Bullseye. This falls to all of us. This is our moment in history to shoulder the fight for democracy the globe over. I've said it before: No one and nothing is coming to save us. We find ourselves, and ourselves only - as the last line of defense against greed, hate, deceit, and all other pestilence of the MAGA trash heap. Putin, MBS, and Jinping are all-in on murdering democracy - and they have found loud allies in today's GOP. We must not be the Chamberlain's of the 21st century. It's far beyond time to wake the hell up. We are the people who will determine whether democracy emerges from hospice, or continues to be hauled to a cemetery plot.

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It seems a major factor in the fact-checkers decision to capitulate to the pressure and hold their fire against the lies is their concern about the legal cost to them for doing there jobs.

What is needed at this time is for the legal profession to come forward, with the willingness to provide representation to the fact-checkers pro-bono. If they only see this as an opportunity for enrichment, rather than as a threat to their own ability to function within an authoritarian state, then as they are being marched off to the Gulags, they will be the last to utter "where is anyone to defend me!"

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Talk about Evil. These Lying Republicans led by that criminal Jim Jordan , McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, my god , they are all criminals. Trump their Chief Liar has groomed them well having sought help from Putin , inviting Viktor Orban to address their convention for liars. They’ve sought tips on creating chaos and eliminating people that they oppose.

These people will stop at nothing to push their crooked efforts at fascism. Donald Trump and now it seems many of his devious supporters are aware they cannot win so they’ve gone under the tutelage of the worst people in the world.

Their quest for power has taken their souls . All led by Putins puppet Trump.

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Ms Botatroll,

This is not a response for you, but for actual readers...

1) Other than the US, who would you like telling you about democracy? Putin? Orban? MBS? Jinping?

2) The actual people of the US do not like the 2 party system, as t is ripe for conflict. We are pursuing alternatives (ranked-choice, instant run off, etc..) and are able to do so because, wait for it... We in live in a democracy.

3) I won't argue that the people of the US have had a troubled history with voting, consumerism, and anti-intellectualism. That's not disputed. But to "Leave out China and Russia" in a discussion about authoritarianism and anti-democratic regimes...? Hahaha. Sorry.

4) Yes, right wing forces are spreading like gangrene across the body of global politics. However, I don't see the logic in "Yes we have right wing forces now but at least we don't have 2 party's..." I mean, does it matter how the Nazi's come to town? No. Whichever non 2 party system you're referring to (maybe you could share?), apparently it sucks all the same.

5) And you believe, that somehow, should the MAGA disease steal power in the US - snuggling intimately with the world's most disgusting regimes along the way - there will be peace?


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Kellyanne Conway inaugurated "alternative facts" as a way of dodging the truth in politics. AFs are now, thanks to Trumpism, a substitute for truth among most Republicans. AFs work because most people have reduced the resulting painful dissonance between verifiable facts and GOP confabulations by retreating to news-source bubbles. If all your news comes from FoxNews and the Gateway Pundit, at best, you have been instructed on how to discount unpalatable facts - sometimes garnished with a Tuckeresque psychotic giggle to color the fact as silly.

The other day I watched several middle-aged working-class men wearing MAGA ball caps loudly proclaim that Congress needs to cut social security to reduce the deficit. It apparently never occurred to them that they will likely depend on an SSA pension to survive as early as age 62. Factchecks help to point out lies and spins by politicians, but their audience is likely to include few Republicans who need it the most. The cognitive dissonance is for them unpleasant rather than informative.

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Shame on Stanford and the NIH for caving into Gym Jordan and the right. Another example of cowardice being the core of society

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Thanks yet again Thom . . . maddening.

btw, did Elon rename that thing to X, or Xi?

Better check that logo . . .

best luck to US -- b.rad

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As a self-proclaimed free thinker, I have never liked liars. The rich fascist who don't want to pay taxes or share, are attacking the truth and reality using their own media, counting on there being almost nobody home. Apparently, there is almost "NOBODY" home. The citizens worldwide have been indoctrinated since childhood, that believing makes stuff true. We can thank the churches for the lack of critical thinking. Religious fairy tales being taught as truth, makes it possible for the dictators to lie and worm their way into power with the help from the greedy, inhuman, sadistic rich. In almost all societies, for thousands of years. Free speech does not mean one has the right to spout lies! Why aren't any citizens being flogged for lying? Religious citizens know that they would be flogged, for lying. About 80% of earthlings cannot handle the truth, and are not rational thinkers. IMHO! Without rational thinking, the majority of earthlings are like a ship lost in the ocean without a compass. Most were created that way in the name of "GOD". Once past the age of two or three, few can be rehabilitated. Their spirits were broken by abusive parents and the rest of the society that condones it! Even the rich ones.

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Thom’s rant today is like most of his (and his team’s) excellent dissertations on the state of our democracy. Regardless of the subject matter in his always excellent dissertations, it becomes obvious that we somehow need to elect a sufficient number of competent and progressive officials if we are to reverse our democracy’s backsliding into autocracy. From some previous comments that I submitted over the last few years, I became an accidental Substack writer (as “olddave”). I grew weary of always whining and opining with my comments and decided to do something about it instead. Since then, I developed a relatively simple project designed to help make our democracy work the way it should. I posted a summary of it on Substack under my new name (“rmdolddave”).

