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I can’t believe Roberts said this “the pandemic sounds like the sort of thing that states will be responding to or should be, and that Congress should be responding to”, and then attacked the Federal government for responding. The rest of his statement should have been, “Given the complete failure of said states and Congress to act to protect the health and safety of their citizens in this pandemic, it is not only important but utterly necessary for the Federal government to intervene. Let me be clear - the states and Congress have failed. That they are suing the Federal government instead of thanking it is a travesty. Case dismissed!”

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If you go by the current logic of Robert’s and the bought and paid for right-wing SCOTUS they should shut down the court. The states can regulate everything, they each have a Court. Now that we’ve determined we don’t need Federal government for that let’s go a step further. Make each state handle everything on their own. The people they put in office will have no say in anything outside their state. Oh, and wait, that’s too much governing from Albany to say what Buffalo or NYC should do so each place needs isolated government.

We won’t need federal Congress anymore, send them home. We won’t need a President, each Governor will independently lead their 1/50th of the country. All financial resources will come from their own citizens. No more tax money coming from CA or NY where everyone complains about high taxes. We’ll use that money for ourselves.

The only thing we’ll have at a Federal level will be a representative to oversee Federal lands. Just some small agencies.

This all just sounds ridiculous and you all just thought I was quiet for over a week and must have gone crazy.

But this is exactly what Republicans want to happen. When it does they’ll want to do away with their state government with the exception of banning abortion and voting.

Sorry for the rant. My grandson is doing two 4 week accelerated college classes. One of them is sociology and I’ve been reading the book and helping him study. I am learning so much even though I took this class myself 40 years ago. Things have changed and now that I have more real world knowledge everything I read is so fascinating and relatable. I discuss it with him and try to help him relate. Yesterday’s readings were on mass media and social media and liberals vs. conservatives. Everything I read is what we see happening in front of our eyes.

This professor is doing an excellent job with online education. Thank you to Heather and all the teachers out there that work so hard to expand our world!

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Kentucky has a state wide population of nearly 4.5 million. The population of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, is 7 million. It irks the heck out of me that a senator from such a puny state has the power to dismiss/ignore facts, squelch legislation, select SCOTUS nominees and basically run his own power plays on the tax dollars that my region and state as a whole gives to the federal government when his tiny fiefdom takes far more than it pays into the system. SMH…

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As a KY resident (anti-Rand/McConnell) I agree, but the ignorant rural constituency truly believe he doing great things for the Commonwealth. One only needs to look at this state to see how McConnell would like the entire country to be like.

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Without FDR's Tennessee Valley Authority, many in that area which also includes a big chunk of southwestern Kentucky and parts of five other southern States besides Tennessee, would still be using kerosene lanterns and candles to light their lives. They used to support Democrats but that party's turning away from racism made them into Republicans who never ever did anything to benefit them, and never will, but it enables them to feel superior to people who benefit from the Democrat's safety net, which they forget also benefits them. They will never learn.

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They will NEVER learn as long as propaganda spews vitriol 24/7.

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Did you see Fauci bust Rand Paul? :)

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It's our compromise-laden horse and buggy Constitution that permits it. But fear not, there will be a new one, including fully representative democracy this time around, but only after the nation recovers from the damage to democracy the 'Founding Fathers' compromises have brought about. (Maybe not in our lifetimes.)

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The Constitution was a brilliant conception in the context of the late 1700s. However, besides the compromises you reference, the framers made it too difficult to amend. They could not envision the enormous changes that were ahead, including the growth of the country, geographically and the number of people. Nor could they envision the complexity of challenges we face today.

The idea of the Supreme Court interpreting the original intent of the Constitution to serve the nation of the present is ludicrous. It's a grievous flaw. Another flaw: assuming that Congress would be made up of elected officials committed to governing through constant compromise. Essentially, Republicans have hacked the Constitution by refusing to govern in good faith.

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I agree ... but neither of us will be invited as a guest speaker at the next gathering of the Federalist Society.

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Likely only Lincoln recognized the danger from within. Well, FDR too since a coup was plotted in 1933 (reported by Gen Smedley Butler).

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I have a friend who estimates 10,000 years

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But who will do the counting? "Planet of the Apes" scenario??

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I think, but I hope not

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Well said, and thank you for this comparison, from someone who lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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I totally agree on the distribution of tax dollars. If they want to run their own states don’t call home for help whenever it goes bad. The Texas electric grid problem should have been fixed with TX money. The unvaccinated shouldn’t take the medicine or hospital beds of the vaccinated and so on. Kentucky shouldn’t take any help from Democratic states. Then go do whatever you want.

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That applies to pretty much every Red State. At least half of the American population lives on the Coasts - more than equal to the rest of the States - paying the bulk of Federal Taxes, while being severely under-represented in Congress.

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But you forgot about the military? An enormous part of the Federal government. How would they fit in your scenario? 50 independent state military organizations? Who gets the nukes? All 50? These crazy people don't have a long view to see how starting down a path is a straight line to chaos. Though have to admit, living in Illinois, another state that sends more to the Federal government then it gets back, that part sounded attractive.

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Oh I did! Being a veteran I don’t know how I didn’t stick them into the Republican scenario. It definitely would be chaos. Maybe someone should ask Empty Greene what happens to the military when Georgia divorces the rest of the country. I served at the base in Valdosta. It has expanded many times over since then. Imagine if they closed up and went to a state that doesn’t want a divorce.

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Florida and Texas too! Big bases in both states

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Texas shading purple, or am I dreaming

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Did you mean M.T. Greene? Or perhaps Em Tee Greene? (Har, Har.)

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I just think the term “Empty” for her fits so well. She’s an empty vessel that fills up easily with conspiracies and propaganda and she should be emptied like the trash. She’s a danger to society and I don’t understand why people think anything she says is worthwhile. She’s racist, anti-Christian and a bigot and hypocrite.

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Yes, but how do you REALLY feel?

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"We'll try to stay serene and calm when Alabama gets The Bomb."

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There is nothing serene and calm about that scenario!

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Obscure cultural reference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRLON3ddZIw

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Lordy, he told us

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Hilarious. Never heard of Tom Lehrer, my loss. Thanks.

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Love this! Brilliant!

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Securing the nation's safety and security from foreign (influences)(threats)(commerce) would easily be the only responsibility of a federal government in a confederacy. It could never be used to settle domestic issues or threats between states. Aren't most military bases now located in conservative (Republican) states?

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California has many bases & it's not conservative.

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Leadership and staffing are assigned to those bases. Most officers and noncoms have had training at one or more of the 5 largest training location (4 of 5 in the Southern military communities). The culture comes to the base and supported by a conservative base city. That is the experience of my family members.

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Parts of California are.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

I cannot envision a federal government, foreign affairs or the military under a 'national' government if the states separated individually, according to region or political persuasion can you?

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Perhaps not in a pure confederacy, though we have not yet achieved a true union either. Aspiration and intent unrealized is a great motivator.

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This wouldn't work because of the vast array of differences of ideologies, practices, and wealth in state. Florida and Texas and N. Dakota would never work with liberal states to manage our military.

