There are strong grounds for Dr Richardson's positive view of the Biden admin's decisions so far. Its prompt actions are not quick fixes or stopgaps. Biden's team has prepared a long time for this moment, from well before Nov 3. There is a sense of purposeful movement as we set fair to bring at least the federal government into the 21C. There'd be still more progress but for the execrable "transition" of the preceding regime which is worse than useless.

Also important is the sense that Biden's presidency will be consequential. (It could hardly be otherwise given the cascading challenges the country faces.) But there is more than one way to fit the profile. American history reveals a notable pattern of paired presidential administrations with each predecessor worse than their successor. Buchanan was consequential due to his weaknesses and failures, Lincoln for his achievements. Atrocious Andrew Johnson preceded Ulysses Grant; Hoover was consequential in Buchanan's mold as was FDR in Lincoln's; and more recently America was lucky to have Bush II's messes cleaned up by Obama. Trumpsky, whom historians will recognize in future as the Worst President Ever, now has Biden as a successor facing the most threatening internal crises since the Civil War. We shall see what transpires.

As I've said before, Joe Biden could well become the most successful one-term president in US history, and ultimately among the most beloved. We desperately need that kind of success. Make it so!

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I love the way the wealthy want to work together ... by demonizing small investors, as leeches, of course! Bravo to Biden and team for getting down to business and showing us that good government really does work. I’m hoping the momentum will help with getting that latest relief bill through. I’m so relieved to see progress instead of regress. Thanks, Heather, for another excellent summary!

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Make no mistake, we live in a Plutocracy, which is defined as a society that is ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income. We would like to believe that Democracy hails supreme in the land, which it does not. Politicians are bought by powerful lobbies and vote not with their consciences but with an eye on getting re-elected. It's time to accept this fact and take our heads out of the sand and address the issue accordingly. When the top1% controls 80% of our nation's capital, the notion that we live in a Democracy is fantasy.

I'm binge-watching a very interesting show this week, called Mr. Robot. It's about a group of computer hackers who take down the world's top corporations and most wealthiest people. The result is that all debts are erased in the world and the super one per centers fall like dominos. The hackers are hailed as heroes, finally sticking it those who have controlled society for hundreds of years.

The Gamestop debacle that has been unfolding is a real life example of redistribution of wealth and fighting a long loaded deck that unregulated hedge funds have always enjoyed. As a former Wall St. trader, it was well-know that when you received an order to buy or sell stock to a hedge fund, they most likely had information not known to the public. They were mostly cheaters. Without getting into the intricacies of short selling, they have lost billions on GameStop for getting caught on the wrong side of a trade; those who made real money were the masses who gladly waved their sticks to shove it up hedge funds', well, you get the picture. It has been an explosive financial revolution. Where the chips, or GameStop shares fall is anyone's guess.

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With calls for unity in the air, Cooperman offered his own definition. Democrats’ suggestion that the rich should pay their “fair share” of taxes is “bullsh*t,” he said. “It’s just a way of attacking wealthy people, and you know I think it’s inappropriate…. We all got to work together and pull together.”

No, Mr. Cooperman, your comment is the definition of "bullsh*t".

"Boohoo", you capitalist snowflake. You got "Borated" by Reddit and Robinhood, and now you're crying in your caviar (oh wait, there's a shortage of caviar!). Hedge fund managers are not true capitalists anyway, as they make their billions betting AGAINST the market.

If Jesus were to return, one can bet that your ass would be one of the first to be thrown from the temple. How about taking some of your $2.5B and feeding the hungry, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked?

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There was a lot of talk about Joe Biden’s age as a presidential candidate, but there is no mistaking the expertise, wisdom, and vision he’s bringing to the office.

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Ever since Reagan, the only value that America has projected and modeled to itself is sociopathy. S&L, ADM, Maxwell, LTCM, Enron, Robert Rubin and Citigroup, fund timing, 2008, libor fixing, HSBC money-laundering, Wells Fargo and on and on. The rich are above the law. The purpose of corporations as weaponized by them is merely to allow their private theft and power addiction to operate at scale. Over and over they get caught stealing and polluting and cheating and lying and perjuring and get away with it anyway, and this is not a bug but a core Morality Play of sociopathy as America's highest value. If this were not the case, behavior would have *some* impact on social status. Jeffrey Epstein is a case study - the university trustees and scientists and labs and cultural institutions bowing and scraping before a child-rapist and his friends because he has money...in an endless chain, one of his friends and funder sociopaths *still* chair at MoMA right now. This - power for the few as an end in itself - was all the GOP was ever about, as apotheosized in their 2020 platform of nothing. The Nazism and theocracy and culture wars all just empty political expedients to protect plutocracy. The reaction to Gamestop is just the latest in endless examples -- the aggrieved special pleading of the billionaires who love to talk about personal responsibility and welfare queens and drug testing for medicaid recipients. Reaganism told 40 years of Americans that honest work and public service were for suckers and lying and cheating and getting away with it the highest good, and they listened. It is hard to imagine that detox will not take generations. And seems clear it can't even start as long as Fox and talk radio continue to exist without the Fairness Doctrine.

