917 Comments

It just takes your breath away, the blatant declaration of the authoritarian plan. Republicans won't fight this monster. We must.

“...increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates, by either law or tradition, with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House.”

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Republicans have been stitching this monster together since at least Reagan. The "Monster" is just a manifestation of the absolute-power-obsessed modern "Republican" soul.

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023

Like most criminals at the end of their careers of crime trump and his enablers have become reckless and most dangerous to themselves: think Tony Montana of “Scarface”. They destroy everything and everyone around them. Jack Smith and his team of brave prosecutors are coming for them with the full weight of the Federal Government behind them. It’s too bad we have to spend any energy at all battling against domestic enemies, but we must and are doing so. There is no question that trump will be considered the most vilified of all American presidents.

Aaron Burr was pretty self destructive and he left an infamous legacy for himself. But unlike the cowardly and insipid trump, Burr was a great patriot, fighter for our Revolution and brilliant lawyer who came within one vote in Congress of becoming our third president, instead of Thomas Jefferson. If you’re seeking a good summertime read, I recommend Gore Vidal’s, “Burr”; it’s a great exploration of old New York and the career of Burr, seen through the eyes of Burr’s loyal assistant. Funny, poignant, tragic...wonderful.

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"think Tony Montana of “Scarface”". One can only hope KD. That this whole cancerous tumor of a political party will come crashing down.

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Their whole enterprise now depends of sustaining illusion. That unquestionably dangerous, but has got to be a vulnerability, leaving them with so little to stand on.

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Dear Heather,

Please tell us where you have discussed the downfall of the Whig Party or any other party. I know I saw it or heard it on your podcast, but don't know where to look for it now, and I would like to see it again. Thank you.

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For sheer malice and treachery, I think Trump is in his own category.

Interesting perspective on Arron Burr, who was little more than a footnote in the history I learned.

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Oh my stars, J L, you simply MUST hie yourself to TKTS and treat yourself to HAMILTON!

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Loved Hamilton on Broadway. Plus I watched it in full on YouTube. It’s a lot to take in. The Hamilton cast also played at the White House for President Obama. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/watch-hamilton-cast-perform-at-the-white-house-229328/

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My sole bucket-list item, Irenie? Seeing Hamilton on Broadway in New York City. (“You could have been anywhere in the world tonight, and you came to New York City!)

Great link — thanks for including it. I subscribe to Disney Plus just to be able to watch the musical whenever I get the bug. Brilliant work. A truly inspired piece of American Art.

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An historical day today…we move forward. The brave work is important as an accounting looms. We can rejoice. A great wrongdoing is being resolutely addressed. Our democracy is strong like granite, oak, the ocean and the stars that spangle our beautiful flag. God Bless America.

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And let us not forget that if Trump is in Oval Office he will give more outrageous tax cuts to the filth rich basically “starving” the rest of the country. I ask, will the “middle class” survive? And what about those in low income situations – will they sink further down?

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I think it was Venezuela that was one of the richest countries in the world until they went down the dictatorship road. We have to fight this beast. We have to fight it now and every single day going forward.

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Exactly right., the point being tyrannical control of our lives for the benefit of the very few. Considering the role of the ultra-far right Evangelicals, they will invade and seize our public and daily life. We have a lot to defend here, and a great deal to lose.

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Rather make permanent the temporary tax cuts set to expire.

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Your question reminds me of passages in Stranger In a Strange Land, especially the scene where the lady hanging her washing out on the line hids our hero from the police. I don't want this to be our future.

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Tax breaks, diminution of responsibilities, and subsidies for the ultra-rich, "Austerity", exploitation, and heavy-handed control for the serfs. Been that, done that, and from what I understand, it sucked. I think that under the fol-de-rol of Reaganomics, I think that was always the plan.

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Linda, we must not let that happen

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The Republicans do not have a soul. Putin said as much about himself. Don't let's go down this road.

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They sold it for power. Classic.

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The Biden's?

Millions in cash from the Ukrainians, Chinese, Romanians? All funneled through the idiot son. Why would let a crack addict become the bag man?

The CLinton's were worse. Seeking influence through their charity. Funny

how the money dried up once she left office

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No soul?

Where is the democratic soul? There is nothing a leftist loves more than virtue signaling. Its all narcissism.

Looking at the polling. Americans aren't in love with open borders, inflation, culture wars, grooming children, & Ukraine.

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Tell the Pope. He should take responsibility for this unholy problem. Roughly half of the Republicans are Catholic. Did you know that the French Constitution has a clause protecting aethiesm?

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I hope the NYT article doesn’t encourage Judge Cannon to delay the trial in Florida.

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Conservatives....

