430 Comments

That Paxton has long been blatantly corrupt with no consequences could not possibly surprise any sane person. What is so devastating to our democracy is his playbook is used by Republicans everywhere. And I wish media would stop distinguishing "extremist" Republicans from "moderate" Republicans. Those who remained and remain silent while Paxton's corruption increased are enablers and just as guilty.

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Silence is complicity, proven consistently throughout history.

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The despots thru history needed the silence of most to do their dirty deeds.

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“Many” is not enough. It requires “most.”

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I think you are right.

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Yes, thank you. I think so, too. As a current example we have the cowardly capitulation of Target executives to intimidation and public vandalism by a few people. If most of Target’s customers made it clear that such cowardice would affect Target’s bottom line, the executives would stand up to the terrorists. Many customers may object publicly but certainly not most, so violence by a few will again prove to be an effective way to control corporate (and government, for that matter) behavior, as it has throughout US history.

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PS. Anyone who wants to express an objection to Target’s capitulation to terrorism can send email to abuse@target.com

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THIS, needs to be the democratic slogan.

Battle for the soul of the nation is ongoing.

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Nice rhyme! I am reminded of: "First they came..." is the poetic form of a 1946 post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It is about the silence of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging...(and deaths) group after group.Wikipedia"

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Thats what popped into my mind, too, Hope. Unfortunately - waiting until this crew of crooks feels the "hurt" might take too long!

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"Who remained & remain silent" ... and who surface now to openly support the Autocrat's Playbook and his "overt acts" to wit Matt Rindaldi, head of Texas R's per the weekday email, 'The Brief' via the Texas Tribune. [ No Paywall at The Texas Tribune's The Brief ]

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Thx, Bryan. My concern continues to be the silent, so-called “good” Republicans who see these atrocities happening and yet still support and vote for these fascists. Perhaps social mores made them sublimate their racist, ugly tendencies before-but while I have no desire to lump people in a group, I can’t help but believe that they truly don’t mind the white supremacist attitudes and actions of the entire GOP today. I feel like I was ostriching for decades and not recognizing these things in folks around me.

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I agree with you Jen. My husband and I have experienced the same thing. It is hard to believe all that I didn’t notice or recognize until fairly recently. This understanding has changed our lives and relationships drastically. We are not silent and continue to try to find like minded people. They are out there and it is the main reason I enjoy reading the comments in HCR’s community. Thank you Heather!

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There are very few 'good' Republicans any longer. Anywhere. Those who might fit that description are cowering on the sidelines (except for the very few like Cheney and Romney). Paxton will not be impeached, and efforts to do so will fade into the dustbin of history just as the two impeachments of the defeated former president have done. But fear not. Within the next decade, Texas will become solidly Democratic, as the cowardice which fuels the G.O.P there crumbles.

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From this page to God's ear, Jack!

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JACK ! Read ISAIAH 54 / 16-17 ! Our LORD ! Still has His AUTHORITY... OVER All, of US ! Thank You! ...JESUS !!

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It would be a simple thing, therefore, for the Creator to shut down the weapons industries, ending wars worldwide and gun violence domestically.

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Jen, somewhere along the line, they started saying the quiet part out loud, and not caring who heard them. Sadly, that quiet part was very likely always there.

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Lynn and Camilla, I think you are correct, my friends-it was always there, just hidden because it wasn’t pc. I’m pretty disillusioned by it all but I’m grateful for people here and those who follow Jay Kuo and Steve Schmidt who speak truth and love democracy, decency, kindness, inclusivity, and all of the things we have cherished. We aren’t perfect in this democratic republic, but it used to better. I’m hoping and working for better, along with the good men and women joined together here by Professor Richardson.

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No regrets now, time to act. :)

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I'm pretty sure that "the ends justify the means" applies to many, many, maybe most of them. The particular ends may vary from person to person, though ending abortion and curbing the influence of people of color have to be high on most lists. To achieve those ends, these Republicans are willing to overlook almost everything else.

I may be overly optimistic in using "almost" here, because so far it looks as though they're willing to overlook *everything* else, from climate change to the Constitution. But I'm still hoping that there's a bottom below which they won't sink.

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I agree.As I have stated before, there are no good Rs left in Texas and everywhere for that matter.If people still stand behind the Republican Party after all that has happened, they could not be committed to our democracy.

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Apparently there are enough to bring Paxton to impeachment. The problem is not a lack of good Republicans, it's a mostly rabid base fueled by money hungry news providers, podcasters, writers and tv/radio personalities.

I read about good Republicans everyday, sure there are not enough but they are out there and trying to make a difference. Just look at the recent crossovers in state government fighting unrealistic abortion laws.

It's tempting to lump folks into one big basket but it is not the way to go if you're looking for meaningful solutions to our complex problems.

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I know some "good Republicans" as well.

But here's the question. If one belonged to a club and most of the club became racists and haters of all people who are not white and male...if that club supported the overthrow of the United States of America...if that club openly supported war criminals around the world...if that club wanted to threaten the full faith and credit of the US government leading to a global financial crisis.....threatening Social Security and Veterans benefits...if that club put profits over the survival of life as we know it - adding fuel to the fire of the Climate Crisis... How could one STILL remain a member of that club and not be complicit in the destruction of the nation and the planet itself? How?

The words Republican and good no longer belong in the same sentence. When the freight train of global annihilation comes bearing down on us, do we stay on the tracks and reflect that there are still some good trains somewhere?

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I neglected to say that the "good Republicans" we know now call themselves independents. They are too embarrassed to use the name Republican...

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We will see just how many"good" Republicans are out there.All 213 House Democrats have signed onto the discharge petition that would force a clean debt ceiling hike onto the floor. To have success here, they must find 5 Republicans to join them. I am not holding my breath but one never knows...

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We have one local R rep from the 5th District here in Oregon who barely won. She might be a candidate although they all seem to be keeping their cards close to their chests. She would have lost if that scum Schroeder had helped the D. Btw, he now, surprise, surprise, is a lobbyist for a pharmaceutical company.

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True . . . so what is being left in the Republican Party is the hard right, and those who are not paying attention.

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I dont put Murkowski in the "far right" category but it is true she does not speak out enough.

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Claiming to be an Independent in a two-party system is a semantic distinction without real meaning. Being such is aptly compared to one taking an off ramp into a rest area while wanting us to believe they exited the route. They might not get caught for speeding, but in their dark hearts and pleas for recognition as discerning travelers they sped along with the law breakers. They are merely hiding from honesty of their ignoring or the worse kind of bandit while wanting us to believe they are acting upon conscience while hiding so as not to get caught or shown to be guilty. In moral battles (and politics) the fence wire is too thin to permit anyone a place to sit or stand. Besides, the rest area has a limited number of parking places. IMHO..

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Fred! Great portrait! Good wordsmithing!

It really is a war of cultures now. But when I get super angry and frustrated I look at the diversity of our grandkids classrooms. In what was a lily white town that harks back to the founding of the nation, the faces now look like the UN. These kids think diversity and a variety of skin color and origins is normal. Makes me hopeful.

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AMEN ! Fred ! That FENCEWIRE, is in Comparison, to the Razors Edge, that Mankind " sits on " ...with Trust in GOD ! " Either You IS !, OR, you Are NOT !

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Bill,

Good points all. I was once in the Republican club. from 1980 to 2003.

Long enough to know about and follow the weapons inspectors in Iraq that REAGAN put there.

Long enough to access their public reports from the U.N. Long enough to know that there were ZERO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

I mean: Those inspectors were all over the media saying there was nothing there.

Also, there was ZERO Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2003. Saddam killed anyone who gained any real power.

So, when George W. Bush invaded Iraq based on an obvious lie that even a lowly engineer in the bowels of the USA, with two kids and a more than full time job KNEW was an obvious lie?

I quite the club. Permanently. It was, of course, very helpful that Bill Clinton was no longer on the scene because, he disgusted me as well.

But, so far, since Clinton, the Democrats seem to be avoiding serial rapists and Jeffrey Epstein buddies. So, I am in that club.