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The crazy idea of actually working with people on the ground seems to be catching fire like blazes. Stacey Abrams and Ben Wikler have taught us that the party can't just parachute in at campaign time, hire a bunch of temps and then disappear after the election. Now they're learning to work with networks of friends and relatives year round, not in some toxic permanent campaign sense but as a living community. And Biden and his team have taken this to heart across so many sectors - not just working with governors instead of against them like Trump - but making sure it's local doctors and community leaders they work with across the country to overcome vaccine fears, reach seniors and others who are off the grid, etc. Working with community activists as well as workers on environmental change instead of looking for ways to politically neutralize them. "We're going to power our economy with clean energy, [with] jobs that have an opportunity for workers to join a union." I mean... actually having a plan, to do good things, with people on the ground, in a way that could actually work and be sustainable...it's...it's crazy talk! Did I *ever* hear anything this before and actually believe it in my lifetime?

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I just have to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for yesterday’s community discussion initiated by Eve Furchgott. I’m still working through many of the thoughtful, insightful, often brilliant observations. The depth of study and the contributions of outside reference sources is impressive.

Heathers questioning the morals and agenda of the business wing of the Republican Party, combined with Eve’s disclosure of her own cult experience, really hit home for me. It was also gratifying to see so many new names.

Thank you, one and all. I am moved to gratitude.

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Your writings continue to support and expand my admiration for President Biden. It’s obvious he’s got a huge team of hardworking knowledgeable women and men supporting us all as we rebuild ourselves and our country. I wait up each night to hear your words in my head & heart. Thank you for your efforts to seek out facts and write with clarity so I can sleep hopeful.

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🤣😂🤣😂🤣😊 "We all gotta work togethrt and pull together," complained the shark to the minnows.

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I gotta say it's day 8 but Biden is doing so much, so fast, so well, and so good... experiencing some hope, for which there's no longer the slightest muscle memory. He was not the choice of progressives and it is hard to see how the center-right plutocrat wing will not score some points. But it is hard to fault him so far, just the opposite.

Not to reopen old wounds but I can tell you that behind the scenes the message to environmentalists at the start of the Obama admin was a slap in the face; the progressive economists paraded during the transition were sent straight to the basement; culminating in Emanuel's famous literal "fuck you" just in case the message hadn't been clear.

This is not that. It does not look like bones being thrown to "activists" but real expertise actively getting to work on problems in a spirit of teamwork. Like Americans, and the American government, and the civil service, can actually *do* things, and they are *good* at it! After what we've been through it makes me want to cry...

AOC talks with Chris Hayes about Biden's promising start and how much it means - https://twitter.com/MollyJongFast/status/1354632846359601157

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Lots and lots of good news! Listening to Cooperman call foul is really music to my ears. Proves how the wealthy really do control (tried to until this week) Wall Street. I love that!

Biden has been a politician for a very long time so he knows exactly how to go about delegating duties, how to reach out to people, and how to govern. So far, so good.

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Given all the Karen billionaires bellyaching over having to take their own medicine, this week I'll be drinking my coffee in my Warren "Billionaire's Tears" mug. Wish I had another that said, "Shutup and Pay Your Fair Share" and another that said "Too Big Must Fail" and one for the billionaire crybabies "Try Working a Real Job for a Change" and finally one that says "Time to Trim the Hedges".

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Thanks to Michelle Goldberg for pointing out the cyclical nature of Presidential administrations to create decade of sameness until they are made to seem undoable any longer. The Republicans did it to FDR with Reagan and Democrats crouched in his shadow through the end of the 20th century and still played to it through the Obama years.

Now Trump has thankfully brought the beginning of the end of the Reagan era. Quoting Michelle:

"Yet as Biden’s administration begins, there are signs that a new politics is coalescing. When, in his inauguration speech, Biden touted “unity,” he framed it as a national rejection of the dark forces unleashed by his discredited predecessor, not stale Gang of Eight bipartisanship. He takes power at a time when what was once conventional wisdom about deficits, inflation and the proper size of government has fallen apart. That means Biden, who has been in national office since before Reagan’s presidency, has the potential to be our first truly post-Reagan president."


We need more journalism like this and less about the unbalanced Georgian MoC who believes Jews are starting wildfires in California with space lasers.

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As a retired investment professional (from the days when we interacted with Wall Street but 1) we, on what was known as the “buy side of the street” were paid salaries, and 2) those salaries were decent but very similar to my husband’s civil engineering wages).

I totally get the absurdity of Leon Cooperman’s statement and the desire to knock the “greed is good” Wall Streeters down more than a few pegs. But, I am a table pounder for investment education and this type of ride (which did look like fun) should always be recognized for the gambling risk it presents. “Revenge” trading is not sustainable and will hurt more individual investors than hedge fund managers (who definitely stack the cards in their favor).

Technology has clearly changed the mechanisms of the “game” but for most of us, education and some knowledge regarding the basics of investing (not gambling) is a better option. (pun sort of intentional😆)

“With calls for unity in the air, Cooperman offered his own definition. Democrats’ suggestion that the rich should pay their ‘fair share’ of taxes is ‘bullsh*t,’ he said. “‘It’s just a way of attacking wealthy people, and you know I think it’s inappropriate…. We all got to work together and pull together.”’

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Here is HCR’s 1917 insightful discussion of the Jan 2017 Muslim Ban as a “shock event”. I’m interested in how it stands up now. Maybe at best a useful guide to the Biden administration’s moves?

Take a deep breath: A historical view of Bannon's "shock event

"I don't like to talk about politics on Facebook-- political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends-- but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night's ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what is known as a "shock event."

Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.

When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Last night's Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it. Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like.

I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and my friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is.

If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.

If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.

Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it."

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