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You could be right. Not sure leadership or control would necessarily shared between states or by conservatives with liberal factions in such states.

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Eact state remits 15% max to "provide for the common defense" then pays to rent the military when they want to use it.

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My worry as well.

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The nukes can govern themselves with local militias?

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Sharon I can appreciate your frustration. The issue of federal vs. states rights was a critical issue in the replacement of the Articles of Confederation (unanimous state votes required) with the Constitution. The 10th Amendment accorded to states whatever rights not given to the federal government. The ‘nullifaction’ issue in 1831 prompted President Andrew Jackson to mobilize troops to block John Calhoun on ‘states’ rights.’

Whatever we think of the current Stench Court, we can not simply surrender and encourage states to do whatever they wish. This would fragment the United States.

Even the Stench Court has a constitutional obligation to distinguish between states’ and federal rights. Be careful for what you wish for.

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SCROTUS - the R is for Republican. (Yes, I stole that from the twitterverse)

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Since 2008 I've tended to refer to the "Subprime Court".

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

I live in Texas and since I vote for people who serve at the federal level I want to vote like my friends in Oregon...by mail and on ballots that are sent to me without having to request them and getting to use ballot boxes. Instead I get to provide all my personal information on the outside ballot envelope (it will be publicly available upon request after the election). Our redistricting is being challenged in court. Our experienced County election judge and her staff have done a great job and have worked valiantly. Our primary is March 1. This is why we need Federal oversight. The voters in all states need fair and free access to voting. Sorry for the rant. Texas is my home and I am doing what I can to make it better.

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You don't need to look to a "liberal" state for an example; Utah has done mail-in voting for years.

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I just know Oregon because I have family there.

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Sorry Keith, I’m not wishing for it. I was trying to point out how ridiculous these red states talking of “divorce” and SCOTUS trying to say it’s up to the states actually sound and the impression that this is their goal. After all, they’ve manipulated things at the state level so they have all the control and can’t do it as easily at the federal level.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Me thinks that the goal among conservatives is to achieve a confederacy of states, rather than a union. It was the dissenting opinion in 1789 and has remained the belief of conservatives since that time and the intent of the founding fathers so argued by originalists. The current Republican Party is merely the mantle, the robe, for local authority, a nation of self-directed states.

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Except when truly local governments want to impose a mask mandate (e.g., St. Augustine, FL) and the Governor signs an Executive Order making it illegal.

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Odd how that works isn’t it? Heads I win, tails you loose. All hypocrisy and double speak.

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States rights, unless we need SCOTUS to install a president.

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Year is 1789. Can't edit posting. And I am not advocating for that position. Also, not all states in the Confederacy in 1865 were equal in influence and leadership in all things important (military, trade, foreign relations, culture). Those got carried out in a couple of states/capitols.

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And that takes us all the way back to ancient Greece and a democracy built around city-states... Talk about conservative!

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What's next? Fifty different state passports to travel the country? I doubt there's ever been a Supreme Court that is this radical. It's hell-bent on transforming the country into a place that no one alive today or even in recent generations would recognize. The court is trampling upon decade upon decade of prior rulings establishing the authority of the federal government.

Imagine a country in which its 50 states essentially can do their own thing. A country in which 23 states are fully controlled by Republicans, a party that cares not a whit about fighting climate change, protecting minority and voting rights, and a host of other critical issues.

The Supreme Court is creating fiefdoms. What's next? Gov. Abbott becoming Lord Abbott?

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Not for nothing am I calling them out as the STENCH BENCH. With three who should not even be there (the last three appointed), two who lied under oath during confirmation hearings, one who is yet to be investigated for his assaults on women, another whose wife is guilty of sedition, the entire Catholic cabal, the "federalist" bunch who do not even believe in the very Constitution they profess to support, there's really no need at all for them, in my opinion. They have made a mockery of law and do not deserve to wear robes of any sort, except the white kind. I can smell them from here, when the wind from Lord Abbott is not blowing in my direction. His own stench is pretty awful, let me tell you!

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Well, there was the Supreme Court that did uphold Plessy's arrest for going into the white train compartment and also noted that "separate but equal is all good with us".

Maybe that Supreme Court and this one have some similarities.

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Looks to me that this court can rationalize just about anything.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

IF the rationalization lines up with who has paid them off, then, absolutely, yes they can.

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Well, we in CA, have been talking about seceding from the Union. We fight for climate change, fight for abortion, the right to vote, the rights of LGBTQ, etc. We harbor the tech world and clean energy facilities as well as great colleges.

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We--Californians--also pay Red States and give them minority rule over the majority. We can even afford to "rent" the military from the (former) US government to protect our international trade. Let every State remit 15% (max) to the vestige of the federal government to "provide for the common defense" and be done with it.

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I suggest David Pepper's book, Laboratories of Autocracy because it not only verifies the argument you presented as the Republican plan for their war on democracy, it and published reviews of the book show how Democrat operatives are complicit in letting them do it. What Democrats in Georgia are doing is the best thing possible. They are working to hold their own party operatives accountable, something that Democrats have failed to do with their ridiculous "vote for the lesser evil" admonitions and adhering to the "nothing will fundamentally change" insanity. That steered the country into the situation of rule by the minority in which we find ourselves in which we now realize we will soon have nothing more to lose. That is Dangerous with a capital D to all of us.

Pepper was in great interview yesterday on Sirius Radio.

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I will go look for it after I am done being a study partner in this fast-track sociology class. 4 weeks, 36 hours a week of work.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Sharon, think of the money we’ll save not sending FEMA to rescue folks!

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And of course, I’m joking here too. It’s always the same with these states. “We’ll do it ourselves! Help us!!!”

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

We'd see the end of states such as Kentucky and other low income states sink and give up without the federal dollars keeping them afloat.

We'd see Hawaii fade due to cut or rapidly increasing costs of goods they need imported there. We'd see tiny civil wars break out and rapid migration of state's citizens and erecting of border walls. It would be completely nuts.

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Hawaii would be happy not to be part of the United States. They didn’t want it in the first place and after living there for a few years you can see why. We have done everything to wipe out their cultures and traditions and shove our religion down their throats which is amazing when you consider why people fled to America in the first place. We stopped them from practicing their arts unless it was done in a hotel for the benefit of tourists. I met some very interesting people willing to tell me their stories. I wish I would have gone out everyday and written them down. It’s the first place I really experienced prejudice for being white. In even Korea they did not feel this way. I don’t blame them.

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One thing I learned while in Hawaii is the second class citizenship that native Hawaiians live. It is appalling.

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Or they could try to get help from foreign parties. I’m sure some could find that enticing.

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I think there would be regionalization. California and Washington both have strong financial vested interests in Hawaii remaining successful and free of foreign interference; they could contribute to Hawaii paying to "rent" the military to protect the islands. (They could probably pay that "rent" by selling just some of the land the military is still hanging onto there.)

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The Ununited States. Coming from Canada, where the threat of Quebec separation has hounded the country from its inception, it has continued to chase its tail throughout my lifetime. My first thought when I moved to the States, (most countries call it that) was that each state has its own flavour, it's own nationality. Fifty different countries.

