Wait a minute - a scientist's personal computers and phone were seized after an electronic communication was "traced" to her house? She didn't support the party line? That sets off my alarms. What's the quote about when they came for others I did nothing, and when they came for me no one was left to help? Sorry if I'm overreacting, but examples of police state tactics always get me bent.

Expand full comment

How have we become a country of extreme passivity, where we do not stand up for Democracy? We go to war because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and 2403 of our citizens have died.

Today we have a President who has systematically destroyed our Democracy resulting in almost 300,000 people dead. I grew up protesting the Viet Nam war and supporting MLK and equal rights for all. In 1970 we were working on The Equal Rights Amendment. My first job as a Clinical Social Worker I protested my salary as I was hired at a lower salary as my male colleagues.

I am proud of my standing up for equality through my years, but 50 years later we still have a long ways to go. It is hard to sleep at night knowing so many are going without food, shelter, medical care in our country. Our income disparity is shameful.

I brought my 6 and 8 year old grandchildren to a BLM rally, where they passionately became involved in the cause by making and selling bracelets to support the movement. There is hope.

Donald Trump’s narcissistic personality is killing us. This latest incompetence with the vaccine is treasonous. He and his army of Republicans who enable him need to be held accountable. For the Senate to refuse to bring witnesses to the impeachment hearing has had a profound effect on where we are now.

Stand up for Justice and Democracy. Hold our Senators accountable.

Expand full comment

How one man of questionable intellect, emotional maturity and integrity could hold an entire political party hostage and turn them into quivering cowards is beyond me. I will be interested to see how they explain themselves as things unfold and are revealed in the Biden administration.

Expand full comment

"A day which will live in infamy"

.....along with November 8, 2016

Expand full comment

As a Californian in lockdown, again, I am exhausted by the ignorance of our fellow citizens.

Expand full comment

Thank you, HCR. I grew up listening to vinyl recordings of FDR’s December 7th speech. He was such a good message maker and deliverer. Biden is not FDR, but I believe Kamala has FDR’s capacity and verbal fluency. That toughness. And FDR’s smile. Every day, I thank Joe Biden for choosing her. Now, I wish for success in GA runoffs. Then for coherent strong messaging from the Democratic Party. Take a stand for what we the people want or should want. Not just what we don’t want: Trump, McConnell, Barr and acquiescent or nutty Republicans.

As for one family Republican, I received this text message late Saturday night from one of my 3 registered Republican brothers who were born, raised, educated, worked in, and never left PA: “Update (politics, stop here if you want). - I have left the Republican Party after decades of membership. I can not support the people, direction and actions taken in recent years and especially recent months at state and national levels. This is no longer the same party as it was years ago. I switched to independent registration two weeks ago. “ What took him so long? is my first Q. But, look: I’m glad. One down. Two to go. ❤️🤍💙

Expand full comment

Thank you Heather. On point as usual.

Any one of today's news stories would have made and sustained news cycles for weeks, yet today we will likely have just as many fires to drown out yesterday's cycle. This is appalling. We have become numb to tragedy and corruption. I can't help but wonder, what truly is the end game for Trump and the GOP as they keep moving the goal posts?

Did Trump even address the anniversary of Pearl Harbor?

Stay safe, stay well.

Expand full comment

Zeynep Tufecki, associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, had a piece in the Atlantic about calling a coup a coup. (Being Turkish, she has personal experience). https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/12/trumps-farcical-inept-and-deadly-serious-coup-attempt/617309/

Words matter, as HCR has pointed out. By tap-dancing around what Trump is doing, the media is doing us no favors, but are giving him cover, whether they mean to or not.

A friend emailed me last night about how furious she is over what the GOP is doing . She still remembers the Eisenhower years as emblematic of the GOP. I reminded her of the Edmund Burke quote about evil succeeding................

