"He has tried to install a loyalist as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency, either to burrow him in or to get the green light for dumping NSA documents before he leaves office..."

Real question: Given Trump's ignorance for the protocols and processes of government, as well as his disdain for expertise beyond his own (limited) knowledge, could he really have made the decision to bury poison pills in the body of government?

Of course, this is but one example. His broad use of "acting" secretaries and appointees, his announcements by tweet to fire the Secretary of Defense and others, his selection of clearly unqualified nominees as advisors, diplomats, and judges, and his subversion of normative actions like VP Pence overturning Congress's certification of EC votes stand out as egregious violations of effective government or good executive management. Do you really this Trump is/was smart enough to make these happen?

If there is indeed a "deep state" it is those with much greater knowledge of how the government bureaucracy works, who understand the difficulties of dislodging certain appointees, and whose real purpose is to burrow into the minutes of government administration and seek opportunities for disruption. Trump's limited attention span and his propensity to flit from topic to topic according to the whims of his stream of consciousness are surely tracked by a cadre of people whose job it is to say, "hey, how's about we try this?"

Stephen Miller is a malicious and malevolent individual, but he's smart enough to obsess over ways to pervert practical or moral policies in search of ones to do the most harm. It's no surprise that people with even a residual of morality or self preservation have bailed out, leaving Miller, McCarthy, McConnell, and others like them, to be the sweepers behind the elephants of Trump's brain.

I'm hard pressed to give credence to the notion that Trump is some evil genius, or I should say I believe he's evil but no genius. Trump's been enabled by smart, even capable malcontents who've hidden behind the skirts of his outrageous addiction to being the biggest, the best, and seeking credit for everything he thinks he can get away with. Biden's team, especially the Department of Justice, as well as the House and Senate judicial, intelligence, ethics, and rules committees, must take stock how Trump came so close to undermining damn near everything we might have believed to be good and Constitutionally directed government. They must act to install implants to replace the teeth of the law, and must determine how to give Constitutional powers the means to enforce adherence to, and compliance with, the rules and demands of lawfully convened authorities.

Trump will surely, and rightly, shoulder the blame for this Administration's fiascos. However, he shouldn't receive the credit for masterminding the undoing of America. He's just not that sharp or attentive, unless it's to discern personal slights. He had help, and those people should be hung in the gibbets outside the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court to remind us not to let this happen again.

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This letter should be read in every high school history class this morning and reprinted everywhere. It is a stirring and sterling affirmation, in razor-sharp focus, of all that we are, what we are not, and all that we could be.

We are indeed stepping away from the abyss on Jan. 20, 2021.

Yesterday HRC sent out an email with a request.

"If you have one or two favorite letters from this series, which are they? And if you have an idea of it, can you say why you liked them?"

Today's letter, hands down, is my favorite. My reasons I stated above.

Thank you again, Professor Richardson.

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The Soviets and Nazis rewrote National history to serve their ideological aims. Our nation needs to reinvigorate teaching history and civics so that we understand the full scope and complexity of the American story and how to sustain a vital democracy. Thank you for your letters to America

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HDR -- Did you start out intending this post to be inspirational? Because it was. As sobering and depressing as it is to see the need for National Guard protection of our National and State Capitol Buildings, you helped remind us of the many who have devoted their lives (and often given their lives) to the ideals of "...justice and equality before the law." Tonight's post called to mind the MLK, Jr quote that that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” -- My hope for my daughters and their children is that the arc bend a bit more quickly in their lifetimes!

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Fabulous Letter today. I'll take it all...the good news and the bad.

I am inspired by these words from the Rev. William J. Barber, II of the Repairers of the Breach to "be the nation that our documents claim we are."

Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the NYT 1619 Project, begins her essay telling of her father's allegiance to the American flag: "My dad always flew an American flag in our front yard. The blue paint on our two-story house was perennially chipping; the fence, or the rail by the stairs, or the front door, existed in a perpetual state of disrepair, but that flag always flew pristine. Our corner lot, which had been redlined by the federal government, was along the river that divided the black side from the white side of our Iowa town. At the edge of our lawn, high on an aluminum pole, soared the flag, which my dad would replace as soon as it showed the slightest tatter." She ends her what I call Forward to this 5-part essay thusly:

"We were told once, by virtue of our bondage, that we could never be American. But it was by virtue of our bondage that we became the most American of all."


This link contains several essays written by others for this project.


This link takes you directly to the first episode of five podcasts, with the fifth episode divided into two parts. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/podcasts/1619-slavery-anniversary.html

"Forward together, not one step back."

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Members of the President's 1776 Commission Not one historian. Most members of radical right-wing Conservative organizations

Larry P. Arnn Founder, Claremont Institute. Trustee, Heritage Foundation President, Hillsdale College: …he recalled that shortly after he assumed the presidency at Hillsdale he received a letter from the state Department of Education that said his college "violated the standards for diversity," adding, "because we didn't have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.”

Carol Swain Former professor, conservative commentator. Swain called the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012 "a very scary situation".[2] She argued that civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had used the shooting of Trayvon Martin to increase voter registration for the Democratic Party....

Matthew Spalding Professor Hillsdale College. Fellow at Heritage Foundation and Claremont Institute

Phil Bryant Former Governor( R) of Mississippi

In 2015, Phil Bryant refused to support legislation to change the flag of Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle saltire.

Jerry Davis President of College of the Ozarks

Michael Farris CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing Christian conservative group.

Gay Hart Gaines Republican fundraiser and activist

John Gibbs Trump nominee to head Office of Personnel Management.

On four occasions, he spread the false claim that John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign took part in a "Satanic ritual”

Mike Gonzalez Spokeperson for Heritage Foundation

Claims Critical Race Theory “..has nothing to do with advancing any individual or family.” Claims it’s a stand in for Marxist politics.

Victor Davis Hanson Hoover Institute Hanson is a supporter of Donald Trump, authoring a 2019 book The Case for Trump.[21] Trump praised the book.[21] In the book, Hanson defends Trump's insults and incendiary language as "uncouth authenticity", and praises Trump for "an uncanny ability to troll and create hysteria among his media and political critics”

Charles Kesler Claremont Institute

Peter Kirsanow Lawyer Republican appointee to NLRB Testified for Roberts and against Kagan for Supreme Court

Thomas Lindsay Director Texas Public Policy Foundation Former president of Shimer College Removed after a vote of no confidence.

Bob McEwen Former Republican Congressman from Ohio and lobbyist, including for Cote d’Ivoire strongman Koudou Laurent Gbagbo who was later tried by the International Court.

Ned Ryun Founder and CEO of American Majority. “Conservative Christian”.

Julie Strauss (Levin) Attorney, Wife of Mark Levin.

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Grandson, I just sent you today’s letter. I admit that this one made me need a tissue to dab my eyes, many times. It took me more than a few minutes to be able to type these words.

The countdown clock is now just shy of 30 hours till the aberration of humanity known as djt is out of office. He has done great harm to our society. Some of those harms are plain and easy to see. Some to yet be discovered. All need to be punished but not by physical means. By spiritual determination of a great people to right basic wrongs that divide us. That prevent us from destiny.

By history’s clock you are a newly minted adult. You are in that tumult of defining yourself and your path forward. These letters I have sent you for the past months convey all I would want to say, but better.

Have a good day. Work hard, because it is your duty to all who have gone before you and created this opportunity to shape your little piece of history. Read the newsletter over and over. It is the best one yet. God willing, even better letters await.

Love from Grandpa.

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You asked which newsletters are our favorites. I can’t point to one specifically but this exemplifies the ones that I most enjoy (enjoy/appreciate). I love the way you put current events in the context of history. It brings history alive and it puts today into context. I tend to ponder and reflect on and discuss these posts the most. Thank you for pulling all the pieces together into a narrative that is easy to understand.

