Jesus,Mary and Joseph.

My mothers refrain whenever she heard something that had seemed impossible just the day before.

Thank you again Thom, for the plain unvarnished and horrible truth.

We’ve all tried to look away and pretend that democracy somehow will continue , in spite of the obvious routine attacks on any politics that are ‘ for the people’ .

The clear and all present “In your face “lies and hate from the Right and their trumped up leaders.

Note that the Supreme Court already on track to change and refute democratic process in their shady rulings.

And the bald corruption of their far right members ignoring a request by Congress to attend a discussion regarding their ethnic collapse.

If you think this is just coincidence, you are wrong.

Your point , Thom , about referring to Republicans as friends is over.

Biden needs to see this clearly and act accordingly.

The days of dealing with these monsters in a super cordial means has no effect on these crazies.

Look at Marjorie Taylor Greene who would elevate rumors re private citizens to a peep show and inform the world of her ignorance, which is only superseded by her desire for attention , no matter how crass her act.

She’s a poster child for ugliness in Congress along with the others who lie and falsely accuse anyone they don’t agree with .

Their hatred knows no bounds.

The days of “ going high when they go low”, do not apply to this group, bereft of their souls and hiding behind their lie label of ‘Christians’.

We need to continually expose these terrorists.

This is not the time to lay low .

Call out every abomination that you see , loudly and clearly.

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Jul 21Liked by Thom Hartmann

Gradually then suddenly. If you want an image for this, and how fascism comes, here's one I first used in 2012: "Fascism is like a cat stalking a bird in your back yard: It creeps, it creeps, it creeps ... and then, WHOMP, IT SPRINGS!" That's what Thom is describing here. We have to recognize this to stop the cat and save the bird, and it has to be before the SPRING.

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Disgraced ex-president Trump is a great example of so many of the faults of our society. A big fault is the inability of most people to "see through" the outward appearance of someone. It started with Reagan the movie star, and continues to this day with Trump. Another huge fault is that our society allows individuals, if they have money or prestige or power, to get away with crimes against humanity. Putin and Trump both fall into this category - both of them should have been brought to their knees for their crimes a long time ago. They both have mega-karma coming to them, and rest assured, it will come eventually. The New Testament has a story of the rich man and Lazarus, with Lazarus being the one who suffered in his life on Earth. They both died, and their environments were reversed, with Lazarus being comforted, while the rich man was in agony. Donald, you might want to give this some thought - there's still time for you to do an about-face.

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I don’t know…maybe. I just don’t think we will be around by January 2025, at the rate that the planet is dying.

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For every GOP voter that changes their vote and votes for a Democrat, that is a gain of two votes for law and order and a civilized society. Our best hope and that is not very good, is to educate the fascist supporters to what fascism is and what they will lose and convert them to Independents, before the right rigs the votes and all the statistics in the direction they want them. Cheap television commercials on the western channels and NASCAR and country music and wrestling and golf, is where they usually hang out. Hopefully, ANY Democrat will run against Biden in the primary. Even if Biden gets re-elected, democracy won't be safe with him guarding the gates. If Biden would fire Garland and all of Trump's appointees, and higher a real democracy supporting attorney general, then America could be taken back and the GOP made into a terrorist organization for which they are currently. When the globalist billionaire autocrats are through with America, America will look like Somalia for possibly thousands of years. That is not a legacy even the Trump supporters would want for their children to inherit. Slavery, starvation, civil war, disease, no medical....

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My God, what a devastating commentary. Three thoughts came immediately to mind:

1. Please, someone make sure that President Biden reads this. As the line from Dune says: "Let the sleeper awake!" We need an FDR response from the President.

2. That recent quote from Trump (“If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before.”) should be weaponized against him. The f-bomb will need to be sanitized to f*** for public discourse. Then it should be broadcast daily, (along with the date and source to refute the "fake news" rejoinder) until it has been internalized by the general public.

3. The thing that frightens me the most is the prospect of a spoiler candidate (who would, no doubt, be funded by the Republicans to divide the anti-Trump vote.)

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Among the newsletters I get, are the Bulwark, pro business, anti Trumpers, but today there was an article about George Orwell and Newspeak. By Charlie Sykes.

““If one jeers loudly enough,” Orwell concluded, one can from time to time “send some worn-out and useless phrase . . . into the dustbin where it belongs.” Writing in 1946, Orwell was already consigning “fascism” (an epithet that “has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’”) to the scrapheap. Today, it is safe to assume, he’d dump the likes of “woke,” “deep state,” and “fake news.” And perhaps “misinformation” as well. “Orwellian” could hardly fail to go. “If one jeers loudly enough,” Orwell concluded, one can from time to time “send some worn-out and useless phrase . . . into the dustbin where it belongs.” Writing in 1946, Orwell was already consigning “fascism” (an epithet that “has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’”) to the scrapheap. Today, it is safe to assume, he’d dump the likes of “woke,” “deep state,” and “fake news.” And perhaps “misinformation” as well. “Orwellian” could hardly fail to go.

