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The Mainstream Media is controlled by the American oligarchy!

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founding

It has definitely been a depressing week for reading the news, and likely an extremely profitable one for the owners of the news media. With all the depression inducing events that were discussed this morning, the cause of the depressing news itself was not discussed, the mutual benefit of capitalism and authoritarianism to each other.

The dictionary definition of capitalism is: “Capitalism means an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.” In other words, capitalism has nothing to do with promoting the Common Good. To me it is obvious we rapidly moving towards having only a shell of democracy and rampant capitalism is the cause.

When I look at all the “news” that was discussed in your Klatch, the one factor that lies beneath it all is greed, greed for power, greed for recognition and greed for money. It is the very heart of darkness of capitalism. Biden’s accomplishments for the Greater Good do not make the news and do not drive “clicks.” Physical fights between Senators, Trump’s plans to put all “illegal aliens” in concentration camps and Elon Musk boldly promoting antisemitism make news and therefore make money. That is at the heart of why Biden does not make the news, he is not violent, he does not promote violence and he does not engage in hate speech. In other worlds, he does not support the ultimate goals of the capitalists who now own mainstream media; in fact he dares to promote reducing the profits of the ultra-rich.

Trump speaks boldly about his plans to replace what is left of democracy with fascism. Elon Musk acts boldly about his arrogance and his power as an ultra-wealthy capitalist. Capitalism thrives under fascism and fascists are maintained in power by capitalists. There are ways to overcome both of these evils and I hope that the Friday 10-week series “Why Is Capitalism So Rotten” will spend some time focusing on solutions to our shared dilemma.

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What democracy. It’s a fallacy. It always has been. When you need millions in order to get people to vote for you; regardless of what you are peddling, it cannot be described as democracy. There ought to be a cap on what you can spend on a campaign and everyone ought to have the same amount. Otherwise vested interest just buy off politicians.

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The framers of the constitution despised democracy, because it meant that the villians (not villains) had a vote. They designed this government to be a Republic, not a democracy. At the outset only property owning, white men could vote, and that meant that the state legislatures and the House were representatives of landed white men, like Davy Crockett.

Senators were selected landed white men, in state legislatures, and served for 6 years, not a puny 2 as is with Representatives.

It took almost 200 years and 27 Amendments to bring the Constitution in line with Democratic values.

Thomas Jefferson visited Pittsylvania Co, VA, and sat in on a Baptist church business meeting and that was enough to disavow any thoughts of Democracy and the rabble running the country.

The founding fathers, were all elitists, wealthy northern Merchants and southern Planters

Most were educated and read the classics of Greece and Rome and well aware that Plato's Republic and Rome's Republic were ruled by the Rich, who had a vested interest in preserving the state and the status quo,

That's the Republic they envisioned for America, and that's the Republic we have, only the rich and powerful aren't sitting in the Senate as in Rome or Greece, but they were at the time,, now their proxies are, for the most part sitting the Senate.

Fortunately there are a few like Raphael Warnock who aren't on the take from the Plutocrats

However Senators major contributors are Apple, Microsoft, Amazon,Google and Meta. I am thrilled that he is a senator, but don't expect him to vote for bills that put a restraint on big tech or AI.

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Citizen's United was the beginning of the end and the rest took effect when the greedy and corrupt capitalized on the vulnerability of the weak, the ignorant and the helpless that held no power. Corruption has not only permeated our government but is blossoming into a venom that has over taken society. This country has normalized killing and destroying all that is good in our path beginning with an education system siphoned and bled dry of funding, teachers, administrators and intelligence and any truths remaining based on reality. Looking through Americans history we see how the reality of truth has been erased including what past presidents and their administration has taken from truth and buried so deep, the lies so old and told so often that created generation of people that are clueless and uncaring of where we are and how we got here. Trump was the final nail in the coffin that permeates the entire globe now. Hate and venom have taken the place of love, compassion, empathy and hope. The greedy have capitalized and will never have enough and they leave no crumbs for the rest. They have written their own Constitution of rule of law now, and they have sucked the good right out of our future generations by making sure that their rewriting of history is bleached and sanitized, the fight is now amongst ourselves and that is a horrible state for the human condition.

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This (link at bottom)sounds like an indirect way for the state of Missouri to fund religious schooling.

Is this legal ?

Yes said the Supreme Court, (my interpretation)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2022/0621/Supreme-Court-ruling-Maine-s-religious-schools-can-get-public-money

Is it in harmony with our laws and traditions of separation of church and state ?

No, said 3 of the Justices in this case.

https://missouriindependent.com/2023/12/13/missouri-st-to-distribute-k-12-scholarships-for-private-homeschool-students/

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Highly recommend "Democracy Inc." by Sheldon Wolin.

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I have come to the point where I question if anything offered in this world filled with strife will ever make any difference, it seems we are quite content with our own misery.

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founding

We have to be careful. Any sense of defeat only empowers those who are against us. Even when optimism seems “unrealistic,“ it is something that we must never let go of. Humanity has always come through the dark times in order to rise to the next Renaissance. Capitalism thrives on our complacency so we must replace it with a strong, invincible, fighting spirit.

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I agree completely, which is why I have to go on "breaks" occasionally, and why I keep yelling about giving us solutions, rather than continually listing what's wrong. We are drowning in a demoralizing swamp of lies being spewed by a firehose, and that drains our energy and will to fight, rather than draining the swamp. :D We have GOT to find the energy to keep going, which means taking the emphasis off the negativity and continual prophesies of doom. Of course, Dictator Trump is one possible outcome we must take seriously, but it's not too late to stop the fascist takeover, if we DON'T GIVE UP. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

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Karla I understand your sentiments, but people don't fight unless they are very frightened, and the only way to do that is to focus on the negative and the threat that Trump and the Republicans pose to our health, wealth, freedoms.

