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    June 2020
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  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

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    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Endorsement
      This is kind of strange, because who else were they going to endorse? BIG NEWS >> @MoveOn members overwhelmingly voted to endorse @JoeBiden and said he has “the most progressive platform in Democratic Party history" as the nominee. They previously endorsed @BernieSanders in 2016 and @BarackObama in 2008.https://t.co/ZNFuIqwD0D — Matt Hill (@themat […]
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    • War Crime Apologia
      One is not required to bomb hospitals, to torture or to engage in mass killing of civilians when one is a chief of state. “My favorite war criminal did less war crimes than your war criminal” is not a defense. That people feel the need to defend those who do such things when in power […]
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History will judge the complicit

Anne Applebaum at The Atlantic has written a new piece, titled History will judge the complicit, that every American should read. Unfortunately, about 38% of Americans will either NOT read it or will turn into bad Gollums on steroids whenever the article comes up.

Applebaum explains why some nations’ citizens go along with authoritarianism and why so few of us don’t. She’s studied the problem for years in Eastern Europe and said we are very close to losing our democracy. Sure, we’ve heard this before but Applebaum isn’t running around with her hair on fire looking like a publicity and fame seeker. Her argument is laid out rather bloodlessly with examples of how people in power are coopted. The piece is long but skip it at your own risk. If you’ve ever wondered why Susan Collins can never muster more than tepid concern or why Lindsay Graham acts like a fanboy, you’ll now know why. It’s not because Putin has pics of Lindsay diddling a 9 year old boy. It’s more of a case of most human beings not being profiles in courage. They just don’t want to rock the boat.

If you don’t have time for the big read, you can listen to the interview Applebaum gave to Fresh Air today where she discusses the same article.

She says that never have we seen such levels of hatred between sides since the Civil War and that history will judge the Trump presidency as a catastrophe. If you know what’s going on and choose to go along with it, for whatever reason, you’re complicit.

Giving in is easy. Democracy is hard.

Who is paying for Donald’s new fortress and private army?

While George Floyd’s funeral is being held today, Trump is finally getting his wall – around the White House. It looks like he’s terrified of his own citizens more than two year old Guatemalans.

He also seems to have a new army looking out for him. Weren’t the Secret Service sufficient? I mean, we’re not going to drag him out from under his desk and give him a public swirly or anything. Please 🙄. We’re not barbarians. However, we’ve never had a situation like this before, which has a vague Sans Coulottes storming the Bastille quality to it.

The unidentified, facial haired and disheveled “soldiers” appear to be from the Bureau of Prisons. That’s right, activating Barr meant that he called our the Attica prison riot guards. Presumably, they have no problem cracking heads because everyone looks like a criminal to them.

This was the best Trump can do. The real military is in a state of flux. First Sec. Esper said, um, we’re not using them and told them to stand down. Last night, someone probably threatened his kids and he reactivated 200 of them. I don’t think we can conclude anything about the military at this point.

But back to the BOP riot police, who is paying for that? Deploying them and the extra walls and barriers around the White House has prevented peaceful citizens from petitioning their government for addressing grievances. Should we be paying for violations of Americans’ first amendment rights?

Seriously, that looks expensive. Who is paying for it? After all, Trump has nothing to fear from his constituents, especially if he hasn’t done anything wrong as he is always telling us. Even if he is guilty as sin for committing crimes and abusing his office, we have due process. You know, impeachment! See? He had nothing to fear.

Unless he stops getting the support and protection of the Republicans in Congress. Lisa Murkowski is starting to make strangled noises to that effect. But she’s always in the vanguard until she sees her latest poll numbers from Alaska. Then she falls back. A couple days ago Pat Toomey expressed concerns. But it’s not like he’s drawing attention to himself. Maybe it looks like Biden is going to win PA this year. Toomey doesn’t have to worry about re-election for 2 more years (is it really that far away? 😢). So, theoretically, strategically, he’s pretty safe unless he’s sure that Trump is going to cheat this year again. Who knows.

I always think that the wall of support is about to give way but the brave toe dippers always eventually chicken out.

Meanwhile, we have Trump in a fortress of his own making. I wouldn’t worry about him not leaving after the election. Presidents have had to relocate away from the White House before. Didn’t Madison have to use a different building after the WH was torched by the British? So, let Trump stay there. Find another auxiliary White House for Biden and cut off the official White House. Make sure he can only get his Big Macs by airdrop, screw around with the WiFi, cut his cable, make him do a Julian Assange.

Don’t let him leave after the election. He’s already built his prison.