697 Comments

And there it is — as concise and accurate assessment of our dire plight as I've read, courtesy of the Financial Times writer:

“I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.”

May it echo over and over across the nation. If there are any "good" Republicans left in Congress besides Cheney and Kinzinger, they better speak loud and clear in rejecting Trumpism. Or history will remember them as complicit.

Expand full comment

Complicit Susan Collins' cringeworthy bending herself into pretzels - TrumpYoga Susan going down dog for the Don - to justify stuff like the tax scam, embracing Jim Crow states rights arguments to vote against civil rights legislation and now dancing around defending Trump's attacks on the FBI. At a certain point mealy mouthed mumblings are effectively not all that different from full throated shout outs.

Expand full comment

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." (Author unknown, many attributes).

Expand full comment

...and good women like Liz Cheney...

Expand full comment

Liz isn't doing nothing; she's putting it all on the line. Can't stand her policies; love her courage and the kind of patriotism Lincoln and Eisenhower (both Republicans) would recognize.

Expand full comment

Heart button not working, so HEART!

Expand full comment

Are you saying Liz Cheney is doing nothing?? Really? Please clarify.

Expand full comment

Susan Collins has a special ring in hell.

Expand full comment

The Circle of "Concern."

Expand full comment

LOL

Expand full comment

Very clever!!!

Expand full comment

Now that's funny. And appropriate!!!

Expand full comment

Oh, too funny...I was going to say hypocrisy, but her own word fits so well.

Expand full comment

well done

Expand full comment

She sure does.

Expand full comment

“Collins' cringeworthy bending herself into pretzels… down dog for the Don.” Iin, the imagery of your post today is priceless—poetic! Bravo!

Expand full comment

And forgot the alliteration: “mealy mouthed mumblings”! Hmmmm…

Expand full comment

She has been what she is for a very long time, always with a meaningless promise to lure the fools

Expand full comment

And it works. the fools keep re-electing her.

Expand full comment

Can Maine voters recall her? She’s betrayed any Margaret Chase Smith legacy she might allude to

Expand full comment

It is my sincerest wish to do so. She has brought embarrassment to our great state with her cringeworthy "concern".

Expand full comment

That she has done.

Expand full comment

Susan Collins is popular in Maine.

Expand full comment

Perhaps by many, but I have relatives who've transplanted from Massachusetts to Maine, and I can't repeat their affection for Ms. Collins - I'd be banned from posting here if I did.

Expand full comment

After the most well-financed campaign to defeat her in 2020, she won by 10 points. I don’t like Susan Collins. But she knows what she is doing. So many here attack her, because she’s not a liberal. The liberals here don’t understand that 60% of Mainers are not liberal, and do support Collins. The myopia is strong in us liberals.

Expand full comment

I agree. Many folks don't understand that New England isn't nearly as liberal as they think, and I'd guess that Maine is on a par with upstate New York in its conservatism. The fact that Collins has been a fixture for years takes her out of the current foaming-at-the-mouth crop of Republicans, too.

Expand full comment

Shortly after the Kavanaugh confirmation, Ms Susan Collins was at Trump’s desk for some bill she sponsored, (which I believe she spent much time working on). I could tell you exactly the price of her vote. What Susan Collins didn’t get was that her name will be mud, no matter what bill she advanced.

That is the difference between Susan Collins and Liz Cheney. Liz gave up her position in the party and all her other assignments, because she is driven by what is right for America, not what is right for her political career.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

JaneDough56, many will argue with me, but although I appreciate what Liz has done, and I admire her skill and determination, I suspect that she is feathering her nest for the future, whether it's a run for the presidency or some other high office (SCOTUS?) once the Trumpstorm finally ends. Don't forget who her father is, and whose advice she's listening to. Yes, she did the right thing, but her motivation could be much more complex. I can't imagine ever voting for a pro-life ultra conservative who voted with Trump over 90% of the time, regardless of her current motivation for taking on Trumpers.

Expand full comment

I’m not sure how successful she’ll be. Her best role in the next two elections is that of the spoiler, and that’s if she works very hard at it.

Expand full comment

I agree with you in the near term, and considering her constituency, I doubt that she'll make headway in the near future. Still, though, she's in her mid 50's, so she has a long time to see changes that would make a comeback possible.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

And to add on - every “moral victory” comes with a moral price. So you get a “Pro-Life” America, and all it took was gerrymandering states, erasing voting rights, packing the courts with pro-life judges, and embracing a morally corrupt autocrat-wannabe. Was it really worth it?

Expand full comment

What is ‘pro-life’? We have had this discussion ad ininitum!

Alleged group is dogmatic by nature, thus attracted to authoritarian, amoral creatures who co-opt their message in order to get elected. Reference little Frankie graham’s nation wide crusade to get the ‘believers’ to vote for the alleged ‘pro life ‘ candidate I. 2016!

You can look it up!

Expand full comment

That’s what mean by trading a democracy for what they believe is the moral high ground.

Expand full comment

The difference between the two representatives is as wide as the Pacific Ocean!

Expand full comment

Fascists' woke...

Expand full comment

She's quite a legend already. It must keep her warm at night.

Expand full comment

No one as yet has come up with a sincere why? What is it that made Collins. Graham, etc start twisting?

Expand full comment

Anything, anything to remain in office; to believe, and to some extent do, have power.

The Founding Fathers anticipated a demagogue. They never imagined Senators like these.

Expand full comment

What a wonderful and accurate description of all talk and no walk Susie Q.

Expand full comment

Hilarious!

Expand full comment

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Expand full comment

I wonder what Susan Collings likes with her pretzels - Yellow or brown mustard?

