For some decades now the First Amendment has been at least partially breeched, or I should say limited. It is illegal to openly threaten the life of the President of the U.S. More than one person has been investigated for threatening the president. Some say this is a slippery slope because it is the first step in nullifying the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. I disagree. It is a sensible limitation, as we have already seen. That dangerous, potential assassin in Utah was handled properly. If you were to verbally threaten to physically harm someone, that is categorized, legally, as "assault" in most jurisdictions. If you actually, then, make physical contact, that is "battery." So, the law has long ago limited the first Amendment.

Expand full comment

Another well-researched and written piece, Thom. Thank you.

"How long will our court and criminal justice system tolerate this ongoing assault, this open campaign to promote stochastic terror?"

Our court and criminal justice show no sign of stopping Trump or his co-conspirators - those identified in the latest round of indictments (one through five) and those in the House and Senate. In fact, if anything, the system is encouraging the insurrectionists by doing nothing. Two and a half years after an attempted coup, no one has been held accountable. I place this squarely on Merrick Garland (Merrick the Meek.). He waited until November 18, 2022, to appoint Jack Smith as Special Prosecutor - two years after the 2020 election. And the appointment of Smith was simply a way to hide behind Smith's skirts. Garland should have been fired two years ago.

A country without enforceable and enforced laws cannot prevail.

In the case of: "Trump has openly said he wants to release information which the government says could be used to target people who have investigated him, testified against him, and might serve on the jury that could condemn him."

Chances are likely that in the classified document case, the inept and corrupt Cannon will let him do just that.

Expand full comment

The future of the human race does not look good if these right wingers control it. There is already a very good chance that global warming is already nonstoppable, thanks to the right wingers. It would be just a matter of time, days or decades before the human race would go back to the dark ages with dungeons. The males would be made into soldiers and slaves again, and tortured and killed if they did not comply. The women will be expected to crank out more babies, so that the dictator will have plenty of workers and soldiers. Putin already uses his criminals as target practice for the Ukrainians. Only strong Democrat leadership could prevent an American dictatorship. Biden and Garland and the dem house leadership. appear to already be controlled by big money and are not up to the task, even choosing in Texas an anti-abortion Henry Cuellar over a progressive. The amount of human suffering on the planet will be immense and most living will envy the dead, including the cult. members. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Until there is a maximum wage about 10 times the minimum wage, earth is not safe for babies!

Expand full comment

It seems that the Republican Party in general are following the same path when you look at the Federalist society and their other means to an authoritarian rule.

Expand full comment

Thank you so much for giving words to the fear most of America is feeling now.

Trump truly is an evil man. There is a book , written by Scott Peck , MD , a psychiatrist , who wrote many books about people with a Spiritual Illness , that seeks to destroy.

The title is ‘ People of the Lie’ .

Subtitled; “ The Hope for Healing Human Evil”.

Copyright 1983.

The examples he uses are chilling.

None so bad as what Trump does every time he opens his mouth.

I daresay if he was writing at this time of the Trump nightmare, he would have had infinite examples of what these lies , promoted by Republicans are doing to our country and quality of life.

Trump is ‘ Evil Exposed’.

The fact that his followers and the whole Republican Party with few exceptions, are complicit with this lying is nothing short of amazing.

The fact that he is followed by people claiming Christianity( whites only )

Is telling of how people use Religion for evil.

The denial and overt lies of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan , Comer, etc etc . are massive.

The refusal to speak out against this evil, is overwhelmingly focussed on elected Republicans who have been ensnared by Trumps lies and refuse accountability for leading us .

Mitch McConnell, Kevin Mc Carthy, the Maga republicans seemed to be caught up in their twisted fascination for Trump.

But its the money and the power that complete their tolerance for this madness.

And unfortunately , the power they subscribe to is mercenary.

Their fondness for Putins influence is extreme. Their disgust for diversity and inclusion is obvious.

We had better, as Thom Hartman has said , see this with a deep sense of reality and move against it, anyway we can .

Expand full comment

Thom, love your work! Has anyone looked at the rhetoric around the assassinations of the Kennedys & MLK? I was a little kid then but remember a lot of anger. Not from Presidents but from other public right-wing figures.

Expand full comment

"How can our newspapers and other media not see this?" Good question, and it prompts another one that is certainly related: Why do so few U.S. citizens see it, or care much about it if they do?" This is not a rhetorical question, but I'm not looking for immediate answers either even though I have none myself. (I've got some theories worth exploring, but no answers.) One theory, underscored by Ohio's referendum earlier this week: Even those of us who vote regularly rarely see much connection between "government" and our daily lives, even when the candidates we vote for get elected.