There's something very basic & tribal about human nature. It just doesn't seem to work very well when the tribe gets too large. Although, like this group, there might be possibilities if there's a common foundation of higher thought & intelligence. I suppose that's what the framers had in mind, although humans, I've found, can be very disappointing.

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Judy Does increasing size lead eventually to breakdown? This certainly was true with Athens and the Delian League, despite Athens’ draconian response towards possible deportees. The Greek city states never, for an extended period, worked together. The transition from small hunting tribes to larger populations with an ‘agricultural surplus,’did not lead to permanent larger entities, with the exception of Egypt.

Empires rise and fall. China is a prime example of an ebb and flow, while other empires seem to rise then fall. In the American colonies, the first unifying move was the Articles of Confederation, with unanimity from states for any action. Thanks to Rogue Island, they couldn’t agree to impose taxes. The drafters of the 1787 Constitution clearly did not envisage a country of 50 states, including two non contiguous states, nor the increasing non-Western Europe diversity.

The Civil War was a major effort to split the United States. Back when I rated the credit of Canadian provinces, I was aware of ‘Quebec Libre’ (de Gaulle I found galling on this subject). Nearly 50 years later, this appears more aa threat than a reality. In the United States, it would be difficult to carve off a separate nation. A number of the Southern states are dependent on the surplus taxes from other richer states. Intercontinental free trade has been a hallmark of our economic expansion. The federal military seems essential compared to state National Guards.

Despite the rumblings in various states (Texas?), I can not imagine how these malcontents could ever work out a viable confederation much less a workable constitution.

I applaud your wish for a Platonic foundation of ‘higher thought & intelligence.’ Of course Plato, not trusting the ‘demos’ who condemned Socrates, his teacher, to death, sought rule by philosopher kings. Ain’t going to happen. Czechoslovakia can split into Czech and Slovakia, with a rational division point geographically and economically. The United States will remain with 50 diverse states, despite my personal wish to cut loose Texas, Florida, and perhaps a few other states.

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Yes, thank you for all the illumination, it is such a public service and should be required reading for every US citizen! Regarding the above post, Justice Roberts might want to read up on how the Afghani people are fairing with their "lone wolf" government.

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deletedJan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022
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Very interesting about creating fiefdoms.

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Well, now it’s really apparent that Roberts is of just average intelligence. Average. Mediocre. And the questions asked and statements made about the pandemic by justice Uncle Thomas and dingbat Barret expose that they are at most village idiots, only appointed to the highest court to serve their political handlers, bending their legal opinions toward only Libertarian doctrine, and in opposition to founding principles of common sense, common good, and democracy.

We are in historical times of rapid disease spread. Covid 19 is now the most contagious disease ever known to the human race. Without the right Public Health mitigation we are headed for perpetual wave after wave of overwhelmed hospitals, school closures, labor shortages, etc etc. Even with vaccines “herd immunity” can take decades to achieve, and without vaccines in some cases 100s or thousands of years. Sadly, we are at a point that to resume normalcy and end the pandemic, we are going to need 95%+ vaccinations. This is our hard reality and we need to face it. This will require mask mandates to slow spread and vaccine mandates to end the spread. These are Epidemiological facts. Mandates will require majority rule. And that is what is at issue at SCOTUS right now. Minority rule vs Majority rule. If Minority rule allows for people to kill Ahmaud Arbery and get away with it, it also means 250,000 to 500,000 Americans dying of Covid 19 every year for at least another decade. I quess this is my message to Joe Manchin and Kristin Sinema.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

We have seen historically, the lack of healthcare in small towns and rural areas. If COVID keeps devastating hospitals and healthcare systems, we will see the closing of bigger and bigger places. The staff alone is nearing their wits end on this pandemic. I have a friend who says that working with belligerent patients with COVID who are unvaccinated and refused to wear masks is a very different story to most of them. She says doctors and nurses are getting very low on compassionate care and attitudes. Her hospital has been overwhelmed with COVID illness and 84% are unvaccinated.

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Soon hospitals will have so much staff out sick they won’t be coming to work, this will essentially close a lot of if not majority of hospitals. The deaths will soar for both Covid and other ailments. We need both a mask mandate and a vaccine mandate to get out of this. The alternative is: next variant, repeat above.

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It also seems that the most dangerous occupations in the US are now anti-vax podcaster or radio host. Astonishing how those dots haven’t been connected by people who see pedophile pizzarias as a reality.

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And, crazily, these people are getting ultra rich off these occupations.

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*Until they die from Covid — quite a number have and will, likely.

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I feel that most of these people are vaccinated. They just want to screw with the minds of the Drumplican sheep.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

There is so much that today’s LFAA demands emphasizing. Your comments bring light to much of it.

In the case of the sentencing of Arbery’s killers, here is the text of my Letter to the Editor of our local paper. It is a poor attempt to address the difference between accountability and justice and point out that violence is a very poor solution to any problem.

__________________________________

Violence is Never a Good Option

The three men found guilty in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced on Friday, 7 January, to life prison terms, two of them without the possibility of parole. This delivers accountability to those found guilty of his murder. However, Arbery is still dead and his family is grieving his loss. All of this is a terrible and senseless tragedy for all those impacted by this terrible crime sparked by racial animus. We can and we must be better than this.

Violence is never a good option. When you as a civilian look down at your hands and see them holding a gun as the solution to any problem, you are the problem.

________________________________

A good friend I asked to review the letter before sending it thought my point was about my objections to the death penalty and felt a life sentence without parole was a more appropriate punishment.

Here is my reply to her to attempt to better explain the intent of my letter.

__________________________________

I agree with your view on the death penalty. The Hammurabi Code of 282 Laws now almost 4000 years old that commands death as an appropriate penalty for any crime should be relegated to nothing more then a historical bookmark for the Babylonian times in which it was drafted. Just as we no longer tie people up and drown them in a river or place them in slavery for crimes it is way past time to have a more enlightened system of criminal punishment and accountability.

However, the point of my letter to the editor is a much larger one. People talk often about justice for the victims of such crimes of racial animus. Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and so many others and more importantly society did not get justice with this verdict. The three men who killed Arbery, and in the case of Floyd’s killing, Dereck Chauvin, got accountability. Justice is about equality for all under law. Society continues to deny that equality to far too many. Arbery and Floyd and so many others are still dead. Too many families still grieve unnecessary losses. And today in our own neighborhoods and communities unequal treatment of “the other” continues and in many cases is even institutionalized by our society.

My own statement on this is a poor attempt to echo the distinction between justice and accountability made by many more eloquent than I after Chauvin’s conviction in the killing of George Floyd. See this article:

https://www.wellandgood.com/justice-and-accountability/

I also tried to make the point that violence is a very poor solution to any problem. “When as a civilian, you look down at your hands and see a gun as the solution to any problem, you are the problem.” Just as the death penalty, a violent solution, shows society is the problem when imposed to deliver “justice,” so resorting to violence of any kind to solve any problem is wrong and unlikely to resolve whatever challenge it believes needs to be addressed.