Expand full comment

What are we to make of the Republican Party's treasonous behavior, standing around, shrugging their shoulders, eyes focused on the ground, while their leader, outgoing President Trump is doing everything he can direct the American political system and its government before he's finally ejected from the White House? I think we have a right to expect that even statehouse lawmakers are duty-bound to be loyal American citizens first, regardless of their obvious political partisanship. The stories of Trump calling up, not just once, but twice, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, importuning him to help overturn Trump's electoral defeat to Democrat Joe Biden, after making similar overtures to state Republican officials and legislators in Michigan and in Georgia, trying to get them to intercede with their states' election officials, all of whom vouched for the competency and integrity of the elections held in those states, both of which the former vice president had won handily.

Yesterday, Georgia completed its third recount, confirming for the third time that Joe Biden won the state. Whether the final vote tallies in each recount were all the same has not been publicly disclosed, but it is clear that none of those recounts would have made any difference in the overall outcome. Georgia's governor, Brian Kemp, has been a loyal Trump supporter to the extent of embarrassing himself by issuing a second confirmation of Biden's electoral victory. Two confirmations! Three recounts! Who in his right mind thinks that this is the way that government officials who hold themselves out as serious people are supposed to behave. How can any of those people be considered serious contenders for public office again.

In the same vein, Pennsylvania Assembly Speaker Bryan Cutler, while assuring the President that there was nothing he could do under Pennsylvania law to change the outcome of the election, the Speaker was apparently willing to be one of 60 Republican state lawmakers who sent a letter to Pennsylvania's congressional delegation urging them to object to the state's electoral slate when Congress formally accepts the results on January 6, 2021. This is the two-faced coin of hypocrisy; one side has the Speaker telling the president on two different occasions that Pennsylvania law will not allow him to help the President, while on the obverse side of the coin, the Speaker is signing a hypocritical letter to the state's congressional delegation urging them to overturn Pennsylvania's certification that Joseph Biden won the election. Go figure.

One of the reasons why state legislatures and their elected representatives are held in such low repute is precisely due to the mindless posturing that they think their electorates expect them to engage in. It is truly saddening that these men are so lacking in self-regard, and so dismissive of the dignity of their office that they would do this.

Then there are the militia types who paraded in front of the statehouse, some bearing firearms, or in the case of Michigan, again with bullhorns and firearms displays, at the home of Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, on what should have been a quiet Saturday evening where she and her four-year-old son were trimming their Christmas tree. No one should have to put up with that kind of disrespectful and dangerous behavior.

Elsewhere there was more the same. I can't recall any time in my lifetime when I've seen, or heard about anything like that. But, as is usually the case, the electorate wises up to what's going on long before the legislators in the various statehouses around the country even become aware that there's been a change that they might need to respond to.

Expand full comment

I am actually still trying to decide (well not anymore) if I should post this because it will be unpopular. But in a way that is the point. The big news today remains how many people are actively infected with COVID and how many died today. I agree COVID has been an enormous tragedy played out in modern times. This has shown us that we are not so all powerful and also that what we do, how we behave personally, actually counts. It has also highlighted a problem we have been living with for some time.

I gave a talk on COVID on the beach in the Bahamas last January to a group of cruisers. My main point was that this is a virus that we, none of us, have effective immunity toward. That meant, and means, that right from the start, and still, it is going to be difficult. People were/are going to die. In a high stakes situation like this the quality of the information that you personally give credence to really matters because ultimately you make the important decisions that determine your personal risk yourself. Therefore my second point to the cruisers was to consider the source of the information you trust and don’t just average all the information out there expecting that to resemble the outcome.

A perfect world for medical science, where the politicization and monetization of medical information doesn’t happen and where people educate themselves from high quality sources and actually make decisions themselves hasn’t existed for some time. Perhaps it never existed. When I began medicine in 1970s I felt I could trust most of what I read in journals like JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association). And the BMJ (British Medical Journal). By the time I retired four years ago I considered those sources more like the National Enquirer, entertainment only and not really very entertaining.

