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Showing posts with label William Rivers Pitt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Rivers Pitt. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

What A Legacy You Dumb Toad - The Only President In U.S. History to Be Impeached - Not Once, But TWICE ! - Historical Lowdown On McConnell From Juan Cole - Historian Tim Snyder On Democracy Now !

Of course we all know Trump will deny everything and claim it was Anti-Fa & BLM who created hell in the Capitol, not him and his innocent White Supremacists.  Doesn't matter, history has marked and noted - Trump's name is mud.

 I know, what many of us wanted was the invocation of Article 25 and it didn't happen, but here is the latest:

 

 ~ From The New York Times: 

And, let's hope and pray  that "...two thirds or more members present (in the Senate) vote to convict.  Trump is guilty.  Separate votes would be needed to prohibit Trump from receiving benefits given to ex-presidents and to bar him from future political office." 


The Trump Impeachment

 

 

 ~ From CNN: 

 

House Impeaches Trump For Role In Deadly Capitol Riot 

 

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:06 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021
 
 
~~~~~
 
Don't forget about the fact checks:
 
 ~ From CNN:
 
 
 Updated 5:43 PM ET, Wed January 13, 2021
 
~~~~~
 
Have to run, another litter of kittens showed up yesterday, what a disaster and  need to make dinner - Callendars' Chicken which is yummy on these cold nights although a bit fattening.  However, I have some excellent reports coming up on the ratboy McConnell & our amigo from Truthout. Until then....
 
Stay Safe Y'all.
 
~~~~~
 
Update/edit: About Ratboy McConnell that guy...I know what he said but he is so slick that with him, you never know what to believe :

 ~ From Informed Comment:

 
 
 
 
"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – In Chapter 7 of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the enormously wealthy Jay Gatsby becomes concerned about word getting out that he is having an affair with Daisy, who is married to Tom, and abruptly stops having the big parties he had been throwing, to which assorted society flotsam and jetsam had come, people he had barely known. Tom cheats on Daisy with Myrtle. Then Gatsby lets Daisy drive his car and she accidentally runs over and kills Myrtle, her husband’s mistress. By chapter 9 Tom, wrongly convinced that Gatsby had struck and killed with his car Tom’s own mistress, murdered the millionaire in his pool. Virtually no one comes to his funeral.

Gatsby was always fated to be a parable for the Trump presidency. I think we’re now at that point in the story where nobody is coming to his parties any more and his paramour (the militias) has run over her rival (Congress).

Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos at the NYT got the scoop that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is done with Donald Trump, furious at him, and pleased that the Democrats are impeaching him. He is clearly releasing Republicans in Congress to vote to impeach, as well, if that is what they want.

The immediate trigger for this epochal blow-up between the two GOP leaders is Trump’s having sicced the white supremacists and Nazis on McConnell and other congressional representatives and senators on 1/6 (the date of the Capitol Insurrection), endangering their lives.

Trump has been siccing supremacists and Nazis on people for four years, however, and McConnell never batted an eyelash.

When ICE agents were tearing babies out of their mothers’ arms, Mitch wasn’t breaking with Trump over that.

In fact, for all of the last four years McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao has been Trump’s secretary of transportation. She initially did not divest from her investments in road building materials, and she is alleged to have pursued policies at Transportation that would benefit her family’s Chinese shipping business.

She came home from the office stinking of Trump after having been at cabinet meetings with him where he went on white supremacist rants (which must have offended her). But the McConnell-Chao gravy train did not stop running for an instant.

McConnell was never a Trumpist, but he was perfectly willing to use Trump to get what he wanted. McConnell is a servant of the billionaire class and the big corporations. He does not actually represent Kentucky so much as he represents Charles Koch and others in the Fortune 500. His job was to bend the Senate and thus the country to the will of the plutocrats, and say what you like about him, he was very good at his job.

McConnell wanted the massive tax cut on the superwealthy, which he got in 2017.

He wanted to install a steady stream of deeply conservative and youngish federal judges, some of them obviously unqualified, so as to ensure the GOP control of the Federal judiciary for decades. McConnell had shot down Obama’s nominees for Federal circuit judges and refused to allow vacancies to be filled. He then filled all the vacancies. McConnell’s 200 judicial appointments were 85 percent white and 75 percent male. This wasn’t a judicial approval process, it was a fourth “Back to the Future Movie” where he transported us all to 1955. A third of all federal circuit court judges were appointed by Trump, and not one is Black, even though their decisions will dictate the parameters of the lives of the some 43 million African-Americans. That’s like conspiring to ensure that Spain (pop. 46.9 mn.) had no Spanish judges.

McConnell wanted a Republican-controlled Supreme Court that would help corporations further de-unionize American workers and would strike down government regulation, including environmental regulation, as well as supporting the GOP campaign of voter suppression waged against minorities and the less well-off. Again, mission accomplished.

But Trump went to Georgia and told his initiates that the election was rigged and they could not expect justice, which likely depressed the vote as his base did not come out in the numbers the GOP needed. Why should they bother to vote in a corrupt election where, he told them, Dominion voting machines would just erase their vote (they wouldn’t).

By his crazy conspiracy theories and insistence that he won a second term (he didn’t), Trump handed the senate to the Democrats for at least two years (and very possibly for many more) and demoted Mitch from Master of the Universe to bored little boy whose teacher is making him sit in the corner and not breathe a word.

Then on top of that Trump sent Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and that guy with the horns and face paint to kidnap or kill McConnell and his colleagues.

McConnell’s goal (and that of Charles Koch and his other billionaire donors) is to take back the House and the Senate in 2022 and emasculate Biden the way he stopped Obama from accomplishing almost anything. Then he wants back the White House in 2024.

Trump had taken over the Republican Party and clearly intended to run in 2024, though. Since Trump is so popular among the Republican base, with a majority supporting the Capitol Insurrection, there will be no peace in the party for the next few years if Trump remains viable. He can prevent Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and other would-be presidential contenders from plausibly getting in the ring and from attracting the big campaign money from donors. Why bet against Trump when he has a lock?

But Trump has already demonstrated that he is too dysfunctional to win a second term, whether in 2020 or 2024, which may mean the Republicans are facing long years in the wilderness. Trump could even make them so unpopular with his Mussolini schitck that the suburbs are spooked again in 2022 and the GOP can’t get back the House.

The Democrats in the meantime can undo the 2017 tax cut, can start filling the federal judgeships of retiring GOP appointees, replacing them with Democrats, and can perhaps convince Breyer to retire so as to avoid losing another SCOTUS seat. They can also back wind and solar and electric vehicles, effectively destroying the oil empire of Charles Koch and other big donors to the GOP over the next decade.

Trump was extremely useful to McConnell for four years, and McConnell swallowed the extreme right white supremacy promotion for all that time, because thereby he could serve the billionaire class.

Now, Trump is extremely inconvenient. It isn’t just about 1/6, though that is part of it. McConnell and his backers are far, far better off with Trump politically destroyed, now that he has outlived his usefulness.

Tom is coming for Gatsby as we speak."

——-

Bonus Video:

CNN: “McConnell believes impeachment push will help rid GOP of Trump” 

 

Question: Wasn't Chao's father a Chinese shipping magnate who some accuse of being involved in the Drug Trade?  Or, was that just a rumor ??

 

