I am following Marcus Flowers who is running to defeat MT Greene in Georgia. Usually, candidates running for office send urgent pleas for $$, expressing dire circumstances if they don't receive your support. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this message from Flowers' campaign yesterday:

"Did you know that the Georgia State Legislature passed a map that is going to make Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district SIGNIFICANTLY more Democratic? This means my campaign for Congress now has an even better chance to flip this district.

"These new district lines mean that thousands of new Democratic and undecided voters are now going to be in play -- and we’re launching a bold new initiative to reach these voters wherever they are. If we’re successful, we WILL flip this seat and defeat Marjorie Taylor Greene."

Is this cool or what!

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Thank you Heather for the shout out to NARA archivists and librarians. There are so very many thousands who work hard to maintain our honest and fragile democracy but who are generally invisible to the general public. To all those who defend our constitution, bravo!

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson. The shout-out for NARA is so well deserved. I've done research there and they are very disciplined, have strict rules, require registration prior to researching and are overall serious civil servants. It is great to see them lauded and to see them in support of the democracy.

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McConnell's threats today in response to Schumer's vow to push for setting aside the filibuster had a pronounced whiff of desperation and fear. HIs hypocrisy is, of course, beyond breathtaking after doing the same thing to have three Supreme Court justices approved. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/589186-mcconnell-vows-retaliation-if-democrats-change-filibuster

Also, Dan Rather had perceptive take on the filibuster, imagining how a Senate might work if — gasp — it was ever eliminated entirely. https://steady.substack.com/p/filibusted

As for the House J6 committee's work, the fast-growing findings remind me of old Tarzan movies I watched as a kid. The native people would make a ruckus as they moved through the jungle, and frightened animals would stampede into a clearing. The committee is flushing the coup plotters out of the darkness and into the light from which they cannot hide.

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This "ham-fisted coup attempt" (my term) actually seems to be much better organized and multi-pronged than I thought. The rioters at the capital on 1/6 were organized on a national level and some of them trained for weeks prior to the event. Justice department officials were subverted, state level officials were as well... and the coup failed anyway. Oddly, I am both heartened and terrified by that.

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President Biden pointed out the 16 Republican Senators support the 2006 renewal of the Voting Rights Act still sitting in the Senate today.

Let’s send each one of them asking them to explain themselves. Why have they lost belief in United States as a democracy?


Sixteen sitting Republican senators have previously voted for reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act but now refuse to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

1. In 2006, Sens. McConnell (KY), Grassley (IA), Shelby (AL), Crapo (ID), Collins (ME), Burr (NC), Inhofe (OK), Graham (SC), Thune (SD), Cornyn (TX), Blackburn (TN), Blunt (MO), Boozman (AR), Capito (WV), Moran (KS), and Wicker (MS) voted for the 2006 reauthorization.

2. In 1982, Sen. Grassley both voted for and cosponsored the VRA reauthorization.

Note: Senator Blackburn was a member of the House in 2006 and voted for the VRA there.

Note: Senator Murkowski voted for the VRA in 2006. She is also the only Republican Senator to vote to start discussions on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in 2021.

Note: Senator Crapo was in the Senate in 2006 but was one of two Senators who did not vote (neither Yea or Nay) on the VRA.

Contact info:

Senator Minority Leader McConnell: https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactform

Senator Grassley: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/questions-and-comments

Senator Shelby: https://www.shelby.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailsenatorshelby

Senator Crapo: https://www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Senator Collins: https://www.collins.senate.gov/contact

Senator Burr: https://www.burr.senate.gov/email-me

Senator Inhofe: https://www.inhofe.senate.gov/contact/email-jim

Senator Graham: https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=contact-form

Senator Thune: https://www.thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Senator Cornyn: https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/node/5853

Senator Blackburn: https://www.blackburn.senate.gov/email-me

Senator Blunt: https://www.blunt.senate.gov/contact/contact-roy

Senator Boozman: https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Senator Capito: https://www.capito.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion

Senator Moran: https://www.moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-jerry

Senator Wicker: https://www.wicker.senate.gov/contact

Senator Murkowski: https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/contact/email

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Thank you for remembering the service of archivists and librarians who are usually working behind the scenes but who perform an invaluable task in preserving memory, history, and heritage.

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I wish Biden had called out by name the 15 rethuglicans who voted for FOR voting rights back in the early 2000's. Yes, we can get access to those names, but why not make them available to all through calling them out?

On another note.....It appears Michelle Obama is on a quest to register 1M new voters. If they're all dems, what a difference that could make. Go, Michelle!

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The vitriolic, heinous words and actions (or lack thereof) coming from republicans in Congress is unbelievable. It is like watching a Hitchcock movie . . . you know what is going to happen to the victim and you can't stop it from taking place and that is the horror! Relative to democracy, it is a very telling sign.

I posted the most of the following on Monday's comments; but it might be a bit more on topic for this letter.