Expand full comment

I have some honey pretzels....not those. Brown mustard tends to be spicier. I think yellow.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Liz Cheney proves that the New England laptop ‘liberal’ class does not stand for anything other than despising Trump. Why don’t you guys pack up and go fight the next war that the current criminal regime is marching us towards?

Expand full comment

We do not want to be a nation of Christian and Catholic Nationals.

Expand full comment

Amen, Sister. Signed -- another faith tradition

Expand full comment

Please say more about your thoughts, Mr. Blundon.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

What more is there to say? We have a proven, track-record-war-criminal, who certainly appears to be demented, lazily wandering us in at least the general vicinity of 2 nuclear wars and we want to keep the Trump banter going. All you Cheney-cheering propagandized dupes need to start packing because without a course correction, war is coming.

Expand full comment

From where is this war coming?

Expand full comment

The war is coming from the same crowd that marched on the Capitol, only there will be more of them and better armed. There may be more regular military as well.

This is the most terrifying account of where we are that Professor Richardson has written. I would add to it the MSNBC reported that Grassley and Cruz both repeated the lie from the web that there are 187,000 armed IRS agents coming for US. If the DOJ cannot put a stop to unsealing the affidavit, we may be in big trouble fast. Putin must be puffing out his chest enjoying his power. Trump, Jr. should be officially reprimanded for giving “aid and comfort to the enemy.” Free speech to bring down by force a democratic government ?

As for Liz Cheney: yes, to her fight against Trump, but no to her backward-looking Republican Party. We need to keep our eyes on the EU (which is dealing with climate change more rapidly than we and taking better care of its citizens)and we must continue sending arms to Ukraine.

Expand full comment

I for one would like some suggestions from you as to what you would do in Biden's place WRT Russia/Ukraine, and China/Taiwan. I assume those are the two areas of concern? Yes - nuclear war is worrisome to say the least. But it is not the USA that is being confrontational. Our positions (and BTW our allies as well including NATO) are in response to aggression from Russia and China. Again - what would you do?

Expand full comment

To understand where we are in Ukraine, you have to go back to the 2014 far right coup that was backed by the US under then president Joe Biden.

https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/event/2014-coup-ukraine

Following this coup, the Eastern provinces, which are almost entirely inhabited by ethnic Russians, separated from the rest of Ukraine. In response to this, a civil war broke out that claimed at least 14,000 lives as the Ukrainian state attempted to reclaim this territory with US supplied weapons.

https://www.voanews.com/a/what-are-the-minsk-accords-/6435211.html

"Ukraine refused a dialogue with the separatists."

If I were Biden, I would stop the transfer of US weapons to Ukraine immediately and work to find a peace agreement before the situation worsens but good luck with that. Biden has a long record as a war-mongering maniac.

Expand full comment

“Laptop liberals…”, “Cheney cheering propagandizes dupes..”!

Kindly elucidate on these glittering generalities?

Ms. Cheney has exhibited courage and bravery worthy of our nations highest honor! The publisher of JFK’s ‘Profiles in Courage’ should have an editor add Ms Cheney’s fearless effort to save our democracy to that book!

Using sports as an analogy, several famous professional athletes remind themselves what counts is how effective will my next at bat be, my next throw in football, my next kick to goal in soccer, my next putt in golf! They motivate despite poor past performances.

Ms. Cheney likewise has shown that she has moved past Papa Cheney’s disastrous decisions, motivated by personal business interests, which qualify him as a war criminal.

Brava Liz and thank you!

Expand full comment
Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 22, 2022

Holy cow it is just so unbelievable watching you all fall all over yourselves defending LIZ CHENEY?!?! What happened to you guys? We used to be on the same page standing against the tyranny and lies of the Bush / CHENEY administration. I know what happened to you. In typical boomer fashion, you approach politics as if it were a soap opera which is therefore completely disconnected from reality. That explains why somehow, despite living through the LBJ Vietnam War you still equate being a good person with being a Democrat?? Trump and COVID came along and were a 1-2 punch that literally broke all of your brains. Now you are full-on pro-war, pro-censorship husks of your former selves.

Expand full comment

“How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just does not see?”

Bob Dylan.

Expand full comment

"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." - Paul Simon

Expand full comment

Boomers had, IMHO, the best music

Expand full comment

Trump keeps lying when he outta be truthin'

Expand full comment

He don’t know “truthin”

Expand full comment

True that...!

Expand full comment

But he fears it.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Many times, it appears. May we ask for clear sight for them.

Bob Dylan

https://youtu.be/KpD26IoRLvA

🗽

Expand full comment

"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind."

Bob Dylan

Expand full comment

Apparently, many are infinitely capable.

Expand full comment

May it be emblazoned on the front page of the Times. The WSJ. The washington Post and every news show’s headline story. And may every Republican senator and representative live forever in infamy and as an example of the shameful cowardice and GREED to which so called educated people people can stoop

Expand full comment

Power and it's abuses is the elephant in the room of human suffering.

Expand full comment

Nice, subtle tie in to the Republican Party's animal avatar

Expand full comment

I just happens. I think actual elephants a cool, but it seems to me (for me included) we see a lot that doesn't adequately register. It seems to me that successful, empowering leaders and movements work in part by calling attention to the hiding in plain sight.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

We did not need Eric Trump to remind us of our associations of death with his father, the former president, or with right-wing extremist groups and many in the Republican Party.

‘Donald Trump's Racially Charged Advocacy of the Death Penalty’

‘The Republican frontrunner has long called for more executions—even when his proposals run afoul of the Constitution.’

