437 Comments

"...the ongoing attempt of the Trump Republicans to undermine our government and seize power."

*Trump* Republicans?

As though there were any other kind?This implies a distinction without effective significance. Not withstanding a few Republicans in Congress for whom the Jan 6 insurrection was a bridge too far and a few pundits, the entire apparatus of the Republican party did everything it could - and much they could not do legitimately, and much they ethically ought not to have done - to put Trump in office, to obstruct any oversight of his activities, to keep him in office past his expiration date, and to deflect and deny responsibility for Jan 6, for the very purpose of undermining our government and seizing power.

In fact, ever since since Ronald Reagan declared government the enemy, Newt Gingrich set out to burn down the House, Trent Lott made a bullwhip his badge of office, Sarah Palin made 'lock and load' a GOP slogan, and the Republican majority on the Supreme Court enshrined the NRA misreading of the Second Amendment and gutted civil rights protections - rhetorical, political and procedural violence to the institutions of government has been Republican business as usual. Physical violence was sure to come.

Undermining government is intrinsic to the Republican 'small government' agenda. The party reveled in anti-tax militant Grover Norquist's statement "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." (Interview on NPR's Morning Edition, May 25, 2001) and did not repudiate his saying "We're sending a message here. It is like when the king would take his opponent's head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see." (from the National Review, quoted in The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock, Crown Publishers 2004, pg. 50)

Yes, it is very much like that. And each subsequent generation of Republican officials is more bludgeon than scalpel - Trump for Reagan, Lott and then McConnell for Dole, McCarthy for Gingrich, Kavanaugh for Scalia. There is a direct line from the rhetorical and procedural violence of GOP officials to its physical expression on the ground.

After the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by right wing domestic terrorists, Republican officials publicly stepped back from their embrace of armed militias for an eyeblink moment, although not from arming them and although playing footsie with them. By the time armed anti government militant Ammon Bundy seized and occupied a Federal facility, Republican officials openly supported him.

The Republican insurrection on Jan 6 and the sacking of the Capitol has recent right wing precedent and a GOP pedigree. And the GOP's big money paymasters are still hedging their bets that a GOP dystopia of unregulated violence and greed will sustain their unconscionable wealth and their outsized influence. No matter the cost to everyone and everything else.

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lin,

I am headed up to my roof again to jump off AGAIN today. :-)

however, I am unable to disagree with your analysis, which, is very well written.

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"Hey, so what are you up to today?" my neighbor asked. "I'm jumping off my roof--again." It's my new mantra. Love it!

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Don’t jump! Don’t jump! There’s always hope! Things are never as bad as they seem.

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"Hope springs eternal in the human breast, Man NEVER IS, but always TO BE blessed." (Alexander Pope) Actually, things might be worse than they seem. The number of Americans who have been taken in by lies and who don't have the slightest concern about all of those who might have less than they do, document it. They are the Republicans, they vote, something they don't want others to do, a goal they are achieving on the State level. But don't jump. Consider going

underground when the time comes.

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"things are never as bad as they seem" you wrote. I wonder if you have looked at the nuclear clock recently. It reads 1 minute to Midnight.

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Psst, I wasn’t really being serious, but let’s just keep that between us, OK?

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Really?

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It’s only a movie! Don’t jump!

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Also intrinsic to the Republican "small government" agenda is the notion and the U.S. is inherently and by definition white and (at least nominally) Christian. What Norquist wanted to drown in the bathtub was a government that extended its protections and benefits to people of color and women in general. (P.S. I highly recommend Heather McGhee's _The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together._ She does an excellent job of connecting the dots that are mostly out there in plain sight but tend to get overlooked.)

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mostly male, also

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True, but the number of white women who vote with "their" men is more than disturbing.

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Yes. Thank "you". I'm done opening or holding doors for them. Don't get me going.

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Actually, I know some Rs, including the former county commissioner next door, who are not Trump Rs. Unfortunately, most of them do not form the active Rs who are in power. The R party here in Oregon has gone down the rabbit hole. I agree that St. Ray Gun got this really going although there was precedent during the passing of the New Deal. I am especially taken, lie, by your description of the Rs allowing the wing nuts to be armed and playing footsie with them. I think this has been deliberate, so these rubes can do the dirty work while the Rs clearly call for violence and then whine about free speech, bask on their yachts, sit in mega mansions in gated communities, and take their private transportation everywhere. I also believe that ultimately their money will not save them because they cannot control climate change which is making the world increasingly unsafe everywhere.

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Yes. I speak of the entire apparatus of the Republican party -paymasters, officials, amplifiers, and until we see evidence otherwise, the deciding majority of Republican voters. Outliers find themselves in the unenviable political and ethically fraught position of Liz Cheney and Georgia's Raffensburger - who support the substance of Trump's anti government agenda but draw a line at his insurrectionist style.

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So true, climate has not party affiliation.

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This is the rant of the morning. Thanks lin!

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An aside, but at the beginning: I do wish I hadn’t watched the video of Boebert strutting and ranting.

I’m beginning to feel that the Republicans are running out of smoke bombs to hurl into the air to sow confusion, distract, gain attention, and buy time.

The latest tactic is to sue the Committee. One does it and a bunch of others jump on board. Ho-hum.

The swamp was drained to come up with these people and they went back to drain it again - of ideas.

One of two things will happen. Violence or justice. Or both.

Violence if it appears that justice is inexorably marching to claim the wicked.

Justice - if the Committee clears away the lingering smoke and gets the time to assemble the case. Justice if the Department of Justice then steps up.

Violence - if there’s justice.

At some point there has to be an acknowledged conclusion. The circus eventually leaves town, doesn’t it?

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Kyle Rittenhouse received justice in a court of law for his violence; received a standing ovation from young college-age Republicans; has been extended offers to serve as a member of Congress; and lauded by current members of Congress as presidential material. The circus does not appear at all ready to pull up stakes. And it's most popular booth appears to be the shooting gallery.

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True. But after these seditionist radical right wing traitors use Rittenhouse, they will spit him out to live the rest of his life remembering that he killed two human beings, was duped by a would be dictator and then used by his minions.

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And Rittenhouse, an uneducated, delusional dupe will likely end up an unemployable, bitter man with a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar. And more dangerous than he already is.

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Was justice served by the judge in the Rittenhouse case - or did he tie the hands of both the prosecution and the jury.

And the larger question, does the Wisconsin law serve justice?

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No.

No.

But I think there is a chance in the longer view. Perhaps incomplete and no doubt unsatisfying to many. But it may well be enough to tip the scales towards a new and better “normal”.

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Swamp was drained and all that is left are carp?

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apparently! :-)

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Excellent choice of words, Fred.

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that's the thing; it doesn't leave town. What it did is move into Washington DC and stay...turning it into a form of Las Vegas; another theatre of the absurd...

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Eric, you missed nothing. Loboe is nothing if not the epitome of a see you N T. To think that she was voted into office largely by 'men' is pathetic Same oes for margie taylor green. Sickening.

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Rant of the morning? Moi? As John Milton wrote: by merit rais'd to that bad eminence;)

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And what did the Democrats, the Democratic Party, the D Presidents, the D's in the House and Senate do during this Republican March to Power? Were they innocent bystanders?

