushing cost born by low wage workers.

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Your point is very well stated. "Christians" in today's context by and large are not followers of Jesus, the Gospels or the Beatitudes. Christianity today has been turned into a commodity. Selflessness has given way to extraordinary selfishness. "Manifest destiny" and "exceptionalism" have been widely corrupted in order to justify (and, expose) some of our most hideous traits.

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Yes, yes, and yes!

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There is "common" welfare and there is "corporate" welfare. Republicans hang their entire careers on feeding corporatocracy; corporate welfare. The people are the engine that drives this machine, our nation. Republicans are economic sadists. Simply listen to the likes of Mitch McConnell. When one looks at how much in debt we are and how much CHINA owns us, one might actually awaken to the horror; even Republicans.

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Bush Sr.'s contribution to the American people was his declaration that Reagan's economic plan was "Voodoo economics". But most Americans disregarded his warning. Then, Reagan (or the RNC) chose Bush Sr. as Reagan's running mate. Later, when Bush Sr. was president, he pardoned all of the Iran-Contra criminals. That act was a blatant disregard for Justice. (Sort of like Prez Ford pardoning Nixon "for the good of the country". That was a bad precedent.)

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Dominion Keeps Up Defamation Lawsuits, Filing Against OANN, Newsmax and Patrick Byrne

Dominion Voting Systems has filed yet more defamation lawsuits over false statements about the 2020 elections, requesting $1.6 billion in damages each from Newsmax, One America News Network, and ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

The suits add to a growing list for the voting machine manufacturer, which has separately sued former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and Fox News.

The complaints spend dozens of pages walking through the ragtag cast of characters that’s fueled lies about the 2020 election. Both Byrne and OANN, for example, promoted Edward Solomon, who they characterized as an expert mathematician who had evidence that Dominion machines manipulated votes.

In fact, Dominion’s OANN suit alleged, Solomon was no “expert mathematician” but rather “a convicted drug dealer who never graduated college and whose current job was setting up swing sets in Long Island, New York.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/dominion-keeps-up-defamation-lawsuits-filing-against-oann-newsmax-and-patrick-byrne

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In other bad news for rightwing whackos: MTG takes a fourth strike and is suspended for 1 week on Twitter. One more and she's OUT! Permanently.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-twitter-suspended-b1900061.html

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Well just bless her heart.

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🤣🤣🤣

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Good news. My money says she will do it again.

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Christopher, I did know that MTG stands for Marjorie Taylor Greene but other subscribers may not. Please spell out all the abbreviations and acronyms that you use in the future. Thank you.

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Can I say here that when I see her referred to as MTG, I bristle. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was referred to as RBG as a moniker of utmost respect. To refer to Greene in similar fashion, to me, puts her on the same level, and therefore cheapens RBG. I prefer to see her called Empty G, which is what she is. Rant over

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In no way does that impact the respect for anyone who is referenced by their initials. JFK, LBJ, MLK and RBG were initialized because they were extremely popular and it saves time.

Methinks thou doest protest un petit trop. I would never dis Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Christopher, I am in no way dissing you. All those you mention above deserve the recognition (in my opinion). She does not. I loathe that woman and would like to stick a live grenade in her pie hole. As far as El Blobbo del Maga Lardo (thanks, TC!) if I do refer to him with initials, they are not capitalized. Generally, I use much less socially acceptable words to describe him..../s

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I say 'spell it out'! Feelings about 'her' are universal on forum, I think!?

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Bravo, Barbara

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It's spelled out in the link.

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Please spell it out next to the abbreviation. Most people, while reading cannot assume that the word or words that they are looking for is in the link. Even if a few do look, why should their reading be so interrupted?

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TYVM and BWTY (any clue what these mean, FERN?? 😂

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Yikes, where did they come from? Address the commenter, please.

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FERN, they stand for "Thank You Very Much" and for all ... I forget the other acronym, for heaven’s sakes!!

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So, you know how the rest of us often feel!

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Yes, she'll do it again, but since she knows she'll be out, imagine what s**t she'll post as her last hurrah.

