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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

Fascism seems to come in waves across the globe. It isn't just the USA facing this threat, but much of the developed world. My personal opinion is that we are being set up for another global war. There are too many "peasants" to please the oligarchs, who don't need this many of us. You'd think they would back off their abortion rhetoric, but control starts at the individual level - men over women and children, and white men over men of color. The children that result from abortion bans are likely to have grown up in poverty and chaos (not in all cases) and can be used as canon fodder. How else are rich people going to get young people to die and fight for their financial interests? The first and MOST important tactic of fascism is to gain control of women and then the easily impressionable children. Hitler used the Hitler Youth corps to spy on families. Here, we have the Young Republican Clubs.

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In the Continuum of America there are moments of conflict and strife and much longer periods of harmony and productivity. Inevitably the fiery flashes of inspired change will cool to periods where we bask in the embers from the stellar efforts of our revolutionary founders, the soldiers fighting for democracy, and the activists protesting our shortcomings. These stellar moments of strife disrupt our normal course of national life and productivity, but are all part of the continuum.

The Democracy Awareness Project represents our nation’s continuum with a star spangled Möbius Strip. The flash points in our history are represented by thirteen stars for our founding colonies, and the longer periods of productive democracy are represented by three stripes for our branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Help fight the ignorance and apathy cancers on our nation and wear a Democracy Awareness Möbius Stripe and update your social media badge with a virtual Möbius ribbon. Together we can “perpetuate our political institutions” as Lincoln proposed in 1838 and avoid a national divorce or state succession as some politicians propose today.

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I applaud your sentiments and I wish I could be more optimistic. The past does not always accurately predict the future. The Confederacy has been itching for a rematch of the civil war, thinking this time they'd prevail. That's all MAGA is, by the way, a warmed over Confederacy - same states, same ideologies, descendants of the same people and the same theocratic bent with a God that raises them above others. There is one area in which I agree with MT-not-Greene-anymore. We DO need a national divorce. The blue states need to stop propping up the red states failed ideologies with our cash. Let them fail on the swords of their own ignorance. Would this be painful? Absolutely. More painful than civil war? I doubt it. The right has already entered the conflict, while the left pretends it isn't really happening and that frustrates me. If someone on the right even *hears* something they don't want to hear, out comes the death threats and often real violence and murder. Sometimes, sadly, bullies have to be checked. If we can do it peacefully by letting them sink into their self-created poverty pits, that would be preferable to me than another civil war.

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I’m not suggesting that you are wrong however we need to exhaust every alternative to a national divorce. A good start would be talking about our disagreements in the Senate by reforming the silent filibuster. Let Senators debate the pros and cons of legislation and take a public vote so they can be accountable to the voters. As the Reverend Al Green preached “Let’s Stay Together.”

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And I don't mean to suggest you are wrong. Yours is the optimistic take. Mine is not. I'm nearly 70 years old. I do not care to "Stay Together" with people who are undermining civil rights, banning books and honest history, making death threats and carrying out domestic terrorism, creating a libertarian nightmare of this country. I don't want compromise with those ideologies. I swear those folks would walk over a starving child on their way to the coffee shop. Once I stopped to help a black man in a wheelchair get across an intersection. I chatted with him on the other side; someone had hit and run him with their car, crushing his ankle and foot. He was already in the wheelchair when they did it, but now his foot was swollen making life even more difficult. He had no support, no medical care...no help. He was covered in a dirty blanket. He didn't ask, but I gave him some money, which he refused to accept until I put it in his pocket. I did what I could for him and what he would allow. He was a proud man and said, "I'll get by." At the end I hugged him in his chair. The man suddenly burst into tears and I'll never forget what he said, "God bless you for touching me. Nobody here will touch me." The city in which I live is considered the "Christian," right-wing Mecca of the USA. We literally have hundreds of right-wing religious organizations here because the city council decided to make it a tax-haven for them. Not one of those fine Christians lifted a hand to help this man or lift his spirit. I don't want to make nice with that.

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The founding of any nation-state involves compromises to create the nation. Look at any of the modern large nation states--France, Germany, UK, China, Russia, etc.--and there is inevitably a grouping of factious entities. At some point, the original raison d'être erodes, the binds that tie loosen, and things fall apart.

