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In This Edition

Norman Solomon returns and tells it like it is, "Progressives Made Trump's Defeat Possible. Now It's Time To Challenge Biden And Other Corporate Democrats."

Ralpk Nader returns and sums it up nicely, "Biden Has Ousted a Lying and Corrupt Trump-But That Doesn't Mean Democrats Had a Great Election Day."

Glen Ford considers, "Black Voters: "Contrarian" Men and "Communal" Women."

Jim Hightower explains, "What Progressives Won This Year."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Rest Today. Soon We Begin The Work Of Clearing Trump's Wreckage."

John Nichols says, "The Biden-Harris Victory Brings 'An Outpouring Of Joy, Hope, Renewed Faith.'"

James Donahue thinks, "American Presidents Appear Chosen by Name; Their Fate Set By The Numbers."

David Swanson concludes, "Everything Will Fundamentally Change."

David Suzuki asks, "What Do We Lose When The Caribou Disappear?"

Charles P. Pierce says, "Mitch McConnell Has Joined The Effort To Hamstring The Presidential Transition."

Naomi Klein returns with, "Time for Democrats To Betray The Donor Class-Not The People."

Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich finds, "There Will Be No Graciousness Or Concession From Trump-Incapable Of Either."

Tom Engelhardt returns with, "State 0f Chaos."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News reports, "It's A Fraud" Claims World Famous Fraud," but first Uncle Ernie sings, "Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Jeff Stahler, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Drew Angerer, Alex Wong, Al Drago, Jon Cherry, Samuel Corum, Denali National Park and Preserve, Mark Makela, Eric Baradat, Brian Snyder, Robert Reich, Jim Hightower, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments-

The Quotable Quote-
The Vidkun Quisling Award-
The Cartoon Corner-
To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
Parting Shots-

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

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Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye
And good ridence!
By Ernest Stewart

Na na na na, na na na na hey hey goodbye
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye ~~~ Steam

"Climate-carbon cycle feedbacks must be understood and quantified if the Paris Agreement Targets are to be met. Changes in soil carbon represent a particularly large uncertainty, with the potential to significantly reduce the carbon budget for climate stabilisation at 2 degrees Celcius global warming." ~~~ Rebecca M. Varney

"Every day counts in a transition, this year more than any transition since 1932. The formal transition process under law should begin quickly." ~~~ David Marchick ~ the director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

Everyone gave a sigh of relief, and there was dancing in the streets! Except, of course, for me, who was digging on the fact that some 70,000,000 of our brothers and sisters gladly voted for old grab'em by the pussy and let's kidnapped children by tearing them from their mothers arms and then putting them into cages. Trump spent everyday of the last four years showing everyone what a complete monster he is, and yet 70,000,000 Americans wanted to reelect him. I mean, WTF?

Sure, some were just a wee bit naive, like the guy who told me he was going to vote for Lying Donald because he was concerned about the economy and Lying Donald is such a great business man. I was going to ask him why but he had those soul less, staring into space eyes so instead I mentioned that billionaire tRump has filed for bankruptcy 5 times and every business he had, had gone out of business, just one failed business after another after another while Lying Donald had stolen all the investors money. A casino license is a license to steal, and yet Lying Donald bankrupted that one too! Like the old joke why did the short hair cross the road, because someone told him too! These voters did what others told them and didn't investigate for the truth. So let's say that explains 25% of tRump voters, people too stupid to think for themselves. Those folks don't bother me as they're just stupid, not evil. It's the evil ones we have to look out for!

You know who they are, you know the ones because of Lying Donalds backing came out from under their rocks picked up their Tiki torches and rifles and fought for Lying Donald, because he was their man, he was just like they are. Sick, twisted, perverted, mocking, full of hate, wanting others to suffer, voters. I got news for Wall Street Joe if he thinks that he'll be able to bring them around and bring America together. If I were you I wouldn't hold my breath Joe!

Sure, we just dodged a bullet, no thanks to the 60,000,000 Americans who didn't even bother to vote. While Joe Biden is far from being my cup of tea, he is far better for America, and for the world than Lying Donald was. Yes, he was the lesser of two evils, but with a hard, constant, leftward push, who knows, we may fix up many of, Lying Donald's disasters! Yes, a lot of liberals pinched their noses and voted for a man, who under normal circumstances they wouldn't have voted for at gunpoint. However, since Lying Donald is the antichrist they had no choice. I hope the DNC knows this, and will act accordingly, but I doubt it!

In Other News

I see where just 2 degrees Celsius of warming could open the floodgates For 230 billion tons of carbon to escape!

Most of us know about the vast stores of carbon in our atmosphere, and yet beneath our feet, Earth's soil contains nearly three times as much CO2, absorbing roughly a quarter of all human emissions each year.

If the world warms by 2 degrees Celsius or more, we risk turning that vital sink into a carbon spout.

