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Why Such Desperation To Destroy Trump ? A Consensus Report Follows February 15th 2021
Bipartisan support grows for Capitol riot inquiry after Trump acquittal; Impeachment isn’t the final legal word for ex-president; Two impeachment trials, two escape hatches
After former President Donald Trump was acquitted in his historic second Senate impeachment trial, bipartisan support appeared to be growing for an independent Sept. 11-style commission into the deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol.
Investigations into the riot were already planned, with Senate hearings scheduled later this month in the Senate Rules Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré to lead an immediate review of the Capitol’s security process.
The Legal Ramifications: Trump’s acquittal may not be the final legal word on whether he’s to blame for the Capitol riot. The next step could be the courts. Trump is now a private citizen and is stripped of his protection from legal liability that the presidency gave him. The insurrection is just one of the legal cases shadowing Trump in the months after he was voted out of office. He also faces legal exposure in Georgia over an alleged pressure campaign on state election officials, and in Manhattan over hush-money payments and business deals, Colleen Long reports.
Two Impeachments: Trump’s first impeachment trial centered on a phone call that Americans never heard with the leader of a country far away, Ukraine. His second was far different. It centered on the rage, violence and anguish of one day in Washington itself. It happened in the very halls that were under attack by the Trump supporters he was accused of inciting. Nevertheless, the Senate acquitted him, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. Together the two impeachment trials Trump faced illustrated his ability to escape consequences for actions that even many Republicans denounced.
This time the case did not hang on a whistleblower in the bowels of the national security bureaucracy. This was an impeachment driven by what people saw happen and by Trump’s voluminous public rhetoric, heard that day, for weeks before, and after — until Twitter exiled him and he let his lawyers and supporters do the talking while the trial played out. Calvin Woodward’s sweeping piece for the ages is worthy of your time.
Analysis: The second Trump impeachment trial laid bare the deep imperfections in the Constitution’s only process for holding a president accountable for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The proceedings packed an emotional punch and served as history’s first accounting of the Jan. 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol. But the results were never really in doubt, AP Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace writes.
What’s Next for Trump? He’s preparing for the next phase of his post-presidency life, feeling emboldened by the trial’s outcome and expected to reemerge from a self-imposed hibernation. And he’s eyeing ways to reassert his power. Trump remains popular among the GOP base, but many Republicans in Washington have cooled to him. After being barred from Twitter, he lacks the social media bullhorn that fueled his political rise. And he’s confronting a Republican Party deeply divided over the legacy of his jarring final days in office, Jill Colvin reports.
GOP Future: If one thing was crystal clear after events unfolded in the last week, the Republican Party still mainly belongs to Trump. The GOP privately flirted with purging the norm-shattering former president after he incited a deadly riot at the Capitol last month. But in the end, only seven of 50 Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell savaged the former president in a post-vote speech. McConnell said Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” that led to the insurrection. But he, like the vast majority of his caucus, declared Trump “not guilty.” Steve Peoples reports.
Biden White House: The end of the trial opens a new chapter for his successor in the White House. President Joe Biden and his aides had avoided addressing the trial over the past week and focused aggressively on their own agenda. But privately, aides worried that a lengthy trial would bog down the Senate and slow progress on Biden’s virus relief bill. Alexandra Jaffe and Jonathan Lemire report.
EXPLAINER: Why impeachment evidence tested TV’s standards. Explicit language you almost never hear on broadcast television was aired, particularly when House managers showed an arresting 13-minute film of rioters descending on the Capitol. David Bauder reports.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was a perhaps unlikely hero of Day 2 of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — unlikely because the people lauding his courage and extolling his patriotic fulfillment of duty to God and country were the fairly progressive Democrats prosecuting the case that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan. 6. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), for example, described how Trump “turned on” Pence, who was presiding over the counting of President Biden’s electoral win.
Mike Pence Hero Of The Hour ,Not A Coward Jumping Ship Says Impeachment Latest February 12th 2021
Former Vice President Mike Pence was a perhaps unlikely hero of Day 2 of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — unlikely because the people lauding his courage and extolling his patriotic fulfillment of duty to God and country were the fairly progressive Democrats prosecuting the case that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan. 6. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), for example, described how Trump “turned on” Pence, who was presiding over the counting of President Biden’s electoral win.
The impeachment managers also showed new footage of Pence and his family being evacuated from the Senate chamber down some back stairs at 2:26 p.m., 14 minutes after the pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol building. Pence had been evacuated from the Senate chamber at 2:14 p.m. At 2:24 p.m., the impeachment managers noted, Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution. … USA demands the truth!” Video from the siege made clear the rioters were reading Trump’s tweets and hunting for Pence.
The impeachment managers also showed new footage of Pence and his family being evacuated from the Senate chamber down some back stairs at 2:26 p.m., 14 minutes after the pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol building. Pence had been evacuated from the Senate chamber at 2:14 p.m. At 2:24 p.m., the impeachment managers noted, Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution. … USA demands the truth!” Video from the siege made clear the rioters were reading Trump’s tweets and hunting for Pence.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was a perhaps unlikely hero of Day 2 of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — unlikely because the people lauding his courage and extolling his patriotic fulfillment of duty to God and country were the fairly progressive Democrats prosecuting the case that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan. 6. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), for example, described how Trump “turned on” Pence, who was presiding over the counting of President Biden’s electoral win.
From Camille Caldera | USA TODAY
The claim: Former President Joe Biden received five draft deferments from the Vietnam War Posted February 7th 2021
Posts on Facebook honed in on former Vice President Joe Biden and his record of military service — or lack thereof.
“Lifeguard/Football player Joe Biden got five draft deferments for asthma during Vietnam,” a post claims, alongside a photo of high-school-aged Biden.
Some users also compared his record with that of his opponent, President Donald Trump.
“Well well well!!!! We finally have a Rebuttal to the Dems saying Trump was a draft dodger..” another post reads.
The users behind the posts did not respond to requests for comment from USA TODAY.
Biden received five student draft deferments and a medical exemption
Born in November 1942, Biden came of age amid the Vietnam War. But unlike millions of men of his generation, he never served in the military.
Trump Devil , If , like God , he did not exist it would be necessary for the self righteous comfortable left to invent him. January 27th 2021.
The following is a series of extracts, with my comments, from the self righteous ‘left wing’ British ‘Independent’ ( sic ) newspaper. This paper went on line because it didn’t have enough of the sort of smug overpaid people reading the paper as were writing it.
Donald Trump’s malignant narcissism is legend. It has fueled all of his personal and political behavior. After four years, many of his supporters are now a reflection of him and his pathology — they are grandiose, superior, misguided, racist, and xenophobic. And Trump has taught them to be as outwardly aggressive and defiant as he is.
The idea of Donald Trump as a teacher is absurd. Life has taught the white underclass, who Saint Hilary called the ‘deplorables’ before Trump was elected and was so narcisistic that she still doesn’t accept losing in 2016, even wrote a fat book about it .
Her party put themselves above the poor, spending Trump’s entire term harrassing him through tame media , with unfounded racist allegations because he was concerned about a free flow of white Latin Americans ( they are mainly Caucsian like Trump et al ) into the U.S – when the real issue should have been more of the same old regime change and resource theft as under Saint Obama .
Trump was also concerned about Muslims, who are also mainly Caucasian, they are a religious group not a race , so they can’t experience racism from fellow non Muslim fellow Caucasians just because they have a sun tan. Then there is the sexism. Where do you start on that ? Enough will never be enough for feminists and their male lackeys. The strict controls on what can be said about these people will get more oppressive under President in waiting Saintly ‘woman of colour ‘ such a hero, Kamala Harris.
Collective narcissism refers to the feelings of greatness or supremacy of a group of people organized by race, ethnicity, religion, or some other distinction. The members of the group are bound together by their sense of entitlement and empowerment. Collective narcissism leads to negative attitudes and retaliatory hostility against another group that is perceived as threatening. It also lends itself to conspiracy theories about the severe malevolence of the competing group.
I have no strong allegiance to Donald Trump. He was like Don Quixote in his attitude to China , recipient of so much U.S manufacturing exodus with the likes of ethnic loving Bill Gates able to exploit young female labour there for 34 cents an hour ( modern slavery, so no wonder he owns most of U.S farmland ), origin of so many imports, starting under Nixon, running out of control under both parties.
Trump showed poor judgement trying to turn a tide , with risk of a very big war if he had achieved his impossible goal. I suspect that is where Covid 19 came in , bio engineered to undermine China’s economy and blaming it on Wuhan. Conspiracies don’t happen , my paranoia is showing , as it did over the disappearing Skripals and Navalny.
Trump has shown little politcal accumen, but was never going to win under such fire and prejudice. Harrassing Iran because they , and Britain , never got over losing the tame decadent Shah, was another absurdity to please Israel. He bottled it with Russia because he feared the Russian agent label. He should have had the Bidens over a barrel regarding Ukraine , but the Anglo U.S elite media carried the anti Trump propaganda desperate to lose him the election – which, subject to proper investigation he probably won.
Trump’s staunchest supporters have a collective narcissism that their leader has helped to create and galvanize. They view others — especially people of color, Muslims, and immigrants — as threatening groups. Trump’s supporters believe they are justified in being hostile and disparaging and devaluing because they themselves are the “real” Americans, in opposition to this “threat”. Collective narcissism and nationalism are closely linked.
So the narcissistic connection between Trump and his supporters is a bond that is irrational and incredibly strong. It is rooted in the illusion of shared grandiosity and superiority.
This last extract is pure inductive thinking , if thinking is not an exaggeration. It is out of nowhere other than the writer’s condescending superior peronality, aiming to undermine the much feared objectors to a fake demcracy. BLM is crucial to this new world order for which this ‘Independent’ article writer is fighting. That is why the elite fund and excuse it . In my experience,Anglo U.S education is very limiting for the masses who are fed a diet of T.V drivel.
When Martin Luther King spoke of uniting America’s poor of all races and creeds, promising such a speech the day before a CIA associate scapegoat shot him, he had signed his own death warrant. Of course, I forgot, we don’t have conspiracies any more and the British Police State has declared me ‘paranoid, delusional, psychotic ,not needing hospital yet and more likely to die from misadadventure than suicide ‘ .I am quoting from an official report by Dr C.R Ramsay of Aylesbury’s secure unit, who refuses to explain his motive , methodology and evidence..
This was the result of me refusing anti psychotic drugs prescribed by our wonderful him and our wonderful NHS , following uninvited visists – based on former police connection’s opinions , slander and libel. Not a good idea to be part of the system and turn on it.
Blame my compulsion to write – actually hate writing because it is tedious and you only get good money if you turn out the kind of poison mentioned here in italics. This is a perfect example of Ramsay style diagnosis without any evidence or ‘conspicuous’ logic – the real logic is hidden and poison to protect the system.
No wonder they have kept Julian Assange locked up. Goodness knows what other secrets he has. To me, the secrets are easily read from the elite’s actions.
Art by R.J Cook
Governor George Wallace drawn by R.J Cook 1973.
In Florida’s primary, Wallace carried every county to win 42 percent of the vote. On May 15, 1972, he was shot five times by Arthur Bremer while campaigning at the Laurel Shopping Center in Laurel, Maryland, at a time when he was receiving high ratings in national opinion polls. Read more on Art by R.J Cook page. I drew cartoon this back in my far out spaced out days of residence at the University of East Anglia , Norwich, England. R.J Cook.
The media has to do better than this – The Week , Posted January 26th 2021
For the past four years, the country’s leading mainstream media outlets — among them The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN — treated the Trump administration as an opponent and even an outright enemy.
This was fully justified — and not just because the president constantly lashed out at these organizations and individual journalists by name, accusing them of pedaling “fake news,” of making up sources and facts out of whole cloth, and of putting their pursuit of ratings ahead of the good of the country. It was also justified because Donald Trump was an unprecedentedly inept and mendacious president who actively encouraged and rewarded corruption and lying. This required that the press remain on full alert for the entirety of the Trump presidency, ready and eager to file stories that exposed all manner of misdeeds.
Trump has been out of office for less than a week, but already the journalistic tone has changed dramatically. Consider a story that CNN published early last Thursday morning. “Sources” in the administration of just-inaugurated President Joe Biden told CNN’s MJ Lee that the new president was starting from “square one” on vaccine distribution because the Trump administration’s plan was “nonexistent.” “There is nothing for us to rework,” one of these sources said. “We’re going to have to build everything from scratch.”
Within a matter of hours, this story had been shared very widely — repeated and amplified by prominent media personalities, journalistic outlets (including The Week), partisan pundits, and a range of high-profile Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former first lady and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and at least one senior member of the Obama administration. Advertisement
There was just one problem with the story: It wasn’t true — at least according to Anthony Fauci, who flatly denied the story’s key contention when asked about it at a press briefing that afternoon: “We certainly are not starting from scratch … We are continuing, but you’re going to see a real ramping up of [vaccine distribution].” CNN updated its story an hour later to add these comments from Fauci. But by then it was too late. The line about Biden’s people having to start “from scratch” had gone viral, helping to shape the news cycle on the administration’s second day.
Spin is ubiquitous in modern politics. There is nothing new or shocking about it. Yet it is both noteworthy and troubling just how quickly CNN flipped from treating the previous president like a hostile occupying power to uncritically publicizing the brand-new administration’s efforts to cut itself maximal slack. If the media has any hope at all of improving on its image and reversing the collapsing trust of readers and viewers, it will have to do better than this.
The point is not to try and convince the most hostile Republicans to tune back into mainstream media outlets. Many of them are unreachable by this point, showing less interest in doing or seeking out better reporting than in using accusations of double standards and hypocrisy to help build support for the right and attempt to tear down liberal institutions. Some go even further, to use the failings of professional journalism as a justification for pedaling deliberate distortions on alternative platforms. Those who take this position view all so-called news as a form of propaganda or information warfare and defend the deliberate promulgation of lies as a tit-for-tat response to the actions of their enemies: “If the left does it, then so should we, and with even less restraint.”
But there are plenty of Americans situated between the burn-it-all-down hyper-cynical right and the journalists and Democratic Party politicos who naively or enthusiastically passed around the CNN story last week. Whether the right succeeds in persuading more and more people to join them in tuning out mainstream journalism will depend in large part on whether its accusations of dishonesty and bad faith look accurate to observers. Does the media seem fair-minded and scrupulous in what it labels news? Or does it seem highly invested in enhancing the power of one side in our country’s deep political divide?
The fact is that the media spent the past four years running story after story from people inside the Trump administration anonymously making it look terrible. And then, a day after Biden’s inauguration, a prominent news organization ran a story from someone inside the new administration anonymously making it look good, while a large number of journalistic outlets and political actors passed it around like gospel.
That’s bad — though a very familiar kind of bad. In May of 2016, journalist David Samuels created waves with his blockbuster profile of Obama adviser Ben Rhodes for The New York Times Magazine. In the piece, Samuels detailed how Rhodes deliberately manipulated a slew of journalists to help build support for the Iran nuclear deal. He spun them masterfully — in large part because when it came to the Obama administration, they were eager to let themselves be spun.
To move from the media environment Samuels describes in his essay through the high-intensity antagonism of the Trump years to what we saw last Thursday with CNN’s vaccine distribution story is to experience whiplash twice over. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that too many reporters and media companies believe that journalism means holding the powers that be accountable only when Republicans are in charge. When Democrats control the White House, it means something very different — more like acting as a de facto PR firm working on behalf of the president of the United States.
That can’t be the way journalism works in a healthy democracy. This doesn’t mean the goal should be going easier on Republicans than the mainstream media did over the past four years. It means applying comparable levels of critical suspicion to the Democrats.
Thousands of National Guard Troops to Remain in DC Through March Posted January 24th 2021
“As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,” Maj. Matt Murphy told The Epoch Times.
“We are providing assistance such as security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support to state, district, and federal agencies,” he added.
The U.S. Army didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Tens of thousands of National Guard personnel poured into the nation’s capital for the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Over 26,000 were on duty on Jan. 20, as part of a heavy militarization of Washington.
Guardsmen experienced no security incidents and only three people were arrested in Washington on Inauguration Day, agencies said.
About 10,600 Guard personnel were on duty as of Thursday. Officials were planning for how to return the rest of the troops to their home states.
“Some agencies are requesting continuity of operations, additional support, and recuperation time for their forces to regroup. Approximately 7,000 National Guard personnel are anticipated to provide that assistance through the end of the month,” the guard said in a statement on Thursday.
Christopher Rodriguez, a District of Columbia homeland security official, said that same day that the city requested continued support from the Guard with traffic management and crowd control through Jan. 30 “because we do anticipate that there will be another National Special Security Event occurring in the joint session of Congress.”
The numbers of troops needed were still being calculated, he said.
Three governors on Friday said they were requesting the return of their troops.
“I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington D.C.,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, said in a tweet. “They did an outstanding job serving our nation’s capital in a time of strife and should be graciously praised, not subject to substandard conditions.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, echoed the disenchantment of other governors with the way the FBI vetted all troops in Washington, resulting in the removal of at least 12, while saying on “Fox & Friends” it was time for the troops to leave the “half-cocked mission.”
Legislators expressed outrage earlier in the week when pictures emerged showing members spending time in a parking garage. The U.S. Capitol Police denied telling the guard to leave the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers have vowed to figure out what happened.
Allen Zhong contributed to this report.
Report from Pro Biden Anti Trump ‘The Week ‘ January 23rd 2020
Senate Democrats have a bare majority in the new Congress — 50 seats, plus Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker. It’s the first time the party has had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency in a decade.
But the leader of the Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, is already plotting to throttle this government in the crib. He is demanding Democrats preserve his ability to block anything they propose with the Senate filibuster, so he can ruin the country and blame it on them, and he is gambling that moderate Democratic senators will be too scared to call his bluff. Democrats should tell McConnell to go pound sand, and nuke the filibuster right now. Advertisement
To understand what McConnell is doing, a bit of background on Senate procedure is required. The Senate does not formally change its rules for each new Congress, since only a third of its members are up for re-election in any particular cycle. So in normal times, the body votes through a Simple Resolution detailing how the majority party will fill up the committees, select chairmen, and so on, and everything else remains the same.
However, this time we have a tied Senate, meaning Vice President Harris gives Democrats control with her tie-breaking vote. In this circumstance — most recently for six months in 2001 — the Senate has passed a different Organizing Resolution to organize itself. This is a sort of power-sharing arrangement with different details given that there may be ties at the committee level and such.
Recall that the filibuster allows just 41 senators to block most legislation. Activists have begged Democrats to get rid of the filibuster after witnessing McConnell use it to shamelessly obstruct Democratic priorities and then immediately remove it as an obstacle to his own chief priority, confirming right-wing Supreme Court Justices. Yet so far a crucial segment of moderate Democratic senators have resisted, for reasons of “tradition,” or worries it will force them to take difficult votes, or simple timidity. Now McConnell has broken yet another Senate norm by threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution unless Democrats agree to keep the legislative filibuster for the next two years. To the best of my knowledge, filibustering the initial organizational rule package in a new Congress has never happened before. (Incidentally, since the Senate will continue to operate under its current rules, that leaves Republicans in charge of the committees so long as it is not passed.)
If Democrats agree, given McConnell’s history, he is virtually guaranteed to not allow any normal legislation through, and to drag out the confirmation of any appointee as long as possible. The only way to pass any law will be through the cumbersome and limited reconciliation process. Just as he did under President Obama, McConnell wants to throw sand in the gears of government, prevent Biden from accomplishing anything, blame Democrats for the resulting dysfunction, and take back full control of the Senate in two years.
The obvious solution here would be to call McConnell’s bluff and simply get rid of the filibuster now. There is no reason why the Senate can’t pass laws through majority vote, as virtually every other legislative body on Earth does. (Indeed, the Senate is already ridiculously biased towards a handful of small states even without the 60-vote requirement.) As Akhil Reed Amar argues at length in Duke Law Journal, it is both legal and constitutional for Democrats to invoke Rule 20, which outlines how questions of procedure are adjudicated, to amend the rules and delete the filibuster through a simple majority vote. Then they pass the Organizing Resolution with that same majority. The Senate rulebook, precedent, and the Constitution all agree that ultimately a Senate majority must be able to decide at any point how the body should be organized.
This is the so-called “nuclear option,” and indeed happened in 2013 under then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), when Democrats got rid of the filibuster for ordinary judicial nominations. It happened again under McConnell himself in 2017, when Republicans got rid of it for Supreme Court nominations. One should also note at this point that, contrary to the fake history of the filibuster as some time-honored Senate tradition, its creation was entirely accidental and, prior to McConnell establishing it as a routine occurrence, was mainly used by white supremacists to block civil rights legislation. Advertisement
So far, even moderate Senate Democrats don’t seem to be buying McConnell’s gambit. They want to preserve at least the threat of nuking the filibuster as leverage for getting things passed. Yet many of them clearly still don’t want to get rid of it altogether. But if they don’t, the chance of passing almost any bill through normal order will be dead for the next two years. Count on it.
So in a way, it might be lucky that McConnell is forcing Democrats to face this choice right out of the gate. If they just rip off the band-aid, they can pass what laws they like and let the 2022 electorate judge them on that, rather than trying to beat Republicans in a game of blame avoidance. Let’s give democracy a chance.
Last Sentence Comment
The last sentence is the mind numbing punchline and the joke. For the word democracy, when these mainstream journalists opine, substitute Plutocracy and you are closer to the truth. The U.S is no longer a melting pot, its contents must fit the mould and be cast accordingly. R.J Cook
Like a Nazi Rally January 21st 2021
The United States elite has run out of countries to invade to enrich themselves so they are going to invade their own.
The comparisons between Donald Trump and his supporters are worse than superficial. They are deliberately misleading. There is the common factor of a white underclass , dismissed by Hilary Clinton as ‘The Deplorables.’
In spite of her husband’s appalling womanising record, and serious abuse allegations, she thought the Clinton name and her war warmongering was her ticket back into power . Her and Saintly Obama started more wars than any president beforehand .
So came her book and the Democrat impeachment plot, which they have the cheek to continue with . Attempts to expose issues concerning the Bidens sparked liberal media and elite outrage .
While all this has gone on, the only Democrat complaint about the wars has been that there hasn’t been enough. Only today , there was agreement with Trump’s dubious anti China policy and calls for a harder line in Iran.
Blacks are expecting an awful lot from all of this. That isn’t to say intelligent blacks can’t smell the liberal rats and sense danger. Positive discrimination against lower class whites helps the liberal cause run into the racist slander trap, breeding resentment.
That is useful to the liberal elite , especially in lockdown, along with the social media purge. But , there are over 70 million dissidents, with Democrats calling for these people to be deprogrammed. It would b funny if it wasn’t tragic. These condescending elitists have no interest in why so many feel so bad about life in the U.S.A – Europe is no better place for freedom. Education on both continents, including Britain, is about limiting peoples minds, ability to think and make connections.
Technology has been used to enrich a minority on a scale the masses can’t imagine. So they must be divided, ruled, fooled and entertained with drivel of the kind turned out by the appropriately names Lady Gaga, one of the so right on ‘Me Too’ brigade. Then there is Tom Hanks best role yet, stepping on to the podium to whip up Biden & Kamal adulation, while looking and sounding like an undertaker – most appropriate for a dying nation.
Yesterday’s festival had all the trappings of a Hitlerite rally. As with Hitler, the big money is behind Biden & Co. There may be 1.5 guns for every American, but they are nothing compared to all the State’s weapons, cameras and jails.
So there may be some common elements between now and Nazi Germany , one being the arrogance of the elite who call their opponents Nazis, then call it a hate crime if one returns the compliment.
Like pre Nazi Weimar Germany, the U.S printed an extra $700 billion dollars last year to cope with politicaly motivated New World Order lockdown, and is planning an extra $400 billion printing p.a for the foreseeable future, with Europe having to follow their reserve currency, and hyper inflation is on the way – unless the banks keep it locked in their vaults , as they have done so far ! So small businesses collapse, hotels and restaurants are bought up by the big boys , and all that is meant to matter is ‘diversity and equality’ . How thick do you need to be to believe all this. Working from home is a lesser doom, but still doomed.
There is a new phrase to make all this sound good, ‘Disaster Liberalism.’ U.S is no longer the land of opportunity, but tell that to the trains of poor people rushing up from South America to thank Biden.
Like Hitler , his Nazis, big business backers and propagandists in mainstream media, these people believe they have the moral high ground, truth and God on their side. They will be offended by me suggesting that the elite, led now by Biden / Harris , treat poor whites as wickedly as Nazis treated the Jews . They treat them as scapegoats while they feast and indulge themselves.
Great Disunited Police States January 20th 2021
The following article from the posh leftie luvvie ‘Atlantic’ magazine demonstrates how forensic(k) the system is going to be with anyone having the temerity to step out of line.
Gone are the heady 1960s as those middle class protesters came of age, leaving Vietnam behind, to discover women’s lib , moral wars for democracy in the Middle East , and now BLM. They only allow protesting against those who protest against them, having taught two generations below them to do as they are told.
No more protest music, lets just have some rap, techno or other type of suitable roots cacophony ( phonie ) . The only drugs are the state approved anti psychotics and diazapam family.
I am having to restrain myself here from saying exactly what I think because of the authorities and snitches. That is the new world order , so beware.
Records show fervent Trump fans fueled US Capitol takeover
By MICHAEL BIESECKER, MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, GILLIAN FLACCUS and JIM MUSTIANJanuary 11, 2021
1 of 3FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. Jacob Anthony Chansley, the Arizona man with the painted face and wearing a horned, fur hat, was taken into custody Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 and charged with counts that include violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)
WASHINGTON (AP) — They came from across America, summoned by President Donald Trump to march on Washington in support of his false claim that the November election was stolen and to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden as the victor.
“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Trump tweeted a week before Christmas. “Be there, will be wild!”
The insurrectionist mob that showed up at the president’s behest and stormed the U.S. Capitol was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Records show that some were heavily armed and included convicted criminals, such as a Florida man recently released from prison for attempted murder.ADVERTISEMENT
The Associated Press reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless amid the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee.
The evidence gives lie to claims by right-wing pundits and Republican officials such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., that the violence was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president.More on the Capitol Siege:
- – In wake of Capitol riot, Americans struggle for answers
- – Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared
- – Capitol police were overrun, little defense against rioters
“If the reports are true,” Gaetz said on the House floor just hours after the attack, “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters that investigators had seen “no indication” antifa activists were disguised as Trump supporters in Wednesday’s riot.
The AP found that many of the rioters had taken to social media after the November election to retweet and parrot false claims by Trump that the vote had been stolen in a vast international conspiracy. Several had openly threatened violence against Democrats and Republicans they considered insufficiently loyal to the president. During the riot, some livestreamed and posted photos of themselves at the Capitol. Afterwards, many bragged about what they had done.
As the mob smashed through doors and windows to invade the Capitol, a loud chant went up calling for the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence, the recent target of a Trump Twitter tirade for not subverting the Constitution and overturning the legitimate vote tally. Outside, a wooden scaffold had been erected on the National Mall, a rope noose dangling at the ready.ADVERTISEMENT
So far, at least 90 people have been arrested on charges ranging from misdemeanor curfew violations to felonies related to assaults on police officers, possessing illegal weapons and making death threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Among them was Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 70, an Alabama grandfather who drove to Washington to attend Trump’s “Save America Rally” in a red GMC Sierra pickup packed with an M4 assault rifle, multiple loaded magazines, three handguns and 11 Mason jars filled with homemade napalm, according to court filings.
The truck was found during a security sweep involving explosives-sniffing dogs after two pipe bombs were found and disarmed Wednesday near the national headquarters of the Republican and Democratic parties. Coffman was arrested that evening when he returned to the truck carrying a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and a .22-caliber derringer pistol in his pockets. Federal officials said Coffman is not suspected of planting the pipe bombs, though he was charged with having Molotov cocktails in the bed of his truck.
His grandson, Brandon Coffman, told the AP on Friday his grandfather was a Republican who had expressed admiration for Trump at holiday gatherings. He said he had no idea why Coffman would show up in the nation’s capital armed for civil war.
