The American republic is crumbling before us – and Democrats must share the blame

Stephan: 

Throughout the day I have watched different channels cover the Trump Republican Party convention. It is astonishing. Every person speaking at the convention does nothing but lie and spread misinformation. I have never seen anything like it. Meanwhile Biden is diagnosed with Covid and we have only 110 days until the election. And then there are the polls. If you haven’t realized that our democracy hangs by a fraying thread, now is the time to wake up. This election is not about political partisanship. It is about democracy vs Project 2025.

A memorial sign near the site of the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, Butler, Pennsylvania, 16 July 2024. 
Credit: Carlos Osorio / Reuters

Has the US entered its late Soviet phase? The country is a gerontocracy led by ailing leaders and with a crisis of confidence in its dominant ideology; it is a flailing superpower suffering foreign humiliation (not least in Afghanistan); and its economic system struggles to meet the needs of many of its people. The similarities are a little uncanny.

There are, of course, clear differences too. The US is a democracy, albeit one severely compromised by wealthy vested interests and concerted rightwing efforts to weaken voting rights, and it is a racially diverse union of states, rather than an unstable federation of nations. But, crucially, if Joe Biden is a Leonid Brezhnev or one of his two short-lived elderly successors, then Donald Trump is no Mikhail Gorbachev: he is more of an American Vladimir Putin.

The attempted assassination of Trump marks a further descent into the darkness. Earlier this year, a poll found that more than a third of Americans believe civil […]

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Almost two-thirds of Democrats want Biden to step down, poll finds

Stephan: 

I think Biden should announce his retirement. He would leave and history would see him as perhaps the most successful President since Franklin Roosevelt. If he stays and loses I think history will revile him for for letting his ego and his family’s egos put himself above his nation’s best interests. If he stays and wins it will be seen as one of the greatest upset wins in American history. We are going to know how this turns out in 110 days.

President Joe Biden at the White House. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

A whopping 65% of Democrats believe President Biden should withdraw from the 2024 presidential race and let the party pick a different nominee, according to an AP-Norc poll out Wednesday.

Why it matters: The findings add more evidence to the damage done by Biden’s disastrous debate performance last month, which highlighted longstanding concerns about his age and fitness for office.

  • The results based on a survey of 1,253 adults also fly in the face of Biden’s own claim that the “average voter” wants him to stay in the race.

The big picture: Overall, 70% of U.S. voters want Biden to withdraw from the 2024 race, while only 57% want to see former President Trump withdraw.

  • However, Trump enjoys high support from within his own party. Only 26% of Republicans think he should exit the race and let the GOP pick a different candidate, while 73% of Republicans want him to keep running.
  • Only 35% […]
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10 facts about Republicans in the U.S.

Stephan: 

The MAGAt Party: overwhelmingly White, less educated, frightened by immigration, incapable of understanding economics, and hostile to those who don’t think as they do, or look as they do. We are two countries in a single nation.

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing how Republican voter demographics compare with those of voters overall.

As Republicans prepare to open their national convention in Milwaukee and renominate Donald Trump for president, here are some key facts about the roughly half of registered voters who identify with or lean toward the party, according to Pew Research Center data.

How we did this

Republican voters are overwhelmingly White, though less so than in the past. About eight-in-ten Republican voters (79%) are non-Hispanic White, down from 93% nearly two decades ago. Still, Hispanic, Black and Asian voters together make up a much smaller share of Republican voters than Democratic voters (15% vs. 39%).

About two-thirds of Republican voters (64%) do not have a four-year college degree – modestly higher than the share among all U.S. voters (60%).

Overall, about half of Republican voters (51%) are White adults without a college degree, making them the single largest bloc within the party when looking at race, ethnicity and education together. By comparison, White adults without a college degree account for 38% of U.S. voters overall.