The U.S. was born of a time-convenient compromise of slave owners, who wanted to avoid slavery being banned by Parliament in London, and Northern commercial interests, who wanted to avoid the Parliament's restrictions on westward expansion on the North American continent. Westward expansion is now reaching diminishing returns, and the replacement of slavery with Jim Crow subjugation and wage slavery is difficult to continue. The ties that bound the U.S. experiment are further frayed by the need to deal with the maintenance of infrastructure in the large, sparsely populated expanse of the West.

Rather than making the topic of a different configuration of the U.S. taboo, we should be talking about how to develop a workable future. Permitting regions to self-govern with accountability for funding their needs could be a start. Fortunately, we have some mechanisms in our current governance structure that permit this and would avoid the destructive outcomes of a simmering civil war that some megalomanic politicians desire. One such mechanism involves the aggressive use of interstate compacts.

FDR’s administration was moving in the direction of regionalization with many of the interstate compacts for infrastructure in the 1930s and 1940s. The move was interrupted by WWII. One such compact was the building of the interstate highway system. (Interstate highways were also delayed by WWII, and the idea is often wrongly attributed as an idea to the Eisenhower administration). We can take a lesson from the brilliance of many in the Roosevelt administration and repurpose interstate compacts towards creating regional autonomy in key areas such as healthcare, infrastructure, accountable government finance, and natural resources. Compacts are a much better approach than the alternative of a stochastic, simmering civil war.

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I like your thoughts on this; do you think there is any way that our politicians will support your ideas? I don't see it. Could you explain more about interstate compacts?

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Interstate compacts are permitted by he Compact Clause (Article I, Section 10, Clause 3) of the United States Constitution. Essentially, these are treaties between and among the States. There are around 200 already in existence. Some are quite monumental and cover things such as building and maintaining the interstate high way system, regional hydro power (TVA and WAPA), and rationing of water resources. Explanation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interstate_compacts

Effective politics is about "the art of the possible." Congress could and should find ways to permit and encourage further use of these compacts to take over critical areas such as healthcare and infrastructure. How about allowing regional compacts to create single-payor healthcare? Would WA, OR, and CA sign up?

Would the "Twitter-aholoics" do this? No! But folks like Bernie might see this as a way forward.

As an example, one should not forget that systems such as the Canadian healthcare system are not totally national. Each province does its own thing within the Federal system.

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This approach assumes political leadership in congress who will pursue these good ideas. The Republicans would have to give up their raw power lust in order to do what's best for the nation. I don't see that happening. It isn' their brand, of which there are three components. In order of priority, these are grievance, white privilege and increasing the wealth of the morbidly rich. They want the blue state-generated federal money that sustains them in their foolish ideologies, while at the same time, the legislative ability to run roughshod over the blues with theocratic legislation that will destroy the very engines of prosperity that sustain them. In other words; they want their cake and to eat it too. So far, they've been getting away with it. Since the Democrats either can't or won't play hardball with them, I don't see any improvements on the horizon. The absolute corruption of the SCOTUS with unqualified political hacks has made any forward movement impossible. Anything the blue states can try to do, legally or legislatively, to check the theocrats will be overturned by the gang of five "black-robed rulers." This is the real, most important issue, facing us and one that will persist for the next half-century unless there are reforms. I don't see the Biden administration doing any of the things they could do to correct the court's imbalance. Biden won't increase the size of the court as he is afraid the Republicans will retaliate when the have the power. What he doesn't seem to understand is they will do what they want regardless. Let them. Besides, it would likely be a good thing for this country if we had a much larger SCOTUS instead of a high court with no credibility and a majority of five people out of our 300M plus who are intent upon religious rule.

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Spot on. And remember that there were a lot of Nazi sympathizers in the UK and in the US prior to Hitler's rise to power. The KKK of the 1920's (and their fear and hate) went to Germany and taught the 'Brown Shirts' how to roll. King Edward VIII (before and after his abdication) was a great Nazi sympathizer as was Neville Chamberlain. There were many pro-Hitler groups meeting in the UK before WW II. Heck, the 'Hindenburg' routinely landed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in the 30's and that's where it crashed. And here we are; same hatred and fear, some 70+ years later. And Thom is right; once we govern by fear and hate, all bets are off.

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

We have a year and a half to register young voters. That's what I'm going to do.

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

Thank you! I think. So many details we absolutely need to know. This is one of the most important reports I’ve read. Americans who still support the GOP and TFG or his clones, are not only ignorant about history, they are dangerous. If we don’t speak up now, Vote and work to preserve our Democracy, we won’t have one. Santayana’s warning, paraphrased: Those who ignore History are destined to repeat it.