~~~~~ 

 

Mark his advise:

 ~ From Truthout:

 

GOP Is In Turmoil But we Shouldn't Underestimate Ongoing threat Of The Right 

end edit.

  

 
 
Maybe it's too early for this one, still... in anticipation of the complete Trump exile: 
  

day of

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Speaking Of "The Stimulus Bill"...What Exactly Is Trump's Motive ? - Trump's Absolute Shameful Pardons of Murderers (The Blackwater 4) and Criminals - Mr. Chris Cuomo

I won't be able to get over here tomorrow, I'm baking all day.  But we should have known after listening today to Biden blast Trump over the Russian Hack (and "blast " is being too kind, I should have said he fuc*in blasted Trump) and promised the people of the U.S. that the present standing Stimulus Bill was really just a down payment and that more help was on the way after his official swearing in that Trump would finally implode like a ten ton balloon..  Just remember, the Democrats always wanted two grand from the get go  and the GOP refused to let them have it.

So, was it all just a plot ? Was the GOP already aware of what Trump was going pull and simply stringing the Democrats along ?

Here's the scoop and am adding the Cuomo review from earlier this evening - wanted to get the entire interview he had with Sam Donaldson but couldn't find it; and of course more words of wisdom from William Rivers Pitt.

  ~~~~~

 

 ~ From The Washington Post via MSN: (with videos on the link)

Trump Calls On Congress To Approve $2,000 Stimulus Checks Hinting He Might Not Sign Relief Bill Without Changes 

 

 

~~~~~

 

Stay Safe Y'all !

Saturday, December 5, 2020

What's Up With The Coup - UPDATE: We're going to Miss You Mario - Kitten Update - Georgia Runoffs Are A Nail Biter - Shields and Brooks On the Damage Done By Trump's Claims of Election Fraud 12/04/20 (Muy Importante)

My eye is doing okay, now I just have to put three drops of prednisone in every day and I have to admit it is really nice to be able to finally see; they will work on the other in the new year. Also, the cortisone shot along with the curcumin is lasting this time around, so I'm doing small amounts of Chrismas things and cleaning just a lot slower then normal.  Mike still cannot do very much, no way can he put up lights or bring down boxes, so we're going to scale down the Christmas decorations quite a bit.

We have been lucky so far, no electricity outages or water cut offs due to the high winds and no fires here at SADM, although several homes were lost in Tijuana.  More high winds are predicted for next week but zeta is saying they won't be as harsh. we did have a bad hot H20 leak under the house which sort of drained the propane tank to boot, but we do have the best plumber in Rosarito whose guys fixed everything in a snap. I forgot to mention the shark vacuum cleaner stopped working - only after usin it like six times.they say things happen in threes.....

 Totsie had her stitches out and Rubio had his rabies shot - I'll try to get their pics over here. Meanwhile however, the crazy news is that prior to Mike's surgery we had two litters of kittens in the back - one from here and one from next door. The plan was to feed and trap them, take them in to be spade & shots then release them. Unfortunately, Mike could not and still cannot lift the traps up to put in the cars. So, now we have at least six additional young adult cats who are still feral but conditioned to being fed.  Eventually we are going to have to trap them and take them in to Dr. Silva's but I can't just release them, even though they are feral they like their kitty food. And they eat like horses (they probably have worms). Late at night I've been cooking up ground beef for them and of course, they are drinking organic milk. We opened it up so they could come out of the rain and winds, but only downstairs. Cat house? Yikes ! 