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Cannot remember having a conversation about politics since 2009 when I didn't plead with someone to stop using the term conservative. The so-called conservatives have been radicals since Newt. While I'm pretty sure I've had zero effect, I keep hearing and reading the term, I persist.

Yeah, this quirk makes me super fun at parties.

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Agreed. I call them far right radical regressives and yes, they are fascists.

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They are ultra-extremist reactionaries, more than radical regressives (except intellectually, ethically, morally, IMO).

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So, what term would you use? Fascist comes to my mind.

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I like radical best because it is the opposite of their claims and describes the positions and policies accurately.

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I see "radical" as another largely misappropriated word, that literally means "root", source of "radish". Technically, the work of Galileo was "radical", as was the politcal philosophy of the US Constitution. It is a fundamental change, but that can be good or bad, but somehow "radical" has become synonymous with excessive "extreme" or fanatical. Technically a responsible response to climate change will need to be genuinely radical, but I suppose I wouldn't call it that.

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"Dictatorial."

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MAGA’S

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Conservatives they ain't. I think a more accurate term is 'reactionaries' though I'm afraid too few Americans may know what that means.

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Anti-Americans and traitors works for me.

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it's a difficult argument since words eventually mean, conversationally, whatever people think they mean, although I see value in challenging misapplied words chosen to mask treachery. Yes, I see a "conservative" small "c" approach as a compatible and sometimes necessary compliment to a bold, innovative one. I look to science as an example. What we really mean by "Conservative" in the political sense is "authoritarian".

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That is so right, Lee. And correct.

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JL Graham

And we the people must make sure they lose their campaigns. Each of us that read these things I’d guess do so with disbelief. That disbelief, that belief that it could not really happen must not be allowed to lull us into complacency. We must Vote and we must convince those around us to pay attention and to vote also

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Do they even HAVE souls, J L? Holy crap....

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'Alito and Thomas Write Opinion Declaring That Yachts Are People'

'WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have stirred controversy by co-authoring a Supreme Court opinion declaring that yachts are people.'

'The sweeping opinion, which yachts’-rights organizations immediately hailed as “long overdue,” grants the luxury vessels the unlimited ability to entertain government officials on their decks in order to gain political influence.'

“For decades, yachts have been tireless in their struggle to be treated like human beings,” Harland Dorrinson, the president of the National Council on Equality for Boats, said. “For them, this victory represents the end of a long, hard regatta.” (Satire, NewYorker)

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Opinion/ Samuel Alito

Also, I Shouldn't Have To Disclose That I Had Sex With A Salmon (The Onion)

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Nothing like a little salmon tartare!

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We can’t lose our sense of humor!

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You scared me this morning Fern. I was reading in a hurry and kind of skimmed the first part of your post, then I got to the bottom and realize you were quoting satire from the New Yorker. Heather's letter this morning really is scary in a real way. (Unfortunately it is real that Alito and Thomas just make stuff and it isn't satire.)

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Well, if corporations are people. . . .

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Yes. No accountability. I’m not sure it was revered Chief Joseph who put the red light on with his remarks about Corporations and what they truly represented.

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023

Quoting Andy Borowitz, scared you this morning, Dave!? Scroll down a bit more, and you'll find me with Abraham Lincoln and HCR. Give it a go. Cheers!

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No Fern, I was just surprised to see you quote satire, not really scared. I so enjoy and respect your commitments because they are so well researched. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this.

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Thank you, Dave. I love that picture of you at work, such a 'damn' good machine! Yes, sir.

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Thank God for the New Yorker! The humorists always have their fingers on the pulse.

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Carol, what about Andy Borowitz, he wrote what you just read? He created The Borowitz Report, a satirical news column...', 'for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor.' It was acquired by The New Yorker in 2012. His two most recent books were both best-sellers: “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and “An Unexpected Twist,” … His latest book is “Profiles in Ignorance: How America’s Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber”. How does that title strike you?

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"Profiles in Ignorance" should be mandatory reading for anyone with a pulse. And it will be out in paperback soon, I believe with added material (the clown car).

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Yes, I am very familiar with Borowitz and I appreciate him greatly. I had just read what you posted in The New Yorker online. (Have been reading The New Yorker throughout 45's reign and its humor maintained my sanity!) But I have not read books by Borowitz. My daughter and brother have also recommended them to me. It's just a matter of not having enough time to read all I want to read.

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Maybe that's a typo, but just in case: Borowitz

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It was a typo. Thanks, David.

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Strikes me as a reason to take another trip to the book store. LOL

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This crap has been going on since they declared that Corporations are citizens, which was bogus then and remains bogus now. I think I'd better take a break from writing because I think I might give myself a heart attack and that won't help. Onward and out with the greedy bastards.