Also facing federal charges is Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., a Georgia man who in the wake of the election had protested outside the home of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump had publicly blamed for his loss in the state. Meredith drove to Washington last week for the “Save America” rally but arrived late because of a problem with the lights on his trailer, according to court filings that include expletive-laden texts.Full Coverage: Capitol Siege
“Headed to DC with a (s—-) ton of 5.56 armor-piercing ammo,” he texted friends and relatives on Jan. 6, adding a purple devil emoji, according to court filings. The following day, he texted to the group: “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi (C——’s) speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.” He once again added a purple devil emoji, and wrote he might hit her with his truck instead. “I’m gonna run that (C—-) Pelosi over while she chews on her gums. … Dead (B——) Walking. I predict that within 12 days, many in our country will die.”
Meredith, who is white, then texted a photo of himself in blackface. “I’m gonna walk around DC FKG with people by yelling ‘Allahu ak Bar’ randomly.”
A participant in the text exchange provided screenshots to the FBI, who tracked Meredith to a Holiday Inn a short walk from the Capitol. They found a compact Tavor X95 assault rifle, a 9mm Glock 19 handgun and about 100 rounds of ammunition, according to court filings. The agents also seized a stash of THC edibles and a vial of injectable testosterone.
Meredith is charged with transmitting a threat, as well as felony counts for possession of firearms and ammunition.
Michael Thomas Curzio was arrested in relation to the riots less than two years after he was released from a Florida prison in 2019 after serving an eight-year sentence for attempted murder. Court records from Florida show that he shot the boyfriend of his former girlfriend in a fight at her home.
Federal law enforcement officials vowed Friday to bring additional charges against those who carried out the attack on the Capitol, launching a nationwide manhunt for dozens of suspects identified from photographic evidence
The FBI has opened a murder probe into the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly. He died at a hospital.
The Trump supporters who died in the riot were Kevin D. Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia.
Boyland’s sister told the AP on Friday she was an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory that holds Trump is America’s savior. Her Facebook page featured photos and videos praising Trump and promoting fantasies, including one theory that a shadowy group was using the coronavirus to steal elections. Boyland’s final post on Twitter — a retweet of a post by White House social media director Dan Scavino — was a picture of thousands of people surrounding the Washington Monument on Wednesday.
“She would text me some things, and I would be like, ‘Let me fact-check that.’ And I’d sit there and I’d be like, ‘Well, I don’t think that’s actually right,’” Lonna Cave, Boyland’s sister, said. “We got in fights about it, arguments.”
The AP’s review found that QAnon beliefs were common among those who heeded Trump’s call to come to Washington.
Doug Jensen, 41, was arrested by the FBI on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, after returning home from the riot. An AP photographer captured images of him confronting Capitol Police officers outside of the Senate chamber on Wednesday.
Jensen was wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with a large Q and the phrase “Trust The Plan,” a reference to QAnon. Video posted online during the storming of the Capitol also appears to show Jensen, who is white, pursuing a Black police officer up an interior flight of stairs as a mob of people trails several steps behind. At several points, the officer says “get back,” but to no avail.
Jensen’s older brother, William Routh, told the AP on Saturday that Jensen believed that the person posting as Q was either Trump or someone very close to the president.
“I feel like he had a lot of influence from the internet that confused or obscured his views on certain things,” said Routh, of Clarksville, Arkansas, who described himself as a Republican Trump supporter. “When I talked to him, he thought that maybe this was Trump telling him what to do.”
Jensen’s employer, Forrest & Associate Masonry in Des Moines, announced Friday that he had been fired.
Tara Coleman, a 40-year-old mother who lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was arrested at the Capitol for a curfew violation and for unlawful entry. On her Facebook page, Coleman re-posted articles supporting the QAnon beliefs about a “deep state” conspiracy to target children. The AP could not find a working phone number for Coleman and her attorney, Peter Cooper, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
And Jake Chansley, who calls himself the “QAnon Shaman” and has long been a fixture at Trump rallies, surrendered to the FBI field office in Phoenix on Saturday. News photos show him at the riot shirtless, with his face painted and wearing a fur hat with horns, carrying a U.S. flag attached to a wooden pole topped with a spear.
Chansley’s unusual headwear is visible in a Nov. 7 AP photo at a rally of Trump supporters protesting election results outside of the Maricopa County election center in Phoenix. In that photo, Chansley, who also has gone by the last name Angeli, held a sign that read, “HOLD THE LINE PATRIOTS GOD WINS.” He also expressed his support for the president in an interview with the AP that day.
The FBI identified Chansley by his distinctive tattoos, which include bricks circling his biceps in an apparent reference to Trump’s border wall. Chansley didn’t respond last week to messages seeking comment to one of his social media accounts.
There were also current and former members of the U.S. military in the crowd.
Army commanders at Fort Bragg in North Carolina are investigating Capt. Emily Rainey’s involvement in the Wednesday rally. The 30-year-old psychological operations officer told the AP she led 100 members of Moore County Citizens for Freedom who traveled to Washington to “stand against election fraud” and support Trump. She insisted she acted within Army regulations and that no one in her group entered the Capitol or broke the law.
“I was a private citizen and doing everything right and within my rights,” Rainey told the AP.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. of Texas was charged in federal court on Sunday after he was identified in photos showing him standing in the well of the Senate, wearing a military-style helmet and body armor while holding a pair of zip-tie handcuffs.
The insurrectionist mob also included members of the neofascist group known as the Proud Boys, whom Trump urged to “stand back and stand by” when asked to condemn them by a moderator during a presidential debate in September.
Nicholas R. Ochs, 34, was arrested Saturday after returning home to Hawaii, where he is the founder of the local Proud Boys chapter. On Wednesday, Ochs posted a photo of himself on Twitter inside the Capitol, grinning broadly and smoking a cigarette. According to court filings, the FBI matched photos of Ochs taken during the riot to photos taken when Ochs campaigned unsuccessfully last year as the Republican nominee for a seat in the Hawaii statehouse.
Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested Monday in Washington on weapons charges and ordered to stay out of the nation’s capital. Tarrio is accused of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church last month.
Jay Robert Thaxton, 46, was arrested near the Capitol for curfew violations on Wednesday. A North Carolina man with the same name has also been linked to the Proud Boys. He told The Stanly News & Press in 2019 that he was a Proud Boys supporter but wouldn’t say if he was an official member of the group. Another North Carolina newspaper, The Jacksonville Daily News, published a photo of Thaxton wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat at a 2019 protest over the removal of Confederate statues.
A man who answered a telephone number associated with Thaxton hung up on an AP reporter. The recipient of a text message to the same number responded with an expletive.
Also arrested at the Capitol was William Arthur Leary, who owns a manufactured housing business in Utica, New York. In an interview Friday, Leary told the AP that he strongly believes the election was stolen from Trump and that he went to Washington to show his support.
Leary said he doesn’t trust information reported by the mainstream media and that one of his main sources of information was Infowars, the far-right conspiracy site run by Alex Jones. He denied he ever set foot in the Capitol and complained that he was held for more than 24 hours and had his cell phone seized.
“They treated us like animals,” he complained. “They took all our phones. I didn’t get to make a phone call to tell anybody where I was.”
Leary said he remembers seeing a woman, Kristina Malimon, 28, sobbing at the detention center because she had been separated and not allowed to translate for her mother, who primarily speaks Russian. Both women had been charged with curfew violation and unlawful entry. According to a video posted on her Instagram account, the younger Malimon says she was born in Moldova, where her family had faced persecution under the Soviet-era regime for their Christian beliefs.
Malimon, who traveled to D.C. from Portland, Oregon, is vice chairwoman of the Young Republicans of Oregon, according to the group’s website and is also listed as an “ambassador” for the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA. Her social media feeds are full of photos taken at Trump events, including the earlier “Million MAGA March” held in Washington last month. She also posted photos of herself posing with Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone, who was convicted of crimes including obstruction of justice and pardoned by Trump on Christmas Eve.
Media reports from Oregon quoted Malimon in August as the primary organizer of a Trump boat parade on the Willamette River, where big waves created by speeding boats flying Trump flags swamped and sank a smaller boat that was not participating, throwing a family into the water to be rescued by the sheriff’s department.
“Oregon, today you came out and showed your love and support for our wonderful President, Donald J. Trump thank you!” Kristina Malimon wrote on Facebook following the parade.
Malimon also served as a Republican poll watcher in Georgia and spoke at an event organized by the Trump campaign in December, claiming to have seen voting machines and tabulation computers in Savannah, Georgia, with suspiciously blinking green lights she interpreted as a sign they were being secretly controlled by outside hackers — a claim debunked as false by GOP election officials in the state.
A phone number listed for Kristina Malimon rang without being answered on Friday. At the address listed for her in southeast Portland on Friday night, her teenage brother answered the door as other family members, including young children, ran around.
The family spoke Russian to each other and the brother, Nick Malimon, translated. He said his sister was still in Washington but had called the family following her release from jail and didn’t seem upset about her arrest.
Others are facing consequences even beyond arrest.
A Texas sheriff announced Thursday that he had reported one of his lieutenants to the FBI after she posted photos of herself on social media with a crowd outside the Capitol. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Lt. Roxanne Mathai, a 46-year-old jailer, had the right to attend the rally but he’s investigating whether she may have broken the law.
One of the posts Mathai shared was a photo that appeared to be taken Wednesday from among the mass of Trump supporters outside the Capitol, “Not gonna lie……aside from my kids, this was, indeed, the best day of my life. And it’s not over yet.”
A lawyer for Mathai, a mother and longtime San Antonio resident, said she attended the Trump rally but never entered the Capitol.
Attorney Hector Cortes said Mathai’s contract bars her from speaking directly with the press but that she welcomes an FBI investigation and that her actions were squarely within the bounds of the First Amendment.
Brad Rukstales, a Republican political donor and CEO of Cogensia, a Chicago-based data analytics firm, was arrested with a group of a half-dozen Trump supporters who clashed with officers Wednesday inside the Capitol. Campaign finance reports show Rukstales contributed more than $25,000 to Trump’s campaign and other GOP committees during to 2020 election cycle.
He told a local CBS news channel last week that he had entered the Capitol and apologized. He was fired Friday and did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
Derrick Evans, a Republican recently sworn in as a delegate to the West Virginia House, resigned Saturday following his arrest on two charges related to the Capitol riot. He had streamed video of himself charging into the building with the mob.
“They’re making an announcement now saying if Pence betrays us you better get your mind right because we’re storming the building,” Evans, 35, says in the video, as the door to the Capitol building is smashed and rioters rush through. “The door is cracked! … We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
On Saturday he issued a statement saying he regretted taking part.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians,” the statement said.
Kunzelman reported from College Park, Maryland, Flaccus from Portland, Oregon, and Mustian from New York. Associated Press writers Jake Bleiberg in Dallas; Michael R. Sisak in New York; Michael Balsamo in Washington; Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho; James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida; and Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas, contributed to this report.
Greatest Hono(u)r ! R.J Cook January 20th 2021
The ignorant global wide comments on regime change in the U.S.A informs me just how brainwashed, arrogant and stupid are the whites of all ages. The blacks are becoming united by a sense of grievance emanating from the global elite, casting themselves as being under the banner of the left. Their meaning of the left label is along way from its origins in the French Revolution.
It is sold in schools and colleges by self righteous virtue signalling teachers and lecturers – of which I have been both, as fighting nasty racists and sexists, thus empowering all the downtrodden women and BAME – a huge justification and cover for ludicrous lockdwon which does so much to suppress the masses and destroy small business.
I saw the rise of this fake leftism. It is the root of the absurd multi cultural society, which has given us the fragmented U.S.A and Europe today , so dependent on police and military oppression. The issue of class is never mentioned. The same is true of Europe, the only difference being that Europe was historically run by tyrants and in bred Royals who gave us World War One and Two.
The British led the flow across the Atlantic to escape from Europe to create a New World using genocide more than slavery to do so. Sadly too many never left home mentally, passing on their hypocrisy, amplified and juiced in by fake religion.
Ironically these fake Christians don’t realise that the Mulims being imported into the quest, actually believe their is an all powerful God, rather than brute violent animal instinct and all powerful nature. Too many in the elite are having too much pleasure .
So Washington is now , like Beirut and Baghdad. Troops on the streets of heavily fortified Washington is testament to the New World Order Police State, faking democracy for the sake of that top 5 % who call the tune. The power and privilege of the top 1 % is even more mind blowing, so we have a State command for us to take the vaccine, with the proviso that lockdown will never end.
President Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning for the final time as president, describing the last four years as “the honor of a lifetime.”
Trump walked out of the White House to Marine One shortly after 8:10 am for the short ride to Joint Base Andrews where he will make farewell remarks before boarding Air Force One for the flight to his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
The commander in chief, sporting his signature red tie, walked out of the executive residence holding hands with first lady Melania Trump who was wearing a black dress, large sunglasses, and heels.
Arriving on Marine One at Joint Base Andrews a few minutes later, he told an adoring crowd gathered to see him off and the nation, “I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening.
“And I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration, great luck and great success.”
Trump also vowed, “we will be back in some form” and ran through his accomplishments in office, including creating the Space Force branch of the military and confirming three Supreme Court judges.
British Elite Media Very Pro Biden January 20th 2021
As I write here at 07.30 , British mainstream media is revelling in the inaugeration of Biden and demise of Trump. Britain’s elite media has had a knee jerk favouritism for Democrats for as long as I can remember.
Trump began promising the impossible. I have just heard him described , by one of his old aides, as a seditious traitor. He is being compared to Hitler , but unifying all of the U.S against him.
The treachery of his old aides says it all about the Washington swamp and how impossible that was. Trump spent four years in the swamp with some very egotistical rats , many of whom are now deserting a sinking ship.
Apparently he didn’t have the management skills and would not listen to the experts, which is why he made the counttry sicker and weaker. He is, at this moment on Sky News, being blamed for Covid and all the job losses Anthony Scarmucci has been really putting the boot in, calling this a very bright day, promising that Trump will be off to jail.
All of this is set in the context that Trump started his term with a well planned impeachment campaign and some impossible promises. Top of the list of promises was to take back jobs from China. Big business was not going to lose its cheap labour and obscene profits. Debts to China were not going to be wiped out that easily. On environmental grounds ( sic ) , the U.S was not going to revive coal and steel industries. Better they let China take the wrap for pollution because the mass of morons don’t make connections.
Ignorance is bliss, especially with young brain washed opinionated young middle class females leading the abuse of the out going president and delusions in favour of a woman of colour ready to take her rightful place as a force for world harmony. At no stage does anyone wonder why only the rich and powerful head up these democracies ( sic ), with their armies of clever unctious experts.
Then there were the rolling wars, in the name of U.S freedom. Britain’s elite are very much with the U.S Industrial Military complex, again in the name of democracy. The nature of democracy , and who it serves , must not be questioned. Class is never mentioned by the Anglo U.S led western elite.
After this elite’s Yeltsin coup failed in Russia, they teamed up with oligarchs who ripped off Russia’s infrastructure almost overnight. The rise of Vladimir Putin has been a festering sore ever since . So that is why and how the Democrats and Anglo U.S aristocratic elite got their trump Trump card. To play for peace and cooperation with Russia was to revive the cold war and slandering Trump as a Russian agent benefitting from Russia’s election rigging. Morons will believe this sort of thing.
In my view , even if Trump had a plan, he had no hope. The so called right wing mob on Capitol Hill had no idea who or what they were supporting beyond a fantasy about the past. The dictatorial nonsense about beating the Covid virus, ignores explanation of its origin and issues with BAME and the fantasy that old people. like me, must be allowed to live for ever.
The roots of the Covid issue are in poverty, BAME, elite objectives to consolidate their wealth using all means of force , fear and deception – but must never be mentioned. Trump had no chance of ending Anglo U.S elite led rolling wars. The danger is that now China will bond ever more with Russia and post Putin anything is possible. That is where promoting Navalny comes in.
The west would like to see Putin go the same way as Trump. Their astonishing power grab and enrichment in the name of ‘keeping us safe says it all. Here in the U.K, we have a massive media bombardment of pro Biden propaganda, with the promise of a virtuous ‘woman of colour’ in the wings should Biden succumb to the reality of old age , denmentia and death.
The massive security clamp down in the Capitol demonstrates how the disputed election will be used to emulate the subtle art of the all pervasive British and European Police State. The following extract is a sample of who is writing Trump’s history and the spin.
‘A surrender of global leadership’
Laura Belmonte is a history professor and dean of the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She is a foreign relations specialist and author of books on cultural diplomacy.
What’s Trump’s key legacy?
His attempt to surrender global leadership and replace it with a more inward-looking, fortress-like mentality. I don’t think it succeeded, but the question is how profound has the damage to America’s international reputation been – and that remains to be seen.
The moment I found jaw-dropping was the press conference he had with Vladimir Putin in 2018 in Helsinki, where he took Putin’s side over US intelligence in regard to Russian interference in the election.
I can’t think of another episode of a president siding full force with a non-democratic society adversary.
It’s also very emblematic of a larger assault on any number of multilateral institutions and treaties and frameworks that Trump has unleashed, like the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the withdrawal of the Iranian nuclear framework.
What else stands out to you?
Trump’s applauding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, really turning himself inside out to align the US with regimes that are the antithesis of values that the US says it wants to promote. That is something that I think was really quite distinctive.
Another aspect is extricating the US from any really assertive role in promoting human rights throughout the world, and changing the content of the annual human rights reports from the State Department and not including many topics, like LGBT equality, for instance.
Joe Biden inauguration fears: Two Army members removed from mission ‘over far-right ties’
TWO members of the US Army National Guard have been pulled from the mission to keep tomorrow’s presidential inauguration safe after they were found to have ties to right-wing militia groups.
By Laura O’Callaghan PUBLISHED: 16:05, Tue, Jan 19, 2021 | UPDATED: 16:40, Tue, Jan 19, 2021
The members of the reserve force will not appear alongside colleagues in Washington on Wednesday as Joe Biden is sworn in as America’s 46th president. The Associated Press reported that the pair were stood down after they were “found to have ties to fringe right-wing group militias.” AP cited an unnamed US Army official and a senior US intelligence official in its report.
Mr Miller said he appreciated “the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen.”
The major security operation comes amid fears of possible inside attacks on Wednesday.
Earlier this week the army secretary told of how commanders have been warned to be on the lookout for problems within their ranks.
And he said troops are being trained on how to identify potential insider threats.
Ryan McCarthy said earlier this week: “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation.”
Comment The U.S establishment, with all of its financial industrial military complex and British ancestry behind it, might appear parnoid. But nasty as its elite is, it isn’t as stupid as the masses might wish to think. Paranoia is understandable here – the term being defined as abnormal suspicion. These are abnormal times. The ‘new normal’ is not at all normal.
As much as the Anglo U.S Euro elite might protest and decry the voter fraud conspiracy theorists, there is evidence of it on a grand scale. Covid 19 was a perfect excuse to ramp up postal voting, opening the door to massive fraud. Had this happened in a Latin America or an African banana republic, the elite and mainstream media would have been outraged and calling for fresh elections.
The Democrats and BBC had good reason to fear a second Trump term, and working class whites had and have reason to fear Biden et al. The writing was on the wall at Capitol Hill. Protesters found it all to easy, with Trump immediately lined up for impeachment. The Democrat elite and their media had been grinding the impeachment axe from the get go.
There has been no mainstream mention of Hilary Clinton screeching Don’t accept a Republican win, whatever’ in 2016 and just before 2020. What was she inciting ? What was BLM doing burning businesses, attacking police stations and occupying municpal buildings? Why was Trump not allowed to call in the National Guard? Burning city districts labelled by lefties as peaceful democratic protest when challenged? Who recalls the murder of a retired black police senior officer by a black male teen during these vents? Is it OK if you are black and murdered by a black? Most white murder victims are killed by whites. Does that make it O.K. ?
Racism is still being used by the ruling upper classes to control the poorly educated and easily led cannon fodder. Nothing has changed except the technology. Why was BLM violence not labelled domestic terrorism and insurrection? Members of the mealy mouthed elite are fond of reciting the bible. They should note where it says ‘You reap what you sow. ‘ R.J Cook
US Prepares for One of the Most Unusual Inaugurations in History January 18th 2021
WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20 amid unparalleled security measures and the pandemic lockdown, making it one of the most untraditional inaugurations in U.S. history.
Like many predecessors, Biden is going to be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol building. But the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, which normally draws hundreds of thousands of Americans, has been canceled, to be replaced by a virtual parade. Inaugural balls have been canceled as well.
The viewing stand near the White House has been dismantled, making this event likely the smallest inauguration in history, in terms of physical attendance. While a low turnout is expected, the event will be unusually tight in security and law enforcement.
This inauguration is unique in its own way, according to David Pietrusza, political historian, author, and expert on presidential electoral history.
In terms of people being so on edge, the flooding of troops and security into Washington, and the COVID-19 pandemic, “there’s no really great precedent for that,” he told The Epoch Times.
But there are different examples in history where things didn’t go like clockwork and weren’t uneventful, he said.
According to historians, Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address was the most stressful one, as the threat of war hung heavy in the air. Six weeks after the speech the Civil War, which claimed about 2 percent of the American population, erupted.
“Certainly the country was in worse shape and people were more on edge in 1861 with Lincoln. There’s no comparison to that,” Pietrusza said.
While security ahead of the Civil War was a big deal, measures that have been put in place this year in preparation for Biden’s inauguration also are unprecedented, he noted.
This is the first time an inauguration has been declared a National Special Security Event, not days before, but a full week before the actual event.
Authorities have taken aggressive measures in the city amid growing concerns that the civil unrest and violence observed on Jan. 6 may be repeated during inauguration week. As many as 25,000 National Guard members from all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia will be stationed in the nation’s capital.
The security measures have brought the city to almost a complete halt. More than a dozen Metro stations around the National Mall and U.S. Capitol building were closed in the days before the inauguration; the streets of Washington are eerily empty.
Buses, streetcars, and other forms of public transportation, even bicycles, have been shut down. Most stores are closed, and many have been boarded up.
President Donald Trump said earlier that he wouldn’t attend the swearing-in ceremony of Biden. He made the announcement one day after Congress certified Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.
Trump won’t escort Biden in a motorcade to the Capitol, which is another break from tradition. However, it isn’t the first time a president has refused to attend the inauguration of his successor.
John Adams, the second president of the United States, left Washington before Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801.
The situation that year was very divided, and in some ways similar to 2021. Jefferson’s supporters characterized his opponent, Adams, as a lover of monarchy, while Adams’s supporters pictured Jefferson as a radical. Some say Adams didn’t attend Jefferson’s inauguration to prevent any violence at the event.
John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, left Washington a day before, declining to attend Andrew Jackson’s ceremony in 1829.
Other presidents who didn’t watch their successors take the oath of office were Martin Van Buren (1841) and Andrew Johnson (1869).
It’s “unfortunate” that Trump isn’t attending the ceremony, John Gizzi, Newsmax’s chief political columnist, told The Epoch Times.
“As someone who’s witnessed, not only the transfer of power, but the tradition of the incoming president paying tribute to the outgoing president, that is something that surely is going to be missing,” he said. “You miss not only the handoff, so to speak, but you also miss the tradition of graciousness.”
For more than 200 years, the tradition of inauguration parades, celebrations, and displays of patriotism have continued despite scattered protests, including at Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
“The pomp and pageantry are as American as you can get,” Gizzi said.
“Hearing the orchestras, seeing the president and vice president waving from the cars, sometimes getting out and marching with the crowd—all of that is something that’s so richly American to the point that it’s timeless. When that is removed, it takes a little bit of the mystique of the transition away,” he added.
This year’s inauguration, according to Gizzi, is most compared to the fourth and final inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1945, at the White House on the portico overlooking the backyard.
Roosevelt preferred to hold a simple ceremony because of World War II, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens. That presidential inauguration lasted only 15 minutes.
This time, there won’t be a lot of pomp because of the CCP virus, Gizzi said.
Kay Rubacek and NTD News’ Learner Liu contributed to this report.
Armed Rebellion January 16th 2021
Arguing he incited an “armed rebellion” against the US, the Democrat-dominated House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump again. But with his term expiring in a week, it is unclear when the trial will proceed.
After several hours of debate on Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to formally impeach the president over the January 6 unrest at the US Capitol, when a group of Trump supporters broke into the building and interrupted the joint session of Congress meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 US presidential election. Also on rt.com Trump’s second impeachment risks giving half the US a ‘stab in the back’ narrative like that which took hold in Germany in 1919
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Senate will reconvene on an emergency schedule to conduct the trial, however. Reports in mainstream US media were conflicted, with some outlets citing anonymous sources to claim that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was eager to do so and help the Democrats get rid of Trump. However, McConnell’s spokesman said on Wednesday he would “not consent” to doing so before January 19, putting the trial into Biden’s term as president.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) told CNN on Sunday that the Democrats might even give Biden a hundred days “to get his agenda off and running” before they send the articles to the Senate.
The delays and calculations are at odds with rhetoric coming from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and her impeachment managers, who called Trump a danger to the country and urged his immediate removal.
Democrats have even argued that Trump and anyone supporting him ought to be barred from holding any office under the 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War to punish leaders of the Confederacy.
“We know that we face the enemies of the Constitution,” Pelosi said on the House floor on Wednesday. “We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s capital – an attempt to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people. And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go.”
And why don’t impeachment opponents admit that their stated desire for “healing” is bullshit, no one believes that— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 13, 2021
While much was made of a handful of Republicans – led by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) who said they would back impeachment, much of the party stood by the president and spoke to that effect.
“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this capital would be deserted,” said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California). “That’s what the president did. That is all he did. He specifically told the crowd to protest peacefully and patriotically, and the vast majority of them did. But every movement has a lunatic fringe. Suppressing free speech is not the answer. Holding rioters accountable for their actions is the answer.”
“It’s always been about getting the president no matter what,” said Rep. Jim Jordan. “It’s an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore. It’s about canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them,” he added.
“We’ve been here before. We’ve done this before. This has failed before. We fractured our nation using the same process before,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-New Jersey), who switched parties after Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, which he voted to oppose.
Washington Highly Militarized Ahead of Biden’s Inauguration
Fences with spiraling barbed wires, barricades, security checkpoints, and heavily armed guards are what you would expect in a military encampment for a warzone, not in downtown Washington D.C. But these are only some of the measures that have been put in place in preparation for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
The heightened security in the nation’s capital is a telltale sign that authorities and officials are extremely worried that the civil unrest and violence observed on Jan. 6 may repeat next week.
Federal authorities have said they are tracking an “extensive” amount of “concerning online chatter” about potential threats to the inauguration, including armed protests, potential threats linked to the Capitol breach, and other types of potential threats.
The fortification of the city, particularly around the White House and U.S. Capitol, began over the past few days and is expected to ramp up in the lead up to Jan. 20.
Videos by reporters, workers, and residents in the area show street closures, workers putting up miles of barricades and fencing, shops and offices being boarded up, and an increased military presence. Military vehicles are seen parked on downtown streets, and armed guards are checking identification for people leaving and entering the city.
The locked-down city has been separated into Green and Red zones as part of the 2021 Presidential Inaugural Subcommittees’ transportation plan. The U.S. Secret Service has posted a list of all the street closures on its website, many of which began at 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, and are scheduled to end at 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. A number of bridges and interstate highways into Washington are also scheduled to close at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Trump is only the third US president to ever be impeached, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, and the only one to be impeached twice. Democrats impeached him in December 2019 for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” citing a phone call with the president of Ukraine. No Republicans voted in favor.
Pelosi then waited six weeks to send the articles to the Senate, which acquitted Trump on both counts in another party-line vote. Of all the Republicans, only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted to convict, and only on one count.
Democrats currently hold 222 seats in the House, to 211 Republicans, with both parties having 50 senators. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is required to convict a president on impeachment articles, a bar that has – so far – never been met in US history. RT International Posted January 17th 2021
They Still Call It Our Democracy ! January 15th 2021
No wonder the impeachment was done so quickly
Evidence is emerging about the Capitol invasion:
- Metro Police and FBI knew attack was coming
- they knew several of the individuals involved
- knew of conversations about “killing cops”
- U.S. Attorney is bringing a conspiracy case — which means it was planned
- if attack was planned, Trump could not have caused it
- planners may have given maps of the Capitol to the perpetrators
The icing on the cake:
Solomon says key Capitol officials including the Sergeants at Arms of both houses and the Capitol Police Chief were interviewed about collusion with the invaders (all three have resigned):
Solomon issued FOIA request for details of Congress officials questioned.
Police refused to name names because it’s “personally embarrassing” and “invades privacy”.
