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letters from an American

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    I've mentioned Heather Cox Richardson a few times before, so here's a quick summary:

    Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College, where she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. She previously taught at MIT and the University of Massachusetts. She has a B.A. and a PhD from Harvard.

    Richardson has authored six books. Her sixth, entitled How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for America, was published in March 2020 with Oxford University Press.

    She is also a founder and editor at Werehistory.org, which presents professional history to a public audience through short articles. Between 2017 and 2018, she co-hosted the NPR podcast Freak Out and Carry On. Most recently, Richardson started publishing "Letters from an American," a nightly newsletter that chronicles the 2019 Trump–Ukraine scandal in the larger context of American history.

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    I've been getting her daily newsletter for a couple of months now, and find them to be highly educational.

    Given her other ventures, I have no idea how she finds time to put out a lengthy newsletter every day, but she does.

    The reason that I set up a separate thread for her newsletter is that this morning's edition covered several topics, rather than one. If you have the time, you can read the entire article itself, but if you don't , here's a quick summary

    1) There were three big stories today, and they added up to a fourth.

    First, the Department of Justice, overseen by Attorney General William Barr, filed documents today to drop its case against Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. This reverses years of work on the Flynn case, and has shocked experienced prosecutors, who say it reveals that Barr is now simply working for Trump. The filing was signed by Timothy Shea alone, Barr’s hand-picked US Attorney for the District of Columbia. No career prosecutors signed on.

    The filing claims that FBI agents unlawfully pursued Flynn—that there was no just cause for an intelligence investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, and that therefore his confession is immaterial.

    Did you get that? The Justice Department is saying that any investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election was illegitimate, despite the report of the inspector general saying the opposite

    2) The next big story is the coronavirus. We are up to 76,000 deaths, and the cases show no sign of slackening. Projections for the summer are grim, with most models estimating we will well surpass 100,000 deaths.

    3) Tomorrow, we get the jobs report for April. It is expected to show that the US economy lost about 21.5 million jobs last month. If that is correct, it indicates we have wiped out all of the job gains in the U.S. since mid-1999. It also puts the unemployment rate at 16%, the highest since 1939. ”

    These three stories seem to add up to a fourth. Trump and his people are grasping power, but he knows he must resurrect the economy to win reelection. That will not be enough if the carnage of the pandemic grows, so he is determined to suppress the vote.

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    Note: We've got a separate thread about the Post Office, which I would encourage you to read. The latest news is that Trump managed to get a man installed as Postmaster General who has never worked for the Post Office. His only "qualification" is that he has donated a lot of money to Trump and the RNC. Trump is determined to destroy the Post Office, which will definitely hurt voting by mail - and will make it hard for Democrats to vote.

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    Do me a favor, ask Heather Cox what she is thinking about this country now and how we ever get Trump as well all the Trump cronies out of the "system". The "Picture" I painted long ago is getting worse by the day and I don't see any opposition which will "work". Even Schiff does not know what to do, neither does Pelosi.

    Only the "election" can change such, but looking at what Trump is doing, I doubt if the Dem's have enough "guts" and fire power as well stamina/will power to de-trone the guy.

    By the way; an excellent piece Arizona, I only hope that this country wakes up.

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    Here's a link to the website:

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

    As usual, today's letter is long, so I'll give you a synopsis below. Ms. Cox does an excellent job of "connecting the dots"

    1) Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about five phone calls between himself and the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on December 29, the same day the Obama administration announced retaliatory measures for Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    2) Flynn resigned on February 13, 2017, and the next day Trump summoned FBI Director James Comey to the Oval Office and asked him to drop the case against Flynn.

    3) Comey continued to investigate Russian connections to the Trump campaign, and Trump fired him on May 9, 2017. The next day he met in the Oval Office with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and with Kislyak.

    4) Today we learned that the DOJ move to dismiss the case against Flynn came after a phone call yesterday between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in which they discussed the US investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    5) Essentially, the Mueller Report says that the Russians wanted to help Trump win, and the Trump campaign was willing to accept help, and that there was evidence the two sides were working together, but Mueller did not have enough evidence—in part because witnesses were lying or withholding evidence—to make a criminal indictment.

    6) Barr has appointed his own special inspector to look into the origins of the Russia probe. He tapped Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, whose inquiry quietly shifted to become a criminal investigation last October. Some observers are concerned that Durham will prosecute those involved in the Russia investigation to give Trump political fodder before the 2020 election. Trump’s comments to reporters today, along with a tweet, were ominous. He tweeted: “Yesterday was a BIG day for Justice in the USA…. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others. I do believe there is MUCH more to come! Dirty Cops and Crooked Politicians do not go well together!"

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    There are excellent journalists doing research and documenting things that otherwise would go unnoticed. Heather Cox is one of them. What bothers me is that these professionals get little notice in the mainstream media while Donald Trump every day puts out bullshit that is covered 24/7 by the media looking for a sensationalist story that sells. He is always putting out something that seduces or "titillates" the media into delving into it -- whether it's one of his midnight tweets, a pseudo rally or press briefing. The tabloid journalism of the Trump era seems to be the new norm.

