Jun 2·edited Jun 2

It's amazing how so much of the battle today connects back decades to Reagan and Bush 1. We have Neil on the court instead of his mom Anne at epa, mentioned here. We have biden and Clarence in the most critical seats, who squared off over confirmation over 30 years ago.

The society seems to be frozen in a kind of neoliberal hold that disallows new people or new ideas to surface.

This seems to be much bigger than tax policy, although of course it's tax policy that drives much of the inequality and other neoliberal characteristics engrained after decades of the market-based policies.

I think it's been expressed pretty well by Thom - neoliberalism has indeed failed us, and that a lot of the rancor and upheaval in the society has to do with economic uncertainties, constant disruptions of institutions, the lack of control over peoples own lives and their ability to provide for their futures in a way that they can understand or have some degree of control over.

In forums like this, unlike most media, people are looking accurately and fairly at fascism and trends that are so alarming and we look at historical precedent, see that it was not just economics that drove fascist trends but (esp with Nazis) an intense propaganda focus, constant manipulation of public sentiments.

While tax policy and economic inequality is an the important thing it's not disconnected from all the rest of the neo liberal infrastructure, which includes this vast propaganda system developed by these so-called technology companies, which are in fact behavioralism companies.

We see cnn becoming fascist conspirators, we see Elon musk's impact on Twitter (noted by thom this week) as ramping up fascist posts and sentiments - and we see a society unwilling to acknowledge or address the extreme and rampant manipulation of the public, moving people further away all the time from any grounded, historical, scientific or fair-minded assessment of the world today. I continue to be stunned by how ignorant our society has become, how professionals with graduate degrees often know absolutely nothing about history or science etc (prof tim Snyder commenting for years that the internet makes us dumber, an alarming trend for democracy)! Jon Taplin has showed how the system of technology / media has crushed "creatives" and consolidated income in concentrated business interests, and various writers have shown that people vote against their own economic interests (with tax policy etc) because the propaganda systems focus on identity politics which tend to override economics when certain base or emotional (tribal) aspects of people's sentiments are preyed upon.

Thom's work and media has been a clear example of really worthwhile and valuable information, so sorely needed, against an overwhelming tide of manipulation and ignorance.

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Label them “the toxic rich”: the illness they infect us with is deadly.

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Jun 3Liked by Thom Hartmann

Thank you for making the facts clear for us to understand; for repeating them so we'll remember. Thank you for tying the components together with one another and with history. Thanks too, for showing up the goppers/repubs "arguments" for what they really are -- twisted lies. Please keep going. Not so long ago, I hadn't heard of you or your writings and books. I am thankful for what you have taught me. I saw through T-rump years ago, so I'm not easily conned. But what you write helps me see a clearer picture. The gop/repubs have recently really shown who they truly are and actually have been for many years. The extremism has crawled from the woodwork, bare and stark. Ruthie B

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Im taking the liberty of borrowing from Mary Olivers’ Redbird’ book of poems

Of the Empire

We will be known as a culture that feared death and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity for the few and cared little for the penury

Of many. We will be known as a culture that taught and rewarded amassing of things, that spoke little if at all about the quality of life for people ( other people), for dogs , for rivers. All the world,in our eyes, they will say was a commodity. And they say that this structure was held together politically, which it was, , and they will say also that our politics was no more than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of the heart, and that the heart in those days, was small and hard, and full of meanness.

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"YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT", Obama's great quote is still in the minds of the Trump supporters. Striking up an innocent conversation at a local grocery store In rural Arizona last night, with a woman my age. I happen to mention that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our greatest president, and that he built the middle class. She angrily looked at me, like her eyes were deadly laser beams, she abruptly raised her voice and said "hard work built America". I pointed out that the third world Nations citizens, even work harder and have even less money. To which she abruptly walked off. The right wingers are going to have to lose their guns, minimum wage, freedom of speech and of thought, kidneys, be sold as slaves, starved, tortured, drink and eat toxic food and drugs and water.... before they come around. By then, what little is left of their brain will resemble a pickled drug addict's brain, and it will be too late.

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“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”

- Cornel West, author and philosopher (b. 2 Jun 1953)

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Thanks again Thom for an excellent assessment of what needs to happen for our Democracy to thrive.

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In the near future, it could easily be justified by the climate crisis. The money will be needed for the bare minimum to assure our survival.

Aside from that, I like President Biden's message today to have a minimum tax percentage for anyone making the big bucks.

Recently retired Representative Pete DeFazio advocated very strongly for taxing each stock transaction a very small amount. Wall Street responded by making sure they funded his opponent's campaign. Pete won, their out-of-state election interference failed, and DeFazio educated the voters. Let's do that transaction tax!

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Thanks for confirming my sanity. On my list of "what to do" is to outlaw billionaires but all I ever see is arguments about 2% or so of surtaxes as their "fair share."

Funny you mentioned the Dick Van Dyke Show. My last Substack was when I played an old best friend of Mary's: https://open.substack.com/pub/suzannetaylor/p/a-window-into-my-life-1?r=22nl7&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web.

And for your absolute over-the-top pleasure, someone put together dance numbers from that show: https://www.facebook.com/22920632/videos/183600571252724.

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They will cry like a stuffed pig!

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It makes sense but it's impossible these days. The Republicans and Fox News would never let it happen.

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Hi. Change of topic. What the heck is going on at the border? No news of daily crisis. No admin update of success. News has shifted to crisis in western hemisphere (msnbc today). Fascists states still sending national guard in (so they say) via press releases. What for? Where is the news debunking all this?

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All re-tread. Instead of haranguing on the status quo, why not propose some private sector innovation that our young people could latch onto. I am sick of these diatribes.

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