As a Freshman in college at Texas A&M in 1978, the college newspaper ran only two opinion writers.

George Will and William F. Buckley

These two opinion writers swayed a large number of kids from Texas who came from farms to, ostensibly, improve their financial futures.

By the end of my four years, I was solidly Republican all the way to the Invasion of Iraq, where, I had previously been reading, for years, about the inspectors on the ground in Iraq and their work. I knew, from their reports to the U.N., that Saddam had no program in Nuclear Weapons, although, I thought he MIGHT have some of the leftover chemical weapons the United States gave him during the Iraq/Iran war. If anyone remembers, the USA supported Saddam Hussein in that war with weapons.

So, when Bush flew his big lie about weapons of mass destruction on the back of the credibility of the sadly sycophantic Colin Powell, I knew it was a lie.

By then, I had also googled the US deficit as a function of time and understood that all of the shrill proclamations by Ronald Reagan that he would "cut spending" were a lie and that he had burned up $2 Trillion in deficit spending (in 1986 dollars) after a long postwar period of responsible spending by every President. Including Jimmy Carter who not only ran a balanced budget but continued to pay down the postwar debt.

So, at the dawn of the Iraq invasion I understood that I had been duped by the Republican Party beginning with my reading of George Will and William F. Buckley's propaganda.

I exited the Republican Party and have been trying to shower off the dirt and grime and decay of my votes for Reagan, Bush I and Bush II (W).

It really is amazing what propaganda can do with the minds of sincere people who are reading that propaganda for the first time in cultures where those young people are surrounded by people that mostly tell the truth. When a big lie comes along, it is very hard to see.

It took me, a guy who appeared to everyone as intelligent, many, many years to shake off the propaganda and get to the truth.

Republicans foist big lies all the time, and, that started in earnest with Ronald Reagan's big lie of "cutting spending".

Reagan never did cut any spending, never meant to cut spending and lied about cutting spending for 8 years.

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Dear Prof. HCR,

Yours is a rich and thoughtful assessment as always! Thank you! The first thing that popped into my head upon reading what Brian Kilmeade had said was: Really?!! Pray tell, then why, in your skewed view, is government allowed to control women's bodies?!!!

Nothing the pro-45 Republicans do or say shocks me anymore, but Kevin McCarthy's chutzpah is beyond belief -- putting forward the names of sideline mutineers and Big Lie paracletes to represent his party on the committee looking into the 6th Jan. insurrection! Good grief! What next? And when will they learn that their job is to improve things for their constituents rather than aim to disrupt every single bill put forward by the Democrats -- even after some have taken the credit for the advancements made by the opposition through the American Rescue Plan. Their hypocrisy boggles the mind!

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So, if we're invaded by a foreign military, it's every citizen's personal choice what to do about it.

Whew! I'm glad that's settled. Now I understand why so many citizens are building personal armories in their homes. I thought it was because they were nuts.

We don't need the Defense Dept. anymore. Think of the savings! (Think of the unemployment!)

Yet these people think defense spending is the holiest of holies.

How much longer can this cognitive dissonance, this in-your-face insanity, keep going on?

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The Preamble to the Constitution describes civilization. There must be constraints on behavior to protect the vulnerable or NO ONE is safe. Everyone is only an accident or illness away from being helpless. The R’s want the wild, Wild West where anything goes. The people who occupy today’s R party are NOT the party of Lincoln; they have a mindset like the old south planters. Freedom does not mean I have the right to take advantage of my neighbor in order to advance my own ends.

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If it is not government's job to protect, then why is the Pentagon's budget more than $700 billion?

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"Brian Kilmeade answered that not getting the vaccine is a personal choice and that the government has no role in protecting the population. “That’s not their job. It’s not their job to protect anybody,” he said." It looks like we have found who really wants to defund the police. It is Brian Kilmeade and those who share his views.

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The foxes are going to serve on the committee to protect the hen house? As far as I can see Jim Jordan and his comrades should be charged with insurrection.

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This really is not what Brian Kilmeade or Steve Doucy, or what any of the other flapping mouths over at Fox News has to say on his own personal time. This is a Rupert Murdoch operation, and they say whatever the Boss tells them to say. The sheer vacuity of morals and intellect over at Fox has been well known for decades, whether was Roger Ailes or Bill O'Reilly, or any of the other creeps that inhabited the place over time, it has all the same. People over there have the mental acuity of a 12-year-old bully, and the morals to match. Fox's broadcasting format is perfectly calibrated to appeal to life's losers and people whose compass and life has been irretrievably broken: easily fooled; easily led; gullible; trusting to a fault and those who simply do not care what the subject is that the conversation is about. It is all about getting their emotions steamed up into overdrive, as if it is the only way the viewers can convince themselves that they are still alive and feeling something. Truly, it is a nursing home for the mind for people whose cognitive facility is barely alive.

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Good morning Heather, good morning all! When did roughly half of US Americans decide that doing something for the common good was repugnant? During WWII Americans were asked to sacrifice and participate in a rationing program so that goods and raw materials could be funneled to the War Effort. This effort came hard on the heels of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Today, with the succesful development of several effective vaccines, we'rpve been asked to safeguard ourselves, our families, friends and communities, against Covid 19. We're able to receive the vaccine with zero dollars out of pocket. And yet, millions of Americans are choosing to reject the vaccine and watch infection rates rise.

