469 Comments

Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Hear that? It's the Moral Universe's long Arc bending ever closer toward Justice.

Expand full comment

Morning, L!! It's the bells ringing the chimes of freedom.

Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight

Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight

An' for each an' every underdog soldier in the night

An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing!

-- Bob Dylan

Expand full comment

And what of Times they are a changing!

Come gather 'round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be drenched to the bone.

If your time to you

Is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin'

Or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won't come again

And don't speak too soon

For the wheel's still in spin

And there's no tellin' who

That it's namin'.

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway

Don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside ragin'.

It'll soon shake your windows

And rattle…

Expand full comment

Hey Stuart! I will never forget being in youth group (straightforward, liberal-leaning, Congregational church) when we were "in charge" of the main service on so-called "Youth Sunday." It was 1966. The sermon was given by a boy a few years ahead of me who went on to a distinguished career in law & criminal justice. In his sermon that Sunday morning, he spoke pointedly to the adults in the congregation, quoting Bob Dylan, "Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, And don't criticize what you can't understand, Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, Your old road is rapidly aging, Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand. For the times, they are a-changin' "

I will always remember how amazed I that, as we are so fond of saying now, he spoke truth to power.

Thank you for recalling that memorable moment in my adolescence...!!! :-)

Expand full comment

it was our youth, our dreams, our hope...which has stayed with us all our lives. We are very lucky.

Expand full comment

Oh, we sure are. And the older I get, the more deeply grateful I am for those times. They were not always easy times, but they forced us to think and grapple with issues that mattered.

Expand full comment

Because we knew we could do something about it. We were out to change the world. The kids of today don't have that chance and despair of having a world and a life to fashion to their will.

Expand full comment

Sorry for the typo in my penultimate sentence... :-(

Expand full comment

One of my favorites.. The song was playing in my head as I read the lyrics. Odd how a song about a protested war could have such relevance in today’s world. It makes me feel as if we really are in a war, as Biden so rightly says, for the soul of our Country.

Expand full comment

Let's listen for real.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90WD_ats6eE

Both timely and timeless. It's never been more relevant than now (saying it for the umpteenth time).

Expand full comment

Thank you. Brings back good memories. Glad I was part of that time

Expand full comment

Glad a I checked in one more time to, as you say, listen for real. Thanks, TPJ!

Expand full comment

Many of the 60's protest songs have seemed relevant for the last few years.

Expand full comment

Gives me chills, in the best way.

Expand full comment

https://youtu.be/LVIWA9VTiN8

I hope this gets you to Bob Dylan singing it, one of my all time favorites of his!

Expand full comment

Bob Dylan was much more concise than Tennyson:

In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred Lord Tennyson - 1809-1892

https://poets.org/poem/memoriam-ring-out-wild-bells

Expand full comment

And going back even further, to Peter Seeger,

... "Now I have a hammer, and I have a bell,

And I have a song to sing,

All over this land.

It's the hammer of justice,

It's the bell of Freedom,

It's the song about love

Between all of my brothers and sisters

All over this land."

Expand full comment

Thanks, Jacob. It’s nice to hear this song again, even if it’s just playing in my head. Took me right back to my little bedroom and my little white radio in my childhood home.

.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Jacob. I hear the music and feel the spirit of my childhood, always with love.

Expand full comment

Thanks, Jacob...brings back very fond memories!

Expand full comment

Art showing us where to go with our lives. Yay for music and poetry, and thank all of you for these beautiful tidbits!

Expand full comment

Ooh, TPJ, sweet harmony, this!

Expand full comment

Thanks, Lynn; only thru others' music. When I sing, dogs start howling ....

Expand full comment

Coincidentally, Dan Rather has only recently joined Substack. His is entitled "Steady," a word he has employed over the past four years to reassure us, as has Heather. As part of his entry today, he writes: "Poetry has always had a special place in my life. And I often find myself returning to verse in times of reflection, joy, or sorrow. It is an art form that marries clarity with nuance, urgency with timelessness. Unfortunately, poetry is often overlooked and under-appreciated. That’s what made the break-out performance by the brilliant young poet Amanda Gorman at the inauguration so inspiring for me. Yes the words and imagery were wonderful, but suddenly everybody was talking about poetry and that of a young Black woman to boot."

Expand full comment

Ahhh, poetry. Can never get enough poetry.

Expand full comment

For the last four years, I have made it a practice to read at least one poem a day. I am fortunate to be part of a group of poets, some of us published, all of us craving words that illuminate life and events. What a joy that Amanda Gorman emerged from our younger counterparts to assure us that this long tradition endures across cultures and time. I have listened to her inaugural poem many times now, and sought out others. We celebrate while we know that we have much to do yet.

Expand full comment

Annie, i love your description of the impact Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem had on you, and your joy at realizing that poetry endures within our younger generation. I have had concerns about that endurance myself, until Amanda Gorman began to so eloquently recite her beautiful poem. I couldn’t stop the tears.. ❤️

Expand full comment

My husband and I both write verse and prose. Looking back at my writing in the 1980s, we have just started having public discussion of some of my concerns from so long ago. Ironically, the abyss of Trumpism started that discussion. Perhaps it takes a fire before ears and eyes are opened.

Expand full comment

Yes!!! I was so pleased when I read Dan Rather's comment this morning!

Expand full comment

Good observations. I am mixed, metaphorically, between when Dan and Heather is the protein or is the healthy greens in a daily meal for my American soul.

Expand full comment

Oh! Lynell! TPJ! Stuart,! Ellie!

Thank You!!

Expand full comment

Yes! Dylan and Tennyson then, Gorman now. Poets capture the spirit of critical moments in human history with their stories in song and verse. Homer, Guthrie anyone? We in the USA need to shift from being in awe of business and sports to supporting the arts. Bring back school music and arts programs. I’m encouraged by the explosion of interest in Amanda Gorman that has led to a Super Bowl appearance, as much as I don’t approve of football. Rant over and out! ❤️🤍💙

Expand full comment

Good one, DB. I feel even more strongly about football. I prefer sports without concussions and domestic violence.

Expand full comment

Thanks, Deborah...I did not know Amanda Gorman will appear at the Super Bowl. Now, I will be sure to watch!

Expand full comment

Such a poetic rant! Thank You!

Expand full comment

This has been my favorite song since we lost George Floyd. Always remember its original purpose: inspiring people to suppress slavery and treason. "Be jubilant, my feet!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wBU_3UIg0Q

Expand full comment

Grapes and wrath? Finally looked it up:

The phrase ''grapes of wrath'' is a biblical allusion, or reference, to the Book of Revelation, passage 14:19-20, which reads, ''So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.''

https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-grapes-of-wrath-title-origin-meaning-analysis.html

Expand full comment

Thank you Ellie for sharing the relevant facts. Over the years Julia Ward Howe gave multiple accounts of how she was prompted to write the Battle Hymn. They sometimes conflict, but the connections between timeless biblical allusions and her timely visit to DC in late 1861 provide still more inspiration.

