Forbes in 2020: “Donald Trump wrote Vladimir Putin a personal letter in 2007, congratulating the Russian president on being named ‘Person of the Year’ in TIME magazine, according to a nearly-1,000-page report that the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released Tuesday.
“’Dear President Putin,’ the letter began. ‘Congratulations on being named Time magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’—you definitely deserve it. As you probably have heard, I am a big fan of yours! Take care of yourself. With best wishes, Sincerely, Donald J. Trump.’ The future U.S. president put his famous signature on the letter with a thick marker, which he also used to underline the words ‘I am a big fan of yours!'”
HuffPost: “Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apparently thinks it would have been OK for then-Vice President Mike Pence to challenge the 2020 election results, but not for current Vice President Kamala Harris to do the same in 2024. After claiming that Pence has the ability to throw votes that might be ‘suspicious’ back to the states, Navarro got into a bit of a tizzy when MSNBC’s Ari Melber asked him on Thursday: ‘It would follow, from your contention, that Vice President Harris should ultimately have the call over who should be president, regardless of the results in the next election?’…
‘It’s not for the vice president to determine who wins. The only thing Pence had the authority to do was go back to the states and let the states look at the votes,’ he said. Of course, Navarro ignored the most basic point of his plan: The votes can’t go back to the states unless a vice president like Pence or Harris goes along with the scam.”
Nashville Scene: “Last week, McMinn County made news when the school board voted to ban beloved graphic novel Maus — a Holocaust story told with anthropomorphic mice and cats — due to instances of swear words and nudity. While the vote happened in early January, it went viral following a report from TN Holler.
“Last night, Mt. Juliet pastor and pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Greg Locke decided to turn it up a notch by organizing an old-fashioned book burning. The books included millennial staples like Harry Potter and Twilight — hits of the early Aughts that were targeted by Christian book burnings back in the day.
“In a sermon preceding the bonfire, Locke described beefing with ‘Free Mason devils’ and said ‘I ain’t gonna be ‘suiciding myself’ no time soon.’ Locke also said people aren’t mad that they were burning books, but mad because of the books they were burning — implying that his critics, even other pastors, were devil and witchcraft supporters.
“You can see the footage in Locke’s Facebook video of the event — the burning starts about an hour in.”
Jason Stanley is a Yale professor and the author of five books on fascism and its basis in the politics of us versus them. In this nine-minute video from Big Think, he defines fascism based on 10 traits that authoritarians use to gain and maintain power.
The Guardian: “’Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another.’
“So began Toni Morrison’s 1995 address to Howard University, entitled Racism and Fascism, which delineated 10 step-by-step procedures to carry a society from first to last. Morrison’s interest was not in fascist demagogues or fascist regimes. It was rather in ‘forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems.’ The procedures she described were methods to normalize such solutions, to ‘construct an internal enemy,’ isolate, demonize and criminalize it and sympathizers to its ideology and their allies, and, using the media, provide the illusion of power and influence to one’s supporters…
“The contemporary American fascist movement is led by oligarchical interests for whom the public good is an impediment, such as those in the hydrocarbon business, as well as a social, political, and religious movement with roots in the Confederacy. As in all fascist movements, these forces have found a popular leader unconstrained by the rules of democracy, this time in the figure of Donald Trump.”
Washington Post via MSN: “The United States for the first time was added to a list of “backsliding democracies” in a report released Monday by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. “’The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself, and was knocked down a significant number of steps on the democratic scale,’ the International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2021 report said.”
Former Republicans operative Steve Schmidt spoke with Rachel Maddow on Sept. 24 about the ominous rise of anti-democracy forces inside the shell of the former Republican Party and its march toward autocracy under Donald Trump.
Fascism is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but it specifically refers to anti-democracy movements and political parties. Steve Schmidt, Bill Kristol and many other former Republicans are sounding the alarm. Fascism isn’t coming. It’s here. This is what American fascism looks like.
Common Dreams Op-Ed: “It’s time to be blunt. The right-wing political alliance anchored by the Republican party and Trumpism coheres around a single concrete objective—taking absolute power in the U.S. as soon and as definitively as possible. And they’re more than ready, even seemingly want, to destroy the social fabric of the country to do so.
“They smell blood in the water. They have a strong majority on the Supreme Court and a majority in the federal judiciary overall. Republicans imagine that with the aid of the aggressive campaign of disfranchisement they’re pursuing in forty-three states, they’ll take control of one or both houses of Congress next year. Mitch McConnell devised the playbook against the Obama presidency; with a Democrat in the White House, the GOP’s sole legislative agenda is obstruction, to make certain that no legislation passes, that no appointments are confirmed, to the extent of often enough forcing government shutdowns. Corporate media, punditry, and academics have obscured this Republican strategy with names implying a tit-for-tat perspective, like “partisan gridlock,” which, they lament, is causing Americans to lose patience with and trust in government.”
CNN: “As the United States-backed government in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban and US troops raced to leave the country, White supremacist and anti-government extremists have expressed admiration for what the Taliban accomplished, a worrying development for US officials who have been grappling with the threat of domestic violent extremism.
“That praise has also been coupled with a wave of anti-refugee sentiment from far-right groups, as the US and others rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan by the Biden administration’s August 31 deadline.
“Several concerning trends have emerged in recent weeks on online platforms commonly used by anti-government, White supremacist and other domestic violent extremist groups, including ‘framing the activities of the Taliban as a success,’ and a model for those who believe in the need for a civil war in the US, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, John Cohen, said on a call Friday with local and state law enforcement, obtained by CNN.”