 Baja California is back to being in the "semi-red zone" as far as the CORONA virus and the situation is grim. Local reports here; so far I'm undecided if I will return to the drug war, conditions are dangerous, uncertain, unstable and  dicey, I'd say more than back in 2007.

UPDATE: You might have known Mario & Peg. I remember years and years ago I was staining some maple chairs in the garage and Peg jaunted by and said, "I love antiques!" She was a great gal. At the time, we were fighting the over the limit view blocking decks. She told me that several years prior to our experience, she also was fighting view blocking construction. The builder told her to "...shut up and stop whining." "That is how they are here", she told me.  Peg is now in Anaheim living with her daughter.

Mario we just found out this morning, died from COVID last Thursday. This was a total shock. He would always let Paris run in his yard and always had a treat for her. He will be missed a lot. If only he would have worn a mask and gloves and practiced protocols. 


~~~~~




 

So what's up with the "coup" ?  I read this a couple of days ago, it will blow your mind:

   ~ From the Salon via MSN News:

Recently Pardoned Michael Flynn Calls On Trump To "Suspend the Constitution" and Re-Do The Election 

By, Roger Sollenberger - 2 days ago

 

"One week after receiving a historically broad pardon from President Donald Trump, former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday endorsed demands for his former boss to "temporarily suspend the Constitution" and declare martial law, warning that "a shooting war is imminent" without a re-do of the federal election.

Flynn's Twitter account shared a press release from a Tea Party-affiliated organization called the We the People Convention (WTPC), calling for the outgoing president to invoke martial law "to allow the U.S. Military to oversee a new free and fair federal election" if state legislatures, courts and congress do not overturn his defeat.

The press release promotes the group's recent full-page ad in the conservative-leaning Washington Times, and it compares the context surrounding Abraham Lincoln's executive actions during the Civil War to "the literal civil war that is dividing our nation today."

"Today, the current threat to our United States by the international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history — including the civil war," the statement says, citing violence from "antifa" and Black Lives Matter.

The group warns that "a shooting war is imminent" if Trump does not stop "socialists" from "stealing" the election: "Failure to do so could result in massive violence and destruction on a level not seen since the Civil War."

The statement concludes, "We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us."

Earlier that day, Trump's Attorney General William Barr acknowledged that federal investigators had not found evidence of fraud which could change the outcome of the election. Federal and state courts have so far ruled against the Trump campaign and GOP allies in every lawsuit alleging voter fraud that the attorneys have not withdrawn themselves — though the president's legal team still holds out hope for appeals.

The same day that Flynn shared the statement, Sidney Powell, the red-pilled chief attorney for his former defense team, promoted calls for Trump to "set up military tribunals" to investigate the election.

Powell recently led a short life as a member of Trump's "elite strike-force" legal team challenging the election results before she was sidelined after repeatedly pushing fringe conspiracy theories in a televised press conference and media interviews.

In August, Powell met with the president and other advisers at the White House, where she advised him not to pardon her client, who had been seeking to overturn his 2017 guilty plea for lying to the FBI about backchannel contacts with the Russian government ahead of Trump's inauguration.

Last week, Trump issued Flynn a "full and unconditional pardon," which extended beyond Flynn's plea to "any and all possible offenses" that might arise in connection to his case, as well as "any and all" possible future offenses related to the Mueller investigation "in any manner" — including grand jury proceedings.

In addition to the Russia-related charges, Flynn faced possible criminal liability for failing to register as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of the Turkish government during the 2016 election — when he was the Trump campaign's top national security adviser.

The pardon, which heads off possible future charges, appears to be one of the broadest in U.S. history, perhaps surpassing even former President Gerald Ford's preemptive pardon of former President Richard Nixon.

However, recent reports indicate that Trump discussed a pardon with Rudy Giuliani, the current top attorney of his campaign's dwindling legal team and the former face of identity theft protection company LifeLock, which could be even more broad."

Roger Sollenberger

Roger Sollenberger is a staff writer at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @SollenbergerRC.

MORE FROM Roger SollenbergerFOLLOW SollenbergerRC

 

 



 

 Since that initial report, more information:

  ~ From Informed Comment with video on the link:

Communists Were Jailed For Less: Trumpies Call for Overthrow Of US Constitution 

 "Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Caitlin Dickson at Yahoo News reports that Trump supporters and Tea Partiers have begun calling for a suspension of the US constitution to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.

The only way to parse “suspension” of the constitution is its temporary overthrow. Moreover, they are calling for the use of force (“martial law”) toward that aim. They are also using diction such as the threat of civil war. Since nobody but them is talking about civil war, I take it they are envisioning firing off the AR-15s they have stockpiled.

Should they go to jail?

Other people did, for much less. Jessie DeLauder explains that in 1952 seven Seattle citizens were abruptly arrested by the FBI and charged not only with being members of the Communist Party but of therefore seeking to overthrow the constitution of the United States. They were charged under the 1940 Smith Act, passed in the shadow of WW II, which threatened with condign punishment those who

    “knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise or teach the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence, or for anyone to organize any association which teaches, advises or encourages such an overthrow, or for anyone to become a member of or to affiliate with any such association.”

Among the seven, DeLauder says, “Karley Larsen had, for seventeen consecutive years, held the position of the first vice-president of the International Woodworkers Union of Western Washington.” She was arrested at a union meeting in Oregon. Paul Bowen, an African-American veteran, trade unionist and civil rights activist, was arrested just outside Seattle.

As the seven went blue in the face asserting to the judge, they did not in fact advocate the violent overthrow of the US constitution, just because they belonged to the Communist Party.

They were nevertheless convicted, fined and sentenced to five years in jail for thought crimes. One committed suicide. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the convictions.

Given this success, The FBI went on an arrest spree, bringing cases all over the country. Only in 1957 did the Supreme Court finally return to its senses and rule that you can’t be imprisoned for your thoughts, only for your actions.

The Smith Act is still on the books, and I don’t think anyone who believes in human rights would ever want to see it deployed again. It should be repealed. Who knows, our present Supreme Court may be as conservative as the one who upheld the conviction of prisoners of conscience.

But, I’m just saying that there is a double standard in the United States. The far right literally gets away with murder, and no one is talking about locking up the Trump crazies for demanding the overthrow of the US constitution. If they called themselves socialists or if they weren’t white, though, they might well have started being investigated by now."