But, in America, I am worried about BOTH of the clubs now. There is a lot of money sloshing around from Johns looking for a good politician to own.

Democrats are people too. It may just be a matter of time before all of our "representatives" are "kept" like most Republicans are now.

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I wish I could disagree with you. SO FAR, the Democratic Party as a party has not embraced autocratic and anti-Democratic rule. Yet.

I am not and have not been a Democrat since I registered as one to vote in a primary in the 1970s. But I vote for more Democrats than Republicans, that is for certain {I am far in the progressive direction by opinion, but not necessarily by support of any politician, though I like our Vermont contingent right now}.

I hope beyond hope that the predictions given regarding DJT’s ability to “bring down our democracy” are not being slowly and inexorably played out. I thought it meant while he was in office, but now I think the Cassandras meant by validating and enabling the forces of autocracy that now assail us.

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That's why I think the Roberts court was so eager to enshrine Citizens United. When untold amounts of cash can be had, it's almost impossible to run decent campaigns on small donations. Republicans have access to more cash than Democrats do. But that doesn't mean all Democrats will turn down the big money. In fact, some conclude that they might as well take the least objectionable if they want to stay in office.

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I was raised by "I like Ike" parents. But their best friends were Democrats. I actually drank the Goldwater Kool Aid. But then there was Vietnam. Domino theory? What? Die after helping slaughter folks we knew nothing about? Not me. I flipped.

My first Presidential vote was for McGovern. Clinton? I feel the same way. A self absorbed fool who helped pave the way for the hollowing out of the American industrial base and indirectly gave us the Great Recession.

I love Obama as a man. But he bailed out banks when we should have sent the money to those who were the victims of the funky mortgages.

So the Dems are far from perfect. But at least most of them see the world as an "us" place as opposed to "me, me, me and screw everyone else".

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Our next door neighbor was a long time local R county politician. He can't stand what the party has become and is registered as I although I know he votes mostly for Ds. Some of our near neighbors are also Rs who did not vote for death star. Then there is the rest of the area which contains some very loud and obnoxious Rs.

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You just put 'Republican' and 'good' in the same sentence. Not sure how to avoid that problem, a logical conundrum.

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Beautifully stated! Thank you!

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Wow, Bill! Spot on.

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So well said....

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I agree100%

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Meaningful solutions? Go negotiate with extremists. Consider that the likes of trump, and there are many in the House, who are too ignorant to realize the ramifications of a default and are perfectly willing to cause a default and they think that they can blame Biden. As though their willingness to raise the debt ceiling for trump does not make them unadulterated hypocrites.

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And may I add, “pure” unadulterated hypocrites.

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An act of omission (failure to act in a reasonable manner) is as bad as an act of commission (acting in a destructive manner). There are no good RepubliQans; they see what happened to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and are remaining silent, thereby committing acts of omission.

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But the threshold for dialog is getting disturbingly high. Example is the lack of movement among Rs from Dem leaning districts to vote with Dems on raising the debt ceiling.

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There hasn't been a good Republican since Eisenhower.

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True, at least in terms of presidents. I'd say Ford, but I will never forgive him for his preemptive pardon of Nixon.

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You may be right. I voted for Eisenhower, but no Republican since.

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My mother, too. My dad always said it was the uniform.

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Good Republican is an oxymoron.

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I’m at a loss as to what the good Republicans are holding onto — their party itself has been corrupted by the likes of Gingrich and all who follow his zero-sum blueprint, culminating in the self-described “killer” instincts regarding TFG’s business and political practices that have spread through the party. Witness a willingness to actually put our economy into default as a “do whatever it takes to defeat your opposition” political style. This “killer” mystique has just about taken over the entire leadership of the party these days.

But I think principled conservatism is real, and I wish it had a responsible place to be heard. That is NOT today’s Republican Party. I am surprised that enough have voted to impeach Paxton, and that alone gives me hope. We will see if the hope remains as this plays out.

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There are a few who claim to be principled conservatives.

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Obviously BlueRootsRadio you do not live in Texas.........

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Thanks for this reminder. It’s hard not to believe that all Republicans go along with this bs. We have to take the bullhorn away from the bsers.

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Would love to hear more about competent good republicans what are your sources? If I may ask.

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My sources are the same as Heather's.

How about all the Trump appointed judges who shot down all his cases about the stolen election? How about all the women GOP state legislators who bucked the party over insane abortion laws? How about the Texas House members who started impeachment on Paxton? How about GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger? How about all the Republicans in Arizona who stopped the election from being turned over? This is a small sample.

Would I vote for any of them? Probably not but that's not the point, the point is you can't lump all Republicans into the same basket. To do that is to be as bad as the maga mob.

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There are no true conservative Republicans any more. There is nothing conservative about a bunch of haters who need to undermine democracy to hold on to power and to take away civil and personal rights.

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I agree and will not call them conservatives. They are far right extremist regressives.

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It’s a cult. There is no space for moderation in a cult. Sorry new CNN. “Hyper Normalization” is a new term by Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat. Normalizing political violence, memory laws, women and minorities are 2nd class citizens, voter suppression etc etc. This cult is the new fascism.The charismatic cult leader wields supreme power over all. Sorry “vanity candidates”: Desantis, Hailey, and Scott, but you are just spinning your wheels, these campaigns won’t go anywhere. I’m waiting for that candidate who is even more far right than tfg. This candidate will normalize TFG by creating a false sense that Donnie is a moderate. This might be Ronnie now.

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I read a statement from HCR (on Twitter, I think) where she stated she doesn't call the right-wing Republican extremists "conservative" anymore. "Conservative", is not necessarily a pejorative and shouldn't be seen as such, and I say this as someone who is pretty much a solid "progressive", or "liberal". A democracy can benefit by having both viewpoints to sort of counterbalance each other. HCR even says as much in today's letter where she describes states with overwhelming one-party rule as being ripe for corruption, essentially because when there's no opposition the checks and balances are skewed and there is a loss of accountability. It's a characteristic of authoritarian states across history. When one or both parties swing way off to extremes in either direction, it can upset the apple-cart, as it were. A part of me feels bad for conservatives because they're being left out of the process because of the radicalization of their party. (The same thing can happen on the Left too.) They're between a "rock and a hard place" and are being cowered into silence. This HAS to change, not just for their benefit in the long run, but now the very fate of the country hangs in the balance. They HAVE to take their party back and stop the insanity. WE should also step up to help them when possible, and put aside our differences to excise this cancer in our midst that will bring us BOTH down.

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'We have to put aside our differences......"

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Harvey Kravetz, wouldn't you agree that Liz Cheney qualifies as a "true conservative Republican" with a highly ethical approach to her beliefs, convictions and ways of expressing them? (Regardless of our own political beliefs.)

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Judith, you might want to ask Liz’s sister Mary, the married lesbian mother, for her views on her sister’s personal ethics. The personal and political aren’t that far apart. They may have made up by now; I don’t know. But that, to me, is Cheney’s quiet part.

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Camilla B. -- I remember hearing this at the time, but here's the NYTimes article (9/27/21) about Liz changing her mind, declaring that she "was wrong."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/27/us/politics/liz-cheney-same-sex-marriage.html

Timing-wise, this was after the formation of the January 6 Committee (7/1/21).

Politicians do change their minds -- and should be supported when they do, but they're often derogatorily accused of "flip flopping."

I do not know Liz (or her sister) personally but am 100% neutral myself on this particular issue, except when human rights are involved.

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Thanks, Judith.

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You might think that standing up to trump would be the very minimum a true conservative might do. One or two whistling in the wind maybe. But did not Cheney vote consistently with trump?