This is not merely about guns. It is about forsaking the power of non-violence for a much less powerful solution - violence.

I despair this societal problem that has always existed and will continue long after I depart this earth. It may indeed be insoluble. But if I can enlighten even a few to understand it, perhaps I can make a very small difference somewhere.

___________________________________

The distinction between accountability and justice is unrecognized by most. I despair that my poor attempt to raise awareness of this will go largely unheard.

On the issue of Conservatives' attempts to dismantle the “administrative state,” this too is a problem I feel will get much worse. This problem speaks to the larger problem of conservatives' and progressives' contrasting views on the appropriate role of government at every level.

It is my own belief that the Preamble to our Constitution expresses this well in a quite eloquent and concise manner.

"We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

This describes precisely the role of governments at every level. When legislatures fail to address these needs, it is left to the executive branch of our governments, at every level to fill that breach. The purpose of the judicial branch should be enablement not obstruction of these missions.

I strongly suggest Conservatives return to the Preamble’s definition of the whole of government’s role and judge their views on the administrative state’s efforts in light of those words.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Bruce, Your comment, including the link through 'wellandgood' to 'The Verdict in Derek Chauvin’s Trial Highlights the Painful Difference Between Justice and Accountability' is a most worthwhile addition to HCR's Letter today. You have awakened us to the differences between accountability and justice in several ways. Deep thanks for this valuable lesson.

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Exactly right, and eloquently stated.

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Eloquent. I too think the preamble is one of the most historic statements of intent and believe achieving justice, given that intent, gets so muddied up with accountability (persecution) under laws written to sidestep justice for adherence to intents of the minority, the ruling class. Laws are never made by the poor or by the persecuted, but by those who control power and resources, and history shows us that the more local such control and power rests, the narrower and swifter the laws are written and enfoced to protect the interests of the few who believe they are doing what's best for the ruled.

I made this point in response to Keith's post, but think it applies here as well, Bruce:

Me thinks that the goal among conservatives is to achieve a confederacy of states, rather than a union. It was the dissenting opinion in 1887 and has remained the belief of conservatives since that time and the intent of the founding fathers so argued by originalists. The current Republican Party is merely the mantle, the robe, for local authority, a nation of self-directed states.

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...Each under the direction of the local robber baron, all the way down to the biggest fish in the smallest puddle...

And yet, as I've kept repeating, there's this problem of congressional constipation so chronic and severe that it may kill the body politic: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/01/08/scalia-was-right-make-amending-the-constitution-easier-526780

If Congress did what it is there for, every level of local government would function better for human citizens, not just sewer rats and industrial poisoners...

Let's not forget the many states and cities governed by brilliant leaders who are anything but destructive finders-keepers-Conservatives.

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You do grasp the point. Justice is about equality under law, fairness, loving one's neighbor, compassion, and empathy. It is not about criminal punishment when someone violates a rule or a law. The reason justice is portrayed blindfolded is to show that all should be regarded as equal under our laws. America, in my own view, has a perverted view of criminal "justice." Most believe it is about punishing wrongdoers rather than working to achieve fairness and equality for all under our laws and in society at large. Clearly, conservatives so offended by the idea of critical race theory, a topic of discussion until recently only in advanced elective law school classes, do not get the idea of justice. But then they seem to understand so little about almost anything.

This is a rather long and complex issue for this forum, but I have spent much time and energy during my lifetime advocating and working for change in the area of social justice. It is one I am very passionate about. I remember once telling my young daughter that policemen in Britain did not typically carry guns. My daughter's response at that time was "is Britain even on this planet?" We have had many discussions since then about the meaning of justice and she is now, as an attorney, also a passionate social justice advocate and very much a supporter of criminal justice reform.

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“The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; … By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. … Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.”

[Excerpted from The Hidden Words, No. 2 from the Arabic]

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"Violence is Never a Good Option"

I would amend this to:

Violence may be appropriate in cases where, should you not defend yourself, you may be harmed by violence.

Never rules out defending oneself.

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Gandhi, MLK, I and many others will stand on my original statement. While I respect your views, I continue to believe in the power of non-violence despite many who may not understand or believe in that power.

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I’m with Bruce on this one.

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Mike, Be careful that you do not confuse defense with violence.

To defend means to shield and protect. Violent means to injure by force.

A Warrior fights for Peace.

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Got it. All that good poetry is unfortunately probably beyond my writing skill Paul. :-)

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If I had been the lawyer arguing when the Chief Justice said that, I hope I would have had the presence of mind and the courage to say, “But, Mr. Chief Justice, people are dying out there, in great numbers, every day.”

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Yes, and then pretend to have a coughing fit.

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Nice Grace! Sometimes I admit that I do something similar at the grocery store as the unmasked pass me by.

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It’s also a great way to get the line moving. Not that I’ve ever used it:)

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I think this one way in which Japan, Germany, & France have done and will do better.

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All U Guys !😂

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😂

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Chortle!

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And some people thought that Chief Justice Roberts was a positive force on the Supreme Court! His role in degutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may historically join the Dred Scott decision and Plessy v. Ferguson as the most dreadful rulings by the Supreme Court. This is underscored by how the Republicans, at the state level, have run rampant in enacting legislation to deny access to voting to a large number of non-white voters. This is further reflected in flagrant state gerrymandering, which renders a number of congressional districts as non-competitive, by carving off bizarre Republican enclaves,

Now Roberts seems likely to acquiesce to Republican briefs requesting the Supreme Court to sharply limit the federal government’s ability to enforcement vaccines during this pandemic emergency.

Roberts is the Chief Justice of the Stench Court including several of McConnell’s slipped-in-justices. He has ample time to reflect on how history (read Linda Greenhouse) will rate his Stench Court.

The Democrats were unable to pass a strong federal voting act. Now they are quibbling about the much weaker John Lewis voting bill. AT A MINIMUM THEY SHOULD SLICE THE FILIBUSTER AND ENACT THE JOHN LEWIS BILL. It’s not effective in disassembling the already enacted state voter restriction legislation, but at least it is a positive murmur, when legislative shouting is not possible.

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Robert's is a disappointment, mildly put. I can't help but see the phrase "follow the money" everytime his name is mentioned.

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Oh, that’s damning.

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Though his vote kept ACA in place.

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Roberts only act of courage. Which, I personally believe, came only after he witnessed the world's disdain and dismissal of the US Supreme Court after it "handed the Presidency to the majority of sitting justices' party."

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Grace, yes I remember it well, but times are different.

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Oh, I’m not a Roberts apologist. But if Dick Cheney can show up for the Jan. 6 session, it’s upside -down world now.

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Roberts was never a "moderate." He has always been for dismantling anything and everything related federal restrictions/laws on voting, he is and always has been against a woman's right to control her own body or demand equal pay for equal work (up to the employers), he's anti-union, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-federal regulations of industry. He's only sorta-kinda-wink moved "moderate" because he is well aware the legacy of the Roberts Court is that it was bought and paid for by the Republicans, and he wholly supported the delegitimizing of one branch of of the US government. This way he can pretend it wasn't his doing.