Ohio did not pass Proposition 1 because people's energy was drained, and lost the will to fight. Abortion was written into the constitution because people were outraged and frightened.

People vote fear and that accounts for the wins of the Republican party, they always vote on fears, false, but fears non the less . It was Nixon with his southern (racist) strategy, and Reagan with his "fear the government" and the southern strategy.

Youngkin and the Republicans last two seats in Virginia, because people were motivated by fear of loss of autonomy. Repeated in Kentucky.

And Presley lost in Mississipppi, in counties that went for Biden, because he was anti abortion.

Voters need to be motivated and fear and anger are the great motivators.

Democrats have ceded the lizard braain to Republicans, wrongfully believing that the public has a long memory, and are motivated by the economy, especially when they are doing well. People have short memories, are self centered, greedy and needy and self centered, at least that portion of the public that heeds the Pied Piper of self destruction.

The problem boils down to the DNC and it's subordinates, project. They project themselves, their beliefs, their attitude and values onto the public, and thus are unable to read the room.

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Nov 19, 2023·edited Nov 19, 2023

Yes, SCOTUS fulfilled a Republican agenda to relinquish to the States the right to decide how much control a woman may have over her body. The ruling created a new fear of disenfranchisement from one's self-determination. This fear, made palpable by the actions of Ohio Republicans, caused Ohio voters, men and women, to change their constitution to protect themselves from Republicans and the will of the minority.

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

I find it very helpful to read Dan Rather's posts on his Substack "Steady". Dan finds reason for optimism even in the face of the horrific.

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I tried to read Dan Rather and quit in disgust.

For solid reason. There were Dan Rathers in Germany in 1932, and look where that landed them.. Dachau.

Rather is an old race horse, he found himself irrelevant so he carved out a niche, the people who will climb into a 55 gallon drum, or dig their own grave out of hope.

An optimist suffers depression and a mental breakdown, when his optimism is disappointed by reality unfolding.

Dan Rather is a Pied Piper.

We need angry, fearful fighters not optimists.

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Optimism lulls the optimist into somnolence, and that is why Republicans have been winning. Those that should be agitated and fearful are lulled into a state of laissez faire.

The Republicans truly understand human nature, as Nixon said, Grab them by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow.

Republicans have grabbed the insecure (the bigots, the fearful) by the eqivalent of their balls, the lizard brain, the amygdala, and shake their rattle in front of them constantly without shame, because it has been working. Preachers and Priests hate liberals, because we are rational and that leads to non belief and loss of power, control and influence. I can say the same about the corporate media, with an awake (woke), intelligent populace who has and uses their ability for rational thought, they have no power, and thus no viewers or readers, and thus no revenue and thus go bankrupt.

Defeatism is one thing, pessimism another. Defeatism is lethargic, pesimism is anger. Anger arises out of fear, and the Republicans are expert at making people fear, thus activating the lizard brain, which knows only flight or fight.

If the Dems and Biden, don't realize that, and play the game of the Republicans, then Trump will indeed be a dicator for life.

If you look at who and why controls most of the states, and why Trump was 45, and why the filth dominates Congress, you might notice that fear was teir tool.

2023 proved me right, the loss of Republicans across the board was because people were afraid of the theocrats, the misogynists.

That is what the Democrats should grab hold of and run with. agitating the amygdala by reminding the people that they should be afraid, very afraid of

Trump and the Republicans., bear in mind that they are up against the powerful pulpit and press.

Fight for your life or be oppressed or exterminated.

I and millions of others did not vote FOR Joe, we voted AGAINST Trump.

In 2016 there weren't enough in the swing states that saw the evil in Trump, and even saw him as an echo of their fear and hatred of blacks and Hispanics.,it is only when they see him as a personal threat to themselves, that they will back off.

The only way to deconvert the Trump humpers,is by convincing them that Trump is a threat to them, but then again, unlikely, as their only source of info is the fascist Fox, OANN, Blaze, News Max and Town Hall.

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William Farrar: We’ll said. In other words, we have to grab them by the amygdala!

I totally agree with you about the importance of fear and anger. Trump and the media have pumped up their audiences’ cortisol levels - and they are fearful and angry. Frankly, the events of the last few years have given the right wing a head start. The covid pandemic, inflation, wars... the collective amygdala is running wild.

One consequence is adrenal fatigue: a loss of the cortisol necessary to fight and even to get up in the morning. That obviously can result in a neurological apathy. You can’t fight without cortisol.

I sometimes wonder if that is an intentional (not accidental) goal of the fascists!

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P.S. (Couldn't get edit button to work): Washington Post headline:

Trump hits new poll highs with Black, Hispanic voters. What to make of it?

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keep working to make a difference

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William: How do we explain the upswing in Black and Hispanic Republican voters? You're pretty good at analyzing/explicating stuff. What's that about in your opinion?

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What upswing. The last I heard is that young black and Hispanic voters aren't voting for Biden, either they are sitting it out, voting third party, and lastly voting for Trump. In fact

Whether black, red, yellow, brown or white men are men and testosterone rules (exceptions like Robert and Thom's readers of course),

The underlying drive behind MAGA is that those men and their camp following women, are threatened by self reliant and self validating women, LGBT, foreigners with brown skin, and blacks. They do make allowances for those like Ali Akbar Alexander, Clarence Thomas, Candace Owens, Herschel Walker, Tim Scott, who know their place and identify with the "master" like Stephen the house slave in Django Unchained., so long as they know their place.

By the way all of those save Ali Akbar, have white wives.