“These are public officials. Their job was security. What they did is a matter of public interest. Something tells me what’s in those documents has some bearing on what happened on the Hill. And the question I have is what did Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell know.”
Ingraham: Leftist figures calling for Trump supporters to be ‘deprogrammed’ like Chinese dissidents
Democrats ‘feel no need to debate issues or policies,’ says Fox News host Posted January 16th 2021
Democrats and their mainstream media allies are hell-bent on suppressing dissenting voices as the Biden administration takes office, Laura Ingraham warned viewers Tuesday.
“The Ingraham Angle” host called out Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson, who said during an appearance on MSNBC earlier Tuesday that “there are millions of Americans, almost all White, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed.
“It is as though they are members of a cult, the Trumpist cult,” added Robinson.
“In their continued effort to use the Capitol incursion for political gain, Democrats feel emboldened to smear tens of millions of Trump supporters,” Ingraham replied. “They feel no need to debate issues or policies, not when they can treat their political opponents the way the Chinese treat its dissidents.”
“Apparently, they are now in favor of separating families,” added Ingraham, referring to a since-fired PBS lawyer caught in a Project Veritas sting saying Trump is “close to Hitler” and that the Department of Homeland Security should set up “reeducation camps”. “I thought they were against that.”
However, the host noted, these same figures were silent as Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups tore through urban areas last summer, looting big-box retailers, setting fires and at times blowing up automated teller machines.
“We heard no talk of manhunts or big pushes for facial recognition technology or adding supportive politicians to no-fly lists,” she said. “Where were the cries for swift justice back then? Remember, a lot of the same people attacked state and federal institutions. And by the way, where are the cries for justice today as thugs continue to target federal courthouses in places like Portland and Philadelphia?
“Condemning violence shouldn’t be related to one’s ideology [or] the ideology of the perpetrator,” Ingraham concluded, “and neither should the call for justice, ever.”
Comment One could write a book on this subject. Suffice it to say here that the implication of deprogramming is either a total lobotomy or reprogramming to suit the ‘leftist view.’ This is a shuddering thought. The so called new left – rich elite run -agenda setters are there in the schools. They were there over 30 years ago when I started school teaching in London.
During training at London University Goldsmiths’ College, we were told our job was consciousness raising. The plan was to turn kids into correct thinking robots , according to the agenda setters. I was young and naive, so became a zealot for the cause because I lacked experience and needed to read more widely.
Racism and sexism were and still are identified as the key issues, a perfect smokescreen for that ruling elite who control the little amount of money you are allowed to earn. Maybe people will be happier when they are turned into correct thinking zombies, with limited wants and minimal education. There should be a new service called ‘Lobotomies R Us ‘ .
The story of how the British Police State came up with what they call a ‘multi agency approach’ to me, insisting that I take mind and body damaging anti psychotics, to bring me under control, is documented on other pages. Death seems preferable to me.
It is the Brave New World dichotomy of the new epselon semi morons or otherwise malprogrammed contaminated beta plus Boris like characters. Personally, death would be preferable and I look forward to it as the world gets worse.
My only regret as I depart, will be having brought two sons into this world. ‘Liberal feminists’ ( sic ) have lined up to back deprogramming which should sit well with the already extreme psychological side effects of ludicrous politically motivated new world order lockdown which doesn’t combat the curious covid virus and has devastated young healthy lives, destroying small businesses , ruining younger lives and driving people so nuts they have killed themselves or died of medical neglect while hospitals focus on favourites. R.J Cook
Call To Remove Trump From Home Alone 2 January 15th 2021
In the film, Kevin McAllister, played by Macauley Culkin, asks Donald Trump for directions
The actor Macaulay Culkin has backed calls to remove a scene featuring Donald Trump from the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Now Culkin, the film’s star, has offered his support to the campaign on social media.
Comment Ignorance is Bliss R.J Cook
The self appointed morality police would be funny if not so dangerous. I have too little knowledge of what good or bad he has done, to condemn Donald Trump. The elite and moronic masses want him to go the same way as Johnny Depp, for our democracies of course/
From the get go, mainstream media was on Trump’s case. They and the elite patronising hypocritical Democrats campaigned relentlessly to rubbish his presidential candidature.
There are five strands of weaponry in the Democrat arsenal : Sex , Racism, Russian Spy and Corrupt Businessman. The benchmark is Saint Obama, a man whose officiaal history currently retails around £44. All negative reports on Obama’s rise to power are rubbished as fake news. Obviously this saintly man can’t be had for sex or racism – blacks can’t be racist because they are disadvantaged in the power structure. Nor has there ever been a black Russian agent . Few if any have access to state secrets. As for corrupt business practice , never happens.
Trump is villified again today on the BBC for not accepting defeat in the election. Hilary so didn’t accept losing in 2016 , she wrote a book about it with liberal media -especially BBC – backing and amplifying her claims. So then began impeachment. Mainstream media never mentioned the Clinton’s dodgy dealings, such as the Whitewater scandal or with Yeltsin or sex scandals like Bill taking advantage of young Monica Lewinsky, with cameos like what she had to do with Bill’s cigar and him ejaculating over her little black dress – while she was wearing it in the Oval Office.
You see, the Democrats are goodies. Democrat Jim Crow has been airbrushed from their history. Officially Kennedy and the Democrats didn’t take the U.S into Vietnam, conscripting working men from a class of men Hilary Clinton described as ‘deplorables.’
Blacks are the new whites. Donald Trump is a racist and sexist they say, ex cathedra. So he must be air brushed from history. In fact anyone this liberal elite don’t like must be banished from history and existence. This is how they started in Nazi Germany. It is a behaviour pattern rooted in and grown in ignorance, of which there is so much.
Many years ago , I had an argument with a man who said the internet would replace books and we would all have instant access to anything we wanted to know. I tried to tell him he was wrong and that we would only have access to what ‘they’ wanted us to know. I also asked the question as to who would tell us what we needed to know and why ?
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. He emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is perhaps best remembered for his postwar words :
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
My late mother, in government service throughout the war was also a bit of a philosopher – though I am not sure which bit. One of her quotes was ‘Where ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise.’ R.J Cook
More From The British Ministry of Information – BBC/CBS January 13th 2021
Several members of Donald Trump’s Republican party say they will vote to impeach the president over his role in last week’s storming of Congress.
The third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives, Liz Cheney, said Mr Trump “lit the flame” of the attack that resulted in five deaths.
A vote in the Democratic-controlled House is expected on Wednesday.
In his first public appearance since the riot, the president took no responsibility for the violence.
Democrats accuse Mr Trump of encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol building. They are expected to push for a vote to impeach Mr Trump, to formally charge him with inciting insurrection.
Will Trump be impeached?
As Democrats hold a majority in the House, the vote is likely to pass. The case will then head for the Senate, where a trial will be held to determine the president’s guilt.
A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict Mr Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote for conviction. As many as 20 Senate Republicans were open to convicting the president, the New York Times reported.
The timeline of when a trial could be held is not known but it is unlikely it could be finished before Mr Trump leaves office on 20 January, when Joe Biden will be sworn in as president.
The Senate could also use an impeachment trial to hold a vote blocking Mr Trump from ever running for office again. He has indicated he plans to campaign for president in 2024.
- Can Trump be removed or banned from politics?
- How many arrests so far from Capitol riots?
- FBI fears armed protests ahead of Biden’s inauguration
Wednesday’s vote means that Mr Trump is likely to become the first US president ever to be impeached twice.
He became the third president to be impeached in December 2019 over charges of breaking the law by asking Ukraine to investigate Mr Biden in the election. The Senate cleared him at a trial.
Comment Personally it is hard to stomach watching and reading the BBC, though their obsessive condescending anti Trump bias is quite entertaining now it has gone into overdrive. Its’ male and female posh presenters of all ethnic backgrounds and genders ( how many genders are there, not sure ? Still I guess the BBC have them all ) is a testament to their equality drive ( sic ).
I am not impressed by Trump’s achievements, but at least he didn’t rival Obama for war mongering and there is no easy answer to the Israel Palestine question. He ws also stuck with a pretty narrow gene pool for his cabinet, so can’t blame him for that.
Otherwise, though literally a big fish, he was out of his depth in power. He just coudn’t say the right things. Emphasising the mantra of democracy in danger is the key to power enduring, then letting the plutocrats have a free hand.
Now, however, could be his finest hour . The BBC are , with all other elite vested interests, keen to see Trump impeached. Trump is no hero, in that sense he qualifies for politics. But he is in a trap. So are the ones eager for his blood. Trump may or may not be a fake. The white underclass he purports to represent are not. To them he is their saviour , their John Wayne figure.
The working people in Britain have no better sense of reality, with a film and TV cliched happy view of the United States. Britain is a tiny country, where 90 % of its densesly packed in people occupy 10% of the space. They are the most watched population in the world. They are also bugged and conditioned to spy on each other.
The idea of an armed insurrection is beyond their imagination. political correctness is drummed into their young minds at school. the penalties for dissidence are extreme. The Anglo – U.S elite are incestous, both sides aware of dangers from a united underclass , hence separating out BLM, and men from women. That is how their Anglo U.S empire was built.
The fear now is of how the U.S white underclass will respond to Trump’s impeachment- there are blacks on Trump’s side. They have to do it because he is perceived as a massive threat to the future of ‘our democracies’ and the ‘new world order.’ R.J Cook
Extract from the ‘leftie’ ‘Atlantic’ March 2018 :
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
It’s a suspicion stoked by the fact that, across a range of issues, public policy does not reflect the preferences of the majority of Americans. If it did, the country would look radically different: Marijuana would be legal and campaign contributions more tightly regulated; paid parental leave would be the law of the land and public colleges free; the minimum wage would be higher and gun control much stricter; abortions would be more accessible in the early stages of pregnancy and illegal in the third trimester.
The subversion of the people’s preferences in our supposedly democratic system was explored in a 2014 study by the political scientists Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern. Four broad theories have long sought to answer a fundamental question about our government: Who rules? One theory, the one we teach our children in civics classes, holds that the views of average people are decisive. Another theory suggests that mass-based interest groups such as the AARP have the power. A third theory predicts that business groups such as the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the National Beer Wholesalers Association carry the day. A fourth theory holds that policy reflects the views of the economic elite.
Comment The U.S.A is an offshoot of elitist National Socialist Police State U.K . It’s hero was George Washington from a nasty English landowning Northamptonshire family who led the founding of a rich man’s slave owning republic, not a democracy.
Goerge III of the petty family of German princelings related to the Stuarts and mad as a hatter ) lost the American colonies for Germanic Britain ( by the way, I am not anti German, I have a German name and speak German when I have to ), over taxes ( money is always the thing with the rich and greedy ) .
The U.S, like its sentimetalised nasty mother country has never been a democracy. So stop listening to Fancy Nancy, Boris , Biden et al . They know it is not ‘our democracy’ it is their plutocracy. R.J Cook ( Koch )
U.S Capitol Police Officer Suicide January 10th 2021
A veteran US Capitol Police officer has died by suicide, authorities and reports said Sunday, a further blow to a department already reeling from the death of a member during last week’s riot.
Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, died on Saturday while off-duty, the department announced in a statement.
“He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.
“We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time.”
The department did not disclose the circumstances of Liebengood’s death, but outlets and reporters including Jake Sherman, of Punchbowl News, said that the lawman took his own life, citing sources.
It was not immediately clear what spurred the act.
Liebengood’s death came as the department was still mourning Officer Brian Sicknick, who was pepper-sprayed and fatally bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher when supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday in a futile attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
It was not immediately clear if Liebengood, like Sicknick, was on-duty at the time of the deadly riot.
Chief Steven Sund has announced his resignation from the force, effective Jan. 16.
Derrick Evans resigns from West Virginia House of Delegates
By Jon Levine
West Virginia GOP lawmaker Derrick Evans during the Capitol siege. West Virginia Legislature via AP; Facebook
The West Virginia lawmaker who recorded himself storming the US Capitol resigned Saturday — a day after his arrest for taking part in the siege.
Derrick Evans, 35, a freshman member of the West Virginia House of Delegates was arrested Friday, Justice Department officials said Saturday.
Evans streamed himself entering the building with the mob on his Facebook page, shouting as he crossed the threshold: “We’re in, baby!” Evans can be heard saying. “We’re here. We’re here. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol.”
Evans apologized for his actions in a resignation letter submitted on Saturday.
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans said, according to WTRF.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians,” the letter continued. “I hope this action I take today can remove any cloud of distraction from the state Legislature, so my colleagues can get to work in earnest building a brighter future for our state.”
The freshman lawmaker previously said he would not resign for taking part in the uprising.
The U.S. District Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said Friday that Evans would be slapped with federal charges for the stunt.
New York Post
Impeachment , More from British Elitist Ministry of Information January 9th 2021
US Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in Wednesday’s invasion of the US Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move forward with impeachment if Mr Trump did not resign immediately.
The charge of “incitement of insurrection” is set to be introduced by House Democrats on Monday.
They accuse Mr Trump of encouraging a riot in Congress in which five people died.
President-elect Joe Biden said impeachment was for Congress to decide, but said he had thought “for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.
The White House dismissed the impeachment as a “politically motivated” move that would “only serve to further divide our great country”.
Nearly 160 House of Representatives Democrats have signed on to the bill, which congressmen Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island began drafting while they were sheltering in place during Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol.
If the process does go ahead, it would be the second time the House has pursued impeachment against President Trump.
In December 2019, the lower chamber impeached Mr Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Senate acquitted him on both charges in February 2020.
No US president has ever been impeached twice. However, the prospect of an impeachment conviction seems remote because of Mr Trump’s Republican broad support in the Senate.
One moderate Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out”. And Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a regular critic of Trump, said he would “definitely consider” impeachment.
But there is so far no indication that enough members of the president’s party would agree to convict him.
That means an impeachment in the House might only be a symbolic action to hold Mr Trump accountable for the invasion of Congress.
An internal Senate memo says the soonest it could take up any articles of impeachment from the House would be on 19 January, the day before Mr Trump’s term expires, and a trial could only begin after he had left office.
Constitutional experts are split on whether impeachment can still proceed to a Senate trial in this event.
If convicted, Mr Trump would lose benefits granted to former presidents, and senators could vote to bar him permanently from public office.
Reasons why the 2020 presidential election is deeply puzzling
If only cranks find the tabulations strange, put me down as a crank Posted January 8th 2021
Ballots are recounted in Gwinnett County, Georgia (Getty)
November 27, 2020
To say out-loud that you find the results of the 2020 presidential election odd is to invite derision. You must be a crank or a conspiracy theorist. Mark me down as a crank, then. I am a pollster and I find this election to be deeply puzzling. I also think that the Trump campaign is still well within its rights to contest the tabulations. Something very strange happened in America’s democracy in the early hours of Wednesday November 4 and the days that followed. It’s reasonable for a lot of Americans to want to find out exactly what.
First, consider some facts. President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking reelection. He got 11 million more votes than in 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. By way of comparison, President Obama was comfortably reelected in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he received in 2008.
Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.
Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.
Trump increased his share of the national Hispanic vote to 35 percent. With 60 percent or less of the national Hispanic vote, it is arithmetically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to win Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Bellwether states swung further in Trump’s direction than in 2016. Florida, Ohio and Iowa each defied America’s media polls with huge wins for Trump. Since 1852, only Richard Nixon has lost the Electoral College after winning this trio, and that 1960 defeat to John F. Kennedy is still the subject of great suspicion.
Midwestern states Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin always swing in the same direction as Ohio and Iowa, their regional peers. Ohio likewise swings with Florida. Current tallies show that, outside of a few cities, the Rust Belt swung in Trump’s direction. Yet, Biden leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin because of an apparent avalanche of black votes in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Biden’s ‘winning’ margin was derived almost entirely from such voters in these cities, as coincidentally his black vote spiked only in exactly the locations necessary to secure victory. He did not receive comparable levels of support among comparable demographic groups in comparable states, which is highly unusual for the presidential victor.
We are told that Biden won more votes nationally than any presidential candidate in history. But he won a record low of 17 percent of counties; he only won 524 counties, as opposed to the 873 counties Obama won in 2008. Yet, Biden somehow outdid Obama in total votes.
Victorious presidential candidates, especially challengers, usually have down-ballot coattails; Biden did not. The Republicans held the Senate and enjoyed a ‘red wave’ in the House, where they gained a large number of seats while winning all 27 toss-up contests. Trump’s party did not lose a single state legislature and actually made gains at the state level.
Another anomaly is found in the comparison between the polls and non-polling metrics. The latter include: party registrations trends; the candidates’ respective primary votes; candidate enthusiasm; social media followings; broadcast and digital media ratings; online searches; the number of (especially small) donors; and the number of individuals betting on each candidate.
Despite poor recent performances, media and academic polls have an impressive 80 percent record predicting the winner during the modern era. But, when the polls err, non-polling metrics do not; the latter have a 100 percent record. Every non-polling metric forecast Trump’s reelection. For Trump to lose this election, the mainstream polls needed to be correct, which they were not. Furthermore, for Trump to lose, not only did one or more of these metrics have to be wrong for the first time ever, but every single one had to be wrong, and at the very same time; not an impossible outcome, but extremely unlikely nonetheless.
Atypical voting patterns married with misses by polling and non-polling metrics should give observers pause for thought. Adding to the mystery is a cascade of information about the bizarre manner in which so many ballots were accumulated and counted.
The following peculiarities also lack compelling explanations:
1. Late on election night, with Trump comfortably ahead, many swing states stopped counting ballots. In most cases, observers were removed from the counting facilities. Counting generally continued without the observers
2. Statistically abnormal vote counts were the new normal when counting resumed. They were unusually large in size (hundreds of thousands) and had an unusually high (90 percent and above) Biden-to-Trump ratio
3. Late arriving ballots were counted. In Pennsylvania, 23,000 absentee ballots have impossible postal return dates and another 86,000 have such extraordinary return dates they raise serious questions
4. The failure to match signatures on mail-in ballots. The destruction of mail-in ballot envelopes, which must contain signatures
5. Historically low absentee ballot rejection rates despite the massive expansion of mail voting. Such is Biden’s narrow margin that, as political analyst Robert Barnes observes, ‘If the states simply imposed the same absentee ballot rejection rate as recent cycles, then Trump wins the election’
6. Missing votes. In Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 50,000 votes held on 47 USB cards are missing
7. Non-resident voters. Matt Braynard’s Voter Integrity Project estimates that 20,312 people who no longer met residency requirements cast ballots in Georgia. Biden’s margin is 12,670 votes
8. Serious ‘chain of custody’ breakdowns. Invalid residential addresses. Record numbers of dead people voting. Ballots in pristine condition without creases, that is, they had not been mailed in envelopes as required by law
9. Statistical anomalies. In Georgia, Biden overtook Trump with 89 percent of the votes counted. For the next 53 batches of votes counted, Biden led Trump by the same exact 50.05 to 49.95 percent margin in every single batch. It is particularly perplexing that all statistical anomalies and tabulation abnormalities were in Biden’s favor. Whether the cause was simple human error or nefarious activity, or a combination, clearly something peculiar happened.
If you think that only weirdos have legitimate concerns about these findings and claims, maybe the weirdness lies in you.
Patrick Basham is director of the Democracy Institute.
An Attack On Our Democracy
R.J Cook January 7th 2021
I was replying with an e mail thanking my book editor when Sky News came on about the uprising in Washington, upsetting Joe Biden’s ‘investiture’ ( sic ). As I watched, I found myself writing him the following message :
Thanks very much for your wonderful job on my book. I read it through this morning. Meanwhile I have been listening to and watching Sky and BBC fawning over Biden. I haven’t seen anything worse about Trump than I see in him, but Trump did at least prove the president is a figure head and the mainstream press is in the hands of the rich and powerful.
Biden , who wants Assange jailed for eternity, has just called the U.S Washington demonstrators, an attack on ‘the citadel of liberty.’I have never heard the word democracy so oft repeated, emphasised and its processes deified in the past ten years.
Biden keeps talking about our institutions of democracy and is making me feel rather sick. The U.S , for decades has consumed more natural resources every year than the rest of the world put together, and most of that is in the hands of 5 % hideously rich who rule and judge the lower classes in fake democracies, unless one uses the elite Greek definition .
The maths are dangerously imbalanced. They have done the divide and rule of genders, now they are getting really strong on virtue signalling with the race card, blaming the white underclass for slavery and racism. That could be a big problem because that’s where they get most of their service people from, like the former unarmed airforce woman they shot dead yesterday because she didn’t step back.
Now he is goingh on about GOD. We will hear a lot of that with Biden and Harris pandering to BAME. All this God revival stuff worries me, though there may well be one ( hope so, otherwise my prayers are wasted ) but how many wars have been waged in God’s name ?
Biden has just said justice is blind ( sic ). It is the self righteous pomposity of it all that makes me want to vomit when ‘creepy Joe’ talks. This guy, using a BLM stooge as VP, is going to be the war monger from hell . This man is stoking up all that WWII melodrama and heroism. The BLM are going to be in for a rude awakening. He called the outburst and deaths in Washington, yesterday, domestic terrorism. Poor whites are going to juxtapose that with the reverence given to BLM.
All this is against the dangerous background of the U.S elite refusing to accept the rise of China and Russia , countries they had hoped to bring in as 2nd and 3rd in the New World Order. Then we have the Covid 19 mystery and lockdown , with its much loved ‘new variant’,. which is ,if sincere, then is the work of idiots because lockdown will cause more problems than it solves. God, I must shut up. I didn’t likeTrump much, but this man is revolting and so was Obama, such fakes, war mongers and delusionists.
Sorry, just venting. He is really playing the race and gender card, but never mentions U.S poor whites who had high hopes of Trump. Sky loves Biden, such a clean old man ! Pelossi, as I expect you are watching, has just called Trump a man who incited an assault ‘ on our democracy, and our democratic institutions ‘ calling it an act of sedition. She is demanding Trump’s impeachment under the 25th ammendment. As Neil Young and Buffalo Springfiled sang, ‘There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I gotta beware, step out line, the man come and blow you away.’
Am I also overreacting or is something serious going on ? when the U.S sneezes , the world catches cold, they said in 1929. God these people frighten me.
Thanks again, Regards Robert
Latest News From The British Ministry of Information – The BBC . January 7th 2021
WATCH: Trump’s words led to violence – UK home secretary
The UK’s home secretary Priti Patel has called the scenes in Washington on Wednesday “horrendous” and unacceptable”.
“His comments directly led to the violence, and so far he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong,” she told BBC Breakfast.
- Armed supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building and forced a lockdown
- A woman was shot dead by police and three others died of “medical emergencies”, say police
- Congress reconvened after the violence and has now certified Joe Biden’s election win
- Some Republicans were trying to overturn the results in some states but lack sufficient support
- Trump called on his violent supporters to go home but repeated false claims the election was stolen
- He has now released a statement promising an orderly transition of power
- Earlier, Democrats won two Senate seats in Georgia that tipped control of the Senate their way
Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, alongside far-right pro-Trump groups, were planning the rally outside Congress for weeks.
QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory that claims President Trump and a secret team of military intelligence officers have been waging a war against Satan-worshipping paedophiles in the Democratic party.
In addition, supporters of the “Stop the Steal” election movement, Proud Boys and other groups have been encouraging their followers to attend the march.
So-called “patriot caravans” and other initiatives were organised online to help transport activists to Washington DC in anticipation of today’s protest.
Many of those attending the rally had consumed viral conspiracy theories and misleading narratives about the presidential election on major online platforms, convinced that the vote was stolen from Trump.
US election officials have described the vote as the most secure in history.
Discussion on Gab and Parler, social media platforms popular with far-right groups banned from Facebook and Twitter, featured threats that anything other than Congress overturning the outcome would lead to “patriots” having to rescue their country from traitors, communists, Satanists and paedophiles.
The announcement was made by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the four “tellers” appointed by the House and Senate to count the electoral college votes.
She said: “The report we make is that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the president and vice president according to the ballots that have been given to us.”
Vice-President Mike Pence, who as president of the Senate oversaw the certification process, confirmed to Congress that, of the 538 electoral college votes cast, Joe Biden and Kamal Harris received 306 and Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 232 – mirroring the results of November’s election.
“The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed as sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2021 and shall be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Pence said.
Earlier today, two former officials who have worked closely with Donald Trump joined political leaders in condemning the storming of Congress. Former Defence Secretary James Mattis directly accused Trump of stoking the violence.
“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr Trump,” he said in a statement. He also said Trump had been “enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”
Mattis resigned from his position in 2018 after disagreeing with president over the war in Syria. He also sharply criticised Trump’s response in July to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff John Kelly posted on Twitter that the US “needs to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land”. He said candidates’ character, morals, ethical record, and integrity should be examined more closely.
He singled out President-elect Joe Biden’s remarks to the nation about the violence on the Capitol as “presidential”. The retired general resigned from the White House in 2018 and, like Mattis, has since publicly criticised Trump.
Georgia election: Democrats on course for Senate control
The Democratic Party of US President-elect Joe Biden is on the verge of taking control of the Senate as results come in from two elections in Georgia.
Raphael Warnock, a pastor from Atlanta, is projected to have won one of the seats. The other is on a knife-edge.
If the Democrats win both, Mr Biden will have a much better chance of pushing through his legislative agenda.
The election is being rerun because of Georgia’s rule that a candidate must take 50% of the vote in order to win.
None of the candidates in November’s general election met that threshold.
With 98% of votes counted, US TV networks and the Associated Press news agency called the first of the two races for Mr Warnock.
Control of the Senate in the first two years of Mr Biden’s term will be determined by the outcome of the second run-off.
Mr Warnock is set to become the first black senator for the state of Georgia – a slavery state in the US Civil War – and only the 11th black senator in US history.
Claiming victory, he paid tribute to his mother, Verlene, who as a teenager worked as a farm labourer.
“The other day – because this is America – the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said.
Comment No reasonable person could argue that colour should bar no person from office. However, Democrats seem to use African American as a trade mark – native red indians rareley get a mention. Black republicans are mocked, name called and ridiculed as if in a Marxian state of false consciousness.
So called liberal leftists have re written and simplified history as if all women and blacks are the only ever victims, being naturally right and good. In reality, the fact remains that Obama and Biden were war mongers, the latter a man of money secrets, both in hoc to the deep state.
Thus, a sensible person would need more than black front people to have any sense of security as the a British and U.S continue to dangerously attack Russian and Chinese interests because their greedy elite feel their privileges threatened. The Democat elite want bwar and duped minions to back them. As for Trump, he had no chance to do any thing because he was constantly undermined by a global capitalist media attack.
Georgia Senate election: Polling stations closing in battle for US Senate control
Published11 minutes agoRelated Topics
Polling stations are closing in the US state of Georgia in two elections that will decide whether President-elect Joe Biden’s Democrats control the Senate.
Results are expected to come in quickly but if the races are close a final outcome could take days to emerge.
Mr Biden’s party needs to win both seats to control Congress – and with it the power to push forward his agenda.
The Republican Party of outgoing President Donald Trump needs only to win one in order to retain the Senate.
Mr Biden said Georgians could shape the US for years to come.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump told voters it was their “last chance to save the America” they loved.
Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue currently hold Georgia’s two Senate seats. Ms Loeffler is taking on Reverend Raphael Warnock and Mr Perdue is battling former journalist Jon Ossoff.
None of the candidates reached the 50% needed to win outright in the elections in November, forcing Tuesday’s runoff elections under Georgia’s election rules.
What’s at stake in Georgia?
The vote will decide the balance of power in the Senate.
The Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats. If both Democrats win Tuesday’s elections, the Senate will be evenly split, allowing incoming Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote.
This would be crucial for pushing through Mr Biden’s agenda, including on key issues such as healthcare and environmental regulations – policy areas strongly contended by Republicans.
The Senate also has the power to approve or reject Mr Biden’s nominees for cabinet and judicial posts.
If Mr Ossoff and Mr Warnock both win, it would bring the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives under Democratic control for the first time since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
Voting ended at 19:00 local time (midnight GMT), although all those still queuing to vote at that time will be allowed to do so.
Democrats are hoping for a large turnout and have been buoyed by the fact that more than three million Georgians have already cast their ballots – nearly 40% of the state’s registered voters. Early voting was a key benefit for Joe Biden in the presidential election.
David Perdue has been self-isolating since coming into contact with someone with coronavirus, while his Republican fellow candidate Ms Loeffler tweeted images of herself and supporters waving placards on polling day.