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AMEN ! Susan ! , MAMMONITIES !!

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Yes, I'm taking more than a break now. Thank you for your healthy leadership, Susan.

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I agree and this letter is especially scary and of course, we have a troll or two taking all the air out of the thread. I am going outside to continue picking blueberries and some other things in my garden.

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Hi Fern, I just read the Horowitz Report. Very interesting & funny. And how much more insane can the SCOTUS get declaring yachts are people. I like this part: “The public should note that yacht owners have traditionally referred to their boats as ‘she.” Ans “Given that, this is the most pro-female opinion this Court is likely to issue.”

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Hi LINDA. You read a short 'news satire' by Andy Borowitz. It was labeled as a satire at the end. If you scroll down a little from that post, I wrote a little about Borowitz. He has a regular series called 'The Borowitz Report' in the New Yorker Magazine, from which that was taken.

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Thanks, as always, for the morning Borowitzer! ;D

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Fern McBride (NYC). Borowitz’s sarcasm scares me - some days it seems like it could be true

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Brilliant

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How close are we to where Germany was in the early 30s? If this does not wake up Americans we are doomed. Who said it can't happen here? Wake up folks the train is leaving the station.

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There is a book by Victor Klemperer titled "I Will Bear Witness 1933-1941, A Diary of the Nazi Years". It has the slow creeping feeling of horror that our current days are like. I hope that Heather's writings are not viewed similarly in the future. Hopefully, people wake up and realize how much they truly value is at risk as the MAGAs march toward dictatorship.

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Also revealing: In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Novelistic history/narrative nonfiction look at Berlin, 1933. “Speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin and Europe were awash in blood and terror.”

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Also read this book, and I agree. I worry that too many try to normalize this as politics. What Trump and the right wing are doing right now is trying to normalize dictatorship. There are many fools who would believe that it will benefit them.

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Dave ! The Problem, is There are TOO MANY, of MANKIND, Slugging around, " in the MATRIX !! PEOPLE, with ANY Sense, Have Got to WAKE UP !! ( I guess, All of the COFFEE, has Boiled Away, so that Great Aroma, HAS VAPOURIZED ! )

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yes, bought this book several years ago. A must read for us now as we swim through this sea of "slow creeping feeling of horror".

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Harvey, here in Fla the train is long gone. We are already a fascist State, thanks to the ambition, poor judgement and retaliatory politics of our Governor and his brainwashed legislature. Steve Scmidt calls him "Trump lite".....imo, worse, in most ways ( except nowhere near the crazily, destructive charismatic personality of tfg).

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And, on the way to Auschwitz ... if we do not take focused actions (plural) now. Many paths not the least of which is the legal vulnerability of "Project 2025". I will update comments through 2023 & 2024 when on point to this Community.

One starting point is NYT's 7/17/23 "Trump & Allies to Forge Plans to Increase Power in 2025" by stalwarts Jonathan Swan, Maggie Haberman & Charlie Savage. NYT subscribers the can "Gift " the article for FREE to anyone.

Monday Breaking Update: Jack Smith served a "Target Letter" on Donald J. Trump on tfg's actions to overturn the 2020 Election last Sunday. Note that tfg sat on tne Target Letter for more than 24 hours. tfg also got 96 hours notice to appear at Jack Smith's Grand Jury. Trump will not appear obviously which is a Target's right. The Indictment of Trump is likely before 7/31 as I have posted before.

I checked out "Project 2025" whose official propaganda uses the phrase "Presidential Transition Project" (sic). In case their message is unclear to anyone as of today, in their corporate logo "Project 2025" the numbers "25" aar in red. These are continuing overt acts of Sedition in my legal opinion.

Recall that Jack Smith uses "Speaking Indictments" where every word is backed by FRE admissible evidence. I now suspect Mr. Smith will beat my projected date of 7/31.

TODAY's UPDATE: Per Professor Joyce Vance the Michigan AG has applied for the indictment & arrest of the MichiganfrsuMichiganfrsudMichiganfrselectors.

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BRYAN ! Liked Your Quote ; On the Way, to Auschwitz ! Thats EXACTLEY ! What will Come of US !, IF, the MAGGOTS ! Gain Control ! I wanted to Comment , Sooner, But I did not want to Offend Our Jewish Brothers and Sisters ! ,OR ALL of the other Mankind, that SUFFERED That ABSOLUTE ATROCITY ! It is AMAZING ! , that GOD! , has not REPENTED, for a SECOND TIME ! in the PROCESS, of Creating Mankind !!

