477 Comments
Jul 20, 2023Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Once again this president is quietly promoting a truly progressive agenda. The witless Marjorie Taylor Greene correctly compared him to FDR. She meant it as an insult. But FDR was elected 4 times for a reason.

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I love Biden's response to that speech: "I approve this message."

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Brevity is the soul of wit!

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Best political ad ever!

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It was a classic move! Maybe MTG will stop screeching “Impeach Biden!”. Time to put a cork in it! 🤣😂

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Put a "cork" in what?

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An empty bottle.

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Her empty mind! Don’t know why that particular MAGAT irritates me so. She seems to be speaking out what McCarthy dares not lest he lose his Speaker’s gavel in his own negotiated rules. Wonder about the extent of their relationship? My mind must be in the gutter before coffee!

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Your mind has a great deal of company there

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Look undoubtedly I'm in the same camp as you re being unable to stand the behavior and actions of these troglodytes. But my main assessment of what drives them is a little different since I believe none of them have great (or any) imaginations. So they copycat each other thinking they're hot stuff. I could care less whether or not this includes some kind of hanky panky (which isn't how my mind works). Mostly I think they revel in a spotlight which for them seems to require maximum disruption and loud mouthing. Not unlike the example set by their ignorant and ignoble lecher - oops I mean "leader". All hail the kringes.

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It will be interesting to see if there is any fall-out from her disgusting -- and possibly illegal -- stunt yesterday.

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Over-the-top entitlement+damned lies+ extremely childish behavior in an important adult role. The Irritant is strong in that one.

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Profiles in courage:

"McCarthy dares not lest he lose his Speaker’s gavel in his own negotiated rules."

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

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I know why she’s indecent

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Word is that your mind is right on.

Just watching them interact tells it all.

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Her persistent tweeting mouth “Impeach Biden! Makes me bonkers.

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In another ad where Obama is stumping for him, Biden replies, "Thanks, Obama!" Makes me grin.

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Folks ... This is a f***ing BIG idea. It sure is, Joe.

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From what i have read and have seen on TV documentaries about FDR, he actually was an insult to greedy Rethuglicans.. They hated FDR and resented his policies, especially the ''New Deal'' In a speech FDR made in the early or mid 1930's, he said, '' I heard the Republicans hate me, and i will say, let them hate me, i welcome their hate'' To me personally, even though i hadn't been born yet, i thought he was a great President for getting America back on track after the great depression and for the New Deal. Today's Rethugs still hate Social Security and are hellbent on destroying it. Rethuglicans are the worst people on earth as far as i am concerned. Adolf Hitler hated FDR too, in one of his rants, he called the New Deal, ''The Jew Deal'', that was an utterly nasty thing he said, but then again, Hitler was about horrible as it gets. Just like Donald TUMP is.

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The thundering irony of all this is that the original and true "conservative" that I learned of in my youth believed in a thing called "free enterprise". I assumed that included a level playing field for "little guys" to open small businesses - we call them startups now.

There is a process by which super successful startups abandon that concept. Meta came out of a college dorm. Now it is hell bent on eating its competition. Microsoft was launched from a garage. Now it is about to totally dominate the huge gaming world.

It is a duty and a responsibility of our government to encourage competition. What we have now is not "free enterprise" or "healthy capitalism". It is greed and power driven oligarchies. Time to bust up some "trusts"!

And time to claw back the obscene wealth accumulated by avoiding taxes and eating the competition. Bust them and tax them fairly.

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Unregulated capitalism eats its children and exploits the workers and consumers.

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"Unregulated capitalism eats its children...." Yessir. True statement. It is like jungle-style evolution of species. It works, very cruelly at times, but it works. Especially for "the strong". We as a society can do so much better by taking a concept that works, and controlling it such that the benefits are spread among all of us instead of the top predators. Combine that with democracy and you get a society that works pretty well. Republicans are there to protect the top predators, at the expense of the rest of us. All in the name of Jesus. They reject democracy more and more as the majority rejects them more and more, and reject regulated capitalism more and more as that regulation tends to limit further enrichment. That cannot be allowed to continue, for a thousand reasons.

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In regards to your "They reject democracy more and more," that quote is abundantly clear in the Heritage Foundation's "Mandate for Leadership the 2025 Plan." The 2025 plan lays the groundwork for an authoritarian leader in the President's position, think Putin. If Americans think Trump can be contained, just read this booklet, https://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/project2025/2025_MandateForLeadership_FULL.pdf

It is worth cautioning that not believing that what the 2025 Plan lays out as not achievable in America remember German disbelief in Hitler's Mein Kampf plan for leadership. Hitler did exactly what he wrote in his book, therefore, believe what you read in the 2025 Plan. Trump can never return to the White House nor DeSantis who would most likely also embrace the 2025 Plan.

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"Trump can never return to the White House nor DeSantis who would most likely also embrace the 2025 Plan." I think now that any Republican candidate with a chance to win can be placed in that category. With that document, the Republican Party has laid down the gauntlet. This means war.

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Keep the faith. We have to do the work.

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It is hardly socialistic to ask the wealthy and the wealthy corporate “citizens “ to pay their fair share.

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Susan, you know that, and I know that, and the vast majority of readers here assembled know that, because we know the definition of socialism. Those who issue their screeching complaints about it have NO IDEA what the word means. They just assume that, because their rich friends and donors hate it, they have to hate it, too. 🙄

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The Right jumps to their All Purpose Response to anything that smacks of government for the people — Socialism!

Most people don’t even know what that is, or they think it is government ownership of everything — which is an old idea, not reflective of modern elements of social policy that put the well-being of our society first, which will always include a vibrant and thriving business community, but in the service of the people, not the other way around.

Business exists to participate in an economy and support society. Not the other way around.

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Jul 20, 2023·edited Jul 20, 2023

I agree with you, Bill. I would add another example to your list which is the obvious,... Apple, the first trillion $ company, all of which happened in one generation. My older brother was one of their first 50 employees with Jobs & "Woz" so, I watched through him the battle between Jobs and Gates for supremacy, all of which was fueled by capitalism.