‘Trump has a history of invoking the death penalty without regard for its limitations. After the brutal rape of a white jogger in Central Park in April 1989 received widespread media attention, and amid a rise in crime rates nationwide, Trump took out a full-age ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY! BRING BACK THE POLICE!”* He did not specifically reference the Central Park jogger attack in the ad, but its timing made the connection inescapable.’ (Atlantic)

‘Donald Trump has added a morbid new distinction to his presidency – for the first time in US history, the federal government has in one year executed more American civilians than all the states combined.’

‘Against that downward path, the actions of the Trump administration stand out as a grotesque aberration.’ (Guardian)

‘Inside Trump and Barr’s Last-Minute Killing Spree’

‘Private executioners paid in cash. Middle-of-the-night killings. False or incomplete justifications. ProPublica obtained court records showing how the outgoing administration is using its final days to execute the most federal prisoners since World War II.’

‘In its hurry to use its final days in power to execute federal prisoners, the administration of President Donald Trump has trampled over an array of barriers, both legal and practical, according to court records that have not been previously reported.’

‘Officials gave public explanations for their choice of which prisoners should die that misstated key facts from the cases. They moved ahead with executions in the middle of the night.’

https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-trump-and-barrs-last-minute-killing-spree

‘As Right-Wing Rhetoric Escalates, So Do Threats and Violence’

‘Both threats of political violence and actual attacks have become a steady reality of American life. Experts blame dehumanizing and apocalyptic language’

‘In the year and a half since a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, threats of political violence and actual attacks have become a steady reality of American life, affecting school board officials, election workers, flight attendants, librarians and even members of Congress, often with few headlines and little reaction from politicians.’

‘While this welter of events may feel disparate, occurring at different times and places and to different types of people, scholars who study political violence point to a common thread: the heightened use of bellicose, dehumanizing and apocalyptic language, particularly by prominent figures in right-wing politics and media.’

‘Several right-wing or Republican figures reacted to the search of Mar-a-Lago not only with demands to dismantle the F.B.I., but also with warnings that the action had triggered “war.”

“This just shows everyone what many of us have been saying for a very long time,” Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed House candidate in Washington State, said on a podcast run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief political strategist. “We’re at war.”

‘According to the F.B.I., there are now about 2,700 open domestic terrorism investigations — a number that has doubled since the spring of 2020 — and that does not include lesser but still serious incidents that do not rise to the level of federal inquiry. Last year, threats against members of Congress reached a record high of 9,600, according to data provided by the Capitol Police.’ (NYTimes) See gifted link to the article below.

The former president’s disregard for human life didn’t begin with his deadly mismanagement of the Covid pandemic, it is part of his nature. Our deep concern about Trump having power over the American people includes his advocates, the likes of DeSantis, right-wing extremists, and the Republican Party transformation into a cult of the personality. Our commitment to the principles of Democracy and the understanding that Democracy emphasizes the value of every human being speaks to our responsibility as citizens of the United States of America.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/13/nyregion/right-wing-rhetoric-threats-violence.html?

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

... so, how many years/decades passed before the 5 young men accused/convicted of the 1989 rape in Central Park were proven innocent,- and still, the sTrumpette insisted they were guilty and should have been executed ...?

And what about right-wing Republican calls to dismantle the FBI in response to the warrented search of Msr-a-Lago? Did those same voices rise in defense of black American movements for justice and equity in the sixties - or First Nations defense of sovereign treaty rights at Wounded Knee in the seventies? Of course not. Why not ...?

... oh, right ... "We're at war."

So ..., who are WE, and what is US ...?

Expand full comment

You ask some very good questions. The answer, sadly, imbedded in the mechanism for the founding of our country: genocide and slavery of people "different" that the white European settlers.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

In my Pachamama book review group, we are reading "An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz - very revealing ... while I understand that different cultural groups may believe their own way is the best way, I do not see how anyone can justify domination through murder, rape and robbery - though it does seem to be a recurring theme through the ages of human hystery - so maybe it is 'our' turn to be 'on top' ... still, the wheel keeps turning, I do not believe we are the top of the food chain ... our time will come to succumb ... I truly hope we can find within our hearts a better way, and bring it forward in time ... the sooner the quicker ....

https://tahomahome.weebly.com/prayer-for-america.html

Expand full comment

I think that book should be studied carefully in courses required in every American high school.

Expand full comment

Including descriptions of how aggressive sociopathy (technically not the right term, but...) works. History is replete with presentations of it's consequences, but what does it look like as a system of thinking? I got a little of that in elementary school (for an hour or two) with respect to propaganda efforts of the Nazis (this a few years after WWII). It is one of the few lessons from my K-6 education I still recall in some detail.

Expand full comment

Follow the money. That's not the whole answer but explains a lot.

Expand full comment

That one haunts e too.

Expand full comment

Fern, you mentioned the brutal rape of the white jogger in Central Park in April 1989. Indeed, Trump did have those rotten ads published, but not long after that, without any evidence, businessman Donald J. Trump publicly said that all members of the falsely accused "Central Park Five", who were all black, should be put to death. As you know, they were all exonerated.

Expand full comment

They were sentenced in 1989. It took many years of imprisonment before they were exonerated in 2002 and remunerated in 2013 to the tune of $41 million.

"Adding fuel to the fire, weeks after the attack, in May 1989, real estate developer (and future U.S. president) Donald Trump took out full-page ads in The New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post and New York Newsday with the headline, "Bring Back The Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!

[...]