R Gamble, A Fiery Gospel

E Showalter, The Civil Wars of JW Howe

J Stauffer & B Soskis, Battle Hymn of the Republic

For ready reference:

https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-battle-hymn-inspired-by-visit-to-troops-in-civil-war

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/04/625351953/one-song-glory

Expand full comment

Stunningly beautiful, Odetta is a treasure!

Expand full comment

Can anyone draw a clear line between the rise of the hard right wing to the intense defamation of a study in the “Humanities”? Now referred to as “Secular Humanism”? Oh boy!

Expand full comment

Oh! MaryPat! Your comments too are most worthwhile. Write on!

Expand full comment

Very good Friday to you, Lynell!

Expand full comment

The DoJ is already "swinging the hammer." The Seditionists are being it hit with multiple serious (20-year sentence) felonies, the Proud Boys and Three Percenters are getting conspiracy charges and may get "terrorist enhancements" in their charges. And a conspiracy to commit sedition case is being built that could go big enough to net the Big Kahuna himself.

https://www.rawstory.com/texas-capitol-insurrection/?utm_source=push_notifications

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/grand-jury-indictments-capitol-insurrectionists_n_6019b743c5b668b8db3c8499

https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/04/doj-moves-towards-parallel-conspiracy-threads-on-the-oath-keepers-and-proud-boys/

Expand full comment

Ah, after our country and people have endured the coup d'etat of the Russian-backed GOP and Twittler for the past five years, this news is delicious and refreshing news to see the hammer of justice swinging in favor of our democracy and truth, finally. Savoring every morsel of equity finally being meted out for all these home grown terrorists.

Expand full comment

Why is This Big Truth, "the coup d'etat of the Russian-backed GOP and Twitter" (and, I will add, QAnon), so hard for Americans to accept, but they still believe tRump "cares" for them and "our economy depends on keeping him in office." Right after reinstatement of The Fairness Doctrine, we, The People, need MASSIVE spending on mental health services.

Expand full comment

My first degree was a bachelors in journalism in the 70s when the fairness doctrine was de rigueur. That said while I rue its demise and miss it, I question whether it can return in the current tech/media environment. One of the most helpful angles I’ve heard is going after the pocketbook, i.e. bundling of channels.

Every television package I’ve ever had, DISH, Comcast, Sling, etc. included Fox and at least two or three pundit fueled pretenders, left and right. I believe the current administration could address this with targeted regulation and consumers could as well with buying/unbundling choices. Extreme channels would make choices if comfortable revenue streams were disrupted. Rupert M and sons care a lot about money. Hannity is more a pawn/whore to his boss’s money gathering than anything else.

Expand full comment

And education!

Expand full comment

And fact-checkers!

Expand full comment

Excellent question. The Fairness Doctrine has GOT to be high on the list of things restored, and it is my fervent hope that mental health help is a huge part of whatever health care plan is proposed by this administration.

Expand full comment

I really want some form of the Fairness Doctrine restored. It seems to me that publicly licensed and federally supported broadcasters need to be put back under the requirements of the Fairness Doctrine. But what about private cable broadcasters and social media? Even if the government could restrict their "speech" how would it ever be enforced?

Expand full comment

How about pressure and demand from people who use it? That seems to have had some effect recently, with FB and Twitter. If we can continue to voice our demands and boycott those who fund the conspiracy theorist types.. and have companies such as Dominion and Smartmatics sue these outlets if they lie about their products, we can effect change.

Expand full comment

The old Fairness Doctrine was effective in regulating broadcast media, but is no longer adequate. A new FD needs to address social media and other non-broadcast platforms. The requirement to conduct fact-based journalism was/is at least as important as balancing views.

Expand full comment

Which Americans are you referring to? You must know different Americans than I do.

Expand full comment

I am really hopeful that after 4 years of being brutally undermined by Trump’s taunts and Barr’s actions, the DoJ lawyers and FBI agents who stuck it out will stick it to Trump and everyone who had anything to do with The Insurrection. Is this why Barr resigned when he did? He knew and did nothing? Anyway, thank you TCinLA for post and links. ❤️🤍💙

Expand full comment

Thank you for these sources - and the good news!

Expand full comment

Well, they swung and missed in one case:

Well, I was wrong that the Texas flower lady's indictment on five felonies for her participation in the riot would keep her from visiting Mexico.

"A federal judge on Friday night approved a Texas woman's request to travel to Mexico for a prepaid "work-related bonding retreat" after she was charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

"Jenny Cudd, who owns a flower shop in Midland, Texas, was indicted this week on five federal charges in connection with the assault on the Capitol — including obstructing an official proceeding, unlawfully going into a restricted area, and violent entry or disorderly conduct. According to charging papers, she was recorded on security cameras inside the Capitol and posted a video on Facebook later in the day describing how she was part of the mob that 'pushed and pushed' to force their way in," BuzzFeed reported.

The order was signed by US District Judge Trevor McFadden, who was appointed to the bench by Trump. (SURPRISE SURPRISE - NOT)

Expand full comment

White privilege at work. Can you even imagine a Black person indicted for felonies in Texas being allowed to go on vacation out of the country?

Expand full comment

Excellent news, thanks.

Expand full comment

Yes, we can hope that Mitt Romney has found his courage... and Ben Sasse has found his dictionary... but neither has demonstrated the fire in the belly needed at the GOP... and neither has mentioned JOE KNOWS US, and the Black women that have saved this nation from four more years of Trump Hell.

Sadly, the glorious brave party of Abraham Lincoln has become the party that makes us think of George Wallace, Mussolini, Hitler, Jim Crow, Rudy Giuliani, Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, lynching, KKK, Orval Faubus, Talmadge, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Bill Barr and Donald Barr, Ruby Ridge, Waco, McVeigh, the Civil War, 1964, 1898, 1918, failure of Reconstruction, George Floyd and hundreds more... and, yes, thank God: Joe Knows Us, and Majority Whip James Clyburn... and the Black women that came from the kitchens of South Carolina and delivered us from four more years of hell.... but we have not hit bottom, not yet. The worst is yet to come... and this has me worried. COVID-19 is ravaging the world, mutations are challenging remedy, and the GOP is stalling as Rome burns.