The short version IMO is that for all the beauty of competition, the downside is that there is no incentive for them to work together, to unify systems or anything else. Each was determined, "to Win" and put-the-other-out-of-business. The end result is that now, with virtually so many computer companies, each learned the way to REALLY make $ is with the hundreds of add-ons, patch cords & cables, chargers, etc each with their own unique port connects. So, every time you misplace, lose or break one they get $20 to $30+ for something small, made in Asia for 5 cents per unit not to mention our landfills now being overwhelmed with their wires, batteries and things that will not degrade. And I didn't even mention their software which is used as hostage because w/o it you can't use the device.

I don't have the answer. I just point out that the central point of competition in capitalism is also what led these trillion $ corporations to not only Not work together to unify obvious systems but, to depart the US market for cheaper labor in Asia and elsewhere which took manufacturing with it. One can make the case, this at least in part helped created what they now call their "base",... the poor and uneducated whose decent-paying jobs would still be here in the US if the tech giants hadn't taken their manufacturing abroad. Just my opinion.

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I don't mention the "fruit" company for the reasons you so aptly describe.

While I am a huge fan of competition the proprietary madness you mention could have been eliminated by Federal Law requiring universal connectivity.

Remember how stupid the VHS vs Beta wars were? Consumers were victims as they are now.

Fortunately, the fruit people have enormous competition from Android phones. Terrific devices for a fraction of the cost.

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BK, I take your rant as a challenge. :) The USPTO has been dealing with this on a local level for decades without success. Jurys simply cannot deal with the issues. Bless their hearts. They simply do not understand code and math. In the mega IT area there are no standards as different countries have their own IT laws. EU is slightly different. The IP has expanded exponentially over the last 20 years and now we have AI to deal with. I stepped aside before social media after 50 years and only have a cautionary warning left. No one can see the future.

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Agree, 💯%.

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It is indeed time to reign in big corporations. there is an interesting paper written by Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island about corporate dark money that is worth reading. https://harvardjol.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2020/05/Sen.-Whitehouse_Dark-Money.pdf

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Yep. I got mine. Now shut and lock that door behind me.

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Like NFL without rules or refs. Go Scheme!

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Actually, it was Apple that launched in a garage.

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I stand corrected. Thanks.

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In 1976, I worked for Fred Harris, former senator from Oklahoma, on his New Populist (I.e. shorn of racism) campaign for the Democratic nomination. Fred used to say that when FDR had his fireside chats, the family would sit and stare at the radio. He said they knew that FDR was disabled (I think he actually said crippled), but they did not really believe it. Remember, though, that all through the ‘30s there were people who thought that the New Deal did not go far enough, that Roosevelt and the Republicans were indistinguishable. We still see such people today, and they are still wrong.

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Fred has been in New Mexico for decades now and is still a vital voice in progressive politics. What a guy!

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They didn’t go far enough, particularly in terms of fighting segregation, but the parties were hardly indistinguishable.

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How perfectly put. I share your sentiments!

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Thank you very much!!

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Jul 20, 2023·edited Jul 20, 2023

John I was born the year FDR entered the White House. [At age 7I met Eleanor—my only memory was her smile and her big teeth.]

I studied FDR throughout my adult life and taught him as history professor from 1992 to 2013. He saved America Democracy by his willingness to experiment. Some of his New Deal initiatives were counter productive—several blatantly illegal. He also lied as he shuffled his economic cards AND provided hope to countless Americans through his activities and Fireside Chats (only 31 in 12 years).

He didn’t end the Great Depression. Indeed, there was the ‘Roosevelt Recession’ in 1937-1938. WW II ended the Great Depression. However, FDR kept our economy together, continually tried new things, and initiated essential economic and social programs.

In my professional judgment, FDR ranks with Lincoln and Washington as our three greatest presidents. Without all three, there wouldn’t be a United States of America.

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Thanks for perspective Keith!

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"World War II ended the Great Depression." I respectfully disagree, at least in part. Presumably because of the threat of the oncoming war, Cousin Franklin (my grandmother's fourth cousin through the Delano family) and his congressional allies were finally able to put together a fascimile of the nation-building "American System" economic policies that Abraham Lincoln implemented during the Civil War.

Roosevelt "muzzled" the Federal Reserve, keeping interest rates low so long-term, low-interest credit could be directed toward productive industry.

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We are a war economy. That war economy ended the Us depression. Todays world we are the biggest manufacturer and wholesaler of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

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Apt observation, Steven.

These days, it seems that money and weapons make world go round.

Terrifying and sad.

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My mom grew up on a farm in Ohio and was 100 percent behind the New Deal. She said the Republican farmers hated FDR even as he saved their farms. Go figure.

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It was reflexive. Barbara Bush hated Eleanor Roosevelt(!), still a great hero to me for the brave humanitarian she was.

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Trump kept a copy of Mein Kampf on his bedside table. His dreams of dictatorship don’t come from a vacuum.

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Here is FDR's "I welcome their hatred" speech. https://youtu.be/IjSTQwamo8M

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Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve shared it on FB. It brings tears to my eyes.

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Not all of them and not always. This is from the 1956 Republican Party platform:

"We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people."

Given MTG's sickening stunt yesterday and knowing that McCarthy will do nothing about it, this statement makes the current roster of Republicans look even worse:

"We believe that basic to governmental integrity are unimpeachable ethical standards and irreproachable personal conduct by all people in government."

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/republican-party-platform-1956

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Wow! Agreed.

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Actually, I couldn’t imagine anyone hating Eleanor before I heard this.

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I know, right? Eleanor is one of my sheroes!!!!

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John, Thank you for the post. FDR was a Keynesian when the nation needed deficit financing initiatives most. If you listen to the history of the Biden family he will tell you of the pain of a depression. My grandparents lived though it and my mom told me how the family survived with a vegetable garden and sheer grit. I want better for this country through sound econ and social management for the world. What we have is instability and War. God help us.