Both Democratic candidates were also out canvassing for final votes on Tuesday.
The Democrats were looking to turn out supporters in major urban areas, particularly the suburbs of Atlanta. The issue of long lines of voters could be more of a problem for them.
For the Republicans, getting out voters on the day was even more crucial, and they will be looking to the stronghold of north Georgia, as well as rural areas and smaller towns.
Mr Perdue nearly won first time out against Mr Ossoff in November, falling just short of the needed majority with 49.7%.
The other seat had more candidates, with Democrat Mr Warnock recording 32.9% to Ms Loeffler’s 25.9%.
A Democrat has not won a Senate race in Georgia in 20 years but the party will be boosted by Mr Biden’s presidential election win over Mr Trump there. Mr Biden’s margin of victory was about 12,000 votes among five million cast.
How important is the black vote for the Democrats?
Georgia’s black community is more than double America’s national proportion, making up a third of the population.
Across America, nine in 10 black voters supported Mr Biden in the presidential election, according to a survey of more than 110,000 voters for the Associated Press.
In Georgia, voting rights activists like former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have played a major part in driving up black support for the Democrats and delivering the state for Mr Biden in November.
Candidate Raphael Warnock serves as the senior pastor of the Atlanta church where assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr grew up and preached.
If elected, the Baptist preacher would be the first black person to represent the state in the US Senate, as well as just the 11th black senator in American history.
What are voters saying?
Members of the BBC’s voter panel in Georgia have told us what motivated them to vote.
Steven Burkhart, 53, an independent voter from Atlanta who owns a small business, says that “the idea of the Democrats controlling the government is very frightening to me”.
He disagrees with the Democrats’ police reform policies and says the party has a “mentality” of wealth redistribution – “and I just don’t think that’s very conducive to a good economy”.
Robert Patillo, 36, a Democrat from Atlanta who cast his absentee ballot on the first day of voting, says that “the Democrats are running on a platform of reality”.
“If you look at campaign ads, the Republican candidates are saying we need to save Western civilisation and fight back against socialism, communism and Marxism, but they never talk about real issues that impact Georgians.”
“Neither of them has a plan to address the coronavirus or an economic platform that would help the average person.”
The BBC’s Cody Godwin has been speaking to voters in Cherokee County, outside of Atlanta, and says voting queues have stretched around the block but appear to be moving quickly.
This is a quick look at the voting line outside my former elementary school in Cherokee County, Georgia. It’s a cold day in Georgia and it’s taking about 40 minutes to get inside – though the line is longer now than when the folks I spoke to joined. pic.twitter.com/oScsazVVeN— Cody Melissa Godwin (@MsCodyGodwin) January 5, 2021
U.S Secret Service Purge For Biden Posted January 1st 2021
Joe Biden is expected to receive Secret Service protection with a new team that is more familiar to him and replacing some agents amid concerns that they may be politically allied with Donald Trump.
Several “senior” Secret Service agents are poised to return to the president-elect’s protection team and Biden knows these agents well because they guarded him and his family during his time as vice-president, according to the article, echoed in a report by CNN, citing a law enforcement source.
Re-assignments and promotions are common during transition periods between presidential administrations and are meant to increase comfort and trust between a president-elect and his security team, who shadow the commander-in-chief closely, including during private moments and sensitive discussions.
Although staffing changes are typical, several incidents reportedly contributed to the heightened concerns from Biden’s allies that some agents and officers might be loyal to Trump.
Some members of the president’s detail reportedly urged their colleagues not to wear masks during trips, for example – despite the federal government’s official guidance on Covid-19 – as Trump himself disparaged mask-wearing and held out for months before being seen wearing one in public.
Car Caravans Forming for ‘Historic’ Protest in Washington Posted December 31st 2020
Sixty-year-old Robin, a retail merchandiser in rural Virginia, hasn’t visited the nation’s capital in more than two decades or ever taken part in organizing a political event, although she was quick to volunteer to manage a stop for one of the four vehicle caravans headed to Washington for what many are calling a historic protest on Jan. 6, 2021.
In an unprecedented request, President Donald Trump asked his supporters to travel to Washington for a “big protest” on Jan. 6, when a joint session of Congress will be held, during which lawmakers will vet the Electoral College votes cast three weeks prior.
A number of House Republicans have committed to challenge the slates of electors from six states where the president has disputed the validity of the election’s outcome.
A Michigan man who goes by the nickname Dr. ENoCH on Twitter is organizing the larger caravan effort, which encompasses 20 cities along four routes. He told The Epoch Times that considering the size of the two prior post-election Trump events in Washington—which the president didn’t call for or endorse ahead of time—the Jan. 6 event is on pace to become the biggest Trump rally so far.
“There are two things that Trump’s ever asked us to do. One was to vote for him and now, the other one is to be in D.C. on the 6th,” Enoch said. “That’s why I started organizing this.”
Enoch will join the route running through Michigan. He said the organizers for each stop are responsible for figuring out a convenient exit from the highway, with enough parking and gas station pumps to accommodate a large volume of cars.
At least three pro-Trump groups that are organizing protests in Washington on Jan. 6—MAGA Million, March for Trump, and Stop the Steal—have reached out to support and promote the caravans.
“It might be one of the biggest caravans we’ve ever had here in America,” Enoch said.
The president’s legal election challenges in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico have so far borne no fruit. With each passing day of no progress in the courts, Jan. 6 has become increasingly significant. In more than a dozen interviews with organizers for the various caravan stops, the president’s supporters described the day as a historic last stand for Trump and the movement that he’s inspired.
“The whole event is going to be like our 1776 moment. It’s an important time to make sure that America stays America. It’s a crazy day, but I want to be part of it,” Dean, 55, of Charlotte, North Carolina, told The Epoch Times.
“I think if we don’t save our republic now, I don’t know when we can,” said Amelia, 22, of Fenton, Michigan.
“I’ve never served in the military, but I feel like I’m right now in the military,” said Shawn, 57, of Knoxville, Tennessee. “And I’m going into war. I’m going to battle for my country. I think we all feel that way. We’re going to get boots on the ground.”
“Trump is not only the president of America. I believe he is the leader of the free world,” a Queens, New York, man, who didn’t want his name published and who goes by the nickname Storm on Twitter, told The Epoch Times. “If America falls, then the rest of the free world is going to fall to socialism and communism and the New World Order.”
“America is the last stand for freedom,” Storm said. “That’s what I truly believe, and that’s why I’m going there on Jan. 6. It’s a serious thing for me.”
The Epoch Times isn’t publishing the last names of the individual organizers out of concern for their safety.
Republican electors in seven of the contested states have submitted competing slates of votes to Congress. In each case, only the Democratic slates have been certified by state officials.
At least a dozen House Republicans have committed to challenge slates of electors when Congress vets the votes on Jan. 6. To lodge a challenge, at least one senator would need to add his or her name to a written request. None have so far committed to doing so, but at least six have said they are open to the possibility, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
For each of the challenged slates of electors, the House and the Senate would retire to their respective chambers for two hours of debate, and vote on which slate of electors should be counted.
Some supporters of the president, including several of the caravan organizers, are also counting on Vice President Mike Pence to take a stand when Congress convenes. As the president of the Senate, Pence is charged with opening the envelopes containing the electoral votes. Some say he could refuse to do so and trigger a gridlock that may have to be resolved by the Supreme Court. Regardless of what may happen, the caravan organizers hope a large presence from Trump supporters will help Pence and Congress make the right choice.
“I think everything lays on Vice President Pence, and I think he will do the right thing and not certify those votes of the swing states in question,” said Eric, 47, of Richmond, Virginia.
“When there’s going to be millions of people descending on our nation’s capital, he will feel that, I believe,” he said. “I think he’s a good, honest man. And I think he’d do what’s right no matter what.”
“If Mike Pence is alone in that fight, that is going to be very hard for Mike,” Garrett, 29, of Oxford, Connecticut, told The Epoch Times. “But if the senators and congressmen and women stand up, and the people outside are standing up, then it’s going to make his decision a whole lot easier.”
“I can only hope and pray that Vice President Pence is going to do right by God and do right by the Constitution,” Shawn said.
The four caravan routes start in Boston; Lansing, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; and Gadsden, Alabama. The Michigan and Massachusetts caravans plan to converge in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, before heading to Washington via Maryland. The Tennessee and Alabama caravans are to converge in Richmond, Virginia.
All of the organizers for the stops along the way say they’ve never organized a caravan before. All are handling social media inquiries they receive from those who want to join, while some are also proactively reaching out to people to promote the drive. Garrett said he has a personal goal of 100 cars for his stop in Connecticut. He had 24 confirmed as of Dec. 28. The New Haven GOP reached out to him the day before, offering help, Garrett said.
“All of these caravans are almost the veins. And once we get onto the highways, that’s the arteries. And once we get down into D.C., that’s the heart. If we can get people plugged into the veins and get them linked up into an artery, that is 90 percent of what we’re doing,” Garrett said.
In addition to setting up the stops along the way, the caravan organizers are passing on tips for people once they arrive in Washington. Nicole, 38, of Clinton, South Carolina, is telling people joining her at the stop in Greenville about the no-go zones in the nation’s capital where members of the Antifa extremist group are known to frequent. She’s advising fellow Trump supporters to have a buddy system with others in the caravan when returning to their cars so that no one is left walking alone.
Nicole is also advising everyone to bring food and water since local vendors are likely to be sold out. She’s also informed those coming about DC’s concealed carry laws; the capital doesn’t honor gun licenses from other states.
“We’re trying to advise them not to really bring their gun or anything because of the risk. We’re coming peacefully. We’re not coming to attack. We’re not coming to fight,” she said.
“But at the same time, what we witnessed all over the country has been a lot of violence toward President Trump’s supporters and MAGA, in general,” she added. “We’re being cautious without being stupid.”
Molly, of Holly, New York, is helping people joining her stop to find carpools; she has seven cars committed to her stop so far and is looking for more people to join. Molly told The Epoch Times that she’s making the trip for her father, who is too old to make it to the event. She said her dad came to the United States from Holland with less than $100 in his pocket.
“He taught me to love America. He taught me to work hard,” Molly said.
Several of the organizers are taking time off work or away from their businesses to go to the protest. Others are out of work due to the lockdown or have flexible schedules.
Jake, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said he is taking his last two days off until June. Jake voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016 and changed his mind about Trump earlier this summer.
“I just realized there’s this overwhelming hatred for him,” Jake said. “And I never really gave him a chance. And as soon as I did, a lot more things made sense.”
Harmony, 45, who’s organizing the stop in Gettysburg, said she’d be willing to lose her job in order to go.
“If there was ever a day that patriots needed to be in D.C. in person, it’s on January 6,” she said. “This is the culmination of the fight that we’ve been in for the past four years.”
“It’s so important that I would gladly lose my job or my car.”
A couple of the organizers said they were confident about Congress changing the outcome of the election.
“I’m honestly not worried. I think that if we had to take back this country I think that we could and we would,” Amelia said. “I think that there are a lot of Americans with me. I’m willing to do anything to save this constitution and to save our republic.”
Others weren’t sure of the outcome and said they’d part ways with the Republican Party if lawmakers didn’t step up to help Trump.
“If these Republican senators don’t do the right thing, and object, and support this fight for election integrity, I can promise you that millions of Trump supporters, Republicans, whoever, Democrats, independents, are not going to support the GOP anymore,” Shawn said. “I’ll never vote another day in my life if they drop the ball and don’t support this effort.”
Posted December 29th 2020
The D.C. political and media establishment spent the last four years painting Donald Trump as some kind of freak aberration. And now that he’s been defeated, the conventional wisdom is that the grown-ups are back in charge and everyone else can go back to brunch.
But the agenda of the military-industrial complex and its bipartisan backers hasn’t changed: Endless wars. Corporate corruption. Dystopian surveillance.
Trump’s rise to power was the direct result of a failing democracy and a broken economic system, and those forces haven’t gone anywhere. This is no time for journalists to let down our guard.
That’s why, while others take a victory lap, The Intercept is drawing up plans to expand our coverage — growing our team and launching new investigations that hold leaders accountable for their actions, regardless of party.
There’s just one problem: So far we’re still far short of our ambitious year-end fundraising goal.
We understand that many people who’ve given before aren’t able to do so right now, and that’s OK. But that means we’re all the more dependent on those who can afford to be generous.
In many ways, our job at The Intercept gets harder now that Trump is gone. It was easy to convince people about the brutality of U.S. policy with a cartoonish villain like Trump at the helm.
But when we reported on the Obama administration’s drone wars and mass deportations, it made a lot of powerful enemies.
That’s OK — the enemies we’ve made are a badge of honor — but it means we’re now counting on our most loyal readers and listeners to help challenge the Biden administration’s emerging corporatist and hawkish agenda.
The Democratic leadership claiming victory in the election is the same Democratic leadership that regularly supported expansion of Trump’s military and surveillance powers — just as they did under Barack Obama and under George W. Bush.
We can expect that the Biden-Harris administration will continue to funnel money into the military-industrial complex, lining the pockets of defense contractors and lobbyists. The war machine rolls on.
Thank you, Jeremy Scahill
Trump: Supporters Should Join ‘Wild’ Protest in DC on Jan. 6
Posted December 20th 2020
Trump alleged in a tweet that it was “statistically impossible” for him to have lost the 2020 election, referring to a report that his trade adviser Peter Navarro released this week.
He then added: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
In another missive, the president said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden didn’t win the election.
“He lost all 6 Swing States, by a lot. They then dumped hundreds of thousands of votes in each one, and got caught. Now Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen. Don’t be weak fools!” he wrote.
Biden has declared victory in the election, referring to certified vote counts from all 50 states. Trump and other Republicans are contesting election results in courts in key states. The Epoch Times is not calling the race at this time.
Navarro released a report that alleged the election “may well have been stolen” from Trump.
“If these election irregularities are not fully investigated prior to Inauguration Day and thereby effectively allowed to stand, this nation runs the very real risk of never being able to have a fair presidential election again,” Navarro said in the report.
Trump supporters are expected to gather in the nation’s capitol as members of Congress convene in a joint session on Jan. 6 to count electoral votes. “Stop the Steal” organizers have said they’ll hold an event.
There’s an outside possibility that Congress moves to nullify some state’s votes, or change them from a Democratic slate of electors to a Republican one, but some experts believe that is unlikely.
During the counting, a partnership of at least one representative and at least one senator can file objections in writing to a state’s votes. That triggers the chambers to withdraw and debate the objection. The chambers can then vote on the objection; it requires a simple majority in each chamber to be withheld.
A handful of people who will be in the House of Representatives when Congress meets—Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and Rep.-elects Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Barry Moore (R-Ala.), and Bob Good (R-Va.)—have committed to filing objections. At least five senators or senators-elect have said they aren’t ruling out joining them.
Republican Senate leadership, and many Democrats have derided the plans.
“There is 0.00 chance the House reverses the election,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.
“I think on the basis of the way that the system works, the decision by the Electoral College yesterday was determinative,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters this week, referring to electors casting votes in their respective states.
“The Electoral College submitted its vote. And I also think as we look into next year, it’s very important that each of us pledges to work with President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect [Kamala] Harris,” Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters.
Tens of Thousands Rally in Washington to Demand Election Integrity
WASHINGTON—Tens of thousands of people converged at the Capitol and the Supreme Court on Saturday—amidst blaring musical horns, red, white, and blue apparel, and waving American flags—to take part in rallies calling for greater transparency in the 2020 election.
People traveled to Washington from all over the country to show their support for President Donald Trump. Many there expressed that the election process was handled improperly and is fraudulent. Some are optimistic that the tide will turn, including some high-profile supporters.
“Courts do not decide who the next president of the United States will be,” said former national security adviser Michael Flynn. “There are paths that are still in play.”
“We are in a crucible moment in the history of the United States of America,” he added.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected Texas’ bid to challenge the 2020 election results in four battleground states. Justices opined that the Lone Star State lacked legal standing—or capability—to sue under the Constitution because it has not shown a valid interest to intervene in how other states handle their elections.
“We’re only asking to just show us a little transparency,” said Flynn, who spoke outside the Supreme Court and later at Freedom Plaza. “Why not recount? Why not look at the signatures, Why not look inside these [voting] machines. Why not? what are they afraid of?”
Flynn called himself a “product of an unjust system” and said the current battle for the election “is about the fabric of the constitution of the United States of America.”
Trump on Nov. 25 pardoned Flynn after a yearslong case relating to the Russia investigation. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about speaking to a Russian diplomat during Trump’s 2016 transition period. But Flynn, a retired three-star general, withdrew his plea before sentencing.
Different events, marches, and rallies took place throughout the day, starting from 9:30 a.m. Participants often shouted “Stop the Steal,” a common slogan among Trump supporters, and also the name of some of the grassroots movement organizing the event.
The barrage of rallies came before the Dec. 14 deadline for the Electoral College vote.
At around noon, Trump flew over Freedom Plaza in Marine One as he headed north to West Point to attend the annual Army-Navy game.
“Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them!” Trump said in a Twitter post in the morning.
Sebastian Gorka, who served as deputy assistant and strategist to Trump in 2017, said what’s at stake is more than just a single election.
“If we don’t stop the theft of this election then we will never ever have a free and transparent election again in America,” he told The Epoch Times. “There is a rot at the core of American institutions and it’s up to us to make a difference.”
Gorka, who spoke at Freedom Plaza, said he believes the state legislatures now play the largest and most significant role.
“The constitution is clear: it’s not CNN, it’s not governors, it’s not the Supreme Court. It is the state Houses in America,” he said. “The state Houses cannot certify a clearly fraudulent election.”
Several legal challenges are underway that contest the results of the election. Attorney Lin Wood has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court asking the justices to review his case that argues Georgia’s 2020 presidential election was “unlawful.”
His request to the nation’s top court was filed on Tuesday shortly after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a decision to dismiss his case due to the lack of legal standing to bring the case. The Supreme Court docketed Wood’s petition for a writ of certiorari—the request to review the case—on Friday.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal by the Trump campaign over a challenge to the result of the presidential election recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties.
Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, a pro-Trump Democrat, urged his colleagues in the state legislature to take a stand.
“They need to support a free, fair, and transparent election,” Jones told The Epoch Times at Freedom Plaza. “They need to be vocal about it. It’s not about certification. It’s about rectification.”
Georgia on Dec. 7 re-certified its election results for Democratic nominee Joe Biden following a recount, although Coffee County said it can’t certify its results after the second statewide recount because it wasn’t able to duplicate the official result on its voting machines.
“I call on the secretary of state [of Georgia] to get it right, and we need to go into a special session as well,” Jones said.
Mike Lindell, founder and CEO of MyPillow, implored people to stand up and speak out about their concerns about the election.
“We need to get the word out today that this fraud is real,” Lindell told The Epoch Times at Freedom Plaza.
“We’re in a spiritual battle, this country.”
He urged people to not lose hope after the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday, saying there are several other legal cases going ahead aimed at disputing the election results in battleground states. “Everyone’s going to see it. The whole world is going to see it,” Lindell said, referring to the evidence of election fraud produced in these lawsuits.
Republican Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator who hosted the first public hearing regarding election integrity, told The Epoch Times that his office has heard from thousands of people across Pennsylvania about various election irregularities, such as being denied entry to polling places and being told that they mailed-in a ballot when they didn’t.
Mastriano said the Republican Party as a whole needs more courage going forward: “We’re on the side of righteousness, and we need to fight forward politically, and not just roll over.”
But he has faith that the tide is turning.
“We’re seeing courage rising. And it’s not too late. It’s never too late,” Mastriano said.
With reporting by Charlotte Cuthbertson
Sidney Powell Files Lawsuit in Georgia Alleging ‘Massive Election Fraud’
Attorney Sidney Powell filed a federal lawsuit late Wednesday alleging “massive election fraud” and multiple violations of the Constitution and Georgia’s state laws in the 2020 general election, as well as issues pertaining to Dominion Voting Systems.
The civil action alleges that the purpose of the scheme was for “illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.” A similar separate suit was filed in Michigan.
The Georgia suit (pdf) was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and other election officials.
The suit seeks to compel the court to invalidate the election results in Georgia. It was filed on behalf of plaintiffs including Republican Party nominees for the electoral college, the chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party Jason Shepherd, and the Assistant Secretary of the Georgia Republican Party, Brian Jay Van Gundy.
The 104-page complaint argues that “incontrovertible evidence Board of Elections records demonstrates that at least 96,600 absentee ballots were requested and counted but were never recorded as being returned to county election boards by the voter. Thus, at a minimum, 96,600 votes must be disregarded.”
According to the suit, fraud was also allegedly “executed by many means” but the “most troubling, insidious, and egregious” way was the “systemic adaptation of old-fashioned ‘ballot-stuffing.’” It alleges computerized ballot-stuffing and manipulation by software created and run by domestic and foreign actors. The complaint cited affidavits from multiple witnesses, documentation, as well as expert testimony that raised “sheer mathematical impossibilities” in the election results supporting the claims.
“Especially egregious conduct arose in Forsyth, Paulding, Cherokee, Hall, and Barrow County,” the complaint reads. “This scheme and artifice to defraud affected tens of thousands of votes in Georgia alone and ‘rigged’ the election in Georgia for Joe Biden.”
In particular, the suit took issue with election software and hardware from Dominion Voting Systems, which it noted was recently purchased and “rushed into use” by Kemp, Raffensperger, and the Georgia Board of Elections.
Plaintiffs allege that the design and features of the Dominion software do not allow for a simple audit to see whether votes were misallocated, redistributed, or deleted, pointing to a Jan. 24 decision by the Texas secretary of state to deny certifying the software “because of a lack of evidence of efficiency and accuracy and to be safe from fraud and unauthorized manipulation.”
“First, the system’s central accumulator does not include a protected real-time audit log that maintains the date and time stamps of all significant election events. Key components of the system utilize unprotected logs,” the filing reads. “Essentially this allows an unauthorized user the opportunity to arbitrarily add, modify, or remove log entries, causing the machine to log election events that do not reflect actual voting tabulations—or more specifically, do not reflect the actual votes of or the will of the people.”
The suit also alleges “incontrovertible physical evidence that the standards of physical security of the voting machines and the software were breached, and machines were connected to the Internet in violation of professional standards and state and federal laws.”
Part of the suit mentions a delay in voting at State Farm Arena in Fulton County, where video on Nov. 3 shows that election workers “falsely claimed a water leak required the facility to close.” It adds, “All poll workers and challengers were evacuated for several hours at about 10:00 PM. However, several election workers remained unsupervised and unchallenged working at the computers for the voting tabulation machines until after 1:00 AM.”
Another part of the complaint said that cybersecurity expert Navid Keshavarz-Nia testified that “U.S. intelligence services had developed tools to infiltrate foreign voting systems including Dominion.” Pointing to vulnerabilities in the Dominion’s software, he claims that “hundreds of thousands of votes” were transferred from President Donald Trump to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in battleground states.
The complaint also cites a former electronic intelligence analyst under the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, who declared that the Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran to monitor and manipulate elections, including the 2020 U.S. general election.
A former U.S. Military Intelligence expert had analyzed the Dominion software system and concluded that the system and software “were certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China,” according to another part of the complaint.
“By using servers and employees connected with rogue actors and hostile foreign influences combined with numerous easily discoverable leaked credentials, Dominion neglectfully allowed foreign adversaries to access data and intentionally provided access to their infrastructure in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent one in 2020,” the filing said.
The lawsuit also claims: “Georgia’s election officials and poll workers exacerbated and helped, whether knowingly or unknowingly, the Dominion system carry out massive voter manipulation by refusing to observe statutory safeguards for absentee ballots. Election officials failed to verify signatures and check security envelopes. They barred challengers from observing the count, which also facilitated the fraud.”
The Georgia secretary of state and Dominion Voting Systems did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ requests for comment on the suit.
Dominion released a statement on Wednesday saying, “Claims that Dominion deleted or switched votes are completely false. Dominion systems are 100 percent auditable.”
The lawsuit comes after election results were certified for Georgia on Nov. 20. At the time, Kemp did not clearly endorse the results but said the law required him to “formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose.” Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy
Comment It appears that the pulling power and magic of Joe Biden and his supporters was so powerful, even the dead rose to vote Democrat ( sic )
Seriously Naive – R.J Cook November 25th 2020
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A harsh reality in coal country – with or without Trump November 25th 2020
By Jessica Lussenhop
BBC News, MontanaPublished16 hours ago
Colstrip, Montana, has been a poster child for the kind of coal mining community that looked to Donald Trump to bring back the industry and save their town. But four years later, on the eve of a Joe Biden presidency, the only thing that’s clear is that saving coal – and Colstrip – was never going to be that simple.
On Wednesday, 4 November, the day after a US presidential election without a definitive winner, Jason Small sat on the darkened patio of the Whiskey Gulch Saloon contemplating his own unclear political future. Under an inky sky dotted with stars shining with a brilliance only possible in far-flung towns like this one, Small’s phone screen lit up his face as he scrolled the latest voting results.
“I think the precincts that have no numbers back are going to be heavily in my favour,” he said. “I’m not wanting to call it early because you just never know.”
Small – who is anything but, standing 6ft 4in tall with a barrel chest and a booming voice – was up several points in his bid for a second state senate term representing four counties in south-eastern Montana, including two Indian reservations. As a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, he is somewhat of a political anomaly, one of just a handful of elected indigenous politicians who are Republican. His opponent in the race was another Native candidate, a Democrat.
“There’s a lot of misguided views about Republicans hating Native Americans and stuff like that. And that’s not the case,” he said. “I’ve been one heck of a liaison.”
That evening, Small was still dressed in a sweatshirt, smudged jeans and work boots having come straight from an 11-hour shift at the coal-burning Colstrip Power Plant, a massive green and tan edifice whose four smokestacks loom over the town. Not long after he arrived at the Whiskey Gulch, two of his fellow boilermakers joined him for a beer. All three supported Donald Trump for re-election. With chagrin, they had been watching the news that Joe Biden was inching towards 270 electoral votes.
“With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris getting in there, then you feel like that’s gonna be the end of coal. They straight out said it,” said Ryan Hunter, who’s worked at the Colstrip plant for 17 years. “What’s going to happen when it’s all done and over with? There won’t be much here.”
The Colstrip plant is fed by a nearby open-pit strip mine, and together, this so-called “mine to mouth” operation employs about 650 workers at its peak – the very jobs that Trump vowed to save during his 2016 campaign. A month before election day this year, Department of Energy secretary Dan Brouillette came to town and remarked that plants like Colstrip were being retired too quickly, calling it a “very important facility to us”. That was encouraging to hear in a city where coal energy is pretty much the sole economic driver, making up as much as 80% of its tax revenue.
It’s not hard to understand why the residents want to hang on. Because of coal, this tiny city boasts a $12m annual budget, which translates into excellent schools, immaculate city parks and gleaming recreation facilities. The fire and police departments are fully staffed, crime and property taxes are low – there’s even a nine-hole public golf course situated under wide open skies, amid red-striped rock formations and the rolling, arid steppe. The average salary is roughly double the statewide average.
“If you were walking down the side of the street and you fell down on the sidewalk, the next car over is gonna stop, pick you up and try to figure out what’s going on, and help you out,” said Small. “That’s how these people are. They’re salt of the earth… That’s what we’re trying to save.”
Saving coal and electing Republicans is nearly synonymous here. If you drove up and down the tidy streets of Colstrip earlier that day – a town of less than 2,300 residents with one gas station and one grocery store – “TRUMP 2020” and “Montana for Trump” flags were fluttering over a few front stoops. But far more prevalent were signs that read, “Colstrip United”, the name of a pro-coal group of residents founded to push back on environmentalist rhetoric about the town. Many businesses in town hang signs that say things like, “Coal Keeps Us Cooking,” and “Coal Keeps the Doors Open”.
Locals were incensed by Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan and its mandate that the state of Montana cut its carbon emissions by 47% by 2030. The plant’s closure would have been an inevitability to meet that goal. When a newly inaugurated President Trump withdrew the country from the Paris climate accord and set about dismantling Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency policies, workers were thrilled. They eagerly awaited further changes that could potentially save the town.
But salvation for coal never arrived. More megawatts of coal power were retired during the Trump administration than the last four years of the Obama presidency, and in 2019, the US mined only 706m tonnes of coal, the lowest level since the 1970s. That same year, two of the companies who own a share of the energy output from Colstrip announced that they were shuttering their portion of the plant, known as Units 1 and 2. Although closure has been talked about for years, when it actually happened the town was stunned. “It’s like losing a family member,” one woman told a reporter at the time.
