As a fervent news-watcher, I need to say that day-in and day-out (at least for the past eighteen months), I could never keep up with what is happening without reading Dr. Richardson's Letters. Not only is her insight unsurpassed by any single source providing analysis of crucial news (i.e., from the New York Times to the Washington Post, from NBC and MSNBC to CNN to BBC), but the sheer breadth of her scope is stunning. Discovering these Heather Cox Richardson Letters has been among the most significant and important developments for me, personally, as I am doing my best to stay informed during these troubling times.

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Good lord: a SPAC never has to produce anything, but makes money off of what people think it might do.

Sounds like the perfect metaphor for the latest Trump scam, or more accurately, Trumpism itself.

As for Liz Cheney and her crusade against Trump's control over the GOP, it's encouraging that her campaign is making inroads into Trumpian nihilism.

But it also reminds me just how radicalized and undemocratic this party has become, when an ultraconservative Cheney offspring is fighting to save the party that her father had a hand in shaping.

Wow, truth is often stranger than fiction.

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On the podcast “Political Junkie” this week, Ken Rudin interviews Stuart Stevens. His book “It was all a Lie” is a powerful indictment of the Republican Party, especially from Regan on. It is worth the read.

In regards to Cheney/Bush, required reading NOW would be Jane Mayer’s book “Dark Side”. Her following book “Dark Money” is more famous and is chilling. I actually read “Dark Side” from the library, confusing it with “Dark Money”. I would warn, that sleep will not be easy after reading these two.

Now for a change of pace and heart I listened to an interview by Terri Gross on the podcast Fresh Air. It was a tribute to an author I had never heard of named Gary Paulson who passed away this past week at age 82. Ms Gross interviewed the author all most 30 tears ago. The man is captivating on the interview. Such a life story! I am about to start listening to one of his most famous novels: Winter Dance. I offer this as a possible brief escape from our current nightmare.

Finally, as always, I close with the thought that our only “ultimate weapon” against the current Republican Party is not bad language or insults. It is courage to speak out the truth. Then vote that truth in every election. It is the message of HCR.

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‘Tis strange times indeed when the likes of me are cheering the likes of Liz Cheney, but here I am. Cheney is the public face of Republican “old money”. Her father is one of the cagiest political infighters in Washington. It is no small irony that that same Republican establishment has worked for decades since Reagan to create the conditions for Trumpism to emerge. Now that their Frankenstein monster is loose in the village, they’re frantically trying to kill it.

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I donated to Representative Cheney's campaign this afternoon after hearing the Republicans were trying to reduce her donors. She has the courage to be the leader of the anti-Trump Republicans and I'd like to encourage more to join her. Giving suburban women an alternative to the gun toting crass ill-mannered rich girls is another good reason. When SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade and triggers all the anti-abortions laws, Republicans will have a huge problem with women. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Go ahead, Republicans, underestimate women; it'll be fun.

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260 million shares of DWAC stock traded on Thursday - and there are only 200 million shares outstanding. In other words, 130% of the shares were traded. This is the definition of a stock scam.

Surprise surprise... Old Blubberneck running a stock scam. Is there a criminal act he hasn't been involved in? Including murder??

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What a hot mess that keeps on unraveling. I'm beginning to enjoy my popcorn; looks like the party in 'power' is waking up to time limits and constraints and that justice, slowly, is rolling to trials and convictions. Certainly, the idjts are going to attempt distraction, but it is beginning to look like eyes are on the bouncing ball of democracy.

Gratitude, dear Heather. Your work sustains, educates, & elucidates. I am ever thankful for and to you.

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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The Republicans are the New Confederacy fighting against the United States; they are a problem for our democracy that is being resolved without a bloody civil war. The New Confederacy is losing, despite the appearance that our slow and steady legal and governmental system seems to be giving it oxygen. Liz Cheney, in embracing the fight against the fool trump, and his inept gang, is betting she can emerge as the leader of an entirely new Conservative party and perhaps even run for president. Longshot? I don’t think so.

Liz would be a formidable conservative opponent with a big stripe on her sleeve for being among the patriots responsible for decisively ridding the country of the inept New Confederacy. This process could take a long time (10 years+) to unfold, if Biden and the Democratic Party manage to play the hand they currently possess which, while flawed, is a stronger one than that of the New Confederacy. In the meantime, the American people will get much, if not all, of the Biden platform enacted into law which will correct 50 years of backsliding driven by Neo Con democrats unable to overcome Increasingly empowered right wing reactionary conservatives, and their constituents, bent on weakening our federal government. Biden is the bridge leading us back to a stronger more united, United States. His progress is incremental…plodding even, when necessary, because “it takes time to build things”, as some smart academic, recently said.