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That's probably a very good question, Henry, but I'm afraid I don't follow voting records of individual members of congress unless they're "mine." Cheney was a member of the Republican caucus, voting with her party, and ended up really standing up to Trump in a way only one other Republican did.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

Looking for a good place to chime in; this is good. I have a theory about Republicans and corruption. Republicans by definition are conservative. That is to say they are very nervous about change of any kind, unless it is change back to something that was the case in the past. Every nation on earth that governs itself has had the push/pull of elements that want change and improvement, against those who want to protect the status quo. The USA is no different. Governments and the societies they govern are not perfect to say the least, and to get better, change and improvement must occur. Especially in a time of technological change and scientific advancement when the definition of reality is literally changing under our feet. It is very clear in the USA that the Republican platform is based on the past, a platform that protects elements of our society that are heavily invested in a reality that is no longer relevant. A past where racism was more predominant than now, where religious answers to reality's phenomena were more, and scientific answers were less. Where society's rules and mores were set up long ago by those who at the time knew (or thought they knew) what was right and what was wrong.

Another long-existing element of government is the push/pull of the interests of the rich and powerful versus the interests of the masses. It just so happens that the current Republican party represents the former, and the Democrats represent the latter. In a purported democracy where the will of the majority is supposed to hold sway, to subjugate the masses often nefarious means are required to maintain power over them. The masses must be led to believe the rich are there to help them. So the idea was (and is) to give reins to the rich and successful, for they then can shower the rest of us with their excellence in one way or another (especially those who worked in government to protect those same rich). That is what supply side economics, or "trickle-down" economics, is all about.

The Republican world is increasingly obsolete, more out of sync with reality. But it wants to maintain power, so somehow it must protect the obsolete and out-of-sync elements of society to do so. That, and it must continue to protect the richest among us - for that is where most of its support comes from.

Climate denial is the perfect example, of many. The science is relatively recent and is now clear as a bell, yet it is questioned if not outright denied by all Republicans (if it isn't - then those exceptions are not really Republicans). There are elements of our society that get hurt badly by strong efforts to immediately combat climate change (efforts our scientists say are vital to the continued stability of our climate and the existence of human civilization) - namely Big Oil and Big Coal and Big Gas. Also millions who rely on gas guzzling cars and trucks to do their business or pleasure. There is alot of support that comes from that element of society. So how to deal with it - there is no other option than to lie, obfuscate, cheat or any other activity that hides truth and upholds that which is no longer true or appropriate. Hence the climate denial position and resistance to all things green by Republicans.

The Republican party, especially its more extreme elements (like Paxton) must resort to nefarious activities to obtain power, or keep it once attained. We see it over and over again. I believe the root cause of this unfortunate outcome is a failure to recognize and embrace a changing world. Conversely, the USA's Democratic party is dedicated to change that is more in keeping with today's realities. It doesn't need to resort to dishonesty or corruption to further its goals. In general anyway - there have been exceptions. But it is predominantly Republicans who embrace skullduggery in their politics.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

"That is to say they are very nervous about change of any kind"

James: A very interesting concept since the are a very large contingent of Republicans who attempted to install Trump, the loser of the last Presidential election, into permanent power.

I would say the party that is changing MOST rapidly is the Republican Party. They are jettisoning all of the concepts in the Constitution and that John Adams held dear in representative government at full speed.

Big change.

I think that Republicans are are NOT conservative in any way shape or form.

Rather, they are radicals who are attempting to rapidly usher in a new form of government that looks like a combination of Fascism and Prostitution.

Fascism so that they can be in power forever.

Prostitution so they can collect money from their rich Johns.

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I would argue that rapid change among Republicans would not be so rapid if we didn't have Trump come on the scene. He is the worst thing to happen to us as a nation politically since Andrew Johnson. He's just an evil person who took advantage of some serious feelings of regret among so many in our country. Still, yes Republicans are changing. But like I said changing to re-install the past. What surprises me the most though is this embrace with authoritarianism. But that is an obvious mechanism to force their unpopular views on all of us. So I should not be that surprised. The other tried and true tactics are not working as well these days I guess.

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This is a very clear explanation of the forces at work in our world. Before retirement I did a lot of work with European and Asian tech folks working in and supplying heavy industry. As a result of World War 2 they seem to imbrace change much better than many Americans. They also were happier that most Americans and had fewer worries about things like health care, education etc.

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All countries that lean more heavily socialist score higher on all measures of human well-being than the US. For years the Republican propaganda machine has successfully convinced many people that our system is better than theirs and that Socialism is a dirty word. This is all so that the rich can get richer, while the working people of the country get less and less, and pay more and more. I'm tired of those people who keep voting against their own interests because they're so afraid of change and difference, and basically can't think for themselves.

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Yes, especially the insistence that people should "work" for their benefits. I volunteer at a food bank in a community where the income level is so low that no one is turned away, but these people are mostly working all the time. Now I guess we're going to require them to do some more work to satisfy the sanctimonious. Republicans have nurtured the idea that the poor are lazy, which justifies making them poorer.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

This one always infuriated me - support programs like food stamps, unemployment insurance, medicaid, are there to help those who cannot support themselves otherwise either temporarily or permanently. Few can argue this is a magnanimous and humanitarian thing to do. But they are programs that get abused by those who are too selfish and unscrupulous and lazy. That is a large element of human nature to get something for nothing if the opportunity arises. But that abuse is exaggerated by Republicans. They dwell on the exceptions. And even more infuriating, administration of those programs is hamstrung by Republicans who, in their insistence of small government, starve those programs such that there is insufficient staff to properly administer. To root out the (relatively rare) fraudsters out there.

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There was a fascinating article in Harvard Magazine about a decade ago which basically showed that people in poverty had to expend all their brainpower on trying to keep their lives together. Your car breaks down, you don't have the money to fix it but you somehow must get to your job to keep the money coming in... etc. I wish I could find it and post it.

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This is part of the Republican lie, that poverty is an individual problem instead of a systems issue. Our economy is deliberately skewed to ensure that there will be poverty. And if you think about it, it's impossible to lift oneself up by one's bootstraps since, well, gravity.

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“the Republican propaganda machine has successfully convinced many people that our system is better than theirs and that Socialism is a dirty word.” Thank you J Nol, excellent, so very true and so very hard to turn the years of brain washing around.

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It's incredible how much worries about paying for healthcare, getting thrown out of one's house, etc., can eat into happiness, and how much happiness people can have when they don't have to worry about running out of money because they have a solid social safety net.

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Absolutely. That's why people in more socialist countries with their social safety net still functioning report much higher levels of happiness than do Americans. In fact, the research on happiness indicates that to be happy, a person needs a certain amount of money to cover living expenses and some extra, but getting any more money than that doesn't make a person any happier.

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Hard to disagree. I would add that this particular upswelling of Republican neuroses was birthed by the extreme change and threat of change that rocked the United States in the 1960s - a decade in which the left exercised real power to right deep and vile injustices, and the youth rebelled vociferously and creatively against the suffocating social mores of the Fifties. It was a great time!

Unfortunately the right was deeply spooked and, beginning with the Powell memo of 1970 began a long process of reaction. This resonated deeply with people of means and slowly the wheel turned back to the right. Power has accrued on the right for a variety of reasons - cleverness on the part of many, a fundamentally weak electoral system, and surprising abettors on the left (see Clinton, William Jefferson) who called themselves pragmatists while pushing the rightward agenda.

Consequently when the next leftward push came (gay marriage, justice for Blacks, trans rights et al), the VERY powerful right has swooped down and enacted some serious culture crushing.

Little wonder they are corrupt - they have learned to push the levers of power with conscienceless brutality. And one way to do this is by violent reaction to perceived threat. It is completely unsurprising that Barack Obama was replaced by Donald Trump. The Right plays for keeps.

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There ARE millions of us who rely on gas powered cars because electrics are not ready to take their place. People who live in cities often can't charge at night because they can't reliably park in front of their houses, or they live in apartment buildings. Charging at charging stations can take hours unless they have superchargers. You can arrive at a charging station to find there are people ahead of you, and you have to wait well over an hour. And EVs are expensive.

I do fault the feds for allowing pickups to get much worse gas mileage than cars. And there should be a stringent weight limit on cars and light trucks (some personal electric trucks weigh almost four times more than my Civic).

Rather than going after cars, there should have been a carbon tax, which would have let people decide where to put their money to reduce carbon emissions. Hybridizing cars goes a lot further, a lot easier than fully electrifying them. But if they were going to force the decarbonization of any sector, better they should have done it for new housing and other new buildings, because zero carbon houses and buildings are a lot easier to do than electric cars.