Those closures led Hunter to move his family to Arizona, where he’s originally from. Although he still has a job in Colstrip and travels there to work, he no longer plans to raise his family there. He worries the local high school won’t even exist four years from now, when his oldest son would be graduating.
“It’s been trickling away here for 10 years, watching this town get a little bit smaller, get a little bit smaller,” he said.
At the same time, he still owns a house and a small business in Colstrip that he’s been trying to sell for months. There haven’t been any takers.
“Say President Trump wins re-election. Yeah, he could possibly try to put a stall on this for a while,” said Hunter. “But the end is still inevitable.”
Colstrip Mayor John Williams spent election day doing chores around the house, trimming his trees, and only intermittently tuning into coverage of the 2020 race. As Biden crept closer to victory, he felt none of the optimism he had experienced four years ago, when the surprise election of Trump held the promise of a friendlier EPA and the unwinding of what Williams saw as unnecessary regulations that were hurting the bottom line of the power companies that own the Colstrip plant.
“Everything in our community is energy related. And if Biden gets in there, I see there’s a lot of challenges,” he said. “I feel the threat is greater on the federal level.”
Indeed, President-elect Biden said he plans to weave aggressive climate change policies into many facets of his administration, from his Department of Justice to the Department of Agriculture. He has pledged to re-join the Paris Agreement on his first day in office and will appoint former Secretary of State John Kerry to a newly created, cabinet-level position as a special envoy for climate. Biden also campaigned on a pledge to achieve zero-emission power in the US by 2035, a timeline that could directly impact the Colstrip plant.
Williams – a former plant administrator who helped incorporate the city in 1998 and has served as its mayor for the majority of the years since – warned that sun-setting coal plants too quickly will lead to brownouts and rate hikes for the people whose homes are currently powered by Colstrip. He said that his residents will not be the only ones suffering the loss of coal tax dollars, the entire state will feel that pain.
However, when he started talking about who is to blame, he sounded just as angry at the companies who own the plant as with any politician or environmental group.
“I feel that those large, multibillion [dollar] companies that have made millions and millions of dollars as a result of the efforts of the people that live and work in Colstrip place little value on what their futures are,” he said. “They understand the debt that they owe to this community. They understand it, whether they’ll recognise it with actions, I doubt.”
Some of the anger in town stems from the abrupt closure of Units 1 and 2. The Colstrip plant’s four “units” are jointly owned by six different companies, all of which pay for a percentage of the power generated. Four are out-of-state companies, meaning the majority of the power generated in Colstrip goes to Washington and Oregon states, which have considerably more liberal governments than Montana.
In 2016, Oregon passed a law that would eliminate the use of coal-fired power by 2030. In 2019, the governor of Washington signed a law that would sunset the state’s reliance on coal power even faster, by 2025. And under a settlement with the environmental group Sierra Club over violations of the Clean Air Act, two of the plant’s owners – Talen Energy and Puget Sound Energy – agreed they would close half of the plant’s units by 2022. They shocked the city when they moved up the closure to 2020, saying the units were no longer “economically viable”.
Puget Sound Energy pledged $10m to help transition the town, saying in a statement to BBC that it will “remain in Colstrip for years through the decommissioning and remediation work”, but workers felt they were caught flat-footed.
“There’s no transparency with these companies,” said Hunter. “They’re just like, ‘Oh, we’re done.’ And it just leaves everybody hanging, nobody gets a chance to try and plan for anything.”
The other out-of-state owners could withdraw from Colstrip as early as 2025, leaving two Montana-based companies who – while they have expressed interest in keeping the plant open for years to come – have not said publicly how they plan to do so.
In a statement to the BBC, Montana-based Talen Energy said it is focusing on “keeping Colstrip Units 3 and 4 economically viable amid the changing policy landscape.
“We continue to be guided by doing what is right for our employees and the community.”
At the time of the closure, state senator Duane Ankney told a local reporter that he’d once believed that Obama’s Clean Power Plan would be the demise of Colstrip. But now it is a game of economics, not politics.
“It’s the investors and the utilities that have the most say in this,” he said. “The policies handed down from Washington or from the state legislature can make it easier to get a mine permit or to get a power plant permit. But they have no swing over what the financials is.”
Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, said there are things a Biden administration could do to continue to make coal an unattractive investment for power companies, like resume the Obama-era moratorium on coal mining on federal land, and strengthen regulations on the waste products and emissions that those facilities produce. He also said that any plan to build rail lines that would bring coal from a place like Colstrip to the coast in order to be sold to foreign markets like China would probably never get past a Biden administration. But none of those things change the fact that coal power is no longer as competitively priced per megawatt as natural gas from fracking, and increasingly viable renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
“The coal industry has been on the decline for several decades,” said Gerrard. “Even had [Trump] been re-elected, it’s not clear what he could have done to much prolong the lifetime of these plants.”
Bret Bowen, the former president of the power plant’s electrical union and an employee for the last 20 years, was one of a few Biden supporters in town. Sitting on the front porch of his home, wind chimes ringing in a steady autumn breeze, he said he thinks the town has been used by politicians and the coal industry as a prop – a pawn in a culture war it couldn’t possibly win.
He points to the fact that the Trump Department of Energy official who visited Colstrip just before the election mentioned carbon sequestration – a process for capturing carbon dioxide from burning coal and storing it instead of releasing it into the atmosphere – which could prolong the plant’s lifespan. But just a month later, a study performed by that same official’s department said that in Colstrip, such a plan “may not be financially attractive” and gave it an estimated $1.3bn price tag.
“If I told you everything was gonna be okay, it’s a lot easier to hear that, then, ‘Oh, man, I just lost $100,000 in my home value that I can never recoup.’ I’d rather you tell me it’s okay. And I’ll bump down the road every Monday morning because it’s okay,” Bowen said with a wheezy laugh. “That’s easy. That’s an easier pill to swallow. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make forward progress.”
He said he voted Democrat because he believes it will strengthen union power in the country – for the job he’ll need to find after Colstrip shuts down.
The man whose entire job is to figure out what forward progress for Colstrip looks like is Jim Atchison, executive director of the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation. Atchison manages to sound both breathlessly excited about the prospects for Colstrip’s economy and frustrated by the sustained fight to make it into a reality.
“The gist of this is we have one horse in the barn right now. And we’d like two or three additional horses in the barn to diversify our economy,” he said. “I was here till midnight last night, getting some reports done, but that’s kind of what we have to do… it’s just people need help.”
He can rattle off half a dozen visions of Colstrip’s future – perhaps it could become a destination retirement community, or a hotbed of wind power, with its valuable transmission lines that run all the way to the Pacific Northwest. There is already a wind farm under development in the area, which could create enough energy for 300,000 homes. Maybe rare earth minerals could be harvested from the burned coal, or perhaps Colstrip could be a place to develop those elusive carbon capture technologies.
But there is still no single project that is likely to absorb every employee from the coal industry, nor fully supplant the tax base Colstrip currently enjoys. He said the prolonged state of uncertainty has led to a lot of “trauma” in the community.
“There’s this big question mark that hangs over everyone’s families and their lives out here,” Atchison said. “We try and stay positive, we try and look at opportunities – ‘How can we turn this lemon into lemonade?’ type of thing.”
Some of the proposed job solutions are coming from entities that have historically been at odds with the coal industry, and then by extension the workers in Colstrip. For decades, local ranchers have opposed the expansion of the coal mines and rail lines that would cut across their land, and potentially impact groundwater and soil quality.
Jeanie Alderson, a fourth generation rancher in the area and chair of the Northern Plains Resource Council, said that her group’s interests align with workers now that the plant is likely to close. The NPRC released a study showing that if coal companies do a thorough clean-up of the 6.7 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash currently sitting in ponds on the plant property, the project could yield 218 jobs.
“Let’s do this clean up, and let’s do it right, let’s keep people working. And let’s take care of the water so we don’t all end up with a Superfund site that all of us who are here for the long haul are left with,” she said.
The more robust clean-up plan has just been approved by the outgoing Democratic governor’s administration. However, it could face potential challenges with the incoming Republican governor, and a new Republican supermajority that Montanans just voted into office.
By the end of election week, it was clear that Biden was likely to win the presidency, and that Jason Small had won his election as well. There was no victory party. When he got off work at the plant, all he wanted was to go home to his small cattle ranch on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, where he was expecting a large delivery of hay. He hadn’t had a day off, he said, in four months.
Small said he sees himself as a representative of the “blue collar, working class Natives”, like the 200 members of local tribes who work at the plant or the mine. He said the dollars those jobs bring to the reservation go much farther than they do even in Colstrip.
“One job affects seven people. Well, if there’s 200 people working from the reservation just south of here, working here in Colstrip, that job affects 1,400 people due to disparities in the system,” he said.
Although experts say it’s unlikely, Small’s nightmare scenario is that a single Biden executive order could have the knock-on effect of shuttering the plant overnight. He has visions of plant managers stopping everyone at the gate one morning – game over. At the same time, he said his last four years in the legislature have made him a realist about what can be achieved on a purely political level when it comes to coal.
“When I was just first doing coal advocacy years ago, I was thinking, ‘Oh, we can get on this, we can save this, we can save this.’ And, you know, unfortunately, most of the world is below the surface of what you ever see,” he said. “At the end of the day, these are a business. And when those businesses don’t make money anymore, they shut them down.”
As of now, he believes his role is to prolong the life of the plant in any way he can – a subsidy here, a tax break there – to keep the utility companies happy and eke out a little more time for his colleagues to find other jobs, to sell their homes and make a plan for what comes next.
“I still haven’t taken the steps myself,” he said. “And I do know what’s coming. I mean, I fully understand.”
At the same time, life for Small has already dramatically changed because of Covid. The virus ripped through the Northern Cheyenne reservation, infecting nearly half the population and causing 33 deaths. In Lame Deer, the largest town on the reservation, electronic signs warn residents to be home by a 10pm curfew. Small lost several members of his own circle to the virus, including his grandfather, his 48-year-old cousin, and a close childhood friend who was only 45. At the tail end of his election, Small contracted the virus himself.
“I’ve lost so much of my family here lately that you know, I’m kind of hitting that point where, shit, I don’t need to stick around. Nobody left,” he said with a joyless laugh.
“Every time you lose something, there’s less of something to come home to. I don’t know, maybe in the end, I’ll go on a journey of some sorts and never look back. You never know.”
Biden’s Foreign Policy Picks Are From the Hawkish National Security Blob. That Is a Bad Sign.
Biden’s incoming team helped shape some of the most militaristic policies of the Obama administration.
Sarah Lazare November 23, 2020
There was no reason to think that a Biden administration would be to the left of the Obama administration when it comes to foreign policy. Biden comes with a long political career of supporting the wars of the United States and its allies, from the 2003 invasion of Iraq to Israel’s aggression against Palestinians to the protracted occupation of Afghanistan. And whatever limited overtures he made to the Left during his campaign for the general election in 2020 (while he simultaneously ran on distancing himself from the Left), foreign policy was almost entirely omitted, as evidenced by the issue’s exclusion from the unity task force with Bernie Sanders.
Perhaps the most distinguishing foreign policy position Biden took on the campaign trail was his saber rattling toward China, which was not quite as racist at Trump’s, but nonetheless got so bad a Biden ad was rebuked by progressive Asian-American groups for its racist content (Biden eventually walked back some of the ad’s rhetoric). Biden did say during his campaign that he wants to end “forever wars” (many of which he helped start) and that he’s against the war in Yemen (a position he only took after he served in the Obama administration that supported the war), but he neither centered these platforms nor accompanied them with concrete policy proposals that would actually bring an end to endless war.
In keeping with this trajectory, Biden is already drawing from a host of pro-war individuals from the Obama era to fill his cabinet. Because many of these people have been around for a while and have relationships across Washington, there is no shortage of well-known political figures who are testifying to their decency and smarts—that’s how the relatively insular world of Washington “national security professionals” works, after all. But for those on the outside of the Washington Blob looking in, the operative questions are, “What are these appointees’ records, and what does this say about what exactly we are up against in a Biden administration?”
Antony Blinken — who will be nominated for Secretary of State, as the Biden-Harris transition team announced Monday — has rightfully attracted considerable criticism for a record of supporting wars and so-called humanitarian interventions. Blinken was a top aide to Biden when the then-Senator voted to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and Blinken helped Biden develop a proposal to partition Iraq into three separate regions based on ethnic and sectarian identity. As deputy national security adviser, Blinken supported the disastrous military intervention in Libya in 2011, and in 2018 he helped launch WestExec Advisors, a “strategic advisory firm” that is secretive about its clients, along with other Obama administration alumni like Michèle Flournoy. Jonathan Guyer writes in The American Prospect, “I learned that Blinken and Flournoy used their networks to build a large client base at the intersection of tech and defense. An Israeli surveillance startup turned to them. So did a major U.S. defense company. Google billionaire Eric Schmidt and Fortune 100 companies went to them, too.”
But other, lesser-known Obama administration alumni deserve greater scrutiny. Among them is Avril Haines, who has been tapped as Biden’s Director of National Intelligence. Haines was one of the co-authors of Obama’s “presidential policy guidance,” the infamous drone playbook that normalized targeted assassinations around the world. Here’s how Newsweek described Haines in 2013:
Since becoming the National Security Council’s legal adviser in 2011, she had been working on a wide array of highly complicated and legally sensitive issues — generally until 1 or 2 in the morning, sometimes later — that go to the core of U.S. security interests. Among them were the legal requirements governing U.S. intervention in Syria and the range of highly classified options for thwarting Iran’s nuclear program. All the while, Haines was sometimes summoned in the middle of the night to weigh in on whether a suspected terrorist could be lawfully incinerated by a drone strike.
During the Biden presidential campaign, there was a concerted effort by former Obama aides to cast Haines retroactively as a voice of restraint and protecting civilians, as captured in an article by Spencer Ackerman. This revisionism should not be believed: Whatever civilian protections Haines may have written into drone law, they clearly did not work, as evidenced by the devastating toll of U.S. drone wars on civilians. While the Trump administration escalated the drone war and loosened restrictions on killing civilians, it was the Obama administration — aided by Haines — that normalized the widespread use of targeted assassinations that turned the whole world into a potential U.S. battlefield.
There are other aspects of Haines’ record that are worrying. She has “in the past described herself as a former consultant for the controversial data-mining firm Palantir,” as Murtaza Hussain reported for The Intercept. Palantir was co-founded by a Trump-backing billionaire, and is implicated in some of the worst wrongdoings of the Trump administration, including mass surveillance and immigrant detention. As Hussain reports, little is known about Haines’ role at the firm, and she scrubbed any mention from her bio when she came on as a Biden advisor. (Haines also worked for WestExec, as Guyer reports.)
In 2018, Haines angered progressives when she spoke in support of Gina Haspel’s nomination for CIA Director. Haspel was widely opposed for her role in running CIA prisons where torture took place.
And then there is Linda Thomas-Greenfield, tapped to serve as United Nations Ambassador. Thomas-Greenfield lists her most recent employment Albright Stonebridge Group, a secretive “global strategy firm” somewhat similar to McKinsey & Company, and chaired by Madeleine Albright (Thomas-Greenfield is currently listed as “on leave” from the firm). Albright Stonebridge Group is a black box: It’s near impossible to get any info about who its clients are. The firm claims that it does not lobby the U.S. government or do work that is covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but many of its staffers double in roles that certainly do exert influence, or have in the past. The firm’s UAE office is headed by Jad Mneymneh, who previously was in the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi’s Office of Strategic Affairs.
There is nothing remarkable about Biden appointing someone who hails from a shadowy global strategy firm for a powerful role, but that is precisely the problem. As Guyer points out, Jake Sullivan, set to be Biden’s National Security Advisor, went to work for Macro Advisory Partners in 2017. “Run by former British spy chiefs, Macro Advisory Partners has about 30 full-time staff and reported $37 million in revenue last year,” notes Guyer. “Macro Advisory Partners has used Sullivan’s involvement as a selling point in offering ‘trusted counsel in a turbulent world,’ with his face atop the roster on their website’s landing page. But when Sullivan publishes a magazine article about U.S. foreign policy or delivers university lectures, he almost always omits this job from his biography.”
Then there is Michèle Flournoy, considered the favorite to lead the Pentagon (though this hasn’t been officially announced yet). Not only is she on the board of military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, but she co-founded the the hawkish center-left think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS) — which receives significant funding from the weapons industry, including General Dynamics Corporation, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corporation. She served in the Obama administration as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2009 to 2012 and then played a powerful role at CNAS. She was a major backer of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, a supporter of the occupation of Afghanistan, and firmly opposed the complete removal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
More Biden nominations will be trickling in over the coming days and weeks, and we have every reason to expect more of the same: His transition team is a clear tell. As I reported on November 11, one third of Biden’s Pentagon transition team alone lists as their “most recent employment” think tanks, organizations or companies that are either funded by the weapons industry or are directly part of this industry. Many of these entities are well-known and even respected, including influential think tanks like CNAS and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Staffers of these think tanks do not get the same bad flak that lobbyists receive, but they deserve it: Via policy papers, media outreach and relationships with politicians, these staffers effectively do the same thing lobbyists do, but dressed in a more academic veneer, and the think tanks Biden is drawing from have proven track records of pushing weapons systems on the U.S. government. Indeed, in 2016 even the New York Times accused CSIS of lobbying for General Atomics, a California-based manufacturer of Predator drones, based on a cache of emails showing it doing just that. And then there are the many that do not disclose their funders, including four transition team members (Linda Thomas-Greenfield among them) who hail from Albright Stonebridge Group.
There is a temptation to take a moment to breathe, to celebrate that the Trump administration has been voted out (although Trump appears determined to maintain power), and to hold on to hope that Biden will mark a turn away from some of Trump’s worst impulses, including his war mongering. But we learned from the earliest days of the Obama administration that it is sober assessment — rather than projection — that is called for in moments like this. Obama, with Biden at his side, oversaw intervention in Libya, disastrous involvement in the Yemen war, ongoing occupation in Afghanistan, support for the coup in Honduras, and much more. And Biden is now pulling from the same team of advisors and influence peddlers and consultants who helped make it all happen.
Sarah Lazare is web editor at In These Times. She comes from a background in independent journalism for publications including The Intercept, The Nation, and Tom Dispatch. She tweets at @sarahlazare.
Extract from the not so liberal ‘The Weak’ magazine.
On Thursday afternoon, when lawyers for the president of the United States were alleging (wholly without evidence) that Democrats stole the presidential election for Joe Biden with a combination of fraudulent mail-in ballots and voting machines rigged by Venezuela’s deceased left-wing populist autocrat Hugo Chavez, a new YouGov poll of 1,500 registered voters revealed that 88 percent of Republicans think Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 election.
There is no sign whatsoever that Trump will ever concede the election or cease trying to discredit it. How likely is it that this will “work,” in the sense that he will succeed in preventing Biden from taking the oath of office just past noon on Jan. 20, 2021? Almost none, as several informative articles have explained in detail. Advertisement
Yet for me the past couple of days have begun to feel a little bit like those weeks in the winter of 2016 when a range of pundits insisted, in the face of an avalanche of polls showing Trump solidly leading the pack of candidates in the GOP primary field, that he couldn’t possibly win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Back then, my stock response to these denialists was to ask naively, “Why not?” The answers, pointing to mysterious inner workings of party institutions, never succeeded in persuading me that it couldn’t happen. As long as Trump had the voters behind him, he would win — because in reality there was no institutional or legal mechanism to prevent it from happening.
Thankfully, there is such an institutional and legal mechanism standing in Trump’s way this time. So he won’t be able to ride a wave of outrage among his supporters to a second term.
But that doesn’t mean that Trump isn’t doing enormous, potentially long-lasting damage to American democracy. He is, and precisely through the same means by which he seized his party’s nomination nearly five years ago. Then as now he won over the voters through a potent mix of demagoguery, flagrant lies, and anti-establishment fury. Then as now he used his popular support to force the capitulation of most of his party’s elected officials and bureaucratic functionaries, leaving only a handful of dissenting politicians and conservative opinion journalists to stand (impotently) against him. (Most would eventually come around to accepting him as the party’s nominee and then president.)
The main difference today is that to stay in power, Trump needs to win the capitulation not just of his own party but of the American electoral system as a whole. That’s why, although he will almost certainly fail at reversing the results of the 2020 election, he could well succeed at sending American democracy into a tailspin from which it could not easily recover.
There are two possible paths forward from the present perilous moment, both of which have potentially terrible consequences for the future of the country.
The first is the one that experts continue to assure us will almost certainly not happen. That’s a scenario in which Trump succeeds in persuading Republican-controlled state legislatures in several states that have been called for Biden to defy (or change) election laws limiting their power to overrule the popular vote totals and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College. The reason why this is so unlikely is that a number of these states have Democratic governors who would veto any such moves, while the efforts would also invariably end up in the courts, where the Trump campaign’s efforts thus far to cast doubt on the election results have failed miserably. Multiply all the highly unlikely eventualities together and we’re left with an infinitesimal likelihood of success.
But let’s assume for the sake of argument that it does work. State legislatures appoint pro-Trump electors, the effort survives vetoes and court challenges, the Electoral College votes for Trump instead of Biden, and Congress accepts this outcome, putting Trump on a path to a second term despite losing a democratic election by a decisive margin. How is the portion of the country that voted for Biden likely to react? The answer is so obvious that I won’t belabor it: We would be on the verge of a revolution and/or civil war from the left. Advertisement
Now, let’s back away from the precipice and imagine the vastly more likely scenario that Trump keeps losing in his hapless coup attempt, with state legislatures, courts, the Electoral College, and Congress all doing their duty and affirming that Biden’s victory on Election Day makes him the president-elect. Eventually the General Services Administration will free up funds and begin working with Biden’s people to make the transition happen, with the federal government moving toward the inauguration of the 46th president on Jan. 20.
But recall: Nearly nine out of ten Republicans apparently think that Trump won the election. How likely is it that he will concede the loss and then use the next two months to talk these Republicans out of their conviction that Biden’s victory was stolen from them? Not likely at all. In fact, it would be far more in keeping with his personality and longstanding patterns of behavior to go in the opposite direction — doing even more of what’s kept him occupied for the past two weeks: amping up the lies, stoking the indignation, and spreading ever-more outlandish conspiracy theories designed to discredit the entire system of American government.
Trump succeeded in the winter and spring of 2016 by unleashing a barrage of rhetorical attacks on the institutional Republican Party, the media, and the culture of Washington more generally. What’s to stop him from turning his ire now against every single person and institution that fails to take his side and the side of his supporters in their battle to demonstrate that they are the rightful winners of the 2020 election? The list would be long: the media; the entire Democratic Party; Republican officeholders and officials at all levels of government who capitulate to the inevitability of the Biden presidency; the courts; the military; Fox News and dissenting conservative opinion journals.
By the time of the inauguration, the Republican Party could well be so hollowed out that it consists of nothing more than an armed mob and its insurrectionary leader. Which means that just going through with the Biden inauguration could leave us on the verge of a revolution and/or civil war from the right.
Now, maybe it won’t happen this way. Maybe Trump will become demoralized and slink away before the third week of January, leaving Republican voters to de-escalate and reconcile themselves to the outcome of the election. Maybe the 88 percent who tell pollsters they think Trump was the rightful winner mean it in a way that’s less incendiary than it sounds. Maybe if Trump and his minions stop actively encouraging such doubts and distrust these voters will calm down and stop thinking in terms of stolen elections and all that that implies about the unreliability of our political institutions.
But note that it could all come down to the demonic Donald Trump, who may well hold the fate of American democracy itself in his hands.
Does he really have the power to blow up American democracy with his words and his deeds? And would he do it if he could? I wouldn’t exactly call it likely. But then, neither was the prospect of a reality-show star taking over a political party and winning the presidency in the first place.
Comment Again and again we hear the word democracy. The Democrats never accepted Trump in the first place, spending Trump’s whole term with blocks, smears and distractions.
Most of technologically boosted wealth is in in the hands of an obscenely rich and self centred minority. They encourage overpopulation, religious bigotry and divisive fear. Multi culture is nonsense and a con. We see just how much it means when the elite identify the mysterious Covid 19 virus, hiding facts and truths, then imposing ruinous health dictatorship.
The masses never wonder or challenge. The nice whites care about Africa without noting where the profits from abundant resources go or how powerful blacks connived and profited from selling fellow blacks into slavery. Mustn’t be talked about as the elite paint a black and white picture to cover up their current and next moves.
The same is true of Latin America. Nothing will change. Biden is just a name and a fugurehead. Trump proved how irrelevant the president is to the Deep State. Harris will be even more useful, creating a ludicrous image of the best U.S Democracy has to offer. R.J Cook
OBAMA THROUGH ADORING BBC EYES November 21st 2020
Former US President Barack Obama likens Russia’s Vladimir Putin to a tough Chicago “ward boss” and describes former French President Nicolas Sarkozy as being full of “overblown rhetoric” in the first volume of his two-part memoir.
A Promised Land sold nearly 890,000 copies in the US and Canada in its first 24 hours – a record for publisher Penguin Random House. It is expected to become by far the biggest-selling presidential memoir in history.
In the book, Mr Obama recalls his travels around the world as the 44th US president and his meetings with world leaders. So who made a good impression and who didn’t?
The Eton-educated conservative who served as UK prime minister from 2010-2016 was “urbane and confident” and had “the easy confidence of someone who’d never been pressed too hard by life”.
Mr Obama said he warmed to him as a person (“I liked him personally, even when we butted heads”) but made no secret of the fact that he disagreed with his economic policies. “Cameron hewed closely to free-market orthodoxy, having promised voters that his platform of deficit reduction and cuts to government services – along with regulatory reform and expanded trade – would usher in a new era of British competitiveness,” he wrote. “Instead, predictably, the British economy would fall deeper into a recession.”
Mr Obama said the Russian leader reminded him of the political barons he encountered during his early career in Chicago. He writes he was “like a ward [district] boss, except with nukes and a UN Security Council veto”.
He continues: “Putin did, in fact, remind me of the sorts of men who had once run the Chicago machine or Tammany Hall [a New York City political organisation] – tough, street-smart, unsentimental characters who knew what they knew, who never moved outside their narrow experiences, and who viewed patronage, bribery, shakedowns, fraud, and occasional violence as legitimate tools of the trade.”
The former French president was “all emotional outbursts and overblown rhetoric” and like “a figure out of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting”, according to Mr Obama.
“Conversations with Sarkozy were by turns amusing and exasperating, his hands in perpetual motion, his chest thrust out like a bantam cock’s, his personal translator… always beside him to frantically mirror his every gesture and intonation as the conversation swooped from flattery to bluster to genuine insight, never straying from his primary, barely disguised interest, which was to be at the centre of the action and take credit for whatever it was that might be worth taking credit for.”
The German leader is referred to as “steady, honest, intellectually rigorous, and instinctually kind”. Mr Obama notes that she had, at first, been sceptical of him, because of his lofty rhetoric and speech-making skills. “I took no offence, figuring that as a German leader, an aversion to possible demagoguery was probably a healthy thing.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Mr Obama found the Turkish leader to be “cordial and generally responsive to my requests”.
“But whenever I listened to him speak, his tall frame slightly stooped, his voice a forceful staccato that rose an octave in response to various grievances or perceived slights. I got the strong impression that his commitment to democracy and the rule of law might last only as long as it preserved his own power.”
The former Indian prime minister is described as having been “wise, thoughtful, and scrupulously honest” and the “chief architect of India’s economic transformation”. Mr Singh was a “self-effacing technocrat who’d won the people’s trust not by appealing to their passions but bringing about higher living standards and maintaining a well-earned reputation for not being corrupt”, Mr Obama observes.
- Obama memoir praises India opposition leaders
- I read all those Trump tell-alls. Here’s what I learned
Mr Obama was an admirer of Václav Havel – the Czech Republic’s first president after the Velvet Revolution – but found his successor Václav Klaus more troubling. Mr Obama writes that he feared the Eurosceptic president signalled a rise of right-wing populism across Europe and embodied “how the economic crisis [of 2008-9] was causing an uptick in nationalism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and scepticism about [European] integration”. He added: “The hopeful tide of democratisation, liberalisation, and integration that had swept the globe after the end of the Cold War was beginning to recede.”