In the years since their release, the five men accused in the Central Park case have moved on with their lives. Richardson lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. He works as an advocate for criminal justice reform. McCray lives in Georgia with his wife and six children. Santana also lives in Georgia with his teenage daughter and, in 2018, Santana started his own clothing company called Park Madison NYC. Wise lives in New York City, where he works as a public speaker and criminal justice reform advocate. Salaam is a published poet, public speaker and criminal justice reform advocate. He lives in George and is a father to 10 children."

https://www.history.com/topics/1980s/central-park-five

Expand full comment

Thanks, Mimi, for this! Those young men were so obnoxiously abused by the press and by The Don that when they were finally exonerated, I was thrilled. Let’s not forget that he was one of the loudest and original birthers regarding where Obama was born. He’s a louse, a racist, a mob boss, and the imaginary son of Hitler.

Expand full comment

Agreed, Marlene.

(My name is Mim.)

Expand full comment

Oops, Mim! My apologies! My fingers work faster than my brain sometimes.

Expand full comment

I am going to have to call my doctors for therapy, for heart meds after reading all that you posted, Fern. There is an abundance of deceit and untruths that make my blood boil and yet, these people walk free. I have no doubts now that Barr arranged Jeffrey Epstein’s death. After all, wasn’t he the last person to see him alive? Weren’t the so-called guards hands merely slapped for not checking on Epstein?

Trump unleashed the mob to do his bidding. He continues to try being relevant and he is succeeding. I don’t want to be at war but this is what our new reality is unless we hire tons and tons of people to deprogram the masses. That isn’t going to happen. Feel like we are on a terrifying roller coaster.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Marlene, We are justified in our fears about threats by Trump, the Republican Party and others make against the American people. I just skimmed the surface in listing a few their offences, without even mentioning Trump's response to violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. "you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides." It is difficult to put a cap on his, and Republicans incitement of political violence. Now they are going after IRS employees.

Senate Republican campaign chair Rick Scott, R-Fla., published an open letter encouraging job seekers not to pursue new IRS positions, vowing that Republicans, who hope to take control of Congress next year, will quickly "defund" those jobs.

Scott claimed the Biden administration will use the Democrats' newly enacted Inflation Reduction Act to create "an IRS super-police force" to "audit and investigate" ordinary Americans. "The IRS is making it very clear that you not only need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them," he wrote, referencing a job posting for the agency's Criminal Investigation division, which has been mischaracterized.'

'Scott's depiction of a new force of IRS agents targeting average Americans lacks basis in the text of the new law and has been dismissed by Democrats as a fabrication. It was debunked — indirectly — by formal guidance Wednesday by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to the IRS.' (NBCnews). Scott is not alone.

'Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) even suggested on "Fox & Friends" last week that IRS workers armed with assault rifles would be deployed against taxpayers. He and other Republicans have falsely tossed around the number 87,000 as the size of this supposed army of agents.

"Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s already loaded, ready to shoot some small-business person in Iowa?" the longtime senator asked.'. (CNN)

I don't know about accusations concerning Barr's role in Jeffry Epstein's death, Marlene. The facts are what count, and as you pointed out, the dehumanization and threats against us are not hidden, they are expressed openly as part of their propaganda of lies and intimidation.

Expand full comment

The alarming rhetoric that you pointed out is what will bring our demise, Fern. It’s frightening but the gloves and the hoods have come off. We know what we are up against and still, we must fight fire with fire until the bitter end. My parents who were subjected to this hate by Germans emboldened by Hitler, loved this country so much. They were small business owners who were proud to pay their taxes and even have their two daughters educated in the South, in a small city, in schools that were funded by furniture industries. I am happy they are not alive to endure this pain again.

Expand full comment

Marlene, Thank you for your support. This 'particular hound dog' is no Elvis. Your kindness overcomes my annoyance.

Expand full comment

Chuck Grassley has truly gone down a very deep rabbit hole. He has to have dementia.

Expand full comment

Who knows what he has but he’s evil! He’s very old and withered so maybe his brain is too. I shouldn't say that because I’m getting up in age, also. But I am not seeking to be cruel or mean like he is. Grassley, Feinstein, Mitch, Pelosi really should retire. Pelosi carried us through Covid and now, the very important J6 committee. Mitch is too much of a egomaniac and a Fed Society star to go anywhere, unfortunately. Feinstein is the one who may have dementia. Here, in CA., many want Gov. Newsom to replace her with a woman of color who is also younger. Feinstein vowed she will stay on. Ugh

Expand full comment

It is clear that Feinstein has problems. I just find it hard to believe that someone would actually make this claim. I have long thought that Grassley should go out to pasture.

Expand full comment

Could this be humour? A Fox offshoot of The Onion?

Expand full comment

Anne-Louise, No. Trump/Republicans are making chaos, intimidation, threats. It is part of their strategy to destroy the country, which they call 'the deep state'.

Expand full comment

I know. Alas.

Expand full comment

Wait. Whaaaaaat?!?!? IRS loaded and locked? Oy vé

Expand full comment

Well, some of them may be loaded given the backlog and outdated systems...

Expand full comment

I prefer to refer to djt as the ex-president...

Expand full comment

Agree Sandra. I find it difficult to put any form of the word “president” in front of his name. His life has been a constant fall from grace.

🗽

Expand full comment

And a taint on our nation

Expand full comment

I got called out for referring to death star as the occupant of the WH by a hyper aggressive MAGA who said she does refer to Mr. Biden as president which I guess says she really doesn't believe the big lie. My answer was that I don't refer to him by name or as former president. Don't know what she said after that as I blocked her.

Expand full comment

I find it more than difficult, I find it impossible. I only ever use tfg now. He was a fraud, a fake president.

Expand full comment

disgraced grace...

Expand full comment

he is the unpresidented...