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Please. Seriously? Do you really want to go there? Not again. You aren't channeling Jill Stein by any chance?

Yes criticism and self criticism is essential. And there is plenty to criticize about Democrats. But your implied 'j'accuse' is counterfactual and counterproductive.

While I think it is fair to step back and critique the Republican party as a monolithic right wing entity - because since Gingrich they have literally spoken in one voice, verbatim and they have marched lock step in their obstructionism, from voter suppression to insurrection. Such an accusation cannot fairly be leveled at the Democratic party.

Yes, yes. I can go one on one with any maga or dirtbag on the intransigence of the Clintons, and their baleful influence, especially their neoliberalism. What did it take for me, after caucusing for Sanders, to campaign for Hillary nearly full time for months? Don't ask.

But I listen to CSpan, a lot. And I call you out on your disrespect for Democratic elected officials too numerous to name - but from Ed Markey to Sheldon Whitehouse to AOC and Cori Bush to Jamie Raskin to name just a few and all their voters. Are you seriously accusing John Lewis?

To answer your question, many of those you accuse were seriously in the trenches. None of them abetted or acquiesced to what you so quaintly call "this Republican March to Power."

Who exactly would your "innocent bystander" be? You? Has each of us done enough? Have we on the left done the local organizing which racist right wing religious extremists have been doing for decades?

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

lin,

The truth is Fern is right. Both sides of the aisle lined up behind Ronald Reagan to vote for his tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Nary a peep.

BIG bipartisan support back in the day.

So, we have to recognize reality when we are confronted with it.

Democrats and Republicans have both been complicit in the demise of America.

Seriously.

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Pointing out that the system is broken does not fix it. How do we dismantle and rebuild it without another civil war? That is the question.

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A question seeking answers as to how 'this' could have happened brings out the 'raging bull' in you. Don't you know better than to accuse me of being a 'Jill Stein' as you race on to comment about B. Clinton, absolutely, a large link in our chain of failures? I do not have the time or interest to lecture you or to pile on accusations comparable to your style. If and when we go on to function as a democracy, knowing the role that the Democrats and the Party played in getting where we are today is essential. In your rant at me, innocent of knowledge about my work as an activist or the comments I have made on the forum, you include me among the enemies of Ed Markey, Jamie Raskin and on and on. You go way too far, lin, and beyond reality in defense of what?

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What a nice little revisionary demurral. Your comment was rhetorically akin to 'when did you stop beating your wife?' An unsupported accusation masked as a question.

You explicitly created a class of Democrats and then made a blanket accusation. You implied that they were all complicit in the Republican power grab - at best as bystanders and at worst as collaborators.

Republican elected officials have effectively - unilaterally and monolithically - rejected the agreed legal framework of the Constitution and all precedent for procedural regular order.

There is not a good response to that - except for Americans to unite and get out the vote for Democratic candidates. Because, bend them as they may, Democrats still play by the rules.

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lin,

I see your point. But, it really is true that America's decline due to offshoring, outsourcing and the generalized destruction of the (former) American middle class was bi-partisan.

NAFTA? "That giant sucking sound is jobs going to Mexcio"? Was not uttered by either a Republican or a Democrat.

it was Ross Perot, who turned out to be correct.

It is also true that, currently, for the last 5 years, Republicans have gone over the edge compared to Democrats. I agree. That is why I voted for Biden.

so, perhaps both you and Fern are correct depending on the timeline?

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Mike, I don't see the political Parties as equally culpable by any means. This is not a sword fight as lin chose to set it up. The Republicans didn't attain the level of control they have without weaknesses in our system, the Democrat Party and in some of its leaders. In at least one area, and I'm sure that there are others, lin and I are in agreement that we must organize, grow our numbers, make our voices heard and fight like hell for democracy. That is the priority.

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lin, don't waste your time, breath & reasoning skills. Your ultimate paragraph is the most important one: Get out the vote for Dem. Candidates

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I don't reduce as you attempt a frontal assault.

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Nope. I've been saying for a couple of decades that Bill Clinton was the first Republican I ever voted for. I wound up loathing Bill Clinton so much that I paid zero attention to Hillary Clinton's candidacy in 2008. Radical feminist though I am, I couldn't get it through my head that Bill and Hillary were not the same person. (By 2015 I'd smartened up, though I probably would have voted for Obama in 2008 anyway.)

But, Fern, the more productive question is what did YOU do -- what did WE do. Before 2016 I didn't do sh*t. I thought electoral politics was a rigged game and not worth playing. I was right about the first part, but wrong about the second. I got involved in 2016 and have stayed involved since.

After voting Democratic all my life, I finally registered as a Democrat in January 2017 and got involved in my local Dem group. The Democratic Party at the state and national level is frustrating as hell, but at some point I noticed that though there are plenty of mediocrities in the Democratic Party, *all the really stellar legislators and other officeholders are Democrats*. And that matters to me. It matters a lot.

As the League of Women Voters has been saying for decades, "Democracy is not a spectator sport." I used to retort "This is not democracy" as if that was an excuse for sitting on the sidelines. So, Fern, what were YOU doing while the Democrats were treating the metamorphosis of the GOP as no big deal? As noted above, I was doing jack sh*t. How about you? More important, what are you doing NOW?

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Unlike you, Susanna, I was active in the Civil Rights movement and Anti-War movements from my early teens and on. My activism was reflected in my work as well. If you wish to blame yourself for inactivity, you are free to do so, but I am not company for that. While refraining from providing you with a list of my political and social activity, I wish you well with your awakened engagement.

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Wow. Your assumptions and your condescension help me put your earlier comments in context. Thank you for that. Fwiw, I was heavily involved in the antiwar movement (got busted on the Capitol steps in May 1971 and became one of the thousand or so plaintiffs in Dellums v. Powell), then went on to become even more heavily involved in the feminist movement. Maybe I should have made it clearer that it was *electoral* politics that I wasn't involved in? In the 1970s and well into the '80s, electoral politics weren't a fertile field for feminists, especially lesbian feminists like me. So we put our energies elsewhere.

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

'I was doing jack sh*t.' Susanna, I replied to your initial comment, which went after me with a sledge hammer. I was engaged when you said that you were not. As you indicated, your comment was not 'clear'. I don't see this as contest, but objected to your big, bold and I think ' J'accuse'.

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Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. Somebody has been paying attention to what I paid attention to for 40 years. Even Grover and Trent Lott. I have posted Grover’s quote ad nauseam. Just didn’t know when and where. Newt, a worm if there ever was one, never stopped trying to burn the house down. “There is a direct line from the rhetorical and procedural violence of GOP officials to its physical expression on the ground.” Indeed. I was sleep walking through all of this until Ammon Bundy’s insane actions. This after the slanderous “socialism” tag for Obama. So many players, so much money, so many agendas coalesced into the perfect storm.

I will add that When Ronnie gave Rupert the license to play Goebbels, the dye was cast with a little help from Limbaugh, Ailes and the left over dirty tricksters from Nixon. Is there a Democrat or media type left who still thinks it’s normal political shenanigans. If so, they are as much the problem as any “republican.”

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Yes. There is a reason we meet in this forum at this time.

