Posted at Salon on Apr. 2, 2020

Mad King Trump angers the gods

In the 4,000-year-old "Epic of Gilgamesh," the arrogant eponymous king killed Humbaba, the giant guardian of the forest so that he could cut down the cedar stands in what is now northern Iraq to build his great city of Uruk. Gilgamesh's people then diverted the Euphrates River to irrigate fields of barley. To avenge Humbaba's murder and the destruction of the forest, the gods cursed Gilgamesh and his people. One Sumerian writer mournedthat "the earth turned white. It was one of our first stories about environmental destruction — in this case, a salt buildup from irrigation that turned the fields to desert.
Posted at LA Progressive on Mar. 27, 2020

Coronavirus Crash: Worse Than Great Depression?

The coronavirus crash has turned the fact that we don’t make anything in America anymore from a topic for philosophical and political debate into a crisis in our hospitals causing people to die and endangering our frontline health care workers. Even worse, there’s nothing to catch us as and after we fall, because we don’t have a manufacturing base to fall back on like we did the last time a crisis like this happened—in the late 1930s.
Posted at Alternet.org on Mar. 13, 2020

We need to plan now in case Trump loses in November — but refuses to leave the White House

The Constitution provides a couple of mechanisms for Trump to lose the 2020 election—both the popular vote and the Electoral College—and still hold the office of president for a second term. It’s keeping historians and constitutional scholars up at night and, based on offline conversations I’ve had with D.C. conservatives I know, is something the GOP and partisans within the Trump administration are already discussing.
Posted at Alternet.org on Jan. 24, 2020

Lev Parnas is afraid of Bill Barr. He should be.

Lev Parnas recently told Rachel Maddow that he’s more afraid of Attorney General Bill Barr than he is of the mobbed-up foreign oligarchs he has betrayed. Barr, after all, can weaponize our prisons to punish Parnas. “Am I scared?” he said. “Yes, because I think I’m more scared of our own Justice Department than these criminals right now.”
Posted at Salon on Jan. 14, 2020

If you want a preview of what four more years of Trump could bring, visit Hungary

Now that we've entered an election year, there is a lot of speculation about what America could look like if Donald Trump gets another term, by hook or by crook. As Trump uses a crisis he created in the Middle East to distract us from impeachment, increases his chances of reelection, and boosts the fortunes of his buddies in the Military-Industrial Complex, it's important to understand how other demagogic leaders consolidate their power.
Posted at Alternet.org on Jan. 9, 2020

How 4 more years of Trump could send the U.S. down the path toward corrupt oligarchy

Now that we’ve entered an election year, there is a lot of speculation about what America could look like if Donald Trump gets another term, by hook or by crook. As Trump uses a crisis he created in the Middle East to distract us from impeachment, increases his chances of reelection, and boosts the fortunes of his buddies in the Military-Industrial Complex, it’s important to understand how other demagogic leaders consolidate their power.
Posted at Salon on Dec. 10, 2019

Is It Time to Regulate or Nationalize Facebook?

I was oblivious to the real significance of Facebook in everyday life until the company disabled my personal, private thomhartmann account. The list of “possible” reasons they posted for doing this included “impersonating a celebrity,” so maybe they shut me down because they thought I pretending to be that guy who’s a talk show host and author. (Facebook, if you’re reading this, I am that guy.)
Posted at Salon on Dec. 4, 2019

Why have no Republicans turned on Trump?

There is a very simple reason why some Republicans voted for the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon, but none have so far broken ranks against Trump.

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