Currently, we in medical science have no standard bearer for current truth. This is why when Trump became a source for facts in the COVID epidemic he was able to gain traction. The CDC due to its already existing internal politicization was unable, unwilling, and unprepared not just because of Trump’s cutting actions but because it had become politicized and monetized long before. This trend is not slowing down it is speeding up.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Heather. Yesterday we remember Pearl Harbor with the USS West Virginia sunk to the bottom of Pearl Harbor along with many others. Today, we learn of the passing of West Virginia's favorite son, Chuck Yeager. We need more Chuck Yeagers. I pray they are out there, learning from their laptop computers, and one day assist in straightening out this mess. How many are out there now, without Wi-Fi? Without computers?

Expand full comment

Just another spinning-out-of-control Monday! Bless the seamen who survived Pearl Harbor and who are still alive. There aren’t many left nowadays. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and approaching 74. Those WWII vets are nearly 30 years older. Wars are not brought on by many women. Perhaps in the Elizabethan years, but not after the early 1900’s.

Our Covid numbers are climbing but not a peep from Fake 45. He screwed up, as usual. He left Jared in charge of PPE and of the distribution of the vaccine. Inept, deceitful, and miserably despicable people are in charge of our lives for another 1.5 months. I am counting the days and minutes.

Expand full comment

And continuing; the thunderous, cavernous, galactic, cosmic silence of congressional Republicans, for whom the pandemic seems to be old business. All but 27* of whom seem still stuck on the election, although I haven't heard of any newly elected or re-elected Republicans shouting "Election fraud!" or calling for recounts in their elections. Those elections were perfect. Somehow the fraud never made it past the top of the ballot.

*Washington Post

Expand full comment

As always, Professor, you researched, wrote and delivered an exceptional letter; thank you!

I’m nonplussed by the goings on with the election results, as well as with the current administration and feeling impatient for Inauguration Day such that cogent thought escapes me today.

Your letters, and the actions to date by Biden/Harris sustain me.

What excellent choices the team is making for Cabinet and other posts! Their selections are top drawer, period. That, and their polite, calm, well-spoken/written communiques (sans histrionics) signal a return to what I took for granted: an administration that serves its citizens.

While POTUS-Elect Biden wasn’t my first choice, he is proving daily how invaluable he is.

HCR (and fellow commentators here) take care. 😀

Expand full comment

HCR, I got a kick out of your phrase: "a toothless executive order." Too little, too late, 45!

I will not ask, how can 45 and his family place their heads on their cushy pillows at night, because they lack humanity, empathy, and scruples. But I will ask: how do the GOP sleep at night following all these deaths and all of DT's inefficiencies in the midst of this pandemic? They are as guilty as he is for every collosal blunder, every death, every unvaccinated citizen, every grieving family!

DT and his faithful entourage have even spread the virus with ne'er a care in the world. From 45 himself to Giuliani, they have carelessly and unapologetically infected others. As noted by a Georgian senator: "Little did I know that most credible death threat that I encountered last week was Trump’s own lawyer…. Giuliani — maskless, in a packed hearing room for 7 hours. To say I am livid would be too kind.”

How many more days do we have to endure their inadequacies and unparalleled stupidity?

Expand full comment

The number one issue in the election was the preservation of our democracy. It remains our number one issue, not covid nor economic disaster as catastrophic as they are. For lack of a better word a coup attempt is being attempted by Trump with connivance by silent Republican politicians as well as overt promotion at state, local and national levels. And, frighteningly, by support from millions of Americans. We laugh it off or ignore the seriousness of what is happening at our own peril and I am afraid Biden and the centrist wing of the Democratic Party in all their talk of a return to normalcy are giving Americans a false sense of security. Just look at serious threats of violence against election officials, the drumbeat of propaganda against safe and fair elections, the use of military forces against peaceful protesters, the court appointments made with the intent of keeping Republicans in power and big business in control, the successful attempts at gerrymandered power for minority control of state and national officers. This is why the election made me more worried not less. We did not win the rout our country needed.

Expand full comment