Thank You for expanding my comment. Yes the same dirty tricksters from Nixon through Reagan to Trump. Manafort and Stone! Yes those miscreants. (Atwater of 'How to Be a Racist Without Sounding Like a Racist' infamy confessed on his deathbed.) And then Trump as the bastard child of Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy.

But a quibble. Totally with you that "anyone who still thinks it’s normal political shenanigans" is part of the problem. But I wouldn't class all those who think that with Republican practitioners. I can think the shenanigans are 'normal' and lament that, without giving in or giving up.

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I'm afraid that there are still too many elected and appointed Democrats who can't or won't acknowledge how serious it is. I strongly suspect that most of them are white, male, and well-off. One of my current peeves is people wailing "we're in danger of losing our democracy," as if we only started down the slippery slope when Trump was elected. How much "democracy" was there in the Jim Crow South -- and a lot of the non–Jim Crow North? How much "democracy" is possible since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the decision in Citizens United?

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Well said.

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Republican descriptions such as "radical", "fraudulent", "illegitimate", "highly partisan", "political hacks" aimed against anyone and everyone who questions them are tactics that every authoritarian has exhibited. It's not a surprise that both the tactics and labels are most applicable to those who make and use them. They spend a lot of time in front of their media mirrors preening themselves.

Republican rallying cries like "purging" their ranks, "kill shot", "martial law", as well as applauding those who promote or have used violence, using violent symbols, images and sounds that refer to guns are all tactics to incite violence, intimidate and create fear. It's no surprise that Republicans have been leading the pro gun movement without restrictions or regard for safety or law enforcement to protect the unarmed.

All of these character traits and activities are easily traceable to past and present authoritarian regimes regardless of economic ideology. It remains a pointless distraction to add "Nazi", "fascist", "communist" or any other label to what authoritarians do and the violence they rely on. We are dealing with a clear and present danger to our lives, our democracy and the future of mankind.

We must support our institutions, our leading democracy advocates whether they be Joe Biden, OAC or Liz Cheney and our business leaders who actively support democracy.

We must criticize and comment on all media that present this contest incorrectly. FOX of course promotes the authoritarians. Other media presents both sides as being equally justified. Some like PBS Newshour are insufficiently informed, asking questions that invite inappropriate doubt about our present administration, covid19 measures, legislation, etc. For example, we have had vaccine going to waste while about 30% of Americans refuse to vaccinate due to Republican political posturing and constant conspiracy theories that vaccinations are not safe or don't work. Yet PBS questions the administration if they are doing enough, have they made mistakes, is the vaccine working? And saying that Biden's low approval ratings are a result of "what he and Democrats are not getting done" as if they had control over the numb skulls who thrown wrenches into the works every waking hour.

On BBB, PBS harps on Joe Manchin and Democrats for not passing this, giving all 50 Republicans in the Senate a pass. I don't recall Walter Cronkite being this deferential to the roots of our dilemmas in his time.

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I have been very disappointed in PBS/Judy Woodruff lately; I don't understand this posture she's taking re the administration with almost nary a word about Republican obstinance and outright threats.

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Ann, all of the media, including the NY Times, can see a future that has more than a reasonable probability of occurrence:

An autocratic USA run by right wing Republicans with Trump permanently President until Don Jr. takes over.

All of them know that if they are aggressive now, they will be shut down when Trump takes over.

They are trying to avoid that outcome, but, they are wrong.

Trump will still shut them down even if they suck up to him.

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Exactly, and what they are doing will help assure more evil. Where is our free press?? Rupert ate it with nary a belch

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Rupert may or may not have realized he was creating a monster. However, now that he sees the Monster, he really likes it.

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Loves it

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Yes he did.

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Then the media is far too comfortable in their vision of democracy… there will be no “choice” in media in an autocracy. There will be state sponsored media.

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When the MSM finish capitulating to Fox, that’s what we get. Farther along than almost any imagine

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This is right on! First Amendment rights will be among the first to go.

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I watched the PBS Newshour for years, but I can't now. It seems shallow and predictable and whiny. Not helpful to my understanding.

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I wonder whether Woodruff and some of the NPR reporters got stuck in Biden bashing over failures to get interpreters out of Afghanistan? They seem foolishly blind to their responsibility to save democracy at home.

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I used to like Judy Woodruff, but she seems to have changed. The rest of the reporting team is great but she seems so negative now, determined to let Republicans have their say. Perhaps she has given up and is heading for retirement too?

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I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I don't seem to love the PBSN like I used to, maybe for the past half year (?) I do believe they have always had a variety of viewpoints on PBSN, which is good, but, in my mind, something has changed. There seems to be a tone as opposed to just factual reporting. I really don't want Judy's tone overlayed onto the news. There also seems to be some tone between the two of them when she talks with Lisa D. about what's going on in Congress. Perhaps they've been criticized for being too soft on the Dems in the past. What matters to me is that Joe Biden is trying. There are things he can't control--the weather, the virus, Joe Manchin. I think he will keep trying with the BBB as well as the issues that face us as a nation. And he does it with grace. People seem to think their lives should be perfect and that government should make that happen. We have a pandemic and there will be some discomfort. Deal with it. If anyone wants to point fingers, point at those who refuse to get vaccinated. Point at these violent Repubs who constantly want to change the subject away from being constructive to being destructive. (Turned into a bit of a rant :)

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Not much of a rant, more of an analysis. PBS News Hour seems afraid to report any steps Joe Biden is taking on Covid without asking “Will it be enough? Why didn’t he do it sooner?” (I would rather ask those questions myself, when I have them! ) Just give more of the details and the background and put things in context. The medical experts honestly say they don’t know at this point, no one does.

On BBB, there is now the recognition coming from Lisa DesJardin that the reporting was all about the negotiations among Democrats, not what was actually in the bill and what it would mean. Well, Lisa, whose reporting?

Each time BBB was called huge, 3.5 trillion, then 1.7 trillion, they could have used another second or two to add “OVER TEN YEARS.” They could have used another couple of seconds to mention what the defense budget costs OVER TEN YEARS. And of course they could mention that Republicans are leaving it to Democrats to get anything done (other than cut taxes.) Then they tout benefits coming to their states, which they voted against.

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Woodruff is long past her due date. I haven't been able to stomach watching her for several years.

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Sometimes it is time.

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Thank you for articulating the frustration that I and perhaps many others are feeling. Biden is doing the best he can with a weak hand- blaming him for not getting his bills passed is letting the republicans off the hook. Where are the voices of conscience among them- Collins, Murkowski, Sasse, Romney- now that we need them? And why, if they are choosing to end their careers rather then stay on with a debased, anti-democratic party, don't they at least say something? Is Liz Cheney the only Republican with a conscience?

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Don't forget Adam Kinzinger.

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He’s quitting too. And he still votes lock-step with Republicans against anything good for the country.

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Maybe he has a fragment of what was

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And Adam Kinzinger

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No, he was not. I can’t watch more than 5 minutes of anything anymore. The MSM will “both sides” the country into the arms of evil, deliberately. Rupert was given Carte Blanche by Ronnie about the time that Walter retired. So his first order of business was to go after Dan Rather. But that was only the beginning. Brick by brick…

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I can’t watch the “news” anymore. I continue to have faith in Biden and the democrats trying their best to right this ship, but there are times that it looks hopeless.