Republican voters are older than voters overall. About two-thirds of Republican voters (65%) are ages 50 and older, compared with 59% […]

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Trump’s Environmental Impact Endures, at Home and Around the World

Stephan: 

Criminal Trump tried to trash as many of the policies designed to protect us from the destruction of climate change as he could in order to serve the interests of the petroleum industry billionaires whose interests align with his. The damage was far greater than anyone knew, or few know today. Here is a good assessment of what he has done. If Trump and Vance, who is also a flunkey for the oil billionaires who along with Peter Thiel financed his election to the Senate, then you can be sure that there will be the same sabotage of any climate change preparation.

Former President Donald Trump dismantled the pillars of U.S. climate policy when he exited the Paris climate accord and rolled back more than 100 regulations to protect air, water, endangered species and human health.

But it’s clear, as he officially assumes his role as the Republican nominee and standard bearer this week, that he altered American environmental protection in even deeper and more longer-lasting ways. 

The United States returned to the Paris pact after Trump’s presidency, but he showed other populist leaders a way out of the global climate agreement, which is itself now unstable. While no other nation has as yet followed suit and walked away, pledges to cut carbon emissions—already inadequate, according to the scientific consensus—are weakening. Insurgent right-wing politicians in Europe have embraced the Trump doctrine, insisting that backing down from climate pledges can boost faltering economies.

President Joe Biden’s administration has reversed most of the regulatory rollbacks of his predecessor, but Trump left behind a conservative 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court that has already irrevocably changed environmental protection in America. The biggest shock came on June 28, when the court overturned a 40-year-old legal precedent that buttressed federal regulatory action. By dismissing the so-called “Chevron doctrine,” the court handed […]

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California needs a million EV charging stations — but that’s ‘unlikely’ and ‘unrealistic’

Stephan: 

Charging is the major obstacle to ending the carbon era. I have been telling you for several years now that the gas station model for EV charging isn’t going to work. The major roads need to be built to charge the vehicles that drive over them. Not every road, just the bigger ones. It will be cheaper and much easier to do.

Charging stations Credit: iStock

California will have to build public charging stations at an unprecedented — and some experts say unrealistic — pace to meet the needs of the 7 million electric cars expected on its roads in less than seven years.

The sheer scale of the buildout has alarmed many experts and lawmakers, who fear that the state won’t be prepared as Californians purchase more electric cars.

A million public chargers are needed in California by the end of 2030, according to the state’s projections — almost 10 times more than the number available to drivers in December. To meet that target, 129,000 new stations — more than seven times the current pace — must be built every year for the next seven years. Then the pace would have to accelerate again to reach a target of 2.1 million chargers in 2035.

A robust network of public chargers — akin to the state’s more than 8,000 gas stations — is essential to ensure that drivers will have the confidence to purchase electric vehicles over the next several years.

“It is very unlikely that we will hit our goals, and to be completely frank, the […]

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A Trump-owned company sells $299 sneakers with an image of his bloodied face after rally shooting

Stephan: 

There is simply no limit to criminal Trump’s sleaziness. Can you imagine Dwight Eisenhower, or Theodore Roosevelt, or any other Republican President as vulgar as this? I certainly can’t.

Criminal Trump will do anything to make money for himself. Credit: Trump Sneakers

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — A company is now selling $299 sneakers showing an image of Donald Trump with streaks of blood on his cheek and pumping his fist in the air after he was the target of an assassination attempt in Pennsylvania.

The white high tops are being sold as “FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT High-Tops” for $299 on a website that sells Trump-branded shoes that is run by CIC Ventures LLC, a company that Trump reported owning in his 2023 financial disclosure. The company says the new shoes are limited edition with only 5,000 pairs available and estimated to ship in September or October. It also said 10 pairs will be randomly autographed.

“These limited edition high-tops, featuring Trump’s iconic image with his fist raised, honor his unwavering determination and bravery,” it says. “With only 5,000 pairs available, each one is a true collector’s item. Show your support and patriotic pride with these exclusive sneakers, capturing a defining moment in history.”

CIC Ventures is the same company that debuted […]

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