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F. Reynolds,

I don't think that Roosevelt was (just) a Keynsian, although his early relief efforts could be described that way. Roosevelt went beyond Keynes with infrastructure development (the TVA) and long-term, low-interest credit for productive industry, emulating the "American System" economic principles of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay.

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Bidenomics sounds a lot like Democratic Capitalism, to me. Both terms are hardly used, in fact, Bidenomics was just coined, last month!

I feel it would be pretty valuable to use all of the following terms, a lot; Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Bidenomics, and Democratic Capitalism. It's a little like framing our discussion, in order that the rest of the country can understand what the hell we're advocating.

I'd like to see what happens in America when center-left folk start using simple speak, like this. Currently, I'm helping various campaigns with this simple notion, to use the same language to address the underlying cancer in our society: Corporate Crony Capitalism

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Democratic capitalism....perfect.

Much better than the conservative libertarian predatory capitalism

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predatory capitalism ... perfect name for the shadow figure, or antagonist, for our story!

EVERY story needs the heroine/hero, who NAMES the shadow, then does battle and ... slays the vllain - and stops the virus from spreading any further. Then, in rushes the good guys with the active organic ingredients, which save civilization.

End of story ...

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Democratic Capitalism: exellent antidote to predatory capitalism.

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Frederick, it seems to me you're right on target. The whole point of Democratic Capitalism, or Bidenomics, for a government is not eliminating capitalism but rather harnessing the innovation and competition generated by capitalism with sufficient government oversight and regulation to ensure the welfare of the individual, the welfare of We the People! This balance will inevitably lead to a swinging pendulum between (functioning) parties as each side of that balance tries to reassert it's dominance, a dominance which can never be static as the world changes, as it surely seems to be doing before our very eyes!

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John, are you involved w your local dem party in upstateNY? I ask because I am w my local dems, along the mid-coast of maine (saem area as HCR). We need a multi pronged approach, like, with ALL 50 state democratic parties! All would be speaking to a Democratic Capitalsim, ensuring a healthy Democracy, and a heathy world economy!

IMAGINE this ....

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Such as happened with the genius Gov Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, who wielded the necessary common sense for the common good and ordered a massive collective effort of good will - and viola, Up Went an Interstate Repair in 30 Days, starring the aforementioned governor - and a cast, of ohhh, hundreds1

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Capitalism is a human construct which is neither inherently good or bad. It’s how we choose to use it that makes the difference.

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And government providing rules, rails and refs for the game$.

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Well said, JohnM!

I am printing up your comment and taping it to my desk for reference .

With attribution to you.

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JohnM, in bygone days what you describe was called the "American System of Political Economy," championed by John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln.

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Frederick- stick with that 'framing' business and tell the Operation Fly Formula story to demonstrate what's wrong with monopolies. Thank you HCR, 'we approve this message'✅️

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Yes, let’s take back the term “capitalism”. Next, do the American flag!

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Good call!

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Is it too late to get her to re-do her speech and add in this economic lesson as another one of the 'sins' of the Democrats?

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Let’s give the little lady a do over😊

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The problem is quietly---Biden and Harris need to be tooting their horns loudly, frequently, and boldly! Because too many people don't connect the dots between government policies and the benefits one sees in their life.

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US DEMOCRATS ! , Laura ! ,

have GOT to GET LOUD !! BLESSINGS !

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Yes, quietly but don't we need some loudness and I do know Biden and Harris are going around the country promoting their accomplishments along with MTG gift that can keep on giving? Our lamestreet media is a HUGE problem along with so many others that were created over the last several decades.

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It is great that Biden owned her statements, as in he endorses it. The witless MTG, who spent her day sharing dick pics of the president's son in Congress, showing that she is also a purveyor of pornography, and violator of the laws of using the internet. I understand Hunter Biden has a good lawyer. I hope she gets her just desserts. I also want to point to Tom Hartmann's letter today where he discusses the vote fraud perpetrated in MTG state, which reaffirms my beliefs that the election was stolen by the Republicans and the House is not legitimately controlled by them. If we had had fair elections in all states MTG might not be in Congress wasting everyone's time and our tax dollars.

https://hartmannreport.com/p/are-election-police-and-black-people-04d?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

https://www.propublica.org/article/tennessee-black-voters-disenfranchise

https://medium.com/rantt/the-top-10-most-gerrymandered-states-in-america-bd962843ba1f

https://www.democracydocket.com/analysis/in-seven-states-removing-voters-from-the-rolls-just-got-easier/

https://www.propublica.org/article/tennessee-black-voters-disenfranchised

So despite the harmful noise from the Republican Party, Biden solders on. He is the best president in my lifetime.

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I think Biden is doing a fantastic job as president......but there's an elephant in the room. He is elderly and even though he's in good health now, it is a fact that he is at an unpredictable age and is vulnerable to the things that happen to people at that age. (I know....because I'm the same age.) I'm not sure how people feel about Harris becoming president should Biden suddenly become incapacitated. In fact, I'm not sure how I feel about Harris becoming president. I know that it would be difficult for her to bow out and for Biden to select another VP.....but maybe, for political purposes, he needs a younger person to fill that role.....and in keeping with current prejudices, a male person.....just sayin'

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Okay, I think Harris sucks as a person in the way Hillary did. She has seen the issues for years. Heck, I could do that job If i was exposed to the issue for years. I have not personally liked the person for President in my live time. So, what is your point?

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All true and frequently inspiring. Less inspiring is that half of Americans think the economy is terrible and Biden is incompetent, or worse. We’re not going to fix the nauseating stench of the Republican propaganda machine as it pumps lies and more lies. That leaves us with the media, who reinforce Republican propaganda. Who can fix the media? If we don’t have an answer, we would be deluded if we don’t think Trump 2024 is a distinct possibility.

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I don’t “like” this. In fact I hate it. The truth is, in part, that the media have also been subject to being bought by large players with deep pockets. Numerous newspapers and other news outlets have gone out of business in many markets. “Who can fix the media,” you ask. I ask “What can fix the media?”

