Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Congressional Battlefield: Why Republican lawmakers assist Putin’s infiltration of American politics

On the social media site X, formerly Twitter, Miles Taylor wrote: “After 2016, I helped lead the US gov[ernmen]t response to Russia’s election interference. In 2024, foreign interference will be *worse.* Tech[nology is] more powerful. Adversaries more brazen. American public more susceptible. Political leaders across party lines MUST UNITE against this.” Taylor served as Chief of Staff in the Department of Homeland Security under Trump. Catherine Belton of the Washington Post reported on a secret 2023 document from Russia’s Foreign Ministry calling for an “offensive information campaign” and other measures that attack “‘a coalition of unfriendly countries’ led by...

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A Square Deal: How Theodore Roosevelt came to believe a strong government must regulate business

On February 25, 1901, financier J. P. Morgan’s men filed the paperwork to incorporate a new iron and steel trust, and over the weekend, businessmen waited to see what was coming. Five days later, on March 2, the announcement came: J. P. Morgan was overseeing the combination of companies that produced two thirds of the nation’s steel into the United States Steel Corporation. It was capitalized at $1.4 billion, which at the time was almost three times more than the federal government’s annual budget. While the stock market was abuzz with news of the nation’s first billion-dollar corporation, Vice...

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Barriers to a U.S. birthright: How the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act helped and held back Native Americans

June 2 was the one-hundredth anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act, which declared that “all non-citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States.” The status was “provided, that the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property.” That declaration had been a long time coming. The Constitution, ratified in 1789, excluded “Indians not taxed” from the population on which officials would calculate representation in the House of Representatives....

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Declaration of Conscience: Standing against the GOP’s Four Horsemen of Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear

As MAGA Republicans attack the rule of law and promise to prosecute their political enemies if they get back into power, it is easy to forget that once upon a time, certain Republican politicians championed reason and compromise and took a stand against the MAGA predecessors. On June 1, 1950, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, stood up against Republican Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin and his supporters, who were undermining American democracy in a crusade against “communism.” Margaret Chase was born in Skowhegan in 1897, the oldest child of a barber and a waitress, and became...

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MAGA’s Unified Reich: Trump echoes fascist rhetoric in NRA speech with aims of a three-term presidency

There is a curious dynamic at work in politics these days. Trump does not appear to be trying to court voters to his standard. If he were, he would be reaching out to Nikki Haley voters and trying to moderate his stances. Instead, he is rejecting her voters and doubling down on extreme positions. Rather than trying to appeal to swing voters, he seems to be trying to whip up his right-wing base to engage in violence on his behalf. In Minnesota on May 17, Trump echoed fascists when he told supporters, “No matter how hateful and corrupt the...

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Teapot Dome scandal: Why Biden’s booming economy gets overshadowed by Trump’s corruption and lies

All three of the nation’s major stock indexes hit record highs on May 15 after the latest data showed inflation cooling. Standard and Poor’s 500, more commonly known as the S&P 500, measures the stock performance of 500 of the largest companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. It was up 61 points, or 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite is weighted toward companies in the information technology sector. That was up 231 points, or 1.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, often just called the Dow, measures 30 prominent companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. It was up 350 points, or 0.9%....

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