First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: former president Trump has raised $102 million since he left office, but aside from a recent donation of $100,000 to his chosen candidate in a Texas race which is not yet in the public disclosures (she lost), has spent none of it on anything or anyone but himself. Since January, he has convinced donors to fund his challenge to Biden’s election and to fund Trump-like candidates in the midterm elections. But election filings and a release of donors to the Arizona “audit” show he has not put any money toward either. So far, about $8 million has gone to the former president’s legal fees, while funds have also gone to aides.
Just two things. I live in a rural red county in Virginia. I have always been astounded that folks here predominantly vote Republican against their best interests.
To get votes here, Democrats HAVE to make two things clear. First and foremost - that Democrats are not "coming to take people's guns away." That is the biggest fear out here in red country - the predominant reason folks vote Republican. Gun control is a vote killer and will be until Democrats out maneuver the NRA - and make crystal clear that great-granddaddy's hunting rifle is not at risk.
Second. ALL of the folks here benefiting from social welfare DO NOT associate that money as coming from programs supported by Democrats. That is "my govamint check" - and the government in their minds is Republican. The Democrats must inundate rural areas with advertising that clearly links child care money and internet services with Biden and the Democratic Party in conjunction with exposing Republicans who vote against the bill. Persistent Hard Ball is the only thing that is going to work here.
The former president will continue to “run” for president as long as the money keeps rolling in. Doubtless, as far as he’s concerned, the money is his to do as he pleases. The accounts should be closely monitored by DoJ and charges should be filed for any improper use of the funds.
Just now the thought came to mind that any of the donated funds spent on personal expenses, including legal defense fees, qualifies as income and should be subject to income taxes. Those taxes would be yet more personal expenses that could not be paid from political donations.
The tax man is going to be the one that gets him.
My big concern is that no matter how much people in low income and rural areas are helped by and love the tax credits and high-speed Internet and other infrastructure programs, if their vote is suppressed, it won’t matter how much they would like to vote Democratic if they are prevented from it. I feel federal legislation to protect voting rights is key to the continuation of our democracy.
Thank you Heather. And thank you Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, and President Biden - for standing up to and pushing back on fools and their foolishness.
I wish Pres. Biden would spend some time talking to the people, maybe a weekly TV event. While Covid 1 was rampant, our governor held twice (twice!) weekly press conferences that lasted as long as reporters asked questions. I have never felt so connected to my state government. With the proliferation of misinformation out there, and people who are hurting and have developed lack of confidence in the federal government and therefore went from Obama to Trump, I believe if Biden talked to folks, directly in a direct and honest way, about what he is doing, why he is doing it, what the challenges are, what the downsides are, but why he is doing it anyways—that kind of conversation—he might well bring folks back to the tribe. As time goes on, we all know that some of his supporters could grow skeptical too. The presidency is like that. I believe people want to be heard and seen and Trump makes them feel that way, unfortunately. Yes, some people are too far gone or were never ever going to veer left. But the former Obama supporters who got nothing (because Obama couldn't fix the system the GOP has put in place,) might consider coming back, as HCR says in this piece when they start getting checks to help them out, if they feel their president understands what they are going through and takes the time to connect. Pie in the sky?
I can sleep better tonight after reading your letter. My best efforts in my very small community is to carry your message of truth & hope for all of us.
As so often, I close w great relief and thankfulness that you are working for all of us, Professor Richardson.
The evidence keeps growing that Trump was attempting what amounted to a coup. We know that he did, but will formal charges be made so he can be held accountable? Unless he and others are punished, there will be no deterrence for future attempts. The enemies of democracy will be emboldened. Does Merrick Garland have the spine to save the country?
"Trump and his loyalists feed off Americans who have been dispossessed economically since the Reagan revolution that began in 1981 started the massive redistribution of wealth upward." What will it take to get Republican voters to understand this. The narrative they seem to adhere to is that it has been Democratic policies that have left them behind.
While many Americans feel they are slipping backwards, a lot of Trump supporters are doing very well. Areas in Maine that have suffered mill shutdowns, have communities with new economies based on new wood products businesses, tourism, real estate, commercial. It's not well balanced for everyone but they aren't supporting Trump because they are poor. They may be supporting him because FOX has conditioned them to be fearful and hateful of others, people and places they don't go to, people not like them.
We don't have an open, inviting and supportive culture as we pretend to be.
Trump supporters in business have the connections to take advantage of government funds. They will take them, but often don't need them. They prefer not to let others have them. We could see this in the pandemic funding. Those greatest in need had the least access.
There has always been a desire for white strong men leading our communities and nation. Democracy is hard work. Fewer and fewer Americans are willing to do the work and share the benefits. FDR was a strong white man. He did great things, seemingly from his singular position of power. But fortunately did not destroy democracy. Trump is FDR's antithesis. But of course the only thing Trump could or did do was serve himself. But he created an image that seemed to his supporters as serving them.