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Live by the Tweet, die by the Tweet. Let her misguided idea of Free Speech be her own downfall just as it was TFG's.

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Hoisted on her own petard.

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So true!

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Christopher you are I think (stealing a word from Christine) sizzling with good news today! Grateful!

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These are stories I run across in the morning preparing for my daily podcast. When I see one I think would be appreciated here I cross post it b/c not everyone has the time or energy to comb through the labyrinth of political news everyday.

I especially like to share the good for us/bad for them news on days when Heather Cox Richardson writes about tough subjects on our side.

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Opinion: We Research Misinformation on Facebook. It Just Disabled Our Accounts.

By Laura Edelson and Damon McCoy

Ms. Edelson is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at N.Y.U.’s Tandon School of Engineering, where Dr. McCoy is an associate professor of computer science and engineering. They are affiliated with the nonpartisan research group Cybersecurity for Democracy.

"We learned last week that Facebook had disabled our Facebook accounts and our access to data that we have been using to study how misinformation spreads on the company’s platform.

We were informed of this in an automated email. In a statement, Facebook says we used “unauthorized means to access and collect data” and that it shut us out to comply with an order from the Federal Trade Commission to respect the privacy of its users.

This is deeply misleading. We collect identifying information only about Facebook’s advertisers. We believe that Facebook is using privacy as a pretext to squelch research that it considers inconvenient. Notably, the acting director of the F.T.C.’s consumer protection bureau told Facebook last week that the “insinuation” that the agency’s order required the disabling of our accounts was “inaccurate.”

“The F.T.C. is committed to protecting the privacy of people, and efforts to shield targeted advertising practices from scrutiny run counter to that mission,” the acting director, Samuel Levine, wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/10/opinion/facebook-misinformation.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

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“Unauthorized means to access and collect data?" What a joke, Facebook. I believe they already know my bank account info, my shoe size and what I like for dessert. They and other major tech companies are the Stasi of the 21st century.

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Thank you Christopher. It is crucial to investigate Facebook's processes, monitor and I believe regulate it along with other social media outlets.

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Pro-Biden groups to spend $100 million on August ad blitz

"An outside coalition of progressive organizations launched a war room and is planning to host over 1,000 events and actions over the next six weeks, The Associated Press learned. The goal, officials said, was to bombard the home districts of members of Congress with ads — both televised and digital — to keep the pressure on to follow through on their votes as well as to underscore much of the agenda’s popularity with the public."

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-health-coronavirus-pandemic-a7a4e1d91bdca473baab319778851c52

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Good. It seems maybe they learned a lesson during the Obama years. This is straight-up marketing of the impact Biden's policies are having. A shaping operation for 2022 elections.

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I'm not an attorney, but I'm guessing that Dominion has clear standing to sue for defamation and lost income as they were directly and deliberately slandered and libeled by the outrageous election lies these right-wing "news" outfits ceaselessly hammered into viewers' brains. That they are continuing and expanding those lawsuits means they are in effect going to bat for the rest of us. Bravo, Dominion!

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Here's a snippet and its link:

"Legal experts suggest that Powell could be in for a rude awakening here.

“Defamation cases over political rhetoric are usually weak, because political rhetoric is usually opinion-based rather than fact-based,” First Amendment attorney Ken White told Law&Crime. “This case is notable because Powell and her associates made so many provably false statements of fact that can’t be dismissed as mere hyperbole or political rhetoric. Dominion has spotted their challenge – proving actual malice, that Powell knew the statements were false, notwithstanding her completely crazy demeanor – and is addressing it head-on by arguing that she’s a grifter, not a lunatic. It will be a hell of a ride.”

And the suite of damages she faces could go high into the stratosphere.