~~~~~~~

The Georgia Runoffs:

 Here is the best lowdown:

 

 ~ From Truthout :

 Trump Is Headed To Georgia To "Help" With the Runoffs. The GOP Is Terrified 

 

 

 "I f you can, carve out some time on Saturday to watch the doings in Georgia. A whole barnload of Trump chickens are winging their way home. If they roost just right, Mitch McConnell could lose majority control of the Senate in January, and he and his brigade of calculating Republican lickspittles will only have themselves to blame.

It is, of course, a long shot. Incumbent GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are locked in a dual runoff in Georgia against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The vote is slated for January 5. Thanks to a monumental grassroots effort by progressive activists like Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s presidential vote flipped to the Democrats for the first time since Bill Clinton pulled it off in 1992. Now all of that energy is focused on these runoffs, and the state has become a fulcrum point at a moment freighted with COVID, climate crisis and economic calamity.

Democrats have not fared well in Georgia runoffs over the years. Adding to the challenge, they must win both contests in order to flip control of the Senate. The stakes are enormous; with a friendly House and Senate, Joe Biden could embark upon a truly ambitious slate of policies and clean the Augean stables of the Trumpian filth that has piled up over the last four years. It would be a catastrophic rebuke to Trump, McConnell and the entire GOP to lose these seats, and more importantly, to lose control of the ruinous agenda McConnell has pursued with venomous efficiency for almost 15 years.

In an irony so luxurious I want to roll in it like a dog, Republicans are becoming increasingly terrified that they will lose those seats, and all because of Donald Trump. The soon-to-be ex-president has handled his loss to Biden about as well as a spoiled child who got nothing but broccoli for Christmas — the tree is on fire, the bulbs are all smashed and the screaming just will not stop.

At the core of Trump’s ceaseless tirade is the repeatedly debunked claim that the entire election was rigged against him by a network of conspirators that includes (no really) Bill Barr’s FBI and Justice Department, the Republican governor of Georgia, the nation of Germany and the ghost of Hugo Chavez. He and his people have been so adamant and persistent in promoting this bag of nonsense that swaths of his devoted supporters have come to embrace these theories, if you’ll pardon the sacrilege, as the gospel truth.

But wait: It gets better. A goodly portion of that devoted base, after taking to heart Trump’s claims of a rigged vote, have decided Perdue and Loeffler have been less than devoted to the cause of flipping the election away from Biden, and may actually be complicit in Trump’s defeat. Since they already believe the vote in Georgia is clearly rigged anyway (see: Dem flip back in November), members of Trump’s base are actively calling for a conservative voter boycott of the January 5 runoff.

“Driven by Trump’s insistence that Georgia’s elections are indelibly rife with fraud, conspiratorial MAGA figures are calling for a boycott of the two Senate runoff races, slated for Jan. 5, that will determine which party controls the upper chamber,” reports Politico. “Their reason: The two GOP candidates, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, are not only insufficiently pro-Trump, they may be complicit in Georgia’s electoral fraud.”

Over the last several days, Trump has done zero favors for his fellow Republicans in the matter of Georgia. He denounced Georgia’s uber-Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for being “hapless” after Kemp followed the law to the letter and certified Biden’s victory in that state. Trump labeled Georgia’s uber-Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger an “enemy of the people,” and now Raffensperger has bodyguards.

… and now, Trump is slated to visit Georgia on Saturday so he can “help” his fellow Republicans in these runoffs. What will he say when he meets with Kemp and Raffensperger? When confronted by one of his beloved adulation mobs containing supporters who want to boycott the vote in January, will Trump be able to restrain himself? Or will he, overtly or otherwise, bless their endeavors to avoid saying anything that disrupts his ersatz narrative of total victory?

There’s a real possibility that Trump the arsonist could once again go for the kerosene and the matches, if only to hear the cheers as the flames burn his party to the ground. Any network coverage of his visit there this weekend is appointment television.

“The Trump wing of the Republican Party was always at risk of detaching from the party establishment,” notes The Washington Post. “Trump is such a singular figure in U.S. politics, few if any can emulate him. He’s just willing to say things that get certain voters riled up that other politicians won’t. That’s the crux of the problem Georgia Republicans face.”

