One of your (many) best. You bring to mind, of course, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn's gem, "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one."

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Sorry, making a second comment here with a second observation. It would be interesting to look at the parallels between the rise of Destructionist Republicans and the rise of private equity. The MO of private equity is also to break things, sell the pieces for scrap and pocket the profits. It is also the quick and dirty model that doesn’t have the patience or the loyalty to nurture and build. It’s the difference between house flippers and people buying their forever home. The materials they use for improvements are as different as their motivations and priorities.

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Tonight, I posted my thoughts of the day over at my place, and right after it went up I thought to myself, "It's such a downer they're all going to unsubscribe." But no, my powers of foretelling the future continue to be as useless as always.

They really liked it when I wrote "These people are not deplorable, they're despicable. And each and every one of them is irredeemable."

HCR came along and filled in all the details and facts of that.

What really pisses me off, is we're fighting morons. It's so embarrassing. These are the people I and the people I used to work with - most especially those on the other side of the aisle - used to point to and laugh about, they were such fuckwits.

But go read Hofstadter's "Pseudo-conservative Revolt." They were there, 70 years ago, just like they are now, only now as HCR pointed out, they're the ones running that show over there. It really is Upside-Down World, where the sky is green and the grass is blue.

Trump's little fuckup with his new so-shall mee-dee-ya is nothing more than every other fucking thing he's ever fucked up that he touched. He has the reverse Midas touch. But in Upside-Down World, it's seen as the golden touch.

Just remember, they may be clowns, but as the Bulwark's Editor is always reminding people: clowns with flamethrowers, still have flamethrowers.

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Good morning everyone! This, HCR, is a good "Friday" post. As you know (and all of us in academia are familiar with this) bad news tends to get dropped in the late afternoon on Fridays. So having these more constructive (if not entirely positive) reports is helpful when one expects some poo-filled shoe to drop.

In my experience, people who live their lives vilifying others who are creative, hard working, and productive--perhaps one of the most interesting forms of gaslighting--are utter failures when they have to do something creative, productive, or hard. It is why such people have to try to convince others that creativity, hard work, and productivity are for fools and chumps. We endured an administration for 4 long years that embodied these anti-values and promoted anti-ethics: if you can't do something, claim you did it anyway. If you can't figure it out, steal someone else's work and declare it's yours. Isn't that the agenda in China when it comes to technology? Isn't that why they demand trade secrets from tech companies in order to do business there?

Those of us in the Ed Biz--especially in the Humanities, where slow, careful research and extensive analysis and self-criticism are watchwords--are well aware of the ways in which our processes are dismissed and ridiculed. And it is why there is so much crappy writing out there pretending to be "history" and "literature." So I admit that I got a giggle out of the idea that their little social network tumbled within hours of being launched. Now a lot more serious work has to be done to tumble the rest of these um . . . [choose your expletive] into the jail cells where they belong.

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The theme of HCR's letter (It's easier to break things than to make things) has been on my mind for a long time. It may have started with Newt Gingrich's House leadership to shut down government. Or it may have begun when Grover Norquist talked about "drowning government in the bathtub". There is an element of violence in destruction. This theme grew with Trump with real destruction and violence. Trump's supporters also latched onto Trump's "I alone can fix this" with their statements "I built this" meaning they alone built their business or prosperity, as if their family support, employees, customers, community, state and nation had nothing to do with it. (Some of these people took government support, subsidies and contracts and positions.)

These people talk and think as if they could have stood on a mountain top all alone and made their fortune out of thin air, perhaps only with God's help.

This state of mind is delusional, narcissistic and in itself destructive.

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Wonder how those Republicans who voted "no" on Bannon would have felt had Sec. of State Clinton ignored the Congressional subpoena served on her? What a farce...................

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In HCR's video chat today (10/21/2021), her message was that the Founders defined democracy as consent of the governed, of self-determination--concepts that were revolutionary in a world of kings, vassals, peasants, with your life determined by birth right and the lords over you. Self-determination and refining democracy are the very "things" of HCR's closing comment, that "Building things takes slow, hard work."

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Reporting on hard work also takes a lot of hard work. Thanks for putting this together.

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Yesterday (10/21), i went to my garden and picked a pint of raspberries. This is very unusual for my little frost-pocket in central NH, where last year the first frost was on 9/6. The climate is changing. None of the real challenges we face (climate change, racism, classism, upward wealth migration, etc.) will be addressed if the Trumpists gain control of either the House or Senate in 2022. The last several decades of American history indicates that they will (much of our electorate seems to have a "throw the bums out" mentality in off-year elections).

Honestly, there is no guarantee that any of the issues mentioned above will be successfully addressed by Democrats and Independents either. At least they seem willing to do the work. Remember, it is basically the same group of Republicans who tried to repeal Obamacare over 40 times with no plan of their own. The Trumpist's attempt to replace Obamacare ended because it was "Just so complicated".

I believe the reason Obama won in '08 and Trump won in '16 was that they were able to bring out Democratic and Republican leaning people who didn't usually vote. True swing voters are actually very few in number. Cutting free community college is a mistake, it is the first issue many of the 20-somethings i work with seemed excited about. Yes, building things is hard work. What are we building? A brighter future and more workable present for all Americans, or just another cage?