The first post, HOW TO MAKE AMERICA INTO A ROLE MODEL DEMOCRACY is an invitation for you and all the other Substack writers and readers to use our Constitutional rights to participate in a simple petition process as well as collaborate on the project’s content and processes. This petition is designed to compel our elected officials to meet their Constitutional purpose by having them first agree on the meaning of “Constitutional purpose,” plus they must acknowledge that as long as money is speech and corporations are people, we will continue to have a backsliding democracy. The second post, HOW TO MAKE AMERICA INTO A ROLE MODEL DEMOCRACY (LED BY A ROLE MODEL PRESIDENCY) is the home page content of the project’s website (under construction but viewable if you are interested, please let me know) and it describes what the project is all about.

The best proven strategy for stopping governments from engaging in tyrannical behavior is sustained nonviolent resistance. My plan that employs that strategy is laid out in the two posts I referenced. If you can think of a better plan that uses the strategy of sustained nonviolent resistance to make our democracy work the way it should, I would gladly fund it. Since this project is based almost entirely on the subjects and solutions that Thom Hartmann discusses daily, and he has the most thoughtful (and thought-filled) audience I’ve ever read, I wanted you to be the first to read it and get your feedback on how to make it better. In addition, if you do get a chance to read it, you will see that the project is designed to be open sourced and cooperative with significant opportunities to work together and (hopefully) make a lot of money. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because I could sure use some thoughtful help.

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You can bet Rep. Jordan, who was a scholastic wrestling coach, is still thinking like one. It's all about pinning your opponent to the mat. He can stop their direct work that exposes lies, but he can't stop them from teaching others how to do it.

Has Elon Musk gone from game-changer to flame-thrower? This CCDH suit seems to confirm he's doing the opposite of what he says he intends. That makes him a modern Republican for sure---another tedious rich-guy throwing his weight around. What a shame. He does help good causes and says he won't leave his money to his children. I hope he understands the Howard Hughes' story did not have a happy ending.

TRUTH is how we kick their ass and don't they know it!

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Surely there must be better strategies for ensuring our ability to learn the truth and be able to dispel misinformation than to bemoan the power of Jim Jordan. Of course, Jordan take orders from where all Republicans get their instructions. Remember how in his higher functioning days, Mitch McConnell would march out with announcements accompanied by Thune, Cornyn, Barrasso, all of who would split into many twosomes? back when Lindsey Graham and John McCain were among the twosomes? It was so obvious that they were all directed on what to say and how to say it; and each of the twosomes had a different mission. Wherever the orders came from, we can be sure money came as an accompaniment. So, the Republicans have STRATEGIES. How can Democrats summon legal brilliance to counteract the threats to investigating and uncovering falsification of news?

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So, here are a few things for the fact checkers. I've run through this numerous times on Michelangelo's weekend Substack.

If you look at Federal Taxes Paid by state versus Federal Spending Received by state, the Tax Foundation and the Rockefeller Institute being two excellent sources providing 41 years of data, you will notice that as of 2005 (Tax Foundation), there were 19 states paying more federal taxes than they received in federal spending. Lets call these states Donor states. Among those: Washington, California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut. Which would leave 31 states you could call Welfare states.

Moving up to 2015 (Rockefeller), there were 13 states paying more federal tax than they received in federal spending. 37 Welfare states.

Moving on to 2019 (Rockefeller), there were 10 Donor states. Washington, California, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. 8 Blue states, 2 Red.

Looking at 2021, with Covid dollars removed, there were 8 Donor states, Washington, California, Utah, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut & New Hampshire. Now we've got 42 Welfare states. 19 Donor states in 2005, 8 Donor states in 2021. Noticing a trend?

Also, notice the 6 Blue Donor states that have been there for all 41 years. Another trend.

As of 2015, there were 16 states with absolutely no history of ever paying more federal taxes than they received in federal spending. To name just a few: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia.

The champion of these, Mississippi, averaged $2.14 in Federal Spending from 1981 thru 2019. 2015 thru 2021, Kentucky has been the clear champion in taking Donor State money, averaging $2.69.

If someone wants to check these 'facts', have at it. Tom should know what I'm talking about here. He wrote an article not too long ago on essentially the same thing. He just didn't include all the data. If you Google this topic, there have been numerous articles written over the years, all saying essentially the same thing: the Blue Donor states pay for the Red Welfare states. If you want to phrase it differently, you could say the successful Blue Donor states pay for the failed Red Socialist states. That's what the data shows.

So what can you do with this? The Red states, save for one, are failures? The Red states, save for one, are Welfare states? The Red states, save for one, are Socialists? What other conclusion can you to reach with the economic data? The vast majority of the Red states only exist with the massive subsidies from the successful Blue Donor states. Ron DeSantis likes to shoot his mouth off about Florida's 'surplus'. He wants to make every state like Florida. So, in 2019, Florida paid $205.7 billion in Federal Taxes. According to Rockefeller, they received $1.24 in Federal spending, which translates to $255 billion dollars. 49 billion dollars in free money from Washington, California, New York, New Jersey, etc. That's a success? Not in any business I'm familiar with! If the country was actually run like a business, what do businesses usually do with divisions that are under performing? Shut them down. So, what do we do with all these Red states who are underperforming?

And these are the states trying to turn the U.S. into some form of 1930's Germany. You know, that country that lost the War. These same people want to align with Putin and Russia. Go look at a map of Russia/Asia. South Korea is that little country across from Japan. South Korea's economy is bigger than Russia's. Success is right there in front of these people, yet the extreme moron Republicans seem bound and determined to align themselves with failure.

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My Substack site shows you as a subscriber so I will try to figure out how we can make this work. Thanks

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This is true Thom, but you are part of the cabal on the other side who shouts down the fact checkers on Ukraine, Biden's health and any other reality that runs counter to the critical thinking you frame as circling the wagons. I don't think it's naivete that compels you to compare Biden to FDR or pretend that his means-tested proposals created as campaign fodder will ever see the light of day.

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