An updated model on carbon soil turnover has found such warming could release 230 billion tons of carbon dioxide, give or take 50 billion tons. And that's just from the top metre of soil, which includes roughly the same amount of carbon as our atmosphere.

That number is a little under what China has emitted since 1900 and slightly less than double what the United States has emitted since the same year.

Restricting a model to such shallow depths might sound like an oversight at first, but by confining their measurements, scientists have made it easier to model changes in soil turnover. This has also helped halve the uncertainty produced by other similar models.

"We have reduced the uncertainty in this climate change response, which is vital to calculating an accurate global carbon budget and successfully meeting Paris Agreement targets," says climate scientist Peter Cox from the Global Systems Institute.

While warming temperatures are known to increase decomposition and shorten the amount of time carbon spends in the soil, it's still not clear how sensitive this system is to temperature changes.

In fact, the way soil responds to our rapidly changing world is one of the greatest uncertainties in our current climate models. And while the new research isn't the worst prediction out there, it's still not good news.

"Our study rules out the most extreme projections - but nonetheless suggests substantial soil carbon losses due to climate change at only 2 degrees Celcius warming, and this doesn't even include losses of deeper permafrost carbon," says climate modeller Sarah Chadburn from the University of Exeter.

Nor does it include other greenhouse gases, like methane, which are also stored in the soil and which are many times more powerful as a global warmer than carbon dioxide.

Of course, not all soil holds the same amount of carbon, and while some parts of the world hold the potential to increase their soil sink, other parts are not so lucky.

Most soil carbon is stored in peatland or permafrost, and unfortunately, these common Arctic habitats are on the frontlines of global warming.

Today, with rapid permafrost collapse under way, scientists are worried we will soon hit a tipping point, where vast stores of carbon trigger more melt and increased emissions at a runaway pace.

On the plus side, with Biden ready to rejoin the Paris Accords and make global warming a top priority we may be able to reverse some of this carbon loss and slow down the weather disasters we've been experiencing as of late, all due to global warming!

And Finally

Lying Donalds appointee Emily W. Murphy, stands between Biden's team and a smooth transition. Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration refuses to acknowledge Biden winning the election. Transition officials for President-elect Joe Biden called on a top Trump administration appointee on Monday to end what they said was unwarranted obstruction of the money and access that federal law says must flow to the winner of a presidential election.

The officials, speaking on background to reporters on Monday night, said it was nearly unprecedented for Emily W. Murphy, to refuse to issue a letter of "ascertainment," which allows Biden's transition team to begin the transfer of power. This means that the Biden administration can't "access $6.3 million in federal money to fund the transition, can't move into government offices, can't communicate with the federal agencies they'll be staffing, and can't receive briefings about ongoing projects."

So guess what we did? Why do I always see the same hands raised? That's right, Emily W. Murphy wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award!

Keepin' On

If you think that what we do is important and would like to see us keep on, keeping on, please send us whatever you can, whenever you can, and we'll keep telling you the truth!


06-24-1927 ~ 11-05-2020
Thanks for the film!

06-12-1942 ~ 11-05-2020
Thanks for the music!

08-15-1927 ~ 11-08-2020
Thanks for the laughs!

07-22-1940 ~ 11-08-2020
Thanks for the questions!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can?


So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2020 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

With enormous grassroots outreach that only they could credibly accomplish, progressive activists were a crucial part of the de facto united front to defeat Trump.

Progressives Made Trump's Defeat Possible. Now It's Time To Challenge Biden And Other Corporate Democrats
Without a strong progressive program as a rudder, the Biden presidency will be awash in much the same old rhetorical froth and status-quo positions that have so often caused Democratic incumbents to founder, bringing on GOP electoral triumphs.
By Norman Solomon

The evident defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives. Now, on vital issues-climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more-it's time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party.

The realpolitik rationales for the left to make nice with the incoming Democratic president are bogus. All too many progressives gave the benefit of doubts to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, making it easier for them to service corporate America while leaving working-class Americans in the lurch. Two years later, in 1994 and 2010, Republicans came roaring back and took control of Congress.

From the outset, progressive organizations and individuals (whether they consider themselves to be "activists" or not) should confront Biden and other elected Democrats about profound matters. Officeholders are supposed to work for the public interest. And if they're serving Wall Street instead of Main Street, we should show that we're ready, willing and able to "primary" them.

Progressives would be wise to quickly follow up on Biden's victory with a combative approach toward corporate Democrats. Powerful party leaders have already signaled their intentions to aggressively marginalize progressives.

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants," Politico reports, "had a stark warning for Democrats on Thursday: Swing too far left and they're all but certain to blow their chances in the Georgia runoff that will determine which party controls the Senate."

Also on the conference call with congressional Democrats was House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who reportedly declared that if "we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we're not going to win."

If we're going to get real about ending systemic and massive income inequality, we're going to have to fight for-and achieve-massive long-term public investments, financed by genuinely progressive taxation and major cuts in the military budget.