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My cable TV box blew up (sparks and spits) a week ago, no, 2, maybe 3 weeks ago, and I haven't replaced it or watched any news in oh, 4 weeks, and am amazed at how much better I sleep.

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 23, 2021

My tv in my exercise room went on the fritz over three months ago. My first instinct was to have it repaired. My second instinct was why? Why watch non-Fox cable shows nightly when they cause anguish and frustration, with little ‘news’ not available elsewhere.

I still feel anguish and frustration, reduced by a ‘window of escape’ as I watch DVDs and VHSs (remember them). MGM’s greatest musicals, Michael Feinstein, Fantasia (Walt Disney’s greatest creation), Pete Seeger & Leonard Bernstein Masterpiece Theatre, Bill Moyer with Joseph Campbell and Bernice Johnson Reagon, PBS’s American presidents, and such movies as Chariots of Fire, Tora Tora Tora, and African Queen. We all need windows of escape as we approach another year of democracy in peril.

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I remember (and own) them!! My greatest loss in this interlude from network noise, is missing the wonderful surprise of hearing my actor daughter voicing commercials. But then I just went to a site Robert embedded in this newsletter, and Ta Da, I had to enjoy an Ubrelvy commercial first!

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Some of our institutions need to be scrutinized. They are undemocratic or antidemocracy. The Electoral College and the Electoral count is one. Another, although I am not sure it is an institution, is the filibuster in the Senate. One of the reasons we are here, and I hear you about the media as well as the Republican history, is our failure to do yearly maintenance on our institutions. I certainly would like to include the Supreme Court.

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The challenge we face is that the concept of questioning and scrutinizing our government and institutions has been criticized over many years, and now is turned on its head by Trump Republicans. In the 60's we challenged the Vietnam War, many of us from college. My parents and younger siblings started questioning the merits of a college education, believing it was merely a platform for annoying protests. Now we have Republicans telling college students to "drop out", that it's a waste of time and money, that it breeds "liberals".

Legitimate questions have always been appropriate and needed to keep even the best of us examining our own assumptions. However, we have moved into an age where reasonable questions that should be asked, answered and then we move on, with some adjustment or correction. But no longer. These questions are now used along with a lot of poppy cock to build or support conspiracy theories. What is the point in going to a doctor, having a teacher, or any professional if you dismiss them with uneducated fiction. My daughter, the first MD in our family, is dealing everyday with covid19 patients who want the latest experimental drug while protesting that covid19 vaccinations are unsafe because they believe they are experimental. Our experts in every field including government are being worn out, burned out and leaving their professions. This occurred in Eastern Europe under Soviet Russian Communist rule. We have rural Americans who question everything and believe in nothing, whereas they once were the pragmatic backbone of our nation. Our institutions are not broken. Our people are.

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The Electoral College is in the Constitution. The current cap of 435 members in the House is law passed by Congress in 1929 to limit true representation by population. Repealing it would reduce the Electoral College problem.

The filibuster is based on the Senate's rules, or lack of them, for conducting its business. It can be modified by majority vote within the Senate.

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Yes, Electoral College is in the Constitution but hardly any democracies have it as part of their election process. Repealing representation law in House would be great but probably not gonna happen. Hoping for modification of filibuster which is not in the Constitution.....and someone needs to tell Sinema.

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Yes. The one institution I’m thinking of is called the Republican Party.

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Well written.

Just to add a common word from Michael Savage and Sean Hannity:

Communist.

This word, and, "Satan" are about equivalent in the religious white community down south.

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I don't recall any use of the word Communist by the GOP or evangelicals when the former president was cozying up to Russia and Putin.

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Of course they didn't...They're all in favor of the authoritarianism. It would appear that the evangelicals want to establish a theocracy like the Taliban.

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As long as it’s THEIR Christian evangelical theocracy.

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They are establishing a theocracy as bad as the Taliban. At least that is my observation.

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No. Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Trump, Fox News, all use "Communist" to describe Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Putin is a freedom fighter Patriot (the new words for autocrats that win through violence).

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We’re deep down the rabbit hole now where everything is upside down.

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Indeed. Great analogy.

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Ann You jogged my memory about “Commies’ in WW II. The Soviet Union was the killing/dying machine against Hitler, while we gradually moved towards an oft-delayed D-Day. While the Soviets were our allies, Colliers magazine (which I was selling while on my newspaper route) ran a feature article about ‘Uncle Joe’ and his ‘democratic’ country. This changed abruptly with the outbreak of the Cold War and Comrade Stalin’s threat to engulf Western Europe after occupying Eastern Europe.

Comrade Trump and his pinkie sycophants had no ‘WW II fig leaf’ to justify their bromance with Putin. When Trump, regarding our intelligence that fully documented Russian dirty dealings in the 2016 election, turned to Putin and said that he believed Putin’s denial over our ‘caught in the act’ intelligence, that bordered on treason. Putin played Trump like a harp and Trump behaved like a strumpet (was General Mike Flynn actually a turncoat?)

Trumpists remind me of George Orwell’s 1984. Those who might be considered ‘loyalists’ one day can be denounced as ‘enemies of the state’. Jabba the Hutt is lashing out at more and more once-loyalist ‘enemies’ daily. Mitch McConnell, watch your back.

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A lot of parallels to Orwell's l984. Chilling.

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PBS and Judy in an effort to be politically correct and “balanced” have devolved into the clueless realm. I can’t watch her anymore, not only is she tone deaf, but she appears to not understand the answer’s her guests give because her follow up questions ignore what was just said. This happens so often that I skip her interviews out of frustration, it’s sad, she appears lost.

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Please... save your ammunition (excuse me for using that word). The 'Judy Woodruff's' of OUR world are given a choice by their directors: TOW THE LINE...or leave. Simple as that. I've said it before, but we (HCR readers) must be reminded (over and over again) that for the "newsies" to stay on the air...they must have VIEWER$$$, or their ADVERTISER$$$, selling viagra and, car-fax will "PULL THE PLUG$$$". So, "Judy" is given 'the' $$ript $he mu$$t follow. Judy, like all of us has bills she must pay..., just as us HCR Readers do. If everyone $$hitcan$ PBS the worms from Mara-Lago have won. I hope you have enjoyed my effort to refresh your screen. I enjoy HCR, and your opinions too - Alex aka "the Mad Russian 12A". Good day.

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The situation we have here is quite simple. Everyone is running scared that Numbnuts is going to get elected. To cite poor old PBS for not telling us where the bear really pooped in the buckwheat ignors their source of funding. Same for all the other "news"ies. They rely on advertisers to pay the rent and keep the lights on. They count on "viewers" to view those ads in order to get paid. That's how it woiks. Now, don't start yelling "we need a news source like a "Kniight Ridder".., someone who will report the truth. Gimme a break people. We still have ethical reporting.., hahahahaaaaa, just nobody is buying it! Sound familiar? They can't even get it aired on You Tube. Think the Dems are safe from the worm-farms of Mara-Lago...? Better "think" again. They are busier than ever looking ways to exploit avenues to make the Dems look foolish. Bennie G. Thompson, and the eight other members of the Jan 6th Committee are carrying the fate of this Nation.

