Shortly after noon today, President Biden announced to reporters, “We have a deal.” After weeks of negotiations, a bipartisan group of 5 Democratic and 5 Republican senators have agreed to a blueprint for an infrastructure bill with $973 billion in spending, $579 billion of it new. If 5 more Republicans sign on—and if all the Democrats vote yes—this bill can overcome any filibusters thrown in its path.
Morning all! I admit that I was quite cheered up by the suspension of Giuliani's law license. Now he needs to be permanently disbarred. His son--who is even more of an ass than he is, because he started his idiocy earlier--wants to be governor. Even the Repugnicans in NY can't abide him.
I know that this is a forum for discussing the ways in which current events and history collide, even when HCR doesn't talk about a particular topic, so I want to add something to everyone's thoughts today: Britney Spears. Yeah, I know: why do I want to clutter your brains with thoughts of Britney Spears? Because her situation, pleading at the age of 39 to be released from the draconian clutches of a court-demanded and father-dominated conservatorship made up of grifters and exploiters, is one of the most transparent examples of the social and legal culture's systemic war on women's autonomy--akin to the systemic racism outlined and revealed in CRT. Yes, she is white and (if she had control over her money) wealthy but I want to contrast her situation with some other people who have also demonstrated pretty extreme levels of mental illness but did not find themselves reduced to perpetual legal childhood: Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Robert Downey Jr., Dennis Rodman--I could go on. There are numerous examples of men whose behavior has been bizarre, demonstrably troubling, and dangerous yet they are not subject to legal conservatorship and forced under the control of a grifting parent.
If we want to address the systemic oppressions embedded in our legal, social, economic, and cultural systems we have to address the oppression of women. This is what the anti-choice people do not want to admit: they are seeking to control women's bodies and women's legal status. If they really wanted to help women, they would not criminalize the fact that women can become pregnant and instead demand legal controls over men who impregnate them.
I'll probably be writing about the Catholic Church tomorrow--because the contrast between the appalling attempt by the US bishops to deny communion to people whose ideas are different from theirs (see above about controlling women's bodies) and their silence on the over 1000 and counting mass graves mostly of children found on the sites of Catholic-run so-called boarding schools for First Nations children stolen from their parents in Canada is making me nauseous.
I was glad to see Pramilla Jayapal explain to Rachel tonight how she got a secret vote in the House progressive caucus that showed overwhelming opposition to the bipartisan bill - enough to sink it - if there was not actual action on the reconciliation bill at the same time. Seeing that poll gave Pelosi the power to make the demand she did about how the bills would be voted on, and all of that is why Biden and Shumer, who are to "go along to get along" they might well have sold things out for the opportunity to say hosannas to "bipartisanship," had to come around as they did. I have to say I didn't think the progressive caucus could hold themselves together that way - it's a big win for our side to force that.
I'm glad you're having a relatively early night, Heather, and equally glad I have the opportunity to speak for your multitude of admirers and express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your daily gifts. Don't know what I'd do without your letters. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I think there is enough evidence that the talking head on OAN has already crossed the line by making an implied threat that people he deems to be 'traitors' should be 'executed'. We already have a real-world example of what happened when President Trump exhorted a screaming mob to walk to the Capitol and "fight like hell" to preserve his presidency. This particular moron is trying to pull off the same sort of performance. He belongs in jail. There is nothing in the First Amendment that excuses is incendiary language and invitation to mayhem on grounds of free speech. Congressman Ted Lieu's pleading with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to call off the dogs is essentially a waste of breath. McCarthy is completely complicit with Trump and his hotheads because he thinks that in two years he will be Speaker of the House, and third in line of succession to the presidency. What a disgusting performance he and his cohort have engaged in in this over-the-top power play. There is nothing in the so-called 'safe harbor' legislation for Internet providers that allows any one of them to make not-so-veiled threats of killing political opponents for opposing their rolling coup d'état. If it were up to me, I would have that guy frog-marched into jail before breakfast tomorrow morning
It’s Black and white, it’s Cult, Fascist, agnd Sir Rudy is going to jail. As are Trump, Barr, and others of their cult. The GOP is not the Grand Old Party. It’s the Grifters Oligarch Party.
I am again traveling, so at least a half dozen comments on other folks’ comments are not being made.
In the motorcycling world, I learned a helpful phrase: You can be right, or you can be dead right. This was sometimes also called the “lug nuts rule”. Briefly, if you have the right of way, and a vehicle with more than your four lug nuts decides to violate your right of way you have essentially two options: give way and continue the ride, or be right and get crunched. I hope to heck that the progressive caucus chooses to not be dead right.
I wish a good morning to all those here before my 0600 PDT arrival. The “Strawberry Moon” appears to have exercised its influence in spectacular fashion today.
Describing these people as (political) "extremists" is somewhat misleading and it's resulting in relatively restrained reactions. These people are terrorists, albeit homegrown terrorists, they should be pursued and prosecuted expeditiously. The longer this festers, the greater the risk of lives being lost and damage that cannot be undone. Yes, some of the terrorists are anonymous and will evade prosecution. But, they are supported and encouraged by people who are well-known and in powerful places.
