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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Choosing Sides: Texas proposes teaching standards to omit White Supremacy and support Holocaust Denial

On October 8, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, told a teacher to make sure to follow Texas’s new law requiring teachers to present opposing views on controversial subjects. The Carroll school board had recently reprimanded a fourth-grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom, and teachers wanted to know what books they could keep in their own classrooms. “Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” the curriculum director said. “And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust,” the...

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Republicans are trying to regain control of the government by making sure their opponents can’t vote

Republicans are determined not to let Democrats level the electoral playing field. While Democrats in the House, where legislation can pass with a simple majority vote, have passed voting rights laws, Democrats in the Senate have to deal with the filibuster, which enables senators in the minority to block legislation unless the Democrats can muster 60 votes. Republicans are dead set against voting rights laws. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has called voting reform “a solution in search of a problem,” driven by “coordinated lies about commonsense election laws that various states have passed.” Are the 33 election...

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The GOP civil war: Republicans struggle to stop their party’s transformation into Trump’s autocratic cult

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post ran OpEds on October 11 from Republicans or former Republicans urging members of their party who still value democracy to vote Democratic until the authoritarian faction that has taken over their party is bled out of it. In the New York Times, Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman wrote, “We are Republicans. There’s only one way to save our party from pro-Trump extremists.” Taylor served in the Department of Homeland Security and was the author of the 2018 New York Times piece by “Anonymous” criticizing former president Trump. Whitman was...

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World Wide Outage: Facebook goes offline while facing blistering accusations from whistleblower

“Hello literally everyone,” the official account of Twitter tweeted on October 4, after Facebook and its affiliated platforms Instagram and WhatsApp went dark at about 11:40 in the morning. The Facebook outage lasted for more than six hours and appeared to have been caused by an internal error. But the void caused by the absence of the internet giant illustrated its power at a time when the use of that power has come under scrutiny. In mid-September, the Wall Street Journal began to publish a series of investigative stories based on documents provided by a whistle-blower. The “Facebook Files”...

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Weaponizing the debt ceiling: Why Republicans are taking the country hostage to undercut Democrats

The Senate considered a bill to fund the government until December and to raise the debt ceiling on September 27. The Republicans joined together to filibuster it. Such a move is extraordinary. Not only did the Republicans vote against a measure that would keep the government operating and keep it from defaulting on its debt — debt incurred before Biden took office — but they actually filibustered it, meaning it could not pass with a simple majority vote. The Republicans will demand 60 votes to pass the measure in the hope of forcing Democrats to pass it themselves, alone,...

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The Eastman Memo: Written proof of Trump’s attempt to replace our democracy with an autocracy

On September 20, we learned that after last year’s election, John Eastman, a well-connected lawyer advising former president Donald Trump, outlined a six-point plan to overturn the outcome of the election and install Trump as America’s leader. They planned to cut the voters’ actual choice, Democrat Joe Biden, out of power: as Trump advisor Steve Bannon put it, they planned to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib.” This appears to have been the plan that Trump and his loyalists tried to execute on January 6. That is, we now have written proof of an attempt to destroy our...

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