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What can fix it? Antitrust laws at one time prevented people from owning more than one or two outlets in an area such as two stations from the 2 major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC. Murdoch got that thrown out. Like car dealerships could not own a competitor dealership. All this antitrust was designed for one thing...to move money upward and suppresss workers ability to push back against abuse.

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Rickey , while regular citizens were working to pay their bills and raise families, we took our eyes off those who were voted into offices where they could use their votes to put money into their pockets and/or into the pockets of people who helped to elect them.

Now, thanks to President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, we have had the mask lifted and it's not a pretty scene. But also thanks to President Biden and his excellent team, we are seeing better actions being taken that are already helping. We are "Building Back Better!"

Our relationships with world leaders are stronger. Those leaders opposing freedom also know where we stand. President Biden is not a coward nor a war monger. As the saying goes,"Freedom is not free!"

We MUST keep President Biden and his advisers in office for the betterment of our country and to support freedom worldwide!

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FREEDOM ! is NOT FREE ! ASK ANY VETERAN, Who was BLESSED, to Return HOME ! ( GO ! , Blue ! )

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I don't "like" this but what you say is true. The concentration of huge sums of money in the bank accounts of a relatively small number of people is behind many of our problems. Their ability to wield their money and influence out of the sight of the pubic is another huge problem.

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“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

-SCOTUS Justice Louis Brandeis

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We could euphemize this as "capitalist democracy", one of the worst influences in American politics in the past decade+

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In fact, what HCR praises about President Biden's increasing competition is not true insofar as media goes. The ownership of our remaining newspapers and television stations is consolidating, not becoming more diverse and localized. 'What can fix the media?', you ask. The answer is enforcing existing anti-trust legislation and updating it. (And this is also true of agriculture, where the small and middle-sized farmers are disappearing.)

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That’s a very good question, especially when supposedly center-left media like the New York Times and Washington Post drift ever more rightward, and that includes their journalists who don’t have a clue that that’s what they’re doing. Indeed, what can fix that? Alas, you may be right. Nothing can fix it.

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Damn, I've done it again - reduced the window to check something and couldn't find it again. What I said was that I unsubscribed WaPo because I could stand their righters (pun intended), then thought I'd give them another chance, recognising their both-sides policy. We all know who to avoid if we don't want to be sick, plus you do get Jennifer Rubin and Alexandra Petri. The worst are the commenters, who don't seem to be monitored in any way. However: Glenn Kessler dominated page 1 (today, I think) with his fact-check of T Tuberville's campaign pledge to donate all his earnings to the Veterans. That really unleashed the commenters - in the desired way. Never seen so many discourteous variants on a surname.

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Part of the problem has to do with who owns the newspapers, how much editorial control they choose to exercise and how much money they’re willing to invest (or lose) in this enterprise. Not alienating actual and potential advertisers becomes a priority. Newsroom staffing gets cut back. Rigorous copy editing is seen as an unaffordable luxury.

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It's all CBS president said it well back in 2016 that Donald Trump was not good for the country but he sure is good for our bottom line. Or sometime like that. The Fairness Doctrine was eliminated back some 20 years ago and anti trust laws still on the books were not enforced and still aren't. But Biden is stepping up.

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Is it possible for people to acknowledge the difference between fact and opinion? And that one’s perspective (right or left or empathetic or racist) doesn’t change the facts. I thought media channels (TV, newspapers) used to differentiate between fact and opinion but not anymore.

Go to the gym and watch CNN and Fox at the same time side by side. The same news story has two different spins.

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Terese, Biden could start with the Murdoch empire that owns both newspapers and television stations is major cities. I thought that was illegal.

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I was happy to read earlier this week that Murdock is being sued multiple times. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy...

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but, but, but our legal system is so damn slow for the big guy and might be years that they come to trial. You and I would already be in jail.

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It would seem to me that if one is going to use the word “news” in a public facing brand or title, then there should be certain mandatory expectations of actual journalism. Balanced, truthful, objective. We can discuss and decide on our own how we feel about a topic.

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It probably is illegal. I'm not a lawyer but I bet there are people who are reading this who would know. Let's see — "tangle with Murdoch, who owns both newspapers and television stations in major cities?" I wonder what would occur to him as a way to retaliate???

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Looking at the number of people who subscribe to Substack, I think we’re all doing a small bit to fix the media. That’s encouraging.

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Robert, so true. How many times in the past year, while reporting on great jobs numbers, have the mainstream media said “staving off a recession” as if it’s inevitable that a recession is all but inevitable with this president. I’m fed up with this “balanced” clickbait.

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It is hardly 'Breaking News' Mary, but today, LIVE, Biden s Team (this time the Federal Reserve Board) has implemented a NEW payment system trademarked as "FedNow". Up (digitally lubticated) & Running. 👍

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My view is that we are heading into risky times, partly because of the poorly-timed strikes in Hollywood. The news media has blurred the lines into entertainment, and now Americans are left with the humorless shock jocks on the right and left, who regularly tell their audiences that things suck.

Of course, when many Americans are fed a diet of “things suck”, some will act on the suggestion and vote for change even if it’s against their best interest. Votes are almost always cast irrationally.

We can fix it, though, by boycotting crap media even when it supports your view, and challenging the social media amplifiers of their negative messages with an emotional response. If someone in your circle posts a “Biden sucks” article, take time to post something positive and uplifting (ideally personal) in response to show that there are really two sides, and only one is angry. You will get little direct satisfaction because anger begets anger, but for the persuadable, you’ve provided a rationalization of their vote.

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Let me amend this with a bit more affirmative action (pun intended): Instead of "boycotting crap media even when it supports your view" let me recommend "boycotting crap media _that_ supports your view." That's harder, of course, because we all like to feel part of a tribe. But our tribe must be "Americans", not red or blue or even purple.