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Question: How can the filibuster be 'sliced' without 50 votes to modify or kill it?

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It cannot. It requires a simple majority of 51, including VP Harris.

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Eons ago Senator Munchkin, in scuttling a strong voting bill, indicated that he would support the much weaker John Lewis voting bill. At that time, it was assumed that he would support slicing the filibuster for this purpose. Now it seems that we are in a game of Ally Ally In Free, with Munchkin and Senator “bipolar & bipartisan” spinning the bottle incessantly.

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It's not just Roberts (deliberately not using the term "Justice" Roberts). Have you heard that Gorsuch incorrectly said that the flu kills hundreds of thousands of people every year? He is rightly being excoriated. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/justice-neil-gorsuch-slammed-after-he-suggests-flu-kills-hundreds-of-thousands-each-year/ar-AASxZDn?ocid=msedgntp

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So out of touch. Gorsuch, Roberts, Thomas, Barrett, Kavanaugh, Alito - the lot of them. Living in their confined, privileged little worlds, cnvinced that their twisted, right-wing Catholic value system is both proper and superior. Their ignorance is appalling, but they are so insulated they’ll never know.

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Which is amazing considering the issue with Kennedy was they thought the Pope would rule our country. Seems like the religious right is doing a good job destroying it with their narrow views.

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Exactly.

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Annette Has anyone reported on whether the Stench Court has required that all employees have been vaccinated? If so, are there any penalties for those employees (including justices) who refuse to be vaccinated? Wouldn’t this be considered a SC precedent?

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InJustice Roberts

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I did read that. Appalling that they so willing lie.

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Approximately 30k Americans die of the flu every year. More when the flu has a nasty mutation then it’s 40 to 50,000 desths. CDC, AMA

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I don't want to defend Gorsuch but Sotomayor incorrectly claimed that 100,000 children in the U.S. with Covid-19 are in 'serious condition.' The question is: Where did they get their information? Both are wrong.

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No, she is not wrong. American Academy of Pediatrians. AMA. JAMA. And New England Journal of Medicine.

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We read about this somewhere this morning. Her numbers are correct. She’s talking about the number of children that have gotten Covid and now have long Covid or other debilitating affects that will last through their lifetime. Even shortening them in my personal opinion.

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This article says she was incorrect!

Sotomayor’s false claim that ‘over 100,000’ children are in 'serious condition’ with covid

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/08/sotomayors-false-claim-that-over-100000-children-are-serious-condition-with-covid/

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How many kid Covid research studies do we need to post that it is a fact, kids are at risk as well as adults?

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7102e2.htm?s_cid=mm7102e2_w&fbclid=IwAR24lDBeLezsXrvyEUcTb4hYSPcDGOyRwMhQPhp8iDl5T9yuB7BRTMVMbu4

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I didn’t see her exact statement but this NYT article talks about 4 in 100,000 under 4. Are we missing part of what she said or did she misspeak? She’s known for her accuracy. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/07/world/omicron-covid-vaccine-tests

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Kids. That can mean 1 to 1 day short of 18 years old. The first danger is viral bronchitis, which can lead to viral pneumonia, and what follows that? Usually bacteria pneumonia. Then MSIS, and a host of other long term syndromes.

Is it moral to risk your kids health or ask others to risk their kids health?

“The ultimate test of a moral society is what leaves touts children”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I trust Justice Sotomayor’s ability to read as many studies as needed to make informed comments. Even if she made a quantitative or other error, the public should cut her some slack, she’s arguing to protect children from a real disease that a lot of people says does not exist.

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I see someone quoted her on that. But still not the entire context of what she said. I hate to rely on just parts of statement for anything.

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Presently? Or cumulatively since the beginning of the Pandemic? Hmmmm

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What JR said!!!!

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We already had the scenario of the federal government of tfg saying COVID was the states problem. That led to states bidding against each other for then scarce resources. The virus is a worldwide problem because it respects no silly human boundaries.

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I was astounded he said that too. And it is ironic that two of the lawyers had to appear virtually. Here we see the legacy of the Federalist Society and the awful Mitch. Will the Chief Justice be ready to go in history as the head of the court that undermined efforts against the virus which is just one of its and his many failures.

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Pass voting rights act. Expand the court. This has to be the way out of this 40 year abyss.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Republicans are not worried about the Dems’ voting rights legislation. Here’s what Hugh Hewitt (right-wing opinionator for WaPo) said in today's column, “…the GOP need not worry about the “voting rights protection” bills now being bandied about. The 6-to-3 conservative Supreme Court…will strike them down, just as it will strike down a number of other laws in the current or future terms.”

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That is exactly what striking down this mandate is all about -- taking all powers away from the President and handing it to the Court.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

The operative words are "should be." But what if the states are not, which as we painfully know is the case with so many of them. What happens if the next pandemic — there surely will be one — is as contagious but far more deadly? Will my tombstone say: "Died Before His Time. Supreme Court Said It's OK." Assuming the majority rules against mandates, it will be sanctioning death and misery on a mass scale. That's not hyperbole. Will those justices find enough solace in their unrelenting narrow interpretation of a document written 234 years ago to feel no guilt over the many millions of deaths?

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Michael, I'm not a rose-colored glasses human. We need to be as prepared as we can be and we need to organize as well as work together. The goal being how our circumstances could be made better rather than worse in the near future. Under the very difficult circumstances we are in, I do not think imagining the worst gets anywhere, except in preparedness. It seems to me that you have drawn an inescapable black box. How is that useful to you, and how to you imagine it helpful to others? Warnings with suggestions for avoidance, for preparedness for a better sense of reality aimed at those who may be in denial, I understand. I may be missing something but do not get the point of your comment.

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I define community as including any place I can get to in 24 hours. That why Texas towns are 22 miles apart, a one day ride on a horse. Now with air travel we can get almost anywhere in the world in under 24 hours other than some very remote areas. Hong Kong is 19 hours of flying from Boston to Hong Kong. For me, that means we need to rethink states rights versus federal rights when we have corporations which are larger than most countries, when we have existential issues like a world-wide pandemic and climate conflagration to deal with, when we have fundamental rights to protect. There needs to be federal and global coordination of the response to COVID, for example, and to voting rights. This is much like the states are not allowed to put tariffs on other states and the federal government has the responsibility for foreign affairs rather than 50 states doing their own treaties. States rights does not mean the obliteration of federal oversight and coordination and protection of fundamental rights of a democratic republic.

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Very well put. Unfortunately, legal thinking is not very flexible in that respect. Indeed, it often seems that judges—some

of them, anyway—delight in not letting the real world intrude.

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Amen!

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

More Important News from the state of Georgia:

'DON'T COME TO ATLANTA WITHOUT A PLAN TO PASS VOTING LAWS,, GROUPS TELL BIDEN AND HARRIS'

'A coalition of Georgia voting rights groups says President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris should skip traveling to Atlanta next week unless they come with a concrete plan to pass federal voting laws immediately.'

'The statement was signed by the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, an organization representing Latinos. The groups reference Biden’s win in Georgia, plus Democrats’ victories in the January runoffs that gave the party control of the U.S. Senate.'

