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DTomlinson

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Member since: Sat Apr 11, 2020, 11:56 AM
Number of posts: 284

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The Winter of Our Discontent: projecting the 78 harrowing days after the election.

This is a horror story.

Maybe you think that way about the past three years: the corrupt self-dealing, the fusillade of lies and ignorance, the corporate handover of the regulatory state, the authoritarian repression. The oncoming election may provide you with a crack of hope for America to reverse what many consider a grave mistake.

But while Election Day will signal the end of a campaign, it’s not the end of Donald Trump’s term in office.

The 78 days from November 3 to January 20, known as the transition, have kept me awake at night since I started reporting out this article. The coming interregnum is likely to be one of the most politically, economically, and socially fraught periods in American history, one that could set the trajectory for the nation’s future. “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can,” Michelle Obama counseled in her Democratic Convention speech. Trust me on that as well; they will, immediately after the election.



Even with an overwhelming Biden victory that Trump would be forced to accept, he would retain immense power to undermine the transition, the 11 weeks between the election and the inauguration. Trump will retain full control of the executive branch for this period, and his cooperation will be crucial to a peaceful transfer of power. U.S. history offers plenty of examples of tolerable handovers. Barack Obama’s transition team was inside agencies within two days of his election victory. President Eisenhower briefed John F. Kennedy on the Bay of Pigs invasion preparations during the transition.

But Trump critics strongly suspect his attention won’t be focused on putting Biden in a position to succeed. “I can’t imagine them cooperating at all,” said Mike Lux, a veteran of both the Clinton and Obama transitions. “Trump has violated pretty much every unwritten norm out there.”



The Biden team, likely to be one of the most prepared to enter government in history, with a vice president just four years removed from the executive branch, could weather a lot of this. (Ted Kaufman, the transition chair, co-authored the law that improved presidential transitions.) With only 50 Senate votes needed to confirm executive branch appointees, opportunities for quickly advancing his Cabinet selections exist if Democrats regain control. But there’s a more troublesome possibility in the transition dysfunction. Trump, said Mike Lux, "will be so bitter having just lost the election, he will do everything in his power to sabotage things.”

The veil of ignorance could allow Trump and his top officials to “burrow” political appointees into career service positions, keeping them in place after the transition. “They will contaminate the administration throughout unless you ferret them out,” said Wilkerson. “They will implement the previous administration’s policies in your administration.”

Further acts of sabotage range from petty office pranks—messing with computers or phones—to far more consequential options. Trump could authorize bombings or guerrilla actions abroad before the inauguration, similar to George H.W. Bush sending Marines to Somalia in December 1992. He could turn in a final census report early, cementing congressional apportionment data in a way that could undercount communities of color. He could just destroy evidence that might be used in future investigations against him. And he could issue executive orders and change agency regulations, which could all be reversed, but would take time and effort early in Biden’s term.


The goals would be twofold. First, ideologues would strive to finish Trump’s term with as many conservative triumphs as possible. Second, as Trump views practically everything as zero-sum, entangling the early Biden term with hardships would give credence to his likely postinaugural message of a “failing” new administration.

An uncooperative transition would of course come at the worst possible time. The economy remains severely depressed from the fallout of the pandemic and the continued inability to allow large numbers of people to congregate.T here remains no agreement on another coronavirus relief package, and Trump’s executive actions are already proving next to meaningless. Even if a deal is reached, most of the relief in the current bills extends only to December, leaving weeks with Trump as president and no fiscal support for the economy in place. The combination of economic pain, an uncertain election, and public-health challenges could roil markets, while mass evictions and foreclosures ensue.