The Republican party has morphed from an irresponsible and reckless political party to a state-endorsed terrorist group determined to overthrow the government and forcibly install their brand of authority and justice. These are the same tactics Hitler and the Nazis used to gain power. They believed that they were the chosen ones who would save Germany and lead the world.
If I was a Democratic politician, I would, first and foremost, publically reaffirm my oath of office declaring in no uncertain terms that I will do everything in my power to defend the Constitution. I would then quickly act to root out all the Republican politicians who have disavowed their oath of office, and openly defied the Constitution. Most in the Republican Party should not be anywhere close to a position in government because they do not support democratic governance, the Constitution, nor the rule of law. Their failure to hold Trump responsible for high crimes and misdemeanors speaks volumes about their guilt. Their unwillingness to investigate the insurrection exposes their complicity in the insurrection.
I believe we are rapidly facing the dissolution of democracy. If I was a Democratic politician, I would not be acting like this is partisan politics as usual. The Democrats should assume they have one chance left to save the country before Republicans regain power. It's a slim chance and time is not on their side. The path they are pursuing now is wasting time and the odds of bearing fruit are slim. Their entire focus must be on exposing and eliminating the right-wing terrorists starting with Republican members of Congress who have refused to accept the 2020 election results based on the "Big Lie."
If Democrats want to save the country and preserve democracy, they need to act now with a single-minded purpose to crush the Republican terrorists! They must assume they won't get another chance. Urgency is required!
The police have been criticized for not apprehending someone making threats on social media, after the person has committed a mass shooting. At what point should those now making threats under the cover of political free speech be brought in and their weapons taken away? In other democratic countries I think law enforcement would be on the move; France, Germany, Norway, the UK. We know from Jan 6 what the Trump Thugs will do. Why wait until innocent people are dead to act?
Again, when in every forum, including this one, will we stop buying into the DJT hoax of calling themselves "Republicans", and call them what they are, "Trumpers", while asking the "Real" Republicans to stand out and be counted? Example: I was walking our dog in a retirement/extended care community where we are members. In front of a cottage was a tall man with his small dog. I introduced myself; he did the same. I asked him from whence he had come. He named the state, then said he had worked in a law firm for years, then severed as a judge for 7 years. Hmm; I asked, "what are your politics?" He looked me straight on, " Staunch Republican, have been all my life!" Okay your honor, I asked, "Do you believe, or support those who claim, that DJT won the 2020 election?" He turned his head almost 90 degrees, almost as if I had touched his face with a wet fish. After a long pause he turned not quite square on, and said in a very quiet voice, "No, I do not". We agreed to have coffee after we both return after the summer.
Go ye forth!
Lift your spirit with the Marseille McDonald's and the Renegade California Cow:
Some comments tonight seem a bit higher than usual on gibberish vs content, and on a hunch I checked and discovered that there is indeed a full moon!
"The first full moon of summer 2021, also known as the Strawberry Moon, rises tonight (June 24), marking the last supermoon of the year. June's full moon arrives Thursday (June 24) at 2:40 p.m. EDT."
Furthermore, (non sequitur warning):
"Krispy Kreme released a new strawberry-themed doughnut today (June 24). The doughnut is filled with strawberry Kreme, dipped in strawberries and Kreme icing, and topped with graham crackers representing “moon dust.""
And with that, I'm off to sleep (way late) but HCR has become part of my evening routine and I am eternally grateful for her Letters. 💜
Thank you, HCR for a cogent summation of what is, always, a "busy day" of news.
I think, at some point, all of Congress wants to produce "something" to provide a proof-of-concept and justification for their job/position. The "compromise" announced today may be the best deal that can be made, but it is still just in the "ingredient" stage to me. Nonetheless: how a significant investment in the infrastructure of the Country isn't an easy vote is beyond me. UNLESS you THINK that it may benefit BIPOC...then it is a stretch....For the GOP. And so we are stuck, again, in the Senate. Hate to hand anything to the, "colored," folk...says the good Senator from Kentucky...
In terms of the events of 1/6/21, it is clear that there are certain people that don't want the truth to be exposed in any official way. I get that. If my kid shit the bed at a sleepover I'd like to define history in such a way that the sleepover did not happen. However, this was not your kid shitting the sheets: this was a wholesale attack on the Capitol with the goal of taking over the place to declare their "person" president. What, exactly, would the GOP consider enough of an attack to justify an inquiry, if not this? I just don't get it...unless your kid actually shit
Ask yourself this: If the "assault" on the Capitol was perpetrated by a large group of BLACK people and BLACK people were assaulting police and smashing in the doors to the Capitol, would the then-President have been as tame in his response? Remember, Reverend Ossof was ARRESTED for holding a peaceful vigil in the rotunda... I think, if several hundred BLACK people perpetrated the insurrection, we would have had a much more heavy response, and dead BLACK people.