Such admonitions were predictable and odd, coming from House Democratic leaders who just saw shrinkage of members of their party due to the loss of "moderate" incumbents as well as the losses of avowedly "moderate" and widely heralded Democratic senatorial candidates in Maine, Kentucky, Iowa and elsewhere.

At the core of such conflicts, whether simmering or exploding, is class war. When Pelosi & Co. try to stamp out the genuinely progressive upsurge in congressional ranks that is fueled from the grassroots, they're "dancing with those who brung them"-corporate elites. It's an extremely lucrative approach for those who feed out of the troughs of the Democratic National Committee, the Senate and House party campaign committees, the House Majority PAC and many other fat-cat political campaign entities. Consultant contracts and lobbying deals keep flowing, even after Democrats lose quite winnable elections.

Biden almost lost this election. And while the Biden campaign poured in vast financial resources and vague flowery messaging that pandered to white suburban voters, relatively little was focused on those who most made it possible to overcome Trump's election-night lead-people of color and the young. Constrained by his decades-long political mentality and record, Biden did not energize working-class voters as he lip-sunk populist tunes in unconvincing performances.

That's the kind of neoliberal approach that Bernie Sanders and so many of his supporters were warning about in 2016 and again this year. Both times there was a huge failure of the Democratic nominee to make a convincing case as an advocate for working people against the forces of wealthy avarice and corporate greed.

In fact, Clinton and Biden reeked of coziness with economic elites throughout their political careers. To many people, Clinton came off as a fake when she tried to sound populist, claiming to represent the little people against corporate giants. And to those who actually knew much about Biden's political record, his similar claims also were apt to seem phony.

It's clear from polling that Biden gained a large proportion of his votes due to animosity toward his opponent rather than enthusiasm for Biden. He hasn't inspired the Democratic base, and his appeal had much more to do with opposing the evils of Trumpism than embracing his own political approach.

More than ever, merely being anti-Trump or anti-Republican isn't going to move Democrats and the country in the vital directions we need. Without a strong progressive program as a rudder, the Biden presidency will be awash in much the same old rhetorical froth and status-quo positions that have so often caused Democratic incumbents to founder, bringing on GOP electoral triumphs.

In recent months, Biden showed that he knew how to hum the refrains of economic populism when that seemed tactically useful, but he scarcely knew the words and could hardly belt out the melody. His media image as "Lunch Bucket Joe" was a helpful mirage in corporate medialand, but that kind of puffery only went so far. Meanwhile, the Biden strategists decided to coast on the issue of the pandemic, spotlighting Trump's lethally narcissistic insanity.

But when it came to healthcare-obviously a central concern in people's lives, especially amid the coronavirus-Biden largely fell back on Obamacare rather than advocating for a genuine guarantee of healthcare as a human right. Likewise, Biden talked a bit about easing the economic burdens on small businesses and families, but it was pretty pallid stuff compared to what's desperately needed. To a large extent, he surrendered the economic playing field to Trump's pseudo-populist blather.

Looking ahead, we need vigorous successors to the New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society programs of the mid-1960s that were asphyxiated, politically and budgetarily, by the Vietnam War. Set aside the phrase if you want to, but we need some type of "democratic socialism" (as Martin Luther King Jr. asserted in the last years of his life).

The ravages of market-based "solutions" are all around us; the public sector has been decimated, and it needs to be revitalized with massive federal spending that goes way beyond occasional "stimulus" packages. The potential exists to create millions of good jobs while seriously addressing the climate catastrophe. If we're going to get real about ending systemic and massive income inequality, we're going to have to fight for-and achieve-massive long-term public investments, financed by genuinely progressive taxation and major cuts in the military budget.

With enormous grassroots outreach that only they could credibly accomplish, progressive activists were a crucial part of the de facto united front to defeat Trump. Now it's time to get on with grassroots organizing to challenge corporate Democrats.

(c) 2020 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats-Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-explain how this happened?

Biden Has Ousted A Lying And Corrupt Trump-But That Doesn't Mean Democrats Had A Great Election Day
Loaded with nearly twice as much money as the GOP, the Democrats showed that weak candidates with no robust agendas for people where they live, work, and raise their families, is a losing formula.
By Ralph Nader

Apart from barely squeezing through the swing states to defeat corrupt, incompetent, lying, corporatist Donald Trump, the Democratic Party had a bad election.

Loaded with nearly twice as much money as the Republican Party, the Democratic Party showed that weak candidates with no robust agendas for people where they live, work, and raise their families, is a losing formula. And lose they did against the worst, cruelest, ignorant, lawbreaking, reality-denying GOP in its 166-year history.

The Democrats failed to win the Senate, despite nearly having twice the number of Senators up for re-election than the Republicans. In addition, the Democratic Party lost seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats did not flip a single Republican state legislature, leaving the GOP to again gerrymander Congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade!

Will all this lead to serious introspection by the Democratic Party? Don't bet on it. The GOP tried to learn from their losses in 2012, which led to their big rebound. Already, the Democratic Party is looking for scapegoats, like third party candidates.

Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats-Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-explain how this happened? Will they take some responsibility and tell the American people why they let their profiteering media consultants spend so much money on tepid, low-impact TV ads at the expense of a massive ground game to give voters personal reasons to get themselves out to vote, beyond Trump? A third of all eligible voters stayed home. Could part of the problem be the 15% commission the consultants receive from TV ad revenues as compared to zero commissions from ground game expenditures?

Can the corporate Democratic leaders respond to inquiries by progressives and the sidelined primary voters of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Can they respond to why the living wage, the corporate crime wave, and the GOP blocked stimulus/relief package passed by the Democrats in May (including a $600 a week extension for tens of millions of desperate workers and critical aid to local agencies overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic) were not prominently front and center? Also, why did the Democrats refuse to campaign for full Medicare for All, supported by 70 percent of the American people? The Democrats, as pointed out by political media specialist, Bill Hillsman, did not speak directly to white, blue-collar workers who deserted Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump in 2016.

Moreover, the Democratic Party has a long-standing problem with authenticity. Rhetoric for a large infrastructure jobs program paid for by repealing corporate tax cuts and loopholes is seen as a throwaway line by many voters. Democrats should have explained, at the local level, how determination and integrity could shape the upgrading of our schools, clinics, roads, mass transit systems, waterworks, and other public services, with good-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, the Trumpsters showed their ferocious energy for wannabe, ego-obsessed, dictatorial Donald with more rallies, signs, and door-to-door contacts. The Democrats misread the faulty polls again thinking that the projected huge turnouts were primarily their voters and not also the Trump voters who turned out in greater numbers as well.

Too many Democratic operatives treat Trump with derision and mockery, instead of stressing how his daily lawlessness and serial violations of the Constitution have dismantled the protections for the people and turned the government over to big business to do and grab whatever they want.

Trump openly commits federal crimes (e.g. The Hatch Act, the Anti-Deficiency Act) using federal property, including the White House, for his campaign, spending money illegally, while brazenly defying over a hundred investigative subpoenas from the House of Representatives.

Yet, neither Biden and Obama nor the Democratic Party made these corrupt forms of obstruction of justice, front and center issues. They even ignored Trump's past criminal assaults of women, whom he has repeatedly degraded.

These many missed, obvious opportunities have consequences. Don't Trump voters and their families also suffer from frozen minimum wages, from the absence of adequate or any health insurance, from those sky-high drug prices that Trump failed to reduce? He put more toxins in the air and water and allowed more dangerous workplaces. Trump calls endangering people and the planet "deregulation" but what he was really doing is rewarding his corporate paymasters.

Trump just pushes many more buttons than do the Democrats. Why don't the Democrats promote more unions, more consumer cooperatives, more campaign finance reforms, and more known ways to empower the people directly?

Of course, the Democrats would never argue that the American people, not corporations, should CONTROL what they already OWN such as the public lands, the public airwaves, and the shareholding mutual and pension funds investing their money. The Democrats never even think to demand that U.S. taxpayers get a direct return for trillions of dollars of government research and development that have subsidized the growth of modern industries (from aerospace to computers to agribusiness, biotech, pharma, and more).

While Trump incites street violence and then cries loudly for "law and order," the Democrats don't throwback "law and order" for violent, polluting corporate crooks who cheat and harm children, consumers, workers, and communities, as well as rip off government programs like Medicare. Trump has gotten away with defunding the federal corporate crime police big time. Never will the Democrats go after Trump for the bloated, runaway, unaudited military budget and its Empire that are devouring necessities here at home.

The House Democrats refused to keep multiple impeachment pressure (apart from the Ukraine matter) on the Republicans. A national TV audience of the Senate dealing with a dozen of Trump's impeachable offenses would give even the most ardent Trump supporters pause. (See December 18, 2019, Congressional Record, H-12197).

The Democrats let Trump and his lawless Attorney General William Barr get away with all his corrupt, criminal, and unconstitutional actions, which have turned the White House into an ongoing crime scene. And, despite this "rap sheet" Trump came close to winning the Electoral College for a second term!

Next time, the rulers of the Democratic Party should listen to civic groups and advocates and not be so smug and incommunicado. As an example, I'll refer you to my Eleven Suggestions for turning out the vote, with popular mandates, available to everyone in whole and in part for weeks (See also my latest op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 27, 2020).

Now let's see how many rollbacks and repeals Biden will quickly institute to stop Trump's devastations and usher in a truly progressive, majoritarian set of long-overdue policies.

(c) 2020 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Black Voters: "Contrarian" Men and "Communal" Women
By Glen Ford

A significant portion of Black males are "contrarians" that take positions at odds with the general Black political consensus - while Black women tend to take the communal approach. Corporate media are all abuzz about the relatively high numbers of Black men that voted for Donald Trump this election cycle. An NBC News poll of early and election day voters found that "eighty percent of Black men supported Joe Biden, down slightly from Hilary Clinton's 82 percent of the Black male vote in 2016, but significantly lower than Barack Obama's level of support among Black men in 2012 [87 percent] and 2008 [95 percent, just one point below Black women]." This year, ninety-one percent of Black women supported Joe Biden, down only slightly from the 94 percent that cast votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the 96 percent of Black females that supported Obama in both of his presidential bids.