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How fxxxing true. Rupert is laughing his arse off at how MSM is following his lead, which has been following Goebbels lead

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As always, my thoughts are: Brava, Heather! And, I love that you end with a rhetorical question!

The violent rhetoric of the cornered GOP can only increase the hatred between these political parties. The BBB should be plucking at the heartstrings of every living American citizen, but the bigotry that runs through the blood of GOP leaders increases their callous and impervious reactions to caring for poverty, homelessness, and the well-being of their kin. It beggars the imagination how a group of people elected to improve the lot of their co-equals can be so cold-blooded, so soulless.

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Rowshan, having dealt with the effects of pushes toward equity (the real goal, not the fake "equality" trope) for decades, both personally and professionally, I can safely say that those who are in positions of privilege are at their scariest and most dangerous when they are really afraid that equity and justice might actually happen. The resurrection, in a particularly horrible form, of the KKK in the 1920s was a direct response to civil rights legislation that was successful, including women getting the vote, the first introduction of an Equal Rights Amendment (yep--the ERA has been around since the 1920s!), and pushes, however timid and tentative, to expand civil rights to non-white people, Jews, and others. I disagree with those who claim that this kind of panic and violence are indicative of the "death knell" of such autocracies, because they continue to behave like the Hydra: a head grows immediately as one is lopped off. When faced with the reality of their loss in WW2, the Nazis did not instruct the death camps to be opened and the prisoners freed: they instructed the camp officers to kill as many people as they possibly could before fleeing. That is the nature of this kind of evil. It is at its most deadly and dangerous when faced with its defeat.

I don't think we have a snowball's chance in hell of getting this corrected at the federal level now. My only hope is that those younger than I will have the energy to challenge and change. It is happening in other places, albeit in fits and starts, and is starting to happen at the grassroots level. That is really where the change must begin. The national stage is already invaded with Death Eaters and Orcs.

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Yes, it is deadly when faced with defeat. Should Democrats win in 2022 and 2024, rage and violence will surely erupt from the right. And yet, and yet, there is only one party now that believes in democracy so Democrats can't lose if we want to keep a democracy.

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Kathy, Though I agree we’re in a position wherein our democracy cannot afford for the Democratic Party to lose, I hardly can imagine a more precarious and, frankly, untenable situation in which to find ourselves. I do hope future LFAAs press us beyond merely acknowledging this terrifying reality.

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And the irony here is why the DOJ was even created. Excellent post.

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Exactly so. I devoutly hope that Merrick Garland is versed enough in the history of the DoJ to recognize this century's threat to America.

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But Biden is losing those younger voters by reneging on his promise to reduce their student loan debt.

https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/democrats-young-voters-student-loans-climate-change-20211219.html

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Something that can be done about student loan debt immediately is to LIMIT THE INTEREST RATES ON THEM. What started out as 1% or less government backed loans, has become commercial loan sharking, where student's are caught in forever financial nightmares.

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Can this be by Executive Action?

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Don't know, and I am not even sure of the info I stayed above. But it sure seems to me that it should be an administrative action. The problem, I believe, is that school loans are not backed by anything like a car loan or mortgage is. Which is why they need to be government backed.

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Untrue, Jeff. I cannot tell you how many of my friends and colleagues have had their debt zeroed out. This is an incremental situation: first the THOUSANDS of people whom DeVos and Co deliberately effed over had to be addressed. This has taken months--but it has been years of deliberate sabotage. Biden has not reneged on anything. Manchin has.

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Good to hear, Linda!

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Sorry, Linda; the article doesn't report that. What it does say is that Biden is about to resume the loan repayments, and has refused to bring up the promised forgiveness. When asked about that, Psaki replied, "If Congress sends him a bill he's happy to sign it:

https://twitter.com/TPostMillennial/status/1470842027449405443?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1470842027449405443%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.inquirer.com%2Fopinion%2Fcommentary%2Fdemocrats-young-voters-student-loans-climate-change-20211219.html

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Biden is extending the pause on student loan payments until May 1.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/22/politics/student-loan-pause-biden/index.html

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until May 1... oh, good, that won't effect the elections, will it?

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LOL a lot can happen between now and May 1.

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"It beggars the imagination how a group of people elected to improve the lot of their co-equals can be so cold-blooded, so soulless."

We need not imagine how. We can see it for fact. The disconnect is the assumption that Republican elected officials - or their voters - see us all as their co-equals.

Cold blooded they may be, but their religious leaders secure their souls from accountability. In fact, many welcome the four horseman of the apocalypse - sword, famine, wild beasts and plague - as heralding the Second Coming and end of days. Not a sound mindset for good government.

In this most Christian of nations, the Constitution is meant to translate Christ's Golden Rule into civil law. However they thump their bibles or wave the flag, the Republican creed (of racism, religious extremism, violence, and unregulated greed) is as far from Christ's radical message of love as it is from the Founders' revolutionary declaration of equality.

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(and there should be " " around the word christian (I don't capitalize the word deliberately for those who don't follow Christ's actions.)

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Although, I won't adjudicate between which individuals do or do not faithfully follow Christ's actions, you might be interested in Harold Bloom's "The American Religion: The Emergence of A Post-Christian Nation" in which he studies the history and texts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Christian Science, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Southern Baptist Convention. Arguing that traditional Protestant denominations might not recognize them as the same religion.

Interestingly many of these grew out of the failed Millerite movement - when their prophecy of the end of the world went unfulfilled, it was called The Great Disappointment.

One may make the same argument for American Catholicism in that its bishops present themselves as 'more Catholic than the Pope" and align themselves more closely with the Republican party than with Rome.

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

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Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" is not bad either.

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Yes. The Founders introduced God into the Declaration of Independence, to give authority to their radical message of equality and rebellion against The Divine Right of Kings. They kept God out of the Constitution, the agreed framework of civil law, and prohibited religion from the workings of government. A prohibition often ignored. But not until the institution of the Republican 'politics of faith' that irrationality and counterfactual assertions entirely took the place of reasoned debate of empirical evidence for one political party. cf Jim Jordan as an exemplar, and Donald Trump as the personification of the Republican party rejection of reason and knowledge.

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At times he criticizes elements in the American religion for their political activities, saying even that he is "politically appalled by what may be some of its consequences. Since the Reagan-Bush national Republicans have become one with the American Religion, my fear is that we will never again see a Democrat in the Presidency during my lifetime."[11] Uh Oh.

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That darn Nixon, going after the Southern Strategy.

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I just don't understand this. Senator Manchin runs down a laundry list of all the rising expenses people are facing, then refuses government support to help them, saying he believes people will spend the money to use drugs ...?

What does he expect people to do without that support, faced with rising costs, and increasing limits on income because of COVID? Where will they turn if government does not support them? The streets. What opportunities will they find in the streets? Sex and drugs, baby. Sex and drugs.

So people will turn to drugs for income to pay the bills, as well as to ease their pain. And who benefits from that? So called 'dark money' industries who oppose government support for regular folks because it competes with their profit margins and control of peoples' lives through chronic dependency ... business as usual.