It’s not just the Georgia Republicans, either. Trump’s defeat has broken the GOP in half, with one side represented by Trump, his base, and all the shabby Republicans too afraid to cross them. On the other side are McConnell and his cohort of establishment Republicans who watch now with growing dread as the beast they created, coddled and fed now threatens to lay waste to all their works.

This civil war is also playing out in the conservative media. One of Trump’s most visited targets of late has been Fox News, a network that hauled a Pacific Ocean of water for Trump over the years. Fox inspired Trump’s undying wrath when it put Arizona in Biden’s corner on election night. The network since has, very slowly, come to acknowledge Biden’s eventual presidency.

The Trump believers have taken his cue and shunned Fox News by massive numbers, flocking instead to far-right fringe networks like One America News and Newsmax TV, where Trump’s version of election reality is promoted with inspired vigor. After all, there’s money to be made off of people who will believe anything.

Fear of the ultimate consequences from this deliberately inflicted mayhem was given voice by yet another Georgia official. Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager for the state of Georgia, begged Trump and his people to stop tearing up the landscape before someone truly and irrevocably gets hurt. “This has to stop,” Sterling said on Tuesday. “Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed. And it’s not right. It’s not right.”

There is no way to say how this will all play out, and betting odds still favor the GOP to win at least one of those Georgia runoffs. Trump will make that easier or harder on Saturday. I will say this much, however: If Trump’s poor-loser shenanigans lead to a double-barreled GOP defeat in Georgia, all forms of hell are going to break loose within that party.

In the interim, the next time you see a “Dems in Disarray” news report because progressive House members have a legitimate beef with Biden’s cabinet appointments, do what I do: Look to the mayhem on the right side of the aisle, smile and shake your head. “Disarray,” clearly, is also in the eye of the beholder."

 ~~~~~ 

Stay Safe Y'all.  I'll be back later this evening with more fact checks.

Shields and Brooks on the damage done by Trump’s claims of election fraud

  

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

From the Atlantic: What Trump Could Do Next - Will Melania Get A Backdoor Man ?! - Wow ! - From Foreign Policy: Reaction From Overseas To Trump's Call To Stop The Vote Count - The State Of America: What The Election Results Say About That From Jonathan Tepperman and William Rivers Pitt !!

Hmmmm...other than beat his fists on the desk; watch out Melania, even though you lied your ass off for your sweetie on the campaign trail, he could even possibly throw you through the window out onto your bungled Rose Garden project...you can always get a backdoor man honey...


~~~~~


 ~ From The Atlantic:

 

November 4, 2020


November 4, 2020 

Caroline Mimbs Nyce Senior associate editor

 

" The margins are razor thin, and the president has falsely claimed victory. If the result doesn’t go his way, will Donald Trump concede the election? A Q&A With Barton Gellman (Elias Klingén) This election is close. Paths to victory remain for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And yet the president is already casting doubt on the results.

 

 We caught up with Barton Gellman, who warned earlier this year that this election could break down into chaos, to discuss how messy things could get in the coming days. The conversation that follows has been edited and condensed.

 

 Caroline Mimbs Nyce: You predicted that Donald Trump would not concede this election, no matter the outcome. His speech and tweets early this morning suggest that you could be right. What will it mean if he doesn't? 

 

 Barton Gellman: It’s not quite time for a concession speech, because the first vote count is still under way. What Trump is doing now is making spurious claims of victory and fabricating claims of fraud. There is nothing abnormal about counting votes until the count is done, and I expect the extended count to favor Biden. If Trump refuses to concede when the count is complete, he can throw sand in the gears with litigation and rouse his supporters into the streets. I expect things to get much worse before they get better. 

 

Caroline: In the worst-case scenario, could Trump use force to retain his power if he loses the Electoral College?

 

 Bart: Trump is talking like a dictator, but he doesn’t have the muscle to act like one—not completely. He did not send troops or law-enforcement agents to take control of the ballots, and if he had tried they probably would have balked. But if Attorney General Bill Barr throws the weight of the Justice Department behind Trump’s false claims, he can write a legal document that orders the federal government to treat Trump as president-elect. Trump could try to issue an executive order to the same effect. Whether government agencies would go along with orders like that, which are ordinarily binding but would be transparently unlawful now, remains to be seen. 

 

 Caroline: Should this contest devolve into a court battle, can you give us a quick preview of what to expect? 

 

 Bart: There is no precedent for litigation that tries to prevent an ordinary, orderly account of ballots cast. But good lawyers are paid to find ambiguity where none has been detected before. The Trump campaign will look for any technical flaw in the procedures or in the mail ballots yet to be counted. The Supreme Court conservatives have signaled that they may give primacy to the exact words of state statutes, and Trump will look for interpretations of those that conflict with the current practices of election authorities. 

 

 Caroline: How might team Biden respond?

 

 Bart: The Biden team has the easier task in court: to defend a normal vote count that is proceeding normally. Biden’s lawyers have gamed out every argument they can imagine Trump making, and have pre-drafted legal responses. 

Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel who is helping lead Biden’s legal team, said that Trump is heading for one of the most embarrassing defeats ever suffered by an American president if this election reaches the Supreme Court.

 

 Caroline: What's your best advice to Americans right now? 