However, when it came to slicing and dicing this year's Black male voter demographics, NBC's numbers were downright strange - or, as the network put it: "There was an unusual relationship between education and how Black men voted this year." According to the poll, Black men with some college but no degree voted for Biden at levels much like Black women, while Black males with both less and more formal education gave from 20 to 26 percent of their vote to Trump: high school only: 26 percent; bachelor's degree: 22 percent; advanced degree: 20 percent. This makes no sense; why would Black men with an incomplete college education behave so differently at the polls than those that received degrees and advance degrees, and those with no college at all?

The weird breakdown casts some doubt on the poll's reliability, but it is beyond question that Black men are more likely than Black women to break with the Democrats. Black women are significantly more "communal" (my term) than Black men in their political behavior - especially when "politics" is broadly defined to describe relations among humans. High levels of Black female participation in church and in social movements, is an aspect of communalism. The lived Black experience confirms that Black women are significantly more likely to join in behaviors that they believe are in the larger group interest, most especially regarding children. That same lived experience cannot fail to note that a significant portion of Black males are what I call "contrarians": men that take positions at odds with the general Black political consensus - often quite loudly and ostentatiously. If voting for Obama had not been so universally seen as a "once in a lifetime" Black experience that could not be missed, the First Black President would not have gotten 95 percent of Black male support in 2008. The Black male "contrarian" vote kicked in later, when good reasons could be found to be angry with Obama and the Black Democratic echo-chamber - but only Black males actually voted Republican in significant numbers.

Many Black contrarians justify their support for Republicans by referencing Malcolm X, who castigated white liberals as "foxes" and white conservatives as "wolves," and declared that: "The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the 'smiling' fox." However, Malcolm was essentially saying, "a plague on both their houses" - a point the Black contrarians that vote Republican often forget.

Trump did provide a substantive excuse for some Black men to vote for him. A number of Black males have cited Trump's "First Step Act" which, as reported, resulted in "more than 3,000 people" being released from prison while "more than 2,000 people - 91 percent of whom are Black - received sentencing reductions" because Trump's measure "retroactively applied the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (a law Obama passed), reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine charges." Obama refused to make the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive.

For some Black men, that was reason enough to pull the Republican lever - but their mothers, sisters and wives did not; they stuck with what they saw as the communal interest: to beat the White Man's Party. Black women, and most Black men, will continue to seek communal safety from the racist hordes as long as they are presented with a duopoly choice between an overtly racist party and a party that claims to want "inclusion," and to which the vast bulk of Black elected officials belong.

A significant and growing segment of young Blacks, however, refuse to accept that voting is the only politics that counts. They have seen how Democrats change their political tunes when confronted with masses of people on the move. Although the Democrats have no intention of keeping promises made under the duress of massed people's power, the social movement's articulation of demands broadens public perceptions of possibilities. The new order will not come from the voting booth, but when the duopoly corporate system is viewed as illegitimate by a critical mass of people.

Corporate media analysis of Black political behavior is almost uniformly bogus. At the turn of the 21st century Black and white operatives of corporate media were agreed that Blacks were becoming more conservative as they became more affluent. According to the corporate press, these relatively better-off Blacks folk were rejecting "old style, civil-rights-type" Black politicians in favor of a "new Black politics" that was less confrontational and more amenable to business-oriented solutions to social problems. There was absolutely no evidence of such a shift in political behavior among not-poor Black people, but facts were not allowed to intrude upon the corporate narrative. However, the weight of money does count in electoral politics. In 2002, when incumbent Black Congresspersons Earl Hilliard (AL) and Cynthia McKinney (GA) were massively outspent and defeated in primaries by little known corporate-backed challengers, and the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, was almost unseated by a first term councilman (Cory Booker) who somehow outspent him by two to one, the corporate media declared that their theory of growing Black conservatism had been proven.

Cynthia McKinney was the last of the "old-style" Black politicians to go down, that year. The corporate media made her primary race a national cause celebre: she was too loud, too radical, too "Sixties." When former Black Republican Denise Majette beat McKinney in a nearly half-white district, the national corporate media cheered. But Bruce Dixon and I, working at The Black Commentator, showed that McKInney had won more than 70 percent of the Black vote and handily defeated Majette in Black precincts of Stone Mountain, Georgia, one of the most affluent sections of the Dekalb County, the second most affluent majority Black county in the nation, behind Prince Georges County, Maryland, outside Washington DC. A white political scientist - a favorite of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution - later concluded that McKinney won a whopping 85 percent of the Black vote, and urged Majette to get to know Black people better or get out of politics.