The following article is, as sociologist Emile Durkheim might have said ‘ a social fact’ as is the magazine ‘The Week ‘ ( ‘The Weak’, in our view ). It represents a vested interest, is long winded and insidious in favour of lockdown, Biden & vested interests under false colours of universal freedom and femdom. November 17th 2020
America’s narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us
Ryan Cooper Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock November 16, 2020 Sign Up for Our free email newsletters 10 things you need to know today Today’s best articles Today’s top cartoons The good news newsletter The week’s best photojournalism Daily business briefing Daily gossip newsletter Parenting newsletter Solving COVID newsletter The week’s big question NEW
Here’s a question for all red-blooded liberty-loving American patriots: Who has a greater lived experience of freedom at the moment, citizens of Vietnam or the United States? Vietnam, of course, is a one-party Communist state, with fairly strict limitations on freedom of speech, the press, and so on, while the U.S. has (at least for now) a somewhat democratic constitution and (at least formally) some protections for civil liberties.
But in Vietnam, there is no raging coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to swift action from the government, that nation squelched its initial outbreak, and has so far successfully contained all subsequent infection clusters before they got out of hand. Its figures at time of writing (which have been confirmed as reliable by outside sources) show a mere 1,283 cases and 35 deaths, and no community transmission for the last 75 days. Life for Vietnamese people has returned to normal, with a few sensible precautions. If their success holds for a few more months until a vaccine can be deployed, Vietnam will have dodged the pandemic nearly perfectly.
Given Vietnam’s high population and very high density — it has over 96 million people crammed into an area about the size of New Mexico — numerous long borders, including one with the country where the pandemic started, and relatively impoverished economy, it has turned in arguably the most impressive performance of any country in the world. Most of the other star performers, like Taiwan or New Zealand, are rich islands and hence much easier to isolate from the world (though nearby Thailand has done nearly as well).
Meanwhile in the self-appointed “land of the free,” on Sunday the seven-day average of daily COVID-19 deaths was 1,148. The same seven-day average of new cases has increased from about 82,000 on November 1 to over 150,000 on Sunday — numbers that are certainly a large underestimate, because, with very high test positivity rates across much of the country, many cases are being missed. Total recorded deaths in the U.S. are over 250,000, which again is a large under-count. There are many more future deaths already baked in, and infections are mounting exponentially in almost every state. Unless something changes, and fast, the coronavirus pandemic will surpass the Second World War to become the greatest American mass casualty event since the influenza pandemic of 1918.
The bleak irony of American life is our boastful and hyperbolic national conception of liberty has left us as one of the most unfree peoples on the globe. There can be no freedom without government, a lesson currently being inscribed in blood, and stacked up in the mobile morgues that are overflowing with corpses in more cities around the country every day. Advertisement
As an American, the months since March have felt like living in Airstrip One, the miserable police state formerly known as Britain in George Orwell’s 1984. In that time I have seldom left my house for fear of catching the virus, or worse, spreading it to someone who is at risk and killing (or permanently disabling) them. I have not seen my family since October 2019 for the same reason. In a best-case scenario, I will not see them until the middle of next year — something like 2 percent of my entire lifespan, optimistically speaking. It looks like even the occasional outdoor dining I savored as a small bright spot over the summer will be shut down soon, with cases spiking badly in my home city of Philadelphia.
All the political freedoms I supposedly enjoy as an American citizen are useless in the face of this unending tsunami of death and misery. The plain fact is that the average resident of Vietnam — under a repressive dictatorship, let me emphasize — has more freedoms in the places where, for most people, it really counts: the freedom to leave the house, the freedom to see and touch one’s family and friends, the freedom to go to a restaurant or a bar or a movie or a concert, and simply the freedom from constant grasping fear of invisible death.
Let me be clear: The point of the comparison here is not to say that authoritarian rule is necessary for containing the virus. On the contrary, part of the reason the virus escaped in the first place was because authoritarian officials in China tried to hide it at first (though they later turned things around, as I will discuss below). And as noted above, Taiwan and New Zealand are democracies and have also done very well. South Korea, Australia, and Japan have struggled somewhat more than Vietnam, but thus far have also kept the virus largely in check. A few European democracies like Finland and Norway have done fairly well, and while most others on that continent are suffering a catastrophic second wave (worse than I predicted, alas), they have recently adopted a second lockdown which is beginning to slow the spread. The point is that the United States is getting rinsed in providing liberty to its citizens — supposedly the entire point of its existence, according to its founding documents — by a bunch of dictatorial Communists.
The United States, once again, stands virtually alone among nations with its obdurate refusal to do anything about the galloping pandemic at the national level. Now, part of that is President Trump’s singular incompetence. Since surviving the virus — thanks to cutting-edge experimental treatment only he could get at the time — he has progressed from not doing anything about the virus to effectively trying to spread it personally. He held dozens of huge campaign rallies, even after one in June infected hundreds of people. An election night watch party recently became the second super-spreader event hosted at the White House. Advertisement
Even halting, timid efforts to stop hospitals from being utterly overwhelmed at the state and local level are running into stiff resistance from reactionary lunatics. Almost every single Republican governor has preemptively refused to follow President-elect Biden’s guidance on imposing mask rules, even as their own operatives and elderly representatives fall sick from the virus. New York Governor Cuomo’s weeks-late and unenforceable order banning gatherings larger than 10 people inspired a Republican New York City councilman to gleefully announce on Twitter that his Thanksgiving celebrations would have more people than that. The order is an “odious infringement on personal liberty,” moaned the libertarian writer Robby Soave at Reason.
In South Dakota, where the hospitals are already full to bursting with new cases still accelerating, the blithely apathetic Governor Kristi Noem insists that masks are a matter of personal choice. Newly elected QAnon nutcase Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) boasted of refusing to wear a mask during congressional orientation.
Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress.
Masks, masks, masks….
I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive.
In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks.
My body, my choice.#FreeYourFace
— Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) November 13, 2020
In short, while it is a minority movement, the most fervent, dedicated, and effective political mobilization in this country is organized around stopping the government from saving the lives of its citizens.
As I have previously written, the signature American view of liberty emerges from a cramped and extreme version of 19th-century liberal theory. American conservatives and libertarians often assert that one has liberty when the government is not “interfering” with whatever one feels like doing, regardless of circumstance.
Of course, even on these terms, the rabidly pro-pandemic stances detailed above don’t work. Even the most dogmatic libertarians generally admit in other contexts that the government must have rules against behavior that harms other people, such as killing them. A Maine wedding back in August, for instance, flouted pandemic control rules and ended up infecting at least 177 people, seven of them fatally. None of the seven had attended the wedding.
But there is a deeper problem. The entire structure of the economy, and especially who owns what, is the product of state laws and actions. The government is constantly taking actions to defend property rights, adjudicate property disputes, and so on. That means at a deep level there is no such thing as government non-interference, only choices about which kinds of interference are best.
The distribution of property in turn is not the product of some eternal history of fair trade and exchange — as philosopher G.A. Cohen points out, the very idea of private property rights cannot help but be a violent destruction of liberty. Once there was land nobody owned, and then someone decided with no justification aside from brute force that it was theirs forever. As a historical matter this is exactly what happened in the United States. The country exists because European settlers stole an entire continent from its previous inhabitants. This is the “original appropriation” problem, and it blows apart the dominant American understanding of liberty. Even the most brilliant libertarian thinker by far, Robert Nozick, could not solve it. His book Anarchy, State, and Utopia had to include a proviso that it was okay to establish property rights if it made people better off — a wholesale surrender to paternalistic utilitarianism. If you can impose property to make people as a whole better off, then you can confiscate it for the same reason.
In other words, this view of liberty seen above, focused above all on preventing the government from imposing rules on the citizenry — whether it is taxing the rich, forcing people to wear masks, or preventing mass congregation indoors — cannot get off the ground. It is a philosophical non-starter.
Thus the primary rhetorical strategy of American neoliberalism, the libertarian-inflected school of thought that sees government involvement in the economy as an unnatural imposition to be avoided at all costs and which has had a hammerlock on both parties since the 1980s, is to simply evade the problem of property. Because it would have unsavory implications for capitalists, who want to protect their socially-constructed wealth from taxation or nationalization, neoliberals built a political fence around property and the economy by pretending they are natural and non-political.
That is a big part of why modern American politicians are so reluctant to govern — an entire generation of both voters and elites have internalized the idea that the government should directly control things only as a last resort, and that the main task of politics is massaging and coaxing the market to slightly adjust social outcomes here and there. As David Bentley Hart writes at Commonweal, “what [Americans] have been trained not to know or even suspect is that, in many ways, they enjoy far fewer freedoms, and suffer under a more intrusive centralized state, than do the citizens of countries with more vigorous social-democratic institutions.” It is not a coincidence that legal scholar Richard Epstein, whose crack-brained prediction back in March that lockdowns were unnecessary because the virus would cause a mere 500 deaths helped inspire the Trump administration’s early non-response, is a famous libertarian. As the man himself wrote in April, “the response of the state governors to the coronavirus outbreak has become far more dangerous than the disease itself.”
In reality, as Vietnam demonstrates, the only way to have freedom during a pandemic is with a competent, aggressive state that does intrusive, coercive things on a hair trigger, the very instant they become necessary. There must be widespread testing, fever checks, and so on to monitor for the virus. Anyone who tests positive needs to be instantly thrown in isolated treatment facilities. People’s movements must be tracked, and anyone a positive case has come in contact with recently must be thrown in quarantine for a time. All the while the state must build trust that its policies are necessary and working. And as Simon Wren-Lewis writes, “if you start seeing a rapid rise in cases, and your [test-trace-isolate] system is beginning to fail, you need to lock down rapidly and hard.”
China — a country as large in area as the U.S., with about four times the population — demonstrates this last point clearly. Vietnam’s response was so good that it has not so far had any serious outbreaks, while China had several. Yet each time the Chinese government quickly identified the problem, and smashed the spread of the virus with a severely strict lockdown — people have been forcibly locked in their homes for weeks (though with food and supplies delivered to them), followed by gargantuan mass testing of entire provinces.
Another irony here is that China’s lockdowns, while far more directly coercive than anything the American government has done at any level, are in practice not all that different from what many Americans have been imposing on themselves since March. Indeed, because the Chinese government was making sure (nearly) everyone was fed and housed, in many ways its lockdowns were less unpleasant than America’s, which have ended up with people being thrown on the street by the millions. Much more importantly, because China’s lockdowns were so strict, and its test-trace-isolate system so efficient, they were over in a matter of weeks. Imagine if you could just tolerate 4-6 weeks of being locked indoors, and the virus would be virtually gone. Imagine if we had made that choice back in April. Imagine if we could get the last seven months back, and the roughly 200,000 Americans who have since died. Advertisement
By contrast, if the state dawdles or gets gun-shy about keeping the virus down, disaster can strike in a matter of days. It appears this was the problem in many Western European states, which have poisoned themselves with neoliberalism only somewhat less badly than the U.S. has done. They never quite eradicated the virus entirely, and facing a restive citizenry, political leaders dragged their feet about re-introducing new containment measures like closing bars and restaurants. They had to be forced into it by another massive surge of infection, and once again many Europeans are stuck inside. (To be fair, better late than never, which appears to be what is on the agenda in the U.S.)
Thomas Hobbes noted 369 years ago that if a political sovereign is constrained by absolutist property rights, “he cannot perform the office [the people] have put him into, which is to defend them both from foreign enemies and from the injuries of one another; and consequently there is no longer a Commonwealth.” In other words, libertarianism can be a fatal political virus — a prediction borne out by the crumbling American republic, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have died this year thanks to being inadvertently injured by their fellow citizens. To reverse the damage, Americans will have to remember how to demand our government do the things only it can do, so we can find real freedom at last.
November 16th 2020
Biden Tells Black Americans He Will Have Their Back. He Won’t
By Jeff Charles | Nov 08, 2020 5:00 PM ET
In his first speech since the corporate press declared him the winner of the presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden gave a shout-out to the black community for supporting him. But if he does secure the election, black folks shouldn’t raise their expectations of a Biden presidency. In fact, there is an indication that black people are already aware of this.
During his speech, Biden acknowledged black voters, who overwhelmingly supported him. “The African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours,” Biden said in front of a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware. “I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.”
Exit polls show that about 87% of black voters supported the former vice president. He received less support from the black community than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
But there’s a factor that most are missing when it comes to black voters. As The Hill pointed out, “Black voter turnout was at a 20-year low in 2016, and the bloc was targeted aggressively by both the Biden and Trump campaigns.”
In 2020 black Americans showed up to the polls in increased numbers in battleground states like Georgia and North Carolina. “Exit polling is showing that black voter participation is up across the board,” Brandon Upson, founder and executive director of Amplify Action told The Hill.
What these folks don’t want to admit is that black voters didn’t turn out in higher numbers because they love Joe Biden. They showed up to vote against Trump.
If Biden wins, most rank-and-file black folks know that his administration won’t affect much positive change in their communities despite the flowery promises coming from the left. And no, they are not impressed with Kamala Harris as she was chosen to appeal to white liberal women, not black people.
Despite what black leftist commentators say, black people saw how Biden’s team treated Ice Cube when he approached them with his Black Contract for Black America. If the former vice president ends up occupying the Oval Office, it’s highly unlikely that they will call Cube to further discuss his plan as they promised.
There was never any chance that Trump would win most of the black vote, but he still increased his support among blacks considerably. Regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, Trump has shown that it is possible to begin making inroads in the black community. In so doing, he removed any excuses that the GOP establishment might use to continue avoiding African American voters.
Nasty Nazi Minds & Hypocrits November 11th 2020
Voices from the fight: An oral
history of the four-year movement
to defeat Donald Trump
Activists, politicians and ordinary citizens reflect on Trump’s
presidency and the moments that compelled them to rise up. Posted November 10th 2020
They had mobilized for four years, from the bottom up as much as the top down, millions of Americans determined to deny President Trump a second term. And when the moment came, when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election, they collectively exhaled with a sigh of relief. Finally, it was over.
The uprising sprouted in the hours after Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 and blossomed throughout his time in office — women and men, young and old, African Americans, Whites, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans in cities and suburbs and small towns.Follow the latest on Election 2020
Many had hoped for a sweeping repudiation of Trump, which did not materialize, but they achieved their primary goal. They stood up to the president and then defeated him in an election that revealed once again the contours of a deeply divided nation. They exuded joy and felt as though a weight suddenly had been lifted off them, although they said that much work lies ahead in healing the country.
This is the story of that movement to resist Trump, as told by those on the front lines. This oral history is based on interviews with 71 people — elected officials and political insiders, as well as community activists and ordinary citizens. The interviews were conducted during the final month of the 2020 campaign and were lightly edited for clarity.
Numerous Trump campaign officials and advisers were asked to participate. Only a smattering agreed to give on-the-record interviews.
Comment There follows a long report from the British Ministry of Information aka The BBC. In a nutshell, it welcomes the new administration, in particular Harris because she is Indian and a woman. We all know why women in power are important.
Her India connection is important because of fears about China taking over from the U.S.A. The report goes on to say that Russia is the real enemy ‘of our much vaunted democracies where across the world there are 20% controlling 95% of the wealth, giving us lockdowns telling us what we can do, where we can go and what to think.
Biden has warned no trade deal without an agreement benefitting his ancestral Ireland – did that little country ever become truly independent ? The U.S will be sidling up to Germany’s leadership because it is key to Europe and North Korea remains a target. As for the Middle East, it’s old targets of oil, Iran and Syria remain. There are no doubts by those who made this article. Trump never had a chance, China and Russia are now cast as even bigger enemies, while lockdown kills and harms more people could have hoped the bio engineered virus to do. R.J Cook
US election result: What Biden’s victory means for rest of world November 9th 2020
After days of uncertainty, Joe Biden has won the US presidential election, BBC projections show.
During Donald Trump’s four years in office, America’s relationship with the world changed profoundly.
BBC reporters across the globe, from Beijing to Berlin, explain how news of Mr Biden’s victory is being received and what it could mean for key US relationships.
Joe Biden’s victory offers another challenge for the Chinese system, writes John Sudworth in Beijing.
You might think Beijing would be glad to see the back of Donald Trump. As China-basher-in-chief he hit them with a trade war, levied a raft of punitive sanctions and badgered and blamed them for the coronavirus pandemic.
But some analysts have suggested that the Chinese leadership may now be feeling secretly disappointed. Not because they have any lasting fondness for Mr Trump, but because another four years of him in the White House held out the tantalising prospect of a bigger prize. Divisive at home, isolationist abroad – Mr Trump seemed to Beijing the very embodiment of the long-anticipated and hoped for decline in US power.
It was a message rammed home by the country’s Communist Party-controlled TV news bulletins. They focused not on the election itself – but on the protests, rancour, and rising US virus infection rates alongside it.
China might, of course, try to find advantage in Joe Biden’s willingness to seek co-operation on big issues like climate change. But he’s also promised to work to repair America’s alliances, which may prove to be far more effective in constraining China’s superpower ambitions than Trump’s go-it-alone approach.
And a Biden victory offers another challenge for a Chinese system devoid of democratic control. Far from a decline in American values, the transition of power itself is proof that those values endure.
Kamala Harris’s roots are a source of pride in India but Narendra Modi may get a more frigid reception from Mr Biden than his predecessor, Rajini Vaidyanathan writes from Delhi.
India has long been an important partner to the US – and the overall direction of travel is unlikely to change under a Biden presidency.
South Asia’s most populous nation will remain a key ally in America’s Indo-Pacific strategy to curtail the rise of China, and in fighting global terrorism.
That said, the personal chemistry between Mr Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could be trickier to navigate. Mr Trump has held back from criticising Mr Modi’s controversial domestic policies – which many say discriminate against the country’s Muslims.
Mr Biden has been far more outspoken. His campaign website called for the restoration of rights for everyone in Kashmir, and criticised the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – two laws which sparked mass protests.
Incoming Vice-President Kamala Harris – half Indian herself – has also spoken out against some of the Hindu nationalist government’s policies. But her Indian roots will spark mass celebration in much of the country. That the daughter of an Indian woman who was born and raised in the city of Chennai will soon be second-in-command at the White House is a moment of immense national pride.
North Korea once described Mr Biden as a “rabid dog” – but now Kim Jong-un will be making careful calculations before trying to provoke the new US president, writes Laura Bicker in Seoul.
It’s likely Chairman Kim would have preferred another four years of Donald Trump.
The leaders’ unprecedented meeting and follow-ups made for incredible photo-ops for the history books but very little of substance was signed. Neither side got what they wanted out of these talks: North Korea has continued to build up its nuclear arsenal and the US has continued to enforce strict sanctions.
In contrast, Joe Biden has demanded North Korea show that it is willing to abandon its nuclear weapons programme before he holds any meetings with Kim Jong-un. Many analysts believe that unless Mr Biden’s team initiates talks with Pyongyang very early on, the days of “fire and fury” may return. Getty ImagesIt’s likely Chairman Kim would have preferred another four years of Donald Trump.Laura Bicker
BBC Seoul Correspondent
Mr Kim might want to get Washington’s attention with a return to long-range missile tests, but he won’t want to increase tensions to the point that the already impoverished state would be hit with even more sanctions.
South Korea has already warned the North not to go down a provocative path. Seoul may have struggled to deal with Donald Trump at times – but President Moon is keen to put an end to the 70-year war on the Korean peninsula and he praised Mr Trump for having the “courage” to meet with Mr Kim. The South will closely watch for any sign that Mr Biden is willing to do the same.
The US and UK’s “special relationship” may face a downgrade with Joe Biden at the helm, writes political correspondent Jessica Parker in London.
They won’t be seen as natural allies: Joe Biden, the seasoned Democrat, and Boris Johnson, the bombastic Brexiteer.
In looking at how their future relationship might work, it’s worth considering the past. Specifically that seminal year, 2016, when Donald Trump won the White House and the UK voted to leave the EU. Both Joe Biden and his boss at the time, Barack Obama, made no secret they preferred another outcome on Brexit.
The UK government’s recent manoeuvres in relation to Brexit have not gone down well with key Democrats and the Irish lobby, including the US president-elect. Mr Biden said he would not allow peace in Northern Ireland to become a “casualty of Brexit” if elected – stating that any future US-UK trade deal would be contingent upon respecting the Good Friday Agreement.
Remember how Donald Trump once called Boris Johnson “Britain Trump”? Well, Mr Biden seemingly agreed, once reportedly describing the UK prime minister as Mr Trump’s “physical and emotional clone”. So it’s possible Joe Biden may initially be more eager to talk to Brussels, Berlin or Paris than love-bomb London. The “special relationship” could, feasibly, face a downgrade.
However, the two men may yet find some common ground. The two countries they lead, after all, have long-standing and deep-running diplomatic ties – not least in the areas of security and intelligence.
A more predictable administration may be the “silver lining” for Russia of Mr Biden’s win, writes Steven Rosenberg in Moscow.
The Kremlin has an acute sense of hearing. So when Joe Biden recently named Russia as “the biggest threat” to America, they heard that loud and clear in Moscow.
The Kremlin also has a long memory. In 2011 Vice-President Biden reportedly said that if he were Mr Putin, he wouldn’t run again for president: it would be bad for the country and for himself. President Putin won’t have forgotten that.
Mr Biden and Mr Putin are not a match made in geo-political heaven. Moscow fears the Biden presidency will mean more pressure and more sanctions from Washington. With a Democrat in the White House, could it be payback time for Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 US election?AFPMoscow fears the Biden presidency will mean more pressure, more sanctions from Washington.Steven Rosenberg
BBC Moscow Correspondent
One Russian newspaper recently claimed that under Mr Trump, US-Russian relations had plunged “to the seabed”. But it likened Mr Biden to a “dredger” who was going to “dig even deeper”. Little wonder Moscow has that sinking feeling.
But for the Kremlin there could be a silver lining. Russian commentators predict a Biden administration will, at least, be more predictable than the Trump team. That might make it easier to reach agreement on pressing issues, like New Start – the crucial US-Russian nuclear arms reduction treaty due to expire next February.
Moscow will want to move on from the Trump era and try to build a working relationship with the new White House. There’s no guarantee of success.
Germans hope for a return to smooth-sailing with their key ally once Donald Trump has departed, writes Damien McGuinness in Berlin.
Germany will breathe a sigh of relief at this result.
Only 10% of Germans trust President Trump on foreign policy, according to the Pew Research Centre. He is more unpopular in Germany than in any other country surveyed. Even Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping poll better in Germany.
President Trump is accused of undermining free trade and dismantling the multinational institutions which Germany relies on economically. His spats with China have rattled German exporters and he has a notoriously poor relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel — it’s hard to imagine two leaders more different in ethos and personality. German politicians and voters have been shocked by his abrasive style, his unconventional approach to facts and his frequent attacks on Germany’s car industry.
Despite this, the US is Germany’s biggest trading partner and the transatlantic relationship is critical for European security. So the Trump presidency has been a rocky ride. German ministers have criticised President Trump’s calls for vote-counting to stop and his unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud. Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called the situation “explosive”.
There is an awareness here that major policy differences between Washington and Berlin will not go away under a Biden presidency. But Berlin is looking forward to working with a president who values multilateral co-operation.
A Biden victory could bring Tehran back to the negotiating table, writes BBC Persian Service correspondent Kasra Naji.
In the weeks before the US election, President Trump said rather optimistically that once re-elected the first telephone call he received would be from Iran’s leaders asking to negotiate.
That phone call to Mr Trump – if he had won – was never going to happen. Negotiating with the Trump administration would have been impossible for Iran; it would be too humiliating.
Under President Trump, US sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure have left Iran reeling on the edge of economic collapse. Mr Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal. Worse still, he ordered the killing of General Qasem Soleimani, a close friend of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Taking revenge for his killing remains near the top of the agenda for hardliners.EPANegotiating with a Trump administration would have been impossible; it would be too humiliating.Kasra Naji
BBC Persian Service Correspondent
The election of Joe Biden makes entering negotiations with a US administration far easier for Iran. President-Elect Biden does not have the same baggage. He has said he wants to use diplomacy and return to the nuclear deal with Iran.
But Iran’s hardliners will not come to the table easily. As Americans went to the polls on 3 November, the Supreme Leader claimed the election would have “no effect” on Tehran’s policies. “Iran followed a sensible and calculated policy which cannot be affected by changes of personalities in Washington,” he said.
Millions of Iranians thought differently as they quietly watched the US election unfold on their illegal satellite TV screens, convinced their futures depended on the results and hoping a Biden victory would see sanctions eased.
There are expectations of a reset of much of Donald Trump’s Middle East policy, writes Tom Bateman in Jerusalem.
President Trump supercharged the two poles of the Middle East. He sought to reward and consolidate America’s traditional regional allies, while isolating its adversaries in Tehran.
President-elect Biden will try to rewire US Middle East policy back to the way he left it as Vice-President under Barack Obama: Easing Mr Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran and aiming to re-join the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by the White House two years ago.
That prospect horrifies Israel and Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. One Israeli minister said in response to Mr Biden’s likely win that the policy would end with “a violent Israeli-Iranian confrontation, because we will be forced to act”.
The result also dramatically shifts the US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr Trump’s plan was seen to heavily favour Israel and give it the chance to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. That was shelved in favour of historic deals to establish ties between Israel and several Arab states.
This drive to regional “normalisation” is likely to continue under Mr Biden, but he may try to slow controversial US weapons sales to the Gulf and would likely seek more Israeli concessions. Annexation now seems definitively off the table and Mr Biden will also object to further Israeli settlement building.
But there won’t be the “complete U-turn” that one Palestinian official demanded this week. The rhetoric will return to the traditional understanding of a “two-state solution”, but the chances of making much progress in the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process look slim.
Hopes are high among activists that the Biden administration will increase pressure on Egypt over human rights, writes Sally Nabil in Cairo.
Egypt’s military-backed President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi enjoyed a very good relationship with Donald Trump. It would have been better for him to keep a friend in the White House, but now he will have to start a fresh chapter with Joe Biden.
Critics of President Sisi accused the Trump administration of turning a blind eye to his alleged human rights abuses. Egypt receives $1.3bn in US military aid per year. In 2017, a small tranche of this aid was suspended over human rights concerns but was released the following year.
Joe Biden winning the White House is seen as good news by many human rights groups here. Activists hope the new US administration will put pressure on the Egyptian government to change its heavy-handed policies toward the opposition – with tens of thousands of political prisoners reportedly in prison. The Egyptian authorities have always denied jailing any prisoners of conscience, challenging the credibility of critical human rights reports.
“US-Egyptian relations have always been strategic, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office,” says Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed, a political analyst. “Partnership will continue, but the Democrats’ rhetoric about human rights might not be well received by some Egyptians, who see this as meddling in their country’s affairs.”
After harsh sanctions, Joe Biden’s victory brings relief, writes the BBC’s Cuba Correspondent Will Grant.
A Biden presidency is exactly what most Cubans have been hoping for. Indeed, the majority of people on the island would happily see almost anyone in the White House other than Donald Trump. His sanctions have brought real hardship and Cubans are exhausted after four years of unrelenting hostility.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, revives memories of the recent highpoint in Cuban-US relations under President Obama. In fact, the former vice-president is said to have been instrumental in making the two years of detente possible. AFPThe majority of people on the island would happily see almost anyone in the White House other than Donald TrumpWill Grant
BBC Cuba, Central America and Mexico Correspondent
The communist-run government in Havana will no doubt continue to say all US presidents are essentially cut from the same cloth. But among the people queuing for basic goods and struggling to make ends meet, the overriding feeling will nonetheless be one of great relief.
The only drawback from Cubans point of view? Mr Biden is now well aware of just how positively President Trump’s harsh treatment of Cuba played to voters in the key election battleground of Florida. They fear he may be far less inclined to ease some of Mr Trump’s measures than he otherwise might have been.
Justin Trudeau will see an ally in his new neighbour, writes Jessica Murphy in Toronto.
The Canadian prime minister pledged to deepen ties with the US no matter who won the presidential election – but it’s likely relief was felt in Ottawa when it became clear Democrat Joe Biden had clinched victory.
Canada’s relationship with the US has been rocky under President Trump, though not without its accomplishments. They include the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, along with Mexico.
But Justin Trudeau has made clear he felt a political kinship with former President Barack Obama – who endorsed him during the recent Canadian federal election. That feeling of warmth extends to the man who served as Mr Obama’s vice-president – Joe Biden.