But for some reason--perhaps because they are so prominent in our lives--people just HAD to go after cars. But electric cars are expensive, and very inconvenient. A carbon tax would have been so much more reasonable than forced electrification.

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"...people just HAD to go after cars." That is because exhaust pipe emissions are the number one contributor to CO2 increase. It is right to go after cars. Hard. Societies around the world embraced the automobile since it was invented and formed economic systems based on it. Variously colored metallic contraptions that use an internal combustion engine whose energy is primarily wasted as heat, with what remains providing locomotion. A ton and a half of mass moving (more often than not) a single person around for miles upon miles. Using an energy source that now has been identified as the prime contributor to global warming. A relatively recent revelation. So now we have a problem don't we? My position is to push hard for a replacement without being too draconian about it. Minimize the impact as much as possible while recognizing the urgency. Where is that sweet spot? For the sake of humankind's continued civilized existence, that spot is not going to be very sweet. As a species, we got snookered. Now we have to do something about it.

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The automobile is not the #1 contributor to carbon emissions. In the US, cars contribute around 16%.

This is a myth caused by the fact that total transportation contributes around 30%. But total transportation includes shipping (by boat, train, plane, etc), and it includes transportation by those same three.

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I stand corrected. That is a USA number; might you know it worldwide? I think though that tailpipe emissions are are important enough to go after hard. That in addition to going after the other contributors hard. Power generation, industrial power consumption. None of this necessary push, BTW, will receive any backing from the Republican Party. Which is my point.

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But people who live in cities don't need to have private cars. Yes, yes, public transportation is not perfect; but that is because people who can afford private cars won't support public transportation.

It's choices.

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Do you mean people who live within the city limits? Or that who live in a metropolitan area, but in the suburbs?

I lived in DC for more than 20 years after graduating from college. For the first ten years, I went everywhere by bicycle, rain, snow, hot DC summers. (It was faster than taking public transportation.) When I finally got a car, it took me a week or two to realize I never wanted to be without a car again. Among other things, my social life was much better. Because if friends were getting together somewhere, I could get there much easier. It was a lot easier to date.

For the last ten years, I lived in northeast DC. From my house to my doctor's office downtown, it was 20 minutes by bicycle (and I was an avid cyclist), but 40 minutes by the metro, because I had one change.

From my house to the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, a frequent destination, it was about 25 minutes by car, and 50 by metro. Thus, taking the metro cost me nearly an hour as compared to driving. This is typical. And the DC metro system is considered one of the better ones.

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Thank you for this thoughtful and informative response. I wish I’d written it😊

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James,

Thank you for having the energy for putting the facts in our thoughts. Well said.

I do feel that our (National) attention span can only handle a tiny bit. That is what the cell phone does to addict us. Tiny, superficial tidbits that constantly interrupt the brain.

I hope everyone who can will read your thoughts to the end.

May they count for our continued awareness!!

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A world that is changing too fast to adjust to. However, what decade would they want to go back to? There is no perfect time in the past.....directly after the Depression and WWII was good, but not in the South. Understanding what you have written is a big start in seeing those who feel aggrieved and victimized, most in rural areas, most who bought in to Newt and Rush, those looking for the "Strongman", those turned off by the politics of old and the civil unrest of the 60s, those who have seen their towns (often rural) lose businesses and schools, etc.. But by seeing them and hearing each other we tend to break out of our tribal mentalities (us vs them) which means a zero sum picture. There are a ton of folks who make up the current Republican base which is no longer a political party as we have known them.

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Agree. There can be no other explanation. I have come to the same conclusion.

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And many are in DC. It’s beginning to be noticed by journalists.

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Perhaps I am TOO cynical, but I view the battle in Texas as being between the merely corrupt the authoritarian corrupt.

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Texas is a mess! Say I, who live in New York, which has plenty of its own corruption!

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

Cherly,

Yes, when Kathy Hochul paid $600 million dollars for the same number of Covid tests that CA paid $300 million for, because she used a best buddy "middleman" to acquire the tests for the state, I could not believe that she was not impeached.

I wonder what percentage she got from her best buddy middleman who made $300 million bucks on the deal.

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Perhaps I shouldn't pile on, but I read that she paid $5 million to the firm that advised her on her state of the state address. I would have written it for a lot less.

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I agree. I wouldn't be sad it the whole state of Texas would just secede.

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That’s a good one 🤡

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silence is complicity

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

"And I wish media would stop distinguishing "extremist" Republicans from "moderate" Republicans. Those who remained and remain silent while Paxton's corruption increased are enablers and just as guilty." - Sabrina Hanan

Amen.

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I agree. Those who stand by and say nothing and continue to vote for Republican candidates are just as culpable as the horror show on stage.

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Sabrina, as you probably are aware, 3 term Texas AG, Ken Paxton was impeached today. Under Texas law, Paxton is immediately suspended & his Impeachment Trial goes to the Texas state Senate for adjudication. It appears some Texas House Reps were ready for the start of 3 Day Weekend. :)

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Just in: 'Texas House impeaches GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton over allegations of bribery, unfitness for office and abuse of public trust, a stunning rebuke of the conservative firebrand that at least temporarily forces him from office pending a state Senate trial that could lead to his permanent ouster.'

'Paxton, who has been under various investigations for years, had dismissed the impeachment effort as “political theater” based on “hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims” and an attempt to disenfranchise voters who elected him to a third term last November.'

'Many of the allegations that form the basis of the articles of impeachment surfaced in 2020, when Paxton’s top aides accused him of abuse of office to benefit a wealthy donor. They reported their concerns to the F.B.I., which began an investigation, although no charges were filed. Four of the aides were fired and filed suit alleging retaliation.'

'In February, they reached a $3.3 million settlement — contingent on the state paying. House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) balked at Paxton’s request for the payment from the annual budget, triggering a bipartisan House committee’s impeachment investigation. Earlier this week, the Republican-led committee recommended Paxton’s impeachment for “grave offenses.”

“But for Paxton’s own request for a taxpayer-funded settlement over his wrongful conduct, Paxton would not be facing impeachment,” the committee said in a memo released by Phelan’s office Friday.'

'With Paxton’s impeachment, Gov. Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican who has worked closely with the attorney general, will be able to appoint a temporary replacement. It was not clear Saturday when that could occur nor when Paxton’s Senate trial would start.'

'By law, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Paxton ally, will schedule and preside over the trial but not vote; Texas’s legislative session ends Monday and the trial could interrupt those final proceedings or be scheduled later. During the trial, the Senate can request documents, witnesses and testimony, meet privately for deliberations and exercise “any other powers necessary,” according to state law.'

'Paxton’s permanent removal would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate’s 19 Republicans and dozen Democrats. Paxton’s wife, Angela, is a Republican senator entitled to vote. So is Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), a Patrick lieutenant mentioned in the House articles of impeachment as having aided Paxton. Patrick has not said how he plans to handle those potential conflicts of interest. Both he and Abbott have remained conspicuously silent during Paxton’s impeachment investigation.'

“Patrick is much more ideologically and politically aligned with Paxton than he is with the Speaker of the House,” said James Henson, who heads the Texas Politics Project at University of Texas at Austin. But the impeachment puts Patrick in an awkward position given “the strength of the case against Paxton,” he said.'

'Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Republican Party in Travis County, which includes Austin, said it was unlikely that enough Republican senators would vote to impeach Paxton unless Patrick called for it.'

“I don’t expect it. Ideologically they’re very aligned. And you’ve started to see Trumpworld weigh in,” he said, noting that Donald Trump Jr., former White House aide Stephen Miller and conservative activist Charlie Kirk had tweeted support for Paxton this week.'

'Shortly before debate began, former president Trump weighed in, criticizing Phelan and threatening to “fight” House Republicans who failed to support Paxton. “It is the Radical Left Democrats, RINOS, and Criminals that never stop,” Trump said on his social media platform. “ELECTION INTERFERENCE! Free Ken Paxton, let them wait for the next election!” Paxton retweeted Trump’s statement.'