The corporate media's theory was disproven, but they keep presenting variations on the theme, hoping that the power of money will make the numbers conform to their narrative. These days, the corporate press insists that there is something called "people of color" (POCs) -- and then speculates as to which way this invented grouping is leaning, politically. The capitalist press now routinely release polling data that conflates all "minorities" (another term for the amorphous POC), with the result that none of the constituent groups' actual political proclivities are revealed, understood or respected - an outrageous example of white corporate hegemony in the raw.

The various POCs resident in the United States all have different histories and heritages of struggle. Their politics are energized by a universe of dynamics and -- most importantly for U.S. politics -- these ethnic/national constituencies are made up of people with very different, self-perceived relations to whiteness. A Cuban American whose family was self-consciously white before they left Cuba, is a very different political animal from a Mexican American mestizo, an Afro-Dominican American, a South Asian American of Hindu heritage, or a Chinese or Vietnamese American. And no group in the African diaspora shares the African American prism on race.

We will all find each - and Anglo-white people -- in struggle.

(c) 2020 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

What Progressives Won This Year
By Jim Hightower

A jittery week at the polls, huh? One measure of our political anxiety is that liquor sales spiked this week. Also, it's probably not a coincidence that a new breakthrough in drug legalization was made on Tuesday, when 56 percent of Oregon voters said YES! to sanctioning the use of "magic mushrooms," which are said to relieve anxiety and depression.

Political pundits have rushed out to say (even gloat) that Tuesday was a debacle for Democrats, especially for the progressive movement - and we certainly did not match our extraordinarily high expectations. But hold the mushrooms. Despite a queasy roller-coaster ride in the Dump Trump race and disappointing shortfalls in some other contests, 2020 is hardly a debacle. Take heart from the phenomenal victories scored this year by our grassroots progressive movement, from picking up a dozen congressional seats to winning hundreds of local offices. Especially significant are the increasing number of overtly progressive sheriffs, district attorneys, and other criminal justice reformers we're electing, including in counties across the South.

This is movement-building at its best and purest. Not only are we electing a broad and expanding network of officials, but also these runs (even those that fall short) do three essential things that advance the overall democratic cause: (1) They increase the number, skills, and collective experience of our grassroots volunteers; (2) they spread and refine our progressive/populist message; and (3) they teach us how to run better next time - if we're willing to learn.

My message is an old and proven one: Persevere, keep pushing, build on what you learn, reach out. A movement is not a weekend project - ask those who launched the women's suffrage movement, none of whom lived to vote, but they kept advancing. Or ask any of the various communities of outsiders who've fought (literally) and are still fighting for civil rights and human dignity. Also, wallow in the true glory of it all - the reality that these are the fights worth being part of, joining in the joy of steady democratic progress. "Winning" doesn't come on one election day, but over a lifetime of participation.

And remember this bit of wisdom imparted to me years ago by a West Texas farmer: "Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on."

(c) 2020 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates,"is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

Thousands gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to celebrate news that the former Vice President,
Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States on November 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Rest Today. Soon We Begin The Work Of Clearing Trump's Wreckage
By William Rivers Pitt

The defeat of Donald Trump by Joe Biden is an absolute, seamless good. Not because of Joe Biden or the Democrats or anything other than this: When there is a tumor, you cut it out first and worry about the healing later.

Though he intends to be a presence in our lives until we die or he does, the Trump tumor has been excised from elected office. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, bad about this. The opportunity for healing is a privilege afforded only by his absence. More people than ever in history voted in favor of that privilege, and now, it is at hand.

Also this: The election of 2020 took place amid a ravening pandemic that is spiking all around us, and with a rogue president so determined to disrupt that election that he ordered his supporters to harass and intimidate polling sites while he himself actively tried to destroy the United States Postal Service. The rogue president failed, the USPS carried on like the quiet heroes they are, and one of the most remarkable friction-free elections in living memory came to pass.

Though the Democrats fell surprisingly short of their goals in the House and Senate, 74 million people braved the plague and the disruptions to tell Mr. Trump: This far, no farther. Trump has yet to concede, and probably never will, and it doesn't matter a damn.

The next several weeks will likely be dominated by news stories of Trump's fruitless, hopeless legal challenges as he tantrums himself and the Republican Party down to powder. He holds executive power until noon of Inauguration Day, so he will likely smash a few more delicate and invaluable things in a perfection of his petulance.

New heroes have emerged, none more vivid than Stacey Abrams and the legions of selfless organizers who came together to challenge rampant voter suppression in Georgia. Brian Kemp stole the Georgia governor's race from Abrams in 2018 by using his powers as then-secretary of state to blow some 300,000 votes out the window. Abrams swallowed hard, and then formed Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project, and two years later, Georgia flipped blue thanks to the activists who rallied to her banner.