“Georgia voters made history and made their voices heard, overcoming obstacles, threats, and suppressive laws to deliver the White House and the US Senate,” the statement said. “In return, a visit has been forced on them, requiring them to accept political platitudes and repetitious, bland promises. Such an empty gesture, without concrete action, without signs of real, tangible work, is unacceptable.”

'The White House announced Wednesday that both the president and vice president would visit Atlanta on Tuesday to talk about the importance of passing new voting and election standards. But such legislation has stalled in the Senate, with Republicans using the filibuster to block debate and a 50-member Democratic majority unable to reach agreement on how to change Senate rules so that the legislation can pass by a simple majority vote.'

'The White House did not have an immediate response to the criticism from the voting groups. Press Secretary Jen Psaki during her daily press briefing reiterated statements Biden said in the past about supporting a Senate rule change to get voting bills passed, which is a priority for him. But the administration has not shared its game plan for overcoming the hurdles that remain.'

'There are two bills these activists would like to see become law, especially ahead of the legislative session in states such as Georgia where Republicans could attempt to pass new laws that reduce access to the ballot or make it more difficult to vote.'

'One proposal, named for the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, would reinstate federal oversight before states and local governments that reach certain criteria are allowed to change voting or election laws. The other would make Election Day a holiday, limit voter purges, allow people to register to vote and cast a ballot the same day, and create national standards for redistricting, early voting, drop boxes and voting by mail.'

'The statement from the voting rights groups says that they will “reject any visit by President Biden that does not include an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that will pass both chambers, not be stopped by the filibuster, and be signed into law; anything less is insufficient and unwelcome.”

'James Woodall, the former president of the Georgia NAACP, is among the signers of the statement. He said Biden and Harris are welcome to visit Atlanta, but what is really needed is that they work harder on Capitol Hill.'

“The White House must respond to this current attack on democracy, and coming to Georgia for discussions is nice, but what we need is urgent action in D.C.,” he said. “We need to see the passage and signing of both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”

'FULL STATEMENT'

'Georgia voters made history and made their voices heard, overcoming obstacles, threats, and suppressive laws to deliver the White House and the US Senate. In return, a visit has been forced on them, requiring them to accept political platitudes and repetitious, bland promises. Such an empty gesture, without concrete action, without signs of real, tangible work, is unacceptable. As civil rights leaders and advocates, we reject any visit by President Biden that does not include an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that will pass both chambers, not be stopped by the filibuster, and be signed into law; anything less is insufficient and unwelcome.

'Georgia will not be used as a two-dimensional backdrop, a chess piece in someone else’s ineffectual political dealings. Georgia voters are more than just convenient props in a political image game. Georgians are fighting every day to protect our freedom to vote from unrelenting attacks. We are tired, but we persist in doing the work. In the past year alone, voters and advocates have fought an onslaught of devastating anti-voter proposals, and have organized in the aftermath of the passage of SB 202. Right now, advocates and local leaders are fighting to stop the closure of 7 out of 8 polling places in Lincoln County — where over one-third of voters are Black. Just next week, the state legislature will convene, with Republican leaders already proudly touting their plans to attack voting access, push to ban drop boxes, and erect new hurdles in the path of voters. And the voters and advocates in Georgia remain, ready to do the work to try and slow them down and stop them from taking away their freedom to vote.'

'So as President Biden and Vice President Harris plan their visit to Georgia, our message is simple: We have voted, we have advocated, and we have organized. We have done the work. Now, it is time for you to deliver, and for you to do the work. We need President Biden and Vice President Harris to demand we restore the Senate and pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act NOW.'

'We reject any political visit that does not also come with policy progress — with signs of clear work done, of something accomplished. We reject any visit that fails to begin with the question “How does this serve the people of Georgia?” It is time for final action on voting rights, and Georgians are waiting.'

'Voters Matter Fund'

'Asian American Advocacy Fund'

'Woodall, former Georgia NAACP President'

'GALEO Impact Action Fund'

'New Georgia Project Action Fund'

The mission for all of us, our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues and everyone we can reach is to express to President Biden, Vice President Harris and all of our elected representatives the urgency for passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. It is the first priority in the NEW YEAR for all citizens in support of FAIR AND FREE ELECTIONS in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The preceding article By Tia Mitchell, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was copied almost entirely in full. The links below to articles about this story are paywall, (on a website) an arrangement which limits access to users who have paid to subscribe to the site.

https://www.ajc.com/politics/dont-come-to-atlanta-without-a-plan-to-pass-voting-laws-groups-tell-biden-harris/7KHTSRMZORF6THXEZVY64NW44A/

https://www.msnbc.com/the-reidout/reidout-blog/georgia-activists-are-cool-visit-pres-biden-vp-harris-rcna11334

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/588643-voting-rights-groups-tell-biden-not-to-visit-georgia-without-plan-to

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No President can pass legislation. He can try to convince. He can bargain, he can negotiate. But he can't legislate. A President can enforce laws but he or she can't make them.

President Biden has been pressing for the passage of these laws for a very long time - he has been very vocal. Should he threaten violence? What else can he do, pray tell, when the two Democratic Senators who CONTROL the Senate act like Radical Right Wingers? What?

There will be no legislative progress until Manchin and Sinema are convinced or replaced. Gaining a real Democratic Majority in Congress should be our focus.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Neither you, nor I know the full extent of Presidential power. People were astounded by the accomplishments of FDR and LBJ. We must act as the voting rights activists are in Georgia right now. May it not rest with them; the people may march to Washington, D.C. and in front of the offices of Manchin, Sinema, and any other holdouts to the passage of national voting rights acts. Free and Fair elections and democracy in the USA will not survive without such passage.

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Fern, FDR had both houses of Congress as Democrat.

Reason: The consequences of 10 years of Republican Policy, from 1919 to 1929, generated poverty at an amazing pace called the Great Depression and everyone knew that Republican Policy had to go. So it did.

FDR had power because the people gave it to him through both houses of Congress.

Biden has no such power.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Ditto with LBJ.

“The 1964 election gave the Democratic majority the most lopsided plurality in history and created a Congress with the largest Democratic majority since 1936. Lyndon Johnson’s landslide win over Barry Goldwater, combined with a decidedly liberal Democratic Congress, set the stage for an ambitious legislative agenda. For the first time since the 1930s, the Democratic Party had enough seats to overcome the Southern conservative coalition that had continually blocked liberal legislation. Johnson was quick to seize the momentum and called his key legislative liaisons to the White House just 10 days after his inauguration. In this meeting, the president exhorted his charges to make haste with his ambitious plans”

http://acsc.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/89th-congress/democratic-majority

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He kicked arse just in time.

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Rose, thank you.

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Yep, we can celebrate having a Democrat in the White House, but with a 50/50 Senate, and conniving minority leader creating such a divisive atmosphere, monumental legislation like that of the past will, unfortunately, not be enacted, no matter how much it will benefit the country as a whole.

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And some of the Democrats vote like Republicans.