Expand full comment

Too kind, Sandra! I use myriad words, phrases, & symbols none of which include “President” (even lowercase) or any part of his name spelled out, such as evil agent 🟠 and ☢️. I’ve seen quite a few fiery ones here in our LFAA classroom.

Expand full comment

Wow! Thanks, Fern, for this nightmarish compendium—except this is not a nightmare, but the real-life workings of evil incarnate!

Expand full comment

Rose, HCR's letter today spurred my comment. DJT, the right-wing extremists, the Republicans et al., have caused me to think about death as my parents, grandparents, friends, teachers and history taught me. It is crucial that Americans recognize how deep and lethal this movement against us is.

Expand full comment

Heart. And mind.

Expand full comment

I am not religious but pray that your soul finds comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Wishing you all that is best, good and kind friend!

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Thank you, Rose. I, too, do not practice a religion, even so, I was born a Jew. Threats against the majority of Americans as well as those in and around Israel, India, et al,, strengthen my sense of being a Jew and a human being.

Expand full comment

Hi again, Fern. I wanted to follow up on your comment sooner but had no internet access with my computer until now. I was raised Catholic; no longer practice it nor any other religion, but respect everyone else's religious freedom. When looking back at Western Civilization's history (the Just Wars, the Inquisition, the genocidal "evangelization" of the Americas, the Holocaust--just some examples), however, one cannot overlook the fact that religion itself does not determine human morality; in fact, all religions basically propose the same general tenets (such as the golden rule). On the other hand, one common thread of religious extremists, regardless of the faith they profess, is that they use their "faith" as justification for hatred and criminal behaviors. This renders them unrighteous, hypocritical, and amoral. Unfortunately, too much of this is going on lately, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world.

Expand full comment

To Fern and all: You can cut URLs off at the question mark (end of first line in this case) and they still work just fine. No need for clutter.

Expand full comment

Gifted articles from the NYTimes are very long and will not work if not copied intact.

Expand full comment

I just tried this with the article you posted above, and it worked. And I've been doing this for over a month now. Try it yourself. Cut it off at the question mark.

Expand full comment

It turns out that these loooooooooonnnnggg URLs are for tracking. (I googled)

Expand full comment

Excellent detective work, David. Who wants to be tracked, unless the newspaper does that keep 'track' of number of gifted articles per subscriber. Whether we like it or not, newspapers are operating in an endangered arena.

Expand full comment

David, THANK YOU! I tried it, and as you suggested, IT WORKS!

Expand full comment

You're welcome! (I am now wondering why they make the URLs so much longer than they need to be.)

Expand full comment

I let my subscription lapse and the link would not let me read the article.

Expand full comment

Try it now, Carol.

Expand full comment

I terminated my subscription in irritation. Sometimes I can open an article, mostly I can't. WAPO hides behind a beautiful wall...

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Oh! Fern...

Yet another tussle over your easily bruised ego.

Why the concern about others judgments of your comments, Eh!?

Stop arguing.

Be happy!

Expand full comment

"If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life/Be happy!"

Expand full comment

Thank you, Richard, but it may be hopeless. This hound dog isn't Elvis, but he 'believes' he's found his pigeon.

Expand full comment

You seem obsessed with me, George. I hope you find some healing. Salud!

Expand full comment

Dear Fern, it really just gets no less wretched, does it? All possible must be done to stop him ☢️, his ilk, and even worse ever happening!

“…scholars who study political violence point to a common thread: the heightened use of bellicose, dehumanizing and apocalyptic language, particularly by prominent figures in right-wing politics and media.”

Expand full comment

There is a place for public execution by the state, regardless of whether we are talking about ancient Greece, or the modern US. But there are couple of important things about this.

One of the first is that it needs to be a PUBLIC execution, and it needs to be an exemplary. The case should be clean, obvious justice to even the stupid, and a strong deterrent that says "Don't Ever Do This." If you disappear people in the shadows of night, it becomes a different thing altogether: it becomes a tool of state terrorism.

It should also be rare. If it is common, it argues for bad laws, corrupt courts, or a failed government.

What you describe having happened, above, is an atrocity.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Watch "Dead Man Walking."

I disagree with killing anybody.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Fern.

Expand full comment

I think that's a warning they are incapable of understanding. History? In the Bible, of which they are ignorant and on which they swear, there are three words spoken by a leader of the free Left who had been framed by the cult-bound Right and knew he was standing on the precipice. "What is truth?"

Expand full comment

There seems to be two kinds of truth; the truth you know and the truth you tell. We don't ever get to know for sure, for sure, that we know the truth, or know all of it anyway; and we ( I ) probably pass along some measure of nonsense. But it is a conscious decision when we consider whether or not to tell the truth, and practice to deceive.

There is also some measure of due diligence in relation to what we choose to believe.

Expand full comment

Deliberate ignorance is way worse than stupidity. The former is a choice while the latter describes a useful fool more often than not.

Expand full comment

Borrowing this

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Jeri, deliberate ignorance is a widespread form of stupidity, especially in the USA and among the English. Many wear their ignorance as a badge of honor, thus exhibiting extreme arrogance.

This obnoxious attitude is especially prevalent among the highly privileged occupants of armor-plated mental bubbles who live and move only within gated communities, thought-free zones guarded by high walls of prejudice.

All too often the kind of misguided unfortunates who choose to believe that the material riches they have accumulated mean they are God's Chosen.

Deliberate misleaders are another matter.

A very pressing matter at this time.

Expand full comment

An interesting reply. And having weighed up the likely consequences and made that conscious decision to practise deceit, are we not lying? It reminds me of Kellyanne Conway's "alternative truth". Finding out that we've been deceived, even for what's fatuously called "our own good", that we've been lied to, delivers a cold shock.