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The media is certainly corrupted by profit, look at the nonstop breathless coverage of tfg and whatever he does. They made him.

Coverage punctuated by ads for things we cannot buy. Ever ask yourself why we see drug ads? Stuff we can’t buy? It’s not so we make up illnesses they’ll fix and run to the doctor for a prescription( who can afford that?). My favorite ones are the carrot ads for men. A drug for that, when women can get meds for pregnancy termination.

These ads are to bribe the media not to go after what is a very deceitful and corrupted industry at its root, and especially in America where the taxpayers subsidize their invention and testing, and pharma reaps enormous profit.

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I’ll give another example. I am suffering from a bad case of dry eye; received RX from ophthalmologist for Xiidra. That cost over $800 ...at Walmart! I got a second RX from optometrist for Restaesis (sp?) that cost over $600! Obviously, I did not fill either one. Who could? Yet I have seen both advertised on TV making it sound like just run to local pharmacy and pick up. Medicare has been very good for us, but not for allowing us to receive these outlandishly ridiculous priced drugs.

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I have dry eyes, too. At my ophthalmologist's recommendation, I buy the Rite Aid version of artificial tears and use it about three times a day. More if I've been staring at the computer or TV. I'm doing fine. Costco, and probably Walmart, sell the brand names at a good price, too. Those prescription versions are a ripoff.

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Yes, I use OTC drops too, but the most important recommendation by both doctors was to use only “Preservative Free” ones. I use PF Systane. The best prices have been at Walmart or Amazon. I’m supposed to use four times a day, but rarely get that fourth one in.

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Yes, Robert, the GOP and the corporate news spread the lies to those they think, and they are likely correct, to the poor and less-educated in this country. If the Democratic party wants to win in 2024, they need to spread the truth to the same people and stop thinking they can't reach the hearts and minds of those people. Newly elected Senator John Fetterman (D, PA) won by using his message of going to every county and speaking to folks there, instead of doing what so many of the Democratic elite have usually done, which is to just go to the safe states where the money is. Bishop William Barber, co-founder of the new Poor Peoples Campaign has said "If you want to be successful, you must go to the hollers and the hoods."

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In deed. Today the news media once again splashed DJT's ugly countenance across the screen accompanied with the number of trials pending before the elections. It amounts to free advertising for the MAGAs. Something that helped him in his first run for office. Why can't they give equal time to Biden's accomplishments in all fairness?

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Philip Roth wrote this dystopian novel, "The Plot Against America," which Trump 2024 would bring.

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“ the media “ talk about monopoly and eating up the little guy. How many of us still have a daily local newspaper in our town. I grew up in the Scranton,Pa. We had both The Scranton Tribune And The Scranton Times. Both were thick and had not only local news and opinions but also syndicated columns And comics aka “funnies”. And my small town of Carbondale ( as mentioned in the sitcom The Office) also had two competing weekly papers. And come the weekend my parents,neither of whom had a high school education , got two New York newspapers. They were not afraid of different and controversial opinions. And today we have jerks with degrees from Harvard and Yale controlling our country.

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An awful lot of people know the economy is terrible because they just look around them, unlike comfortable liberals who don't live among common working people.

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In 2005, when I moved here, my town's downtown (pop ~40k) had several vacant buildings. This continued until about 2 years ago. Now there are no vacant buildings. I do a lot of traveling in my area for the work I do. this is true of all the towns and cities here. No vacant buildings. New small businesses everywhere.

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I also do a lot of traveling, throughout the southeast. Plenty of vacant buildings downtown in many little cities throughout Tennessee and Georgia.

In general, the feeling is stressed, not at all good times.

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But so many in TN and GA say "When President Trump wins again, he'll save us because he knows what's good for us." Yeah, right.

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Richard Burrill, I "live" in Chattanooga, on the Tennessee/Georgia border. My congressional district is Republican and is surrounded on all sides by Republican districts.

However, most of the residents in the housing unit where I currently find myself are Black, as are most of the residents in the gritty surrounding neighborhood.

Around here, there hasn't been much of a "Biden recovery," except for a bounce off the bottom of the covid crisis.

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Can’t judge the economy by searching out some of the worst parts of our country & drawing a conclusion from that! Really?!

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Just now I've been driving my 18-wheeler through Helena, Georgia. Approaching from the west, along the highway that turns into MLK, Jr. Blvd., there is a profusion of vacant business buildings. There is also a smattering of empty storefronts along the main drag downtown. I did notice a new Dollar General and a new Dollar Tree, so things are looking up?

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Where are you?

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The Troll is on the LFAA ''Admins' target Board for Platform hygiene. Trolls have no Platform "memory" because they are not in a dialogue. Just YESTERDAY a community member posted an ANNE APPLEBAUM piece on the truthful conditions in Tennessee whose democratic system has been badly damaged. Misinformation & propaganda is a form of Platform disruption. Such that is not tolerated by this defined " Reader". Reported.

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Bryan Sean McCown,

That is just hateful.

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That’s complete BS. I’ve worked all my life at low-to medium-echelon jobs and I’m about as far left as you can get. Always have been. Same goes for most of my friends and colleagues. Maybe you’re confusing “liberal” with “neoliberal”.

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Remember who you're replying to! This is built-in for him.

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Carolyn Paul, I suspect there is a significant difference betwern "low-to medium-echelon jobs" and "blue collar."

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Having done both, I respectfully disagree.

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Respectful disagreement is a step up from your earlier "complete BS."

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I’m sorry John, it’s early in the morning for me. The economy is something that’s people complain about because going to the grocery store is a slap in the face to price gouging and greed every day.

I have no idea what “comfortable liberals” have to do with anything especially living among common working people. That may be your opinion but dare say it is just emotionally charged language without facts.

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He's a troll. He used to copy/paste his long diatribes about a dozen times and if anyone called him out on it, he'd resort to juvenile name calling. I liken him to the heavy breathers on the landline telephones years ago. Get their jollies out of working people up. Many regular commenters reported him and he disappeared for a day or two, now is back and limits his comments to copy/paste once or twice.