The right wingers, like Vivek and Nikki of Indian ancestry, are of the upper caste, Brahmins ,Kshatriyas or Viasya castes, and if in India would belong to the BJP party (their equivalent of the Republican party) a racist and authoritarian party. People like Ahrundhati Roy and the MSNBC analyst Anand Giridharadas are Tamils and/or of the Sudra caste. or the Viasya caste,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharatiya_Janata_Party. Current PM Modi is an autocrat.

In 2002, a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was attacked killing 59, the BJP retaliated in Gujarat killing over 2,000 Muslims, many of them being burned alive.

The Viasya caste are merchants and landowners, the Sudra caste are peasants, commoners and servants.

They are angry because they have not got everything they want from Biden and the Democrats. Same problem with Muslims now. Oh well, they will rue the day that they were so pigheaded. Trump's project 2025 has him deporting Muslims , and with him stacking his cabinets and Pentagon with cronies, and the courts with his judges, well figure that out.

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Thank you,exactly my sentiments.

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Marc--If we do that where will we put Santos?

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Santos is a sideshow, another extremist media tool in their nefarious arsenal to keep us distracted from the real perps in this war of intimidation; the money lords intent on destroying our democracy and empowering themselves as a cabal whose agenda is to foment fear and obeisance to their dictates. They will stop at nothing to turn us against each other as they rally their brainwashed masses to intimidate the rest of us. As much as I admire Biden's statecraft, I fear that we need a leader tough enough to influence Congress to put the kibosh on today's robber barons.

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founding

Biden has been a brilliant if not a boastful and bombastic leader. Who else could turn around the damage done by Trump in such a short time? It isn’t that we need a stronger leader, what we need is an empowered, educated, vocal and activist constituency, and that is us, to stand forward unafraid and act on our beliefs.

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Liene--A man with the name of Jeffries comes to mind.

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watched a few seconds of Fox yesterday. Guest was yelling about how all Democrats are communists hellbent to destroy the country.

I thought charges of communism were passe. Anyway, the message is pretty much that of the extreme left with the change being who wears the white hat.

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Thanks Irene, you are perceptive. One of the few who has two neurons to rub together.

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founding

In jail, where he belongs!

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Marc--We see life through the same eyes.

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Digging ditches in his fashionable clothes.

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If he's out there digging ditches, when will he find time to scroll OnlyFans?

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Red--That would be something to see.

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"Capitalism thrives on our complacency so we must replace it with a strong, invincible, fighting spirit." Marc, can you clarify, so I can disagree cogently?

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As the film “Life of Brian” reminds us: keep your eye on the sunny side of life.

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Stan Movies are movies,not moral guides, or guides for living. The script is written to fill pockets with cash.

Do you actually think that TV and Movies reflect reality, or are story's of reality?

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As Oscar Wilde said, life imitates art. People watch movies and then adopt the dress, the speech, and the manner of their culture heroes. May The Force be with you!

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Yep,, wait long enough and fiction becomes reality.

I am a fan of action movies, like war movies, they are full of action, that if you believe them, happened within the time span of the movie and to the people involved. And people scoff.

However, while say Tom Hanks role in Saving Private Ryan, did not happen to the role he was playing, they did happen over the span of 2 years and 2 countries, by different soldiers.

Take Apocalypse now or even Rambo, did the action scenes reflect reality that happened, mostly yes, but not the way depicted and not to the actor, but to many people over the span of the war.

I spent three days at Bong Son, a MACV compound sitting aside a segment of the Ho Chi Minh trail.. There was an earnest effort by the VC to wipe it out, and they made mass assaults day and nite. A 105mm howitzer was flown in, set up and with barrel depressed to the horizontal and loaded with a beehive round (brass fleschettes, a solid block of brass, with tiny arrows, that spread apart when it left the barrel, and the damage done to a screaming company is awesome, and makes you puke.

If you ever see something like that in a movie, it happened and probably more than once.

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Your cup will always be half full.

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Half full, half empty, doesn't matter except as cliche, it is still half a cup

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William--That only holds true if your vessel has a capacity of 8 oz.

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Are there no good guys anymore ?

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There are some good guys left in Congress. One of them is Representative Jamie Raskin Who recently said in response to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s wanting to run the government from the Bible. “ We swore on a Bible to uphold the Constitution, we didn’t swear on the Constitution to uphold the Bible “.

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Raskin, Merkley, Whitehouse, Warren, Sanders, Schiff, Lieu, Grijalva, Lee, Porter Schatz, Booker, Swalwell & AOC are among the good guys.

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Spoiler here. There is no requirement to swear on anything, just raise your right hand and swear, but Jaime's point is well taken.

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Or how about, you just give your word! That’s supposed to be all you need to do.

I wish Jamie would throw his hat in the ring for president.

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That was perfect.

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Lots. See Edward Haggard's thread for a list of some of them.

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Susan--I know of one but I'm getting old.

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More than we know!

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That is a quite understandable sentiment Donald and I reach that point a few times daily. However, it's good to remember how fallible each of us are and that the world we imagine it to be is actually far bigger than our imagination.

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steve--Our problem is in getting people to realize the world is a "very" small place.

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and getter smaller right. We're all connected. Even CO2 shows that.

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No we are not,we will rise above it,despite all this.!

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Red--I agree but at times it seems like a bridge too far.

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I agree ,but we'll cross it,I accept no less.

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Marc Nevas : I remember something I read in the forum a couple years ago that suggested that autocracy, or maybe authoritarianism was actually not very profitable once firmly established. How can the downtrodden poor masses spend money? What kinds of things can be bought by those who are 💔 broke? Books? Very limited. Travel? Will we be able to? Vacations? Ha!

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I think you have an excellent point! If we could convince companies that Trumpism and authoritarianism will ultimately damage their bottom line profitability due to the devastating impact on our country and it citizens, we could maybe start to turn things around! Capitalism works best for the people (and companies too) when you have competent, honest, and decent people serving us in the federal, state, and local governments.