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How Not to Let Corporations Kill Biden’s Agenda

By Paul Krugman

I’m not one of those liberals who believe that corporate greed is the root of all evil. It’s the root of only some evil; there are other dark forces, especially white nationalism, stalking the U.S. body politic.

But corporate money is surely the villain behind the latest roadblock to President Biden’s agenda: Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to any rollback to Donald Trump’s big 2017 corporate tax cut.

After all, Sinema, who was in the House of Representatives at the time, voted against that tax cut. And she attacked the tax cut the next year during her run for the Senate. Given that raising taxes on corporations has overwhelming public support, it’s hard to see any reason for her flip other than the corporate lobbying blitz against Build Back Better.

It’s a distressing story. But here’s what you need to know: While the Trump tax cut was bad and should be reversed, reclaiming the lost revenue isn’t essential right now. If the key elements of the Biden agenda — investing in children and in protecting the planet against climate change — have to be paid for in part by borrowing, that’s OK. It would certainly be better than not making those investments at all.

(That's the gist of the whole piece, the government should do what businesses do everyday, borrow to invest in a better future. In the case of Build Back Better the borrowing will be a blip to the government but a major benefit to the Americans who need paid back for sacrificing so long while the rich went from fat to full blown obese.)

More (You'll need to use one of your 5 monthly freebies, I've used up my 10 gifts): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/opinion/corporate-taxes-deficit-spending.html

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"Watching Trump’s flailing attempts to create his own media corporation—this is his second attempt—highlights that since 1980, the project of the Republican faction that is now in control of the party has been to take things apart rather than to build them. They have focused on dismantling the government and stopping legislation. It has been a negative project, rather than a positive one, and breaking things takes little of the hard work and creativity that it takes to build things."

Perfectly put, dear Heather! And I truly appreciate the way you have repeated the theme throughout this letter. Yes, indeed, breaking things is a far easier task as any toddler learns with glee! The GOP's work is that of destruction, subversion, and ruin. Its leadership has the mentality of a two-year old when it comes to wreckage -- an image which, while adorable with a child, is pathetic when it comes to a soulless Grand Old Party with annihilation on its mind!

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“Truth Social” is a few decades late, but, “1984” has arrived. I’m seized with the persistent urge to scream.

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Thanks again for a great letter.

In regards to that Banks guy, shouldn't he be facing some kind of censure for pretending to be on a committee he isn't? I mean isn't that like pretending to be a cop when you're not?

As for it takes time to build stuff, it's what I've been telling people since Biden was sworn in. We need a solid case against everything drumpf related

Speaking of which, I think more people are starting to understand just how corrupt the former guy is. His gold course in upstate NY is now under investigation.

And all you need to remember is Cohen told us that drumpf over inflates his assets for loans and under values them for tax purposes.

I know drumpf will probably never be held personally for all his crimes, but I hope he loses everything.

And I think his oldest daughter and son in law realize that, because they are putting that 10 foot pole between them and the former guy, not realizing that most Americans won't forget how much they abused the White House themselves.

Side note. My husband wants to pee in a jar and have me freeze it so if the former guy dies after he does, I can thaw it out and pour it over the former guys grave.

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'It [the GOP agenda] has been a negative project, rather than a positive one ...'

McConnell's Party of No has transformed itself into Trump's Party of Nihilism. The seeds were planted by Reagan's sowing religious extremism as a wedge issue; they first flowered as GW Bush's Politics of Faith.

The Founders brought in 'the god given rights of all' to bless their revolt against 'the divine rights of kings' - then quickly shut the door on religion and walled it out of government. The idea was not only to prevent imposition of a state religion with its whiff of a deified chief executive. Their nod to ancient Rome may have given us Washington wrapped in a sheet and crowned with laurels, but they didn't want to bequeath us a Caesar. They gave us a Temple of Liberty, not a pantheon of glorified tyrants.

They also wanted to keep the authoritarianism and irrationality of faith out of government deliberations - whether of transferring power through elections, refining the agreed legal framework of the Constitution through amendment, progressing the law through legislation or improving it by overturning judicial decisions.

They wanted the civic law to be upheld and to progress by coming to consensus through reasoned debate of empirical evidence - on the campaign trail, in the chambers, from the bench. In government, the contingent truths of history, the provisional truths of history, and the necessary truths of logic would prevail over the absolute truth of religious creed.

Republicans have turned all this on its head. Before trying to overturn our democratic republic - through the procedural schemes of corrupt officials and the sacking the Capitol by their cohort - they overturned *reason* itself.

Republicans' Leap of Faith has fallen far short of paradise and landed them under the boot heel of a petty tyrant - heaping wreckage upon wreckage and trumpeting Mission Accomplished. But of course in their most Christian of nations, Apocalypse Now is always the coming attraction and 'a consummation devoutly to be desired.'

At this point in our American history, we must wake to do the hard work of restoring reason itself. And this must most immediately take the form of electing Democratic candidates, of securing and enlarging Democratic majorities in Federal and state government. 2022 is closer than it looks.

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Dr. Richardson, I am so grateful for your calm, truthful letters which bring a breath of sanity, if not always hope, into my day. Thank you for the reminder that anything worth doing, or worth preserving, takes time and work. Back then, when DSA was DSOC, I and my two daughters stuffed envelopes for the Michael Harrington campaign. My Mdiv advisor and friend Gary Dorrien said time and again that democracy cannot survive without a social contract. We're still working on it...it takes time.

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