Expand full comment

The writings of Tennessee Williams help in understanding the seas of mendacity. Eg. "DJT On a Hot Tin Roof" or "A Street Car Named Greed".

Expand full comment

Big Daddy in place of Big Brother...

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Being lied to is dehumanizing, and some lies can be deadly. I don't mean trivial fudging on whether you like the sweater Grandma knitted for you, but lies that, once discovered, alter your relationship of trust of that person, even someone at a sales counter. Merited trust is essential to intimacy, and a certain degree of an environment of merited trust essential for an open society.

“To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse.” - John Adams

Expand full comment

Multiply that heart.

Expand full comment

Silence is complicity-history has proven that again and again. The GOP aren’t just silent, they are actively participating in the murder of democracy.

Expand full comment

That's worthy of the Lincoln Project.

Expand full comment

They are seeking absolute power. It threads though everything they it's what the Constitution was meant to prevent.

Expand full comment

Yes, but they seem to be out for an ironclad oligarchic restoration of the Articles of Confederation + the military.

When it's not pre-Magna Carta.

Expand full comment

Ari Melber is a news reporter and an attorney, He has a trusted daily program on MSNBC which is also available on Youtube broadcasted the next day. On his August 16, 2022 program he outlines in exquisitely clear logical detail how the GOP "Game" works. It is so very wonderful to see all the details and how they interact. Hopefully, now that the "Horses escaped the barn" such anti-American democracy treason mongers deceptions will forever be impossible to implement again.

Expand full comment

His excellent analysis of the attempted coup was one of the best I've seen, with graphics illustrating how seemingly "legal" activities morphed into downright ILLEGAL activities, how they overlapped and worked in tandem and eventually culminated in what clearly is seditious conspiracy.

Expand full comment

Ellen Massey

Wonderful blessing!

I lost my link to this program of Ari's and I was hoping you might be able to provide to me a way to access Ari's discussion illustrative graphics and all...please

Thank you

Expand full comment

FOUND IT! Remembered it was a Special Report so searched on that. It was on July 29 (repeated multiple times thus different memories of when it was broadcast!). Title: Inside Trump's Election Plot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2aWw-C27Rk

Expand full comment

THANK YOU JUDITH SWINK!

Expand full comment

I will definitely do some digging and see what I can find. He did an entire show on it - a special report. I think it's probably on UTube. I'll work on it later today.

Expand full comment

I apologize for not responding yesterday. I am not sure if this is it, but this link might take you to that special: https://archive.org/details/MSNBCW_20220731_020000_The_Beat_With_Ari_Melber/start/60/end/120

Expand full comment

Thank you for your kind help!

Expand full comment

EXCELLENT!

Thank you.

Yes it was an entire show and I believe it was aired aug 16, 2022 or Aug 15

Expand full comment

Actually, originally, July 29. It was a Special Report and broadcast multiple times subsequently. I finally found it after remembering it was a special report.

Title: Inside Trump's Election Plot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2aWw-C27Rk

Expand full comment

Joe McCarthy was cornered and had bit off more than he could chew, but Joseph Welch's "have you no decency" was considered fatal. Nixon was investigated primarily for "the coverup", and Republicans were inclined to vote with Democrats to impeach. It seems to me that in the decades since we have allowed the expectation of ethics and professionalism (not to mention blatant conflicts of interest) to sink back to Gilded Age levels. We have creeps like Trump and MTG, and former US attorney Sidney Powell arguing in court that political speech is inherently dishonest, and that that's OK, because we were somehow persuaded to greatly lower the bar for professional behavior in positions of great influence and responsibility.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Not only is it an excellent presentation of how the attempted coup evolved and progress, the program was repeated a number of times during the week it was broadcast, possibly more often but I only noticed about 4 times.

Tried to find it on MSNBC and Youtube without success. The Youtube link that came up seems to have been taken over by some Japanese(?) video game.... Apparently, The Beat also streams on Peacock but I don't subscribe.

Expand full comment

FOUND IT! Remembered it was a Special Report so searched on that. It was on July 29 (repeated multiple times thus different memories of when it was broadcast!). Title: Inside Trump's Election Plot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2aWw-C27Rk

Expand full comment

I like Ari. Will look for that program. Thanks

Expand full comment

Me too!

It is the best organization of facts making a powerful revelation about killing American democracy...a must see in my humble opinion.

And

You are most welcome.

Expand full comment

If we finally learn from history.

Expand full comment

Ari Melber’s program on August 16 was about Trump’s threat to DOJ:

https://youtu.be/tRLdm5loAkY

Were you referencing something different?

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Michael, come January '23, both Cheney and Kinzinger will be out of office. As I see it, with mounting legal problems for Trump, I fear that sane people will begin to tune out the threat. Too many will feel that Trump is so damaged, and perhaps at least bankrupt, that he can no longer pose a real threat. However, he's just a symptom of the disease. There are many others who are more than willing to take his place, and the problem is not exclusive to this country. Authoritarianism is rampant world-wide, and the threat to this country remains. I believe that the Republicans remaining in politics will be more than happy to embrace a new "leader," perhaps smoother and intelligent, who will be glad to take up where the current crop left off.

Expand full comment

Yes It is like a novel. Liz Chaney becomes the darling of the Dems and wins the presidency. Then all her policies, which were over 90% voting with Trump all these years are headed to fruition. Unequal distribution of wealth on steroids because she is s o smart, unlike He who shall not be named. then... we are in what Nancy referred to in her text as "the disease."

I refer to it as the Plague, but we are on the same page.

