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"No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
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20 Jun
I’d like to share a quote about democracy from a man named Avner Less. He was the Israeli Police Captain who interrogated Eichmann. He was interviewed in 1983 and this is what he said about how the experience changed him “believing in a true democracy is the only thing (1)
that can save mankind from people like Eichmann and there are many latent Eichmanns around but Eichmanns can grow; can rise only in a dictatorship. This is why we have to fight for democracy to stick up for it. We should do our very utmost never to have this occur again... to
prevent Eichmanns from rising again” Here we see an example of the latent Eichmanns that Less was talking about. McLaughlin seems like a twisted little boy
Read 5 tweets
18 Jun
This is a really good conversation and an important one. The debate below is around how to think and talk about @FoxNews. What is it? @brianstelter thinks about this directionally and ideologically; describing Fox as moving further right. He is correct, as is @jayrosen_nyu who 1
Evaluates @FoxNews along a different axis. For him, it is the drift into fantasy and the unreal. The authoritarian movement in America is real, powerful and present. All authoritarian movements are nourished by an ecosystem that includes three powerful components (2)
A. The Financiers. “No Bucks, no Buck Rogers” said the PR man to the disdainful test pilots who were to become America’s Mercury Astronauts in one of the all time great movies “ The Right Stuff”. There is no autocratic movement without money and they have a lot. (3)
Read 13 tweets
12 Jun
“Tick Tock is just as demanding as You Tube” “It almost feels like I’m getting a taste of celebrity but it’s never consistent and as soon as you have it it’s gone and you’re constantly trying to get it back” These quotes are the mark of a weak and decadent society and that they
are made by 22 and 23 year olds is well...truly, I’m at a loss. First, the concept of working to find fulfillment and purpose has existed for a measurable % of the US population for at most the last 75 years. For all of human history, until that moment, people worked to survive
This remains true for a huge percentage of the worlds population. @jimsciutto @CNN’ s world class National Security journalist recently asked whether the United States could mount DDAY today. I said NO. Is there any grit in America, at least apparently
Read 11 tweets
12 Jun
.@mtgreenee is an anti-Semitic Q-Anon conspiracy theorist. She is so profoundly unfit that she was stripped of all committee assignments by the House of Representatives. Here she is using CRT, in the way that Nazi’s talked about “degenerate art”and burned books. This has nothing
to do with the 1619 project. Maybe the best way to think about it is by remembering the joys of the child hood classic Whack-A-Mole. Up pops a slaveholder and Confederate General. Next, it’s the klansman and Bund member. Look it’s the snarling face of a white man screaming
at black children who were walking into school. Whack! It’s the proper looking lady who is going to feint because black people are at the lunch counter. Whack! It’s Bull Conner and a hundred crooked and racist sheriffs. Whack! Whack Whack ! It’s @mtgreenee. These people
Read 8 tweets
11 Jun
Let’s dissect this. This is what Culture War looks like. We do not have a functioning two party system in America. The Republican Party is the vessel of an autocratic cult of personality, hostile to democracy, civil rights and equality that is teeming with menace, extremism and 1
overt racism. Everybody in America who wants to live in a democracy and more importantly want their great-grandchildren to live in a democracy, regardless of how they label themselves; or how progressive or conservative they are, is on the other side of this indecency. (2)
The GOP has shrunk dramatically since the 1/6 attack. Right now, today, they are desperately trying to quiet the ceaseless insanity that is plain for all to see and make the murderous insurrection fade away. The entire campaign is fear based. The core of the message is that Black
Read 17 tweets
11 Jun
The @LAmag @yashar story is astonishing and chilling. That fact doesn’t do anything to diminish your point. The destruction of local news rooms and shuttering of State House Bureaus has had a disastrous impact on honest, competent, pragmatic, ethical government.
This is a disaster for democracy that is exploding into full bloom. The States have been referred to as laboratories of American democracy. The historic truth is that many states have been and remain laboratories for authoritarianism. Anti-Democracy movements maneuver
best in darkness. They are terrified of two things; scrutiny and truth. I witnessed the shuttering of state house bureaus in the 90’s and the decimation of talented journalists’ careers through buyouts, attrition, consolidation ect. This though, is the world we live in.