Jonathan Schwartz is a partner at Michigan-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. He analyzed the situation as such:

Dominion appears to have an extremely strong case on the merits, and the potential damages are astronomical. The Complaint filed by Dominion’s attorneys contains brilliant legal analysis and detective work, and frankly is one of the finest I’ve ever seen, both in content and presentation. These defendants, and others who made allegedly unsubstantiated accusations against the company, should be terrified of the consequences and the certainty of expensive multi-year litigation."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/legal-experts-say-dominion-s-defamation-lawsuit-against-sidney-powell-appears-to-be-extremely-strong-it-will-be-a-hell-of-a-ride/ar-BB1cAUgC

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Thank you, Christopher Johnson, for the link to some actual legal analysis (unlike mine :--) It's delightful to read that a legal expert thinks that the defendants named in Dominion's latest suits - Powell, Guiliani, Lindall - are in deep legal trouble.

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"It was just a quick Google search" he said rubbing his toe in the dirt.

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Oh Christopher, that swing set thing made me laugh. You can’t make this stuff up. Go Dominion!

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Excellent news

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The incredible thing about the tax cuts that were enacted is they were effectively a double tax cut. With 80% of the stock market being held by the wealthiest 10%, cutting corporate taxes caused stock prices to rise. That massively increased the wealth of the wealthiest as nobody pays taxes on higher asset prices. [source below]

Have been a fiscally conservative and socially liberal indie for my whole life. Today politics are out the window. We live in a world where there are facts and lies. Skirting the issue by saying claims are "baseless" minimizes the deleterious nature that lies have on our Democracy today.

Thank you for the work you do - this is a fantastic, honest, well-researched and well-sourced way to start the day!!

Grateful for all you are doing.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/02/perspective-on-the-stock-market-rally-80-of-stock-value-held-by-top-10/

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Here’s another revelatory piece of news, from the LA Times: — The Texas governor appealed for out-of-state medical help as COVID-19 hospitalizations soared but stopped short of reversing his ban on mask mandates, even as leaders of the state’s largest cities and school systems imposed them.

File under: Helluva Nerve.

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My former mother-in-law once told me the definition of chutzpah: A man convicted by a jury of murdering both his parents comes before the judge for sentencing. The judge asks him if he has anything to say. "Yes, Your Honor, I do. I believe I am entitled to a lenient sentence. After all, I am an orphan."

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Whatta guy that Furman is, don't you think? Having been retired for the past four years, I cannot say I have contributed to the jobs growth we are currently seeing. But through the purchase of my two Biden/Harris coffee mugs last year, I can say it was an investment that is showing positive returns. Proud to be part of the solution!

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Morning, Lynell! I, too, bask in the delight of retirement, although until a few months ago I was working part time (now completely job-free!)

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Morning, Ally!! Hooray for us!

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Morning to you too, Lynell.

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Gettin' on about evening time for you, Stuart...Evening!!

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It's holiday time and in Provence the time is different...manyana

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"modern-day Republicans have argued that the government should simply cut taxes in order to free up capital for wealthier Americans to invest."

As if that is the only possible use for all the money floating to the top. As if there are no tax havens in the Caribbean or no Swiss banks. No more homes, yachts, jewels, or cars to buy. Republicans really do think we're fools, don't they?

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As if there are no politicians to buy…

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All should be paying their fair share in taxes. The fact that Republicans would not support additional staff in the IRS to enforce this tells us what their screams of “socialism” really means. Shame on Ron Johnson, failure 45, Mitch McCon (the farmer) and every other tax cheat. Time for an executive order to bring fairness and honesty and $$$$$ into tax collection.

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The Democrats, God bless 'em, have common sense; the Republicans have nonsense!

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The game changed in favor of the American people, and the world, the moment we all learned that President Biden had enough electoral votes to win the presidency. Now with these legislative victories, common sense appears to be winning the day. It’s a great start. Weneed to keep encouraging our elected representatives to go further. Our voices matter to them because we vote. Our democracy is always tenuous… that is how the founders intended it to be. The will of the people can be frustrated at times by a highly focused minority bent on having its own way. Right now the minority is in retreat on multiple fronts as the majority decisively asserts its will. This is long overdue. So now, the majority gets a chance to set things right. As more legislation is passed the true strength of the will of the American people is felt again The hard work of making our democracy develop and grow depends on all of us to put our shoulders to the task. That’s what Franklin meant when he quipped, (in answer to a question posed to him as he exited the Constitutional Convention in 1787), Dr Franklin, do we have a Republic or a Monarchy? …” A Republic…if we can keep it”. It’s not easy to do, but when we try…very good things start happening, again. Thank you to all the dedicated legislators who stayed up late to pass the first part of the infrastructure bill in the Senate and to our hard working president and administration who are giving it their all. Keep up the good work…we like and appreciate what you are trying to do to keep our Republic truly strong.