    Likewise, I get sick of seeing Trump covered hourly on MSNBC and CNN while Biden can only get coverage for what Tara Reide is accusing him of. I see more of her than Biden lately. Sheesh.

    History repeats itself. Just ask Hillary Clinton...er "Crooked Hillary".

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    Looking at the total "picture which both of you describe,it means that this country has become ungovernable. If the system is allowing such, then the "system" and its "laws" are broken. Most of it is that "checks" and "balances" are no longer there as the Constitution demands. The reason is obvious; if the "voters" and the "process" without "rules" allows that, an "mafia" type can be elected, then there is something awful wrong with this country. I guess our forefathers never anticipated that an President can become an dictator, if he surrounds himself with incompetent "loyalists". An two party system is also an bad thing and is actually one of the causes. The RNC is now the most fascist Hitler party there is and is bribing the whole country into the "ravine". The future of this country on the world stage is not "rosy" at all.
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    There are excellent journalists doing research and documenting things that otherwise would go unnoticed. Heather Cox is one of them. What bothers me is that these professionals get little notice in the mainstream media while Donald Trump every day puts out bullshit that is covered 24/7 by the media looking for a sensationalist story that sells. He is always putting out something that seduces or "titillates" the media into delving into it -- whether it's one of his midnight tweets, a pseudo rally or press briefing. The tabloid journalism of the Trump era seems to be the new norm.

    Likewise, I get sick of seeing Trump covered hourly on MSNBC and CNN while Biden can only get coverage for what Tara Reide is accusing him of. I see more of her than Biden lately. Sheesh.

    History repeats itself. Just ask Hillary Clinton...er "Crooked Hillary".

    Schmidt:

    Roger Ailes understood this concept very well. Here is what he said in 1984, before FOX was even a network:

    If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, "I have a solution to the Middle East problem," and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?

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    Sure just like you guys said; these good journalist don't rise out of the ashes of this country, because the "bullhorn" of the Trump mafia overshadows everything and influences the uneducated masses here more than these reporters.

    Sorry to be so negative, but until now I've been right on related to what is happening to this country; I'm afraid the elections will be an horror story in the making; the damage is done. The Dem's could have won, provided that they could have stopped the "bribery" of Senators by Trump taking place at the "impeachment" farce trial. Why don't they drag these bribed GOP Senators into court? Trump will keep "bribing" until he gets it his way.

    Just on TV ; the idiots like Meadows, Ratcliff and other "brainless" idiots who acted like the "Hitler Jugend" during the "impeachment "scam" are now "coaching" Trump; success assured.

    Wake up America, but likely you are too late in waking up.

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    Because he invited all the "idiots" he could find to advise him as well Meadows who is an total idiot to "attack" China because other idiots proclaim that China used the corona virus as an"weapon" against the US. Yesterday on 20/20 an scientist declared that it is impossible to design/create such virus in an lab; he had very solid arguments why this is not possible. But yeah, the Trump clan does the same "dance" again as with the "impeachment" . Now they are "asking" for "war" . China will likely react by letting this country dig their own grave and watch from an distance how it becomes an "has been". The "isolation" policies such as getting out of the Paris Climate Accord and then stepping out of the WHO and other international "bodies" will make this country an "paria" on the world stage. Trump knows how to pick the worst losers around him; at least they are "loyal" (that will help Crying); "brains" are optional. Yes this country is doomed as long as he sits there and can do as he likes. An total useless "law system" as well an "weird "election system keeps him in place; may be forever, as long as no one does "something" to change our laws and governing system. But yeah it keeps the "media" busy.
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    Here are a few key points from last night's letter:

    1) Today the president tweeted a lot, even for him. In one hour this morning, he tweeted or retweeted 52 times. By the end of the day he had averaged a tweet every 7.5 minutes. None of the tweets mentioned the almost 80,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19, or any plans for addressing the pandemic.

    2) Trump’s morning tweetstorm makes the president seem preoccupied with Obama. He seems tied to the idea that the FBI was investigating the links of some of the people on his campaign to Russia, a situation he called “OBAMAGATE!” on Twitter this morning. He retweeted the claim by conservative talk show host Buck Sexton that Obama “used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration.” “The biggest political crime in American history, by far"

    3) Trump’s power struggle against any oversight of his presidency is approaching a critical moment. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether Congress or state prosecutors can investigate him for potential wrongdoing. There are three different cases, which involve two issues.

    See the source image

    https://robinplacefabrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/redirect-2032.png

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    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    Here are a few key points from last night's letter:

    1) Today the president tweeted a lot, even for him. In one hour this morning, he tweeted or retweeted 52 times. By the end of the day he had averaged a tweet every 7.5 minutes. None of the tweets mentioned the almost 80,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19, or any plans for addressing the pandemic.