This is not about monetization, not yet, but that will come... as the long end of the bond market finally and inevitably responds to the destruction of the FED and its growing portfolio of debt instruments of every type. Our nation is in deep trouble... the racial has not healed from the Civil War, and do not let anyone say otherwise... we have merely papered intolerance over... we have the destruction of the smallest living things, courtesy farmers and pharmaceuticals, plastics, and greed... we have the threat of nuclear war... we have kleptocracy growing from Moscow to Manila, Brasilia to Venezuela, China to Moscow, Hungary, Poland and Turkey, where the trouble in Istanbul is just now heating up... as MBS and his buddies are negotiating their way from a law suit that will honor the man they killed in Istanbul, and another suit follows.. that will have us all forgetting the first... in all this, Biden turned 78, and he found a sun lamp... and Trump is said to be quivering and increasingly white, as his distance from the barber at 1600 becomes more of an issue... and his fear of what Albany will bring increases... with a Black lady there warming up. I cannot wait.

Expand full comment

Please pardon this reposting of a comment that came late in the 2/3/21 thread. I'll also add that, if Mr Lewis hopes to see the change he wants, he should lay off Biden's personal traits and back him more strongly.

"She sets herself up as Historian"

Dear Sandy Lewis, thank you for stirring the pot. Still, you are wrong.

Dr Richardson -- note the Dr -- does not "set herself up;" she IS a historian (as am I). PhD in history; tenured prof in the BC History Dept; numerous well-regarded academic histories, grants and awards. You should be more familiar with her scholarly output, which regularly covers your concerns, instead of overburdening a daily letter series aimed at a wide public. Only so much can be done in 5 pages, yet Dr Richardson mostly succeeds in the difficult task of writing history as it unfolds in real time.

Your comments here appear as a cri de coeur; undisciplined prose (many digressions and tangential points; mechanics) confirms this. In recent years many of us have voiced the same cry, often in anguish if not despair. So we can imagine your feelings. I believe we share your frustrations and laudable goals, but you expect too much from Dr Richardson (again note Dr) in this forum. Don't let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.

Expand full comment

Being a historian, secure in the world of academia or "Letters to an American" is no longer a safe place to be. I listened to Sean Hannity the other evening (a good thing for progressives and liberals to do once in a while) where he attacked Michael Beschloss, the noted historian who appears occasionally on MSNBC. Historians record, interpret and comment upon events that happen. They deal with reality and not the alternate reality in which Hannity and many other right wingers exist, and which poses a threat to those who remain in the real world.

Expand full comment

It's interesting that there is only one woman on your list and she is only going to have fifteen minutes of fame and then be forgotten.

Expand full comment

Cathy, to your point of the dominance of male perpetrators upon (America) humanity:

I believe this is the end of a epoch.

The global movement to end violent patriarchal capitalism is now being led by the Biden-Harris administration of the United States of America. ( I truly believe this )

This movement advocates for the

1) healing and protection of Mother Earth,

2) dawn of a global green economy, in harmony with our life sustaining Earth

3) guaranteed rights of every member of the human family, no-one excluded and everyone included

From our “American” perspective, this epoch was from 1619-2021 (402 years)

We all are participating in something never before seen in our county -

"the arc of the moral universe is long and it bends toward justice" (MLKing, Jr) -

the beginning of a new economics of equity toward humanity and our Earth

(or something like this ...never before seen, or stated ....)

Expand full comment

I have a sense that you are right and we are on the brink of a new social era. The opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy, it is egalitarianism. For me the "OR" world of patriarchy where one is either one up OR one down in is replaced by the "AND" where we work together synergistically to make the pie bigger.

Expand full comment

Egalitarianism.

The opposite, according to one definition, is Elitism (a belief that certain people have a right to have their opinions heard more than others). I’ve never gone here, in intentional thinking. I certainly get the concept. I’d like to hear more. This opens many lanes of thought....

Expand full comment

Ahhhhhh, touche'!!

Expand full comment

I quite agree with your underlying (and quite accurate) point, Cathy. As a poet, I see what you were doing there (and see its link with decades of using words to illuminate a deeper meaning). Yay for words used in meaningfully creative ways.

Expand full comment

As an aside, I loved that the Cheney/Greene reporting, at least what I saw, was NOT about women. It was about 2 senators.

Expand full comment

Frederick, from your mouth to Gaia's, Humanity's, The Universe's Ears!

Expand full comment

As of Thurs eve 2/3/21, the House stripped Greene of her committee assignments, an almost unprecedented decision.

Expand full comment

In the last 20 years there have been 9 cases other than Greene: James Traficant 2002, Laurence Craig 2007, William Jefferson 2009, Walter Jones 2011, Tim Huelskaup 2013, Steven King 2018, Duncan Hunter 2019, Justin Amash 2019, David Schweikert 2020. Mostly for criminal indictments and some for "disagreement the powers that be" on one side or another.

Expand full comment

I do believe Chris Collins too was striped of his committee assignments - before he was indicted for insider trading

Expand full comment

Or not.

Expand full comment

Why don't you go find your fellow Berners to blather with?

Expand full comment

As a "Berner", I do not blather, and I support Joe Biden - not blindly or uncritically, but hopefully - given his apparent determination to start the heavy lifting ASAP and his undeniable humaneness.

I'm sure he knows that this GOP will do little or nothing to help the nation, and that calling for bipartisanship is mere politics. But then, he is a politician.

Expand full comment

I’m proud to say I am a “Berner” - Bernie Sanders is an ally.

Do not confuse Bernie’s life dedicated to justice and his campaigns for the Presidency with the true, let’s say protagonists, of this time. This other view is represented by conservatism, of limited democracy (government) and a society governed by greed.

TCinLA, let’s be REAL CLEAR of the crisis this country and the the world faces

Expand full comment

I agree with you. Bernie has been, as far as I care to research it, a consistent messenger throughout his life. What he has managed to do with his campaigns is important. The ideas he represents are not to be denigrated. ❤️🤍💙

Expand full comment

Why don’t YOU stop insulting people? This is not the place.

Expand full comment

I know what "Berner" means in French.....but what does it mean in English? I'm inquisitive, is this blather too?

Expand full comment

Well, this is funny blather. Clearly my French is pretty rusty. I thought "Berner" was just a variation of the usual "Bernie bro", which I have been accused of being, I must admit, and which I find rather... reductive, given that I did vote for Hillary Clinton when all was said and done last time. Oh well, it's all water under the bridge, and even Bernie surely supports Joe Biden. Oh my, am I blathering again? Sorry.... Bro.

Expand full comment

"Berner" in French would be translated as "deceive while ridiculing"

Expand full comment

A bit like "to fool".

Expand full comment

A bit like "trumpery" Worthless, Showy, Nonsense, Deception.

Expand full comment

It’s a verb, then?

Expand full comment

Je berne

Tu bernes

Il/elle berne

Etc

Expand full comment

It's someone who supports Bernie Sanders. But your inference is much better.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Sanders is in the Senate, Greene in the House.

Expand full comment

Oh, jees. Totally had a senior moment on that one!! Thanks, Joan. I will delete the post!