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I believe the rules of the game need to be changed to incentivize companies to invest for longer term outcomes. Reich can tell us more about this.

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It's doable.

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Tim Baldwin: It will work only when their profits and stock prices go down. American businesses only think ahead by one quarterly report.

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We are not giving our nation to a criminal maniac to filth it up and turn it into a banana republic while he sits on his gold toilet seat w/ a Burger King hat!!!I don't think so.

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Except that we already have once.

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Authoritarian countries have never been economically successful b/c no competition.

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Putin's Russia? Oligarch's aren't hurting.

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This is the problem with record wealth disparity in today's corporatocracy. Money that goes to the filthy rich is often not spent, or if it is, it's spent nefariously, whereas extra money to the poor is spent on goods they couldn't otherwise buy.

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People are too dumb or maybe just too greedy to care

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Attitude like this will ensure that we lose! I know it is difficult, but please be positive and a little optimistic!

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Being positive and optimistic is a recipe for disaster,

Learn from the enemy, be angry and fearful.

Anger and fear won the 2023 mid terms, not optimism and positivity.

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I agree that anger and fear are strong motivators in elections, but think that you need to be positive and optimistic too or you end up with a "what's the use" attitude as expressed in the comment I replied to which is a recipe for disaster.

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

Or are they collaborators? Hard to believe, but I think at this point, it needs to be considered.

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It’s the bad guys against the good guys

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My money's on the good guys.

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Marc: The dictionary definition of capitalism is wrong, purposely so. Borrowing from Santayana He who controls definitions, controls society.

The same is true of even wikipedia and Encyclopedia's.

Capital is nothing more than money. Wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or investing.

An-ist is a follower of a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.

Those are dictionary definitions, but when the two are combined, that is where the money powers influence definitions

Because they make capitalists out to be a benefactor of society, a hero, a John Galt, a Rourke (Ayn Rand references)

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“Capitalism means an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.” It does not follow that "capitalism has nothing to do with promoting the Common Good." Capitalism creates wealth which is shared by stockholders, pension plans, retirees, and tax deferred income plans such as IRAs and 401(k). This is a Common Good. Regulated capitalism prevents monopolies and protects our environment. Labor unions mitigate unrestrained corporate greed. The devil is in the details. Capitalism is OK.

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Marc Nevas: This is a brilliant summary of our current situation. People with virtually unlimited means of extracting wealth from the people and the earth...and no concept or care for the common good. Truly, our country is being destroyed by Capitalism and oligarchs.

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Excellent comment!

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My Substack that I fired off last night has some of the same thoughts.

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Yes, the mainstream media is controlled by a handful of multi-billionaires who secretly want Trump in power but for business purposes say just the opposite and don’t cover the negativity of his brand and ongoing coup.

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Robert Lawson: tfg may actually be bad for business, in the long run. Certainly bad for the environment.

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

He's bad for everything. The multiple failed businesses and real estate fraud in New York are just the tip of the iceberg. His 91 felony indictments, promoting hate with fascism, dividing the country even further and the many dangers that the free world would face under his incompetent authoritarian leadership would have never been accepted by the GOP of the past.

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How does this maniac and his cronies expect to be elected when they are scaring everyone and turning them off?A good dose of gratitude,sincere gratitude and a very meticulous brain dusting should help!

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Trump and his cronies have mastered the art of exciting the lizard brain, and an agitated lizard brain knows only fight or flight, and people do that at the ballot box.

The well to do, those that have a roof, food, car and whose needs are met, taking their situation for granted, and congratulate themselves, not the President or government, those that don't most often don't even vote, or can't because of obstacles.

Anger, fear, angst, resentment, those emotions are what carries the day at the ballot box, that is how Trump became President and how he will again.

Fear, anger, angst is what carried the day for Republicans last election, as abortion was on the table, and fear and anger won.

I hope the DNC was paying attention, and throw their old playbook in the trash.

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Add the Jungian collective racial subconscious predisposition. Hate and blame "the other." .

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founding

My recollection is that during the reign of the Nazis, Germany came out of a depression, and became quite prosperous. This may because of a big investment in the arms industry as well as the fact that regulations were removed from businesses that would hamper their expansion.

My own prediction is that under Trump, most business and environmental regulations would be removed, there would be a huge expansion, and then a crash because the increasing wealth disparity would take too much money out of consumers pockets. That would at least pave the way for an FDR type of new deal that which would put economic based democracy first to replace a political democracy that has created a class of career politicians who are running the country into the ground.

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The average voter doesn't care about the environment, only their own immediate needs and fears.

Convince the voter that the Republicans are a real threat and that is how we win.

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They praise him with feint damnation.

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I am not sure they want Trump, they like the conflict and media circus that gets eyeballs and advertisers. Editors and media executives really like that, think of William Randolph Hearst. They know they have a lot of power and will use it to serve them. Conflict, wars, violence means money for them. The bandwagon is now lead by X,FB, Google and others.

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Well duh. Money talks and bullshit walks.

Welcome to reality, Keith.

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"The Mainstream Media is controlled by the American oligarchy!"

Part of the answer is to sell those companies that promote fascism short. Need to pass it on to our mutual funds.

In my case, I am forced to use Comcast. Object to Fox, other right wing platforms. https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/xfinity-stream-app/fox-news-channel-perpetual-problem/602dae28c5375f08cde044aa

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I am boycotting by canceling my previous long-time subscriptions to NYT & WaPo. I cut cable but I won’t watch CBS, NBC or ABC on my analog antenna. Never watched Faux. I quit “x” after the repugnant tweet about the Pelosi attack. I do have FB & YouTube but no other social. I have a number of alternative news sources and I tried to stay on top of things enough to be informed, but not consumed. It is just mind blowing what is happening with seemingly no one to put the brakes on. Dark Brandon needs to step up.