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As the standard of living drops in America, more and more Americans are becoming fascists. This was probably planned over 50 years ago. First, ship the jobs and manufacturing plants to other countries, then import as many union busting immigrants as possible, then loot and steal and borrow and obstruct and blame it on the socialists. Anyone who opposes regulating capitalism and keeping money out of politics, is an enemy to the nation and God.

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I would agree with your comment except "union busting immigrants"that sounds like it is taken from the right wing play book. Immigrants are not union busting. Either they are unskillled who do jobs that Americans won't or can't do for the wages the employers are willing to pay (you should have watched Last Week Tonight, last night. Or they are well educated and members of the upper class, like most Indian Americans (Nimrata Nikki Haley,. Dinesh D'Souza or Mehmet Oz, or Piers Morgan who migrate to America and glom on to what they perceive as the ruling class, but are themselves enemies of the very democracy which accepted them.

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The reason I use the term, "union busting immigrants", is because I want to remind the right wing Reagan supporters of Ronald Reagan's stance on unions and his determination to bust the unions. We must never let the right forget that Reaganomics is what has almost solely destroyed America, especially free trade in the trickle down. I have always supported zero population growth and at the time was very opposed to free trade, I supported fair trade and no population growth and I was right. It's a little late for the religious to be concerned about global warming now and most aren't concerned anyway.

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You might be right, but I don't see immigrants used for Union busting

Picked this from wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Miners%27_Association

The American Miners Association was formed in 1861

Unions first garnered public attention in 1845 when British emigrant reformers flooded the American workforce and zealously spread the gospel of unionism.[3] Since then, American corporate employers used newsletters to tarnish the reputation of unions and depicted them as “foreign importations.”[4] As a result, union activists and members were unfavorably judged as individuals who were against the spirit of American institutions. However, it was the labor leaders who were oftentimes targeted and publicly denounced as “blatherskites” and “demagogues” who were “too lazy to work and unwilling to allow self-respecting men to work.”

Those British immigrant reformers were most certainly Irish, fleeing the potato famine of 1845, and were mainly used to build Rail Roads, tunnels and the Erie Canal.

During the civil war Lincoln sent recruiters throughout Europe, especially Ireland, Germany and Eastern Europe. One of my great great grandparents were in Rhineland, then part of Prussia and answered the call, but arrived here after the south surrendered. The next immigration wave saw people from Italy, Greece,the Balkans and Ashkenazi from eastern Europe and Poland migrating to the U.S. perhaps it was these who were used as "scabs" to bust unions.

Free trade isn't free. It is controlled by governments, on both sides of the table, and unfettered trade, where government is not involved, enables the producer (corporation or nature) to produce widgets at the lowest possible cost, mainly keeping down variable costs like labor, to extract the greatest profit.

NAFTA and GAAT are prime examples of "free trade", and they have created (Thanks Bill)the rust belt, which is now swing states

Free trade and the unrequalted market is the very essence of Libertarianism and why the Koch Brother found the Libertarian party. Daddy Fred Koch, must have fallen in love with communism while building oil wells for Stalin. Article 12 of the 1936 Soviet Constitution states in essence if you don't work you don't eat, and the Soviet Union had the cheapest of all nations labor.

Karl Marx was a proto libertarian, he was against tariffs, and argued that the south should free the slaves and hire them back at market wages, thus produce cheaper cotton, that would allow his partner Frederick Engels, to make a profit. Engels was buying cheap and inferior Egyptian cotton.

There are those who believe and have done the math, that zero population growth is entropic, however the earths population is doubling about every five or ten years. It took 1,000 years to go from 1 billion to 5 billion and today another billion are added almost every other year.

We breed like rabbits (feels so good),but deadly in overpopulated regions that can't feed their population, or provide a basic standard of living, like India.

The Earth is not a cornucopia, and its natural resources or finite, as is the food supply, soil depleted of nutrients can only be replenished with fertilizer, fertilizer today is made from oil and gas, and there are finite oil reserves. Saudi Arabia is running dry, perhaps that is why they have made a move for rapproachment with Iran. The Sunni Shia conflict is 1400 years old, over a question of who is the rightful successor to Muhammad, the Sunni won the war of the mind, in most of the Islamic world.

That they are willing to set aside this 1400 year old squabble is an event that needs to be examined under a microscope, it bodes ill for the west, especially with Iran a virtual partner with Putin.

Global warming, fecundity, resource depletion it all heralds the end of the anthropogene epoch., estimates of it the chickens coming home to roost range from 2040 to the22nd Century.

