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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
January 25, 2021

Violence Is Mainstream Republican Politics Now

Violence Is Mainstream Republican Politics Now
The party spent these four years increasingly accepting, then celebrating, right-wing threats and attacks.

JAN 24, 2021

(Slate) “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms,” Vice President Mike Pence intoned in the House chamber the night of Jan. 6, after his boss’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and laid waste to it in a siege that left five people dead. “We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today,” Pence continued. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people’s house.”

It sounded like a consensus. “The violence must end,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley wrote in his official statement on the insurrection, despite having given the crowd a fist pump of encouragement before the assault. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had joined Hawley in supporting President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory, wrote on the same theme: “The Department of Justice should vigorously prosecute everyone who was involved in these brazen acts of violence.”

But it wasn’t until brazen violence left blood on the floor of the Capitol that the Republicans settled on that particular anti-violence message. For more than five years, from the moment Donald Trump entered the presidential race, the party had ever more strongly committed itself to a different position on the morality—and political value—of violence: It was useful, and they would use it.

More than “winning,” more than prosperity, violence was the rhetorical heart of the Trump movement. Ordinary Republicans were told, over and over, that the people who loved Trump were literally under attack by their political opponents, and that history and patriotism called for them to literally fight back. Coming their way was a sinister array of cultural Marxists, migrant caravans, Muslim “snakes,” Black Lives Matter rioters, and a global antifa conspiracy. They were passengers storming the cockpit in the Flight 93 election, witnesses to American carnage, champions of the Angel Moms mourning their slain children. ............(more)


January 25, 2021

Officials hail 'encouraging' number of north Atlantic right whale births

(Guardian UK) Wildlife officials in Florida have reported an “encouraging” number of sightings of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales off the south-eastern US, including at least 14 new calves, three born to first-time mothers.

The total count of winter sightings of the species has reached 65, the Florida state fish and wildlife conservation commission reported in its latest bulletin on Thursday.

On Friday, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) reported an additional sighting of a right whale named Champagne and its newborn calf off Amelia Island, Florida. Champagne, 12, was one of three new mothers recorded this season. The others, Infinity and Catalog #3720, which has no recorded name, are 19 and 14 years old respectively, state authorities said.

With the 11 other recorded newborns, the numbers represent what the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife says is the “most encouraging calving season in years”. ..........(more)


January 25, 2021

The great GOP crack up: Mitch McConnell is still scrambling to lead Donald Trump's Republican Party

The great GOP crack up: Mitch McConnell is still scrambling to lead Donald Trump's Republican Party
Leaving Mitch in the ditch: Trump loyalty may prove too potent a force in the GOP for McConnell to handle

JANUARY 25, 2021 1:30PM

(Salon) It took a little longer for the inevitable post-election Republican implosion than might have been expected. Perhaps they were exhausted from all the excitement of witnessing a historic violent insurrection or maybe they are just aimless without former President Donald Trump's Twitter feed to guide them. It's possible they were a little bit gun-shy since people are being investigated for committing sedition all over the country after their assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Whatever the reason, the normally voluble Republicans went uncharacteristically quiet for a few days during Joe Biden's Inauguration week. That silence ended over the weekend after two state Republican parties decided it was time to deal with the traitors in their midst.

In Arizona, the party reelected Kelli Ward — a Trump fanatic who lost her bid for the GOP nomination to the Senate in 2018— as the state chairman and her first order of business was to offer a censure motion against a raft of prominent Republicans, including former Senator Jeff Flake, Cindy McCain, the wife of former Senator John McCain and sitting Governor Steve Ducey, all for the crime of failing to be properly loyal to Donald Trump. The first two are vocal critics and didn't vote for Trump, but Gov. Ducey has been a loyal minion whose only crime was refusing to break the law and somehow give Donald Trump more votes in the election.

Meanwhile, the Republican State Central Committee of Kentucky met on Saturday to vote on a resolution demanding that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell support former President Donald Trump and condemn his second impeachment. The resolution failed on procedural grounds but the people who brought it up say they plan to bring another motion demanding McConnell's resignation. There is no chance that will pass either. Mitch McConnell is the most powerful Republican in the federal government and the Kentucky political establishment knows that. But both of these events reveal that Trump loyalty remains a potent force in the party.


Polling shows that a large majority of Republicans are still in thrall to Trump to be sure, but somewhere between one-fifth and one-fourth of the party has fallen away. A Pew poll taken after the insurrection found that more than 30% of Republicans disapprove of Trump. That may not seem like much but it is enough to make it impossible for Republicans to win nationally if those people fall away from the GOP permanently. As the Atlantic's Ron Brownstein put it, "if Biden could lastingly attract even a significant fraction of the Republican voters dismayed over the riot, it would constitute a seismic change in the political balance of power." ............(more)


January 24, 2021

The Arizona Republican Party won't be out-crazied by the Texas Republican Party

Phoenix – Arizona Republicans have voted to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump.

The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey on Saturday are merely symbolic. But they show the party’s foot soldiers are focused on enforcing loyalty to Trump, even in the wake of an election that saw Arizona inch away from its staunchly Republican roots.

Party activists also reelected controversial Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who has been one of Trump’s most unflinching supporters and among the most prolific promoters of his baseless allegations of election fraud. ..............(more)


January 24, 2021

'You're saying we're all liars': Rand Paul melts down on ABC when he's confronted with election lies

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) became annoyed with an ABC host on Sunday over the suggestion that former President Donald Trump's defenders are all "liars" about the results of the 2020 election.

"This election was not stolen," ABC host Georgia Stephanopoulos began his interview with Paul by noting. "Do you accept that fact?"