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Mark, months ago, I posted the details of my visit decafes ago to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC on LFAA. With one exception, I spent nearly 3 hours exclusively on tne TOP floor of the Museum where the history, photographs, exhbits, museum artifacts & the curator's written details submerged me into deep dive into the 1930-1939 historical period during which there were scores of forshadowing events including attacks on disabled people, gay folks, social democrats, Jews & the blocking of refugees from coming to the United States. In the esrly 1930's the train arrival stations from Germany into Paris were very busy when Hitler assumed the Chancelllor position, the first formal step into the Holocaust during which tens of millions of people died including more than 15 million Russians at the western fronts to Stalingrad.

On my way out of the DC Museum I stopped to see famous color footage of the WW II liberation of one of the death camps. Absolutely never again.

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Bryan, I have not been to One, of the *Shoah*. Museums, or to the "WALL"!

I'M an Emotional Soul, & I'm sure

It Would Rip Me APART !

YES, I've done much Reading on the Holocaust, & It's just UNBELIEVABLE

ON the HATRED, and EVIL, THAT OUR

JEWISH Brothers & Sisters, AND !

SO MANY, of EVERYBODY ELSE,

Had to go Through .

My Service. In *NAM*, & the

MENTAL DAMAGE, HAS BEEN UGLY,

BUT! my REDEEMER. LIVES !

AND True HEALING, is so EVEDANT !

GOD BLESS YOU ! and Your Family !

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Any way to get this article here.....any subscribers willing to send a "gift"?

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I believe Muck Rack ( muckrack.com) carries just about everything Maggie writes under some sort of republication rights with NYT.

Confirmed, the NYT article is the 4th Link down at Muck Rack ... :)

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Looks like this has a paywall too?

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Honestly, I do not know but, note Link: "Learn about Muck Rack" ...

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Hyperbole.

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What train? There are no f***ing trains. Wish there had been during my 36-hour airport ordeal at the end of an otherwise pleasant vacay. A train would have been a nice option!

PS: I get your point--just had to grind my favorite ax a little

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Yes Harvey, it ain't funny.

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Yes, WAKE THE FOLK UP!

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Doomed? That's true if you frighten people. Instead, you have to motivate them. I don't consider this country doomed because of what I read, but from people who spew fear on these comment threads. Come on, buck up.

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That’s right Marycat. We’re not doomed- history will repeat itself only if we let it. We, the people, can’t let it happen. We act!

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We read a lot of polemic that feels to me like it's as distorted as some of the crap the right wing spews. It's words. Nothing has actually happened. I read just now that Trump is whining again, in a long verbal vomit on Truth Social, saying he got a target letter from the grand jury investigating the Jan 6 insurrection. It was so bonkers that no sane human being would take him seriously. I am trusting the American people to keep this manipulative piece of crap out of the WH. I can't do anything else. I'm not worried about it because I am trusting Jack Smith, not freaking out over Trump's ranting and raving. Our government is a good and strong one.

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Sadly, Trump’s whine-song is like the siren’s call to the sailors who were driven mad by it. There are a not insignificant number of Americans who totally buy into his schtick and bow down to him as some kind of savior (so so so hard to wrap my head around that!). Others who have a radically different view of what they want this country to be (those mostly in the shadows surrounding him) and see him as a useful tool to move this country administratively (Legislative, Judicial & Executive…and civil service) significantly to right. Like Toni Morrison said “when someone shows you who they are, believe them”—so I take them at their word what vision they see. Maybe a term that combines autocracy, kakistocracy & oligarchy to describe their philosophy. It will be all hands on deck to thwart this & is no time to fiddle with so-called 3rd parties, Dem challengers, etc.—Joe’s been doing a damn fine job given his constraints IMHO, let’s keep rowing this direction with sure and strong strokes at the oar.

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https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/favorability/donald-trump/

I take polls with a huge grain of salt, but 56% of Americans have a negative opinion of Trump. Favorability hasn't budged and is in the low 40's.

We wander into the anxiety forest when we worry about what hasn't happened. Trust Jack Smith.

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I'm stealing the Rump's "whine-song". And you are right - and it's SO HARD to figure out why anyone would find his words and his actions to be worthy of giving more than two seconds on, or taking the least bit seriously, or respectable in the least. I just can't wrap my mind around this yahoo's appeal! (I mean, I get it that some, perhaps many, are in it for the money and whatever fame is incurred in being in the orbit of the Rump - at least until he's in prison, or under it - when "fame" converts to "notoriety" - but those can't be in the majority, can they?) And if they do feel this way about the Rump, HOW can their brainwashing be converted into rational thought? This must be the ultimate goal, because as long as there are many people thinking/believing in the Rump, the American Dream will remain out of reach for some other people - and that must not be.

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Marycat, I love this. Buck up we must and intimidating people is just what bullies try to do. We can and must do better. I'm tired of being horrified and dismayed. I'm pissed off and fed up and ready to fight back against the zombie monsters.