Expand full comment

Joan, your analysis is amazing. Regardless of what Republicanism morphs into, it is unlikely to be good for the average person. They have always been centered around making the rich richer and more powerful, and usually at the expense of the rest of us. Unless there is a monumental change in our society, there will always be a party that is threatened by the masses, regardless of the fact that they'll have plenty to share. I bear no animus toward Liz Cheney, and in this case, she has been hugely beneficial in the effort to remove Trump from the stage. However, because of her likely upbringing, I doubt she'll ever understand the needs of the average person. The mere fact that she voted for Trump, and enabled his atrocities, speaks volumes, in my opinion. He never presented himself as anything but himself - everyone knew.

Expand full comment

Nancy....exactly

Expand full comment

True, but let's try to keep them at bay, by whatever means, for at least another four years. The oldest will be gone, the young will be coming into their strength. Yes, there's an outcrop of authoritarianism worldwide, but in each case the rulers have imposed themselves contrary to the wishes of the majority. Something's got to give. But full many a gem of purest ray serene the dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear, and let us not forget that.

Expand full comment

I agree, Anne-Louise. We can't permit a minute of inattention, and I'm impressed with our young voters. Like Ukraine, we have lived with relative freedom and democracy, and I doubt that authoritarianism will go over well with the populace. I hope I don't jinx us, but it wouldn't surprise me if we did much better in the midterms than is currently predicted.

Expand full comment

Exactly. Authoritarianism coupled in this country with white supremacy and a truly terrifying arsenal of firearms. It's tempting to focus too much on Trump, but it's also very dangerous.

Expand full comment

We have a long way to go before we can safely be out of the woods.

Expand full comment

“We will be sifting through the wreckage of Trump's authoritarian presidency for years. This episode may one day be clarified but others will undoubtedly come to light, because everything is for sale in the strongman's world.” I would change “for years” to for decades, but Ruth Ben-Ghiat certainly enlightens on the Financial Times claim!!

https://lucid.substack.com/p/for-strongmen-like-trump-everything

Expand full comment

READ THIS BEN GHIAT PIECE!

Expand full comment

What a smarmy bunch they are. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

Expand full comment

This has been true for about half of my long life.

Expand full comment

As a regular listener to (and member of) Deep State Radio, where Ed Luce is a regular, I can testify that he is not given to hyperbole and exaggeration. That and his extensive experience make his statement all the more powerful.

Expand full comment

Shared it on FB and Twitter.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

In this episode of Letters from a Propagandist, Heather Cox Richardson laments the loss of war-criminal imperialist Liz Cheney, a character who deserves nothing but contempt from the American population which overwhelmingly desires peace in the world by virtue of an end to the nightmarish wars of which Cheney and her blood-thirsty vampire of a father are largely responsible.

Expand full comment

While I prefer to ignore "Charles" and "David Carroll" I have reported to you all that in the last few days I'm seeing a very large uptick in trolls, and others who are "wolves in sheep's clothing:" As Sharon says, interesting that you pay to come on here. NO not a surprise to me: Biden is scoring big wins, Trump is digging his grave and the Conservatives are running scared. They THINK that planting seeds to sow discord on here will somehow help their side. I find this hilarious, actually, because I have seen many examples of people here having differences of opinions and respectfully debate each other, generally with links to genuine sources. The book "On Tyranny" addresses some of this I was told, (I have ordered it but it has not yet come) by stating that Conservatives are motivated by FEAR, and the GOP utilizes this to control them. That isn't going to work with this crowd, the likes of Sandy Lewis, TCinLA, Ellie Kona, Ellen Massey, Ally House, etc etc (can't name you all know who you are!)

I am truly enjoying seeing these trolls appear as it confirms my beliefs that they are getting pretty anxious.

I did not know about the ability to report trolls. I do like the feature of being able to mute people, wish it was here as well.

Expand full comment

Trolls are not welcome.

Expand full comment

Then be gone with your bad self

Expand full comment

Heather lists her sources which makes it hard to be a propagandist. And you?

Expand full comment

You can list your sources and still be a propagandist, Kathy. It doesn't make it hard.

Expand full comment

Interesting that you paid for a subscription to come out and attack the author. How many other writers do you pay so you can spread hate and conspiracies? No one here will take you seriously and I wouldn’t blame Heather for removing you because of personal attacks.

Expand full comment

Sharon, if you click on the three dots below his comment, you can report him to Heather. I just did.

Expand full comment

Many thanks, Ellen! I’ve done the same over this trolling nastiness he has spewed again and again. Our dear Fern is right, his bating of her seems quite stalkerish.

Expand full comment

"Standing with Ukraine" (using US taxpayer $ to wage an endless proxy war) makes you a good person doesn't it!

Expand full comment

Thank you, I didn’t know that.

Expand full comment

Thank You, I didn't know that either.

Expand full comment

Wait a minute, I'm still here. What am I doing here still? I'm here to tell you that your pro-war, pro-censorship views are dangerous and despicable.

Expand full comment
Aug 18, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

Only Heather, not that that is any of your business. By the way, how do you spread conspiracies? You mean conspiracy Theories? It's not a theory if the theory is true and right out in the open.

Expand full comment

Right. But if you can’t debate and comment like an adult and feel the need to be abusive to the author you don’t deserve to be here. No one should be expected to deal with personal attacks and abuse. You have the right to state your opinion but abuse goes too far. I didn’t say anything about your first nonsensical reply I read but you went too far. The only point you have made here is that you are an abusive prepubescent bully not worthy of being allowed in this forum. It is my business when you abuse anyone. Verbal abuse leads to physical abuse.