Expand full comment

Berner is a follower of Bernie Sanders!!

Expand full comment

Berner in English is Bernese Mountain Dog.

Expand full comment

Could be but one is much more likely to use * bernese" i think. Berner sounds strange to my English ears.

Expand full comment

Maybe it's a west coast thing. We use "berner" all the time at the dog park.

Expand full comment

Maybe i'm a little influenced by my physical proximity to their origines. I'm snuggled up to the Alps and they are such gorgeous creatures.

Expand full comment

I believe that Mr. Lewis's position is one with a singular laser focus of racism. I will reference TPJ's comment (the longer one, 5 hours ahead of mine here) that addresses a snarky post that Mr. Lewis made on Professor Richardson's post from yesterday.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Ally! I missed yesterday (one of those days packed from early morn to mid-eve). I rather thought Mr. Lewis came across pretentious, but no energy left to process. So passed it by. Sometimes (at least for me) that's the best option. But you provided a second opportunity. <hee>

Expand full comment

TC, has your account been hacked? This hostile comment seems so uncharacteristic to what I have seen you post before.

Expand full comment

It appears we Democrats voted for the right person at the right time to be POTUS. President Biden is not wasting time shooting his mouth off about the "other side" as Trump endlessly would do. But, doing the "work of the people". In time even everyday Republicans will benefit from his focus and energy as well as Democrats. In other words all Americans. Good for Joe!

Expand full comment

Well said, Tom. Biden had the best chance of beating The Unnamed One, and only he could be so effective so soon. It was thrilling to see him go straight to work. Sure, partying is out b/c of the pandemic, but he could've taken the evening off. (He must have been exhausted.)

I believe that Biden will be the greatest one-term president ever (his choice). If he succeeds, he also may be among the most beloved presidents. C'mon Repugs, it'll be fun!!

Expand full comment

I don't mind sharing, and agree about Biden, despite my initial fear that he's too old (I'm a couple of months younger 😜).

Expand full comment

Thank you Heather. I appreciate your unbiased unraveling of yesterday's news.

Ironically I was discussing the Romney quote you cited just the other day with a friend. My opinion of Romney has been to never trust him as he is a selective self preservationist.

I have a new founded "likeness " for Senator Ben Sasse. It is refreshing to see that doing the right thing isn't a buried trait. John Katko is a local for me and he was one the Republicans voting against Marjorie Taylor Greene. He was also one of the Republicans that voted for the 2nd Impeachment of Trump. He may be growing a conscious. We'll see.

As I watch President Biden push ahead, I seem to be getting the same response from my Republican friends. Too many EO's, baseless claims or grasping at straws as I like to call it and their distain for the Economic package that, come hell or high water will pass. For the latter, I ask them who will they be donating their $1,400.00 to? I suggest that their local Food Bank would appreciate that money or most any non profit that can't have fundraising events do to the pandemic. For some reason, they all become silent at my suggestions. 🤔

Be safe, be well.

Expand full comment

I agree with you and I would like to add Kinzinger to that list of Repubs who have somewhat of a soul and decency.

Expand full comment

Marlene, I agree.

Expand full comment

Good for you!

Expand full comment

We must have mutual "friends." Good that you posed the question.

Expand full comment

Nancy, honestly it's the statement that they refuse to answer to. Everytime.

Expand full comment

Linda, you're a better person than I. I've cut the majority out of my life. Enough, especially when they're insulting my preferences, but refuse to listen to even diplomatic discussion - no snark.

Expand full comment

Nancy, full disclosure, I have had to walk away from several for my own sanity. There are some I do have to work with. Those know that Politics and me, being a Director of a Historical Museum don't mix in a Professional setting. One of which is a County Legislator and frankly she is a good friend....politics aside. I do have a friend that I've known forever and she spews baseless crap on every one of her Facebook posts. Lately, I've chosen to ignore her instead of gently giving her facts. I've noticed she has really stepped up her game since the Inauguration. I have to admit, it's hard.

Expand full comment

I'm hoping that now that the Dog Whistler is out of the picture for the most part, and if Biden continues to perform as well as the last few weeks, those who aren't total nutjobs will come around. This has all been so toxic, but like you, I've had to turn away from some for the sake of my mental health. This has been bad for all of us. Even T***psters haven't been happy - just projected their bile where it didn't belong.

Expand full comment

I agree. As trump gets farther away from the spotlight, he will become more insignificant. Not saying his trumpster followers will go as quickly, but they will.. Reality is, the more President Biden does for the people, the less they will have to say about it. I honestly think we shouldn't stop at Marjorie Taylor Greene, but keep cleaning shop of these charlatans.

Expand full comment

It is hard to deal with as I have very few friends who are conservative except for my in-laws. My bro-in-law is a steadfast Republican but my sister-in-law says she is an Independent. We have never ever agreed on politics. We keep our calls and texts to bare minimum but have come to an understanding that we will try very hard to be civil. Our family is small so we want to maintain some sort of closeness.

Expand full comment

How did we get here? An echo of Heather’s discussions of Lincoln and Reconstruction was outlined tonight.

Matthew Dowd, on MSNBC, made the connection between the failure of Reconstruction after the Civil War, through all of the horrors and violence in the United States. His theory, since we never directly dealt with this issue after the Civil War, there are too many people in our Country who do not believe that all men and women are created equal.

https://www.msnbc.com/deadline-white-house/watch/matthew-dowd-holding-rep-greene-accountable-should-be-a-layup-100484677896

Expand full comment

I hope he mentioned the lack of consequences for the southern traitors.

Expand full comment

I saw and thought Matthew Dowd is watching HCR's Thursday History Chats 😊

Expand full comment

It took until 1948 for the US army to formally integrate.....fully 85 years after the start given by Lincoln.

Expand full comment

He may have also read HCR's book, "How the South Won the Civil War."

Expand full comment

A couple of things: 1) If the future of the Republican Party is people like Ben Sasse, then the two-party system does have a future. I don't agree with him on much, but he gets major points from me in his willingness to stand up against the Trumplicans (though THAT said, where was he for most of the past four years?). 2) I am genuinely torn about the vote to remove the despicable Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignment. One one hand, she clearly belongs on NO committees, especially one dealing with education! On the other, the precedent set by this vote is not a good one, and if/when the Republicans retake the House, they will certainly respond "in kind". I almost think that it might have been better for the Democrats to leave her on the committee. That way, she can't cry about being a martyr, and they could run against the Republicans (and her insane comments/views) in 2022 by saying "Hey, look, this is who THEY put on a committee! Do you REALLY want her in charge of anything?" I'm probably in the minority in this, but it is something that has been running through my mind..........

