62 Comments

Charlie, the only thing your missing is DeSantis effort to empanel a grand jury to investigate wrongdoing concerning COVID-19 vaccines. Given that they saved 3.2 U.S. million lives and avoided 18.5 million hospitalizations . . What on Earth would be the charges? Maybe indicting his own Surgeon General for spreading misinformation that diminished Florida’s vaccination rate? One can only hope . .

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“ So don’t pretend you are really surprised. You may be appalled by what you are seeing, but nothing that is happening now — the reckless attacks on constitutional norms, the flood of lies and conspiracy theories, the bullying, insults, or chaos — is inconsistent in any way with what you have known for years.”

And further proof that the above is still true is that the only person beating Trump in Dec, 2022 is RON DESANTIS and he executes even more egregious anti-democracy actions. These morons learned NOTHING from the past 7 years other than hate works.

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I bet the Massie kids roll their eyes every year when they have to pose for this card.

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Re: Orrell, he’s remarkably sanguine about cutting SS benefits.

Perhaps 0.05% of the bloated and absurd military budget could be redirected? We aren’t in Afghanistan anymore.

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I bet the Massie kids roll their eyes every year when they have to pose for this card.

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I bet the Massie kids roll their eyes every year when they have to pose for this card.

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Yes, here were are. And yes, YOU MISERABLE BASTARDS. But you know what? We are going to persevere through this &be smarter, stronger &more aware for it. We won’t become like them &the miserable bastards still won’t take down our democracy … “failure is not an option”.

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Charlie, thank you and your fellow writers at the Bulwark for your insightful, reasoned commentary. You (collectively) are a voice of sanity. Thank you.

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Hey Charlie,

Not sure where in France you are right now, but I'm envious. One of the things I like about France is that despite a massive state apparatus there seems to be an understanding of human nature. Hence, for example, a health care system that is combines a base level of state supplied care with optional insurance that lets citizens make important choices for themselves. Handgun ownership is strictly limited but hunting is supported and you can buy a shotgun in a sporting goods store (with appropriate paperwork, of course). Income taxes are very high (although property taxes aren't), but the country is a democracy, and they are handling the crazies better than we are.

We own property in France, but becoming expats is always a very tough choice. Still, if we saw Trump II on the horizon, maybe taxes wouldn't be a deal breaker. I already speak French; I'd rather not have to learn Hungarian.

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As someone who takes the English languages seriously I wonder whatever happened to the first part out the Second Amendment? What “well regulated militia” does Congressman Massey belong to? The same question can be asked of any of the school shooters. James Madison almost certainly wrote the Second Amendment. Do Justices Alito and Thomas, two proud originalists, actually think the “Father of the Constitution” was incapable of writing a coherent compound sentence?

Gus Seligmann

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BTW I gave up my decades long subscription to the WaPo because they kept Theissen (aka 'that weasel theissen'), Hugh Hewitt and Gary Abernathy -- all of whom repeated and spread BS and lies to support Trump even after January 6th.

If there's an honest bone in theissen's body, don't tell him or he'll have it removed.

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It's rough finding a trustworthy newspaper. I'm in NY state, but I just couldn't do the NY Times. They've always been very beholden to the Trumps and Cuomos of the world. They actively root for the overdog. It's not a liberal / conservative thing, it's more a haves and have nots bias. They are literally incapable of seeing or hearing people in the middle and working classes, to the point of ridiculousness. Their most pressing issues seem to be people working from home (won't somebody think of the Manhattan landlords?!) and cancel culture from the left only (you certainly won't see them writing about public schools). So I'm subscribed to the Washington Post, but I'm baffled by many of their editorial decisions, which bring to mind the last season of The Wire.

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I sort of understood why the WaPo hired that trio.

Trump got elected and all of their conservative columnists were anti Trumpers.

But after January 6th, a line was crossed for me and not only did the new editor not ease them out, she seemed to be giving them more space.

The NYT lost me over "her emails" and the lack of serious coverage of Donnie's days as a developer.

Really NYT? You didn't guess Donnie was cheating on taxes before 2015?

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The MSNBC clip where Charlie shocked the host with his unexpectedly candid but totally *spot on* description of Massie’s theatrics was hilarious!

But it does underscore a very serious point about the dangers of treating deadly weapons as meaningless props or hand penises. When people stop having respect for weapons - when they conceptually disassociate guns from death, it becomes easier to use them indiscriminately without deliberation or regard for consequences. Charlie’s analogy to sex is apt because the same thing happens when people stop having respect for marriage and conceptually disassociate sex from love.

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Thank you, Charlie.

Especially for pointing out the difference between Bob Dole and and the posturing ammosexual crowd.

Bob Dole -- whom I did not agree with -- was a goddamn hero. John McCain was a goddamn hero.

Their only mistake was not driving these twits out of their party 40 years ago.

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I just wanted to compliment Bill Lueders column today. I hope it makes people who dismissed all news about Trump as "fake news" wonder about other things they dismissed as fake, and if any of them could be real. The Keystone pipeline, for example, is not just open, it's spewing oil into the water in Kansas. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-12-12/tc-energy-keystone-has-leaked-more-oil-than-any-other-pipeline-in-us-since-2010

Anyway, I always enjoy Bill Lueders' columns and they've become instant reads for me. I'm also loving the "Best of Morning Shots."

