New book makes clear how close we came on Jan. 6: Mike Pence was "nearly lost" and plans were made to secure continuity of government

“There is a not quite comic schism inherent in the idea that on a daily basis the New York Times and All Things Considered tell us everything that is happening in the world, but neglect to include how we are to endure this information.” - Jim Harrison


Franken probably could have held onto his job if he’d fought to do so, but stepping down when he did helped Democrats shoot down the “both sides” narrative that then threatened to put serial sex creep and all-around awful far-right Christian nationalist Roy Moore into the Senate in the 2017 Alabama special election.


“–let alone inform us honestly about who the real assholes are causing everything that is happening in/fucking up the world.”


All these years later, that one still sticks in my craw as one of the worst examples of the corporate media failing to explain a story and its background. The level of incompetence and laziness was so widespread across every outlet that it could have been taken for a conspiracy.


You do realize my comment was my own opinion on the saying and not an attack on you personally for using it, I hope? I tried to make that clear in the first sentence. I get that it’s a euphemism, it just reminded me of my own frustration with the endless hamster wheel we seem to be stuck on. I’m sorry for using your comment as a springboard but I also don’t think that justifies Tamsin’s personal attack on me. But I’ll give the both of you the last word on it and not comment further.

Correction; “documentary”

For what it’s worth:

None of this conversation is personal to me, nor do I consider your comment any kind of “attack”; my opinion is that you focused on my phrasing over the actual content of my message… even after I explained myself.

I’m rather bothered by that framing, frankly; sarcastic rebuttals are also not ‘personal attacks,’ IMO.

I say this as someone who has been the target of inappropriate personal attacks in the past, on both this site and others.


I suppose there is the argument of extreme ego.

If Trump considered himself equal to America, then putting Trump first is also putting America first…

Kinda fits within that extreme personal delusion aspect of his.

My response: Put him in jail, he’s too dangerous to the general public.


It was the right thing for him to step down when he did. I’m glad he did, because it shows that he cares more about the integrity of the senate than his own career. :woman_shrugging: Also, as @Brainspore said…

Not all of us… But for sure, far too many people…


One wonders what would have happened if they were able to “Hang Mike Pence” and execute Nancy Pelosi on the steps of the Capitol, like they wanted to do. Would Trump’s cult members have woken up to what they were doing, or would it simply have inflamed them more, and caused them to double down. I tend to think the latter. Trump has infantilized his cult to the point where morals, ethics, and normal standards of human decency mean nothing to them. Right now they are chomping at the bit to open concentration camps and start mass deportation squads. Where would the “undesirables” be deported to? I think they’d just like to push them all over the border into Mexico, and then start shooting at them.


Trump wants to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organisations. I imagine that the next step would be to decide that the Mexican government is incapable of eliminating the cartels and/or in their pocket, as a justification for invading Mexico.


One could almost assume that there is a small faction of people who wish to destroy America in order to replace us with a far-right fascist theocracy. Nah, no red-blooded American would attack us from within.

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law."

Those “Oath Keepers” should be called Oath Breakers.

(I’m not fishing for internet points by preaching to the choir. I’m simply angry and upset)


I would argue that a lot of progress happened during the 20th century.

Several cataclysms – WW1, the Great Slump, and WW2 (all linked, of course) – led to huge social and political changes in many countries. All the empires eventually fell away. Democracy advanced through this and through the emancipation of women and non-white people. A kind of socialism based on core national survival needs diverted money away from the power elite to the creation of infrastructure and social security.

The horrors of WW2 prompted the formation of the United Nations, which offered the hope of talking instead of fighting through global issues, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was far from perfect, to be sure. These new principles were honoured in the breach as often as in reality. But there genuinely was progress. It faltered during the Oil Shock of the 1970s. It advanced again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

However, the Forces of Reaction were never expunged. They bided their time, building up strength in commerce, politics, and the courts. Now their stealthy attack is unfolding. It seems as though everything that might contribute to the common weal is “woke” and anathema to (a) an international cabal of the hyper-rich who stand to lose billions if, for example, the world converts from fossil fuels to cheap, clean, renewable energy, and (b) a substantial proportion of ordinary people who are distracted by propaganda and prejudices to act against their best interests.

The Jan 6th attack crystallised a lot of this. “Useful idiots” were induced to perform a riot which shocked the world, in service of a billionaire who had lost his toys to the popular vote and now wanted to break the pram rather than throw them out.

What a great 4 years it’s been since then! War in Yemen, Ukraine, the Horn of Africa, and the Gaza Strip. Global summer the hottest for 2,000 years. Wild weather everywhere causing disastrous floods alongside droughts and wild fires. Energy, food and refugee crises resulted. In Britain, the so-called “mother of parliaments” made it illegal to protest by walking slowly, or linking arms, with a penalty of 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

The progress has been reversed.

However we carry on.


looks around at America

Weighing Options Are You Sure GIF


Something I think is interesting about the 20th century is how traditional titles for emperors fell away. For the first time since antiquity there were no Caesars, Kaisers, or Czars in Europe. There was no Huángdì in China. And for the first time since the early Middle Ages there was no Caliph, not that that was still their role.

Now we have empires that generally call themselves something else instead. It’s a brave new world. :neutral_face:


Thanks for clarifying the specifics of that time frame: Roy Moore was an absolute cretin. I just hate sacrificing chess pieces to appear above reproach.

In this analogy, the Dems sacrificed a Rook or a Queen just to take a Pawn.

Not exactly; Franken stepping down didn’t cost the Dems a seat in the Senate because the Democratic governor of his state appointed another Democrat (Tina Smith) to replace him. Had Roy Moore won the general election for that Senate seat, it would have meant the Republicans had a wider margin of control over the Senate at a very critical moment for the legislature.

Remember, the only reason the Affordable Care Act survived Trump’s first term in office is because John McCain crossed party lines to help protect it through a procedural vote, and McCain died not long after. Losing even one vote in the Senate during that period could have been disastrous.


Yes. The sun never sets on USian military installations.


I think it’s worth remembering that Russia and China still very much have their empires too. They no longer have emperors but they both still have a number of different peoples subjugated by a single central authority that conquered them.

I don’t really know what to call Canada and Australia though. Lots of different peoples are still there but settler colonies feel like a different concept to me, not necessarily in better ways. :frowning:


Yes. And the Soviet Union was it’s own empire, too. I think that the nature of imperial power has changed it’s face, but I think that it’s very true that empire still exists, even if it visibly functions differently.