So Senator Manchin says he has 'tried everything humanly possible' to find a way to support the BBB Act? Maybe he should consider resigning his position as senator, devote his time to protecting vested interests and make room for someone to do the job who has the best interest of 'we the people' at heart.

Bryan Tyler Cohen breaks it down:

https://www.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/videos/457490682414908/

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

"I just don't understand this. Senator Manchin runs down a laundry list of all the rising expenses people are facing, then refuses government support to help them, saying he believes people will spend the money to use drugs ...?"

This is the same Trope used by Ronald Reagan when he gave his famous speech equating helping people out of poverty to giving money to "welfare queens in Chicago" who were thought of at that time to be drug addled women cranking out baby after baby by the religious right.

The thing to remember about this trope: It was and remains what people in white Churches across America believe. And, the white man at the front of the church promulgates that belief. Even GOD agrees with this trope. :-)

In other words: Manchin's trope approach WORKS well in the white community, north and south, in America.

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Especially true since 2004 when Karl Rove made Christian churches arms of the Republican Party. Likely true before but church people were quieter about their prejudices

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

Jeri,

It was definitely true all the way back to 1980.

Don't ask me how I know. I am too humiliated by my (political voting) past to say.

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Mike, we are all products of where we grew up and how we were raised. Some of us (and I freely and voluntarily admit, I am one of these) were raised in an environment where needs were met, education was valued, diversity celebrated, and religion was not the be-all and end-all that it is in some homes. Some of us have to work much, much harder to find our way in life; you have done the work and found yourself where you are now. I feel like I haven't had to work at all to be where I am today; it is a natural evolution of how I was raised, what I have come to believe, and how I think.

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Ally, no problem on how anyone gets to where they are.

Life is sort of like any hyperbolic, partial differential equation .... it has different solutions given different initial and boundary conditions and constraints and input noise. That is why simulation commonly applies a large number of random inputs to explore all possible outcomes.

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Well said, Rowshan, thank you.

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Rowshan it’s that “ Co-Equal “ thing that really doesn’t exist. As kids sharing a bag of M&M’s we would do “ One for you, one for me. “. The New way- “ I’m from the GOP and I want you’re whole bag of M&M’s.

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...and all your cookies too!

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Guess I better tell My Dr. to prescribe a sturdy walking cane from Medicare cuz I’ll fight them over Soft Chewy Chocolate Chips !😜

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😂😂😂

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Or two for me and none for you. You can hold the bag.

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😂Ain’t it the truth !

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deletedDec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021
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And that is the Gods Honest Truth !

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[Trump loyalists] "are declaring that they are not bound by our laws (although they are apparently eager to try to use them to reduce their exposure)."

Political scientist Frank Wilhoit was thinking of people like this when he wrote:

"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."

Bingo.

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Shortest description of the principles of conservatism that I’ve seen. Thanks for pointing it out.

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Thank you for your ongoing reporting and educating, Dr. Richardson. Your work means more to me and my family than I can adequately express.🌿

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Yes! What Mary Said! Thank You Heather!!

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Here is the text of a letter I sent to our local paper:

Provisions of the Build Back Better bill include universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year olds; a limitation on the cost of child care to no more than 7% of parental income; and strengthening an existing program through Medicaid so older Americans and people with Disabilities can remain in their homes and communities and improving working conditions for home care workers who take care of them.

And of course there is the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), which, according to Forbes, would reduce child poverty in a typical year below 10 percent in 47 states – if it is extended beyond 2021.

It seems to me the Republicans, who have long claimed to be exclusively the pro-life party, would embrace the above provisions of the bill. The bill delivers assistance with day care, whether pre-K or otherwise and assistance with the costs of food and clothing via the Child Tax Credit, allowing parents to go to (or return to) work, knowing their children are safe, fed and stable. Finally, although Republicans focus almost exclusively on opposing abortion, the bill would benefit seniors and the disabled by assisting in their remaining at home with higher quality care.

Build Back Better IS a pro-life bill. So why don’t Republicans support it?

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I see Republiqans as being pro-birth more than pro-life; once born they don’t care what quality of life that child will have. And I see BBB as a pro QUALITY of life bill, so I’m not at all surprised that the Republiqans will not support it. It just hurts my heart to view this level of a lack of basic empathy and caring on display.

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It doesn't have anything to do with birth or abortion or child rearing. Remember that this is the party of old white men and evangelicals who firmly believe they should rule over women. The old, gross saying of "keeping them barefoot and pregnant" never rang truer. Because women so desire independence and that includes over their own bodies this is the issue. They tried to keep us out of the workplace, higher education, the military and positions of power. When that didn't work they came after our right to not procreate.

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Another very good observation. And distinction. ❤️🤍💙

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Because theRepublicans don't actually believe their own 'pro-life' rhetoric-more lies; as proven by their belief that anyone who isn't them doesn't deserve anything decent like food, clean water, medical care or a roof over their heads or control of their own bodies. The ultimate irony is that those Republicans not of their 'elite' class don't realize that that 'elite" class doesn't give a damn about them.

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A basic question I would love to see a discussion about: why do people vote against their own self interest?

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To answer your question, her is Carla of West Virginia's 2-20-21 comment on this HCR site:

"Are you familiar with poverty? Are you familiar with actual vote counts? Not everyone who lives in the state of West Virginia has voted for Senator Manchin. Why do others suspect those who live in poverty? How many do not vote because they are working three jobs? How many do not vote because they do not have transportation to a polling place? How many do not vote because they cannot afford gas in their car, if they have a car? How many are hungry and do not have the education to figure out how to get themselves out of despair? Order a little book by Kathy Manley called, "Don't Tell Them You Are Cold." Read that and then you may begin to understand. Have you known your grandparents? Do you have Christmas memories of them? Well, I do not. One grandfather was murdered in a coal camp and his killer did not go to jail due to being protected by the coal operators and the railroad operators. Another grandfather slept on an outdoor porch to grab gulps of air before he died of Black Lung and he didn't even "go deep" into the mines, he maintained the railroads used in the mines. Perspective is everything."

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We lucky ones just have no comprehension of what poverty does to someone's mental state as well as their physical bodies - living with little hope that things WILL get better - unable to see a way out of poverty - knowing that their children can become no better off than themselves. It's easy to throw stones - remember all the glass in your own house!

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I should add that my father-in-law had to work in the mines as a kid - got himself out of PA (former mine country) & became an electrician. Unfortunately, he also contracted black lung & eventually died from the complications. My dad's family lived in the same area when he was young -they moved to NYS - he never went to high school, but went thru an apprenticeship and became a plumber - owned his own business right up till he died. Coal mines are killers - whether in PA or WV or anywhere else. But only for the workers - mine owners? Not so much.

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Thank you so much for sharing this

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I suggest Heather McGee's book, "The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together," published in February of this year

You can get the gist of it from her TED Talk.

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Cathy, if you can find the time, read through yesterday’s comments and find Carla’s response to this question specifically relating to some of her West Virginia neighbors. It is eye opening- and spot on accurate.

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I will try, sure wish there was a search function!

