“Autocratic leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin, have said that democracy is obsolete and autocracy is the form of government that will dominate the future.”

Republicans have more in common with Xi and Putin than they do with us. Hmmmm

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As a vehicle for declaring what is to be done and providing an explanation, an op-ed is a considerable advance on a tweet.

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The biggest issue I see today is what to do with the coward Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia who insists on holding the nation captive till he gets a minority of Repubs to agree with Joe Biden's plans for America.

This is not a Democrat who is seeking to help the people of this nation. This is a person who is attempting to appease a minority of political interests who are only interested inn themselves. Joe has risked nothing to arrive at where he is today. A pocks on him. If he proclaimed he was a Repub, I could tolerate him. I would know his beliefs. He is an empty suit, a coward who has risked "nothing" to arrive at where he is today.

It is annoying that one person can hold a nation captive to their interests. A minority inflicting their harm upon a majority. A tyranny of a minority.

Sigh . . .

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“Biden is dedicating his presidency to the defense of democracy.” Thank goodness. Hopefully he’ll also use this opportunity to influence the “on the fence” Democrats to support the For the People Act. It seems that democracy is crumbling before our eyes. Is this our only hope?

Thanks, Heather

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Governance by the people and the rule of law, or autocracy and edict? This is the question of these, our times. Like Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

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European perspectives from the Washington Post's, Today's WorldView, provided a deeper sense of what Biden may face when he meets with the G7 this week. It rings more of wariness than enthusiasm.

'But elements of Trump’s trade war are still in place, while the Biden administration maintains pandemic-era restrictions on E.U. citizens traveling to the country even as the continent opens up to a legion of eager U.S. tourists. Experts see the fact that Biden has yet to name ambassadors to either NATO or to the European Union in Brussels as a sign of inattention from Washington. European commentators also recognize that, no matter Biden’s imminent bonhomie in London and Brussels, the United States increasingly views Europe at best as a junior partner in its intensifying competition with China.'

“Beyond all of the summitry and diplomatic attention, the Biden administration’s early actions show that it doesn’t believe Europe will ever be vital to this new geopolitical struggle,” wrote Jeremy Shapiro in Politico Europe. “A president known as a longtime transatlantic champion has de-prioritized European policy.”

“The hopeful, optimistic view is that Biden is kicking off a new relationship, showing faith in Brussels and NATO, saying the right words and kicking off the key strategic process” of updating the transatlantic alliance for the 21st century, said Jana Puglierin, Berlin director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, to the New York Times. “But Biden also wants to see bang for the buck, and we need to show tangible results. This is not unconditional love, but friends with benefits.”

'There are deeper signs of European realism. A new survey of European attitudes published Monday by the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States found only limited confidence in Washington. In France and Germany, slender majorities see the United States as the world’s most influential power. Only 51 percent of Germans surveyed viewed the United States as a “reliable” partner.'

'Martin Quencez, deputy director of GMF’s Paris office, told Today’s WorldView that the results suggest that “the Biden effect has not happened” and that the perceived “decrease in U.S. influence is still the same today” as it was under Trump. And given the seeming resilience of the Trumpist movement in the United States, some European analysts are worried that Biden’s tenure will be little more than “an ‘intermezzo’ between more populist, nationalist presidents,” wrote Steven Erlanger of the Times.'

link to article:


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On Manchin - If he is really trying to protect the filibuster because he believes democrats will be the minority party again soon, doesn’t he see the clear signs that republicans will scrap it as soon as they regain power? Either he’s naive or he’s bought and paid for.

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"Autocratic leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin, have said that democracy is obsolete and autocracy is the form of government that will dominate the future." I am at the moment reading (or audibling - if there is such a word) STRONG MEN by Ruth Ben Ghiat. It scares the pants off me (but we call them trousers over here!). The pattern she describes of the Mussolini/Hitler era seems so very familiar in the (now) Trump/Putin?Xi era. Democracy, on both sides of the pond, is fragile but is (for all its faults) something we should fight very hard to keep.

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I watched the Kennedy Center awards last night. It was terrific. Three things stood out to me. First was that Joan Baez's guest was Officer Fanone. Seeing him next to her was inspiring. https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/national/capitol-riots/joan-baez-mike-fanone-unlikely-friendship-capitol-riots/65-148177e5-758a-4297-baf8-5c98849a20d6

Second was the visual of Joe Manchin singing along with "We Shall Overcome". It made me so angry. I know that the show was taped last month, but still, seeing him singing the song was so jarring in light of his current stance was disgusting. Third, the segment on Joan made me melancholy. She spent her whole life rallying people for social justice and against the war...so many of us were inspired by her songs....and to realize that 50 years later we are still fighting for the same things. I must admit to tears rolling down my cheeks.

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I'm signing on for another year already, June 11th....confident of the future that we'll see together. It's been quite a tumultous ride already but easier and more interesting because Heather is with us and we can discuss, comfort and inspire each other and act together each according to their means and capacity.

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Every day, Biden shows he is The Man For This Time.

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When challenged by President Biden's statement that democracy can react as fast as autocracies, I'm considering that one thing that has to happen is the judiciary and the courts must act a lot faster. Instead of expanding the one Supreme Court, maybe we need several Supreme Courts each hearing different classes of cases. The bill to expedite Congressional subpoenas to the top court is perhaps a move in that direction.

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Posting this again as it still seems relevant. From The Midnight Special on WFMT radio in Chicago this weekend.

"D-Day Dodgers"

"If you look around the mountains in the mud and rain

See the scattered crosses some which have no name

Heart break and toil and suffering gone

The boys beneath them linger on

They are the D-Day Dodgers

Who stayed in Italy"


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Thank you, Heather! Correction -- $3 billion should be $3 trillion for the infrastructure and education. :)

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6 things that need to be done to stop Republicans from killing our democracy:


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"This agreement is a huge deal. If accepted, it would stop countries from trying to attract multinational businesses by cutting taxes on them, a so-called “race to the bottom” that reduces the amount of tax money available for public investment while pumping money into the largest multinational corporations." Then, a few paragraphs later: "International treaties require a two-thirds majority in the Senate to pass, and Republicans, who have vowed to oppose any tax increases, are unlikely to approve." To put it mildly.

Or in short, this is not a "huge deal. " It's idle chatter. If Biden keeps coming up with lovely schemes while refusing to dump the filibuster or get Manchin and Sinema in line, Prof. Richardson had best start taking a less starry-eyed view of his hopey-changey thing. I'm starting to lose confidence in her, despite my deep gratitude for her help in getting us through the Slough of Despond last year.

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