I won't be around to see it, but my grandchildren and great grandchildren will. Maybe my children, but by then they will be as old as I am now.

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The religious long for their apocalypse.

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The union busters aren't the immigrants. This is a fundamental falsity that the Republicans push via Fox and their other propaganda outlets. The union busters are the executives of the companies involved as well as the legislators that support them in the effort. For example Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz just got accused of union-busting; though he claims not to have done so, there is considerable evidence he is personally involved in threats to employees and even wrongful termination of employees trying to unionize. "That's a nice job you got there; it would be a pity if something terrible happened to it" sort of intimidation. Immigrants aren't coming in "stealing" barista jobs. Shultz just wants to continue to be able to exploit employees on behalf of his stockholders. Industries such as meat packing, arguably a huge employer of undocumented immigrants, abhor the idea of unionization as do the construction companies. Right now they can hire non-documented immigrants, exploit them and risk little more than a small (relative) slap on the financial wrist. Nobody is ever held personally responsible. If you are interested in anti-union legislation in the works, primarily fronted by Republicans, visit https://www.fastcompany.com/90775158/anti-union-bills-bubble-up-in-congress-despite-growing-voter-support-for-organized-labor

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The greedy unlimited capitalists make a lot of their money on population growth. Mostly through real estate prices going up. About 1/3 of this nation has been brought in since about 1980. The minimum wage is still 7.25 an hour in a lot of states. When there is a worker shortage, the employers must pay more money and unions aren't needed as badly. Immigrants of all races have made the rich right-wing fascists richer in more ways than one. I pity all the poor newborn babies under the age of 100. That's probably about 85%. I'm a big fan of pro-choice to end human suffering.

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023

Could you provide a citation for your assertion about 1/3 of us being immigrants? That's just not the case in any study I can find. You can get real data (as opposed to right wing spin) at: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/immigrant-population-over-time. Immigration today is at the same level as 1900. In 2020, the percentage of immigrants against the total US population is 13.6%, which is actually somewhat lower than in 1900. Of course, in 1900, it was mostly white folk and now there are a lot of brown folk. Is that your beef? My experience is that is the beef for most of the anti-immigration crowd. You need to get better sources of information, or failing that, provide valid citations for your assertions. Newsman, Fox and OAN are off the table as they are propaganda sites, not scientific/study sites.

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023

Also, I don't disagree about greedy capitalists. But the ways in which they are screwing us over has little to do with immigration. Are you really upset that undocumented workers are bent over picking strawberries 12 hours a day or working in grueling and unsafe conditions in meat packing plants? How loudly would you complain if prices for these things, say, doubled if immigrants weren't available to do the job. If you ARE upset about these things, whose fault is it? Is it the immigrant looking for a better life or the business owners looking to improve their profits? Why aren't business owners who purposely recruit undocumented workers punished with less than serious financial slap on the wrist. It simply costs them less to pay a few fines than to hire US citizens. Conservative businessmen offshored our good jobs and industries to improve the bottom line for stockholders - 10% of whom own about 90% of the stocks. They were aided and abetted by both parties and by the American people who demanded cheaper and cheaper goods. We did it to ourselves as much as the greedy capitalists did it to us. And for the record, unions are desperately needed to counter the problems you point out.

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Susie, I am more concerned about the fate of all the children who will be raised in poverty and all of the criminals created by financial insecurity that I am about the color of anybody's skin. I never wanted Russian immigrants Irish immigrants European immigrants polish immigrants either. America's population in 1980 was 226 million and currently in 2022 it is 336 million please look it up on the internet I am not very good with the smartphones. Billions of people will be put at the mercy of the conservative right-wing fascist robber barons. I was not taught capitalism was unsustainable in school and I was not taught that religions are evil and I was not taught that the family unit ruins more children than it raises. I was groomed to be just another cog in the wheel. It looks like reality is going to hit the fan pretty soon in the thug sociopath can't wait and when they end up in a third world working for less than a dollar an hour they will wish they had FDR back.

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I don't think we're so far apart on many issues, but I just don't see immigrants as the problem. Yes, population has increased, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, since our system is based on growth and we are reproducing at a less than one for one levels. Whether or not we should base our economy on exponential growth is another issue, as it is ultimately unsustainable. But it IS our economic system.