Mr. McCarthy wants to add to the 'inquiry' the "source" of all "these" insurrections, thereby trying to tie the 1/6/21 insurrection to the larger BLM movement and (seemingly) tie one to the other, but I hope that this effort will be shutdown. How a straight-minded person can equate the assault on the Capitol with the struggle for racial equality is beyond me. Nancy (Pelosi) is now forced to going this inquiry alone, but the facts are really not in question. We have the video and more importantly we have the statements of the people involved. They have, unequivocally, stated that the were there and did what they did to support the former president. This will be what any "inquiry" produces. With or without GOP participation.
Whether or not our citizens care is the question.
Linda On Okinawa FRIDAY 6/ 25 How does this site keep going a place for everyone with funds generated to pay for all the staff needed to support Letters from an American , and who else could keep this site going? President Biden could appoint Dr. Heather Cox Richardson as an advisor and then which one of anyone writing emails on these sites would be willing to work 12 or 14 hours a day and also teach her classes at Boston University and direct all her other projects, pod casts, interviews and keep your existence so warm and hopeful to others, There is only one earth and we all have the same red blood no matter if we came from fertility goddesses , other planets, or Sky Gods or the pelvic tundra. Freedom of expression is what Dr, Richardson has ignited with her gift in writing about historical events and reflecting on the conflicts all Americans face. I enjoy reading all your emails even if I do not agree with all I read however I am so impressed by eveyone's ideas on this site. Linda 5pm Okinawa -1000 miles from Tokyo and very near Taiwan and Fujian PRC
'“What are the consequences for traitors who meddled with our sacred democratic process and tried to steal power by taking away the voices of the American people?” he asked.
"In the past, ...“Execution.”' Well, for the one who instigated that attemped coup on January 6, Trump, I totally agree. And, what a shame he didn't die last fall of Covid. Then there wouldn't have been a January 6th.
I looks like the Dems' leaders have been taking lessons in "Spock's" 3-dimensional chess. A little slight of hand, a little hardball, a little diplomatic cuddling and a wholesale wracking up of the pressure that they are putting on Manchin to stay on side to agree and reduce effectiveness of filibuster, Progressives to accept half a loaf in each of 2 bills rather than a blatant full-scale political win, Republicans to share a little of the glory while distancing themselves ever so slightly from their "drivers" and "overseers" before Pelosi's committee spills all the stinking beans..... and for them all to give the people what they want and need. Let's hope that this is not just an accident created by "special circumstances" and that the Dems have discovered the true meaning and hardship of leadership.
Thank you Heather for your synopsis of yet another dynamic day with causes for celebration (a Biden led bipartisan blueprint for the infrastructure bill and Rudy Giuliani’s fall) and alarm (QAnon sowing the seeds of extreme violence). Wiser minds and cooler heads must define and defend the line between insurgent speech and protected speech.
After scrolling through the comments, many of which are right on the mark, with where we are now with QANON and whatever else is out there is this: it is relatively easy to flummox people who are scared out of their minds. And we have a whole bunch of people scared out of their minds. They can be found in all population and economic and education groups, but more of them seem to be white. Educationally and economically it is more a mixed bag. Some have more than enough and many have not enough. The education they have received has been woefully inadequate to the task of learning to think critically or think at all. The white supremacy model that has been around for centuries of northern European colonialism and economic hegemony means each group is fearful of others even if there are those in each group working for a recognition of what ails us in the United States. What ails us is the product of a strange conjunction between enlightenment thinkers who were also enslavers and who believed in a hierarchy of value as promulgated by the thinkers and religious elites of their own times. All the books Sandy Lewis refers to I have read. Right now I am reading Clint Smith's new book How the Word is Passed. And it is a book that converses with Wilmington's Lie in a very powerful way. What that conversation reveals is today's present situation in which the threat of white supremacy violence is real and not going away. It has always been present. The former "president" (do you know how much money the public spent for him to be 'cured' of Covid?) gave permission for the worst in the American psyche to be unleashed. The Founders were wrong, morally and ethically, to base the nation's economy and their own personal economy on enslavement. The implications of that willful decision will be with us until we face up to the reality of those decisions and the traumatic impacts still rippling throughout the nation today. Attempts to go backwards with gop efforts in statehouses around the nation reflect the power of an ideology to blind and maim all who hang on to it. That's THE reason there was a Civil War. There was no high minded fight for freedom. It was a fight for an economic system aka a business model. If you want to see that spelled out in print read Annette Gordon Reeds book, On Juneteenth, to see exactly what Texas was founded on. Ever since then this business model has prevailed (globally as well) for the most part through organizations like The Heritage Foundation and the A.L.E.C. which use all their tactics including the IRS code (and remember these 2 organizations were birthed during Reagan's era) to push the white supremacy model, calling it everything except white supremacy. I predict a really rocky road ahead. I hope people who know will keep working to bring others alongside so they might understand just how a few are playing all of us off against each other in order to protect their own access to the pie to the detriment of the nation.