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Another great letter that gives me hope for democracy. 🙏

A few notes from reading a lot and paying close attention to add some more depth.

GHW Bush was also CIA director before Reagan’s VP. That’s a lot more loyalty and power from the intelligence community to inform of foreign meddling than a redneck Congressman from Bakersfield could ever muster. McCarthy should be scared of what Liz has learned from Her dad’s and GHW Bush’s loyalists.

D. Firtash, Ukrainian oil Money. Big time $ launderer. part of Putin’s cash cow. It works like this as explained by Stanford MBA and hermitage capital founder Bill Browder and Yale’s Tim Snyder: the ‘stan’s gas and oil are bought by Russian firms from the ‘stans way below market price with the Russians paying the ‘Stan strongmen a cash cut under the table. The gas and oil are brokered into Ukraine at a mark up, but again a % under the table. Firtash or other stooge, the brokers take some of those profits, and uses them to buy elections and judges to become pro Russian and the president Mide to get rich. The Ukraine suffers under this scheme, and forces Europe to pay even more than they should have to fit gas and oil. This keeps Ukraine and other countries under Putin’s influence and keeps Ukraine from joining the EU. Lots of ways to launder Money there. When you have more than half a government on the take, the possibilities for corruption become endless. Putin steals from Russian industry’s via his Oligarghs, and has to export that illegal cash in order to launder it, before bringing it back to Russia as his own money.

This scheme has found its way to corrupting Western Europe and the US. G. Shroeder. V. Orban. Silvio Berlesconni. LePenne. Brexit. Maga. All of these right wing movements are fueled by greed, graft, payoffs, quick riches promised by Putin or his Oligarghs. It begins as barely legal, but once on the take, corruption snowballs. These are the characters and methods of the “Thieves of State”, Sarah Chayse describes. Lev Parnus is a little fish of D. Firtash. Firtash funded Lev to Turn Guilanni, by creating the illusion he is a “donor” gatekeeper, this is a classic con. Poor Rudy just could not resist the promise of riches, and becoming important again within the Republican donor machinery.

What’s a new one, is that so blatantly, TFG is also using a scheme to skim in a way that was made famous by the Russian Mafia and Oligarchs after the fall of the USSR. They have been doing this for decades since the fall of the USSR. The shell company stock “pump and dump” and arbitrage schemes were common place as Eastern Europe tried to transition from communist to free market economies. Semion Mogilevich is but one Russian Mafia boss that added these schemes as a revenue stream, and Boss Putin always gets a cut. D. Firtash is just another front man, controlling the purse strings to bribe politicians everywhere. He is a wanted man in the US, for bribing a titanium mining operation that hurt Boeing’s ability to source the metal in India. Firtash has access to billions to buy influence for Putin. If he is wanted in the US, he could possibly make the Titanium bribery charges go away. This is why Lev Parnus was giving so much of Firtash cash to the GOP

In this way, you can begin to see the National Security implications. This is where Liz Cheney’s family contacts are helping her.

To succeed, these schemes need a lax rule of law. The organized crime bosses need to buy off the political leadership to shield them from prosecution. Part of that would be to fire the top leadership at the FBI, Comey, Strzok, McCabe. To my understanding, this is but one of the threats and feeling corruption TFG represents and has dragged us in deeper.

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I am thrilled to be able to respond as my email had been down for almost two weeks!

With that said, McCarthy is a true weasel and he, of course, will never ever testify to this Special committee. My dream is that Bannon is arrested and dragged into chambers but the joke is that no one wants to be his roommate in jail because he looks like he will wreak of bodily odor.

Parnas may get credit for spilling the beans to the Feds but he too, should serve time. All of them should serve time!

Then there’s Liz. Gosh, it’s hard to like her given her dad’s history. She does have her boxing gloves on so I think I will have to give her credit for that, at least. It’s the classic case of a woman vs. man syndrome. Either way, tired of Sinema, tired of Manchin, and disgusted with the Repubs.

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Brilliant Letter, Heather!

'(Someone explained this to me by saying it’s like a sea slug taking over a shell so it can do business as the shell organism quickly and without oversight.)' – HCR

Is anyone really surprised by this comparison! Ha!

Let's hope McCarthy gets his comeuppance soon.

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Dr. Heather Cox Richardson, I love you.

Today’s Letter suggests a turning point in the destiny of the Republican Party. Perhaps karma and payback are starting to take their toll against the insurrectionists. The leadership of the Republican Party in particular is in hot water, and it’s about to boil. Those politicians who colluded with Jan. 6 are getting closer to being roasted.