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We are there. We were close in 2012.

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The "slow walking" of the two serious legal issues Trump faces, the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the Georgia interference case, pose the most urgent threat we now face (IMHO). If the DOJ and The Georgia courts don't bring these cases to a head before we get too far into 2024, I fear Trump will never be held accountable. In that event, all bets are off.

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I agree that these trials need to happen, and happen soon, but even if he were to be found guilty of all of the possible accusations, do any of us really believe that it would change many MAGA, or for that matter many Republican, votes? On Sunday’s Jack podcast - which I would encourage you all to check out - the point was made that if a candidate were, in fact, innocent of the crimes with which they had been charged, they would want the speediest trial possible so that they would be exonerated well before the election. Interesting and obvious point.

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Unfortunately, it seems apparent now, Betsy that it will take a long time for the MAGA devotees to come to their senses...if ever. Some will completely ruin their own lives, serve jail terms and even worse, suffer deep personal humiliation from the error of their ways. It was tragic indeed for our fledgling nation when thousands of Tories left for England at the end of the American Revolution but things turned out quite well in the end. The majority of Americans will move forward and our country will keep becoming, as it always has and must.

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KD, unfortunately there is no “England” for the MAGAt’s to flee to!!! Hmmm, maybe offer free one-way tickets to Türkiye? It is puzzling to me that they see themselves as the “true Patriots” and all others as traitors….seems like fundamental differences in the vision and belief of what the USA stands for (well, the ideal that it is working toward anyway). The script has totally been flipped and is amazing (as in horrifying) to watch it unfold & what they are saying out loud, tho’ I think those w/ their hands on the levers of power & money are quietly trying to nurture their vision by financially supporting the MAGA-supporting groups. My hope is that despite great efforts to prevent it (voting rights repression, gerrymandering, et.), the majority will rise up and put down this creeping putsch.

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I should also have added Hungary to the list of far-right-sliding “democracies”. Many in the current Republican Party seem to be smitten, especially, with Orban & Hungary.

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Yes, I think you’re right, Barbara.

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I would very much like to share your optimism.

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Hang in there…the pathway will continue to be filled with twists and turns. E Pluribus Unum

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I fear LeMoine could be right

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Ah, yes, the Rings of Power….And remember how Gollum became OBSESSED when he LOST his PRECIOUS???

And, yes, Sauron was the Corporate Head of the Dark World and demanded LOYALTY from all of his subjects. He wasn’t going to let those Little People (with the Hairy Toes) anywhere near Mount Doom.

Even back then, people were saying that Bilbo was too old and uninformed to face the Evil (and visibly ORANGE) Underworld. Bilbo believed in true SMALL government, and, he believed in the next generation - in the person of Frodo Baggins.

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Republicans are this monster. Of course they won't fight themselves.

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Conservatives and libertarians

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Libertarians are conservatives who want get laid and smoke dope…

- Thom Hartmann

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“Libertarian” is a made-up word from a cynical, neonazi fascist, Charles KKKoch. It is one of may euphemisms he placed into the right-wing vernacular to sugarcoat his agenda. It belongs right beside terms like “Citizens United,” “Peace keepers,” or the weaponization of words like, “liberal,” “swift boating” or “Hillary.”

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"Republicans won't fight this monster."

The Repugnant Party is the Monster.

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My thoughts exactly. Well said, and frightening.

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Alexandria Sounds like a coup d’etat reminiscent of Hitler moving into the Reichstag. At the time Hitler said that he would only leave ‘feet first.’

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Vote BLUE, up and down the ticket...

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In every single election. Make it your business to stay informed about when and where your local elections are being held, and help out your neighbors in getting registered and in voting in those elections as well as the big state and nationals.

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Perhaps HCR should have mentioned the constitutional underpinning of the Republican plan to "consolidate" the various departments and agencies of the Executive Branch under the authority of the President.

This is the so-called "unitary executive theory," favored by William Barr and others. See "The Misguided Unitary Executive Theory Gains Ground":

https://verdict.justia.com/2023/06/19/the-misguided-unitary-executive-theory-gains-ground

See also "The Unitary Executive: Past, Present and Future":

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/714860

I have to ask if HCR's use of the phrase "establish a dictatorship" is overblown rhetoric. Perhaps it is her assessment that Trump and Co. plan to go far beyond the Unitary Executive theory in their vision for a reworked federal government. I am open to the thought but not convinced.

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You're not convinced? They just told you that's what they plan to do. How much more blatant do they need to be?

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Is this your first encounter with Mr Schmeeckle?

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I don’t even read his comments as soon as I see his name.

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Gollum, gollum.