I either ignore him or I just report him.

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Who to or How do we ‘Report’ anyone?

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As you can see by this thread, he calls me (and others, frequently) a holocaust denier. Whatever. Usually he calls us all Thugs . (LOL)

You go onto the three dots next to the reply button. It will bring up a form to report the person. I have been amused that to get around being really insulting, he will link some other inane retort he previously posted. At least the first couple of times, he did that. I don't bother anymore.

For a real LOL, read his description of himself! I've conversed with others on the forum who had the same opinion after reading it, but I'll let you judge for yourself.

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If you check, you will find my work that demolishes the scholarship of the former leading expert Michael Zuckert.

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The hateful I.M.F. Holocaust denier doesn't have her facts straight, as usual.

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I’m a common working person working with and around common people who have been benefiting greatly by the moves both Obama & Biden have made and are making. We are all liberal Democrats helping one another. We’re appalled at the backward trend Republicans are taking and will do whatever it takes to get our government back to being By The People, For The People. Most voters aren’t ‘elite’! And thank God, most voters aren’t Republican!

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Now all we need to do is break up Silly Con Valley, break up the telcomms, and my favorite - break up the entertainment industry. And put a 90% tax on all income (including stock options and bonuses) over $400k/year. And write a law declaring that corporations are not persons in any way other than for liability protection of investors - the original reason for corporations. Back in the "good old days" of the Eisenhower Administration, the pay of the CEO was 40 times the minimum wage paid in the company. We should get back to that - right now the corporate pigs are getting 2,000 times the minimum wage paid in their company. If they don't like it they can always go look for actually-useful employment. And ABOLISH THE MBA!!!!

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Yes, we need competition -- not just in prices of goods and services, but for choices in whom we want to work for.

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I believe the wage of the CEO was 4 x the amount of the employee back in those days.

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Google found the Economic Policy Institute citing (a very detailed) report showing 20-to-1 CEO-to-typical-worker ratio in pay in 1965. By the measure used to determine that, the 2021 ratio was 399-to-1. (Not seeing a figure here that reports on the Eisenhower Administration’s years.) Numbers many vary, but your point is sound.

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I agree and it's definitely true!

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And I dont purchase Starbucks products because they taste nasty! I dont use Keurig coffee either because the price of the coffee equals about $58.00 a pound. And creates more waste for the landfills!

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We work very hard to buy locally where we can and avoid Walmart, Starbucks, etc. Now we have Dutch Brothers, a coffee chain run by a jerk here in Oregon. Always putting his coffee stands next to long established ones.

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I have a feeling that small businesses in rural areas are owned and operated mostly by people with Republican politics. They are extremely vulnerable and responsive to the fear of government rules, regulations, fees and taxes all promoted by a political ideology that emanates from big business and the political power that they wield.

My brother in northern Maine owns a medium size forestry, logging, trucking and real estate holding business. He writes me with a long list of things he must do and learn about that he doesn’t like doing. It includes labor laws, environmental regulations, trucking laws, etc. He seems to wish he could just go about what he wants to do with no standards other than what his customers set for him.

In fact the demise of and withdrawal from Maine by International Paper and other national companies, has opened opportunities that he has take advantage of. At the same time, large investors can at anytime start buying up large tracts of land and resources that could threaten his businesses. The labor shortage in Maine is and can be exacerbated by larger businesses pulling labor to larger cities or out of state.

I recently tried to help a local health clinic that serves lower income people in Maine with finding a healthcare architect and contractor to design and build their small clinic. Their CEO was listing large in and out of state firms that work on large hospital projects across the northeast and nation. Healthcare projects are code and approval intensive for good reason. Hospitals in the early 1900s were often housed in former residential buildings with no effective building systems to support sterile, safe and adequately functioning patient care facilities My small New York State architectural firm developed the expertise equal to and sometimes better than large firms in the applicable healthcare codes and requirements. We offered services, efficiencies, lower fees and an ability to design less expensive construction than large national firms. This could benefit hospitals, but particularly smaller healthcare providers in both urban and rural areas. There had been firms like mine in other states and Maine. I cannot find any in Maine anymore. I would expect that the cost to a small clinic for working with large firms doubles the cost in fees and construction costs. This increases our healthcare costs and increases the potential for consolidation of healthcare providers. Over the last 20 years every hospital and most physician practices in Maine are now owned by major medical networks governed by administrations far from the smaller cities and towns that once provided and controlled their local healthcare services. This will never be reversed which makes our private centralized healthcare services that much more inefficient and ineffective. The “critical access” hospitals once championed by Republicans in rural states established small Federally funded hospitals across the US that gave the smaller cities and larger rural communities all of the critical and family healthcare that existed hundreds of miles away in large cities. Critical access hospitals are now merely oversized obsolete receivers for sending patients far from home for treatment, all at higher costs with less care for the local populations. Republicans are too caught up in their ideology to figure this out and to find ways to improve their local control and services. As with covid19, they are feeling healthcare is government overreach. An easy way to condition rural Americans to expect and be happy with less of what they really need, as long as they can log onto their conspiracy theory leaders.

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Perfectly stated, David. I live just up the road from you and work with our small businesses whose employees and neighbors feel the real pain of the consolidated healthcare system and hospital-owned providers!

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Based on what I’ve observed in Italy, a country where I’ve spent a lot of time, universal health care is one of the factors which allows an economy with many small businesses, both rural and urban. Here, it can be difficult for small businesses to expand and grow, simply because they cannot afford to provide healthcare to an employee. Never mind the impact of universal health care on life expectancy. It’s not the Mediterranean diet, it’s the health care.

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You are what you eat! If we had better diets we would need less health care. At 89 I can attest to the truth of that. Remember that fat is a disease and there are many overweight Americans. (Not all of them are in the Midwest, although some days it seems that way.)

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"He seems to wish he could just go about what he wants to do with no standards other than what his customers set for him."