'Sen. Ted Cruz also expressed support for Paxton in a series of tweets Saturday, saying the courts should address his alleged wrongdoing.'

“Ken has been the strongest conservative AG in the country. Bar none,” Cruz wrote. “No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously — and more effectively.”

'Of 146 House members present, 121 voted to impeach Paxton — more than the majority required — 23 voted no and two didn’t vote. The vote came after four hours of debate about the legitimacy of the process and the 20 articles of impeachment.'

'During four hours of debate leading up to the vote, Paxton’s critics spelled out the case against him.'

“The evidence is substantial. It is alarming and unnerving,” said Rep. Andrew Murr (R), who chaired the committee that recommended Paxton’s impeachment.'

'Rep. Charlie Geren (R), a longtime legislator who served on the committee, said members acted “beyond partisan affiliation in order to take the necessary steps to protect the institution that is our state government.” He noted that several colleagues had “received telephone calls from Gen. Paxton personally threatening them with political consequences in their next election.” (WAPO) Link below. Sorry that gifting the article was not available.'

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/05/27/texas-impeachment-paxton-attorney-general-vote/

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HCR writes of the battle in Texas "between far-right extremists, represented by Paxton, and Republicans who are trying to recover the party from the Trump wing." Just who are these other Republicans? In Texas as well as nationally, these "moderate" Republicans are the "Bush wing" of the Republican Party, going back to the networks of the inveterate networker George H.W. Bush, a Connecticut carpetbagger in Texas.

The father of George H.W. Bush was a banker for the Nazi military industry, before and DURING World War II, until his Union Banking Corporation got shut down by the federal government.

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-2-the-hitler-project/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

https://www.haaretz.com/2003-10-19/ty-article/bush-grandfather-linked-to-bank-with-ties-to-nazi-funding/0000017f-e0f2-d9aa-afff-f9fa1a660000

Prescott Bush was caught but never exposed; how deep does Nazi-loving fascist rot go in the American Deep State?

Prescott Bush worked for Averell Harriman, the "king of Wall Street." The Harriman family was a big contributor to the Nazi-loving Eugenics movement, devoted to racial purification and forced sterilization.

The Bush and Harriman families weren't the only ones with wartime Nazi business connections. Can you think of a family name that ends with "ockafeller"?

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-3-race-hygiene-three-bush-family-alliances/

Back then, Eugenic "race science" was the "correct" way to think at the top. As the saying goes, "Before Hitler, there was Harvard."

https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2016/03/harvards-eugenics-era

And it wasn't just Harvard: Nazi lawyers carefully studied southern "Jim Crow" racial segregation laws, so they could more effectively stick it to the Jews:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/11/what-america-taught-the-nazis/540630/

Has Harvard really changed?

Harvard professors falsely teach that the Slavepower philosopher John Locke (a beneficiary of the African slave trade) was the preeminent influence on the U.S. Declaration of Independence:

https://twitter.com/john_schmeeckle/status/1515292211767873543?s=20

Did Harvard and Yale stop being toxic cesspools of elitist racism? Are Harvard and Yale alumni potentially unfit for high positions of government responsibility? (If so, then Florida's Governor DeSantis, rumored to be a closet neo-con, could be doubly unqualified.)

And of course, Harvard and Yale both reflect and shape the views of the elite powerful families.

"Among the so-called upper and leisure classes, noticeably among the university group, the birth rate is strikingly low. Among the Slavonic and Latin immigrants, on the other hand, it is relatively high. We seem thus to be letting the best blood thin out and disappear."

-- Claude Feuss, headmaster at George H.W. Bush's elitist prep school, 1939

"The less prolific races will have to defend themselves against the more prolific by means which are disgusting even if they are necessary."

--Lord Bertrand Russell of the British Empire, 1924

Claude Feuss, Bertrand Russell, and Adolf Hitler:

https://www.philosophyforlife.org/blog/nazi-spiritual-eugenics-ii-hitler-and-the-will-of-nature

...and George H.W. Bush?

"I think there is some feeling among some of the more militant civil rights people that any effort in family planning is going to be to try to breed them out of existence."

-George H.W. Bush, 1967

George H.W. Bush graduated from Yale University, where his father was an active alumnus. Yale was the nerve center for the Nazi-loving Eugenics movement, which had fallen into disrepute because of Hitler.

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-4-the-center-of-power-is-in-washington/

In 1966, George H.W. Bush, a Connecticut carpetbagger in Texas, was elevated to the U.S. Congress. This was made possible by a redistricting lawsuit that resulted in a custom-made congressional district just for George.

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-10-rubbers-goes-to-congress/

Who has that kind of power?? It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Wall Street "Eugenics" grouping, which continued to do business with Nazi Germany during World War II, continued to have far-reaching clout into the 1960s and beyond:

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Anglo_American_Establishment.html?id=V19nAAAAMAAJ

Who was who on Wall Street during the 1930s' heyday of the Nazi-loving Eugenics movement?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_60_Families#Reception

Once in Congress, George H.W. Bush spearheaded an effort to revive the discredited Eugenics movement. But first Bush's father called the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee so George could become a member.

"During his four years in Congress, Bush not only introduced key pieces of legislation to enforce population control both at home and abroad. He also continuously introduced into the congressional debate reams of propaganda about the threat of population growth and the inferiority of blacks..."

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-10-rubbers-goes-to-congress/

Bush was beginning his career as a race warrior, in the spirit of Bertrand Russell: "The less prolific races will have to defend themselves against the more prolific by means which are disgusting even if they are necessary."

In 1971, George Bush became Ambassador to the United Nations, becoming a so-called "Kissinger clone." Henry Kissinger, former Harvard professor and "the high priest of imperialism and neocolonialism," was Nixon's National Security Advisor.

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-11-united-nations-ambassador-kissinger-clone/

Kissinger was succeeded as National Security Advisor by another Harvard professor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who hawkishly advocated U.S. expansion into eastern Europe at the expense of Russia. To what extent is American foreign policy thinking still influenced by the neo-imperialism of former National Security Advisors Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski?

The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Brzezinski, who made Jimmy Carter a member and promoted Carter to become President. Kissinger allegedly said, "The Trilateral Commission is President of the United States."

https://chomsky.info/priorities01/

Carter offered to make David Rockefeller Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Rockefeller declined, and Carter appointed Paul Volcker.

https://fortune.com/2015/10/31/paul-volcker-jimmy-carter-donald-trump/

With Volcker, "Carter has put Dracula in charge of the blood bank."

https://famguardian.org/PublishedAuthors/Indiv/MullinsEustice/SecretsOfFedReserve/Ch14.htm

Paul Volker, as Chairman of the Fed, raised interest rates to over 20%. This had the effect of bankrupting developing countries who had taken out variable-rate dollar-denominated loans because of the oil price shocks of the 1970s. This set the stage for the most far-reaching genocide in history (starting in 1982), dwarfing what the Nazis did, with George H.W. Bush at the pinnacle of power as acting President and then President in his own right.

A bit earlier, in 1975, George H.W. Bush, now the CIA Director, was called on to help implement Henry Kissinger's National Security Study Memorandum 200, which called for population control programs in thirteen targeted countries. If the population in these 13 (darker-skinned) countries kept growing, they would want to control their own resources.

The 13 countries targeted for population control programs were Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.

https://larouchepub.com/other/2021/4851-kissinger_s_1974_plan_for_food.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Study_Memorandum_200

This caused a public outcry in Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. In the northeast part of the country, well over 50% of Black women had been sterilized.

https://blackbraziltoday.com/were-20-million-afro-brazilian-women-sterilized/

In January 1981 George H.W. Bush was sworn in as Vice President under President Ronald Reagan.

In March 1981 Press Secretary James Brady observed: “Bush is functioning much like a co-president... He is included in almost all the meetings.”

And then, barely two months after the inauguration, President Reagan was shot and nearly killed on March 30, 1981.

