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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
January 12, 2021

CNN: Trump's disastrous end to his shocking presidency

(CNN) President Donald Trump is leaving America in a vortex of violence, sickness and death and more internally estranged than it has been for 150 years.

The disorientating end to his shocking term has the nation reeling from a Washington insurrection. The FBI warned Monday of armed protests by pro-Trump thugs in 50 states, which raise the awful prospect of a domestic insurgency. Health officials fear 5,000 Americans could soon be dying every day from the pandemic Trump ignored. Hospitals are swamped, medical workers are shattered amid a faltering rollout of the vaccine supposed to end the crisis.

It took 200 years for the country to rack up its first two presidential impeachments. Trump's malfeasance has led the country down that awful, divisive path twice in just more than a year. With House Democrats expected to formally impeach the President for inciting a mob assault on Congress on Wednesday, he will rely on the Republican enablers who refused to rein in his lawlessness to save him from conviction again.

Millions of Americans have bought into the delusional, poisoned fiction that an election Trump lost was stolen, and there are signs that some police and military forces have been radicalized by the grievance he stokes. ..........(more)


January 12, 2021

How China Won Trump's Trade War and Got Americans to Foot the Bill

U.S. President Donald Trump famously tweeted that “trade wars were good, and easy to win” in 2018 as he began to impose tariffs on about $360 billion of imports from China. Turns out he was wrong on both counts.

Even before the coronavirus infected millions of Americans and sparked the steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, China was withstanding Trump’s tariff salvos, according to the very metrics he used to justify them. Once China got the virus under control, demand for medical equipment and work-from-home gear expanded its trade surplus with the U.S. despite the levies.

While trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economic powers didn’t start under Trump, he broadened the fight with the unprecedented tariffs and sanctions on technology companies. The tougher approach, according to the scorecard that follows, didn’t go as he hoped. But he’s leaving his successor Joe Biden a blueprint of what worked and what didn’t. .........(more)


January 12, 2021

After Capitol violence, Trump brand partners eye dumping toxic asset: The president

(NBC) From country clubs to entertainment shows, President Donald Trump's business empire could face heavy pressure after his involvement in last week's violence at the U.S. Capitol.

While consumer mass-market merchandise deals for Trump ties and steaks, as well as his daughter Ivanka's clothing line, largely evaporated years ago, Trump still holds millions of dollars' worth of real estate development and name licensing deals. .....................(more)


January 11, 2021

Republicans are gaslighting America about Trump's coup: Only impeachment can set the record straight

Republicans are gaslighting America about Trump's coup: Only impeachment can set the record straight
Impeachment establishes a formal record, making it harder for the right to pressure media to downplay January 6

JANUARY 11, 2021 5:51PM

(Salon) There is no doubt Donald Trump incited the insurrection on January 6. It happened largely in public and is recorded for posterity.


None of this is subtle or confusing. Unsurprisingly, however, right-wing media figures — who want to continue to push conspiracy theories and agitate their audiences with insurrectionist talk, but don't want to face consequences for it — have already begun the process of gaslighting about Wednesday's event, insisting that it's being blown out of proportion and shouldn't be treated like the insurrection that it was.

Media Matters has a good round-up of the various strategies being employed by right wing media to spin Wednesday's events as something less serious than an attempted coup spurred on by Trump himself. Fox News' Tucker Carlson is reframing the insurrectionists as the real victims, subject to imaginary liberal incursions on vaguely defined "freedom." Laura Ingraham is working the "both sides do it" angle, falsely equating random and disorganized acts of vandalism during Black Lives Matter protests with the Trump crowd's direct attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and likely murder congressional leaders. Sean Hannity is still working the "antifa did it!" lie, even after the FBI announced no evidence linking anti-fascist activists to the Trump-motivated mob. And Rush Limbaugh is denying that the insurrection was violent, saying it was simply people taking "selfies," ignoring the fact that five people died, including a Capitol police officer who was beat to death by someone wielding a fire extinguisher. These tactics of deflection also ignore that the mob clearly intended more mayhem— rioters weren't carrying weapons and wearing armor for their health — and it was only a matter of luck that things didn't get worse.