 

 Bart: Take a deep breath, be very cautious about believing sensational reports on social media, and insist that our democracy follow normal procedures. We count every vote, always have, and the election is not over until that happens.

 

 More reading from our reporters: The nightmare is here, David A. Graham wrote early this morning. If public-opinion data are unreliable, American democracy is flying blind, he argues. The president confirmed the world's fears, our staff writer Tom McTague writes from London. "

 

 ~~~~~

 

 ~  From Foreign Policy: Check out the sidebar on the link !

 

How The World Is Covering Trump's Premature Victory Lap 

 

The election has been called an “attack on the nerves”—and Trump’s statements have been dubbed an “attempted coup.”

 

 "U.S. President Donald Trump, in his campaign event at the White House in the early hours of Wednesday morning, sought to freeze the U.S. election in its tracks, declaring the counting of ballots to be “fraud.” As the ongoing vote count enters its second day, many Americans have their bleary eyes glued to Electoral College maps, where the race is neck and neck, with key battleground states like Pennsylvania not likely to have full returns until Friday. But as it turns out, international readers are also glued to the refresh button. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the morning’s leading headlines from newspapers and magazines around the world.

United Kingdom: Although the Times of London didn’t evaluate Trump’s claims in a headline on Wednesday morning—“Trump claims victory and demands end to vote count”—the paper clarified in the article that the race is “still wide open” in key states. The claims, the Times’ U.S. editor and Washington correspondent reported, amounted to a “baseless allegation.” Meanwhile, the front page of the tabloid Daily Mail, Britain’s highest-circulation paper, juxtaposed Biden’s growing lead in Michigan and Wisconsin with Trump’s unfounded allegations of “surprise ballot dumps.”

Ireland: “Fintan O’Toole: At 2.23am today, the US president launched an attempted coup,” reads the front page of the Irish Times. O’Toole, a columnist at the paper, wrote that “Close to half of Americans voted for him in the full knowledge that he was going to do it.” The irony of this, given incoming election results, is that Trump “behaved like an autocrat even when it was quite possible that he could still win by being a democrat,” O’Toole wrote. Elsewhere in the paper, the Washington correspondent reported that despite Trump’s claims of victory and fraud, the election is “too close to call.”

Germany: The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel prefaced its coverage of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election—which it called “an attack on the nerves” —with two caveats. First, the contest’s results won’t be clear for a while. Second, and perhaps more jarring for a readership that gives Trump low marks, Spiegel reported that more U.S. voters have already cast their ballots for the Republican nominee than four years ago. The magazine added that this trend follows an overall uptick in voter turnout, conceding that “at least that is good news.” 

By contrast, the Bild tabloid—Germany’s most widely read publication—went the clickbait route, quoting Trump’s unfounded claim that his lead “magically disappeared” and describing the election as a “thriller.” It also pasted a photo of the controversial new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to its homepage, with an all-caps title asking, “WILL SHE DECIDE THE ELECTION FOR TRUMP?”

France: “Donald Trump and Joe Biden neck and neck, the United States is tearing itself apart,” read the front page of Le Monde on Wednesday morning. The paper’s correspondent in Washington, favoring straightforward analysis, wrote that the race saw “echoes” of 2016, with the country’s fate resting on a handful of states. The main difference from four years ago, Le Monde reported, is the delay in the vote count. 

Spain: El País, read widely throughout the Spanish-speaking world, declared that the United States is facing an “institutional crisis” on its front page. The paper’s lead election story focuses primarily on Trump’s accusations of fraud and assertions that he won, even though key swing states are still counting votes. “Election night has entered the most-feared scenario,” the early morning Wednesday story begins, quoting Trump at length throughout.

Lebanon: On the morning after the U.S. presidential election, Lebanon’s Daily Star said, “the rest of the world was none the wiser.” The paper referenced Trump’s “pre-emptive declaration of victory” overnight, citing civil rights groups that view the move as “trampling of long-standing democratic norms.” After reviewing international leaders’ mixed reactions to the too-close-to-call election, the Star rehashed Bush v. Gore, referencing Trump’s promises to bring the 2020 election before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Japan: As the presidential contest narrows, the English-language Japan Times notes that the U.S.-Japan relationship hangs in the balance—with the Japanese government yet to comment on the election. In Japan, concerns are rising that the “political crisis” in the United States sends a message of uncertainty to its allies. The results of the election are likely to shape new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s first visit to the United States as Japan’s leader, the paper reports. 

Singapore: “Too close to call, Biden bats away Trump victory claim,” reads the front page of the Straits Times, Singapore’s major English-language daily, which also points to the president’s lack of evidence of any fraud despite his late-night press conference. The paper’s U.S. correspondent notes the potential for online misinformation in the days ahead as Biden calls for patience with counting mail ballots. 

Australia: The Sydney Morning Herald’s North America correspondent called Trump’s premature declaration of victory a “dark, disturbing moment in American history” in a dispatch from Washington, raising concerns about potential unrest and the integrity of U.S. democratic institutions over the next few days. “A nation with widespread gun ownership, a polarised population, tribal media outlets and a reckless president has to muddle its way through as all the votes are counted,” he reports.