Fareed Zakaria did a CNN special report on Sunday "The Fight to Save American Democracy". Can be watched via CNN. History shows that democracies fall from within; an eye opening comparison with the fall of Germany's democracy in the 1930's. This link has a written summary with an accompanying video conversation with Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/09/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-fight-to-save-american-democracy-op-ed/index.html

As has been said repeatedly and explicitly through Heather's letters as well as commentary by folks in this Substack community, social media and said again by Kearns Goodwin "the fight of our life right now for this generation has to be to secure voting rights and secure a peaceful transition of power; that should not be a partisan issue . . . I don't understand why the country is not making voting rights the central issue of the time. . . "

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We should abolish the Filibuster completely. The Founding Fathers didn't use the term but they baked a filibuster into the Senate. Today California with 11.95% of the population and Wyoming with 1.1% of the population each have 2 Senators. The 5 most populous States (37.3%) have a total of 10 Senators and the 5 least populated States (1.1%) have 10 Senators. The 21 most populous States (75.9%) have a total of 40 Senators and the 39 least populated States (24.1%) have 60 Senators. If you can get 51 votes in a Senate so constituted, then vote and move on.

Carving out a bill to be exempt from the filibuster is just the Senate playing games that both sides use to their advantage. Trust that the Founding Fathers know what they were doing. Let's protect the right of every citizen of the US to vote.

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I love this straight talking:

Speaking in Lewis’s Atlanta district, Biden called out the people behind the events of January 6 as “forces that attempted a coup—a coup against the legally expressed will of the American people—by sowing doubt, inventing charges of fraud, and seeking to steal the 2020 election from the people.”

“They want chaos to reign,” he said. “We want the people to rule.”

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The voting rights advocates told Biden and Harris in plain and no uncertain terms, that they were not to come to Georgia unless they had a plan. Biden's speech was fiery and necessary. Ben Jealous stated he was very happy with what was expressed and said that Biden and staff listened to all of them.

McConnell is our thorn but Manchenema are our daggers. We are the swords that must be used to cut through the proverbial bullshit. I don't know about any of you, but white people, men in general, have displayed hatefulness and cruelty throughout the history of America and our lives. If it hadn't been for state-of-the-art cellphones and police cameras that recorded actual shootings and deaths of people of color, we would still have our heads in the sand. It comes down to us to bring about real change and we have to lock arms against the enemy...the Republican Party.

Time for these criminals to get what is coming to them.

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"The next few days will mark a turning point in this nation’s history, Biden said. 'Will we choose democracy over autocracy…?'

'I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered?'"

It is telling that Biden is voicing these concerns again just before Martin Luther King Day. It may even be auspicious to consider the impact of his words on the moral conscience of this nation.

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The front page of my local paper, (thankfully we still have one) states:

"Redistricting plans stand".

"...The plaintiffs' witnesses declared the boundaries were manipulated according to the political leanings and the racial composition of voters so that, even in good Democratic years, the GOP could hold 10 of the state's 14 U.S. House seats as well as state House and Senate majorities that are almost unbreakable. That contrasts with NC's statewide elections, which are usually closely divided. ... One mathematician, Wesley Pegden of Carnegie Mellon University, declared his algorithmic analysis found mapmakers intentionally chose maps crafted more carefully for GOP advantage than at least 99.9% - and in some cases 99.999% - of all possible alternatives. "

- The Winston-Salem Journal, January 11, 2022, page one.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Thank you for today’s Letter. I fell asleep at news tonight, but not before I got to listen to Rachel Maddow explain how it’s been discovered that several state GOP’s had copies of Elector Filings that were replicated, as if from a single source. She carefully explained that each State has its own curated set of “standard” documents. Even though all of the Elector documents are submitted to Congress at the same time and for the same reason, the pages/seals/signatures are as individuated in character as one fingerprint can be from another. Kind of a personal touch per se. The lack of individuality…THAT clue, that identical-of-identicals clue, is what flagged attention. Some State-level GOP’s secretly copied a from single source template and, at the time of broadcast, where President Biden was clearly the winner, collected whossit signaures to “validate” a vote for the Trump/Pence ticket rather than the Biden/Harris one to submit.

While that’s mayhem by itself, the bigger point being - there was a MACHINE. An organized SOMEONE, or SOMETHING or SOMECENTRALFIGURE mindmelding with GOP players willing to play 1st COUP.

…Someone or several someones are going to get found out and will stand accountable.

Between your Letters and Rachel’s reporting I’m feeling bouyed a bit. I hope that the GOP house of cards quickly falls to the table exposing the extent of the organized machine that tried to take down our Democratic Republic.

Thanks again, Professor. ♥️🙏

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I may be wrong, but it appears that we haven't had an actual filibuster in the Senate in quite some time. When was the last time you heard that a senator in the minority party stood for 24 hours reading the DC phone book into the congressional record in an effort to control the podium and prevent a vote of the Senate on legislation opposed by the minority? What we actually have is the "threat" of a filibuster. All it currently takes is the stated threat to filibuster to shut down the progress of proposed legislation. An actual filibuster requires real work on the part of someone. It should be possible to simply outlast an actual filibuster, not simply close down and abandon a bill on the threat of same. How hard is it for the majority to make this change ? Why not at least require the minority to show the courage of its convictions? Smarter people than me should speak up if I'm mistaken...

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