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When companies lose ad revenue, market share, when their stock drops, they have an attitude adjustment.

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Or lose a costly lawsuit, like Fox did with Dominion!

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The fact that they paid out more than 700 million dollars for a lawsuit has not stopped their vile lies. Very disturbing to me

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I have no TV- watch PBS News on computer, read this column, Heather Cox Richardson's Substack & a couple local newspapers.

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We have lost our way. Loud, obnoxious, hurtful wins the day. Millions are requested to run a campaign- does that mean the side that has more money wins? Where is compassion and hard work? I think the quiet educated people better organize soon or...

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You’re right - we may need to go underground to start a coalition of people to save democracy

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Go underground and you are inviting the FBI to infiltrate and investigate.

The FBI has always been the bulwark of conservatism, more so now that TRump has embedded his cronies into the DOJ and FBI

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Like Dogmother2, I have also stopped looking at those media sources. Substack and YouTube (Meidas Network) keeps me educated and on top of what I need to know to make a difference.

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To Comcast's credit, they've suspended advertising on X"-crement" over all the Nazis Musk supports on the platform. A small thing, but credit where it's due.

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More expensive but try Dish, various plans some cheaper than ComCast

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I lived in a condo -- only one option.

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And they will benefit from Trumps determination to keep the tax rates low for the 1%. Therefore, they need to keep the fascist plans from the masses and downplay Bidens efforts to break up the monopolies of Amazon and Google. When you look at the Trump plans and the activity currently occurring behind the scenes, it looks like a continuation of Jan 6th.

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Unfortunately Phil, Amazon and Google have friends in the senate, and sorry to say, Democrats among them https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/jon-ossoff/summary?cid=N00040675

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It's simple behaviorism 101. Violence is an escalation of punishment. Punishment that does not change behavior. Sorry, but unless we have the self awareness of reinforcements we are doomed to react to them.

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How about when they go out of business? That shuts them up completely.

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Who to go out of business? They can start a new one. Or, one thing we can all do is STOP clicking on Trump's crap. I look at the headlines but I'm cautious about what to click on.

I know you disagree with me on behaviorism - but we can't truly disagree unless you've had the opportunity to read the research. Right? That's what we keep preaching to the trumpets?

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Janet,most often the headlines tell you all you need to know, the verbiage that follows is fluff and opinion.

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True, but usually it's the last paragraph that tells the real truth ;)

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I didn’t advertise on Twitter, and so when I dropped out, Musk didn’t notice.

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That's a a non starter argument. And, are you sure he doesn't notice the drop? The wilder his behavior gets - the more I speculate he does notice.

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"Mainstream media " is fractured and increasingly unrecognizable.

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Yes! Corporate media only covers topics which are safe with corporate ideology or promote corporatism.

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founding

sad but true

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I AGREE

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I totally agree. MSM is owned by the very people who are funding him....

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Bingo!

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your comment was my other reply

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I consider Robert Reich the most consistently critic of current political behavior in our Nation. He is right up there with Dan Rather and Fareed Zakaria. We need him in these troubled, politically and all too often pseudo-Christian hate mongering, dysfunctional, democratically destabilized, threatening times. ##

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Add Thom Hartmann, Midas Touch. Heather Cox Richardson, Robert Hubbell etc.

Please distribute on all social media venues to get the truth to more people than those who rely on traditional media. Channel Taylor Swift.

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And get the under 30 crowd to watch Brian Tyler Cohen videos.

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We absolutely need Robert Reich to keep all of us informed and communicate to ALL Americans who desperately need to be informed and or reminded of history and provide knowledgeable and factual information to help save our Democratic Republic, Constitution, and Democracy.

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Joyce Vance and Glen Kirchner do a fine job.

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Thom Hartmann is my other favorite besides Robert Reich. His articles go right into the heart of the matter about what's happening to our nation & why, much like Reich does.

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I agree the professor is great.But Beware in the next year and even a decade after that, Trump And his bullshit Isn’t going anywhere I’m sorry to say like Trump and his naïve nitwits. Get your ammo and get your weapons ready, it looks more and more like it’s coming to that. I kind of remember this whole tune, one of the verses went like this, “ many a sheep are asleep in the deep so beware, beware”.

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Dan Rather is not a source of anything Edward. He is irrelevant and has carved out a niche for the faint of heart, the hopeful, those will crawl into a 55 gal drum or dig their own grave.

He is the pied piper that leads you into the mountain of hope.

Fareed is irrelevant, he is non committal, that is his niche, he is cautious wetting his finger and testing to see which way the wind is blowing.

We need bold fighters who will stand up to the PTB, not polyannish milquetoasts

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"Pseudo Christian". I assume you mean the white supremacists. Or anybody who proclaims to be a Christian but by their actions are clearly not. But Christian faith can go against current secular behavior and norms. Our actions will anger many atheists for example, the late Christopher Hitchens.

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Enlighten me Phil. What Christian behaviors can go against current secular behavior and norms.

Behaviors like misogynistic dominant of women and demand that they be submissive.

Behaviors like Banning and burning books

Behaviors like exercising bias, bigotry against LGBT

Behaviors like trying to make America a theocracy.

Certainly not the behaviors encouraged by your Jesus in Matthew, but perhaps the sociopathic behaviors of your Jesus as in Luke 19:27, bring those that will not have me reign over them and slay them.

Or Luke 22:36, sell your cloak and buy a sword.

I am an atheist, and I like the Jesus, even though he is fictional, of Matthew especially Matthew 25.

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William,

Your comments are just what I would hear from Christopher Hitchens, a fascinating man, but very clearly angry with God. Why are atheists so angry?