*However*, take a look at the turnout and the results of the referendum elections in Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. Plenty of blue-state liberal types are flummoxed: "Huh?? These are Republican states. Republicans are anti-choice. How did this happen?" I suspect it happened in large part because people of many political persuasions (1) understood the issue, and (2) saw how it applied to them and people they know personally. Also the pro-choice, pro-democracy people worked like hell to get the word out. In Ohio voters blew all turnout expectations out of the water *because something that mattered to them was clearly at stake.*

Expand full comment

Thom asks: “How can our newspapers and other media not see this? Anybody who has been in or near a country in a civil war understands the role Trump is playing.”

The answer is the same as the media ignoring global climate change. The investors, via the board of directors tell the CEO what to do and not do, and the only thing that they are interested in is profits. They are blind to the consequences of their actions and inaction's, and are like the shark who needs to keep swimming, less it suffocate, or the swimmer who knows if she or he stops swimming they will drown.

Where the media is not itself an enemy of Democracy like Rupert Murdoch, it is short sighted and short term, interested only in today and the short term effect on their status, position and wealth.

I am reluctant to put this out, But having seen pictures and diagrams of Bin Laden’s “Compound” it is my opinion that Pakistan made a deal with the Obama Administration

In a quid pro quo, and gave up bin Laden’s location.

The reason: bin Laden’s compound was only three miles from Pakistan’s Air Force Academy

There was no resistance to the raid, and bin Laden’s room was a little cubbie hole on the 2nd floor, and I doubt, but can’t prove that he had a weapon. Other than a typewriter

Essentially he was being held in the equivalent of a minimum security prison. Granted asylum. (The Taliban had it’s origin in Pakistan and still conducts acts of terrorism against religious “enemies”

The assassination of bin Laden, gave Hillary the credentials she needed to run for President, the DNC put its thumb on the scale for her, and the South Carolina, Democratic pary, put it’s thumb on the scale for her, followed by other Democratic parties in the south

Which then led to Trump becoming president. Unintended consequences thanks to the short sightedness of the DNC leadership.

And the only reason that the polls show a 50 50 split between Trump and Biden, is because the polls aren’t asking the right question.

They aren’t asking Democrats with whom Biden has fallen into disfavor, “why?”

There are legions of people like me, who are disappointed with Biden, for things that he did and did not do. But will never the less vote Democratic to keep the fascist, enemies of Democracy bigots out of office and control of the government. I am not voting for, but voting against. There is nothing to vote for.

As regards the Inflation Recovery Act and the Infrastructure act, his caving into the Republicans signing the bill to raise the debt limit, is not anything to be proud of, because he caved and refuses to use the power conferred on him by the constitution, Art II and the 14th Amendment, hence cowardice of complicity.

Thanks Thom for letting me know that Merrick Garland is keeping the unredacted Mueller report secret. That only confirms my accusation that Garland is a right wing Republican and running cover for the insurrectionists (traitors), Biden appointed him and despite the evidence has failed to remove him and appoint an Acting AG, just like Trump.

And inconceivable to me is despite the evidence that Trump and the Republican party are racists, anti Hispanic, anti woman, anti semites, anti LGB there are those in those groups who are not only Trump humpers, but support stochastic terrorism, and proudly run for office as Republicans, or play roles as donors, and supporters

Expand full comment

Frankly I think his own family must be quite horrified at what he is now moving into - they do not strike me as wanting terrorism, merely wanting the most wealth they can pull into their orbits with as little repercussions & trouble as possible ! Did they have any clue what he is capable of I wonder ? It's no surprise to me that Jarvanka are moving away from him - why would any of them want to be where he is likely going ?

Expand full comment

Yeah, what is up with Garland and could Biden replace him?

Expand full comment

Thom, please allow me to help you. Credibility, show that yours is absolute. Shame too many believe otherwise with less facts. Movie, Clint Eastwood, he was a Secret Service agent said to someone you threaten the President you could go to prison even if you didn't mean it. Show the clip and show the actual law. Show you are credible while others are not. You say it then it is an absolute.

Expand full comment

Very interesting - signing in late today, and reading all the comments. Several picked up on the same question from Thom I did: "How can our newspapers and other media not see this?" Thom was referring to Trump, who's all over the news, and others reference climate change. I'm taking a slightly different tack. Thom, I see you as part of the media, so I turn your question back on you, and wonder how you and the MSM could have missed how the WHO, and the "elite", have "played" us all with the plandemic? We're still tallying up the consequences to the health of citizens around the globe. People are awakening to the fact that we've been played, yet noone in the media wants to acknowledge it. They're all busy demonizing Robert Kennedy Jr., even when we all know that his critics altered his message and tailored it to frame him as a "conspiracy theorist". This will provoke those less-evolved humans Bob Johnson referred to, and all I can say is I hope you awaken and understand sooner rather than later.

Expand full comment