Loggers always want zero regulation and a return to clear cutting while leaving a completely destroyed ecosystem behind including mudslides, erosion and a post apocalyptical landscape.

Loggers count money in their pocket and that is all they count.

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My spouse was a district Forester for the State of Maine for 40 years and yes, there are a good many loggers who resent the extra time and money it costs them to operate a profitable harvest job and yet leave a logging site with water-barred skid trails and a landing that isn't a total mucky mess, following all the regs that require an active stream be left with shade and brook crossings that must have skid bridges and brush to protect from erosion and so many more environmental (and business) regulations that would seem like mere common sense to those of us who love the woods and wildlife, but do come with significant costs to the logger/operator.

To be fair, most of these smaller loggers have to compete with large companies and Canadian loggers who have pricey equipment and (in the case of Canadian loggers, government support for their business) and are driven by having to make huge payments on their very expensive machinery.

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T L, it seems to me that while it is much more complicated for loggers and foresters to harvest their profits in an ecologically sensitive manner, SHOULDN'T it be increasingly expensive to reap benefits from our beleaguered planet?

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Oh, I agree 100%. We do NOT pay even a small percentage of the actual (total costs including eventual disposal and clean up of sites) costs and 'damage to the environment' costs of extracting natural resources, and we definitely SHOULD.

Think of the costs of cleaning up mining sites and the cost of healthcare for the people working in dangerous extractive industries (black lung, asbestos, uranium...the list is endless. and then there are the secondary health concerns for the burning of the fossil fuels and ruined aquifers...

The problem stems from allowing corporations and even small companies to reap the profit privately while socializing the costs and potential financial losses.

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Mike, wouldn’t say my brother’s company clear cuts. He expects to have long term control over the land he harvests from. His company is far more environmentally friendly than national companies or perhaps those who work far from home. But like gun ownership, he expects that he will always make better decisions on his own. This may not always be the case if he chooses not to learn as knowledge of environmental welfare grows beyond what he knows. And he dismisses the fact that while he may act responsibly, others prove everyday that they don’t.

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My ancestor was cut in half working at a saw mill. Maybe a reg or two would have been nice.

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I grew up with kids whose parents were injured doing mill work. Two of my classmates had father's who lost a leg; one was a Marine injured in Korea, the other was a logger who suffered a crush injury. The Marine ended up as a junior high teacher, the logger turned into a wood worker who made beautiful things in his woodworking shop that he sold to local (locally owned and operated) stores and businesses.

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David, I think you identify the problem of corporate healthcare quite well. I have long thought healthcare should NOT be privatized but rather be a fundamental right. Having watched the venerable National Health Care System (NHS) in United Kingdom founder recently as it seems to be succumbing to the same political forces leading to chronic underfunding we see here, I'm not so sure about nationalized healthcare. It seems we need a better model.

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was reading Paul Krugman yesterday on causes and how Britian was addressing inflation. Iits population has one of the highest percts of people who are aging out and as expected are straining the NHS which has been underfunded and not grown in the past few tory governments. Killing the NHS by flooding it with the olde and most service intense and costly to serve, suggesting it is not the model that is the problem, but the strategy of an ultra conervative government seking to get rid of government run instiitutions in favor of corporate alternatives. Think of Thaccher and Regan.

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News story yesterday about a pharmacy closing in a small town. Now people must drive 60 miles round trip to the nearest one. Apparently, there is also a pharmacy desert.

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That must be why my Medicare prescription coverage is trying to get me onto its mail delivery program and leave my local pharmacy (less than 2 miles from my house.)

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Probably, although you should be OK in Eugene. We also get flu shots, etc. from the pharmacy.

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I am just fine. I went with "Sav-On" since there are Safeway/Albertsons everywhere.

Hopefully there is no Kroger merger with Safeway, Inc.

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Ditto especially in the light of Heather's letter this am.

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Thanks for a great essay, David, and for the work that you've done.

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Once again, why is all this not being shouted out by Democrats and other reasonable people? The Democrats have to create a propaganda machine equal to the GOP.

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"Talk Radio by the Numbers," by the Center for American Progress, offers one explanation for the imbalance between Right and Left messaging. Follow the money.

https://www.americanprogress.org/article/talk-radio-by-the-numbers/

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Right on David, always "Follow The Money" if you want to understand anything better in America!

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Wow! That is enlightening in itself. Thanks for sharing.

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Barney, I agree. I will also comment that while the Republicans are spewing lies and disinformation, the Democrats are actually working.....good is being accomplished.

I also wish more Americans could see the progress....the completely different positive attitudes ie: the desire to make a place for all Americans as well as to welcome those who are escaping poverty and violence. These refugees are desperate and brave; they represent many of our forefathers.

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Lying blather, or quietly working. Gee, what will people hear???

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Barney ! , Change THAT Word ; PROPAGANDA ! To the TRUTH ! MACHINE ! and AII,

will be GOOD ! BLESSINGS !

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Thank you Heather.

This stance by President Biden is a big step in getting the US back in the hands of its people. I just heard a local news story about Small Business growth and what that will mean for the local economy.

Be safe. Be well.

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The more local news stories like that one, the better. Voters read them.

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"The official noted that small businesses, especially those in rural areas, are quite happy to see consolidation broken up, because it gives them an opportunity to get into fields that previously had been closed to them. In fact, small businesses have boomed under this administration; there were 10.5 million small business applications in its first two years and those numbers continue strong."

This aspect of small businesses booming seems to me to be a key factor in the pursuit of happiness, because it gives more people the choice of how they'd like to make a living, whether it's providing services, or building and marketing a unique or creative product, rather than just going to work for a big business or corporation or retailer. At the very least, it gives one hope for the future, a future in which more people find satisfaction in their work, and life balance, and improves the mental health and well-being of the general population. Sounds a bit wishful and naïve now that I've written this, but it's what came to mind after reading Dr. Heather's paragraph above.

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Nothing naive about that. I think most of us are pining for such a future.