Expand full comment

When someone as despicable as Greene shows up, there should be no hesitation on the part of her colleagues (some of whom she has threatened to have killed) to vote her off committees. Just because the republicans have no ethics and lack a moral compass does not mean the correct action should not be taken. Standing up for what is right should be the litmus test by which our senators and legislatures are judged.

Expand full comment

Ian Sirota, Number 2 concerns me too, however Representative Hoyer stirring speech and stunning visual aid demonstrated the justification for an extreme response. Consequences be damned. https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/02/04/steny-hoyer-house-floor-marjorie-taylor-greene-tweet-photo-sot-tsr-vpx.cnn

Expand full comment

Good for Steny Hoyer! That’s quite a visual. Greene—ugh. What a disgrace.

Expand full comment

The battle for the GOP's "soul" (????) is also a question of money; who inherits the name, brand recognition, organizational structure and fund raising ability.....Trump or McConnell. Neither side will go away but one has to start anew from scratch like the Lincoln Project as they visibly will not be able to live together. Start-ups are more fragile than 175 yr old organizations....accept in times of massive change perhaps.

Expand full comment

But Stuart, McConnell, like so very many of his fellow Republicans, did nothing to stop Trump's march while he was in office. Only after the votes had been counted (and recounted, and recounted) did he start speaking up. Frankly, the Lincoln Project was a breath of air, maybe not extremely fresh, but air nonetheless. I think I get that these people's jobs depend on votes, and they run after those votes in whatever fashion they feel is needed to keep their positions. But I, frankly, don't think I would sleep at night knowing I had supported, even through inaction, a person who was so off the rails that the engine couldn't keep moving forward (train wreck analogy there). I know they say politics makes for strange bedfellows, but strange is a far cry from extremely dangerous.

Expand full comment

Very true. McConnell is looking out for McConnell and he controls a lot of money. The fight within the GOP will reduce significantly its seperating parts. The price that they will both pay is perhaps irrelevance.

Expand full comment

Here's hoping...

Expand full comment

I don't know if the GOP will implode or splinter, but either way, as long as they continue eating their own, there will not be enough leftovers on the table to muster a majority in either the House or the Senate. So, until they cleanse themselves of their extremists, I'm not going to worry about them taking back the House and delivering retribution for the stripping of MTG's committees. As of right now, they are just a party of anger and confused loyalties with no direction, no platform, no reason for being other than their own personal aggrandizement.

Expand full comment

It is a sad commentary on the condition of the Republican party that the choices for a public face are a disgraced former president and a philosophically incoherent Senate Minority Leader. It would likely be better all around if the party folded its tent and went home.

Expand full comment

Similar to a battle for Satan's "soul".

Expand full comment

I thought it was the other way round and that, following Goethe's Faust, the idea was to prevent Satan taking it as per contract.

Expand full comment

Nancy Pelosi was asked specifically about Republican payback when they are in power. She sharply refuted that scenario, stating confidently Democrats would be forthright in taking action against any of their caucus who threatened the life of any other member of congress. As opposed to Repugnicans who literally applaud such abhorrent acts. Nancy Pelosi was directly threatened, it's certainly personal to her.

Expand full comment

Repugs are quite capable of stripping Dems of committee assignments from sheer spite.

Expand full comment

Every time the Democrats show some spine, the Republicans use it as an excuse to escalate for their own purposes. The big issue with Greene was not her bigotry, it was her advocacy of shooting members of the other political party.

Expand full comment

It was both. Her bigotry is a huge liability for the Rs, especially right now, and especially since her bigotry takes a form that is unusually malignant. Combine it with her passion for shooting people, and see what you come up with.

Expand full comment

It wasn't a problem when they removed Steve King for his racist remarks. If a Democrat had done or does the same thing, they deserve to be removed. Whether or not it happened before they were elected as already been made moot by Democrats, I refer you to Al Franken's treatment by his fellow Democrats.

Expand full comment

It wasn't the Democrats who removed King but the Republican leadership. And I believe it was the same with the Democrats in dealing with Franken.

Expand full comment

Franken resigned before he could be sanctioned, but was heavily pressured by fellow Dems. His offenses were pretty minor compared to many others, but he was exposed at the height of the #MeToo movement (which I strongly suppport). Many Dems, including some critics from then, now regret shoving out Franken.

Expand full comment

Yes, The New Yorker did a good piece about their regret not too long ago.

Expand full comment

I know, it wasn't a problem for Republicans when they removed King, I contend MTG's actions are even worse than King's. Minus points for me for not articulating well enough.

Expand full comment

I would agree that they should have bitten the bullet and did it themselves. But, kudos to the 11 Republicans who joined the Dems in voting her off the committee.

Expand full comment

Plus points for articulating just fine, thanks.

Expand full comment

Ian, I agree with your sentiments about newly-awakened Republicans, but, like you, I think we can deal with those who aren't spewing Trumpisms. As for MTG having lost her committee assignments, and the possibility that a majority-Republican legislature could turn the table in the future, the end result was a necessary solution. The cancer of T***p can't be allowed to metastasize. It needed chemo, despite the possibility of being a double-edged sword.

Expand full comment

I get that the Dems. feel the need to punish bad behavior but I don’t know why they’re doing the GOP’s dirty work for them. As was said in yesterday’s newsletter, Biden is having success by doing the one thing no one has tried yet. Moving forward with his agenda and proving himself through action, not words. Had Marj stayed on the committees, she would have been just as ineffective and impotent but wouldn’t have been about to blame anyone but her own nutso self for it. Now her crazy won’t be as apparent. Also, AOC, Omar and Tlaib can kiss their appointments good bye as soon as the GOP is back in power. Schiff too, probably. Hoping there’s a way to clarify rules around this before 2022. Just in case.

Expand full comment

I would only suggest that AOC, Omar and Tlaib have never threatened anyone's life nor supported outlandish ideas such as Jewish lasers or baseless QAnon conspiracy theories. It was morally important to stop her irresponsible voice. It is so clear to so many that MTG is not well.

Expand full comment

Completely reasonable, logical and factual suggestion. But might I also suggest that reason and logic and fact have ceased to have any meaning to the GOP. They are an eye for an eye party even when those eyes couldn’t see or be more differently.

Expand full comment

The Democrats, following Biden's example, are doing the necessary work when those whose responsibility it is refuse to handle it. The Republicans had a chance to clean house, but instead gave her a standing ovation. We can't continue to hide under the bushes because someone like MTG will cry foul. She and her like-minded voters will never do the right thing, and they need to be aware that their outlandish, dangerous actions will have consequences. We really don't know what damage she could have done if she had remained on committees. Outside of politics, anyone making terroristic threats can be arrested. In Congress, it's even more dangerous. The "Squad" push their agenda vociferously, but to my knowledge, they're not tossing threats around. Instead, they're often the target of threats.