Christians do not insist that their wives be submissive. They have equal say, but the husband is the head of the household. There are other religions that have far more abusive behaviors, all in the name of their religion. Also, we are not misogynistic. Where do you get this impression? Again, true Christians from pseudo-Christians easily becomes merged when looking for flaws in Christianity, as all Atheists attempt to do.

Now I do agree there is consternation regarding the LBGTQ community. My position is that God does not makes mistakes, and conversion therapy has proved that it is not a changeable behavior. It is who they are. And so many suicides have occurred due to a person struggling with the stigma, and victimization. I am conflicted because in the Book of Leviticus states man laying with a man is an abomination, and also stated in the first chapter of Romans. This is something I have to understand, as the Word of God is inerrant.

Luke 19:27 - Those who have Christ in their hearts will be blessed those who do not will not be blessed. And Revelations reveals the latter will be slain in the final days. Refer to Elijah slaughtering all the prophets of Baal.

This will probably be difficult to follow. But I really appreciated your rebuttal and made me think and understand your point of view.

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Is bigotry against anyone Christian? Aren’t even Jewish people supposed to love their neighbors as themselves?

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Sadly, the antisemitism that is increasing in the World to me is a spiritual war against God's people. And that will not be tolerated.

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Jennifer - Absolutely. That command was given to the Jewish people first. I think it exists in some for or other in all religions.

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Is imposing our religion on others Christian?

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Jennifer - Imposing? Where does that come from? Evangelists do not impose, they share their faith and let that person make their own decision.

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Yes, but some of the far right extremists here seem to have imposed their beliefs upon the laws here.

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Nov 18, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

The press makes money off the clicks and views of right wingers who want to see Trump viable. They have a vested interest in a "horse race". And they're owned by people who profit off Trump and his ideology succeeding.

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Ha! I was going to write about the same thing. Trump has been a gold mine for the media.

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Reality TV and reality social media. Drama drama drama.

Like John Prine said back in the day… Blow up your TV …

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

Gene : I wonder how long before tRump's ideology kills the "Goose that laid the golden egg"? Gulags may not be as profitable as a vibrant culture teeming with intelligent, healthy and happy humans. Running an open prison could be expensive and a drag after the thrill of 'winning' ends. Illness, mental and physical, does not help creativity. Or positivity.

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Superb!!!

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

I wish hedging their bets/fear of retribution were also not part of the picture

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As a Canadian great grandmother ( in her 80’s).

, I am not “ proud “ of the world I am leaving my greatgrandchildren. Hopefully the “Trump message” of fascist philosophy will weaken.

Hopefully democracy will “ see the light again”!!!!!!!!!

Harriet

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It absolutely will, Harriet!! Don't you worry. Enjoy your greatgrandchildren and know that so, so many are working hard to keep Democracy alive and well!! Kudos to you and your greatgrandchildren!!

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Harriet and Peggy : That your children and grandchildren live long enough to not see the demise of the anthropocene.

Climate scientist fear that it is barreling toward us at breakneck speed, we have long ago passed the tipping point of 350 ppm of climate changing gases in our atmosphere, it is now over 400.

Does the point of no return ring a bell.? We are past that, and it is irreversible.

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The media, by and large, are lazy, and cowardly. They don't want to be labeled as liberals, so they are afraid to criticize all the Republican garbage. No one wants to dig up facts, and take the story wherever those facts lead.

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John, I always enjoyed Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Huntley-Brinkley. John Pilger wrote, "It's only when journalist understand the role they play in this propaganda, it's only when they realize they can't be both independent, honest journalists and agents of power, that things will begin to change." I totally agree with him. Journalists that want to report the true, honest facts and not put their spin on it are very few nowadays.

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John Breen : True, and nobody wants a target on their back. This crowd is tight with those who butcher journalists that they don't like. That is a fact.

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I understand and agree with you to a great extent, but there are exceptions. For example, Sammy Roth, the climate reporter for the Los Angeles Times, is doing a great job. He doesn’t give the utilities or the powers that be any passes. I find him very refreshing.

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Paula there are exceptions, of cource, but in general?

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Yes, I agree that in general things are not good.

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of course.

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1. They still think they can get Trumpers to read their news so they don’t want to piss them off.

2. The expectation of investigative news has been damaged over the years by social media. Again, they want subscribers to get ads to get paid.

3. Private ownership of papers has contributed to the change of mission from news to headlines and money!

Basically, unleashed capitalism broke the news too!

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

The 'first estate' is failing to give the public news that is urgently needed to live well. This includes facts that must be known to protect ourselves and our interests. From food safety to the environment, to economics and health. News was information that is vital for well being. We are not getting all the information needed to even know who might best serve our interests in government. now we are learning how corruption in our courts has been in our highest court for a while.

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Laurie it is the 4th Estate, The term first appeared in the French Revolution.

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William Farrar ; Thank you for the correction. I knew it was the fourth, but it was very early in the morning. Also, sometimes my 'spell check' changes things, making me wonder if there is AI , or some evil entity working against me. I must check things more carefully before I post, to be accurate.

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Jodi The news in America has always been privately owned, as opposed to Pravda and Hitlers Völkischer Beobachter

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

William Farrar ; As I understood it , several decades ago the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC policed the 'airwaves' thought to be owned by US. for content that was harmfully misleading or not "fit to print". since social media platforms have been used for news communications, the laws do not recognize the internet as being subject to those rules.

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But something has changed, perhaps Laurie is correct that it is oversight. Or perhaps Murdoch showed that news outlets could be used by private people the way state sponsored news are used by totalitarians!

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Comparing Presidents:

Trump to Lincoln and Trump to President Biden

Presidential comparison between Donald Trump

and Abraham Lincoln it would be like comparing a grain of sand, Trump, to the Sahara desert, Lincoln!

Comparing Trump to President Biden, Trump would be the bug, and President Biden would be the windshield!