Expand full comment

Bravo Sharon! I just reported him as well!

Expand full comment
Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

"Abuse"? Get out of here with that BS. News flash Sharon, calling Heather a propagandist, which she is, is not abuse. Maybe you should consider the harm you are doing to real survivors of abuse by so lightly and irresponsibly throwing around that term. I recommend you pick your words a bit more carefully,

Expand full comment

Now you’ll attack me. It’s the personal, targeted attacks that make you abusive.

Before you think I use the word lightly, I spent years working in abuse shelters and every single case started out with some jerk feeling it was his job to be verbally abusive and moved into being physically abusive. You find it easy to be abusive, abrasive and even now instead of taking it on board that this is how you come across you make weak excuses and double down. I’m not harming the survivors, I’m standing up for them.

Heather is a historian, show some respect for the work she puts in. The only reason you’re here is to be abusive. You admit you think, with no basis in fact, that you think she’s lying to you. Why would you pay for someone to lie to you?

Expand full comment

TFG hasn't killed the Cheney dynasty, if it's even worthy of being called such. Liz Cheney hasn't retired from the political scene yet, probably won't. Eric has never shown himself to be anything other than a fool, yet he continues to find a way into the public ear. TFG IS the Trump Organization. It's a private company, and he administered it like the wannabe dictator he attempted to become over the USA. To restrict a civil suit to the organization and not it's owner-operator was a compromise from the start. Nothing happened in that organization without either the impetus or the assent of TFG.

What can conviction yield? Fines, requirements for future external audit/oversight? The company needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. The fines should exceed it's net worth. It's scion needs to be behind bars. It's assets need to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the US Treasury. Our justice system, on every level, has to demonstrate the courage to ignore his title and conduct itself according to the sum total of his actions pre-, during and post-presidency. Rising to the highest office in the land doesn't change the fact that he's a criminal. It's the height of embarrassment that our nation elected a criminal in spite of overwhelming information accurately predicting his subsequent behavior in office. We need to "cancel" the weight of that decision and it's innoculative effect on the wheels of justice. We need to own and conduct ourselves according to the quote "no man is above the law".

Expand full comment

Nathan, you wrote “It's the height of embarrassment that our nation elected a criminal in spite of overwhelming information accurately predicting his subsequent behavior in office.” Yes! And what’s disturbing is that half the voters in this country, an estimate, would vote for him again.

Expand full comment

Well, we CERTAINLY couldn't elect that woman. I mean, I'd vote for a woman, just not THAT woman. Why, I'd vote for Elizabeth Warren! /s

Expand full comment

Got it!

Expand full comment

??

Expand full comment

Dean, that's what a lot of people said in comments on articles, internet 'zines, etc. about Hillary Clinton when she ran against Trump.

Expand full comment

thank you I did finally get it Hard to hear tone of voice

Expand full comment

JL, yes very interesting. And 2016! We should not be surprised. TFG’s ties to criminal elements was one more election story that repub voters ignored. Power corrupts.

Expand full comment

Irenie, I might be nit-picking over word choice and, if so, apologies, but I think it was worse than ignoring his ties to organized crime. I think they knew every bit of that, knew exactly what he was, and made a very conscious, deliberate decision to choose him. And by "they" I mean the power brokers and the deep pockets in organizations like The Federalist Society with whom a man like McConnell made a devil's bargain. I am as far away from being a conspiracy theorist as it's possible to be, but the nearly invisible network of these people seem, in fact, to have been pulling the strings for quite a long time.

Expand full comment

Yes. It seems VERY unlikely th e"powers that be" in the R party would not have known all about Trump in 2016 and his criminal activities. If we in the boonies knew, surely they did.

Expand full comment

Just as Putin knew.

Expand full comment

Dean, not nit-picking, but looking from a different angle. Perhaps the general public, the repubs who vote the party, just like it’s in the family, heritage to be a repub or Dem. They don’t always pay attention if they vote at all. Yes, the Federalist Society has been installing elected officials and SCOTUS behind the scenes. Plus there’s the Claremont Institute connection to Eastman. The behind the scenes “votes.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/07/24/claremont-john-eastman-trump/

Expand full comment

Fabulous. Thank you for this! One of the great things about HCR's Letters is they are just overflowing with things to learn and new points of view.

Expand full comment

Perhaps, more than family voting patterns (though I'm sure that figures into it) is kids who are taught by their parents that they have all the right answers and parents who see themselves as preparing kids for their own adventure. But Eisenhower Republicans seem very different from Reagan Republicans, let alone Lincoln Republicans, let alone Trump Republicans. Nixon was dishonest, but it seemed to me that party-wide, organized big lies began with Reagan, and somehow those lies were erosive of the common weal, yet a massive basket of goodies for those in position to initiate de facto bribery and market monopolies; the ultra rich.

It seems to me that as a nation that is identified with self-governance, we spend remarkably little time exploring, detailing, discussing as a national conversation, where we want/need to go to promote and protect the rights of individuals and the common good. Its more like commercial marketing, where we "buy" somebody else's shrink-wrapped product; and TV seems to have made this more so. Modern presidential "debates" seem more like TV game shows than the sort of depth one finds in Lincoln-Douglas, and yet out fates still hang in the balance.

Expand full comment

Thanks for that J L. It just goes to show the depth of his despicable behavior. It appears that the connections run very deep. No wonder he gets away with all that he does.

Expand full comment

Yes, and no matter how this all shakes out, we will always be known as the country that elected Donald Trump.

Expand full comment

As one anonymous European diplomat stated off the record: "We don't know if Trump is the anomaly or Biden is.

Neither do we.

Expand full comment