Chloe Hadavas is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @Hadavas

Audrey Wilson is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @audreybwilson

Allison Meakem is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @allisonmeakem

 

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Well, there's more, and these issues are what face us now.  

 ~ From Foreign Policy - with many more outstanding reports on the sidebar. Click the link !

Even If Biden Wins, It's Trump's America Now

Many thought 2016 was a fluke. That’s impossible to argue now.

"Whoever ends up winning the U.S. election—an answer we may get tonight, or not for weeks if some state results get bogged down in litigation—one of the most important takeaways from the race is that it was so close. Far from the landslide that polls seemed to predict, it’s come down to a nail-biter.

The big question now is what these results mean for the country. Pundits have tried to explain away President Donald Trump’s show of strength by pointing to lockdown fatigue or voters’ appreciation for his perceived success on the economy—at least until the pandemic came along and cratered it.

But these rationalizations don’t tell the whole story. Most important, they don’t account for the fact that, whoever ultimately wins the White House, nearly half of all U.S. voters endorsed a white-nationalist serial liar who has spectacularly botched the most serious health crisis in a century. They also knowingly ignored, or willingly embraced, Trump’s flagrant cruelty and sexism, his lack of curiosity or knowledge about the government and the world, his disdain for traditional U.S. values such as fair play and the rule of law, and his eagerness to tear down the institutions of governance at home and abroad—institutions that, while flawed, have provided much peace and prosperity over the years. Back in 2016, some Republicans voted for Trump because they didn’t know much about him, or because they hoped that the responsibilities of the office would transform him into a statesman. No one can make that argument today. We all now know exactly who Trump is.

When you factor in the facts that Trump has won more votes this time than in 2016, that he improved his standing among Latino and Black voters, and that the Republican Party may well hold the Senate, you’re left with one conclusion: 2016 was no fluke. Whoever wins this one, we’re all living in Trump’s America now.

Why do I say that? For starters, Trump and his party’s show of strength means that win or lose, Trump isn’t going away and the GOP won’t abandon him after all. Before the election, the end of Trumpism seemed like a sure thing. More and more Republicans were arguing, quietly, that the party needed reform and that four more years of Trump would doom them all. Even stalwart supporters such as Sen. John Cornyn were starting to edge away from the president. Now that Trump, and those supporters, have done so well, it’s hard to imagine many Republicans giving up on Trump or Trumpism anytime soon.

With his party and close to half the public behind him, an empowered Trump—whether as president, opposition leader, or freelance tweeter and media star—will continue to draw huge levels of attention and support, which he’ll use to hector and undermine Democrats and to push the same peevish, counterfactual, us-versus-the-experts-and-everybody-else message that he has for the past four years. Republican “Never Trumpers”—former GOP officials dedicated to process, competent governance, the importance of institutions, and at least some basic form of national unity—will remain marginalized or will leave the party altogether.

The results will be dire. Should the GOP win the White House, or lose it but hold the Senate, the policy paralysis of the past four years will continue—or even worsen. And things may not be much better under former Vice President Joe Biden. Even presidents who control Congress rarely get more than one or two big things done before their first midterm election, when they often lose legislative support. It’s hard to imagine that a President Biden, should he earn that title, will get even that far unless he manages to eke out a Senate victory (which, as of this writing, seems unlikely).

That’s a recipe for big trouble ahead. While Biden may seek to change the tone in Washington, the years of Barack Obama’s presidency showed that despite Biden’s lifelong dedication to bipartisanship, so long as Republicans remain the party of no, the chances of achieving it are close to zero. Under a divided government, we’re likely to see more inaction on huge problems such as the pandemic (though Biden could make some improvements using his executive authority) and the economy (where he can’t do much without Congress). Should Biden fail to pass major pandemic relief and other government spending, markets will flounder and financial instability will increase. Without coordinated action by all branches of the U.S. government, the pandemic will get much worse.

Thus no matter who wins the White House, Trump’s America—a country that has now spurned its best chance to resoundingly repudiate him—will mean more self-perpetuating dysfunction. Rage at the failure of government to help, or Republicans’ rage at the government’s attempts to help (through restrictions meant to limit the spread of the virus) will only intensify the country’s already vicious polarization, further reducing the chances for bipartisan cooperation and possibly leading to violence.

Biden’s goal of healing the nation’s divisions and governing in a way that brings everyone together seems like a very tall order now. Obama’s attempts to do the same only fueled Republicans’ obstreperousness and drove a large share of the public into the dangerous fantasy land of birtherism and other conspiracy theories (some of which ultimately morphed into QAnon). Now that Trump’s approach, for all its ugliness, has received a dramatic embrace from nearly half the country, it’s hard to imagine a President Biden making things better enough to make a difference. And it’s impossible to imagine a President Trump even trying.

Jonathan Tepperman is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy.

  Twitter: @j_tepperman

 