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Keith, I wonder who in the repugnant world could replace drumpf as a moneymaking carney barker? he's perfect for the role that the oligarchs need to entertain the deplorables while they steal everything in sight. the repugants have no agenda for the public good or governance other than emasculate the gov't so they can more efficiently steal. so if no distracting showmanship, voters won't vote for them. they have zero accomplishments for the common good. (but they try to claim credit for good things in their districts that they voted against)

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There are many Republicans seemingly trying out for that role, being as outrageous & divisive & grandstanding as they can.

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I really wish I knew and that we could do something about this phenomenon, but I suspect it has to do with money, which is the motivating factor for most things in this country. In the meantime, Trump is trying to make certain that he and his team don’t make the same mistakes they did in the past, so perhaps he’ll perfect his cheating strategies so it will be even harder to catch him and hold him accountable. If he succeeds, we can kiss our democracy goodbye.

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founding

Trump will not make it harder to catch him; his bare naked uncovered ambitions to eliminate Democracy and replace it with Fascism will make it easy to motivate previously complacent independents and liberals. It is no longer a just a choice between Trump or Biden, it is becoming an existential choice between Fascism and Democracy. The more he rants, the more clarity he brings. His base will not grow but the opposition to him will. He is the electric shock to wake up sleeping voters and energize the opposition.

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I truly hope you are right!

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founding

Marc - I very much hope you are right about Trump's base not growing. I still worry about the corrosive effect on our culture of Trump's open ugliness. It's as if a Pandora's Box of Unthinkable Behavior has been jammed open.

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Yes, & it seems to be affecting our society as I knew it would. How would you expect such entertaining but obnoxious & pernicious behavior coming from the top role model in the country to affect our children? And instead of retreating to anonymity after losing the election as most former presidents do, Trump stays in the spotlight in the ugliest of ways, getting more attention than the actual President. His negative influence continues for at least 8 years & probably a lot more, since his repulsive conduct has permeated the whole Republican Party & much of society.

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So reasonably presented during unreasonable times. May reason prevail!!!

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Let’s hope so!!

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

Democracy has been dead in the U.S. for quite some time. With the lion’s share of the country’s taxes each year dedicated to its War Machine, the levers of power, as Eisenhower warned, have been turned over to the Military Industrial Corporate élite. The U.S.’s economic wealth generation engine, (aka its golden goose) became what Seymour Melman in the early seventies defined as “a war-dependent economic system.” Money bought everything.And with unending sources of money the war industry’s power brokers changed laws to ensure there was no end to what moneys could be thrown at keeping that economic system humming on all engines. Money allowed them to buy, own, program and dress up puppets that sang from their hymn book. Call them politicians and put them out there, in both the Democratic and Republican camps, as the choices the people have to vote for at the ballot box. The U.S.’s golden rule is money rules. And with an ethic that places ever increasingly individual wealth accumulation above a more equitable distribution of wealth amongst all as the pinnacle of success, rest assured that explains why stealing and cheating and being #1 is the be all and end all in the USA. Never give a sucker an even break. Catch what catch can. That the US with four percent of the world’s population sees itself entitled to consume some sixty percent plus of its wealth guarantees others will have less. And with an ever increasing portion of the US’s wealth in the hands of the less than 1% at the top while all others get poorer, tell me more about the benefits of US style democracy. Republicans or Democrats, flip sides of the sale perpetual war dependent and war loving ruling class seeking to rule the world.

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If a country is built on idea — for the USA, individual freedom and responsibility — and not on the traditional constellation of one language, one religion, one race, then it’s easy for accumulation of money to become what citizens have in common. Money as the common culture is what we’re experiencing. Maybe, instead of printing “In God We Trust” on our money, the motto should be: “Money Talks, BS Walks.”

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Oh my! Another perspective, I had not contemplated. Time to crawl back into my bed and cover my head.

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Come out, come out, Catherine! In the roller-coaster world of capitalism, instability is the norm, not the exception. Instability means layoffs, poverty, and unnecessary suffering. And so, to ensure social stability and prevent violent overthrow of the existing order, the federal government steps in and hires the un- or under-employed. In the USA, this hiring populates the Department of Defense and all the other federal agencies. In the 1930s, special programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps were created. In our lifetime, the DoD has gained ascendency thanks to the compelling notion that the USA should act as the main defender of democracy around the world. Result: the maintenance of approximately 700 military bases and 1.3M + active-duty soldiers, sailors, etc. Eisenhower saw it coming. The results have been mixed as we know. Other countries stabilize their economies by investing in infrastructure, health care, education. But we have chosen the military as our pressure-relief valve.

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Stan, without a military, we would be a third world country, with stronger nations exploiting us for resources, just as we exploit third world nations for resources, the two giant moats on both shores are no protection, anymore than they are protection for third world countries.

Otherwise Naomi Klein's Disaster Capitalism..

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The USA’s military-industrial complex creates well-paying jobs and prevents the exploitation anxiety that you describe. It’s funny: a large part of the discussion on this forum has been how to prevent USA-based, non-military corporations (Amazon, Wal-Mart, Tesla) from treating their employees like third-world workers.

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Nov 19, 2023·edited Nov 20, 2023

Interesting isn't it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Workers in the defense industry, draw more wages and benefits than civilian oriented industries, and I assume that includes stuff like the automotive industry. Which BTW are innumerable,even the aircraft industry, their are Mom and Pop companies that make everything from seat belts to door and cockpit handles to bulbs and fuses.

They produce he parts, ship them to the assembly point and workers put them together on an assembly line.

Back in 1955 my future step father took me to Reading, PA (Amish country) to visit his relatives, and we passed a field littered with engine blocks. He told me they were Ford engines and they put them out in the field to weather, before they hauled them in, de rusted, cleaned and bored them.