Trump and the right are now calling us fascists, as to neutralize the word. I say do not fall for it, do not cave.. The Right has learned, through success because liberals cave, and have turned liberal, leftists and Marxist into vile epithets and instead of proudly owning the words, (which Republicans do without apology, heck they are even happy being called racists and NAZIs. Liberals shrink away like a whipped dog. Gutless are liberals. Afraid of confrontation. Stuck in the myth of “we are all Americans”

By the way the 3%ers are correct. It was only 3% of the population that wanted to separate from England. The rest has to be coerced into supporting the revolution. Washington wintered at Valley Forge, because the Continental congress would not pay his troops or even provide them with rations. In fact it was native Americans that brought corn and squash to the Army.

Virginians were monitored and punished by the Committee for Public Safety, an idea and name that the French and Bolshevik revolutionaries used. And the printing press of Rittenhouse and Ben Franklin to publish pamphlets, the likes of Common Sense and the Rights of Man.

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Do we all agree that groupthink tendencies and a lack of critical thinking skills have been significant factors in the gradual shifting towards the current conditions setting us up for these right-wing media assaults, Republican misinformation and disinformation, and the inability to recognize the subtle influencing even by foreign bots and social media lies? Mind-control, not unlike that which was foreseen in the book, “1984” sneaks up on us and happens most effectively when we are conditioned to see our influencers as benevolent, paternal, powerful, wise, and knowledgeable. One name for this is mis-education.

The earliest use of the word “miseducation” with which I am familiar is in the title of the 1933 book, “The Mis-education of the Negro”, by Carter G. Woodson. In his preface, Woodson says, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to tell him to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”

Paul Goodman has applied the same point to all traditional schooling under the compulsory framework in his 1964 book pair, “Mis-education, and The Community of Scholars” and his earlier book, “Growing Up Absurd”. Servility, obedience, and conformity are learned behaviors. This is what school within the mandatory legal paradigm teaches first and foremost. These lessons are essential to maintaining the “system” and quelling in advance any chance of withdrawal (either physical or psychological), or rebellion.

The student internalizes the authority and the limitations of her condition and is made to blame himself for any missteps along the way in traditional involuntary schooling. Resentment is precluded by ressentiment, a sense of inadequacy and self-blame accompanied often by self-contempt. The material may or may not be learned on some level but remains mostly an abstraction or simple information in a sea of information (and too often, misinformation, such as the “discovery of America by Columbus” and “Slavery was beneficial for the enslaved”).

This “benevolent dictatorship” over our youth has had several catastrophic results. One is to mislead people to suppose that school is the primary source of knowledge and education. Another is to promote the destructive and erroneous concept that learning and education can be decreed by authority and forced upon people. A third is the foolish notion that mass education is possible and that group learning is a viable concept. A fourth, with corollaries, is that education can be evaluated at frequent intervals or stages, that learning can be doled out in discrete and uniform segments or “units” to groups of student scholars in classrooms, and that the process can be monitored, managed, measured, and mandated according to some prescribed formula and “expertise”. This is pure insanity.

Religious conservatives, nearly all Republicans, are frantically claiming that they are implementing fascist policies relative to what can be taught in schools and whether children can read certain books for the benefit of society. They are prohibiting drag shows and gender-affirming care because they are ostensibly “protecting children” and preventing “sexual exploitation”. Meanwhile, children are required by law to attend schools (which are controlled totally by the states) allegedly to cure them of their ignorance, immaturity, and desire to be mobile and free. Controlled chaos and dysfunction ensue. Can we honestly draw a distinction between those two expressions of mind-control and paternalism, and reject the former, while continuing to accept the latter?

Someone has said that schools are for fish, all swimming in the same direction as a single unit. Schools require a degree of unity, and unity is surely a wonderful thing. They also require uniformity, which can also often be a good and useful thing. There are definitely going to be problems, however, when laws are in place which lock into place various structures and conditions which make any deviation or any action or thinking that is not in strict conformity with the group subject to punishment or exclusion.

Education is necessarily about change and thinking for oneself, regardless of the orientation of the group or any sort of ‘groupthink’. Ideally, education sometimes takes individuals to new places and to new discoveries which others are not ready for or capable of reaching. Schooling does have the potential for leading students toward those novel thoughts and discoveries. Unfortunately, coercion and compulsion inherent to attendance laws act to prevent any motion in any direction or course not predetermined to be acceptable for the school and group activity. We must keep the schools and dispense with the force and authority which is indispensable with attendance laws.

I have said it before. The right-wing whackjobs can take over entire school districts because power resides in officials and authorities under state auspices solely because of compulsory attendance law. Do not complain if you will not speak out against this illegitimate assignment of authority and political power in a domain where it is wholly inappropriate.

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The pretense of democracy died when the U.S. Supreme Court led by Scalia and Sandra Day O'Connor halted the presidential vote recount in Florida in November of 2000, and made George W Bush the next president. No legal precedent was needed only the desire to keep Al Gore out of the White House.