~~~~~

 
 ~ From Truthout:


Trumpism Is Alive and Well - And It Won't Go Away Even If Trump Does

 

 

"The final results of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections remain unresolved this morning. Even absent an outcome, there are many in the U.S. and around the world who will call Tuesday’s closer-than-expected election a disaster, an abject national humiliation, and a punch in the throat to every medical professional who waded into Donald Trump’s pandemic wearing trash bags and masks dipped in Lysol so they could help save lives.

How very quickly we forget.

No, this is not 2016, when half the country voted “couch” instead of heading out to their polling places. In fact, one of the bright spots of the night is that turnout was the highest it has been in 120 years. Just under 67 percent, the country outperformed its turnout mark for the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon election. You can’t, and won’t, do much better than that these days.

And right there comes the nasty little turn. Many devoutly believed Trump needed to be thoroughly and unquestionably routed last night, and not just to avoid a protracted and messy legal battle that could wind up before a badly compromised Supreme Court. More than that, the hope for a full Trump routing last night was also a hope that the entire grotesquerie that is Trumpism itself might be torn down, burned and buried under salted earth before the watching eyes of the whole wide world.

Well, after a huge turnout, that did not happen. Instead, an election that many expected to be a Democratic “Blue Wave” has become a nip and tuck affair that has seen Democrats actually lose seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats still hold the majority in that chamber, but it is a slimmer one today, and the GOP minority will surely be emboldened after outstripping expectations. Dreams of a Democratic Senate majority are slowly but surely falling to dust.

Ah, yes. Expectations, otherwise known as “polls,” form an entire industry that has once again proven itself unequal to the task it claims expertise in. I’m not one to casually quote neoconservative fiends like John Podhoretz, but in this specific instance, he cuts it right down to the bone.

“Political polling is a fraud,” Podhoretz correctly declares. “It claims to measure something that, it is now unmistakably clear, cannot be accurately measured. Polling’s seductive promise is that it will take the guesswork out of understanding a complex and changing set of circumstances and replace that uncertainly with something that looks like science. But it’s less like the physics that helps us shoot rockets into space and more like the set of the spaceship on ‘Star Trek.’ It’s shiny. It has a lot of dials and lights. Things beep. But if you put it on the Cape Canaveral launchpad and lit it on fire, you would just burn to death.”

I pledge to you upon this day, November 4, 2020, that I will never again stain this page with numbers from a poll, and I apologize abjectly for having done so in the past. Polls are the Wonder Bread of political journalism; they help fatten articles and hit deadlines, but as far as valuable information goes, they have the caloric equivalent of gravel. Never again, you have my word.

The race at present is down to a white-knuckle clutch of seven states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona. The last of those, Arizona, was called late last night by Fox News in favor of Joe Biden, which motivated Trump to erupt in a frenzy of fraud accusations and authoritarian victory declarations that, impossibly but surely, stained this elaborate debacle even more deeply. “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he railed. “We want all voting to stop.”

The outstanding districts in those states are almost all urban centers that contain millions of uncounted votes. Tallying those ballots is what Trump wants stopped, and what will likely motivate him to bring this election to court if Biden eventually prevails. At the end of that path lies the Supreme Court, clearly what Trump is hoping for.

To be sure, there were a great many joyful victories recorded last night. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez obliterated their opponents to secure a second term for themselves, and Jamaal Bowman won the seat for New York’s 16th district. Sarah McBride won her race for Delaware state senate, making her the highest-ranking transgender official in government.

All small-time drug possession in Oregon has been decriminalized. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota legalized marijuana. Mississippi approved the removal of the Confederate banner from its state flag. Florida passed a $15 minimum wage. Nebraska and Utah passed measures closing the loophole that allowed slavery to continue for those convicted of a crime.

But Lindsey Graham still has a job, as does Mitch McConnell, and probably as majority leader to boot. The “Blue Wave” was transmogrified into lost ground in both the House and Senate, and if Biden wins this thing, it will be by a whisper-thin margin that can fully expect to spend the next couple of months in court. In any event, the counting goes on and it will probably be days before a final result is reached.

We will be spending a long time picking apart the details that led to last night, the missed clues and overstated chances. Was Joe Biden the best choice as a nominee, or just another in a seemingly endless line of doomed DNC Dembots straight out of central casting? Certainly, Biden has not lost yet, and may well prevail… but the moment begs a question: Would we be here if Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren were standing in Biden’s place? We will never know, and now we wait.

Two facts stand out: First, the urban/rural voter split is more pronounced than ever, and the urban voters are surprisingly evenly matched in numbers with their rural brethren. There is no blaming turnout this time, not after matching a 120-year-old high mark. We appear to be as evenly divided a nation as we’ve been hearing we are, and this newest nose count underscores the grim truth of it.

Second, and more importantly: Despite the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic and his ridiculous handling of the crisis, despite the shattered economy, the ceaseless bombast, the overt racism, all of it, Donald Trump remains popular enough to make a razor-thin contest out of what many (hand raised) expected would be a blowout. More people voted in this election than ever before in all our history, and at least half of them think Trump is worthy of a second term. Maybe more, if the deal goes down his way.

As election officials steadily process the ballots before them, I am processing the meaning of last night’s results. I gravely misunderstood the nature of my country coming into this contest, something I felt I’ve had a handle on for years. Nearly 66 million people surveyed the roiling, hateful, plague-raddled disaster zone the nation has become under Trump’s administration and decided he should have another four years to do more of the same.

It’s not over yet, but no matter the final outcome, this feels very much like a resounding setback, if not a defeat in its own right. Even if Biden wins, he would need a Democratic majority in the Senate in order to effectively govern. The ground was ripe for the Democrats to do much better last night, with the surrounding circumstances altogether vehement in their pressing relevance… and then, this.

It is going to be a very long week, again. Stout hearts."

 

~~~~~ 

 

It's scary.


 

Stay Tuned...and stay safe y'all...

 

  ~ From AP:


2020 Balance Of Power

 

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