I understand your analogy,however our poorest paid workers are in fact, treated and paid better than those in third world countries, but that is no excuse, the less they pay the workers, the greater the return on investment, and the greater the pay and benefits for the Executives of the corporation.

In that regards our workers are indeed exploited.

And that is a result of how the states handle their corporations. You probably haven't heard of the Charter wars. Ongoing since 1784, and originally about bank charters.

Corporate charters are given by the states, not the federal government, and contained a death clause, usually 50 years, and had restrictions like having to prove their social utility to get renewed and to be responsible to the worker, and public.

Well Rockie didn't like that idea, this is the man that said "competition is a sin" (he was a Calvinist of the Presbyterian persuasion.

He sent out word that he would relocate his corporation to the state that came out with the best corporate or trust friendly charter.

New Jersey won the first round. (Standard oil of NJ ring a bell), but Delaware bounced back with an even more friendly charter. And there are over 600 corporations registered in Delaware.

Senator Biden was known in the senate as the Senator from Wall Street. He knows who pulls the levers of power, and thus treads lightly on their turf.

Not to demean or discredit Joe. I will crawl over broken glass next November to vote for him, I have no choice. The alternative makes me tremble and wipe the dust off my passport.

In the 19th Century John D Rockefeller

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Gary The only option without a military strong enough to keep threats at bay, we are cheese for the rat. AT the very best a third world nation, to be exploited for it's resources by a power greater than ourselves, is that what you want?

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With less than ten years without war over the course of a 250 year history, I think you have a problem recognizing who is the rat that steals everyone else’s cheese.

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Read "Democracy Inc." by Sheldon Wolin. He explains all of this brilliantly. Spread the word! Until Americans, including so-called liberals like Robert Reich and Thom Hartmann, get that it's both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, no discussion of any clarity can occur.

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Cliff notes Mary? I am post surgery, removal of a brain tumor with 10 bouts of cranial radiation. I have difficulty reading books, my eyes can't drop to the next line without effort. I owned over a thousand books in my lifetime, still have more than a hundred, but can't read them anymore, though I try.

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Even if he remains on the ballot, he will be voted out.

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You hope, he has 40% of voters for starters, and the latest analysis is that young Black males and Hispanics are either sitting it out or voting for Trump because the brats haven't got from the Democrats and Biden everything they want, and thus giving Democracy the finger. Pointing out that they are signing their own death warrant is fruitless.

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I understand what you’re saying but he can’t keep his big mouth shut and jus a few days ago managed to incriminate himself in his New York fraud trial. He will always sabotage himself.

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Yet his presumably self-destructing actions don't have the expected effects on a large portion of our population, politics & punditry.

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True, but a court of law is different.

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Hope so, although he's managed to skirt the law & avoid jail all his crime-ridden life, so the courts haven't been nearly as hard on him as he deserves.

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Let’s be optimistic. Nothing lasts forever. 😀

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Oligarchs are a problem all over the world. There is no Communism, Democracy, Monarchy, Theocracy, etc. Money rules the world banks who have no regulations,

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Nov 18, 2023·edited Nov 18, 2023

Judith There never was communism, a 1922 Fortnightly magazine spilled the beans. The Soviet Union was a combine of seven trusts, formed along lines of production and resources, like agriculture, minng, forestry, heavy industry, and human. The human trust was run by Beria, the KGB. Each trust had their own bank, and they cleared accounts with each other, first through barter, then gold.

The KGB was the most powerful, as it bartered humans, and made a fortune in gold.

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Caralinda, this is what scares the hell out of me!! The first time round he calls a mulligan and the second go round he will have worked out the kinks and then we will all be in trouble!

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Nov 18, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

That was GREAT! I love your new format, Professor and Heather!

Thank you for all of your wise words (… “out of their gourds” cracked me up!) and for the videoed Coffee Klatch. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours (and to Doug the emu…)

Your friend in MD,

Anne

🌻💙🙏

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founding

I like the new format, but get rid of the big fat microphones!!! You two are beautiful together and the microphones are unnecessary and ugly. They cause you to only look at each other and rarely look at the camera. I like the expressions on your faces, not the black blobs.

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P.S. “All of the above”

🌻

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I agree heads of news organizations often answer to people with money, but I think it is also more complex. Journalists have also been the victims of NSO spyware tracking. Anyone can hire these groups. They have had death threats and there have been deaths. Look at Rowan Farrow who was not supported by NBC in his investigation of Harvey Weinstein. Luckily The New Yorker is great at fact checking and wanting to report and put out that story, but Weinstein was just powerful in an industry, political power is even scarier. I am supportive of all the journalists who do report the hard stories. We as consumers need to be more discerning as to which journalists we listen to.

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The New Yorker is my desert island magazine. It is a treasure and I urge everyone to support it.

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My dad loved the New Yorker!

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In a piece I wrote called Managing Expectations, I said:

"Unequal expectations are a mainstay of the political landscape. Everyone expects President Biden to be empathetic, decent, and upstanding. Everyone expects his predecessor to be narcissistic, unseemly, and dishonest (even while denying it). It’s clear whose expectation threshold is easiest to meet. Somehow a false equivalency manifests in those distinctly disparate descriptions, and President Biden, when he falls short is castigated, while the Defendant, who can never fall short is reinforced. The news media, whose primary interest is in generating revenues thru its readership, focuses on those unequal shortcomings, and even though President Biden has accomplished a tremendous amount for the American people, his missteps or oversteps are magnified. Conversely, the Defendant’s few accomplishments for the American people are the exception to what is expected, and are thus magnified."

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founding

Bob, I also think that many years ago Biden figured out that the best way to get something done was to quietly work at it, build alliances, avoid attracting attention so as to move your project forward. It works, but it also means the enormity of what he is accomplishing goes unremarked upon.

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