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Author: Thom Hartmann

The Two Santas Strategy: How the GOP has used an economic scam to manipulate Americans for 40 years

“The only thing wrong with the U.S. economy is the failure of the Republican Party to play Santa Claus.” – Jude Wanniski, March 6, 1976 The stock market is falling, in part a reaction to GOP threats to shut down the government: it’s all part of their plan. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week warned us that the GOP is about to use Jude Wanniski’s “Two Santa Clauses” fraud again to damage Biden’s economy and our standing in the world. And, sure enough, Mitch McConnell verified it when he said last week there would be “zero” Republican votes to raise...

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An Unrighteous Cause: How the radicalization of faith has become a cultural poison for America

With armed militia groups trying to take down our democracy, from January 6th to invading state capitols, things seem bad, maybe even Civil War bad. But if they hook up with the Christian right, with one small change to their ideology, we could be plunged into a hellscape right out of the tenth century. There is a thin line between what we call “civilization” and the kind of grim barbarism created by ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda. That line is defined by a single and simple tweak of a culture and its main religion’s primary story-line with a variation...

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A Plot Against Democracy: How the GOP has shamelessly taken the playbook of oppressive regimes

The GOP seems to have gone nuts. But, in reality, they are just following a plan. And it is not even a new plan. It has worked elsewhere. Seventeen Republican-controlled states have now passed 28 voter suppression laws, in most cases even asserting that if elections don’t turn out the way the Party likes they can simply change or ignore the results. It’s driven Texas legislators, faced with another law like that, to flee the state in a desperate effort to preserve their voting rights. Meanwhile, the GOP has gone all-in on embracing white supremacy and demonizing nonwhite people...

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Language Matters: Understanding that the 9/11 attack was a monstrous crime but not an act of war

The 9/11 attack was a crime by a small group of criminals, not an act of war by a sovereign state. But we responded to that crime with two war-based assaults, and we won both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in a matter of weeks, not years or decades. Language matters, because it is how we understand what is real and what is a scam or a lie. It is how we share the metaphors, understandings, visions and values of our society. When it comes to crime, war, and occupations of other countries, language can mean life or death. When George...

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Brutal Capitalism: How America is transforming from a democracy to an oligarchy

In an oligarchy, the rich can get away with anything and average people who try to stop harms to themselves and their communities get crushed. We’re now there; the question is whether we’ll pull back from this horror show, or whether it’ll continue its evolution toward a full-blown police state. The Sackler family, whose criminal Oxycontin drug-dealing killed over a half-million Americans and destroyed the lives of millions more, is close to a deal with the states to keep around $10 billion of their ill-gotten gain in exchange for giving the states a bit over $4 billion over a...

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Corporate Sponsorship: When Conservatives work to ensure the Federal government is a failure

A study by the Peace Research Institute in Norway and the University of Aarhus that polled 6,000 adults from the United States, Denmark, Italy, and Hungary found that the COVID pandemic has further eroded faith in government among people all across Europe and the United States. This is the capstone of “conservative” or neoliberal efforts to destroy faith in democratic governance in developed countries, an effort that goes back 50 years. In the 1950s and 1960s Americans had a lot of trust in government — around 80 percent of Americans said they trusted government — as did the citizens...

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