What difference does it make if the immigrant is here doing the work or in their home countries doing the work that was off-shored by corporate executives? Citizens in the USA are denied those jobs. It's the same dynamic, except here, at least, they pay taxes and have *relatively* safe working conditions. Here, at least, we are not building up another country to be both a military and economic threat with our purchases. Here, at least, immigrant labor brings prosperity to communities - something off-shoring does not.

IMO, real reform would be forcing industry back to the USA, biting the bullet and paying the price for goods sustainably and fairly made. But it is our citizens - the very people negatively impacted the most by outsourcing - who balk at the thought of higher prices. We've become addicted to cheap goods. Me too, but trying to recover. It is easy to look at those dirty corporations that took our jobs overseas; more difficult to look in the mirror and understand our roles.

Oligarchs become oligarchs because they get rich delivering what people want. It started out with what I call the $5 Walmart (or any big box) shirt. A decent shirt cannot be produced, marketed, shipped across an ocean, unpacked, stocked and sold for $5 without exploitative labor practices. This should be obvious. But US citizens hustled as fast as they could to those big boxes to buy those $5 shirts. The oligarchs were there to assure us, via their pundits and think tanks that 1) Oh, we're lifting these people up; all boats are going to rise as a result (LIE: it has become a race to the bottom.) 2) We have good, safe labor standards for our subcontractors who produce our products (LIE: over and over again we find sweatshops and appalling conditions for mostly female workers) and 3) Look how cheaply we can provide goods! (That one, at least is true.)

When I noticed all the shoes coming from China, way back in the 70's, I tried to buy American. When I could *find* American-made shoes, which were only at the high-end stores, they were 5X the price of the cheap Chinese versions at the big box. I bought one pair for myself, but for my kids, who needed bigger sizes every six months, I gave in to temptation and bought them at Walmart. I became part of the problem. Now, there is almost NO choice about shoes. They come from China, even at the high end.

I'd rather the industries be here where we can monitor safety and work standards, getting taxes and building up communities.

Immigrants help grow our economy and improve the strength of our nation. Many serve in our military. They pay taxes and they generally work very hard and do jobs many citizens don't want. It is true that they are a concern in some industries (construction, meat packing, etc.) But nobody would come here and sign up for that work if corporations did not encourage it and government did not tolerate it. The immigrants themselves are not the problem. Corporatocracy is the problem. The oligarchs are the problem. Always have been in the USA.

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

In my ongoing discussion. I forgot the most important thing - Great article, Thom!

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Thom, the similarities between the 1930’s Germany and the U.S. of today are strikingly frightening. I can only hope that Faux Entertainment News doesn’t convince Dominion to accept a,deal and avoid admitting to its years long of lying to it’s listeners as well as its talking heads continuing to spread their lies and innuendo in their efforts to distract their followers from the real happenings in America.

I hope Dominion takes Faux News to a jury trial and forces it to expose all of their dirty laundry and all of the skeletons in their collective closets. And, I hope Murdoch is arrested for personally abetting in the January 6th riot that resulted in the death and injuries of so many people, plus all of the destruction to the Capital. Building.

I hope, too, that Trumpet can be found guilty of propagating an insurrection against the US and sentenced to life without parole; as well as all of those in Congress who can be found to have aided and abetted him.

We need a general housecleaning of all the filth and rot the GQPTP has brought into politics since the days of Reagan and Gingrich.

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I think Garland doesn't want to politically deal with this. He did appoint a surrogate, Jack Smith, but we're going on three years and ... crickets.

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I, too, felt Merrick Garland was going too slow in bringing Trumpet - and his equally criminalistic cronies - into account for his many crimes. However, given the enormity and uniqueness of the situation, I've come to believe Garland's trying to build an air-tight case against a recent, former president with acute demonstrations of anomie and more than a few psychological and sociological deviant behaviors. All of this, in addition to the ex-president having tens of millions of extremely credulous followers who believe everything he says, and are willing to start a violent civil war, should he ever call for one.

As such, I believe we should give AG Garland some slack as he proceeds with the DoJ's investigation(s) into Trumpet and his 'very obvious to most of us' criminal activities.

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I agree with much you have said I truly, truly hope you are right in your assessment. My concern is the longer this goes on, the stronger and larger the MAGA mob of bullies becomes. They actively radicalize and recruit young and troubled young men online. Every day. In many cases it is destroying these young men's relationships, their character and ultimately their lives. Every day's delay takes a toll.