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I am really REALLY tired of the whole gun culture thing. It passed ithe bounds of the ludicrous a long time ago.

I grew up in western PA. we had guns around for as long as I can remember. We hunted and engaged in shooting sports (mostly trap and skeet). The first day of deer season was a school holiday!

We reloaded our own ammunition. I was a military history/technology geek growing up. I could tell you more about weapon systems and weapon history than you would ever want to know. We had a family friend that had a class three license and whose entire house was literally filled with his weapon collection (with items going back to the 17th century, but mostly WW1 and WW2--and it also included a lot of things like actual uniforms, decorations etc.). He had fully functional automatic weapons (including an m1919 and a MG42).. and he was extremely knowledgeable.

As part of that whole scene I was rigorously taught firearms safety and respect for these very dangerous implements. In middle school the entire student body (unless their parents opted them out--which was rare) went through hunter safety training. My HS had a rifle team (and were state champs every year) and the range was in the basement of the recently constructed middle school.

Despite all of that (or maybe because of it) I have always taken weapons seriously and treated them with the respect they demand. I have never actually wanted to own any military grade weaponry (unless it was historical) or put it to use or pose with it in a photo. I still own a few weapons, but they are rarely used beyond going to the range once or twice a month... and I do not talk about them or openly carry them.

I am constantly left wondering WTF is wrong with these people.

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I have a cousin who was a sharpshooter in the army during the Korean War. He never owned or touched a gun of any sort once he returned home.

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"I am constantly left wondering WTF is wrong with these people."

I think it is a desperate attempt to assert some control in lives that don't have much. For a first world country we live our lives with a very patchy safety net. Add to that the increasing education requirements for work force security (and the decline of unions). Now do some comparisons between what father and grandfather were able to carve out with the same education. Sprinkle in the growing equality that has stripped white males of a good chunk of their advantage (not all, by any means). What have you got:

Millions of white men in more precarious positions than the ones they saw their fathers and grandfathers in growing up. They're one injury or layoff away from losing what they have and they know, deep in their guts, that they won't have an easy time getting it back. It all adds up to fear and resentment, and a few hundred dollars can get them something that makes them feel powerful. It also puts them in a club that also makes them feel powerful.

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Okay, but this guy is a freaking millionaire. His thing is just performance art for his constituents, right?

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Then why do they keep voting for a political party that gives tax cuts to large corporations, opposes a fair minimum wage and universal healthcare, and wants to essentially complete the dismantling of what little is left of FDR's New Deal under which their fathers and grandfathers did so well? Why do they keep voting against their own economic self-interest? Do they love guns and hate "other" fellow Americans more than they want health and financial security for themselves and their families?

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The best I can figure is that it is a combination of:

1) The Dems being the party of the 'other' (minorities, women, etc.) who have taken a bigger and bigger piece of their zero-sum economic pie.

2) The indoctrination of government help = socialism = communism = Stalin = EVIL.

3) Serious propaganda efforts by those with huge financial stakes in things like healthcare, weapon sales, fossil fuels, and low taxes for everyone super wealthy.

4) Most people's inability to really understand statistics that clearly show that the 'American Dream' is getting harder and harder to achieve as we tilt the playing field more and more in favor of those with resources and or special ability.

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In other words, the Moneyed Masters of the Universe played them by arousing their bigotry and resentments to their own detriment.

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Yes.

You combine what is, in effect, a zero-sum economic model (where someone else's success comes at a cost to you--and which is both archaic and wrong) and pushing the "explanation" for the lessened opportunities and lower pay and worse working conditions off onto those Other People (rather than corporate practices and policies).

The changes in technology since the 70s have been transformative (in a major way) for the economy--and particularly in the area of what were once high paying, secure jobs.

To remain competitive (employed) you had to be willing and able to up your game through education/re-education and to work outside of "traditional" areas (cultural and gender-role/employment flexibility).

It is usually easier to blame the Other than to change--particularly when the rich and powerful are ready to help you do it and are not ready to foot the bill to help you change.

The shift to a global economy and structure hurt the existing work structure--but, at the same time, it made a lot of things cheaper and more accessible than if they were made here. As in most changes, there were ups and downs (think of the shift from animal travel to internal combustion--new paths were opened, new jobs, etc... but a lot of old ones disappeared or changed).

The current shift is more profound in that it requires more change on the part of workers--more education and training. Different ways and types of work. Moreso than in the past.

Attempts to ameliorate this change and adapt/adjust were effectively hamstrung by the people who were profiting from it... and who pushed a series of narratives that were actually inimical to the interests of those caught up in the change, but which provided a simplistic explanation that meshed well with existing beliefs and prejudices.

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Well said.

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Re: "What were you thinking?" In the miniseries "Nuremberg", the Army psychologist assigned to the trial, Cpt. Gustav Gilbert, makes a similar inquiry of Hans Frank, former Governor-General of Nazi-occupied Poland under whose administration millions of Jews were exterminated. His response was "I just wanted to keep my job."

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