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“Rather than trying to own America, the doers put skin in the game.”

To this wonderful community of truth-seekers, wherever you are today, in whatever you’re doing in your local communities, let’s “put skin in the game” as we keep working toward a real democracy for all!

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Thank you, HCR. Reviewing - almost reliving - 2020, as I watch The Circus for the first time and re-read some of HCR letters. Yesterday, I thought about MLK’s statement about choosing love over hate and realized I’m not that fine a person. I hate Donald J. Trump at the sound of his voice and sight of his face, at the mention of his name and deeds. I can’t seem to forgive. And I will never forget what he said and did. The lies. The crimes against humanity and “Grifter in Chief”. Tomorrow, after toasting a joyous moment seeing Joe and KAMALA !!!👍🏻 take the oath of office 🤞🏻, my political activist energy will be focused on supporting them and on working to remove every seditious member of Congress in the next election cycle. That is, if they somehow escape prosecution. And, please, convict Trump. He’d look so good in that orange jumpsuit. ❤️🤍💙

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Professor Richardson posed a question to subscribers yesterday, asking which of the letters (she referred to them as "the" letters, not "my" letters - love it!) were our favorites. I think today's letter is definitely one of them!

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The more we learn about the attempted coup on January 6 and about the people inside government (both the legislative and executive branches) who were actively involved in the plot, the more it reminds me of the Guy Fawkes plot on November 5. ("Remember, remember") They were tried as traitors and executed. I would hope the present day saboteurs get long jail sentences to discourage any future attempts at insurrection....and this includes members of Congress who aided.and abetted the rioters.

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HCR, you asked us for our opinions as to which or your letters are our faves. I have so many that I have not responded. But this one would be totally up there. Thank you.

Here is something that will warm everyone's hearts. NPR this morning interviewed the poet, Amanda Gorman, whom Biden asked to participate in the inauguration. She is remarkable, she has a speech impediment she is happy to talk about, and Steve Inskeep's interview was deeply humane and deeply satisfying. She read a bit of the poem she wrote for the inauguration. https://www.npr.org/sections/biden-transition-updates/2021/01/19/958077401/history-has-its-eyes-on-us-poet-amanda-gorman-seeks-right-words-for-inauguration

I admit that not having to deal with the daily sewer-emptying of Twitter Cheeto's mind into our psyches has been a huge relief this week. The fact that he is still trying to screw up every single part of Biden's opening days and moths is also gobsmackingly appalling but not unexpected. The new one is trying to get the USA infected again by ending the travel ban from Europe and the UK, which is an Andrew-Jackson-gives-measles/smallpox-infected-blankets-to-the Seminoles move if ever there was one. The idea that this pissant piece of toe jam has the support of millions of people because their little racist misogynist hearts are warmed by fascism is what makes me nauseous. They need to be "deprogrammed."

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You asked for favorites. This is a favorite! My mother was a first generation Armenian immigrant single mother who worked tirelessly for social justice. We marched with King in Chicago and she in Washington. She helped organize the lettuce boycotts in Chicago and was friends with Caesar Chavez. She was a steel worker and a union organizer who became president of Local 65 USS. Her whole life was dedicated to improving our union. Hers is one of the great American stories. As always, thank you Professor Richardson!

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My bet is that the 1776 report goes further than you think. My bet is that it becomes part of the curriculum for lots of home schoolers, for certain religious and charter schools, and will be the basis for a permanent exhibit at the Creation Museum.

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Bravo, Dr. Richardson. “The hard work of doing is rarely the stuff of heroic biographies of leading men. It is the story of ordinary Americans who were finally pushed far enough that they put themselves on the line for this nation’s principles.” This paragraph and those that follow are testimony to those who did the hard work of fulfilling the dream of our democracy. Let it not be in vain.

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