In Mr Biden, Mr Trudeau’s Liberal Party will find an ally on issues like climate change and multilateralism. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for friction with his administration. President Trump authorised the construction of the Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project seen as key to Canada’s struggling energy sector – but President-elect Biden opposes the project.
And Joe Biden’s “Buy American” economic plan to revive US industry after the coronavirus pandemic will be a concern given Canada’s deep dependence on trade with the US.
- What has Trump said about your country?
- Who Russia, China and Iran want to win US election
- Why the US election matters so much to Germans
- Who does China really want to win US election?
- Did Trump stop more people coming to the US?
US election 2020: Why Donald Trump lost
Let the 2020 election bury the mistaken notion once and for all that the 2016 election was a historical accident, an American aberration.
Donald Trump won more than 70 million votes, the second highest total in American history. Nationally, he has more than a 47% share of his vote, and looks to have won 24 states, including his beloved Florida and Texas.
He has an extraordinary hold over large swathes of this country, a visceral connection that among thousands of supporters has brought a near cult-like devotion. After four years in the White House, his supporters studied the fine print of his presidency and clicked enthusiastically on the terms and conditions.
Any analysis of his political weakness in 2020 also has to acknowledge his political strength. However, he was defeated, becoming one of only four incumbents in the modern era not to get another four years. Also he has become the first president to lose the popular vote in consecutive elections.
Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 partly because he was a norm-busting political outsider who was prepared to say what had previously been unsayable.
But Donald Trump also lost the presidency in 2020 partly because he was a norm-busting political outsider who was prepared to say what had previously been unsayable.
Though much of the Trump base might well have voted for him if he had shot someone on Fifth Avenue, his infamous boast from four years ago, others who supported him four years ago were put off by his aggressive behaviour. Getty ImagesMany found the manner in which he defied so many norms off-putting and often offensive
This was especially true in the suburbs. Joe Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s performance in 373 suburban counties, helping him claw back the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and enabling him to gain Georgia and Arizona. Donald Trump has a particular problem with suburban women.
We witnessed again in the 2020 presidential election what we had seen in the 2018 mid-term election – more highly-educated Republicans, some of whom had voted for Trump four years ago prepared to give him a chance, thought his presidency was too unpresidential. Though they understood he would be unconventional, many found the manner in which he defied so many customs and behavioural norms off-putting and often offensive.
They were put off by his aggressiveness. His stoking of racial tensions. His use of racist language in tweets maligning people of colour. His failure, on occasions, to adequately condemn white supremacy. His trashing of America’s traditional allies and his admiration for authoritarian strongmen, such as Vladimir Putin.
His strange boasts about being “a very stable genius” and the like. His promotion of conspiracy theories. His use of a lingua franca that sometimes made him sound more like a crime boss, such as when he described his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, as “a rat”.
Comment I am not a fan of mainstream politics or their media. Ao long as 20% of the world’s population controls 95 % of the wealth, democracy is a sham – that’s why they keep telling us we have them. That’s why Biden and son Hunter were up to their neck in Ukraine dirty dealing at the expense of Ukraine’s poor and why they want to get back to the drunken Yeltsin days in Russia.
As for Trump. it is impossoible to tell what he might have done because he spent his entire 4 years focused on defending himself. he picked some bad people for his government, so foreign policy has been just more of Bush Snr and Obama. As for trying to be friends with Putin, that made sense but a trade war on China did not. Israel and Palestine is imponderbale because the Mulsims want land back that was no more their’s than it was the Jews – and they won’t stop overpopulating in Palestine.
Biden ( Harrs in effect ) is going to be worse. She is a dark skinned Hilary Clinton trading on slogans like BLM and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. That is a far cry from reality for the mass of poor whites and poor blacks. So people didn’t not choose Trump because he is aggressive – Hilary could beat him at that. Trump lost because the Anglo U.S media, as with the BBC man above, was brainwashing BAME , women et al and because the election was rigged through corrupt postal voting which they justified through the Covid Con. It is my suspicion that feminists would vote for a monkey if it had a vagina.
I am not suggesting that Harris is a monkey because of her dark skin. In areas of England like the one I am writing in now, I used to say in my newspaper reports that locals would vote for a monkey if it wore a blue rosetet -Tory. R.J Cook.
America Is Not a Democracy Posted November 7th 2020
How the United States lost the faith of its citizens—and what it can do to win them back The Atlantic March 2018
For years, the residents of Oxford, Massachusetts, seethed with anger at the company that controlled the local water supply. The company, locals complained, charged inflated prices and provided terrible service. But unless the town’s residents wanted to get by without running water, they had to pay up, again and again.
The people of Oxford resolved to buy the company out. At a town meeting in the local high-school auditorium, an overwhelming majority of residents voted to raise the millions of dollars that would be required for the purchase. It took years, but in May 2014, the deal was nearly done: One last vote stood between the small town and its long-awaited goal.
The company, however, was not going down without a fight. It mounted a campaign against the buyout. On the day of the crucial vote, the high-school auditorium swelled to capacity. Locals who had toiled on the issue for years noticed many newcomers—residents who hadn’t showed up to previous town meetings about the buyout. When the vote was called, the measure failed—the company, called Aquarion, would remain the town’s water supplier. Supporters of the buyout mounted a last-ditch effort to take a second vote, but before it could be organized, a lobbyist for Aquarion pulled a fire alarm. The building had to be evacuated, and the meeting adjourned. Aquarion retains control of Oxford’s water system to this day.
The company denied that the lobbyist was acting on its behalf when he pulled the alarm; it also denies that its rates were abnormally high or that it provides poor service. Some Oxford residents supported Aquarion, and others opposed the buyout because they feared the cost and complication of the town running its own water company. But many residents, liberal and conservative, were frustrated by the process. The vote, they felt, hadn’t taken place on a level playing field.
“It was a violation of the sanctity of our local government by big money,” Jen Caissie, a former chairman of the board of selectmen in Oxford, told me. “Their messiah is their bottom line, not the health of the local community. And I say that as a Republican, someone who is in favor of local business.”
A New England town meeting would seem to be one of the oldest and purest expressions of the American style of government. Yet even in this bastion of deliberation and direct democracy, a nasty suspicion had taken hold: that the levers of power are not controlled by the people.
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
It’s a suspicion stoked by the fact that, across a range of issues, public policy does not reflect the preferences of the majority of Americans. If it did, the country would look radically different: Marijuana would be legal and campaign contributions more tightly regulated; paid parental leave would be the law of the land and public colleges free; the minimum wage would be higher and gun control much stricter; abortions would be more accessible in the early stages of pregnancy and illegal in the third trimester.
The subversion of the people’s preferences in our supposedly democratic system was explored in a 2014 study by the political scientists Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern. Four broad theories have long sought to answer a fundamental question about our government: Who rules? One theory, the one we teach our children in civics classes, holds that the views of average people are decisive. Another theory suggests that mass-based interest groups such as the AARP have the power. A third theory predicts that business groups such as the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the National Beer Wholesalers Association carry the day. A fourth theory holds that policy reflects the views of the economic elite.
Gilens and Page tested those theories by tracking how well the preferences of various groups predicted the way that Congress and the executive branch would act on 1,779 policy issues over a span of two decades. The results were shocking. Economic elites and narrow interest groups were very influential: They succeeded in getting their favored policies adopted about half of the time, and in stopping legislation to which they were opposed nearly all of the time. Mass-based interest groups, meanwhile, had little effect on public policy. As for the views of ordinary citizens, they had virtually no independent effect at all. “When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy,” Gilens and Page wrote.
Outlets from The Washington Post to Breitbart News cited this explosive finding as evidence of what overeager headline writers called American oligarchy. Subsequent studies critiqued some of the authors’ assumptions and questioned whether the political system is quite as insulated from the views of ordinary people as Gilens and Page found. The most breathless claims made on the basis of their study were clearly exaggerations. Yet their work is another serious indication of a creeping democratic deficit in the land of liberty.
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To some degree, of course, the unresponsiveness of America’s political system is by design. The United States was founded as a republic, not a democracy. As Alexander Hamilton and James Madison made clear in the Federalist Papers, the essence of this republic would consist—their emphasis—“IN THE TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE PEOPLE, IN THEIR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY, from any share” in the government. Instead, popular views would be translated into public policy through the election of representatives “whose wisdom may,” in Madison’s words, “best discern the true interest of their country.” That this radically curtailed the degree to which the people could directly influence the government was no accident.
Only over the course of the 19th century did a set of entrepreneurial thinkers begin to dress an ideologically self-conscious republic up in the unaccustomed robes of a democracy. Throughout America, the old social hierarchies were being upended by rapid industrialization, mass immigration, westward expansion, and civil war. Egalitarian sentiment was rising. The idea that the people should rule came to seem appealing and even natural. The same institutions that had once been designed to exclude the people from government were now commended for facilitating government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
The shifting justification for our political system inspired important reforms. In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment stipulated that senators had to be elected directly by the people, not by state legislatures. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the vote. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act, drawing on the Fifteenth Amendment, set out to protect the vote of black Americans. The once-peculiar claim that the United States was a democracy slowly came to have some basis in reality.
That basis is now crumbling, and the people have taken notice. In no small part that’s because the long era during which average Americans grew more wealthy has come to a sputtering stop. People who are asked how well they are doing economically frequently compare their own standard of living with that of their parents. Until recently, this comparison was heartening. At the age of 30, more than nine in 10 Americans born in 1940 were earning more than their parents had at the same stage of their lives. But according to eye-popping research led by the economist Raj Chetty and his co-authors, many Millennials do not share in this age-old American experience of improving fortunes. Among those Americans born in the early 1980s, only half earn more than their parents did at a similar age.
Americans have never loved their politicians or thought of Washington as a repository of moral virtue. But so long as the system worked for them—so long as they were wealthier than their parents had been and could expect that their kids would be better off than them—people trusted that politicians were ultimately on their side. Not anymore.
The rise of digital media, meanwhile, has given ordinary Americans, especially younger ones, an instinctive feel for direct democracy. Whether they’re stuffing the electronic ballot boxes of The Voice and Dancing With the Stars, liking a post on Facebook, or up-voting a comment on Reddit, they are seeing what it looks like when their vote makes an immediate difference. Compared with these digital plebiscites, the work of the United States government seems sluggish, outmoded, and shockingly unresponsive.
As a result, average voters feel more alienated from traditional political institutions than perhaps ever before. When they look at decisions made by politicians, they don’t see their preferences reflected in them. For good reason, they are growing as disenchanted with democracy as the people of Oxford, Massachusetts, did.
The politician who best intuited this discontent—and most loudly promised to remedy it—is Donald Trump. The claim that he would channel the voice of the people to combat a corrupt and unresponsive elite was at the very core of his candidacy. “I am your voice,” Trump promised as he accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention. “Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another,” he proclaimed in his inaugural address, “but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”
Donald Trump won the presidency for many reasons, including racial animus, concerns over immigration, and a widening divide between urban and rural areas. But public-opinion data suggest that a deep feeling of powerlessness among voters was also important. I analyzed 2016 data from the American National Election Studies. Those who voted for Trump in the Republican primaries, more than those who supported his competition, said that they “don’t have any say about what the government does,” that “public officials don’t care much what people like me think,” and that “most politicians care only about the interests of the rich and powerful.”
Trump has no real intention of devolving power back to the people. He’s filled his administration with members of the same elite he disparaged on the campaign trail. His biggest legislative success, the tax bill, has handed gifts to corporations and the donor class. A little more than a year after America rebelled against political elites by electing a self-proclaimed champion of the people, its government is more deeply in the pockets of lobbyists and billionaires than ever before.
It would be easy to draw the wrong lesson from this: If the American electorate can be duped by a figure like Trump, it can’t be trusted with whatever power it does retain. To avoid further damage to the rule of law and the rights of the most-vulnerable Americans, traditional elites should appropriate even more power for themselves. But that response plays into the populist narrative: The political class dislikes Trump because he threatens to take its power away. It also refuses to recognize that the people have a point.
America does have a democracy problem. If we want to address the root causes of populism, we need to start by taking an honest accounting of the ways in which power has slipped out of the people’s hands, and think more honestly about the ways in which we can—and cannot—put the people back in control.
At the height of the Mexican–American War, Nicholas Trist traveled to Mexico and negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the hostilities between the two nations and helped delineate America’s southern border. Two decades later, the U.S. government still hadn’t paid him for his services. Too old and weak to travel to Washington to collect the money himself, Trist hired a prominent lawyer by the name of Linus Child to act on his behalf, promising him 25 percent of his recovered earnings.
Congress finally appropriated the money to settle its debt. But now it was Trist who refused to pay up, even after his lawyer sued for his share. Though the contract between Trist and Child hardly seems untoward by today’s standards, the Supreme Court refused to uphold it out of fear that it might provide a legal basis for the activities of lobbyists:
If any of the great corporations of the country were to hire adventurers who make market of themselves in this way, to procure the passage of a general law with a view to the promotion of their private interests, the moral sense of every right-minded man would instinctively denounce the employer and employed as steeped in corruption.
Extreme as this case may appear, it was far from idiosyncratic. In her book Corruption in America, the legal scholar Zephyr Teachout notes that the institutions of the United States were explicitly designed to counter the myriad ways in which people might seek to sway political decisions for their own personal gain. Many forms of lobbying were banned throughout the 19th century. In Georgia, the state constitution at one time read that “lobbying is declared to be a crime.” In California, it was a felony.
Over the course of the 20th century, lobbying gradually lost the stench of the illicit. But even once the activity became normalized, businesses remained reluctant to exert their influence. As late as the 1960s, major corporations did not lobby directly on their own behalf. Instead, they relied on collectives such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which had a weaker voice in Washington than labor unions or public-interest groups. “As every business executive knows,” the future Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. complained in 1971, “few elements of American society today have as little influence in government as the American businessman.”
“I always knew the system was dysfunctional,” said Congressman Steve Israel. “Now it is beyond broken.”
All of this began to change in the early 1970s. Determined to fight rising wages and stricter labor and environmental standards, which would bring higher costs, CEOs of companies like General Electric and General Motors banded together to expand their power on Capitol Hill. At first, their activities were mostly defensive: The goal was to stop legislation that might harm their interests. But as the political influence of big corporations grew, and their profits soared, a new class of professional lobbyists managed to convince the nation’s CEOs that, in the words of Lee Drutman, the author of the 2015 book The Business of America Is Lobbying, their activity “was not just about keeping the government far away—it could also be about drawing government close.”
Today, corporations wield immense power in Washington: “For every dollar spent on lobbying by labor unions and public-interest groups,” Drutman shows, “large corporations and their associations now spend $34. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 consistently represent business.”
The work of K Street lobbyists, and the violation of our government by big money, has fundamentally transformed the work—and the lives—of the people’s supposed representatives. Steve Israel, a Democratic congressman from Long Island, was a consummate moneyman. Over the course of his 16 years on Capitol Hill, he arranged 1,600 fund-raisers for himself, averaging one every four days. Israel cited fund-raising as one of the main reasons he decided to retire from Congress, in 2016: “I don’t think I can spend another day in another call room making another call begging for money,” he told the old NewYork Times. “I always knew the system was dysfunctional. Now it is beyond broken.”
A model schedule for freshman members of Congress prepared a few years ago by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee instructs them to spend about four hours every day cold-calling donors for cash. The party encourages so many phone calls because the phone calls work. Total spending on American elections has grown to unprecedented levels. From 2000 to 2012, reported federal campaign spending doubled. It’s no surprise, then, that a majority of Americans now believe Congress to be corrupt, according to a 2015 Gallup poll. As Israel memorably put it to HBO’s John Oliver, the hours he had spent raising money had been “a form of torture—and the real victims of this torture have become the American people, because they believe that they don’t have a voice in this system.”
Big donors and large corporations use their largesse to sway political decisions. But their influence goes far beyond those instances in which legislators knowingly sacrifice their constituents’ interests to stay on the right side of their financial backers. The people we spend time with day in and day out shape our tastes, our assumptions, and our values. The imperative to raise so much money means that members of Congress log more time with donors and lobbyists and less time with their constituents. Often, when faced with a vote on a bill of concern to their well-heeled backers, legislators don’t have to compromise their ideals—because they spend so much of their lives around donors and lobbyists, they have long ago come to share their views.
The problem goes even deeper than that. In America’s imagined past, members of Congress had a strong sense of place. Democrats might have risen through the ranks of local trade unions or schoolhouses. Republicans might have been local business or community leaders. Members of both parties lived lives intertwined with those of their constituents. But spend some time reading the biographies of your representatives in Congress, and you’ll notice, as I did, that by the time they reach office, many politicians have already been socialized into a cultural, educational, and financial elite that sets them apart from average Americans. While some representatives do have strong roots in their district, for many others the connection is tenuous at best. Even for those members who were born and raised in the part of the country they represent, that place is for many of them not their true home. Educated at expensive colleges, likely on the coasts, they spend their 20s and 30s in the nation’s great metropolitan centers. After stints in law, business, or finance, or on Capitol Hill, they move to the hinterlands out of political ambition. Once they retire from Congress, even if they retain some kind of home in their district, few make it the center of their lives: They seem much more likely than their predecessors to pursue lucrative opportunities in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and, of course, Washington. By just about every metric—from life experience to education to net worth—these politicians are thoroughly disconnected from the rest of the population.
The massive influence that money yields in Washington is hardly a secret. But another, equally important development has largely gone ignored: More and more issues have simply been taken out of democratic contestation.
In many policy areas, the job of legislating has been supplanted by so-called independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Once they are founded by Congress, these organizations can formulate policy on their own. In fact, they are free from legislative oversight to a remarkable degree, even though they are often charged with settling issues that are not just technically complicated but politically controversial.
In 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws. In the same year, independent federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules.
The range of crucial issues that these agencies have taken on testifies to their importance. From banning the use of the insecticide DDT to ensuring the quality of drinking water, for example, the EPA has been a key player in fights about environmental policy for almost 50 years; more recently, it has also made itself central to the American response to climate change, regulating pollutants and proposing limits on carbon-dioxide emissions from new power plants.
While independent agencies occasionally generate big headlines, they often wield their real power in more obscure policy areas. They are now responsible for the vast majority of new federal regulations. A 2008 article in the California Law Review noted that, during the previous year, Congress had enacted 138 public laws. In the same year, federal agencies had finalized 2,926 rules. Such rules run the gamut from technical stipulations that affect only a few specialized businesses to substantial reforms that have a direct impact on the lives of millions. In October 2017, for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau passed a rule that would require providers of payday loans to determine whether customers would actually be able to pay them back—potentially saving millions of people from exploitative fees, but also making it more difficult for them to access cash in an emergency.
The rise of independent agencies such as the EPA is only a small piece of a larger trend in which government has grown less accountable to the people. In the latter half of the 20th century, the Federal Reserve won much greater independence from elected politicians and began to deploy far more powerful monetary tools. Trade treaties, from nafta to more-recent agreements with countries such as Australia, Morocco, and South Korea, have restricted Congress’s ability to set tariffs, subsidize domestic industries, and halt the inflow of certain categories of migrant workers. At one point I planned to count the number of treaties to which the United States is subject; I gave up when I realized that the State Department’s “List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States” runs to 551 pages.
Most of these treaties and agreements offer real benefits or help us confront urgent challenges. Whatever your view of their merit, however, there is no denying that they curtail the power of Congress in ways that also disempower American voters. Trade treaties, for example, can include obscure provisions about “investor–state dispute settlements,” which give international arbitration courts the right to award huge sums of money to corporations if they are harmed by labor or environmental standards—potentially making it riskier for Congress to pass such measures.
This same tension between popular sovereignty and good governance is also evident in the debates over the power of the nine unelected justices of the Supreme Court. Since the early 1950s, the Supreme Court has ended legal segregation in schools and universities. It has ended and then reintroduced the death penalty. It has legalized abortion. It has limited censorship on television and the radio. It has decriminalized homosexuality and allowed same-sex marriage. It has struck down campaign-finance regulations and gun-control measures. It has determined whether millions of people get health insurance and whether millions of undocumented immigrants need to live in fear of being deported.
Whether you see judicial review as interpreting the law or usurping the people’s power probably depends on your view of the outcome. The American right has long railed against “activist judges” while the American left, which enjoyed a majority on the Court for a long stretch during the postwar era, has claimed that justices were merely doing their job. Now that the Court has started to lean further right, these views are rapidly reversing. But regardless of your politics, there’s no question that the justices frequently play an outsize role in settling major political conflicts—and that many of their decisions serve to amplify undemocratic elements of the system.
Take Citizens United. By overturning legislation that restricted campaign spending by corporations and other private groups, the Supreme Court issued a decision that was unpopular at the time and has remained unpopular since. (In a 2015 poll by Bloomberg, 78 percent of respondents disapproved of the ruling.) It also massively amplified the voice of moneyed interest groups, making it easier for the economic elite to override the preferences of the population for years to come.
Donald Trump is the first president in the history of the United States to have served in no public capacity before entering to the White House. He belittles experts, seems to lack the most basic grasp of public policy, and loves to indulge the worst whims of his supporters. In all things, personal and political, Plato’s disdainful description of the “democratic man” fits the 45th president like a glove: Given to “false and braggart words and opinions,” he considers “insolence ‘good breeding,’ license ‘liberty,’ prodigality ‘magnificence,’ and shamelessness ‘manly spirit.’ ”
It is little wonder, then, that Plato’s haughty complaint about democracy—its primary ill, he claimed, consists in “assigning a kind of equality indiscriminately to equals and unequals alike”—has made a remarkable comeback. As early as 2003, the journalist Fareed Zakaria argued, “There can be such a thing as too much democracy.” In the years since, many scholars have built this case: The political scientist Larry Bartels painstakingly demonstrated just how irrational ordinary voters are; the political philosopher Jason Brennan turned the premise that irrational or partisan voters are terrible decision makers into a book titled Against Democracy; and Parag Khanna, an inveterate defender of globalization, argued for a technocracy in which many decisions are made by “committees of accountable experts.” Writing near the end of the 2016 primary season, when Trump’s ascent to the Republican nomination already looked unstoppable, Andrew Sullivan offered the most forceful distillation of this line of antidemocratic laments: “Democracies end when they are too democratic,” the headline of his essay announced. “And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.”
The antidemocratic view gets at something real. What makes our political system uniquely legitimate, at least when it functions well, is that it manages to deliver on two key values at once: liberalism (the rule of law) and democracy (the rule of the people). With liberalism now under concerted attack from the Trump administration, which has declared war on independent institutions such as the FBI and has used the president’s pulpit to bully ethnic and religious minorities, it’s perhaps understandable that many thinkers are willing to give up a modicum of democracy to protect the rule of law and the country’s most vulnerable groups.
If only it were that easy. As we saw in 2016, the feeling that power is slipping out of their hands makes citizens more, not less, likely to entrust their fate to a strongman leader who promises to smash the system. And as the examples of Egypt, Thailand, and other countries have demonstrated again and again, a political elite with less and less backing from the people ultimately has to resort to more and more repressive steps to hold on to its power; in the end, any serious attempt to sacrifice democracy in order to safeguard liberty is likely to culminate in an end to the rule of law as well as the rule of the people.
The easy alternative is to lean in the other direction, to call for as much direct democracy as possible. The origins of the people’s displacement, the thinking goes, lie in a cynical power grab by financial and political elites. Large corporations and the superrich advocated independent central banks and business-friendly trade treaties to score big windfalls. Politicians, academics, and journalists favor a technocratic mode of governance because they think they know what’s best and don’t want the people to meddle. All of this selfishness is effectively cloaked in a pro-market ideology propagated by think tanks and research outfits that are funded by rich donors. Since the roots of the current situation are straightforwardly sinister, the solutions to it are equally simple: The people need to reclaim their power—and abolish technocratic institutions.
This antitechnocratic view has currency on both ends of the political spectrum. On the far left, the late political scientist Peter Mair, writing about Europe, lamented the decline in “popular” democracy, which he contrasted with a more top-down “constitutional” democracy. The English sociologist Colin Crouch has argued that even anarchy and violence can serve a useful purpose if they seek to vanquish what he calls “post-democracy.”
The far right puts more emphasis on nationalism, but otherwise agrees with this basic analysis. In the inaugural issue of the journal American Affairs, the self-styled intellectual home of the Trump movement, its founder Julius Krein decried “the existence of a transpartisan elite,” which sustains a pernicious “managerial consensus.” Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, said his chief political objective was to return power to the people and advocated for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Mair and Crouch, Krein and Bannon are right to recognize that the people have less and less hold over the political system, an insight that can point the way to genuine reforms that would make our political system both more democratic and better functioning. One of the reasons well-intentioned politicians are so easily swayed by lobbyists, for example, is that their staffs lack the skills and experience to draft legislation or to understand highly complex policy issues. This could be addressed by boosting the woefully inadequate funding of Congress: If representatives and senators were able to attract—and retain—more knowledgeable and experienced staffers, they might be less tempted to let K Street lobbyists write their bills for them.
Similarly, the rules that currently govern conflicts of interest are far too weak. There is no reason members of Congress should be allowed to lobby for the companies they were supposed to regulate so soon after they step down from office. It is time to jam the revolving door between politics and industry.
Real change will also require an ambitious reform of campaign finance. Because of Citizens United, this is going to be extremely difficult. But the Supreme Court has had a change of heart in the past. As evidence that the current system threatens American democracy keeps piling up, the Court might finally recognize that stricter limits on campaign spending are desperately needed.
For all that the enemies of technocracy get right, though, their view is ultimately as simplistic as the antidemocratic one. The world we now inhabit is extremely complex. We need to monitor hurricanes and inspect power plants, reduce global carbon emissions and contain the spread of nuclear weapons, regulate banks and enforce consumer-safety standards. All of these tasks require a tremendous amount of expertise and a great degree of coordination. It’s unrealistic to think that ordinary voters or even their representatives in Congress might become experts in what makes for a safe power plant, or that the world could find an effective response to climate change without entering cumbersome international agreements. If we simply abolish technocratic institutions, the future for most Americans will look more rather than less dangerous, and less rather than more affluent.
It is true that to recover its citizens’ loyalty, our democracy needs to curb the power of unelected elites who seek only to pad their influence and line their pockets. But it is also true that to protect its citizens’ lives and promote their prosperity, our democracy needs institutions that are, by their nature, deeply elitist. This, to my mind, is the great dilemma that the United States—and other democracies around the world—will have to resolve if they wish to survive in the coming decades.
We don’t need to abolish all technocratic institutions or merely save the ones that exist. We need to build a new set of political institutions that are both more responsive to the views and interests of ordinary people, and better able to solve the immense problems that our society will face in the decades to come.
Writing about the dawn of democracy in his native Italy, the great novelist Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa has Tancredi, a young aristocrat, recognize that he will have to let go of some of his most cherished habits to rescue what is most valuable in the old order: “If everything is to stay the same,” Tancredi says, “everything has to change.” The United States is now at an inflection point of its own. If we rigidly hold on to the status quo, we will lose what is most valuable in the world we know, and find ourselves cast as bit players in the fading age of liberal democracy. Only by embarking on bold and imaginative reform can we recover a democracy worthy of the name.
This article is adapted from Yascha Mounk’s new book, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It.
Black & White R.J Cook Posted November 6th 2020
Batting for Biden: the BBC and the US election
The BBC has been wholly partisan in its coverage of Donald Trump ever since he was elected Artillery Row
ByRobin Aitken 17 October, 2020
There’s a little acronymic game played by critics of the BBC which involves finding other words to fit those familiar three letters. Leavers dubbed the Corporation “The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation” because of its clear bias in favour of Remain. In advance of the US election next month I’m joining in the game: to me the BBC is now the “Biden Broadcasting Conspiracy” because of the way it has mounted a concerted campaign to help ensure that Trump doesn’t win again.
The BBC has been wholly partisan in its coverage of Donald Trump
I know, I know – it’s not really very clever – but it is a tiny revenge that gives a little satisfaction whenever I contemplate the sheer extent of the BBC’s departure from its professed commitment to “impartiality”. For the plain truth is that the BBC has been wholly partisan in its coverage of Donald Trump ever since he was elected. There is something about the 44th president of the USA (some say 45th because Grover Cleveland won two, non-consecutive terms) that has aroused in the BBC’s corporate breast the deepest animosity. The fact that this time round his opponent is a man who is plainly in his dotage doesn’t matter; for the BBC it has become “anyone but Trump”, and that has coloured its news coverage in a way that makes a mockery of its claims to be even-handed.