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Jul 20, 2023·edited Jul 20, 2023

Causes

The U.S. population surged at the end of the 19th century, nearly doubling between 1870 and 1900.

Immigration to the United States increased at rapid rates at the end of the 19th century, as did the movement of people to urban centers.

The urbanization of the time included a shift from small-scale manufacturing and business to large-scale factory production.

The growth of cities and industries introduced new problems, such as worsening economic inequality, dangerous working conditions, and poor, overcrowded living conditions.

A tiny elite held an extreme concentration of wealth and had enormous economic and political power, while most lacked opportunities to thrive.

At the time, the United States had a more decentralized form of government that was not equipped to address new economic and social problems on a national scale.

Effects

The Progressive Era started a reform tradition that has since been present in American society.

Monopolies were broken up due to violation of federal law.

Many labor unions, trade groups, and professional, civic, and religious associations were founded. They improved the lives of individuals and communities.

Regulations that progressive groups helped to enact still shape government and commerce today, including food safety requirements, child labor laws, and the normalization of the eight-hour workday.

The Nineteenth Amendment, which gave the vote to women citizens, was passed in 1920. (Written and fact-checked by The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica)

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Fern, Thank you for each of your comments and contributions...I am always inspired and better informed. You are a treasure!

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Good to see you, Emily. Be well.

Onward!

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Yesterday my husband and I watched an NPR interview of Iowans who had voted for Trump. I was happy to hear them answer Judy Woodruff’s tough questions and they were candid and mostly united in their views. Some talked about how the polarization of the parties had divided them from some of their family members. Most discussed their limitations in being able to believe that liberal democrats could be real Christian’s if they were ok with taking the life of a baby. There was only one man who when he spoke up sounded vaguely moderate. I’m so glad I don’t live in Iowa.

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As of 2020, there were 3,190,369 people living in Iowa. For comparison, there are approximately 8,500,000 living in New York City alone. But each state gets to elect two US Senators regardless of the size of its population. That gives the states with relatively small populations who have, on the whole, a conservative view of politics such as you heard, an inordinately large influence on the national agenda. You can be glad that you don’t live in Iowa but Iowa and other states with small populations are affecting your life anyway.

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Come to think of it, the design of the Senate, the creation of the electoral college, and slavery were agreed to in order to start the United colonies! Seems like the northern reps bought a whole lot of snake oil from the southern con men!

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I guess they did what they had to do at the time. I don't know that the North bought snake oil, but I believe the situation was urgent and that compromise was necessary. The Northerners may not have thought that what resulted would still be with us in many ways after 250 years.

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Exactly! This is why I am against the electoral college. Some states already get way more than their share of representation!

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I think the design of the Senate was so that the people who voted for Representatives could feel like they had "a dog in the fight" and that the Senate originally appointed by State Legislators, I believe was open to popular vote by the 17th Amendment in the 19teens. I think that the framers wanted "educated men" to make the senatorial appointments and not the "common man".

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The outsized small state voters in New Hampshire & then South Carolina carry some importance in early 2024. Ex-Guv Christie (Quinipac 3%) needs sufficient support to get to the debate stage. There is a Door Prize of national media attention if your candidacy can take Iowa & New Hampshire. Not-Trumps polls rising in NH.

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Anyone but Christie--UGH!!!

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Christie is not running for President. Christie wants to be on the Stage to Wreck tfg True, a couple of years late . But, the New Jersy action is sort of a 🎶 10th Avenue Freeze Out 🎶 :)

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HOW ABOUT ! , JAMIE Rask in !!? Put The PUNCH ! , In LUNCH !

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Gosh I sure knew Iowa and other states are influencing our lives and that’s how it should be. I’m glad though that NH will be the first primary state this year.

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For too many people, calling an embryo a baby gives that cluster of cells more rights than the living breathing woman/girl/person in whom it is growing. The old line is still true: if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

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DeSantis’s “post-birth abortions” comment during his CNN interview this week was called an “on-air gaffe” by the media. I believe it was intentional.

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Oh, no, not a gaffe. It is part and parcel of the entire process of making abortion about killing actual babies rather than zygotes.

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Of course it was. The hard right - including Liz Cheney, by the way - regularly accuses the rest of us of killing babies. It feeds their narrative of dehumanization and hatred, to keep their followers locked in and ready to commit murder in some cases, and at least unwilling to shift their votes in others.

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Yes , Joan, Then, once out of the Womb, with a few Years Added, They are Allowed to BE, AR- 15 WEAPON, TARGET PRACTICE !! O - KaY ! , makes Perfect " Sense !" ...

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And where is the man. Such hypocrisy.

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He’s buying all those advertised “happy” pills .

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Skating free and clear, like always

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Liz...That was the PBS NewsHour. I watched the peice too. I had to chuckle at the Iowans who said they get lots of different news to make their decisions. Then throughout the interview I heard the list: Fox, NewsMax, RealClear Politics, Twitter, other social media, etc. But they all agreed it was media who was causing division! Umm... Hello??

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Insanity on steroids

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Liz, I saw that NPR interview too and was both troubled yet oddly encouraged that some of them would try to listen to their offspring should they get involved or married to a "liberal" or a "progressive." I confess that it is hard to argue for taking a life in the face of simplistic reasoning because these are such difficult, complicated and painful kinds of decisions to make. In the end, I think one is best off when decisions this complicated and unique to an individual are made by that individual...not the government.

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It irks me that there is a 3rd party consideration. As I understand it, Manchin is involved. Shiver me timbers! This Joe needs to stay far far away from any podium as he is a disaster waiting to happen. I hear echoes of Ralph Nader and that is a big “ugh”.

Knowing there are so many indictments awaiting the bloated blowhard, makes my heart happy.

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Marlene, Nader was singularly effective at combatting automobile manufacturer's efforts to skirt fundamental safety considerations of their cars. One wonders how much longer it would have been before we had seatbelts and safer fuel and suspension systems in cars without Nader. The problem came when he got into politics which require the art of compromise and what's doable with his no-compromise political stances.

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