Read 16 tweets
11 Jun
Let me help. Are you a journalist? If you are, he is not. If he is a journalist, then you are not. Was Father Coughlin a journalist? What about Hannity and Ingraham? Is there even such a thing as journalism in 2021? There is. This catfish is an internet bully and every media
reporter in America should be calling @HuffPost and @NYMag tomorrow at the crack of dawn to inquire if this bullies journalistic license to kill has been repealed. The Catfish character assassin isn’t a journalist, he’s an internet thug and I’ve received 20 calls from people
terrified of him today. On what planet is it ok to annihilate people’s livelihoods on the basis of stories that have 34 anonymous sources from someone like this guy. I am in awe of your achievements. The answer to the question you asked is simple. You are a journalist and your
Read 5 tweets
11 Jun
I have no doubt that @jaketapper, Murrow’s heir in our wretched era of misinformation will speak to this and define some baseline of journalistic ethics. I am praying he doesn’t have Saas-itIs. Rick, do you think the A list reporters in that story have any idea about their
beclowning? Journalism is @mikebarnicle and Joe Galloway on a Vietnam battlefield. Journalism is @RichardEngel, David Bloom and @clarissaward. Journalism is the local reporters in Flynt Michigan and @DanaBashCNN. Journalism is @AshleyRParker @costareports @_RoxanneRoberts.
Journalism is Cronkite, Brokaw and Jennings. Journalism is @wolfblitzer, Bernard Shaw and @carolelee . Journalism is Scotty Reston and @maevereston. Journalism is Ernie Pyle and Daniel Pearl. Journalism is essential to democracy. The cancer of @yashar, his bullying, grift
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
One of my very favorite podcasts is @gaslitnation with @sarahkendzior and @AndreaChalupa. They have been warning the country about the collapse of American democracy for a very long time. Chalupa wrote a wonderful movie called Mr. Jones. It tells the story of the big lie
And more importantly the bundles of lies that flank it. Mr.Jones tells in part, the story of Walter Duranty. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning NYT reporter who functioned as a stenographer for Stalin and lied to the world about mass murder in the Ukraine.
The truth is under assault all over the world and Trump isn’t the only assassin. There is no incompatibility between patriotism and journalism. The Patriot loves the truth and fights for it. American society and our 244 year old Republic depend on the truth for survival. All
Read 6 tweets
10 Jun
This is an astonishing story that every person in America who calls themselves a journalist should read . The @LAmag story written by Peter Kiefer is a journalistic masterpiece that illuminates both the profound crisis in American journalism and a sickness in our society. (1)
It is among the most depressing cultural stories I have ever read. If you want to understand how Trump got elected President, read this story. This isn’t the profile of a journalist, it is the portrait of an internet bully and character assassin. (2)
This CATFISH has been given a license to kill by America’s journalistic elite. It’s ok to annihilate careers and reputations in stories with 34 anonymous sources? That’s journalism ? What about his conflicts, finances and methods? It’s chilling,obscene and utterly disgraceful (3
Read 17 tweets
9 Jun
This is a great piece of political reporting and analysis. It is revelatory and accurate at a surgical level of precision. Every person who cares about winning the 2022 elections for the American Pro Democracy coalition should read and understand what it means. (1)
Strategy Memo: There have been three elections in the last 120 years (1902, 1934, 2002) where the Incumbent President’s party has picked up seats in the first mid term election. Presently, Democrats hold the Senate by virtue of @VP’s tie breaking vote while holding the House by
five seats. @ProjectLincoln is operating on the optimistic premise that Democratic redistricting losses will be 12 seats which turns the majority into a functional -7 minority by the morning of Election Day 2022. (3)
Read 19 tweets
9 Jun
America tonight. 40% of the population has $400 cash in savings. Huge swaths of the country lack broadband and our national infrastructure is decrepit. Billionaires who fund their own space programs pay no taxes while the countries senior political leaders who incited
an insurrection remain protected by their own coverup. The concept of truth has been obliterated by a toxic combination of algorithms, misinformation and greed. There is an autocratic movement that is large, rich, powerful and on the March. It is maneuvering yet somehow it
Remains invisible to the people who are nearest it and have the power to do something about it. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about this through the story of Neville Chamberlin. The story is more complicated than most people have been taught. He was an honorable man.
Read 11 tweets
9 Jun
In fact, Hitler used his short time in prison to write a book in which he articulated his beliefs very clearly. Released early: @nytimes reported that Mr. Hitler seemed chastened and would be retiring from extreme politics as he returned to Austria. @maggieNYT @TheRickWilson
Hitler had another enormous takeaway from the failed coup. He realized that he would have to take power by lawful and democratic means which is exactly what he did. It only took six months to kill ALL remnants of German democracy and it was all done LEGALLY. The Nazis
were genius propagandists.They used democracy to kill democracy. Lies, cynicism conspiracies, hate, blame, grievance and a lack of restraint around the application of violence for powers sake were their weapons. They moved in an ooze of self dealing, opportunism and fantastic
Read 7 tweets
9 Jun
.@vp has invited the female US Senators for cocktails. It is consistent with the graciousness and good cheer that seem so much a part of @vp’s personality. @MarshaBlackburn will be on that list. She is completely crazy and profoundly dishonest.