But understanding that Pence would rather let Trump send mobs after him to kill him than to invoke the 25th is not the only reason to move swiftly on impeachment. Even if Pence was to act — and he won't — impeachment is necessary to create a legal and historical record underscoring the truth: Trump incited a mob and sent them after Congress in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. ........(more)


January 11, 2021

The rise of apocalyptic novels

The rise of apocalyptic novels

By Hephzibah Anderson
10th January 2021

(BBC) Imagine you're enjoying much-needed time away with your family, staying in a luxurious Long Island holiday rental, miles from anywhere. Then comes a late-night knock at the door and strangers bearing news of a sinister power outage in New York City. The internet has gone down, phone service has been severed, and when you switch on the TV, every channel shows the same blank screen. Your children are asleep down the hallway, and you've no way of knowing what's going on, or even whether these people are telling the truth.

Hooked? You wouldn't be alone. It's the premise of Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, a propulsive, penetrating new novel about race, class, and climate change. Because while the true nature of what's going on remains obscure – could it be a terrorist attack, the actions of a rogue state? – clues scattered throughout hint heavily at a climate event. Not only did this profoundly unsettling novel make the shortlist of the US National Book Award, it's also become a bestseller.

Comfort has been at a premium during the current pandemic, and it hasn't always come from expected sources. Never mind cosy home-baking and box sets: readers have turned not just to beloved classics but also to the often-dystopian genre known as cli-fi – novels in which environmental devastation is a driving force, catapulting protagonists into an apocalyptic "after" or else pinning them in the fast-vanishing "before", with disaster bearing down, inaction endemic and anxiety soaring.

Short for climate fiction, cli-fi is a relatively new term for a trend whose long roots extend back to sci-fi. Think JG Ballard's The Drowned World or Ursula K Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven, both written at a point in history when frequent wildfires and regular flash floods belonged to the realm of the speculative. In the past couple of decades, contributions from titans of literary fiction, including Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy, have brought cli-fi into mainstream storytelling. Worsening scientific projections are keeping it there. ..............(more)


January 11, 2021

America the undead: Trump's mob attacked a democracy already weakened by his war on reality

America the undead: Trump's mob attacked a democracy already weakened by his war on reality
What do you see when you look — really look — at the images of pro-Trump fascist goons trashing the Capitol?

JANUARY 11, 2021 11:00AM

(Salon) What do we see in the images of Wednesday's bloody and lethal attack by Trump's terrorist mob on the Capitol Building and American democracy?

There is the superficial. The tens of thousands of rage-filled white people running amok and defiling the Capitol Building as they looted, destroyed public property and attacked police officers in a lethal white supremacist insurrection and mob action. Many of those same police even went so far as to allow the pro-Trump terrorists to enter the Capitol Building and the surrounding area. After the coup attempt, the Capitol police then allowed most of them to leave without being detained or otherwise stopped.

There are now iconic and infamous images of Trump's terrorists in their MAGA regalia — including one traitor dressed up as a buffalo. Trumpists broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and sat in her chair, mocking her. Other Trumpists urinated on the floor of the Capitol Building. It was all a party or some type of right-wing fascist Saturnalia, with Donald Trump in the role of Pan or Dionysus. Of course, Trump's mob of terrorists carried weapons. Congresspeople and their staffs and others who work in the Capitol Building were under siege. To say that the Capitol police and other security forces were on the "defense" is a polite way of saying that they were overrun and routed. Five people are now dead because of Trump's coup attempt, including a police officer. A member of Trump's mob was shot by the Capitol police. Broadcasters were aghast at the images of her bloody body.