I don't think most of the rank and file Republicans are ready to start a civil war, hell, a lot of them are in motorized carts. The violent wing of the MAGA cult that COULD and WOULD start a civil war call themselves Proud Boys, 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, etc; they are really just the next evolution of skinheads (as MAGA is the new incarnation of the Confederacy.) The administration is terrified of them, but they have bigger mouths than brains and the truly violent ones are far fewer in number than the media suggests - these Einsteins videoed themselves committing crimes on J6, then posted the footage on Facebook. Recall how Trump could have pardoned them before he left office but he did not. Behold how they still worship him anyway (most of them.) Neither smart, nor cunning. The more the cancer spreads, though, the more difficult it is to stop.

I suspect there is going to be violence one way or another. The fires of grievance have been stoked by conservatives, think-tanks controlled by the wealthy, by Fox, by Trump and *especially* by extremist religious leaders. The question is how can we limit the violence as much as possible, de-escalate when we can (and figure out how to keep one's loved ones out of it.) My fear is that the longer we wait, the fewer our options. That's my frustration (or maybe just lack of patience.)

In my line of work (retired from Aerospace) we used to say, "Completion is a management decision, not a technical decision" We also said, "No decision IS the decision." The engineers would tweak and refine a product endlessly if allowed, blowing the budget out of the water. We've all seen the videos. We all know about the fake electors. Smith has interviewed nearly everyone involved. We need a completion decision. Garland, no doubt, has a brilliant technical legal mind. However, the "budget" here is time, which Garland maybe thinks is infinite. The window of accountability is closing as the 2024 campaigning starts in earnest. The cries of "politically motivated" while loud now, will grow increasingly shrill and threatening the closer to the election we get and could be an effective talking point for recruiting brownshirts. The closer to the election, the higher risk of violence. Delay always carries such risks.

The Republicans are barreling ahead with their authoritarian agenda, blatantly breaking laws, holding absurd congressional inquiries, lying to their base wllly-nilly, packing courts, judge-shopping to get legislation most of the American people don't want, passing voter suppression laws, attempting to pass legislation allowing legislators to overturn elections, ignoring climate issues. I could go on and on, because they are going on and on. Every day they get worse because every day they get by with more and more. That's just the leadership. The followers are hounding and slandering good people, issuing death threats to school board members and others, intimidating minorities and women and accusing honest poll workers of being traitors. Heck, they've even threatened Mickey Mouse! (JK)

We the people are living in a state of domestic terror. All the time. Every day and the administration (and the DOJ) needs to wake up to it.

But I hope I'm wrong.

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Truly frightening . But making more sense everyday .

We see it happening in mostly red states but it surely is infiltrating all of the United States and so many countries around the world.

I read an article a while back about greed as an addiction. The human brain acts in the same capacity with increased sums of money as it does with increasing intake of addictive substances. Its a simplification on my part but it makes sense. All moral values get cast to the winds in order to continuously accrue more and more money and the power that comes with it.

So these powerful people become irritated with anyones needs other than their own needs/ wants.

The language of these people becomes nasty and remote. They truly stop caring about people who cannot challenge them monetarily.

We are all becoming categories .

The poor, the minorities, the trans, the LBTGQ’s the immigrants , those on Social Security, retirees and disabled , all superfluous.

We ask ,’ have they no shame, no heart?’

And the answer is No.

Just as an addict will do what he must to get his next drug, the wealthiest and most powerful will wipe out anyone in their way.

See Kevin McCarthy ruthlessly setting us up for default on our debt.

It will trash our finances as well as much of the worlds . He doesn’t care.

He will blame Biden for not negotiating , on the debt of the last many years , much of it accrued under Trump. Because the Maga hostages cannot take responsibility to continue paying on what needs to be paid on .

A point seemingly lost on this group and their fractious leaders , McCarthy, Trump et al.

Just a review of fact.

The debt ceiling under Trumps administration was raised three times.

Mc Carthy pretends not to know this.

A very weak grasp on reality .

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Money is not only addictive, but money is the means to obtain power and power is most addictive.

Those who have wealth and power are like sharks. A shark must keep swimming for if it stops it suffocates, swimming forces water through it's gills. So it is with wealth. It is a ponzi scheme, and it has to keep moving, growing, expanding or it dies.

Land developers are a good example. They borrow money from pension funds and other investors to finance a project, they live off that financing, and when done they have to start another project to pay back the original investors and support their lifestyle. When they stop the whole game comes crashing down. Just like AMWAY and other multi level marketing schemes.

I am so glad to be middle middle class. Debt and mortgage free, enough retirement income to pay taxes, insurance, buy foods and discretionary spending, including internet purchases, that I don't have to worry about being suffocated if I don't continue swimming.