Vice President George H.W. Bush took over as acting President.

http://tarpley.net/online-books/george-bush-the-unauthorized-biography/chapter-17-the-attempted-coup-detat-of-march-30-1981/

And thus the stage was set for the most far-reaching genocide in history, "our own peculiar Holocaust," carried out by the International Monetary Fund (based in Washington D.C. with the U.S. government having dictatorial voting power over its affairs), starting with the international Debt Crisis of 1982.

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-15-2023/comment/11967315

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After these last few years (and going back even further), anyone who identifies as a Republican should be voted out of office. The Republican party is corrupt and debased. Not fit to hold the office of dog catcher. Dogs deserve better.

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I agree and I am sick to death of all of them.

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There are only about 6 moderate Republicans left who dare to speak out.

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Like Congress and the Senate...

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This story caught my eye in September 2022 about what an unscrupulous man Paxton is. His wife, who helped him evade the process server, is in the Texas State Senate. So hand in glove corruption. Here’s the link https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/26/texas-attorney-general-ken-paxton-subpoena-abortion-lawsuit/?utm_source=articleshare&utm_medium=social

I hope they fry his ass in the impeachment hearings. He deserves no less. Thank you, Heather, as always for shining the light on darkness.

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'A decade ago, in a courthouse north of Dallas, a lawyer forgot his $1,000 Montblanc pen in a metal detector tray and returned to find that it had been taken. A review of surveillance footage turned up the culprit: Ken Paxton, who was a Texas state senator.'

'A few years later, Mr. Paxton, by then the state’s attorney general, suffered a more serious political blow when he was indicted on charges of securities fraud. Then in 2020, several of his most senior staff members at the attorney general's office accused him of bribery, corruption and abuse of office.'

'Mr. Paxton has managed to survive it all, in large part because of the key role he has played as one of the most aggressive figures in the conservative legal movement. His challenges to the Obama and Biden administrations and his willingness to contest the results of the 2020 election garnered him the loyalty of Republican primary voters and the endorsement, during his re-election to a third term last year, of former President Donald J. Trump.' (NYTimes) See link below. Sorry that gift option is not available.

'How Fighting for Conservative Causes Has Helped Ken Paxton Survive Legal Woes'

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/26/us/ken-paxton-texas.html

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I assume one gets a nice pen for $1000, but where is the point of diminishing returns, to the point that the only remaining value is being able to display an object that others cannot afford? Some watches are absurdly expensive, and some, seemingly in an effort to be uniquely recognizable, wind up (in my opinion) often being weirdly unattractive (such as Rolex). Around the year 2000 I bought a cleanly styled Timex marked down to $5 even, and used it for about two decades. I set it twice a year at the time change, and found it always accurate to the minute. What would I get for several thousand dollars more? Surely the vastly more expensive devices are are a matter of indulgence rather than need; which brings into question why the wealthy should need so many tax cuts and loopholes?

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Status Signaling. It used to be watches, pens, shoes, trophy wives, law school degrees, etc. Now it seems to be: How unaccountable are you? How corrupt can you be and get away with it.” It’s still just a status game, but its effects poison our lives, and the complete body-politic.

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Don't forget all the ladies with their botox and lip filler!

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There are always those who prefer feudalism. The founders rejected the tyranny of titled gentry, yet may kept feudal estate-like slave plantations, which was morally far worse. I see the "Robber Barons" of the "Gilded Age" as yet another assertion of plutocracy. "We" spent decades trying to tame that one, as well as improving women's and minority rights, and then the Empire struck back. The battle continues.

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Perhaps stop at Starbucks for a cup of Joe and discuss the merits of standing in line for a $12 cup of crappy bitter mud while admiring each others expensive watches!!

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'...diminishing returns,...' We don't need a mathematician to figure that out. I enjoyed touring luxury goods and lack of decency with you, J L. Let's go some place nice next time.

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Excellent points. I buy only Timex watches.

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Me, too, but I noticed the fake gold buckle on my latest one is beginning to cause a rash on my arm.

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Well stated JL - "Surely the vastly more expensive devices are a matter of indulgence rather than need; which brings into question why the wealthy should need so many tax cuts and loopholes?"

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More is better than less.

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yep, that's the attitude of many

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Timex - "the watch that takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

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Great ad campaign & ended up being culturally co-opted to mean overcoming tough times. Have used it more than once myself in that regard & most folks know exactly what you mean!

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It was a great ad campaign. My father worked in industrial advertising for which the aim was (as he put it) to "sell the benefits". He complained that TV gave advertising a bad name. I bristle at ads that treat me as a fool or lie by implication; especially political ones where they lie straight out (which even large companies cannot do with complete impunity). I believe in a robust enterprise sector, where appropriate, AND a robust public sector, where appropriate. I believe in fair trade and a "square deal", and penalties for substantial cheating. I want to err on the side of free speech, but hate substantial. provable lies, and note as in war, COVID, and racism (among other things) lies can kill.

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Mine was discounted, but a bargain at a substantially higher price. I put a nicer watch band on it out of vanity and having a large wrist.

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People who use pens for writing more than their names should all have Montblancs. If I hadn’t had one to write 1000 GOTV postcards, I wouldn’t have known that the ease of writing with it was phenomenal. After I wrote the first batch of postcards, wrote the next 1000 with a different pen. How I miss the Montblanc! Does anyone know an affordable ($25) substitute?

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The reason that any Montblanc is such a delight to write with is that really serious design work went into creating the pen -- from the extraordinary feel in the hand while you write (balance, shape, heft) to the durability and elegant beauty of each component (pen, ink feeder, barrel, cap, trim, clip). I'm a fountain pen fancier, but not an "elitist." In addition to a few pricey pens, I have a few in my every day carry that didn't cost more than $25. If you have $12 to spare, pick up a Pilot Kakuno. For $8 more, you can get a Lamy Safari. And for only $4 more (ringing in at $24), you can have the pleasure of a Pilot Metropolitan. Of course, they won't have ebonite caps and barrels, 18K gold trim and clips, or gold and iridium nibs, but they will give you a good deal more than a BIC can.

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I have not used BIC pens since college but they were awful, and they leaked, but yet it was a functioning pen for ten cents. I have since been partial to pedestrian Pilots.

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I am aware that a high quality tool and therefore a substantially more expensive one, can be sometimes be worth every penny of the price. My guess would be that could be done for significantly less than $1000, but I have not had your experience with it. I'm not sure how much writing by hand a politician but I imagine that they have to sign a lot of stuff.

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Fern - Wow. The Montblanc pen story is sooo telling. In things small and large we see people with a deep character flaws believing they have certain inalienable rights not to be enjoyed by the mere common mortal working stiffs. The sense of entitlement runs so deep one wonders “What happened to you?” about Paxton. And to drop the title of a most relevant, and revealing book by Bruce Perry, MD, MPH, and Oprah Winfrey, I’m dropping it. “What Happened to You? Conversations on Healing, Trauma and Resilience” is a best selling book I reviewed two years ago and have shared scores of times in dozens of places.

https://www.pacesconnection.com/blog/what-happened-to-you-by-bruce-perry-and-oprah-winfrey-a-book-that-resonates-with-us-in-the-paces-world

Both authors have some Texas in their life stories, and would likely ask their seminal question of Paxton and his wife, Paxton and his friends. Probably not unlike Donald Trump (as you can learn from the writings and work of his niece, Mary Trump, PhD, whose book “The Reckoning” ( The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal By Mary L. Trump ) is a must read for people who want to know the history of our racial trauma with Native and African Americans) we might find people who had tragedy, trauma, a sense of superiority coupled with intense inferiority (megalomania with an inferiority complex as some of us deeply familiar with addictive personalities and the sense of shame-yet-entitlement that rolls into that overriding belief that we are special, above the law, entitled due to harsh or tragic upbringing or some birthright issue, to special treatment).

It would all be funny, as in “A Confederacy of Dunces” if it didn’t involve the perpetrator’s ability to screw over, with death, pain, and impunity, millions upon millions of people, including mothers and children, and to keep legal such horrors as the rights of underaged and mentally ill people to buy and carry weapons of war to WalMart, for crying out loud (“Biohazard clean up on aisle 3; in-store shooting in school supplies” could be an any-day announcement drawing little attention but indicative of much that is wrong, since we’d be wise to take everything back down to root cause of wealthy old white men thinking they can lie, cheat, steal with impunity. There’s a trauma connection, I’d bet.)