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Denise H.,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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JOHN The Problem, is You Want to Support a Heart, of a man, That is DECEITFULLY WICKED, and is Hardened As hard, as One Each, PHARAOH ! of the Days, of MOSES ! GODS Soon Intervention WILL, Clean UP! This Whole MESS !

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Yes, it is. I see now that he is a troll and/or woefully uninformed. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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He disappears if you snap your fingers the right way.

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thank you for the laugh this am -

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I thought you had to click your heels together three times.

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A-L SNAP SNAP

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John is a rabbit hole in waiting. He loves to draw you in with outrageous comments and then engage with dubious sources. Trying to torture us is one of his hobbies. Best to ignore. Which I just didn't do.... :)

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Hey Bill. Surprisingly, as negatively as I react to this persons combative commentary, I did not find these particular sources dubious, but, then I am no expert. I will be checking them, in the future, for further SCOTUS discussion coverage.

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Bill I have a delicious recipe for rabbit stew though, personally, I wouldn’t want a smidgeon of JS in my innards.

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Bill Alstrom,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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"Schmeeckle?" My old eyes read "Schmeckle."

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I always read “John Sméagol”. In a Gollum voice.

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The pronunciation is "Schmeckly" -- the name is Nebraska German.

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Anne-Louise Luccarini,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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How much oxygen do you all intend to allow this Russian troll "Schmeekle" to burn here? Please, let it drop. He'll flame out.

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LeMoine Surlamont,

Your comment is typical of a boistrous minority around here, sneering at me and mischaracterizing where I'm coming from while studiously avoiding any engagement with the ideas that I bring to the discussion (such as, for example, my thought that HCR misrepresented the conservative Republican "Unitary Executive" theory as a quest for dictatorship).

My reply to james wheaton is here:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/july-17-2023/comment/20974985

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The ability to RATIONALIZE is unlimited. The well educated and intelligent Nazis had a rationale to exterminate people en masse.

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Thats WHY ! , WE !, ... The PEOPLE! Truly have to ACTIVATE !! & get the SANE ! to VOTE !!

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Harvey Kravetz,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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They plan to "unify" the President's control over the Executive Branch. I don't think that's the same as "establish a dictatorship."

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That is truly the power of belief John. You get to believe whatever you want.

But, back in reality space, when you consolidate power into one government entity that also places power with a single individual, like the Presidency, that is the definition of:

Dictatorship.

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Mike S, re definition of Dictatorship; folks of John’s ilk have their own “neo fact alternative” convenience dictionary. Words mean whatever they want them to mean according to the situation

See “traitor”, “patriot”, “science”, “evidence”,

In a world where words mean something, they get confused

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Also add "Christian" to that list

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Dave Dalton,

asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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I agree. Remember separation of powers (on the stone-paper-scissors principle). As I see it (from afar) there is a serious risk that those key elements of democracy (Judiciary/Congress/executive) are all being morphed into one which would mean there is no check on government excesses. You can call it what you like but it smells, feels, looks and tastes like dictatorship.

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AMEN !! Richard !

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Richard B,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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Mike S - "That is truly the power of belief John. You get to believe whatever you want."

The cure:

"𝘐𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘴, 𝘪𝘵'𝘴 𝘢 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥." --Bertrand Russell

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Or

"𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘦𝘴𝘵

𝘚𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵" --"The Boxer," Simon & Garfunkel

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Like this as well (don’t know who to attribute it to): “Unanswered questions are far less dangerous than unquestioned answers.”

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Ron Boyd,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

p.s. I see you quote from the genocidal racist Bertrand Russell, who wrote that "the less prolific races will have to defend themselves from the more prolific races by means which are disgusting even if they are necessary."

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Mike S, asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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John !, The " Broken Record Noise !, " is Boring !

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John,

Gosh, your insults are hurting my formerly Conservative stained fingers....... feelings.

LOL.

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If trump "unifies" the president's control over the executive branch, who do you think he will he bring together? They will be people loyal to trump who will do his bidding. trump will be the last word on everything. He wants to be a dictator. His supporters want an authoritarian regime. Republicans are telling us every day what kind of government they want. It's past time to start believing them.

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Making the executive unitary is exactly the same thing as a dictatorship. Both are government by one person. Maybe you can wrap your head around this; No matter how you pronounce tomato, it's still a tomato.

What Trump is doing is classic fascist maneuvering and those of us who know our history refuse to repeat it.