In other encouraging news:

ELECTION 2020: Anyone but DJT

In this forum, we express a lot of deep fear and concern, well justified, about the return of tfg and about his continued influence. This Politico article suggests he will not be returning.


“Indeed, there’s a massive wall of resistance to Trump in the rest of country that will be hard to ignore. Biden didn’t get 81 million votes because he’s an electoral juggernaut. According to exit polls, nearly 70 percent of Biden voters were voting against Trump, and that sentiment is still out there — one reason Democrats are desperate to keep running against Trump, whether it’s in the Virginia gubernatorial race or local school board campaigns.”


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I listened to On Point yesterday, about Colin Powell as remembered by Retired Colonel Larry Wilkerson. Wilkerson talked about the W administration and that they made things very hard for Powell. Specifically, he talked about how Cheney disliked Powell intensely although he (Wilkerson) "didn't understand why, maybe insecurity." Maybe, or maybe Powell being a decent human being was a huge problem for all of them.

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"That McCarthy is trying to make her a pariah indicates a fight over the future of the Republican Party."

This conclusion is much too understated. A fight over the party's future has been in process since the rise of the Tea Party, if not since Newt Gingrich's ascent in the early 1990s. McCarthy's actions suggest that fight has devolved into the party eating its young in a desperate bid for survival. Consistent with Trump's style it's impulsive, bullying, petulant, and devoid of any sophisticated strategy to move forward.

Also, I don't mean to be pedantic but a clarification if you will. Matt Levine's description of a SPAC (or the interpretation of his description) isn't quite accurate. A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is not a company itself in the sense of an operating entity that creates goods or services. A SPAC is a publicly traded investment vehicle in a newly formed company (more like a stock) that raises money—which is why they’re also known as shells or blank checks—which is then used to buy a private company, effectively taking that company public while avoiding the traditional IPO process. The target acquisition typically

has not yet been identified at the time of formation.

Hope that helps.

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Interesting news from Talking Points memo about Trump's scam, er, I mean social media site:

Former President Trump’s new social network may only have thirty days to live.

Trump launched the app — TRUTH Social — on Wednesday evening. Within hours, members of the open source software community began to notice something: a test version of the website appeared to be accessible, and it seemed to operate based on a software that already exists, called Mastodon.

Mastodon is a social network that is similar to Twitter. The code is open-source, meaning that anyone can use it, so long as they abide by certain rules: namely, that they agree to make the source code of the modified version available to the public.

TRUTH Social did not do so.

On Thursday, Mastodon’s founder Eugen Rochko told TPM that TRUTH was not only using his code, but appeared to have violated the terms under which others can use it.

That claim could be enforced through the courts, and Rochko said that he would speak with attorneys about the matter.

“Mastodon exists under that license because the Mastodon developers seek to assure that anyone who gets copies of the software gets full source code and changes or modifications or configurations that anyone else has done,” Bradley Kuhn, Policy Fellow at Software Freedom Conservancy, told TPM.

That specific requirement exists thanks to the Afferro General Public License, which Kuhn helped develop. It mandates that anyone who uses the code of software under the license must make modifications publicly available. Though the software in question is open-source, it’s not in the public domain, Kuhn explained.

So, what happens in the case of a violation?

Kuhn’s organization plays a role in enforcing licenses, either through discussions with possible violators on how to remedy the problem, or via litigation.

This week, for example, the Software Freedom Conservancy filed a lawsuit against TV company Vizio, alleging that the company’s TVs use open source software without abiding by the terms of the license under which the code is available, while also staking out a claim that consumers can sue over license violations.

In the case of TRUTH Social, the potential violation appeared on a test site for the platform, which experts quickly identified as based on Mastodon. The site has since been taken off the internet and is no longer accessible to the public.

But that doesn’t fix the problem: as long as the software was altered and existed in public without the underlying code being made available, there is likely a claim, Kuhn said.

The violation itself triggers a 30 period to remedy the issue.

“In this situation, if Trump does not remedy this violation in 30 days, and then on and a half years from now or one and a half weeks from now, whenever they’re planning to deploy the final site, they will be in violation because they lost their entire permission,” Kuhn said.

That could give Mastodon — or anyone who used the test site and did not receive the underlying code — grounds to sue, Kuhn said, alleging that the license was violated.

To remedy it, TRUTH has an option, Kuhn said: “They could announce that they’re going to comply with the license.” That would mean making the underlying code public.

Alternatively, nobody is forcing the Trump site to use Mastodon.

“If they never want to give the source code to anybody, they could just not use Mastodon,” Kuhn argued. “Ceasing use is always an option for compliance.”

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