Most of us are like sharks, we need to keep moving (working to pay bills and eat) or we "die". The difference between us and the ruling class, is that we do it to put a roof over our head, clothes on our back and food on the table, they do it because they are addicted.

I am watching Succession, thinly veiled series about the Murdochs (except Logan is Catholic and Rupert is Jewish). The father died and his heirs have enough money to set themselves up on some prime piece of real estate for life, but they are staying in the fight for control of the Empire, and it isn't money that drives them. Is it money that keeps Senators and Judges in office till they die? Like Feinstein. Well maybe in her case it is, who knows what will happen to her family fortune should she resign from office.

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RE: "So, to the question about what’s really behind the war Republicans are waging against American democracy, the answer is simple: rightwing billionaires who want more, more, more money and are willing to make common cause with bigots, fascists, and wannabee killers to get it."

Authoritarians "... waging war against democracy ..." because:

Yes, we are witnessing our version of Germany's path to fascism. We are also reliving our earlier history of attempts by oligarchs to create our form of fascism. The Confederate fascists/oligarchs went to war to protect and increase their wealth. They also propagandized their citizens into fighting their war. The Industrial fascists/oligarchs, at the start of the 20th century, tried to get retired Marine Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup to remove FDR, who eventually reduced their wealth and power. Now we have a new set of fascist oligarchs trying to end our form of democracy because it will reduce their wealth and power.

These authoritarian oligarchs will do what ever it takes to protect their wealth, their authoritarian power and the authoritarian economic system that has, three times now, allowed the concentration of wealth into the hands of oligarchs/fascists. To stay wealthy and powerful, they will:

- Take control of mass commercial media to promote what they want promoted and hide what they want hidden. They will use that media to keep us divided and distracted from their ultimate goal.

- With the help of a SCOTUS, buy as many politicians in all parties as they can. They own the GOP. They own a few Dems and influence many others. They will use those politicians, in their media, to help keep us divided and distracted from their ultimate goal. They will use those politicians to pass laws that protect and enhance their authoritarian power and protect the authoritarian economic systems that funds their wealth.

- End our form of democracy using their media, their politicians and their wealth from our authoritarian economic system. An economic system that has put 40% of the nation's wealth into the hands of 1% of its citizens and left only 7% of the wealth for the bottom 80% of citizens.

For more on replacing democracy with fascism, check out "How Fascism Works" by Jason Stanley:

"Fascist politics are running rampant in America today—and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history. ... He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations."

https://jason-stanley.com/book/how-fascism-works/

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Thank you for acknowledging the truth about the right. It IS, almost exclusively, the Confederate states that are behind the push for fascism and oligarchy. Some say the Confederacy lost the war, but won the peace. That's all MAGA is to me - another new name for the Confederacy.

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Thanks for the recommendation. I think I have a spare credit - hope it's on audio. LOL

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Here is what perplexes me. It is well known and quite obvious that the right wing is virulently anti semitic, that they used Soros as code for Jew is just one example, another is the chant in Charlotteville of Jews will not replace us, and of course holocaust denialism.

With such blatant evidence how does one explain Steven Miller, Rupert, Steve Wynn, the Addelsons, and other Las Vegas millionaires, the Mercers, Barre Seid who left 1.6 billion to the Federalist Society, and especially Rupert Murdoch https://observer.com/2016/03/algemeiner-celebrates-power-Jews-at-packed-manhattan-gala/ is it all about Israel? Are Republicans seen as the champions of the Israeli state? For sure Evangelicals and end time Christians certainly are.

The Israeli right knows that these are virulent antisemites, but because they are the biggest supporters of Israel (as part of their end times eschatology) and the primary source of tourist income, they pragmatically overlook their antisemitism

Not too smart, an equivalent is a gay Republican or any Republican who is not white, straight and Christian, or for that matter not male.

Lots of Germans made that mistake in the 1920's and 30's, as did Russians in 1917.

Because of pogroms and the forced movement of Ashkenazi to the pale of settlement, the Jews were early supporters of the Bolsheviks., but their welcome wore out, until there was a flood of refuseniks fleeing to the west and America

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I appreciate your point regarding the fact that there are two parties and the Democrats are thoroughly useless in defending us against Republicans because it is their political expediency that allows marginalized groups to be used as election fodder with little authentic action in their favor. And the Democrat's nationalism in their lining up to supply Ukraine with countless billions in weapons in favor of their feckless leader Joe Biden reinforces the fantasy that oligarchal leadership is somehow favorable to fascism when they are in fact one and the same. And let us not forget fascism rises when the political system fails its people, and in the US that has certainly been a bipartisan effort.