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Both FDR and LBJ enjoyed huge Democratic majorities in Congress. Democrats held more than 60% of the seats in the Senate and the House during both FDR’s and LBJ’s terms in office. If Democrats held similar majorities today, we would not be having this discussion. BBB would be passed. For the People would be passed. Biden is accomplishing a great deal given the constraints of a 50-50 Senate.

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And even then, FDR and LBJ had to twist lots of arms and cut deals. It was and still is a brutal process.

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Blame the two trojan horses

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With all due respect, because I know our concerns and values are aligned, I beg to differ. We do know exactly what the full extent of "Presidential powers" are. They are in the Constitution. And if there were ways that Biden could draw upon past relationships, don't you think he has been doing that every day since January 20, 2021?

FDR and LBJ accomplished a lot. But the Congress was of a different construction then.

And there was a LOT they did not do. FDR turned away a boatload of about 900 Jews fleeing Hitler. He had no support to save them and they died. LBJ was a civil rights hero because he wanted to be on the right side of history. He understood legacy. But he was historically a bigot. And he conducted a brutal and savage war against the Vietnamese.

I write to Biden about voting rights and other issues every week. But he is not a king.

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Most knowledgeable citizens do not consider the president a 'king' or care to. We are familiar with the American Revolution. You may lean on the Constitution as the 'originalists' do, although, I gather from other comments of yours that you don't limit yourself to that persuasion. Speaking of persuasion, perhaps, Biden and others the administration have or will figure out what 'powers' may be used to bolster Biden's persuasive ability. Mobilization of the people is another form of persuasion. Faults in FDR and LBJ do not appear to me to have relevance in this consequential matter.

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I agree Fern. IF we can somehow get this on the floor of the Senate and the administration uses the bully pulpit of the executive branch, the tarnishing of their records in broad daylight may change two or more votes and that is all we need. I felt that Biden timed his "calling out" of Trump well. May he do it a thousand times more in every way possible in the coming months. EVERY time the former president is mentioned his name should be preceded by and followed by LOSER. He is, was, and always will be a LOSER. (and a sore one at that.)

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Yes, Bruce! He's a BIG BIG Loser! The BIGGEST LOSER of all.

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Except we all just witnessed the Republicans then in control of the Senate to allow the then sitting President wholly negate the separation of powers and duties defined in the Constitution to take "the power of the purse" away from the House. The full extent of Presidential emergency powers, had they ever been invoked in full and equally supported by the Republicans, would have made Trump a dictator. Trump was too stupid to know how to do that, but the next Trump won't be.

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I never heard about the FDR story. But LBJ and bigotry yes.From what little bit I’m catching onto the real ‘Steal ‘ will be the Redistricting . Not sure if that was one of the things already lost in 2013 ? I had to cut back on my Researching as my eyes are being effected.Maybe U could search it out ? It’s still in a fight in the Courts I believe.

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Marcia, read Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "No Ordinary Time." Sadly, there was a great deal of antisemitism in the White House and the nation at large. My dear mother-in-law told me that, in the 1950s, living in Washington DC, she had to take her children to a much farther away beach than the Delaware beach closer to home. The signage at the beach: No Coloreds, No Jews, No Dogs." My father-in-law, who grew up in the Jewish Foster Home in DC, assisted Superintendent Floretta McKenzie in desegregating the DC schools in the 60s.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

There’s so many stories such as yours. Amazing about Ur Father-In-Law.

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Fern I watch PBS. Think it was Thursdays ? They have the two guys that give opinions. I caught just the tail end of it. But the one guy said “ The problem won’t be so much in the Voting, or Counting. It will be the redistricting and how the Electoral College Votes ? And then he said “ from there Congress Cert. will prevail as normal. “It made sense to me because on 1/6 those that were ‘Debating ‘ the Election were just all about how “Special Rules “ were made because of CoVid. I don’t hear them gripping about CoVid ? But boy do they want that Redistricting. Wish I could give you more on it. As I said I came in late on the discussion. But I think it may still be on the PBS App ?

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Fridays. And David Brooks is having a hard time as a Conservative; see his recent article in The Atlantic. It will take all three measures.

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I saw some article by David where he blames the Democrats for letting Democracy fall by the wayside. Typical Brooks.

The Republicans sponsor and push for Fascism but Brooks blames the Democrats.

He is really a Reagan Republican at heart and is still a true believer.

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Brooks is also not entirely wrong about the Democrats. Why wasn't the Democrats' very first act--even before the stimulus--to change the Electoral Counting/Certification Act? Now Jamie Raskin is complaining it may not be worth doing anything because the next Congress can just change it back or ignore it--a Constitutional Amendment is needed. Yes, a Constitutional Amendment may be needed, but passing a law that can be taken to court to try to protect has great merit.

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In his recent article he attempts to show us the error of his ways. Lots of folks not accepting. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/brooks-true-conservatism-dead-fox-news-voter-suppression/620853/

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And a Pollyanna.

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That was it Kathy. Thanks !❤️🦋

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Yes!

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"Neither you, nor I know the full extent of Presidential power."

Yes, yes we do. They are inumerated in the US Constitution.

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The real power resides in the needs, wants, and desires of the people. The Presidency is more than an administrative office. The needs and wants of a people can be known and unknown by the populace. While powers of the presidency can be limited by Constitutional structure, the leader that can recognize, connect with, and seek to fill those needs, has unlimited power as they seek to unleash human growth and potential. For good, this is leadership. So framed this way, what is the limit of leadership power when every individual is given equal opportunity of reaching their full potential and contributes their best for the benefit of all?

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Both FDR, and LBJ understood The fine art of moral leadership.

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FDR struggled to assume the mantle of leadership, he was a gentleman, not a brawler (and not a very experienced politician when he took office). LBJ was a right dirty bastard - grabbed reluctant Congressmen (almost all men then) by their figurative family jewels and squeezed them until they caved. It’s misguided to compare Biden to either of them.Joe doesn’t have the reservoir of power from the huge Democratic majorities that both FDR and LBJ enjoyed.

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Many confuse moral leadership with personal qualities. Every human has failings, but that’s not the same as a leader creating a moral vision, inspiring moral actions of their government to act on the behalf of the population for their protection and benefit. Through our history, many times the people are not aware of what is in their best interest. A moral leader is both a teacher, Counsleor, and a good family friend.

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I think Joe knows this:

“The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified.“- FDR

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1028577

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Over the last 20 years, states have put barriers in front of the ballot box — imposing strict voter ID laws, cutting voting times, restricting registration, and purging voter rolls. These efforts, which received a boost when the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in 2013, have kept significant numbers of eligible voters from the polls, hitting all Americans, but placing special burdens on racial minorities, poor people, and young and old voters.