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"Here's Carla's comment on poverty:

"Are you familiar with poverty? Are you familiar with actual vote counts? Not everyone who lives in the state of West Virginia has voted for Senator Manchin. Why do others suspect those who live in poverty? How many do not vote because they are working three jobs? How many do not vote because they do not have transportation to a polling place? How many do not vote because they cannot afford gas in their car, if they have a car? How many are hungry and do not have the education to figure out how to get themselves out of despair? Order a little book by Kathy Manley called, "Don't Tell Them You Are Cold." Read that and then you may begin to understand. Have you known your grandparents? Do you have Christmas memories of them? Well, I do not. One grandfather was murdered in a coal camp and his killer did not go to jail due to being protected by the coal operators and the railroad operators. Another grandfather slept on an outdoor porch to grab gulps of air before he died of Black Lung and he didn't even "go deep" into the mines, he maintained the railroads used in the mines. Perspective is everything."

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I copied it and will see if I can recooy it here

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From yesterday, Carla's post in full:

Carla

3 hr ago

This needs to be posted here. A voice from a West Virginian.

I am a grassroots organizer for economic justice here in West Virginia, building the Rattle The Windows movement alongside poor and marginalized West Virginians. I have been working tirelessly for months in coalition with groups here, on a state level and on a national level with Moms Rising and Community Change Action, to organize and elevate the stories of WV children and families around their support of Build Back Better, especially the Child Tax Credit expansion, paid leave, and child care.

For months, I have celebrated with moms as they talked about being able to pay for child care, buy reliable vehicles, fill their freezers and cupboards with food, and move their families out of Section 8 housing, to name a few. The expanded CTC allowed families to feel as if they were finally able to breathe a little easier, and Senator Manchin's announcement yesterday was devastating, especially so close to the holidays.

West Virginia was born out of the resistance. Engrained in our DNA is the need to not give up or to back down. When we think about the 50,000 WV kiddos the senator has singlehandedly pushed back across the poverty line, our hearts break, and we wonder how he could be that far removed from those he was elected to protect and fight for. We wonder what legacy he is seeking to leave for all the children in the Mountain State, not just his own. And we need for him to know that he's taking away our best opportunity to be able to rely on ourselves. We're disappointed in Manchin's actions, but we haven't given up. It is, after all, the season of miracles and hope.

- Amy Jo Hutchison, organizer and movement builder, Rattle The Windows

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Most people have no idea how critical the shortage of health care workers is in nursing homes, rehab facilities and home care unless they try to find care. Seniors will be forced to suffer and die with little care unless the government steps in. The “invisible hand” of capitalism won’t fix this.

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The anti-abortion stance is not a "pro life" stance in any way, shape, or form. If they were pro life, they would also oppose the death penalty; when I have pointed out that it seems to be a stance that all life is not sacred (their usual argument), the reply is almost universally said to be that god has directed the punishment for taking a life is death, and that to be duly sentenced in a court of law for criminal conduct makes that person's unnatural death sanctioned by god. I can almost get them to bend on permitting abortion to save the life of the mother (I'm to about a 60% "well, that might be ok" rate), but on any other abortions it is a hard no. All of their objections to abortion and embrace of capital punishment are exactly that: punishment of people who aren't "good".

Mike S says it well: it is what the white man in front of their church every Sunday tells them their god wants, and they believe it.

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Thank you, Marcy. Helpful summary. Your last point is a good one for those of us about to sit around the table with aging R idiots.❤️🤍💙

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Further, given our current labor shortage, help with child care should help ease some employers’ struggles to find workers. You’d think they would support that, too.

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As my former congressman, Barney Frank, observed, “These are the people who believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

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Yes, please, continue to call out the Republicans.

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It's 3 days before Christmas. The Omicron variant is raging. Anti-vaxers/anti-science are making life miserable for many. Holiday plans have changed for many. Biden is trying. The rethuglicans seem to be winning. I can't read news today. It's my 8th wedding anniversary (although we've been together for 30+ years). I'm going to be glad we are healthy, raise a glass to my wife, and wrap her Christmas presents. The news will be here tomorrow.

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Happy Legalversary, Pam. My wife and I recently celebrated our 38th "true" anniversary by driving 3 hours, having a birthday lunch with her completely rabid and entering dementia RWNJ father, and driving 3 hours back to her sister's house. It did not pass unnoticed, but it really hasn't yet been celebrated. (We had our "lucky 13th" Legalversary on September 5th this year.)

I heartily endorse a news blackout today. Drink wine, celebrate what you've attained, wrap presents, and enjoy each other. News will be here tomorrow.

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Ally, your "celebration" sounds like a trial by fire. Thank you for your legalversary wishes. Our "true" anniversary is Jan 6, and we can never remember if it all started in 1988 or 1989. I have finished wrapping gifts, and tonight we'll lift a glass. And, I may do a news blackout until 12/26.

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It has been a trial as Karyn’s Dad slides into his angry dementia. Christmas this year will be a real trial as well.

I’m considering a news diet as well, for my sanity.

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A fast from the news is good for sanity. Congratulations on all those years of togetherness!

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Do it. You won't miss much. There's enough chaos in our daily lives without adding to it by reading "news".

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to January 6‼️ 🥂 🥂

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Yes, Roland. Our anniversary is now shared with the insurrection!

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I wasn’t going to say anything, but now that you mention it, I see it as an auspicious coincidence: it means that you and your partner will forever be tied to this century’s greatest event commemorating US freedom. And both of you are living tributes to that freedom. Congratulations again‼️🥂🥂

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Thanks, Roland.

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

In the words of a great "statesman" of yore:

"Don't worry, be happy".

:-)

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Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! Treasure your time together.

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Happy anniversary, Pam ❤️

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“I can't read news today.”

Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, Pam, and congratulations on your 30+ years together. The day you both met and connected is a beautiful special moment as well.

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Happy anniversary! Never let the news steal your joy.

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Happy Anniversary.

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I just saw this!! Very happy anniversary to you both, Pam, with many more to follow❤🌷

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Thanks, Daria. It looks as though your time with your daughter is good. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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We are having the best time. I'm so grateful we are able to spend time together as a family.

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So glad for you, Daria. The family I am closest to live in HI, and we cannot afford to go there at the moment. I'm sure your daughter appreciates that you are there as well. Enjoy your time together.

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Happy Anniversary!! 🥂🎉

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The subject of "inflation" is kicking around, and it surprised me a bit. The news media seems to equate this to "higher prices."

There are at least three very different things that cause prices to rise:

1. Supply shortages,

2. Price gouging by cartels or monopolies,

3. Currency devaluation.

Modern news outlets seem to lump all of these together.

They all have different remedies.

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Few media people have any background in economics.

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Doesn't stop them parroting stupidities though. Not many "journalists" seem to see the difference and don't bother to check.

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Precisely

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Few people can do long division and when it comes to fractions...fuhgeddaboudit!

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Or fairness, thanks to “fair and balanced” Fox

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Inflation is also generated and then perpetuated by the expectaion of further inflation...the catch up wage push effect!

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And what is going on with the global economy as well. A production shortage outside the USA or a tariff increase/decrease can have significant impact.

One thing that has been studied for many years are the predilections of consumers which can be wildly unpredictable. This is a supply/demand issue.

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it's even more complex. Try reading "Misbehaving" by Richard H. Thaler to get a handle on the difficulties of classic economic theory on the subject.