People like Stacy Abrams are the quintessential democracy builders. We need people like her in every classroom of America, in every town hall, in every newspaper and media program. Her inspirational talks grow out of her work, not merely out of thin air like so many politicians.
"This is classicTrump ..." which may be admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. FRE 404(b)(2) to prove " motive, opporunity, intent [ sometimes called a 'guilty mind' or 'scienter' ] preparation, plan ..." among other things. The J. Rosen & R. Donoghue evidence is critically important. Thank you HRC.
As the Politico reporters point out, no former president has ever had a 9-figure bank account with which to play at messing up his opponent. Of course, no other former president is like El Blobbo del Mar A Lardo. Keep praying for him to eat that one hamberder too many. Don't worry about whether justice is served by him dying, understand it's the only way we'll be rid of him. The sooner the better. He's fat, old, no exercise, a "killer" diet...
AN E-MAIL SENT YESTERDAY TO EVERYONE I KNOW
All of my friends & family on this e-mail list know scientific facts and follow precautions against airborne viruses, which means wearing masks in close quarters.
Unfortunately, I live in a state where the ignorant cult members of the Repugnant Party elected and IDIOT for governor (Ron DeathSantis) who has no such knowledge and for some specious unreasonable "reason" made an executive order that countermands all the intelligent, knowledgeable precautions against this pandemic (wearing face masks) specifically in schools.
He has put our children and staff in schools at risks of contracting a deadly Delta Variant of the COVID-19 virus. I consider him a deranged mass-murderer. Prove me wrong!
President Biden would probably not use such a condemnation, but he did point out today that Abbott & DeathSantis are on the wrong side of history and doing THE WRONG THING.
I saw a state senator on the news tonite, also an attorney who pointed out that the governor hasn't the authority to set policy for school boards (Broward Co. last week said they would have mandatory masks in schools). Also, the Killer Governor's threat of withholding money from school districts that do not comply with his INSANITY, is also not his decision. It has to go thru the state legislature first.
I am hoping the Broward and Miami-Dade County school boards Do the Right Thing. And I am hoping some attorneys bring suit against Governor DeathSantis for endangering the lives and health of Florida Residents, especially school students.
Heather writes: "Trump and his loyalists feed off Americans who have been dispossessed economically since the Reagan revolution that began in 1981 started the massive redistribution of wealth upward. Those disaffected people, slipping away from the secure middle-class life their parents lived, are the natural supporters of authoritarians who assure them their problems come not from the systems leaders have put in place, but rather from Black people, people of color, and feminist women."
This is one of the most powerful, succinct statements encapsulating the dysfunction in American politics today.
Day after day, the former guy, keeps his name in the news. Between he and Republican governors, they are bound and determined to create their own utopia. I would like that to happen for them. Perhaps Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos can provide the necessary vehicle for them to disappear on. Another planet would be nice. Did you hear that the Missouri governor pardoned the married couple who pointed their guns at peaceful law-abiding citizens whose coloring is different than their own? It’s sickening!
So here is the news that most folks won't pay attention to or won't get into the national feeds other than on NPR:
1. The USA is DEAD LAST (and I use the word "dead" deliberately) among developed countries in healthcare costs (highest), availability (lowest), and outcomes (worst). This has been the case for years, but particularly striking this year.
2. The Racist Death-Cult AG of Missouri, Eric Schmidt (if you remove the m and d you get a better picture of the guy) has decided to sue both Kansas City and St. Louis for reinstating mask requirements. The lawsuit is apparently riddled with factual errors and is clearly frivolous but the Racist Death-Eater is running for Blunt's Senate seat and he thinks posturing to the white racists, who think that not having masks will kill more black people, is a good thing.
3. The racist death-cult governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, has PARDONED the two moronic yahoos, Patricia and Mark McCloskey, who threatened peaceful protesters with guns last summer (and Mark is, of course, running for the Senate seat) but refuses to pardon Kevin Strickland, who has been in prison for 40+ years but has been determined by the Jackson County Prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, to be wholly innocent of the charges. Parson is supported by his death-cult AG, Schmidt (see above for a more appropriate spelling of his name). Guess what "color" Strickland might be.
These are the issues--and I won't even talk about that f**ker Cuomo, who seems to suffer from the same infection of psychopathology that all NY governors suffer from (Elliot Spitzer anyone?) and is a disgusting specimen of faux left-wing pseudo-liberalism that hides the true megalomania he has always exhibited--that need to be presented to the American people. The death-worshipping racist sh**s on the Rethuglican right do really, really want to kill us.
Sorry: this has been a really difficult morning of news on NPR.
Cori Bush's "Sit In" was inspirational.