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Barry you sound like a well trained obfuscating Russian troll. Oligarchy is oligarchy and oligarchy is fascism, however backing away from Ukraine is empowering oligarchy. The Ukraine was innocent, although very corrupted by it's almost 70 years of being a Russian satrapy, yet it was invaded by Russia, which if successfully wishes to rebuilt the old Soviet Empire. So no, there is no comparison between our support of the Ukraine and the oligarchy. And considering that the American oligarchy is lining up to withdraw support for Ukraine (in the form of the Republican party) there is less validity to your comparison.

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There will always come a time when posturing for the powerful will turn to being immediately expendable.

Stressful as hell besides.

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Spot on, Patricia. Any time an authoritarian takes over, the inner circle is the first to go as they are perceived as threats to the leader. In some places they are outright murdered. In others, they are blackballed so hard, they can't even get a job as a janitor. Trump's base is extremely loyal. He has never, will never, return that loyalty. He is loyal to no one.

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Ya, I wouldn't want to use the ERIC system either when my agenda is to out-right lie about everything that doesn't fit with what I maintain to be voter fraud. It's so annoying when someone keeps pointing to your lies.

That's why we cannot quit doing just that---THANK YOU THOM!

I pass-by a heavy equipment/construction place often, and yesterday I noticed they have their flag flying up-side-down, a signal for help. They do need help, just not for the reason they inverted OUR flag. This cult that you describe thinks they can survive without the majority of society. I know from my own little rural red county that they are not the future. The diversity movement is stronger than ever among the youth and corporate America knows it. They have decided to add a rainbow flag for even more freedom. Think I'll go have a Bud Light.

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The “base”, the politically agitated minority on the right who can be duped, swayed, hoodwinked, and manipulated are always where things get dicey and momentum builds until there are uncontrollable forces able to wreak havoc and destruction. What does it take for “the people” to wake up and for those in positions of power to reverse the trends? Why are Democrats so “impotent” in getting their message out and countering the lies?

We have heard it a million times. Education is the key. Solid, truthful, factual information must find its way to the people. Citizens must be alert, discriminating, and capable of critical thinking and detecting BS. It’s too bad we don’t have some way for people to learn and develop those essential skills. Maybe in another 100 years.

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Based on the newsletter I put out every day for my friends, I find that on a daily basis, there are probably 4 times more eye-grabbing headline stories about GOP fascists than there are about Democrats even though the President and Senate are led by Democrats. The Democratic Party infrastructure appears to be under-informed, overly cautious (e.g., Sanders v Clinton - she lost) and strategically outgunned by the fascists. It has only been in the past 12 months that the MSM has even started to use the "F" term in reference to Republicans. Only a few Democrats seem to recognize that the fascists are tracking Hitler's playbook to power. How is the failed Bierhalle Putsch any different from the failed Jan 6th Insurrection? Hitler helped engineer a failing economy to gain public support. Today Speaker McCarthy is doing the same thing with the "debt ceiling." The DNC fails to recognize that the stolen election fuss was not aimed at overturning 2020 election results, but making the entire country question US election integrity for 2024 - the neo-fascist's Reichstag fire. We did not elect Sleepy Joe because we expected energetic leadership, but because he was the Un-Trump. It is hard to envision a re-run in '24. People want change and an end to the corruption. Half of Trump's government sabotage in office still has not been reversed. Meanwhile the MAGAs blind support for their Fuhrer remains strong.

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Hitler's rise to power was enabled by the financial support of the wealthiest men in Germany and by the support of the Catholic church (which was critical to the support of Hitler's becoming the vice chancellor). Despite the propaganda, the entire history of the Catholic church has been its enriching itself at the expense of its subjects over the past 1700 years.

British leaders including the king and Lloyd George and Keynes all thought what had taken place in Italy and Germany was a positive development. Hitler's deal with the industrialists was his agreeing to ban unions. This is the bargain that is struck by the Republican Party leaders with the billionaires or the over class of the USA. Fascism is the ultimate form of governance for capitalists as it suppresses workers' rights while making it easier to wage war and this in turn profits the industrialists enormously. IG Farben received billions of reichsmarks from the Nazi as well as being gifted with new factories and a slave labor force from the occupied countries.

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