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Precisely. He thinks he is God and has told us he is a "jeanius" and the only one who can "fix everything." He is an addict with a cult following. desantis is blatantly morphing FL into a fascist state using the same Nazi playbook dictators use, as does trump. The strange thing is, they have such shortsightedness on how their ideas create nothing but the destruction and poverty of minds, creativity and forward thinking...and, ultimately, serious danger to the rest of us who want the freedoms of our social democracy for ourselves and for the next generations. We are the employers. We pay for all of this with our hard-earned money and good will. Social security does not belong to the government—it belongs to us. Our people have fought and died in too many wars to have these idiots abscond with democracy. Time for Women, Men and Others to stand up to this BS and start marching to win on all our streets. I cannot believe our passivity. What did we learn about Germany when the mind-controlled Germans began dragging people out of their homes and businesses? No one stood up to them. Do we want to live with the ilk of Putin, Dutuerte, Jong Un, MTG, Boebart, Gaetz, etc. as our leaders? They are a waste of our time, our money and our life energy. Geeze. But we need to wake up and pay attention. Maybe it is time to grab all these wannabe dictator guys and gals, and their guns, and inject them with large doses of estrogen and put them out to pasture in barbed-wire golf courses while we save the country. This mind-controlled cult appear to be AI experiments gone wrong. Just like the Nazis. Why do people want to be so unhappy? An addict the other day said, people who happy never become addicts. What a wise addict! I would include that infantile need for power over others as a super addiction. We must deal with it...and swiftly.

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I completely agree but we cannot just speak of action....besides voting and besides sharing our opinions what can we do????

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Pensa,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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BlueRootsRadio,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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When you're saying that if elected you will fire everyone and defund every agency not in line with your thinking YOU ARE SAYING YOU WANT TO BE A DICTATOR.

But you know that. This is what trolls do, are you a troll? Why else would you be tippy-toeing around an illiberal movement in a liberal democracy forum? You'll waste no more of my time John.

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BlueRootsRadio,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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I said they are the same. Get help, you need it. From now on you're blocked. Time is too precious to waste on your drivel.

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John, it's pretty clear that Trump wants all of the power, to do anything he wants to do, however he wants to do it. It's how he's worked as a businessman and "entertainer" on Reality TV and his 4 years as an elected President. Loyal people are great, the best. Once they figure out who he really is and they leave or turn on him, they are incompetent fools...that he never really knew. He's totally consistent....and the worst possible person to be anywhere near the WH.

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Mike, I totally agree with you. But we should not forget how he stiffs contractors and even some of his attorneys. He is on a power grab of the highest order and I am scared s***less!

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I think there are also his “loyalists” who pander to him and see him as a means to an end…that is a remaking of the USA, contrary to the Constitution & Bill of Rights into an authoritarian-“Christian” state. He likes being in “control” but I doubt he knows how any of it works….he’s all speech & strut…no real governance.

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Mike Wicklein, I am inclined to meet you halfway regarding your assessment of Trump. But beyond that is the constitutional question raised by the "unitary executive" theory.

Perhaps you are well aware that asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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John, the Difference, is the " Condition of the mans HEART !" trump !, has a " Very Sick Condition !" Stay in BED !, donald ! NOT !, in the WH !!

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John to Mark's point, Trump is a very unhealthy human being. He is not the smartest guy in the room, he has to be right, he never takes the blame for anything. He is as toxic as toxic gets. He will ride his big lie that led to J 6 to his grave. He has to. He is incapable of saying...I messed up. Does that make him a dictator? No. But the only way he can operate is to have total control and loyalty. Whatever idea he has is the best in that moment...and you are either loyal and on board or you're a fool and he doesn't know you. He is king material. A real democracy is not his form of ruling. Look at the world leaders he admires. The people who still love him, warts and all...and I know some of them, grew up with them, some are family...even the ones who value loyalty are starting to see the problems. They have been fed so much propaganda, it's hard to "get real". I really want to see Chris Christie debate him. I'd pay good money to be there. Good luck with your life. May truth and good sense prevail, so that democracy as messy as it is continue on another 250 years. Peace.

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Go away troll.

Stay ignorant all you want, but your BS doesn't fly here.

One and only reply you will get from me.

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Beth Cobb,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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JOHN = One EACH, " BROKEN RECORD ROBOT ..."

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No, but "increase the president's authority over every part of the federal government" sure sounds like it's heading in that direction.

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Talia Morris,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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John ! Your brain, IS " UPSIDE, ....DOWN! ( LORD !, Have MERCY !! )

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JOHN, MY PHONE "LUNCHED OUT!"

WHILE I was Messaging You, on the message You Spoke on "HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE .

JUST UNDERSTAND, YOU ! ...

are in MY PRAYERS !

(LORD!, ....HELP ME !, ..and You !)

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Sounds like argumentative word play to me, John. It very much means the same thing.

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I don't think so, and I think there are important related issues to sort out. For example, my reply to james wheaton is here:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/july-17-2023/comment/20974985

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You don't??? Naive.