For those of us who treasure moments when the smug certitudes of the liberal establishment collide with unforgiving reality, election night 2016 was one of the best ever. The horrified disbelief on the tear-streaked faces of the Clinton camp were mirrored by BBC staffers as they came to terms with the awful truth. The negativity set in immediately, and from that day on the tone of the BBC’s coverage of Trump settled into a sour, derisive hostility. In the first days of his presidency Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, which he justified on grounds of national security.
The BBC has mounted a sustained campaign of detraction against the president
The BBC was outraged (despite the fact that Obama had done something similar when he was in charge). The story dominated its news bulletins for weeks and it seemed beyond the Corporation’s journalists to comprehend that this ban (inaccurately dubbed the “Muslim travel ban” even though most of the world’s Muslims were unaffected) met with the approval of the majority. And not only in the US. In 2017, following Trump’s move, Chatham House sampled public opinion in ten European countries asking their opinion of Muslim immigration; 55 per cent wanted all Muslim immigration stopped with only 25 per cent disagreeing. But the fact that Trump’s ban had popular support counted for nothing; to the BBC it was evidence of Trump’s wickedness.
That story set a pattern. At every stage of the Trump presidency the BBC was in the vanguard of those pursuing stories to his discredit. It was eager to amplify the charge made by the Democrats that Trump had “stolen” the election with the help of sinister right-wing billionaires and Russian interference. In 2018 the Guardian and New York Times published their great expose of Cambridge Analytica. In breathless terms it was explained how, with devilish cunning and smart algorithms, Cambridge Analytica had firstly swung the Brexit referendum in favour of Leave and then helped Trump to dupe the American electorate.
The damage to Trump’s reputation and the validity of his election was done long ago
The BBC enthusiastically bought-in to this narrative which – as was finally revealed this month in a comprehensive investigation by Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner – was without foundation. The whole story was an overheated journalistic confection – a complete fantasy. There was no evidence of Russian involvement and CA had been using methods widely practised in the industry. So, no conspiracy, no story, nothing to discredit Trump’s victory. But of course, the damage to Trump’s reputation and the validity of his election was done long ago. Needless to say, the BBC barely reported Denham’s debunking report.
And then there was the great impeachment farrago. If ever there was a low political manoeuvre masquerading as a high principle this was it. It was, from the start, obviously phony and also, because of the political arithmetic, doomed to fail; but that didn’t stop the BBC treating the whole charade with solemn portentousness. The BBC never misses an opportunity to further blacken Trump’s name.
Trump is the first politician in my memory who has so determinedly taken on his media enemies with the charge of “fake news”. I think he is much misunderstood when he uses this term; I also think he is justified in levelling the charge against the likes of the US TV networks, the big print outfits like the New York Times and, yes, the BBC. All these media indignantly deny the charge; “Who, us?” they shriek, “We’re the liars? Not so it is the orange braggart who lies. We check our facts. We tell the truth”.
Media outlets, including the BBC, distort the truth by pumping out negative stories about Trump
This is a disingenuous defence which misses the point. These media, including the BBC, distort the truth by pumping out only negative stories about Trump. And here is the real, underlying, truth: you can be strictly accurate and factual in your journalism and yet still be unfair, and in a larger sense untruthful, if you weight your stories in a negative direction. It is, if you like the difference between calumny (a lie) and detraction (a truth told to do harm to another’s reputation) as defined in the old Catholic catechism; the BBC has mounted a sustained campaign of detraction against the president by presenting only those facts which are to his discredit.
And that is the real charge against the BBC in advance of this important election. By putting everything that Trump has done in the worst possible light and by ignoring the good things he achieved, Trump has been made out to be a villain without any redeeming features. It might be argued that it doesn’t matter all that much because a British media outlet will have little impact on an American election, but the BBC is an important player in the US with a claimed audience of 38 million people across the states. Many of those Americans using the BBC do so because, perhaps naively, they trust it more than their own outlets. If so, they are deluded: the BBC is as rabidly anti-Trump as is MSNBC or the Grey Lady herself. The Corporation is no more objective or impartial than is Fox News. In ideological terms the BBC has skin in the game.
The BBC has a Manichean worldview where liberal = good and conservative = bad
This requires explanation, for it might not be immediately obvious why the BBC should be so heavily invested in Trump’s defeat. It comes down to the BBC’s core beliefs and worldview. The BBC has a Manichean understanding of the world which comes down to liberal = good, conservative = bad. In this schema Trump stands on the wrong side of every divide: he is against open borders (a hallmark of leftist utopianism); he is against military intervention in pursuit of liberal democracy; he is highly suspicious of pillars of the international order like the UN which he sees as anti-American; he has his doubts about Islam; he thinks “globalism” hurts the American working class; and, perhaps most importantly, he is pro-life.
This last indictment on the charge-sheet is the one which goes to the heart of the BBC’s hatred of Trump. The BBC is wholly committed to the doctrinal tenets of militant feminism, foremost among which is a woman’s “right to choose” under all circumstances. Nothing offends the Corporation’s journalists more than the belief that abortion is a moral evil which is why you never hear that matter fairly debated on the BBC’s airwaves. For decades now the BBC has resolutely shut-down the abortion debate in Britain, unlike in the US where it is one of the defining issues. Leave aside, for the moment, whether Trump’s support for the pro-life movement is anything other than opportunistic; maybe he opposes he pro-choice lobby purely for reasons of political advantage, but that doesn’t matter. What matters are outcomes.
Should Trump prevail on 3 November – an outcome which looks increasingly unlikely – there will be further restrictions on the availability of abortion and possibly, at some point in the future, some new legal protections established concerning the rights of the unborn. The bigoted liberals who call the shots at the BBC would then fear ideological contagion; if American law does, at some point become pro-life how long, they wonder, before that idea crosses the Atlantic? The BBC has no sympathy for those who believe, to coin a phrase, that “Unborn Lives Matter”. It is abortion – that quintessentially moral issue – that most fundamentally shapes the BBC’s heartfelt opposition to Trump.
All of the foregoing above will be open to the objection of the BBC’s supporters that mine is an entirely subjective view and that the BBC is, as it claims to be, impartial, honest, truthful, etc. And it is true that “proving” bias is not an easy matter; one man’s bias is another’s objective truth. However, sometimes the BBC’s mask of impartiality slips to reveal the belief system that lies just beneath the surface. For instance, in 2017 one of the BBC’s senior North American correspondents, James Cook (now the face of BBC News in Scotland) wrote a piece for the BBC website headlined: “Giving succour to the far-Right, Trump breaks with American ideals”. In the piece Cook opined:
Did American soldiers fight and die on the beaches of Normandy so their president could promote fascism? It is an astonishing question, absurd even. To many it may seem offensive even to ask. But it falls to reporters to describe in plain language what we see, and the promotion of fascism and racism is all too easy to observe in the United States of 2017.
So, here is Cook posing as fearless truth-teller. Leaving aside whether Cook’s sloppy use of the “f-word” undermines his argument (it’s the kind of usage one can forgive from callow undergraduates of Marxist persuasion, but a seasoned reporter surely should know better), there can be no doubt that this BBC correspondent is nailing his colours firmly to the mast. It still shocks an old BBC hand like me that what Cook wrote could be considered anything other than a serious breach of the Corporation’s doctrine of impartiality. But – typically and predictably – the BBC’s complaints unit had no difficulty exonerating their man.
“It is not unusual” the unit decided “for correspondents to offer their own take on developments … BBC News does not have an opinion on Donald Trump’s presidency … we do not aim to denigrate or to promote any view. Our goal has simply been to report and analyse…”
The BBC’s high-flown claims about impartiality and fairness are a sham
Which I take to mean that Cook’s opinions are his own and the fact that they appeared on the BBC website should not be taken to mean they have the Corporation’s nihil obstat. This doctrine, if applied more generally, seems an open invitation for BBC staffers to sound-off on just about anything. Which is what another BBC North American correspondent, Nick Bryant, did in August letting himself go in one of his dispatches about coronavirus. He wrote about Trump’s “ridiculous boasts”, his “mind-bending truth-twisting”, his “pettiness and peevishness” and his “narcissistic hunger for adoration”. However, in this instance the BBC’s Complaints Unit decided that Bryant had, indeed, overstepped the mark and displayed bias against Trump. Bryant was admonished but is still in post and reporting on the campaign.
The apparent contradictions between these two rulings are evidence, some say, of an internal debate within the Corporation about the need to renew the organisation’s vows of impartiality in the face of threats to the license fee privilege. However that is not the point here (though, in passing, I cannot see how labelling Trump “fascist” is a lesser crime than saying he’s a peevish narcissist); rather it is that two senior BBC reporters have made it very clear where they stand on Trump and all his works. Most of the time BBC correspondents find subtler ways of condemning Trump but these two instances allow some insight into what the Corporation generally manages to keep well disguised: a consistent, politically motivated antipathy to Trump.
The BBC’s long and successful campaign to paint Trump as unworthy, incompetent and wicked will not determine the outcome of the US election, but it will have had some effect. And it is not my intention here to argue that Trump has been a perfect president – he is a flawed individual who, despite the campaign of vilification he has endured, has managed so do some good things. My point is that the BBC’s high-flown claims about impartiality and fairness are a sham as its treatment of Trump so clearly demonstrates. Americans, no less than the British themselves, should be aware of the reality beneath the sugared blandishments.
‘Working-class anger and the problem of progressive politics’ First Published Jan 7th 2016, Posted Here November 4th and nothing has improved. The elite stranglehold , with their Covid Con has made matters worse. Charles Close
‘The only effective answer to right-wing populism is the creation and deployment of a superior left-wing alternative’
- David Coates Professor of Anglo-American Studies, Wake Forest University, North Carolina
The start of a new year – especially the start of an important election year as this one happens to be in the United States – is a good time to reflect on the broad strategic choices facing progressive forces on both sides of the Atlantic. One issue in particular is relevant in the US right now, given the kind of support that continues to flow to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump – namely, how to respond, as progressives, to the anger bubbling under the surface of much of that support. There may be more anger currently under the surface of US politics than UK politics; but the rise of UKIP suggests that there is anger in the UK too – and, if there is, then maybe it’s best understood by first examining the relationship of Donald Trump to America’s growing number of angry white men.
The Trump campaign continues to defy the regular rules of US presidential politics by its capacity to combine ever more outlandish statements from the candidate with ever more embedded support for him from a particular social demographic. Thus far, the core Trump supporter turns out to be a white, non-college educated man, typically earning less than the US median wage. Europeans would probably label such Americans as working-class or even as petit-bourgeois (since many are self-employed or work for very tiny companies indeed). But, characteristically, these core Trump supporters define themselves as middle-class and see their middle-class status threatened by the tough economic conditions currently surrounding them and by the impact on the wider political climate of social movements representing groups of Americans even less privileged than themselves – movements demanding equal rights and better conditions for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, low-paid workers and women earning on average 79 cents on the male dollar.
Many such Trump supporters are not just mobilised. They are also angry – angry because they feel threatened from above, and angry because they feel challenged from below. Donald Trump is attractive to his core base precisely because he is willing to recognise and articulate that anger. He appeals to them through his deliberate flaunting of political correctness and his willingness to demonise undocumented immigrants (not to mention the entire Muslim population), as well as through his promise to make America great again – not least through his determination to renegotiate trade deals that outsource American jobs.
So far, the standard Democratic Party response to the Trump bluster has been twin-tracked: attempting to outbid him on outsourcing (and on the associated set of promises on jobs, wages and redistributive taxation) and simultaneously promising to meet the demands of each social movement in turn. In effect, the argument has been basically a cumulative one. African-Americans need affirmative action. Democrats promise it. Hispanic-Americans need a route to citizenship for the undocumented workers among them. Democrats advocate it. Women workers need both equal pay and protection from gender discrimination. Democrats promise both. Angry Trump supporters want less taxation and more secure employment. Democrats promise to tax the rich and generate economic growth through public spending.
The problem with progressive politicians seeking votes by simply adding constituencies together in this manner is that the entire strategy fails to concede that, as American capitalism is currently organized, the interests of the various groups of the American poor and near-poor do not in fact easily add together in that fashion. On the contrary, to a terrifying degree, many of the immediate interests of disadvantaged groups of Americans stand in direct tension with each other. So, for example, historically, the precarious hold of white working-class voters on employment and wages co-existed with (and relied upon) the systematic exclusion of African-Americans from any similar hold on work and wages. Policies of affirmative action developed in response to that exclusion did not create a greater number of jobs or better wages that everyone could then share. Instead, such policies simply redistributed existing levels of employment and pay towards African-Americans and away from their white equivalents, thereby stoking the very white racism they were attempting to remove. Likewise, the post-1980s arrival of large numbers of unskilled Hispanic labourers into the United States helped native-born workers rise up the wage ladder when the economy was booming, but only weakened the bargaining position of their native-born equivalents when, as now, the economy grew more slowly, if at all.
In short, in an economy lacking enough good paying jobs, there is nothing natural and automatic about a fusion of interests between poor whites, poor blacks and newly arrived Hispanics. If that fusion is wanted, it has to be created by political effort.
This should, of course, not come as a shock to Democratic Party strategists, because American capitalism has for years played one group off against another; and because to this day right-wing populism – of which Donald Trump’s is merely the latest example – finds it both easy and electorally advantageous to stoke the flames of the racial divisions that are so deeply structured into the way the American economy treats workers and American society organises everything from housing and education to healthcare and leisure. Indeed, given the depth of these divisions between its various potential constituencies, it hardly requires a Ph.D. in political science to recognise that the Democratic Party will never pull its entire potential base together if it insists on pursuing electoral strategies that disregard the potency of the division of interests between key groups within that base. The Party will in fact only ever pull its entire potential base together by designing and advocating a new social settlement in the United States that combines social justice for all with renewed economic prosperity for everybody – a settlement that at long last would enable each group of the American poor to prosper without relying on the system to hold its neighbours down.
What candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton need to do in 2016, therefore, if they are successfully to deflate the Trump bubble, is deliberately and regularly to offer their potential voters a key strategic choice: either to sustain a politics that focuses on specific group goals alone, thereby allowing one group off to be played off against another; or to call all the disadvantaged groups in US society into a common campaign for a fundamentally reformed America. What’s more, at the core of that progressive call for fundamental reform has to be a new and a more radical economics. The Democratic Party needs to put at the heart of its campaign for the White House in 2016 an economic strategy that will raise the wages of all sections of the American poor by distributing wealth and income downwards and at the same time use the purchasing power redistributed downwards in that fashion to grow the US economy from the bottom up, and at a more rapid pace. Put differently, it will have to put at the core of its message a far more radical economic programme than the one it will inherit from the Obama administration.
If such a more radical strategy is not developed and articulated – if, in other words, leading Democratic candidates simply move from issue-group to issue-group addressing group concerns alone – then right-wing populism in the United States will surely continue to rob the democratic left of the strong class base which it needs to build and sustain successful progressive politics. Progressive politics cannot triangulate with the likes of Donald Trump. It has to defeat him at his own game by responding to the economic issues and widespread anger into which he has tapped with a superior and genuinely progressive response of its own.
Ultimately, the only effective answer to right-wing populism is the creation and deployment of a superior left-wing equivalent. And that’s true not just of the United States, but of the United Kingdom also!
Protests begin in Seattle, Portland as US election remains too close to call
by Lisa Steacy and The Associated Press
Posted Nov 3, 2020 9:29 pm PST Updated here November 4th 2020
Last Updated Nov 4, 2020 at 12:58 am PST Peter Wagner, NEWS 1130 photo. Summary
Joe Biden won Oregon and Washington handily, however, protests began almost immediately after the polls closed
Seattle and Portland have been preparing for civil unrest in the lead up to Tuesday’s presidential election
SEATTLE (NEWS 1130) — Seattle and Portland have been preparing for civil unrest in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election, and while the race remains too close to call — protesters have started taking to the streets in those cities.
Within minutes of polls closing Tuesday, Joe Biden was declared the winner in Washington state and Oregon, a democratic victory in these states was never really in question.
Both cities in the Pacific Northwest have been gripped by protests against police brutality and systemic racism — as well as some riots — since the killing of George Floyd in May.
In both cities, Black Lives Matter banners were being waved at demonstrations.
Demonstrators have Westlake blocked at Mercer.
— Peter Wagner (@peterjontheair) November 4, 2020
NEWS 1130’s Peter Wagner reports a heavy police presence in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle.
“This is an extremely volatile situation here,” he says. “Many unmarked cars, many tactical units are here, lots of [Seattle Police Department officers] on bikes telling people they have to disperse, they have to move.”
In Seattle, police are providing updates live on Twitter, saying “multiple public safety warnings” have been issued.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday she knows people have questions about what could happen in Seattle on Election Day and the days following.
“In one of the most challenging years in our city’s history, we have a president that has consistently incited hate, fear, and violence,” Durkan said. “This is why my office has been closely co-ordinating with the Governor, County Executive, and City departments for a safe and secure Election Day and planning for the days that follow.”
Meantime, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has the National Guard on standby as Oregon’s largest city has seen near-nightly protests for six months.
Hundreds of people were marching through Portland Tuesday evening, chanting among other things, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Organizers said the demonstration would be peaceful, and that regardless of the presidential election result, they would continue demonstrating in support of racial justice, KPTV reported.
WASHINGTON — Protesters clashed outside of the White House and in other cities throughout Election night and Wednesday morning, with emotions flaring and dozens of arrests reported.
Dozens marched through streets in Los Angeles and crowds of 200 or more were in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon. Minnesota saw more than a dozen arrests.
Tempers flared as the evening wore on, with President Trump perhaps adding fuel to the fire by making a statement that he thinks the election is rigged. He made the comment while Biden held a slight lede in the race but with several key states remaining to be counted.
“This is fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country . .. . Frankly, we did win the election,” Trump said. It’s unclear whether his comment caused protests to escalate.
The Washington, D.C., protest, despite a mostly peaceful atmosphere, had pockets of confrontation as the night wore on. Pushing and shoving between protesters could be seen, and police in the area sought to disperse the crowd, with smoke filling the air from an unidentified source.
Washington DC police lined the streets on Tuesday night in preparation for the first election results. The demonstrators have threatened to continue their protests for weeks if Donald Trump wins.
According to reports, an early scuffle between the police and protesters took place after demonstrators failed to comply with official orders.
The incident reportedly led to one arrest as more protesters gather despite a “non-scalable” fence now surrounding the White House.
The demonstrators failed to move a vehicle which was illegally parked after police orders, according to reports.
Secret service agents were patrolling the area on Tuesday night due to the anti-racism protests.
Black Lives Matter protesters have congregated by the thousands near the White House (
The activists planned an eight-hour event at Black Lives Matter Plaza, a two-block-long section of 16th Street NW in Downtown Washington DC.
The Plaza is two blocks away from the White House and demonstrators erected a giant screen showing the election results.
Shutdown DC and Black Lives Matter groups commenced their protests to “start this next phase of the election cycle in the streets”.
Shutdown DC said on its website that it would “not be the time we need to create disruption to stop a coup – yet”.
It added: “But we’ll be in a good place to respond to whatever might happen.
“This has been a really long and dark era so we’re going to be together to process our feelings of hope, anger, fear and exhaustion as a community.
“Regardless of the results, election-night programming will probably wrap up around midnight so we can be energized and ready to hit the streets again on the 4th.”
Us election: Anti-Trump protestors hugely outnumbered Trump supporters at the demonstrations in DC President Trump has already suggested that he may not accept the results of the 2020 election
Cities across the US are preparing for unrest after the initial election results are released on Tuesday night.
President Trump has already suggested that he may not accept the results of the 2020 election which has prompted alarm about what could happen if he does not win.
When asked about whether he will leave the White House peacefully, he claimed he will only lose the election if it is rigged.
In July, during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Mr Trump laid bare his possible intentions to repute the vote.
He said: “Look – I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m going to say no.”
- US Election: Enraged Trump backer demands removal of Biden sign
In August, during a rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Mr Trump told a rally of supporters: “The only way we’re going to lose the election is if the election is rigged.”
Black Lives Matter protesters previously demonstrated across the US following the death of George Floyd earlier this year.
In June, Mr Trump used federal law enforcement to clear the plaza outside the White House that had been occupied by peaceful protestors.
According to AP, an organiser with the DC Black Lives Matter group April Goggans, said during an online training session that “the police are readying for battle”.
She added: “We should be very clear about that.”
Black Lives Matter posted on Twitter: “We need all votes counted. If Trump declares victory before this happens, BLM will take to the streets. Y’all. We have to be prepared to stand up for democracy!”
Comment We, on this site, think it is rigged Any one who believes this is a democracy – that applies to U.K and Europe too – is deluded and moronic..
U.S Second Civil War Afoot ? Who Knows ?
Politics is not issue analysis. It is about getting people to vote. Blacks who say they will vote Trump are subject to assault and insults, like ‘House Nigger.‘ Most of us know that Biden has a dubious business ( sic ) and political history behind him, with and in front of him and his son Hunter. He is a Neo Liberal Fascist in false colours.
Mass ignorance and illiteracy, especially among ethnics, gives Biden a good chance, added to the rich man’s media bias. On the Trump side, why should anyone vote for him ? War and poverty are now even bigger issues, under the cover off the Covid Lockdown lunacy smokescreen. Behind and below that is the Deep State, where freedom of speech is also deep down and buried. Trump has been opposed all the way, except for the crazy trade war on China etc – maybe helped toward insanity by secret Covid Bio War blamed on China.
So, in this anomic ( normless ) situation – which idiots, liars, public sector officials and fools call multi culture – we will see some random violence, orchestrated protests, especially by BLM string pullers and the likes of George Soros, if Trump wins. If neither side concedes defeat because of election rigging claims, then maybe there will be a foundation for civil war.
But the dark forces of the elite will prove hard for revolutionaries to conquer. Devastation and in fighting will most likely only harm the poor whites, blacks and their neighbourhpoods – all to the ruling elite’s advavantage and helping along with Covid lies/lockdown to reset the global economy in the elite’s favour – the ‘NEW NORMAL’. Everything comes down to numbers.
Important among these numbers is that the top 20 % own 95 % of the wealth. That means 80 % share only 5 %. most never escaping hardship and poverty, a condition in which hatred, gender wars, in fighting and religious bigotry thrive, paying the taxes for the police and National Guard who will beat them down, shoot and jail them if they step out of line. Of course the elite is paranoid that those policing lackeys might have been infiltrated by right wingers. Again, who knows ? Maybe we will see.
US election 2020: Trump and Biden pictured through the years
Published10 hours agoRelated Topics
President Donald Trump, 74, and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, 77, each have more than seven decades of personal and professional experience behind them.
Here is a selection of photos that span their lives.
The early years
Born in the wake of World War Two, in June 1946, Donald John Trump was the fourth child of New York real estate tycoon Fred Trump and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Despite the family’s wealth, he was expected to do the most menial jobs within his father’s company and was sent to a military academy at age 13 after he started misbehaving in school.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania and became the favourite to succeed his father in the family business after his older brother, Fred, opted to become a pilot.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942. He was the first of four children, in an Irish-American Catholic family. Young Joe’s biggest challenge was overcoming a speech impediment – a stutter – that afflicted him well into high school. His technique of practising speaking in front of a mirror paid off after several months.
Mr Biden attended the University of Delaware and then law school at Syracuse University.
He later married his first wife, Neilia, and started his political career in Wilmington.
Mr Trump says he got into the property business with a “small” $1m loan from his father, before joining Fred Trump’s company. There, he helped manage an extensive portfolio of residential housing estates in New York City, eventually taking control of the company. In 1971, he renamed it the Trump Organization.
Six years later, Donald Trump married his first wife, Ivana Zelnickova, a Czech athlete and model. His children from his first marriage – Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric – now help run Trump Organization, though he is still chief executive.
Joe Biden was eagerly waiting to take up his seat in the US Senate, having been elected in 1972, when tragedy struck. His wife and infant daughter Naomi were killed in a car accident. His sons Beau and Hunter were seriously injured.
Mr Biden famously took the oath of office for his first term as a Democratic Party senator from the hospital room of his toddler sons.
In the late 1970s Mr Trump stepped his ambitions up a gear, shifting his property focus from Brooklyn and Queens to glitzy Manhattan. After snapping up a rundown hotel and transforming it into the Grand Hyatt he built the most famous Trump property – the 68-storey Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. It opened in 1983.
Other properties bearing the famous name followed – Trump Place, Trump World Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower – and his powerful brand began to draw media interest.
But not everything he touched turned to gold. Mr Trump’s ventures have led to four business bankruptcy filings.
During his first 14 years in Washington, Mr Biden rebuilt his personal life after the deaths of his wife and daughter. He committed to giving his sons a semblance of a normal life, and commuted each day from the family home in Delaware to Washington DC. He eventually remarried, to schoolteacher Jill Jacobs, with whom he had another child, Ashley.
Mr Biden established himself on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and began to build a national profile. In 1987, he launched his first go at the US presidency, but withdrew after he was accused of plagiarising a speech by the then leader of the British Labour Party, Neil Kinnock.
Property alone was not enough for Mr Trump, who moved into the entertainment sector, snapping up a clutch of beauty pageants in 1996: Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA. In his personal life, after splitting with Ivana he married actress Marla Maples in 1993.
They had a daughter, Tiffany, before divorcing in 1999 – the same year Mr Trump’s father died.
“My father was my inspiration,” Mr Trump said at the time.
On 11 October 1991, the US public were glued to their TVs as Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee was holding a hearing into the nomination for the US Supreme Court of Clarence Thomas. Ms Hill alleged he had sexually harassed her on many occasions when they had both worked for the Reagan administration.
As chairman of the committee, Joe Biden led the hearing. His handling of Ms Hill’s evidence has long been criticised.
The hearing was conducted by an all-white, all-male panel, and several women apparently willing to back up Ms Hill’s account were not called by Mr Biden to testify.
Speaking in a TV interview in April 2019, Mr Biden said that he was “sorry for the way she got treated”.
In 2003, Mr Trump fronted a new reality TV show that played to his reputations as both a businessman and a media personality. Called The Apprentice. the programme featured contestants competing for a shot at a management job in Mr Trump’s commercial empire.
He hosted the show for 14 seasons, and claimed in a financial disclosure form that he had been paid a total of $213m by the network during the show’s run.
Meanwhile, in 2005, he married his current wife, Melania Knauss, a Yugoslavian-born model. The couple have one son, Barron William Trump.
Mr Biden had another shot at the presidency in 2008 before dropping out. But while his campaign had failed to break through, he was to reappear later that year in a role that assured him international prominence. On 23 August 2008, Mr Obama introduced Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.
It was a winning ticket and the pair eventually served two terms, establishing a close working relationship in which Mr Biden frequently called Mr Obama his “brother”.
It was not until June 2015 that Mr Trump formally announced his entrance into the race for the White House. His campaign for the presidency was rocked by controversies, including the emergence of a recording from 2005 of him making lewd remarks about women, and claims, including from members of his own party, that he was not fit for office.
But he consistently told his army of supporters that he would defy the opinion polls, which mostly had him trailing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. He said his presidency would strike a blow against the political establishment and “drain the swamp” in Washington.
He took inspiration from the successful campaign to get Britain out of the European Union, saying he would pull off “Brexit times 10”. Despite almost all the predictions, Mr Trump was victorious in the 2016 election. He was inaugurated as the 45th US president on 20 January 2017.
In a surprise ceremony in the final days of his presidency, Mr Obama awarded Mr Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honour.
“To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretence, services without self-regard and to live life fully,” the then president said.
It had been a successful partnership, but a period not without trauma for Mr Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. The younger Biden was seen as a rising star of US politics and had intended to run for Delaware state governor in 2016.
Mr Trump’s re-election campaign has been conducted against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, in which 230,000 Americans have died, and seen the president himself become infected. First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron caught the virus too, along with a number of staff at the White House.
In the days before the election on 3 November, Trump urged states to shun lockdowns, whilst continuing his schedule of rallies in battleground states.
The two presidential rivals’ divisions over the coronavirus have been deep, with Mr Biden having said the president’s handling of the worsening coronavirus crisis was an “insult” to its victims.
“Even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic,” he said. “I do promise this – we will start on day one doing the right things.”
More than 90 million Americans have voted early, many of them by post, in a record-breaking voting surge driven by the pandemic.