She is a purveyor of conspiracy theories that are poisoning our democracy. I love the idea of having cocktails with political opponents that you can agreeably disagree with and debate the issues of the day in good faith. We don’t live in that world and pretending we do is foolish
.@MarshaBlackburn is a purveyor of toxic insanity. She has given moral support to the murderous insurrection through her embrace of the lie that caused it and her refusal to investigate it. These aren’t people you drink with. They are indecent people who stand for an un-American
Read 16 tweets
8 Jun
Governor, I know you to be a man of good will and I have long admired your steadfastness and refusal to submit to the Trump cult. What is happening in America is something we need to talk about. I think your arguments are ludicrous. Joe Manchin is no hero. He is a politician.
Using the moral examples of Dr. King, Natan Sharansky and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was incinerated in a Nazi oven, to contextualize the current unappreciated courage of Joe Manchin and worse to insinuate that as the American people continue to evolve, one day, with the wisdom
that comes from time and hindsight, Joe Manchin will join the ranks of such men in the esteem of people who admire valor is absurd. Further, the arguments you make are built on bundles of cliches like the one you have highlighted above about loneliness
Read 14 tweets
7 Jun
.@ProjectLincoln I’ll take a shot at answering this. It might be helpful to invite the eminence grise of America’s fair and balanced network @brithume into the conversation. Fox News is a corrupt organization. In fact, it is the most corrupt public company in America.
.@FoxNews has repeatedly argued in court that it is not a news organization. Fox is a propaganda network in the service of an authoritarian movement built on a foundation of lies. Here, @FoxNews acts with total predictability. They are trying to shield their audience from the
truth. Fox is having the same reflex Soviet censors once had which is to Shield the people from the truth. What other explanation is there? There isn’t one. Where is the fighting front in the great political battle we are having in this country? It is found at the place
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun
History is not science, there are no algorithms or immutable laws. There is only memory and evidence. The history we all share and our understanding of it is highly variable and dependent on the story tellers. Where I grew up, everyone I ever met shared a story. (1)
It was shaped by the story of the largest migration in human history. Nearly 30 million Europeans came to America between 1870 and 1920. They came to a rapidly industrializing country that was exploding in size and wealth. By 1900 the United States (2)
was the richest country in the world with prosperity exploding everywhere except the South. The country had moved on from the Civil War and reconstruction. There were 9 million black Americans at the turn of the century and 90 percent of them lived in the South. They were (3)
Read 24 tweets
6 Jun
Lincoln’s martyrdom enshrined his greatness in our collective memory. Less discussed is the epic tragedy caused by the loss of his singular wisdom, goodness, pragmatism and deft political hand at shaping the post Civil War world. The years that followed the Civil War are key
to understanding who we are as a nation and facing the great national myth that at long lasts demands a full reckoning. The American Civil War was the first industrialized war in history. It killed 2.5 percent of the population and if it was fought today, adjusted for population
It would have killed 7 million people. The war wasn’t just inevitable, it was predestined by the presence of the evil of human slavery on American soil. The war was just, necessary, brutal, tragic and unfinished. The idea of a separate slave nation in the Northern Hemisphere was
Read 15 tweets
6 Jun
I like old quotes that stand the test of time and that can be applied to our current circumstances. I’ve always been fascinated by language and specifically the hinges where the language of one era and time gives way to another. Here is a quote👇 by Teddy Roosevelt to ponder 1/
2/ “ In facing the future and striving, each according to the measure of his individual capacity, to work out the salvation of our land, we should be neither timid pessimists or foolish optimists. We should recognize the dangers that exist and that threaten us:
3/ we should neither overestimate them nor shrink from them, but steadily fronting them should set to work to overcome and beat them down. Grave perils are yet to be encountered in the stormy course of the Republic-perils from political corruption, perils from individual laziness
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
Events build on each other. Actions cause reactions and shape what happens next. This will always be so. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Our present reality has been shaped by actions, decisions and events in the past. This is why it is important to understand History. 1/
.@JoeManchinWV has laid out an argument that is deeply untethered to the realities of our current national crisis. His words float upwards like puffs of smoke from an ivory tower before they evaporate into nothingness because they were released into a world that doesn’t exist. 2/
American democracy is in the greatest crisis we have faced since the Civil War. The Republican Party is controlled by Donald Trump and it is the malignant vessel by which Trump’s cult of personality metastasized into an autocratic movement. 3/
Read 13 tweets
4 Jun
Today is the third day of profoundly stupid media coverage around the demise of the Trump blog. How should we assess Trump in this moment and specifically how do we gauge his relative power and influence? Some have posited that Trump’s loss, social media bans, and inability
to sustain a blog are evidence of his decline, irrelevance and diminishment. Many of these people have argued that saying Trump’s name out loud is what fuels and sustains the Trump threat. All we need do, they claim, is to treat him like Voldemort, so long as no one speaks his
name out loud, no problem. These people are fools and their delusions are dangerous for the survival of American democracy. We are at an hour that requires people to wake up. Trump is powerful and he is a clear and PRESENT danger to our democratic society and national stability.
Read 11 tweets