I agree that there need to be rules of conduct codified, especially after our 4 year debacle.

Expand full comment

If Republicans want to use MTG as the yardstick by which they measure acceptable behavior, I say have at it. They can only be tainted by association with the likes of her.

Expand full comment

In respect of Ms. Greene, strategically I agree but this was a tactical battle and wasn't going to go differently once the Republican caucus abdicated their responsibility. She'll either disappear if/when the former president is convicted or do something so abysmally stupid no one will be able to ignore it.

In respect of Sen. Sasse, I agree completely.

Expand full comment

The elephants will do what they want regardless of this decision by the Dems! If a donkey is as ill suited to be in congress then do the same to that person!

Expand full comment

I can't help but wonder whether most of them are relieved that we did the dirty work for them. They're too afraid of their base to act. Already a minority party, they need all the votes they can muster. I agree that retaliation can't be a concern when it's so clear-cut.

Expand full comment

If MTG had said these despicable things 20+ years ago, and had clearly been moving in the opposite direction over the last several years, that would be one thing. I'm all about evolving your philosophy and changing your mindset. But these were all regarding very recent events. She's lying about the minute apology she did give and now she's mad that she played the mea culpa card to some extent and still got spanked!

Expand full comment

At best, she will only be a footnote in somebody's thesis. She is not even a precedent.

Expand full comment

Annie, I really hope that you are right, for if she is indicative of the present and future of the Republican Party, then this country is doomed.

Expand full comment

Romney’s support for $ for children sounds like social engineering to encourage conforming to conservative (and possibly Morman) values. Have kids, get money. My guess would be the more Republicans get their hooks into this one, the more it morphs into - get more money (or tax breaks) for being married (oh, wait, we already have this!) ...then, eventually... can only get the money if in a marriage between one man and one woman. Maybe I’m just being cynical and paranoid this morning ...I’m torn between thinking Romney is a good guy and thinking he is lulling us into thinking he is a good guy so he can put super conservative ideas in place. I totally support the idea of govt support for children myself - but hope it doesn’t come with social engineering strings attached.

Expand full comment

You’re not being paranoid or cynical. I’m not a supporter of the child tax credit. And I raised 3 as a single mother. I’m also not a fan of the thousands of tax loopholes for married people. Both of these issues are pro family and pro marriage — one of the reasons same sex couples wanted marriage — it wasn’t about everyone finally recognizing their love, it was about the tax breaks and economic advantages that married people receive in this country.

Where are the tax breaks and economic advantages for childless couples? For single people? There are none.

Expand full comment

Speaking as one who is single and child free, why should this hypothetical $3000 be attached to a specific reason (per child)? Why not, instead, make it an annual 'credit' per adult, say?

Expand full comment

Yep.

Expand full comment

Romney sees himself as a "good guy" with conservative values. If he has a suggestion that will make the covid relief bill better, then the Dems should include it.

Expand full comment

I know. That Romney spoke out against Trump puts me in position to think he’s for real but then I know how crafty politicians can be, especially highly intelligent and truly calculating politicians like Romney. Although one thing to consider is that he did have universal healthcare in Massachusetts. I’m confused.

Expand full comment

When Romney was governor of MA, he had a democratic legislature and spent a great deal of time out of the state setting up for a presidential run. Healthcare reform and the equality in marriage act were both passed during his tenure and he denounced both during his run for president. He seems like a decent person (except to the family dog 😱 and particularly compared to the republicans now ruling the roost) but that is not good enough. He is a republican and he will bait and switch. And, as a republican in the senate, he stages his rhetoric when his vote doesn’t move the needle in the outcome. I haven’t seen him display any persuasive leadership skills when it comes to his republican colleagues.

Expand full comment

40-year MA voter here. Romney used both his term as governor and Romneycare to boost his chances for the presidency. He spent much of his single term gallivanting around the country to promote his impending campaign, blithely trashing his then-home state. He lost MA in 2012. Coincidence? We think not!

Expand full comment

And Mass is still pissed about it.

Expand full comment

Exactly, well said!!

Expand full comment

Ah, good food for thought!

Expand full comment

His father was a good guy, running Michigan. I believe his son shares the same good values, but learned good lessons from his father's political career, most importantly, check the wind direction.

Expand full comment

Mitt is not in his father's league.

Expand full comment

*Mormon*...I can’t spell...sorry

Expand full comment

Are you trying to spell "Moron?"

Expand full comment

McCarthy is the poster-boy for an ignorant, opportunistic, power-hungry politician. The man is really dumb as a box of hair and seems to regularly suffer from quite remarkable attacks of convenient amnesia. Case in point, what this AP article (linked below) notes about his sudden lapse of memory a couple of days ago when speaking about QAnon. First he mangled the name—most likely intentionally—and said he wasn’t sure if he was saying it right, and then in the next sentence said “I don’t even know what it is.” Uh-huh…well, then AP reminds us what he said right after the DNC in August:

“McCarthy knew enough about QAnon to denounce it in a politically expedient moment after the Democratic National Convention in August.

“In a Fox News interview then, McCarthy was asked if he was worried about candidates with fringe or racist views who, like Greene, had won Republican primaries. He held up the Republican Party as the model for how to deal with such outliers.

“’Let me be very clear,’ he said. ‘There is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party. I do not support it.’ [Isn’t it funny how he pronounced it right THEN?]

“McCarthy accused Democrats of indulging members who are anti-Semitic and said: ‘I think the Democrats should take a lesson from the Republicans and stand up to those things that are un-American and are wrong.’ [Their perennial argument…”BUT WHAT ABOUT…??”]

“Moreover, he said, ‘When a member of the Republican Party says something that we believe is not about the party of Lincoln, we remove them from committee.’”

Isn’t THAT rich??? He needs to be reminded, for starters, that at no time has any Democrat EVER openly threatened violence upon another sitting member of Congress.

https://apnews.com/article/ap-fact-check-las-vegas-mass-shooting-817d5bd7ce01a92408082cdba1ce5881?fbclid=IwAR0BCVKyxDYPWInyrZxJtEZktE_fsp-LHdDHDVXbVH0-Wvws23AvGTryauQ

Then I ran across an excellent comment from a Mr. Brokaw in yesterday’s NYT that I wanted to quote because it is so excellent. It is on the moniker the Republican party gave itself as being the party of “personal responsibility”. Well, consider:

“See, ‘personal responsibility’ is only applied to poor people, when Republicans want to justify not doing anything to help them.

“‘Personal responsibility’ is only applied to minorities when Republicans want to justify different prison sentences and criminal charging actions.

"’Personal responsibility’ only to indebted students, when Republicans want to prevent them from discharging crippling debts with bankruptcy, not to businesses like the NRA trying to dodge legal penalties and lawsuits.