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

Carey, your experience, reflection and concern were echoed in what you wrote here. I have thought about some of what you have mentioned. "What happened to you?" Is as a chorus to or hymn of our troubles. Morality is a key -- missing right from wrong; What happened to you? There has been so much tolerance of lying; making jokes about abuse and cruel behavior towards others with the label of anger around it. What happened to us?

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I somewhat buy the morality angle. What I don't see most plainly though is honor, the absence of honor. That plays hard on my mind this weekend especially as I 'shall' spend some time this weekend visiting with the most honorable man I ever knew in my life, my Dad; a Korean War Marine who lived his oaths till his last breath. Mom joined him just a year ago at the Western Reserve Veterans Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio.

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D4N it is telling that you must repair to a cemetery to find honor based on a code of morality. May your time there refresh your strength for the ongoing battle with the world as we increasingly know it.

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Thank you JohnM. I find honor other places like this space as well John; I've learned that I have to look for it to find 'it' anywhere. Honor exists John - I feel that it's important to accept that and believe it, rather than painting folks with broad brushes. I feel that honor begins with self honesty and humility; I in no way have 'all that' down pat, but I honestly self check myself and seek out others for kinship / fellowship. May this holiday find you refreshing your intents and resolves.

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Good speed, D4N. I think that our angles are the same, at least I feel that way.

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D4N, I saw your 'like' reply to me just minutes ago. Please say, 'hello' some time soon.

Your response about honor to JohnM brought forth a smile, which is all yours.

🌿

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Hi Fern. Apologies; I was pretty deep in reading, responding elsewhere. Hope you understand the delay. I will remain on this for a bit hoping to see a response from you. *edit - Just a thought bubble her... Do you know if this medium allows or has a vehicle for private contact, like instant messaging ? *edit - I see a chat thing.. do you know how that might work ?

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All things are connected. What happened to us is spot on.

Democracy is fragile. Our ecosystems are fragile. Our hearts, for sure.

I think of communities with yaks as their “everything”. Waste nothing.

Years ago I saw a commercial tjat only played once or twice. Actress Natalie Wood spoke of how nothing is thrown away. It goes “somewhere”. It was an awareness being addressed that didn’t last long, at least for tv viewing, and many viewers.

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I love this Fern, and as a person who DREAMS of writing a musical about all of this — seriously, I have a “treatment” for one — that chorus could truly be the resounding theme. Along with the Maya Angelou quote about “now that we know better, we do better.” I forget the exact quote. But you’ve inspired me to add this to the treatment. I’ve sent it to a few people along the way — in the midst of my more than full-time job and recovery from trauma-evoked gut miseries — and I just get that I must keep going in these several directions to advance this. I dream of Heather Cox Richardson, Bruce Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and the CEO of PACEs Connection, Igrid Cockhren, who is a psych adjunct professor at Tennessee State University, having studied so much history and African American parenting and trauma, doing a webinar or show together on “What Happened to US” (as in us and the U.S) as was mentioned with Ingrid and our colleague Mathew Portell interviewed Dr. Perry in a webinar I produced last summer. Adding HCR and OW to the mix? How powerful and SEEN that would be!

https://youtu.be/YxI1OVVBGSw

This really is worth the watch.

❤️🦋❤️. Imagine if HCR or HRC and OW were with them and they all did it together! “To understand history, you have to know trauma. To understand trauma, you have to know history.”

The root cause of all the trouble in history is trauma. We can help prevent it. We know this. Preventive Justice is available. We just have to get people to understand we all — ALL of us — can have and deserve better. Also recommend we add Mathew Desmond, author of “Poverty by America” to the conversation. Brilliant new book. Highly highly recommend. There is a lot here, my friends!

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"Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can negatively influence development. However, the lifelong effects of positive childhood experiences (PACEs) can mitigate the detrimental effects of adverse ones."

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Carey & Fern, one is inclined to consider that "the intellect is a cheap party trick" for so many of these folk who appear to have no moral or ethical compass or who have most certainly lost theirs.

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Likely true, but all who suffer trauma don’t become monsters to their fellow man. More these days seem to try…

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Truth! Absolute truth. Many who suffer trauma continue to suffer. Or cause the kind of suffering seemingly limited to their family — violence, domestic abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, over eating, working, or any other compulsive or impulsive behavior including thrill-seeking behaviors. Truth? “Undigested trauma” gets thrown up all over ourselves and others. There are people who turn trauma into purpose to help prevent more trauma. I would like to think that is the case myself and many of my fellow 59,000+ members of https://www.pacesconnection.com/ a free community of practice for people with lived experience, social workers, physicians, teachers, law enforcement, the judiciary, parents, researchers, sociologists, you name it! Any group wanting to start a PACEs (for positive and adverse childhood experiences) can sign on for a free 16-hour live course on building community in a trauma informed way. Please join us!

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Carey - the connection you listed sent me to a "claim your domain" site. This one worked for me https://www.pacesconnection.com

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Great catch! Thanks, runragged (NC). As I am in NC too, and feel pretty run ragged sometimes, and we agree on a lot, and we aRe living in one of the strangest times possible, are we sure we’re not the same person? 😜

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Carey - very well stated. I like your "A Confederacy of Dunces" analogy.

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Thanks, Linda. With regard to our current state of affairs, if we are considering the GOP, that book comes in handy too damned often.

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Anyway, to wrap it up, thanks, Fern!

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Thank you, Carey. We are working together.

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Indeed! And I welcome another conversation about if.

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Mostly displaying a sense of superiority is all compensation for a deep feeling of inadequacy. Seeking a way to feeling worthwhile through posturing and money is an endless task, since none of that actually helps one feel worthwhile. The narcissist is usually a damaged person who can't or won't take an actual look at themselves, so instead uses other people to try to make themselves feel better. If they weren't so dangerous, they'd just be pathetic.

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LOVE Dr. Bruce Perry's work! My guide for much of my career! Thank You.

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Can you imagine him and HCR having a conversation on history and trauma and how they are INSEPARABLE?

I have the venue and people to bring more context re: https://youtu.be/YxI1OVVBGSw

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Fern, thank you for that info. Why am i not surprised? A thief on every level….I hope he rots somewhere at some point….

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

Paxton seems so small and menacing at the same time.

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Fern, thanks for the story and link. So true to type; those who are corrupt in big matters seem to be corrupt in small ones as well. Perhaps Paxton needed an adult to tell him in nursery school that just because he wanted something, he couldn’t use that as a rationale to grab it from another child.

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WOW! The corruption of the GQP just never stops and people keep falling for it. It's probably the best scam ever played on people. These evil people must be voted out!

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You never fail to amaze me Fern. Thx for sharing.

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Thank you, D4N. You've seen the rivers and the creatures. That is helpful. 🌿

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The article brings up a most telling bit of info: the two infamously known defenders of him vocally are Stephen Miller and Jr. Trump. That tells you everything you need to know about Paxton.

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OMG that link is hilarious - thank you!

But ultimately, “...former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Land Commissioner George P. Bush, tried to unseat him. But Republican voters chose him over his intra-GOP challengers, who criticized his legal and personal scandals on the campaign trail.”

Voters. “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

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People who have committed crimes tend to excuse others who committed the same crimes.

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Using state money to pay his $3.3M fine is the height of bald-faced corruption. This guy thinks he's Roscoe Conkling.

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I think of corruption as abuse of entrusted power, and and it seems to have become a way of life for the whole @#$%& "Republican" Party. Lord Acton was not the first to observe that power tends to corrupt, as it seems that corruption in it's many forms is the ancient curse of humanity, and power out of balance seems to corrupt absolutely. Reagan launched a systemic attack on the very psychology of republican (SMALL "r") rule of law with big lies, treachery, contempt, and the preponderance of the press and the public fell for it. The overall trajectory of the "Republican Party" has been downhill from there. At long last, does a party that defines the Jan 6th insurrection as "ordinary citizens engaged in in legitimate political discourse" and subsequent investigation and lawful prosecution of the participants as "persecution" have left any shred of decency? And that's a clear and present danger to our whole republic.