What if the lame-duck Trump administration signs government procurement contracts that give preferential treatment to his own properties? What if Trump makes deals with other countries along the same lines for their U.S. visits, or alters foreign policy in exchange for emoluments? What if he directed emergency coronavirus relief funds to Trump hotels on the barest of pretenses? What if he set a price for doling out pardons or regulatory relief? The Trump Organization has already billed the government $900,000 for travel and lodging during his presidency; imagine Trump moving to Mar-a-Lago for the transition to transfer more public dollars over to his business. “The kinds of naked looting which he’s done more slowly he could do now more aggressively,” Eisen mused. “Trump has demonstrated over and over again, it’s not America first, it’s Trump first.”


“This could be the 1918 flu meeting the Great Depression meeting a right-wing revolution,” Gonsalves said. “It’ll already be a bad situation this winter even if things go well politically. But if we’re not going to see any leadership, we’re walking into a wall of fire.”


https://prospect.org/politics/winter-of-our-discontent-trump-2020-election/

Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation

Source: Al Jazeera

Palestinians in Gaza burned pictures of Israeli, American, Bahraini, and United Arab Emirates leaders on Saturday in protest against the two Gulf countries' moves to normalise ties with Israel.

Bahrain on Friday joined the UAE in agreeing to normalise relations with Israel, a move forged partly through shared fears of Iran but one that could leave the Palestinians further isolated.

Read more: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/palestinians-rally-bahrain-israel-normalisation-200912163206019.html

Found an image of someone trying to "save the children" back in the 1970s.



One of the godmothers of modern American Moral Panics (along with noted sociopath Phyllis Schlafly, of course). Anita B. did a lot of harm in a short period of time.

QAnon: Same shit, different century.

I don't trust a full third or more of this country. And I am horrified by that.

Trump/MAGA, QAnon, all of the endless amounts of racism and conspiracy theories and misogyny and sadistic glee at "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

The PROUD ignorance and denial of reality and science, and the reveling in cruelty and bigotry.

The sanctimonious "Christianity" that inevitably accompanies the hate.

The authoritarian white nationalism, the contempt for democracy and the rule of law, the admiration for corruption, the endless amount of LYING....

A full third or more of this country is on board with all of the above. This is how fascism comes to America. It is here.

It can't just be Biden and Harris. It has to be both houses of Congress, every state legislature, every court - the Republican Party has to be systematically defeated and destroyed. It is THAT bad.

We can't afford not to. Our children and grandchildren can't afford us not to...

Get this cancer out of this world!

I love this image.



(Feel free to caption! )

The core reason for why Donald Trump specifically is so beloved by Republican voters...

...is that he publicly, proudly, shamelessly validates their bigotry, and in a way that is entertaining to Republicans.

This, above all else, distinguished him from the rest of the pack in 2016. He's a total celebrity caricature - who says directly to Republican voters, "You are right to be racist. You are right to be misogynistic. You are right to hate Muslims and immigrants. You should not be ashamed of that - you should EMBRACE that!" The embarrassed bigot no longer needs to be embarrassed.

I'm not saying anything new, of course, but this has to be emphasized: Trump tells them that their hatred is valid and good. That's why they'll never abandon him.

"I am your voice!"

"Strange" that all these Trump operatives keep getting caught doing crimes.

Hmmm....


Too many (white) Americans pressed the racism and sexism buttons in 2016. Putin and MSM helped.

“What about her emails?!”

The President gave a great speech. Link below.

Watch Obama’s Full Speech at the Democratic National Convention

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/us/politics/obama-speech.html

However...

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1296274065762717696

Haters Gonna Hate!

Something Bernie said last night about Trump and authoritarianism needs to be highlighted.

Under this administration authoritarianism has taken root in our country. I, and my family, and many of yours know the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency and humanity.


https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/17/politics/bernie-sanders-speech-transcript/index.html


Presumably everyone here knows Bernie Sanders's family background.

Sanders became interested in politics at an early age. He said, "A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932.[c] He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including six million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important."[19] In the 1940s, many of his relatives in German-occupied Poland were murdered in the Holocaust.[8][14][20]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders#Early_life



That, to me, was the most important, poignant, and clearly personal part of Bernie's speech. I thought it should be highlighted.
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