"’Personal responsibility’ only applies to individuals, the less wealthy the more personally responsible... and not to corporations, no matter how much claim is made otherwise that ‘corporations are people too’.

“And, of course, ‘personal responsibility’ doesn't apply at all to Republican politicians, who are never responsible for -anything- they say, no matter how crazy, unfounded, or outright false. It's important to understand just exactly what ‘personal responsibility’ means to Republican politicians... because it sure doesn't mean what the rest of the world thinks it should.”

Expand full comment

Bruce--I appreciate the sources you cite and agree with your sentiments. But, especially since Prof. Richardson frequently refers to the Republican Party's early roots in the anti-slavery struggles, Charles Sumner would beg to differ with your assertion that no Democrat has ever threatened violence on a sitting member of Congress. Preston Brooks, Dem. Rep. from SC, beat Sumner nearly to death at his seat after Sumner gave an anti-slavery speech castigating its Southern supporters. This only underscores how the parties have flipped positions in the last century.

Expand full comment

I thought about Sumner right after I posted that and should have qualified it by saying "in modern times". It's maybe good there aren't many, if any, members who use canes now or else we might have a repeat of that unfortunate incident. I hope they never allow members to pack weapons on the floor of Congress!

Expand full comment

Of course. The only reason I picked at that particular nit was to follow HCR's commitments to using history to illuminate what has changed and what has (all too often, unfortunately) remained the same in our national "progress."

Expand full comment

Senator Charles Sumner was rude, obnoxious, arrogant, a know-it-all, totally humorless and convinced of his own rectitude. Don't be like him.

He also was a titan of abolition and human rights, a champion of principle who never wavered in his sympathy and support for the most vulnerable. Be like him!

Expand full comment

Yeah, but if I set about thrashing all the rude, obnoxious, arrogant know-it-alls, convinced of their own rectitude, I would need Brooks' entire collection of canes. And, sad but true, there is some evidence I might have to duck and hide myself.

Expand full comment

Nonviolently, right?

Expand full comment

Great quotes from Brokaw and so very very true.

Expand full comment

I forgot to mention that if Mr. Scranton happens to be on here, THANK YOU! Stand up and take a bow!!

Expand full comment

You guys are great entertainment this evening, and I keep delaying going off-line. But got to, or my face will crash into my screen. Long, long day today and yesterday. Once again I am reminded that wet snow is so much harder to move than dry snow. Good night, my friends.

Expand full comment

Well done, Bruce. Despite the argument below about Republican/Democrats "switching places" (which is true but irrelevant, IMO) your point is well-expressed and well-acknowledged. The Democrats of that time were not the Democrats of this time, and should not be confounded as such. And the Republican of now certainly are not the Republicans of that time. They no longer can claim to be the "party of Lincoln". It's been more than a century since they could claim that with a straight face.

Expand full comment

Romney looking good on the left wing of his party. At least one GOP senator will vote to convict, Again.

He is not the third senator from Massachusetts, but sometimes he plays one on TV.

Expand full comment

Pardon my cynicism, but from my observations over the years, Romney does what benefits his own political ambitions. He back fills and waffles depending on which way the wind blows. While he selectively took trump to task for bad behavior, he did so when his vote had no impact on the outcome. In the senate he voted in line with trump’s agenda almost 80% of the time.

After speaking out against trump and some of the more egregious actions, he is now attempting to appease his republican Mormon base (who statistically have large families, and are far from the bottom of the economic ladder) by offering up $3,000/child in the stimulus bill. And, while I personally know some hard hit large families who would benefit from that proposal, they are not his constituents and not a group he is interested in protecting or helping. Romney’s record fosters distrust and the bottom line is he still is a republican.

Expand full comment

Indeed. As a longtime MA resident and "Warren Democrat," I've watched him blow back and forth like a human weathervane, and he needs watching, not least his presidential aspirations. But he's the best the Repugs have got now, and he does have a conscience, even though he ignores it too often. Still, he is in a position to help the country along with his own ambitions.

Expand full comment

I agree that M. Romney reflects a mixture of conservatism and ambition with consideration for the American people. It doesn't seem sensible to target him with attacks for not being a democrat or a liberal. Romney's conscience and equanimity are qualities to respect, while we may disagree with his political philosophy. The same cannot be said for a fair number of democrats.

Expand full comment

As others have noted here, Romney has a conscience but like so many politicians it gets drowned out by his opportunism. He has always been the “great waffler.” He carefully tests the wind and every moral decision is carefully calibrated with an eye to the future.

That being said, his conscience and common sense has kept him from the whole hearted embrace of Trump that nearly every other Republican has made. So in comparison he looks good.

Expand full comment

Probably like the saying goes for second marriages "Triumph of hope over experience".

Expand full comment

I concur with Janet. It's extremely convenient for Romney to settle his scores with Donald Trump while positioning himself as a compassionate yet old-school Republican conservative . With little effort he's standing out in the Senate as the one brave soul who remained uncorrupted and trustworthy while all the others rode the Trump Train.

That puts him right in the front row when the presidential elections start all over again in 2023.

Expand full comment

Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is better than doing the wrong thing for any reason.

Expand full comment

Look behind the curtains. I grew up on the fringes of the Mormon culture and distanced myself by choice- but dang, they can be hard to shake! Despite a lot of exposure and attempts to reclaim me by (former) relatives, most of whom have also left by now I still do not fully get how easy it is for so many Mormons to "forget" their own history and reinvent their priorities and how they define themselves.

I've seen this happen several times in my own lifetime and also have had access to earlier Mormon origin myths, showing the morphing. (Some of my ancestors became "apostates" very soon after arrival- and smart enough to save the evidence when they left. Some of it is pretty weird.}

The Atlantic recently ran a story that included a version of the origin myth that I had never heard before. So Mormon revisionist history must still be going on. If it is uncomfortable, it gets changed. That, I think, is what Romney is doing now.

Believe me, at the core of it, especially for Mormon elites, they see some kind of benefit, or are trying to evade consequences they hadn't anticipated. Both culture and church are highly hierarchical, and the elites are cozy.

Expand full comment

I hold no brief for the CLDS, but Romney is probably the best Repug we've got for now.

Expand full comment

Romney is visible, and I believe that is calculated. There are other Republicans who are fine, honorable people. They just aren't as visible. The reasons for that is partly that so many non-republicans put all repubs in the same box, and refuse to acknowledge them or even consider that they may have something to contribute to the conversation. So who is being blind?

It is understandable that we feel distrustful, after Trump. But I think too much attention goes to WaDC & the outfall from there. We fail to look (and listen) to other voices in other places. Instead we just look at what is most familiar. We need to open OUR doors and eyes and ears. Our nation needs good people to have functioning feedback in a two (or more) party system. And we have the responsibility to make room for hem to develop, instead of holding on to grudges and snarky names.