Paxton is a piece of,,, well, work, but so was South Dakota attorney general Jason Ravnsborg who reported hitting deer but killed man, and it gets much worse from there. To say nothing of Bill Barr. So many creepy criminals somehow rammed into public office; and it can't go on without becoming a total nightmare. The "GOP" really can pick 'em.

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JL, Don’t forget they had a little help from their very rich and very evil and very corrupt friends: The Federalist Society, Harlan Crow, The Kochs, Leo Leonard and the others. I get sick just thinking about it....

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Oh yes. Follow the money (and the "love of money") back to the sociopathic source of "GOP" systemic corruption.

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I am reminded of a famous quote by Napoleon Bonaparte: "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."

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Psychologically speaking, people who tolerate criminal behavior in others have or intend to commit similar crimes.

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Ravnsborg - great comp. Literally getting away with murder. Like shooting someone on 5th Ave., ne?

I worked in the Pete Wilson govt. in Calif., and realized then, Republicans lie, and they don't care. But Reagan started it all out there. He made it ok to be mean.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

And yet the press repeatedly described him as "The Great Communicator" and "a nice guy" and even to the present I encounter comments from liberals describing him as the last responsible "Republican" president. In 2019 Reagan's racist remarks about the Tanzanian delegation to the UN were released:

“To watch that thing on television, as I did, to see those, those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Reagan tells Nixon, who erupts in laughter.

Nice guy. The Guardian ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/31/ronald-reagan-racist-recordings-nixon ) noted that Reagan died in 2004 and "that the conversation between the two men had been originally released in 2000 with the racist portion removed 'to protect Reagan’s privacy ' ”.

Yet the restoration of feudalistic plutocracy was Reagan's true project along with the smearing and rejection of democracy. He was also the first modern openly anti-environmental president. And unlike Nixon, who embarrassed even Republicans, Reagan was corrupt and incompetent, yet got away with brazening it out, the now universal strategy of the "GOP". Reagan was not a real "nice guy", but he played one on TV.

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'Reminds me of the lucrative relationship enjoyed by McConnell, long-time Republican leader of the Senate, and Elaine Chao, long-time Republican head of the federal Department of Transportation, who could be counted on to flood Kentucky with highway dollars right before her husband stands for re-election.

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"I hope they fry his ass"

When is the last time we saw a large group of Republicans do the right thing?

I don't think they will remove him, but I would love to be wrong.

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AJT, The state representatives voted 120 to 23 if I recall to impeach. I think the Texas Senate has no choice but to try him and convict him. I want the sob to do hard time. He is the bottom of a bottomless Maga barrel.

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I sorta don't think he will suffer.

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I am an incurable optimist, Sabrina…..

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The story was covered in a fair amount of detail both in the NY Times and on NPR a few days ago, especially the accusation of drunkenness made by Paxton and his claim that the uber-righty-but-not-MAGA Phelan is a secret Democrat. I have been enjoying the schadenfreude but also have lived too long to believe that the Texas Leg will do the right thing. And also, even though I hate both-side-ism as a general rule, HCR's description of Texas also perfectly encapsulates Chicago politics for most of its existence . . . The corruption of power-mongers occurs because of the lust for power and the greed for lucre. It's when you add the inhumanity of these modern-day f**kers to the mix that it becomes really scary. Tom Pendergast, the infamous Kansas City Boss who had Harry Truman in his pocket for many years, was a horrible person, but because of his embrace of the Black community--who were not that far from the immediate trauma of the Civil War (remember: MO was a slave state)--they thrived in ways that would have been impossible if he had been a typical privileged white man. And the backlash against them after Pendergast's fall was all too real.

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Yes Elisabeth, but it is not just an AG in Texas. Perhaps Paxton will get impeached, but then what?

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I wanted to highlight HCR's paragraph (below) and underline that it was not until 1965 that the Voting Rights Act broke that one-party region (the entire South) dominated by white men. This is exactly what white supremacists are using the Supreme Court and red state legislatures to do, taking the South back to the repression that settled in after a few brief years of Reconstruction. It's happening so fast it's hard to keep up. This time they're trying to make it federal. And I am sick with anxiety that the vast majority of the US is so ignorant of history that they don't even know it's happening. We didn't get it it right when we had a chance to after the Civil War. Will we ever?

"Both Paxton’s actions and his attempt to dismiss his Republican accusers as working for Biden appear to be a classic example of the behavior of political leaders in a one-party state. He has allegedly used his office to reward friends, retaliate against enemies, and avoid accountability for apparent lawbreaking. This pattern is common in authoritarian governmental systems; it was also common in the American South from about 1874 to 1965, when the Voting Rights Act that protected Black voting finally broke the one-party region dominated by white men."

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That paragraph describes us well. Many areas are purple but, as Beto can tell you, the corrupt steamroller is hard to beat.

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I used to teach a workshop once a year in Texas for a writers program I really liked, but ultimately the ubiquity of Fox "News," the threatening T-shirts & bumper stickers, and the feeling of being surrounded by gun nuts was too much.

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Speaking of Texas writers, I really miss Molly Ivins. She would be raising hell with this story.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

'Today the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), thus bringing an end to a half century of the unconstitutional and unconscionable national “right” to abortion. Attorney General Paxton also released an official advisory setting forth Texas law in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. Additionally, he announced the statewide closure of his agency’s offices today in honor of the nearly 70 million unborn babies killed in the womb since 1973. June 24th will be an annual Office of the Attorney General holiday in recognition of this momentous decision—and the many lives lost before it. ' (Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas) See link below.

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/ag-paxton-celebrates-end-roe-v-wade-announces-abortion-now-illegal-texas

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil. Government belongs wherever evil needs an adversary and there are people in distress.”

― Robert F. Kennedy

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Thank you, Fern McBride, for important facts about Paxton, that all Voters need to know. His anti-abortion policies and his designation of a day of mourning! Closing his offices, is disgusting and disturbing. How can a state the size of Texas support this insanity? And we can only imagine a person like him as President of the United States.

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The argument or stance about abortion is a religious one, not a science based argument. The real issue is about the right of women (still second class citizens) to make personal decisions about their personal destinies. It is never reported that way so as to keep the emotions high and the reasonable expectation of choice hidden.

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The argument about abortion is a political one: about women's rights period.

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P.S. and getting the religious to vote for the oligarchy.

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I identify evil with predatory sociopathy. Sociopathy is self-centered and with little or no conscience. I find that consistent with RFKs remarks. I think sociopathy is the elephant in room for human societies. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves.

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Lack of conscience appears to be a common aspect of American society.

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We are ALL vastly more likely to act according to conscience

if we know someone is watching; hence the need for light to be shown in all the corners of our enormously complex society.

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I find the ultimate limits of my compassionate awareness pretty narrow, though I attempt to be more aware. I think that there is a difference between being indifferent to others suffering due to cluelessness and indifference because there is no empathy there, or so it seems. Torture seems like the ultimate evil, yet some get off on it, other beings reduced to the toys of a tyrant. Some, some such as MLK seem able to call forward awareness and compassion and others are able to suppress it, to the point that the preponderance of a society becomes sociopathic, authentic concerns for liberty and justice in the US doublethought along with native genocide and black slavery.

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From a time of sanity and integrity which is lost now.

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"A time of sanity and integrity"? Not entirely. The 1968 Chicago Police riot and RFK's assassination later that year were low points in US history. Our population as a whole is far more woke now. That's an improvement over 1968, no matter how much the Florida führer rants against it.

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The population is now more propagandized, in my humble opinion. I was less woke, but not bombarded by bull Schitt 24/7. As Walter said “that’s the way it is,” and it was.

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propagandized... you hit that one on the head. Sadly, there seem to be parasites who know exactly how to put that to use. Goebbels, minister of propaganda, not the first, laid it out for the Nazis. It worked to a tee, until it didn't, much too late.

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