    2) Trump’s morning tweetstorm makes the president seem preoccupied with Obama. He seems tied to the idea that the FBI was investigating the links of some of the people on his campaign to Russia, a situation he called “OBAMAGATE!” on Twitter this morning. He retweeted the claim by conservative talk show host Buck Sexton that Obama “used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration.” “The biggest political crime in American history, by far"

    3) Trump’s power struggle against any oversight of his presidency is approaching a critical moment. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether Congress or state prosecutors can investigate him for potential wrongdoing. There are three different cases, which involve two issues.

    See the source image

    https://robinplacefabrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/redirect-2032.png

    3) Trump’s power struggle against any oversight of his presidency is approaching a critical moment. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether Congress or state prosecutors can investigate him for potential wrongdoing. There are three different cases, which involve two issues.

    Here is why Trump is nervous about the law suits

    Insider Who Has Seen Trump’s Tax Returns Claims They Show Foreign Entanglements And Dishonest Bookkeeping

    Deutsche Bank AG released documents showing that Trump’s fortune didn’t even crack $1 billion, let alone $3 billion. And Mazars USA released documents revealing that Trump has been cooking the books

    “During the course of the litigation, Trump resisted releasing his tax returns and other financial records,” O’Brien wrote for Bloomberg. “My lawyers got the returns, and while I can’t disclose specifics, I imagine that Trump is hesitant to release them now because they would reveal how robust his businesses actually are and shine a light on some of his foreign sources of income.”

    If your memory is good, you may remember that Donald Jr. once bragged that "we get all the money we need from Russia".

    https://politicaltribune.org/insider-who-has-seen-trumps-tax-returns-claims-they-show-foreign-entanglements-and-dishonest-bookkeeping/

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    The Dem's are sound asleep because they are not demanding right now his tax returns of at least 15 years and if not provided then he can't run again for his second term. All other candidates do it, why not him?. It is time the Dem's get an "backbone" and get tough. Until now Trump showed with the"impeachment" process that he can walk right over them; is there no shame at all at the Dem's that such is possible? They should fight for a change; "words" alone have no power.
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    “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

    “The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
    ― Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

    "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists."-- Hannah Arendt

    I keep coming back to this topic. The fact that Trump with his litany of corrupt acts and lies can even be a serious candidate for re-election is a reflection on the American people...or at least half of them, seemingly normal people who cannot distinguish fact from fiction. Trump's presidency is one big reality show...a horror show that we are witnessing day in and day out -- but the propaganda machine of Trump and the Republicans is showing it can be as effective today as that of the 1930s. Hannah Arendt's writing should be required reading in schools. History repeats itself.

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    Schmidt, right on!!! His target is now Obama; he's an "criminal" and has proclaimed an " Obama Gate". And McConnell says Obama should keep his mouth shut. Looking at all of this, then I don't even want to think what the situation is just before November. Chaos, Chaos, Chaos
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    There's an old expression that a picture is worth 1000 words.

    I really enjoy reading HCR's daily journals, but they tend to be lengthy.

    Her post of May 18 clocked in an 1170 words, so here's a summary:

    1) Less than six months after the Saudis killed Jamal Khasoggi, Pompeo approved the sale of $8.1 billion dollars worth of arms to three Arab countries, most of that was to Saudi Arabia. Lawmakers of both parties were furious, and both houses voted to block the sales, but Trump vetoed their measures.

    2) In June 2019, the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked Linick to launch an investigation into the way that State Department officials, including Pompeo, had handled the arms sales. They saw no credible justification for an emergency that required sidestepping congressional approval, and noted that many of the weapons would not be ready for shipping for a year or more

    3) In order to create yet another distraction, Trump announced yesterday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine.

    4) Neil Cavuto of FOX goes on air to say, "this will kill you".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxY8vPzpoq0

    Written summary:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/19/this-will-kill-you-foxs-neil-cavuto-center-trumps-hydroxychloroquine-madness/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

    5) Trump announces that he is looking for a new outlet

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    There's an old expression that a picture is worth 1000 words.

    I really enjoy reading HCR's daily journals, but they tend to be lengthy.

    Her post of May 18 clocked in an 1170 words, so here's a summary:

    1) Less than six months after the Saudis killed Jamal Khasoggi, Pompeo approved the sale of $8.1 billion dollars worth of arms to three Arab countries, most of that was to Saudi Arabia. Lawmakers of both parties were furious, and both houses voted to block the sales, but Trump vetoed their measures.

    2) In June 2019, the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked Linick to launch an investigation into the way that State Department officials, including Pompeo, had handled the arms sales. They saw no credible justification for an emergency that required sidestepping congressional approval, and noted that many of the weapons would not be ready for shipping for a year or more

    3) In order to create yet another distraction, Trump announced yesterday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine.

    4) Neil Cavuto of FOX goes on air to say, "this will kill you".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxY8vPzpoq0

    Written summary:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/19/this-will-kill-you-foxs-neil-cavuto-center-trumps-hydroxychloroquine-madness/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

    5) Trump announces that he is looking for a new outlet