The Brennan Center fights vote suppression on every front. Our lawsuits have blocked or weakened some of the worst suppression schemes, including Texas’s strict voter ID law. And our groundbreaking research has helped win the battle for public opinion. We have shown that voter fraud and illegal voting — often cited to justify regressive voting laws— aren’t a systematic and widespread occurrence; racial minorities are much more likely than whites to lack accepted voter ID; and that there is a growing threat of voter roll purges, which risk disenfranchising large numbers of eligible voters.(Brennan Center for Justice)

Continuing Threats to Free and Fair Elections

Without dedicated and knowledgeable staff ready and willing to run elections, easy access to a secure ballot cannot be guaranteed for anyone.

https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/ensure-every-american-can-vote/vote-suppression

https://billmoyers.com/story/voting-rights-under-threat/

https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/ensure-every-american-can-vote/vote-suppression

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I asked my daughter about ID in New York because you can’t do anything without a state ID and proof of vaccination. She said the state issues everyone an ID no matter your status. So if here in Texas you might be considered an immigrant or more likely an illegal immigrant, you would still get a state ID if you lived in New York. Can’t do that in Texas! Immigrants hide from the system. There are areas where they have like checkpoints to see if people have correct documentation for being in the US. And Immigration follows children home from school to try to catch their parents! Imagine if we could reach those newer Americans to get vaccinated and even vote.

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There is a majority that does not vote. This is where we need to work, as Stacy Abrams has showed us.

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I read something a couple days ago that said you have to prove proficiency in English to get a drivers license in Oklahoma. It was in sociology so I’m trusting that to be true. What I haven’t researched is if you have the same issue getting an ID and how that affects your ability to vote. This seems exactly like a method meant to suppress the vote.

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Denise,

Texas does have a bit of a problem with illegal immigration given its proximity to the border, the large inflow over that border, the limited physical and monetary extent of the Texas Public school system and the requirement that illegal kids be permitted to attend schools.

When I attended my rural school in East Texas my class size was probably 16 or so.

Now? Rural Texas public schools are overflowing with poor kids from illegal migrants that speak no English. This is bad for both the immigrants and the people who actually are paying property taxes to fund the schools.

1. There is not enough money to cover all the kids because less than half of the kids parents are paying property taxes.

2. There is not enough room in the classes for all the kids.

3. There are not enough teachers for all the kids even if they all spoke English.

4. The language barrier in the absence of giant English as a second language classes is significant and leave the migrant kids basically using the Public School system as babysitting.

So, where illegal migration is relevant, if YOUR child was in a Texas Public school, you might be pretty worked up about trying to limit the 80,000 to 200,000 migrants A MONTH down there.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

I know a lot of young people who are citizens but whose parents live here in NY without papers. They are going to school and/or persuing trades. Anybody who pays rent is by default paying property taxes. Think about big cities where most people rent apartments - this is such a canard.

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Grace,

In Texas the farmers provide "high density housing" on their farms for the migrants.

So, the rural schools that were once sparsley attended, are packed with illegal migrant kids, and, yes, the land they are packed onto is taxed at the same rate as land where four people are living.

That is a real problem.

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This is exactly why I don’t think a federal holiday to vote will be effective. The white collar workers already are allowed time to vote without loss of pay. But, our on the ground workers in grocery, retail, construction and other businesses that operate on an hourly or by-the-job basis will still have to work. If they don’t they won’t get paid. They’re the ones that need that pay just to survive.

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This is why we need universal mail-in voting.

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The Oregon way.

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Completely agree Fern.

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“There will be no legislative progress until Manchin and Sinema are convinced or replaced. Gaining a real Democratic Majority in Congress should be our focus.”

Exactly. When Manchin was asked about passing progressive legislation he said the solution was to “Elect more liberals “.

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...and H.A. that is why we need to see that the national voting acts are passed.

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But that's only the start since any legislation passed by Congress risks changes made by future Congresses' legislation. And any legislation can be negated by the SCOTUS. As I said elsewhere today, it's the Constitution, Baby! But that will take years to fix. Meanwhile, voting rights are the priority.

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Exactly!

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Meanwhile, GLOBAL WARMING. . .But of course he isn’t concerned about that.

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Manchin ain't a liberal!

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If Biden makes voting rights a top priority, he might see his popularity numbers go up. Once the people are behind him, Manchin & Sinema may be forced to vote Yea. This is all

a political calculation for them.

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...and perhaps MONEY.

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I would think that if either Manchin or Sinema ran again as Dems, they might be primaried out, especially with Sinema. She has changed so dramatically in such a short time. From Green Party affiliation to Democracy obstructionist, such an ungrounded chameleon she is. Manchin is a known and predictable sort, and seems poised to ditch the Dem Party altogether.

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Jeff, you are so correct!

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Biden would do much better if he would stop threatening violence against other nations and turn his sabers into plowshares. I'm pretty sure you know where that comes from.

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Wow, Richard. I don't "know where that comes from". Did you not notice that Biden decided to end military involvement in a bogus 20 year war? Did you not notice that in his communications with Putin he "threatened" economic penalties for an invasion of the Ukraine - NOT military intervention? Is there an instance of "threatening violence" that we have missed?

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Thanks, Bill. But I must tell you that he and recent U.S. presidents are now using what is known as hybrid war. That is drones, and sanctions, in particular. Both of which caused a different kind of violence, the former that often misses targets and kills innocent people, and the latter which kills by starving folks. Also, Biden and his predecessors continue to load up on nuclear weapons, which could kill us all.

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Yes. But Biden perhaps less with the drones and more with the sanctions which do indeed hurt the vulnerable in many cases.

The types of sanctions currently threatened by Biden and company are focused on Putin himself as well as his inner circle of Oligarchs.

There is a world of people who wish to undermine our legitimacy as a democracy. Putin is but one. How do we respond to those threats? How do we deal with Xi and his genocide? I don't know. I am a peacenik by nature but am a defender of what fragile democracy we have. I think Biden is doing the best he can with what he has to work with. But I am open to new ideas.

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Hi Fern, thank you sooo much for this post! In my experience, when a politician states there is a plan for something but won't reveal the details, it actually means there is no plan. This may or may not be the case here. It could also mean the plan/negotiations are at a delicate phase that could be derailed if revealed too soon, or there is a trap about to be sprung, and revealing the plan would be akin to revealing battle plans during a war (and a war this is). Biden has proven surprisingly adept at "herding cats during a hurricane", more so than any president in my memory - which stretches back to LBJ, though DDE was in office when I was born :)

BTW, I read the article on JD Vance you posted a link to. He is a class warrior who will probably become mired in the culture wars/outrage politics that is now the fashion of his chosen party. It's a pity, because class really is the animating force behind most of the inequities in our political/economic system. Racism, sexism, consumerism, etc., have successfully masked it here for centuries. It has also been truly mitigated by things like access to land, the Civil Rights Movement, Labor Unions, the GI Bill, Land Grant Colleges, and the social safety nets created by the New Deal. We are losing all these things. Without the safety valve they provide, I fear not just for our Republic, but for our society itself.

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Steve, you summarized our difficulty so well. JD Vance has an important perspective to share, but he couldn't stand up to the 'cult'. Who can? The fascistic propaganda is successful because the people have been screwed for the last 45 years, at least, and vulnerable to white nationalism, strong-armed tactics, victimization (true in their case) and easy answers.

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Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger can. So can Democrats. So can we. They are seduced by the power of the offices they hold, and have given up their souls in exchange. (Can you tell I’m disgusted and angry with their cowardice? They know. They know, and the do not care.)