And in that way, fascism and authoritarianism get and retain power and control by creating a society-wide feeling of disorientation and exhaustion. The result is more than just the feeling that reality itself is broken, because in the ways that matter reality itself is in fact broken in Trump's America. We can try to counter that force by engaging in acts of critical self-reflection. Who are we? What do we represent? What are our values? Who am I in this society? How do we and I see the world? What of our relationships to and responsibilities for others? .....................(more)


January 11, 2021

The unfolding of 'home-grown fascism' in Capitol assault

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under battle flags bearing Donald Trump’s name, the Capitol’s attackers pinned a bloodied police officer in a doorway, his twisted face and screams captured on video. They mortally wounded another officer with a blunt weapon and body-slammed a third over a railing into the crowd.

“Hang Mike Pence!” the insurrectionists chanted as they pressed inside, beating police with pipes. They demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts, too. They hunted any and all lawmakers: “Where are they?” Outside, makeshift gallows stood, complete with sturdy wooden steps and the noose. Guns and pipe bombs had been stashed in the vicinity. ........(more)


January 11, 2021

Given last Wednesday's events, it does make you wonder about those late December meetings.....

Donald Trump hosts GOP ultra-loyalists who are promising to challenge election results in Congress including QAnon follower Marjorie Taylor-Greene - as conspiracy theorist attorney Sidney Powell is seen at White House AGAIN

* Trump loyalist Matt Gaetz was pictured outside the West Wing
* He was checking his cell phone opposite where a Marine is stationed
* Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was also spotted again
* Giuliani was at Friday meeting with 'Kraken' lawyer Sidney Powell
* Gen. Mike Flynn was also at first meeting after touting martial law / revote

PUBLISHED: 16:21 EST, 21 December 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52 EST, 22 December 2020

President Donald Trump is once again surrounding himself with ultra-loyalists after holding meetings Friday and Sunday with with Sidney Powell and others fanning his election fraud narrative.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla,), who defended Trump during impeachment, was spotted at the White House Monday, as was Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani – who was also on-hand for a Friday meeting with former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.

Powell and Giuliani have each pitched the idea of using federal power to seize voting machines that they claim are part of a plot to switch votes away from Trump – a claim that conservative media outlets have backed away from under apparent threats of litigation.

Also spotted was a collection of conservative Republican Trump loyalists – who each could play a role when Congress meets in a joint session Jan. 6 to count the votes submitted by the Electoral College. ..............(more)


January 10, 2021

Where Else Could Democrats Win in the South?

Where Else Could Democrats Win in the South?

(Slate) With the control of the Senate on the line, Democrats in Georgia, and Black voters in particular, turned out in record numbers on Tuesday and sent Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock—only the second Black senator to be popularly elected in the South—to Congress. But the Black voters didn’t carry the vote alone: Roughly 30 percent of white voters cast their ballots against the Republicans, far better than Democrats have performed with white voters in neighboring states. And growing Asian and Latino populations in Georgia also helped deliver a historic victory.

To find out if this outcome was a harbinger of more significant changes to come in the Deep South, Slate spoke with Vincent Hutchings, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan who studies elections, voting behavior, and African American politics. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.


What makes white voters in Georgia different from white voters in neighboring states?

Given the growth of industry in that state and a variety of other dimensions attracting residents from other parts of the country, I would imagine that the education levels of whites in Georgia are higher than they are for, say, whites in Alabama or Mississippi. And as we’ve all learned over the last several years, highly educated whites, which had previously been a Republican constituency, have shifted toward the Democratic camp.


What would you tell a Democratic organizer in the South about where they should focus their energy next?

I think they’ve already solidified a position in Virginia. They’ve demonstrated their influence in Georgia. I imagine that North Carolina is a place that’s closer to be flipped. Obviously, Obama won it. The Black population in North Carolina isn’t as large as it is in Georgia, but it’s still bigger than it is in Texas. And there is a growing Latino population in North Carolina. You’ve got high education in the (Research) Triangle. So with a sufficient effort, I think it’s possible that they could make a push in a state like North Carolina. It seems to me that that’s far more likely to be the “next Georgia,” certainly more than South Carolina or Mississippi. .......(more)


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