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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
January 20, 2021

It's been a little over two months since the election was called.....

..... feels like a couple of years. What should normally have been a banal, uneventful period has been much too eventful.

January 20, 2021

Cleaning up Trump's American carnage: Biden turns from resistance to rebuilding

Cleaning up Trump's American carnage: Biden turns from resistance to rebuilding
We've come to an inflection point in our history. Can Joe Biden meet the challenge of these times and speak truth?

JANUARY 20, 2021 2:35PM

(Salon) One of the great ironies of life is that as you get older time seems to pass much more quickly. But I have found that the last four years have been an exception. I can hardly remember a time before Donald Trump dominated our political culture. But it's over now. Today Trump flies off to Mar-a-Lago to plot his next comeback and Joe Biden moves into the White House to plot a comeback for America.

Four years ago today, Donald Trump proclaimed, "American Carnage stops right here and stops right now." He should have said, "American carnage starts right here, right now." There isn't room here to list it all. And Lord knows, we don't want to relive it anyway. But it's important to remember that Trump's crimes in office go beyond "norm busting" and being a pathological liar. He was corrupt on an unprecedented level and he abused the power of the presidency repeatedly putting his own needs ahead of the national interest time and again. He showed reckless disregard for the greatest public health crisis in over a century and the ensuing economic crisis. And he promulgated an egregious disinformation campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election, incited his supporters to sack the US Capitol and then stood by and did nothing as they stormed the halls of Congress chanting "hang Mike Pence!"

As historian Tim Naftali writes in The Atlantic, compared to the worst presidents in American history, from James Buchanan to Warren Harding to Herbert Hoover or Richard Nixon, Trump is at the bottom on every measurable scale. Others have done bad things — many of which Trump did as well — but none of them attempted a coup to stay in power.


But what happened over the past four years wasn't an anomaly and a quick fix isn't going to work. It's been slowly dawning on Americans just how badly we've failed to live up to our ideals for a very long time and this great clash between those who refuse to admit it and those who want to face it and fix it was inevitable. What's needed now is not just a restoration of norms and regular order. And neither can we simply hold Trump and the Republicans who acted as his accomplices accountable, although all of that is vital. We've come to an inflection point in our history in which we must admit our nation's failures and challenge ourselves to be better. Can Joe Biden do that?

This piece by Finan O'Toole in The Guardian makes the case that Biden's life experience with pain and suffering makes him uniquely qualified to pick up the pieces and begin the process of rebuilding from a different place than where we started. It's an interesting view of Biden's "dark Irishness" that I haven't seen before. He begins with a story that Biden likes to tell about a house in Nantucket which he and his family used to take pictures in front of every summer. One year it was gone, having been washed away by the tide. This story apparently serves as a sort of life metaphor for Biden and O'Toole sees it as a metaphor for America that he might relate to: a house slowly crumbling and "no longer able to hold its ground." He points out that just as you cannot rebuild a house on "land that has been washed away" you also have to rebuild the country somewhere else, "away from the hollow promises of the American dream and towards a new awakening of real equality." ............(more)


January 20, 2021

Klete Keller: why did an Olympic champion invade the US Capitol?

(Guardian UK) Klete Keller was somebody, a two-time Olympic gold medallist who swam in three Games. Then he was nobody, aimless, penniless and reduced to sleeping in his car. Now he is “Person 1” in court documents, identified by the FBI as a participant in the storming of the US Capitol and charged with federal crimes.

Amid the militia gear and Maga paraphernalia on display during the 6 January riot at the heart of American government, footage shows a bearded man in the Rotunda who stands out for his height and his clothes. He wears an officially-branded jacket with a United States Olympic Team patch and USA on the left sleeve and the back.

The choice of apparel, with the Olympic rings logo and Stars and Stripes flag, seemed to symbolise the perversion of patriotism among insurrectionists loyal to Donald Trump who hold the warped belief that it is their duty to agitate for the overturning of a legitimate democratic election. Aspirational emblems appropriated and debased as the president, his enablers and his acolytes crumpled a set of ideals to fit a dishonest and deranged narrative.


He has not commented in public, so the reason for his actions during the deadly demonstration-turned insurrection on the day Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s election victory are unclear. What is certain is that, like many athletes before him, he found it hard to adjust to ordinary life after an extraordinary sporting career.

His marriage collapsed, he was unable to hold down a series of sales jobs and he struggled to afford a place to live while paying child support for his three kids. He felt bitter and angry, losing motivation and gaining weight as he ate and drank to excess. He said his money problems prompted him to live in his Ford Fusion after his divorce in 2014. He would squeeze his 6ft 6in frame into the car and try to grab some sleep in Walmart parking lots. .......(more)


January 19, 2021

This pic is so powerful, so awesome.

Credit: AP
January 19, 2021

Whitmer won't mourn Trump's departure: He led to a 'deeply divided' nation

(Detroit Free Press) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer won't be there to see President Donald Trump on his way to Florida on Wednesday, and neither will she mourn the end of his presidency.

"He's contributed to a deeply divided nation at a time when we can least afford to be so," said Whitmer, who was in the nation's capital on Tuesday and is one of about 1,000 people who will attend President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in at noon on Wednesday.

In the last 10 months, Whitmer has become a frequent sparring partner of the soon-to-be ex-president, with him criticizing her support of Biden and her response to the COVID-19 pandemic, once dismissing her as "that woman from Michigan," a slight that launched a T-shirt and sent the governor to national renown. .............(more)


January 19, 2021

'There will be no forgiveness': Steve Schmidt vows to make Lindsey Graham's shame 'last forever'

Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt asserted on Tuesday that the shame of Trump loyalists will "last forever."

"We have seen an era of American catastrophe in this world for four years. It is ending," Schmidt explained during an appearance on MSNBC. "Tomorrow is a new beginning, which means there is new hope. The country is in great crisis. We will have a new leader. And we will see Donald Trump shuffle off in ignominy, shame and disgrace."

According to Schmidt, President Donald Trump has done an "incalculable" amount of damage to the United States.

MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle said that she expected the Republican Party to quickly downplay Trump's role in recent history. ...........(more)


January 19, 2021

Colombia's 'cocaine hippos' must be stopped, scientists warn

Pablo Escobar’s hippos are taking over the marshlands of Colombia — and need to face the same fate as their late owner before they become impossible to control, scientists have warned.

The so-called “cocaine hippos” were illegally imported to the country by the notorious drug lord, who was shot dead by authorities in 1993, the Telegraph reported.

But the rapidly breeding beasts have grown to become the largest invasive species on the planet — and could reach dangerous numbers in the next two decades.

“Nobody likes the idea of shooting a hippo, but we have to accept that no other strategy is going to work,” ecologist Nataly Castelblanco-Martínez told the outlet. ..........(more)


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Hometown: Detroit, MI
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