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Democracy is not only dead but this country has never been one. Sure, you can rant about politicians on social media or in the press, but anything like the truth, for Republicans history like slavery and for Democrats history like US imperialism and NATO, is immediately shut down by the party's respective bases and leaders. In this case, history and journalism is shut down from The Thom Hartmann Show to MSNBC to Fox News depending on who the subject of that truth or criticism is. How much reporting did we hear regarding The Afghanistan Papers, which revealed the lies and war crimes of Bush and Obama and the generals? Or Wikileaks exposure of the Democratic National Committee and their plan to promote Trump to the top of the Republican primary while crushing Bernie Sanders? Liberals and faux progressives simultaneously mock Putin's military for being a paper tiger and tear their hair out about the domino effect of his potential takeover of Europe (and then the world), unwittingly egging him on towards nuclear confrontation with their support of sending bottomless weaponry to the region. The use of cluster bombs by Biden is a non-issue, or his complicity in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline. Where is the action on voting rights? Not even an executive order to try and preserve "democracy" for black and marginalized communities. And criminal justice reform? That has turned into adding 100,000 police officers to a brutal and unaccountable police force. And forget about debates and primaries, we will just appoint a right-center, anti-abortion (backing the Hyde Amendment for decades), judgment addled establishment who is unfortunately not in control of their faculties in lieu of any vestige of "democracy." Of course, hawking dog food and salmon on your radio show necessitates feeding the echo chamber on your side what they want to hear, truth be damned.

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It is frighteningly very real as you point out here Thom but someone must be planning the opposite moves to thwart these Republican fascists or are they?

My criticism of Substack is just that! I read daily and even hourly of what belies us and our freedoms if the Republicans take over the government in 15 short months but I see nothing no plans no paths exposed on what we must do right now to avoid our imprisonment . Surely a roadmap exists other than to simply go and vote "BLUE"! Right?

Tell us who and what is going on right now that we as citizens must support with our funds our bodies and our ideas to enable the largest turnout at the pols come November 2024!

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What infuriates me is that we could all see this from the beginning. Why couldn’t others see it? Maybe they didn’t want to.

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Jul 21·edited Jul 21

Another economics-free assessment of the largest economy in the world?

Do we really want to keep going over what a neo-classical or Keynesian economy did politically, when we are locked in a neoliberal market fundamentalism? Is "politics" - or even voting - the way to change the dominant economic system?

Seems to me the problem is that most people don't know that neoliberalism is the dominant economic system and while Thom Hartman has written a book on this, by continuing to focus on naked domestic politics without regard to economics, it continues to foster the questionable idea that these are political problems rather than problems of economics and imperialism.

In todays news is (or should be!) a massive story about some of the most significant prosecutions in the history of the USA at both state and federal level, and a massive story about global heating and devastation.

We were informed of all of the good that the inflation reduction act would do, but only Canadians are well underway transitioning to electric vehicles, not us.

Let's focus on the cars people are purchasing. Let's focus on the heros who have put their careers and reputations on the line to strategically bring an onslaught of prosecutions against the career criminals who brought us an insurrection when they didn't like how the country voted.

With everything going on, and all of the multiple crises that we're facing, focusing so much on "democracy", as a topic ,seems misplaced. As many know, this country was not designed to be a democracy. Seems to me many people would rather have the right to a living wage - or just the right to be left alone - than to have the right to vote.

We should be more focused on the rule of law, which Mr trump has repeatedly attacked and tried to weaken, whether in connection with elections or otherwise. It certainly obvious that democracy relies on the rule of law and without the rule of law, there's not going to be any democracy at all.

Renown scholars (including Arendt) have shown that 20th century fascism was a reaction to (and destruction of) the values and attributes of the rise of the "nation-state" which, unlike feudalism, portended to impose a rule of law in which laws apply equally and fairly across a society.

So let's focus on the rule of law, and let's focus on the various heroes who are putting themselves on the line to try to save it on behalf of the American people. We can start with norm eisen's "draft" prosecution memo, discuss the novel theme apparantly laid out in smith's target letter regarding Jan 6 (which goes further, in legal analysis than the house report did), we can talk about how brag's criminal case isn't going away and how fani Willis appears set to go for the whole enchilada in Georgia - a sprawling Rico-type criminal case.... all of which will show facts under oath, and facts recited by independent judges, that the media seems to want to avoid.

After spending so much time this year on courts and the rule of law, it's time to return to that big topic (or change the channel).

A frequent guest of the show, economist Richard Wolff, has described (for example) how it is CAPITALISM (not, in the first instance, voters) that tends to turn towards authoritarianism. Topics in his latest show:

Capitalism Turns to the Authoritarian State

·       Why Private Capitalism Makes That Turn

·       Why State Capitalism Makes That Turn

·       Will the Authoritarian State Save or End Capitalism?  (United States vs. China)

·       Socialism and the Authoritarian State.

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