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sandy daly,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Are you really that ignorant?

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Imagine, Mr. Schmeeckle, that I became president after Trump's establishment of his extreme version of a unitary executive system, and I hated corporations and and science. What would happen if I fired every bureaucrat that resisted extreme regulations on every facet of business. What would happen if I fired everyone who resisted my moves to end all defense-related research?

You might want want your favored policies to be implemented by an unbound Trump, but your want civil war if what I imagined came to pass.

If you think those with extreme anti-corpiration and anti-science can never get elected once Trump's vision is realized, you really are part of the problem.

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Jerry Helfhand,

I hope that you haven't been smoking crack cocaine.

My reply to james wheaton is here:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/july-17-2023/comment/20974985

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The point, John, is that Trump will weaponize all bureaucracies, and that's bad. That you state to James that you don't favor the unitary executive doesn't jive with your defense of everything around Trump. That you pick out Soros as a core evil in society tells me that you've swallowed the white supremacist anti-Semitic conspiracy bullshit whole, without chewing. That you proudly link to a previous reply to someone else tells me you are lost. Bye.

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Andrea Wittchen,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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John. I do not think HCR traffics in hyperbole. Her words are carefully chosen. Judicious language as we all know. The alarm expressed is real and frightening

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Joan Levine,

I suspect that you did not read HCR's latest letter carefully. She packaged together snippets from conservative ideologues with accusatory summaries from opposing news media to create a toxic blend of propaganda.

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch (that is, the "Unitary Executive theory of constitutional interpretation, which I do NOT support) is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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"I have to ask if HCR's use of the phrase "establish a dictatorship" is overblown rhetoric."

John, there should be a question mark at the end of your question.

And, the answer is no.

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Perhaps you should check your grammar before making a public fool of yourself.

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Well, John, if you are reduced to observations about grammar, you must be at the end of your argument. Hoping this means good-bye.

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Annie D Stratton,

Not reduced at all. I replied to Mike S's obnoxious and inaccurate observation about grammar, in a context where he was going around trolling me.

My basic point is this:

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

Do you disagree?

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John,

Now, now, obnoxious?

Now my feelings are really hurt. Dang. I'll be back for you tomorrow though.

And, the next.

LOL

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John,

I am guessing you had one too many private schools pandering to your feelings.

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Drop another rock, it might help

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Sir, it is NOT overblown rhetoric. It’s the Nazi game plan and they are all in.

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Jen Schaefer,

Asserting the President's hands-on authority over all the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch is different from reaching for dictatorial control over the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

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Unless, of course, the party he heads already controls them. Note also that the Executive Branch appoints judges. It's no coincidence that the "Republican" Party allowed federal judgeships to go unfilled until they could take control and stuff the vacant positions with political hacks. Tuberville hopes to accomplish the same with the military.

You know very well that this isn't just about Trump and never has been. It's about an authoritarian Christian nationalist cult of which he is the current head. They already control much of the judiciary and very nearly control the legislative branch. They also control enough state governments to simply negate any election results they don't like. They are publicly saying as much.

And, as we have seen, if all else fails they will attempt a violent overthrow of the government. They almost succeeded in 2021, as you may or may not recall.

The Executive Branch has far too much power as it is, but at least those employed in those agencies are actual professionals who get and hold their jobs based on their professional qualifications. Replacing them all with political toadies is what they do in dictatorships. Stalin did it. Hitler did it. Mao did it. Roman Emperors did it. Every king, dictator, and autocrat throughout history has done it.

If you knew anything at all about history, you'd realize how very much the right wing vision for America resembles Soviet Russia. Or the Roman Empire. Or any of the pre-Enlightenment monarchies in Europe. Or any of the many other racial and religious autocracies that have come and gone in human history over the past several thousand years.

Republican democracy is relatively new on the historical front. It could vanish both here and in Europe. We could, if we allow ourselves to become complacent (clearly your goal here), allow the forces of reaction to negate not only the entire 20th century but everything back to the Divine Right of Kings—which is what "Christian Nationalism" amounts to, in case you haven't noticed. Which would, I guess, be a good fit for an economy that is becoming increasingly feudal.

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^^^^THIS!^^^^ TFG has an authoritarian/bully personality, but he is only a figurehead to be manipulated by the forces only now slowly coming out of the shadows. Oh, they were always there with their influence, but seems to have caught fire with a larger receptive population. All about money and power at the expense of the common good.

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As I have said before, turning to Biden to escape Trump is like turning to Dracula to get away from Godzilla.

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Indeed. Ignoring the real nature of the treat is either a case of historical naïveté or simply dishonest. I know which one I'd bet on. :-)

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