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I studied economics in the process of obtaining an MBA. I really enjoyed the subject. One thing I walked away with was that it is a very complex subject that takes years of study and practice to grasp. To bad the media thinks they can speak of economics.

We are just messing around with lay people economics talk in these comments.

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I tend to be dismissive of economics for several reasons.

The biggest is that it has a huge "zone of exclusion" called "externalities" that simply excludes inconvenient elements of the economy. Most of the deepest pathologies in our way of life come from thinking "economically" about these externalities. E.g., where does our trash go? What is the "value" of an emergency appendectomy for someone living on food stamps? How do we regulate the consumption/conversion of non-renewable resources to sustain a society rather than profit from its destruction?

This includes the entire exclusion zone of "second-best" economics, which is not governed by supply and demand at all. Virtually all of the "infrastructure" issues -- roads, dams, medical care, education, military -- fall into this category. Any time we try to make it supply-and-demand, we end up with dysfunctional abominations like for-profit healthcare, or for-profit education.

The second is the assumption of mass rationality, not only neglecting prejudice and groupthink, but also carrying rationality (through game theory) into areas that become so non-intuitive that people don't actually go there.

The third is the political manipulation of economics. The issue of "inflation" is a particularly sore point. First, the basic metric of "economic growth" is deeply flawed (the raw GDP), and requires an inflation correction (the adjusted GDP) to be at all meaningful. In the presence of inflation, you can get any GDP figure you like by redefining inflation, and there are some whoppers in the current definition. Hedonics is a particularly obnoxious one: it's a qualitative "tuning" parameter that seems to have the primary purpose of allowing government economists to declare that "the economy is growing at a healthy 2%" regardless of what is actually happening.

Then there's the issue of the hyper-rich. They are effectively taking trillions of dollars out of circulation: it's a largely stagnant wealth-pool that the hyper-rich could not put back into circulation (spend) if they tried. If we were to take the growth of that pool of stagnant wealth out of the equations -- most of it just circulates in the financial markets, meaning it runs around and around in a kind of financial Tokomak -- it would completely change the growth numbers.

Then there's the blatantly obvious problem with geometric economic growth in the first place. A "healthy" 2% annual economic increase is exponential increase, with a compounding doubling time of 35 years. Did the US economy actually double in size since 1987? Maybe? By shifting from single-worker income to dual worker income with a side-hustle, a growing base of the marginally-employed working longer hours, a shift from morning coffee at the office percolator to morning coffee at Starbucks, privatization of all kinds of formerly public benefits, etc. So what kind of changes will be required to double again by 2057? And assuming we manage that, doubling again by 2092?

I've heard two reasons economics is called "the dismal science." One is that, if it attempts to take reality into account, it predicts dismal outcomes. The other is that it's just a dismal excuse for a science.

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Always the same when one tries to simulate reality with mathematics.

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Yes, but some things work better than others. The number of people who actually care about whether a Casimir cavity has created a "warp bubble" can be fit into a single lecture hall.

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Only problem is that the fundamental assumption of Economics is that buyers and sellers are both completely and permanently rational....well it ain't so.

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Absolutely. But I'll leave the discussions and intricacies of Economics to the experts.

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One thing about legislation that seeks to spend money on benefits for low and middle income Americans; that money goes directly into the economy, because low and middle income folks spend those benefits on goods and services, reverberating through the economy multiple times. Legislation that benefit the rich only lands in the economy when they decide to spend the excess on activities that filter down into the pockets of wage earners, or occasionally the recipients of charitable giving. In most states, spending on goods and services directly supports both the business class AND local/regional governments, who tax those goods and services in a variety of ways and then return that money into the economy to the local infrastructure, and through the wages and benefits of public servants. 1.75 trillion, over a decade, amounts to $175 billion per year, hardly an amount that's likely to tip over the country in additional debt. The US economy approaches 20 trillion per year. Injecting 175 billion per year is a fairly modest stimulus, IMHO. My guess is, it's not the amount of money that is driving a couple of democratic senators to hold out against the entire party and the administration. It's something else. Otherwise, why would so many prominent organizations in W. Virginia be speaking out pointedly/loudly to their senator, asking him directly to reverse his stand on the BBB legislation. I think it has more to do with personal ambitions and beholdedness to donors, future donors, future employers post-political career or something along those lines.

In regard to the other story line, scandal sells newpapers, or in this case, clicks and reads on the internet. It's going to continue until enough prosecutions and convictions occur that the remainder of the scurrilous mob that occupied Washington (I'm not referencing the rioters here) tucks their tails and runs for cover in the backwaters of the nation, hoping that newer and even more scandalous events will divert the attention of the feds, congress and the public from the events of an increasingly remote and shameful chapter in our national political history. On the other hand, we're still tearing down statues and rewriting history books about events concurrent with the civil war, so perhaps I'm far too optimistic about the durability, or lack thereof, of the interval between 2016-2020 in its ability to continue capturing the imagination of the press, literary and scholarly professions.

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Remember that Coalhouse Joe's daughter is the high-level Pharma executive who raised the price of Epi-pens 600%. He probably doesn't like the idea of Medicare being able to negotiate drug prices.

We really need to capture at least three of those open Republican seats, the ones in blue states and purple states. Then Coalhouse and Ms. Airy-Fairy can be dropped out the tenth-floor windows they so richly deserve. With incorrectly-packed parachutes.

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Dec 22, 2021·edited Dec 22, 2021

Also remember that Coalhouse Joe's wife, Gayle, was into the Big Pharma scam up to to her eyeballs as well. Gayle is currently Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Manchin was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate on April 29, 2021 by voice vote. And what does Joe Biden get for his generosity to the Manchin Clan? Absolutely nothing.

Gayle Manchin & Mylan:

"In 2007, [Gayle] Manchin was appointed to the West Virginia Board of Education from 2007 to 2015.[3][4] She served two terms as the Board of Education's vice president.[3] On July 10, 2013, Manchin was elected President of the West Virginia Board of Education for a two-year term.[3][7]

In 2016, Manchin was the subject of some controversy when USA Today, a national newspaper, published an article noting that Manchin, upon becoming Board of Education president in 2012, spearheaded a campaign for states to require schools to purchase EpiPens and other medical supplies.[8] Eleven states created laws to require schools to stock EpiPens, made by Mylan pharmaceuticals, leading to a "near monopoly" of Mylan's epinephrine autoinjector in the school health sector.[8] The article noted the potential for a conflict of interest, as Mylan's CEO, Heather Bresch, is Manchin's daughter."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayle_Conelly_Manchin

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Joe can’t even qualify to be a flawed Democrat. Republican greed all the way. They do it so much better than Dems, at least in my lifetime.

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Dems are not perfect.

The Clintons have their "Foundation". That is a monetary repository where folks who thought Hillary would become President deposited huge sums of money in order to get preferred treatment when that particular event transpired.

The money inflow slowed dramatically after 2016.

Hillary's daughter works there now and has for some time.

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Not even in the same ball Park as republican greed

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This is fascinating back story.

Biden the politician offers too much maybe thinking he is building up good will. Reminds me of his defense of clarence Thomas vs Anita Hill. Now this choice, too, comes back to haunt… a kind of denial of real nature of who thse people are

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Joan, we are on the same wave length.

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