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Propublica out with a story about the Trump tax cuts being a piece of forced engineering by Republican Senator Ron Johnson of WI who held the tax cuts hostage. He did so to add a tax cut for pass-through companies. Documents now coming to light show that his demand, which Trump accepted, "....benefitted two families more than almost any others in the country - both worth billions and among the senator's biggest donors." That change reduced the taxes of those two families by $215ml in 2018 and, according to propublica, could reduce taxes payed by these TWO FAMILIES by over half a billion.

Fiscal conservative and socially liberal independent here so I am not some "radical." This is a revolting attack on our entire system of government. The news is out and the evidence is in: the United States tax code was successfully amended to benefit two very specific billionaires.

This is crony capitalism (at best) run to benefit a few kleptocrats.

Source: https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-irs-files-reveal-how-much-the-ultrawealthy-gained-by-shaping-trumps-big-beautiful-tax-cut

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You have written about FISCAL CONSERVATISM = tax cuts for the wealthy; low taxation rates on passive (investment) income; low responsibility on corporations; low regulation.

Fiscal conservatism has been the death knell for the middle and working class in America.

Europeans, Canadians, and the "rest of the West” pride themselves on Social Democratic economics, a stated acknowledgement of the role of the government to steer tax money for Basic Human Needs Democracy Capitalism (my term)

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Fiscal conservatism most emphatically does NOT mean tax cuts for the wealthy. It means being conservative with money. Maybe there is a vast amount of spending on, say, corporate subsidies, that is unhealthy.

"fiscally conservative" people would NEVER want to see the Trump tax cuts. With the economy doing reasonably well but the US still running deficits those tax cuts were a horror show.

Let's not fall prey to reductive thinking and assign labels to terms and categories that encompass a broad range of views. "Fiscally conservative and socially liberal" is simply a way, for me, to say "we need to do our best, over a full economic cycle, to collect what we spend, and, what we spend should be principally to support economic and social justice."

Frederick, my hope is that we can calm the vitriol and engage in discussion. I make no claims to "definitional hegemony" on what "fiscal conservative" means but hope you can find a bit more patience.

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Hey ‘Lost', I appreciate your sentiments, but wholeheartedly disagree with anything that is founded on Reaganism, the echoes of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond. No, conservativism (Free Market Capitalism) has been the ruin of our industrial might, our moral standing and our place in the world. I am an unabashed Democratic Capitalist who understands the best of social spending, and therefore the rightful place of capitalism. We are far too wealthy a society to have our levels of addiction, murder, suicides, unemployment and underemployment.

No more “Free Market” for the Investment class and “Socialized Costs” for the rest of the world. btw, I AM a member of the investment class, albeit on a limited basis. I know far too well the rules of the economy, thru my nearly 70 years.

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This may sound a tad academic, but why not stick to "Big C Conservatism" to indicate that we are discussing the political version and "Little c conservatism" for the normal useage of the term. That would reduce a stack of misinterpretations and mis understandings. The same goes for terms like liberal.

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Greetings Hugh: The entire leadership of the Republican Party and its movement allies such as the Chamber of Commerce, born again Evangelicals, anti-equality of marriage and anti-womens equality movements ALL advocate for limited roles of Democracy (government). At the core of this psychology is the return to an America of a patriarchal, heterosexual, wedded families with limited responsibilities for anyone else, the less fortunate, or the Earth. Since 1980, there has been such an overwhelming consensus on the right that politicians attempt to outdo one another on their Evangical, patriarchal bona-fides.

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