I found this short essay from the National Park Service reminding us of a time when Americans were willing to consider their neighbor, community and the country as a whole. They believed that acting for the common good was an act of patriotism. Hard times are certainly easier on everyone when we act in concert to achieve a goal that will benefit us all.

"On August 28, 1941, President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8875 created the Office of Price Administration (OPA). The OPA’s main responsibility was to place a ceiling on prices of most goods, and to limit consumption by rationing.

Americans received their first ration cards in May 1942. The first card, War Ration Card Number One, became known as the “Sugar Book,” for one of the commodities Americans could purchase with their ration card. Other ration cards developed as the war progressed. Ration cards included stamps with drawings of airplanes, guns, tanks, aircraft, ears of wheat and fruit, which were used to purchase rationed items.

The OPA rationed automobiles, tires, gasoline, fuel oil, coal, firewood, nylon, silk, and shoes. Americans used their ration cards and stamps to take their meager share of household staples including meat, dairy, coffee, dried fruits, jams, jellies, lard, shortening, and oils.

Americans learned, as they did during the Great Depression, to do without. Sacrificing certain items during the war became the norm for most Americans. It was considered a common good for the war effort, and it affected every American household."



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Charlie Pierce is definitely right that Faux and Friends is more properly "Three Dolts On A Divan."

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We are now at the fork in the road of America's experiment with democracy. It was both fitting and astonishing that a clash between a pro government and anti government positions were strongly expressed on one of our crown jewels of misinformation, Fox News. So, is Government to be or not to be?

In the last forty years our country has moved swiftly ahead, chugged and sputtered. Technology reigns, with the industrial Midwest on its knees. Main Streets went from bustling to bleak, left with one or two churches, a diner, a bar and not much more to see. Dark Money, anti-government, anti-taxes and anti-regulations movements, gun ownership and militias have all been prominent as the transfer of the country's wealth from the people to the super-rich, stagnant wages, political corruption and social division darken the way.

Misinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories emanating from political radio, Fox News and Social Media have been embedded in the minds of many Americans. During the former president's term brutal attacks on civility, the rule of law, human decency, governmental functions; public health; truth, honesty, ethics and freedom of the press were incessant. The Republican Party served his every whim and abuse and 600 thousand souls died of Covid, many unnecessarily.

Less than a year ago, Joseph R. Biden, former Vice President and long serving Senator of Delaware, became the president of the United States. It was a huge relief to most Americans. We are ready to support and expand voters' rights and American families; affordable higher education; modern and high functioning roads and bridges, mass transit, clean and efficient water systems; wage increases; significant acts to address climate change...we are ready!

Heather summed up America's position, "In today’s struggle over the nature of government, the Democrats are at a disadvantage. They want to use the government to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, just as Lincoln and FDR and Eisenhower advocated. To drive their individualist vision, though, all the Republicans have to do is stop the Democrats.

Here we are.

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This message from Abraham Lincoln needs to go out across the country by text, email, air waves, social media and in person. It needs to be repeated verbatim and it needs to be phrased in a hundred other ways:

“The legitimate object of government is ‘to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they can not, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves.’…Making and maintaining roads, bridges, and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools; and disposing of deceased men's property, are instances.”

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The truly horrifying thing is not that Brian Kilmeade is clearly ignorant as to the contents of the Constitution (That doesn’t surprise me in the least), it’s that millions will now repeat what he has said as the virtual gospel.

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Yesterday on NPR I heard Roy Cooper, the Democratic Governor of North Carolina say that although private colleges could require vaccines for students, he doubted whether the state could require vaccines for the UNC and NCState systems.

You may remember that Cooper’s election prompted the Republican controlled General Assembly to pass a flurry of laws reducing gubernatorial powers. This same legislative body had not curbed Republican Pat McCrory’s powers previously, nor did they voice any desire to.

If you want to dig deeper, look at Bladen, Richardson and Richmond counties in NC. Lowest % of college educated, lowest income, in a region with some of the best schools and jobs in the US. I think it was also Bladen County where the court found and convicted perpetrators of the largest voter fraud scheme in recent history, by Republicans in 2018. Not so subtle repression of the Black vote. NYT did a 5 series podcast “The Improvement Association.”

To Heather’s point, there is a huge incentive among Republicans to cause Biden’s failure. You can see it in the WSJ every day “inflation fear.”

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"yesterday, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, told CNN that a provision to pay for the package in part by enforcing tax laws against those ignoring them bothered Republicans enough that negotiators cut it."

Read that line again. Not new taxes, not raising the tax rate, just enforcing existing tax law to catch the tax cheaters. And Republicans were against it. THEY WERE AGAINST making it harder to cheat. And they were willing to scuttle a desperately needed infrastructure bill to keep that from happening. And Portman is talking about that as if it's a good thing? "Look at us, we fought for the right to cheat on your taxes and we won! "

There is no compromise with these wankers. The GOP only 'compromises' if it means Democrats fold to their wishes. And they get away with it because too many people sit out the vote or vote to cut their own throats. I despair of this world.

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Not enforce ALREADY WRITTEN tax laws???

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