Expand full comment

We'll see first how this plays in Salt Lake City.

Expand full comment

Yes, but I see him as the Senate Weather Vane: He is first to show which way the political winds are blowing. He, especially, can predict Corporate America's direction, and it is NOT following tRump down that skunk hole.

Expand full comment

While I am glad that Romney has seemingly become a voice of reason in a party increasingly populated by lunatics I just cannot forget the incident that came to light when he was running for president where he had his family dog strapped to the roof of his car when driving on the highway on a family vacation. I was, and remain, horrified by this and could not fully trust anyone who could do this to an animal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-dog-on-the-car-roof-story-still-proves-to-be-his-critics-best-friend/2012/03/14/gIQAp2LxCS_story.html?tid=a_classic-iphone&no_nav=true

Expand full comment

Agree with your comment. See my comment up thread, or down thread now!, about my views on child tax credit. His mormonism and the propensity to have large families, is what is at play here. 3000 x 5 children ( and most have more than that) is a chunk of dough.

What about couples who choose not to have children? Or single persons? Where are their tax credits? Especially single persons. The American tax code is pro marriage and pro family. Same sex marriage was never about live. It was about getting the tax breaks and perks of being able to be married.

Expand full comment

I believe he'll make another run at President in 2024. He'll do whatever benefits Mitt, while trying not to step on too many Repugnant toes. The best I can say is that he can tell which way the wind is blowing, and he's not a Trumplican.

Expand full comment

Amazing what one can become if one moves the goalposts!

Expand full comment

Good one and absolutely true!

Expand full comment

While Romney might seem like a reasonable voice for the Republican Party, in reality he's a Republican wolf in sheep's clothing.

Romney is made from the same cloth as trump. The difference - Romney is well educated, has some scruples (when needed) and he surrounds himself with really smart people to carry out his plans in stealth mode. It was always stealth mode, so no one would know "who did it".

Romney made his money - a lot of money, as a vulture capitalist with a dirty trick.

Romney - Bain business plan was do a hostel take over of a healthy company with borrowed money. Then take out huge bank loans that they used to pay themselves (Romney - Bain) hundreds of million of dollars in bonuses / dividends. Then they walked away, leaving the once healthy company they took over, in dire straits and on the hook to repay that huge bank loan.

Romney - Bain did these hostel take overs at Toys R Us, KB Toys, Culligan, Del Monte, Hertz, Dollar General, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, Ampad, department-store chains Bealls Brothers and Palais Royal and more, at the expense of thousands of jobs. They pocketed more than a half billion dollars, that was claimed as capital gains, paying just 15% in federal income tax.

I'm very familiar with the take over of Culligan - I worked at Culligan for 20 years, it was a healthy company, the employees were well taken care of with benefits, pay, outings and more. Then, suddenly and sadly I watched it all disappear, as Romney-Bain shipped the manufacturing jobs to China. Romney-Bain walked away with over $800M in cash. They even tried to cheat the employees out of their severance pay!! I was let go the Monday after Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the holidays, and then hit the ground running in January. By the first week of February, I went on four interviews and received two offers at 40% increase in pay.

Romney might seem like a good guy, but beware; he's a Republican in sheep's clothing.

This Rollingstone article is a fantastic overview on Romney and his business dealings and well worth the read. It makes trumps operation look like a five and dime store run by a bunch of clowns (which they are.)

.

https://www.rollingstone.com/.../greed-and-debt-the-true.../

.

These articles look at some of the specific hostile take overs...

https://www.forbes.com/.../did-vampire-capitalists.../...

https://www.newyorker.com/.../the-real-scandal-of-romney...

https://www.theatlantic.com/.../toys-r-us.../561758/

https://nypost.com/.../bain-capital-has-now-plunged-two.../

Expand full comment

Wowza, thanks!

Expand full comment

I second that. Thank you for posting this information!

Expand full comment

"...Republican leadership purged from the party any lawmakers who embraced traditional Republicanism, demanding absolutely loyalty to the idea of cutting taxes and government to free up individual enterprise."

Sure, it sounds good. Who doesn't want lower taxes? Who doesn't want unnecessary constraints on growing you business? Problem is, it's short sighted, and it is most appealing to those with their future ahead or those who already got theirs. Furthermore, I don't think most people go about their day thinking the government's got me by the collar and won't let go.

Who fights the wars? Who helps rebuild after natural disasters? Who builds and maintains the roads and airports that allow us to be a mobile society? The pursuit of profit has no conscience. Totally unfettered free markets will follow the money. Government may also not have a conscience, but it has an obligation to offer and deliver certain services to everyone (in theory). Find someone with a problem, and they usually have expectations that "government" can help in some way.

Paul Ryan's father died and the family received government assistance. What made him want to destroy the social safety net? "Everyone will benefit" from Trump's tax cuts, but how many know that the tax rate for all but the wealthiest starts going up in 2021 for the next 5-7 years? Take away social security from a red state worker. Deny medical benefits to a middle class retiree. Think they'll applaud you? It's all focused on the assumption that only one's money earning years count and even then it's geared to those at the top of the pyramid

I'm more troubled about the fact that a political party seizes on a notion and pushes that without consideration of what constituents want or need.

Expand full comment

Scott, would you please run for office?

Expand full comment

Thanks for your vote of confidence!!

Expand full comment

I am often reminded of this quote I've seen:

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith

I saw it somewhere and haven't researched the provenance, so I take it's sourcing on faith, but the wisdom there rings true to me.

Expand full comment

Apparently so: Located at https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Galbraith

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

Citation: “Stop the Madness,” Interview with Rupert Cornwell, Toronto Globe and Mail (6 July 2002) (see http://wist.info/galbraith-john-kenneth/7463/ )

Expand full comment

Thanks!

Expand full comment

We must also recall comments made by Mitt Romney about Trump during the primary in 2016. He called him a fake and a con man and someone who would bring the country to its knees.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/mitt-romney-speech.html

What truly brings that speech in historical context is when Romney quoted John Adams: “Remember, democracy never lasts long; it soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Biden has thus far acted on this real possibility by bringing the country back in line with the world. We can only pray that there will be follow through.

Romney, a true big picture thinker, understands the perils, both economic and political, which face our country today. As opposed to Trump's declarations that "everything will disappear, like a miracle," Romney gets that we're in the midst of a major triage event and that it's far from being over. One in seven American families lack the food to feed their families. And Republicans, who ballooned the deficit by 50% during the Trump administration, still want to hold back the purse strings. It's despicable.

It is a testament to Romney's evolution that he is offering true assistance, both to families and the economy to see us through this dark period. And one suspects that he, being a major player in the halls of power, grasps how bad things really are and how horrific they could become.

Expand full comment