Paul, however, refused to respond with a straight answer.

"The debate over whether or not there's fraud should occur," Paul opined. "But, yes, were there people who voted twice? Were there dead people, illegal aliens who voted? Yes. And we should get to the bottom of it." .............(more)


January 24, 2021

Saima Mohsin to be 1st Muslim US attorney next month

(Detroit Free Press) Starting next month, the new top federal prosecutor in Detroit will be Saima Mohsin, the first Muslim to be a U.S. attorney in Michigan and the country, according to federal officials and Muslim advocates.

On Feb. 2, Mohsin, 52, is to become the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan after the current U.S. attorney for the district, Matthew Schneider, steps down on Feb. 1. Serving for three years, Schneider announced his resignation on Thursday and said Mohsin, currently the first assistant U.S. attorney for eastern Michigan, will replace him.

Born in Pakistan, Mohsin has been a federal prosecutor for decades, working since 2002 in the U.S. Attorney's Office. As an immigrant of Asian descent who is Muslim, she will bring diversity to an important position that is the chief federal law enforcement officer in the eastern part of the state. .............(more)


January 24, 2021

'You either hate him or you hate him': Why Ted Cruz just can't get it right

‘You either hate him or you hate him’: Why Ted Cruz just can’t get it right
Texas senator has changed course so many times it is hard to keep track, writes Andrew Buncombe

(Independent UK) There was a time, not so very long ago, when Ted Cruz pitched himself as the model of integrity, the very antithesis of the likes of Donald Trump.

Campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination in 2015 and 2016, he was an early favourite of many conservatives and “pro-constitution” Republicans.

He had enough support among evangelicals to bag Iowa, the very first state in the primary process, and to earn a brief word of congratulations from Trump, before Trump resorted to form and accused the Texas senator of “stealing” the race.

Later, as the race thinned and Cruz found himself fighting against Trump for his political life, he famously accused him of being a “pathological liar”, as the Republican frontrunner insulted the senator’s wife, and claimed his father was somehow involved in the assassination of John K Kennedy.


Cruz denounced the violence that left five people dead, among them a Capitol Hill police officer. But he in turn was condemned for seeking to stop the democratic transfer of power and the ratification of Biden’s win.

In Texas, the Houston Chronicle wrote in an editorial: “Those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge to the 2020 results in the first place.” .............(more)


January 24, 2021

Godiva Chocolates to close all 128 North American stores due to coronavirus pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's a bittersweet goodbye to one of North America's chocolatiers.

Godiva has announced that it plans to close all 128 stores.

They are yet another retailer that has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, chocolate lovers can still order Godiva products online. ..........(more)


January 24, 2021

Wannabe dictator whose approval plummets because he f**ked up covid response? Sounds familiar....

Bolsonaro’s Popularity Crumbles as Covid-19 Crisis Rages

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating cratered amid a surging death toll from the coronavirus and confusion over a national vaccination plan.

The mercurial leader, who scoffed at masks and echoed baseless theories about the virus voiced by former U.S. President Donald Trump, saw his personal backing tumble Friday to 26%, from 37% in a previous poll published Jan. 14, according to a survey conducted by IDEIA and published in Brazilian business magazine Exame. His disapproval rating rose to 45% during the same period.

A second poll released Friday by DataFolha found Bolsonaro’s approval rating at 31% against 37% in December, while his disapproval rating rose to 40% from 32% over the same period. ...............(more)


January 23, 2021

A historian from the future looks back: What will be most remembered of Trump's presidency?

A historian from the future looks back: What will be most remembered of Trump's presidency?
Historians will remember Trump as an aspiring dictator who failed because he was too dumb to understand COVID-19

JANUARY 23, 2021 11:00AM

(Salon) How will historians remember Donald Trump?

One hundred years ago, America nearly slipped into a dictatorship. The nation was saved primarily by two things: The fact that the man who wished to be its fascist dictator, President Donald Trump, was too stupid to realize how to correctly respond to a worldwide plague, and the fact that he was a physical coward.

The first fact was by far the most important. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage humanity in 2020, Trump responded in the worst ways possible: He downplayed the threat despite knowing that it was a deadly and contagious disease, defunded and sidelined agencies and individuals with the scientific expertise to contain the pandemic and failed to coordinate a coherent and effective federal response. He also promoted pseudoscience to his supporters, kept trying to prematurely reopen the economy and set a bad example by personally refusing to wear a mask, inevitably catching the disease himself. Although he was wealthy and powerful enough to receive the medical care necessary to survive to the end of his presidency, more than 400,000 Americans had died of COVID-19 by the end of his term because of his poor leadership... roughly the same number as died during World War II. This meant that Americans comprised roughly 20 percent of the total worldwide COVID-19 deaths, even though the United States had just four percent of the world's population.


Trump's efforts to become a dictator only increased after that. He violated the First Amendment by moving to punish Twitter after the social media company fact-checked him, tried to kneecap the Post Office so that people who voted by mail (who, due to the pandemic, were more likely to be anti-Trump) would be less likely to have their votes counted and insinuated that if re-elected he would seek 12 more years in office, even though the Constitution only allowed him four. He also repeatedly refused to say whether he would accept the voters' verdict if he lost in the 2020 election (he also did this in 2016), conditioning his supporters to believe that the only possible outcomes were either that Trump would win or that the election would be illegitimate. Ominously he told a white supremacist and misogynist group known as the Proud Boys to "stand by" during one of his presidential debates; Trump adviser Roger Stone was notoriously connected to the violent group, and they played an outsize role in Trump's eventual coup attempt. ............(more)


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