Both Senate seats in Georgia are going to a runoff that will be determined in January. If the Democrats win both of those seats, they will capture majority control of the Senate and send Mitch McConnell to the small side of the room. It is a long shot, but Abrams, Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project are all in. It's early, but I wouldn't bet against them. The fact that the possibility of massive progressive change hinges on Georgia and the labors of women like Abrams is blast-furnace history all by itself.

And: For the first time in 28 years, the voters broke the mold and swatted a sitting president out of office. Donald Trump has always seen himself as a man of history. Well, he's accomplished that, at least. I can't wait to do the tour of his library: Here's the room where you can watch him be impeached, here's the room where you can see if you fit in a cage, and here's the room where you can catch COVID-19, but please don't go in that room. Sorry for the short tour, it was only one term.


When a regular person masturbates in public, they get scooped up and taken away by the authorities. Donald Trump spent four years flagrantly masturbating in front of everybody - vigorous strokes of the ego, the grudges, the petty vengeances, the bragging about invisible poll numbers and fictional victories, oh me oh my oh me me me meeeeee... and the "authorities" in the Republican Party, along with an astonishingly large segment of the population, stood back and went, "Yay, Mr. President, you're the best, more please!"

Now he's done, or will be soon, and you know what? I'm numb.

How peak goddamn 2020 is that, right? I should have been running and dancing in the streets with the throngs who boiled out into the freshening air to scream their grieving relief to the sky. I should have called and written messages to friends and family celebrating this towering moment, because for the very first time in a very long time, this jagged death-riddled doomstruck timeline finally got it right.

I watched CNN call the race for Joe Biden, caught it in real time. I basically hadn't left the house since Tuesday because I wanted to see that announcement, I deserved to see it, I earned at least that much... and it wouldn't come, for days it wouldn't come, for very good reasons it wouldn't come, and then there it was. After it came, at 11:38 a.m. Eastern time by my watch, I crawled into bed, pulled the covers over my head, wept a storm into my pillows, and slept. Finally, finally slept.

Four years earlier almost to the day, I watched Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president on my 45th birthday. I knew all too well what he represented, and I sat down to write that very night about what I saw coming:

The children of immigrants all across the United States woke this morning in a country soon to be led by an unapologetic xenophobe threatening mass deportation, and American Muslims woke to an era of intensified Islamophobia that may take paths we haven't yet conceived of.... And we can only imagine how the ongoing war on Black men, women and children will continue to worsen under this authoritarian leader, all in the name of that cold steel fist called "Law and Order."

Mr. Trump molded his entire campaign around hate, vengeance and violence. In doing so, he unleashed a monstrous tide. The people who pummeled protesters and elderly women wearing oxygen tanks, who screamed "Lock her up" while wearing shirts that read "Grab her by the pussy" at rallies, and who menaced people of color who were trying to vote - they are his true master now.

I am no prophet. He said he would do all these things during that campaign, and I believed him completely. That's when I stopped sleeping.

Between COVID's conquering of the country and the economy, Trump's barefaced embrace of racism and armed white nationalism, the shattering of international relations, the utter disdain for glaring climate science, the children in cages orphaned by ICE, Trump's grueling minute-to-minute need to be the top headline every single day, even if those headlines blare a warning about his authoritarian intentions to undermine the constitution, all this and so much more have made this nation a house on fire from the inside out.

This all needs to be said out loud, over and over again, because some 70 million people saw the same four years I did and decided to give the man another term. Those voters didn't take a flier on the new guy like they did in '16. They rode the same four years of bad road I did, looked at the alternative represented by Joe Biden, and said, "Nah, I'll have seconds, please." If I live long enough to see the stars burn out, I still will never fully understand it.

That's why I feel numb today. I am also utterly spent. Donald Trump did not defeat me, but Lord, it was close. Covering this White House has been like having an earthquake scream in your ear for four years. I honestly don't know what I would have done if he'd won, and if he runs again in 2024 as threatened, I am going to give serious consideration to living in a tree and learning to speak squirrel until he goes away again.

Trump has every intention of being in our faces forever, and as he is the Living God Emperor of the Republican Party, in the Oval or otherwise, he has 70 million pockets to pick with a new media enterprise or whatever the next grift will be.

That is, unless the laws he has so brazenly broken over the years catch up with him. Trump is a creature of reality TV, and the very real potential for a "Trump: Trial of the Century" spectacle in New York State someday for fraud and tax evasion would surely keep him in our collective consciousness, but for far more palatable reasons. A.G. Letitia James and D.A. Cyrus Vance, your tables are almost ready.

There is so much to be done to repair the damage from these last four years. I'm ready for it, more than ready, but I'm going to sit here and breathe a bit until I stop feeling weird about such a good day. It was a good day, historic, but the miles we have to go before we sleep are daunting, and there is no shame in recharging your batteries.

Comedian Chris Rock said it best on his Instagram account: "Oddly I don't feel like celebrating. I feel like Tom Hanks towards the end of Cast Away. I'm really happy the ship came but I don't want to party. I just want to take a shower cut my hair eat a shrimp find Helen Hunt deliver my last package and figure out the rest of my life."

Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize pretty much for not being George W. Bush. If the metric holds, Joe Biden should win two Nobel Prizes and an Oscar for not being Donald Trump. He also needs some solid work gloves, a Carhartt jacket and boots, and one hell of a big shovel. The man has an astonishing job before him, and millions of people will be working to make sure he fails.

That's what we have to look forward to, friends and neighbors. That's why I'm not celebrating just yet, though God knows I want to. The absolute good is accomplished, and the rest is up to us. All we've done is won the chance, and maybe saved democracy in the U.S. along the way. I comfort myself with this truth: It's supposed to be hard.

Rest. Restore. Return. Everything he took from us, we are going to try to take back.

Stout hearts.

(c) 2020 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

People gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House on November 7, as they
celebrate the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The Biden-Harris Victory Brings 'An Outpouring Of Joy, Hope, Renewed Faith'
In cities nationwide, a spontaneous celebration erupts as Trump is defeated and voters usher in "a new day for America."
By John Nichols

Madison, Wis.-The car horns started honking to the rhythm of the chant "This is what democracy looks like!" People came out of the houses and apartments, banging on pots and pans. Cheers went up. The music rose. Fireworks exploded. There was no sigh of relief when the news came that Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. had finally defeated Donald Trump. There was jubilant recognition of the fact that, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared at Saturday night's victory party in Wilmington, Del., "When our very democracy was on the ballot in this election, with the very soul of America at stake, and the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America."

This was a spontaneous celebration that Biden noted when-after taking the Wilmington stage to the tune of Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own"-the president-elect expressed surprise and delight that "tonight, we're seeing all over this nation, all cities in all parts of the country, indeed across the world, an outpouring of joy, of hope, renewed faith that tomorrow will bring a better day."

From Monument Square in Portland, Me., to Pershing Square in Los Angeles, a nationwide block party erupted on Saturday. People waved "Biden" flags. They pumped up the volume on boom boxes and they danced to Queen's "We Are the Champions" and YG & Nipsey Hussle's "FDT." It was cathartic. It was ecstatic. After all the tense weeks leading up the November 3 election, and all the tense days of counting the ballots, finally people put on their "Vote! Vote! Vote!" masks and their "Team Joe" T-shirts and their "We've Got Her Back!" Harris stickers and hit the streets.

Recalling that Donald Trump had sought to undermine trust in the voting and vote-counting processes of Pennsylvania's largest city by claiming, "Bad things happen in Philadelphia," people gathered in the city that put Biden over the top with signs announcing, "Good Things Happen in Philadelphia." Outside the White House, crowds filled Black Lives Matter Plaza, where just months ago peaceful protesters were gassed to make way for a presidential photo-op, and sang, "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye." And everywhere people showed up with handmade signs that taunted the former reality-TV star with his The Apprentice catchphrase: "You're fired!"

But this wasn't just about beating Trump. This was a collective expression of the sentiment that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave voice to when he heard the news Saturday and said, "Thank God, democracy won out!"

"Today we celebrate the power of the people," declared Jennifer Epps-Addison, who was on the Capitol Square in Madison, Wis., for a Saturday morning "Voters Decide" rally that, after word came of the call for Biden, turned into a party that in many senses had been four years in the making. Epps-Addison, the veteran Wisconsin activist who now serves as network president and co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, wasn't just celebrating the beginning of the end of Trump's presidency. "This election will go down in history," she explained. "Joe Biden has won with more votes than any other president in the history of this country; the United States has elected the first Black and Indian American woman as vice president; and millions more people turned out to vote in this election than ever before, despite a raging pandemic and the hurdles of voter intimidation, suppression, and misinformation put in their way."

Those words resonated in Wisconsin, a state with a progressive history that in 2016 was one of the three "blue wall" states that abandoned decades-long patterns of voting for Democrats for president and backed Trump in 2016. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania tipped the Electoral College balance to Trump four years ago, and from then on, progressives in those states carried a burden. This week they threw it off, as first Wisconsin, then Michigan, and, finally, Pennsylvania came home to the Democratic fold.

After CNN's Wolf Blitzer announced at 11:24 am on the East Coast that Pennsylvania had gone for Biden, the news swept across the time zones of a nation where the Biden-Harris ticket was winning the popular vote by more than 4 million ballots but still needed to close the deal in the Electoral College. Pennsylvania took Biden over the 270 mark, but people across the country all knew they'd done their part.

That was especially true in Wisconsin. "I can't mask my feelings on this historic day!" announced US Representative Gwen Moore, the Milwaukee Democrat who kicked off this summer's virtual Democratic National Convention in that city. Like Detroit and Philadelphia, Milwaukee delivered essential votes for the Biden-Harris ticket that defeated a president who devoted much of his campaign to savage attacks on "Democratic cities."

So, too, did Madison, the historic liberal bastion of Wisconsin where people have over the past four years filled the streets for the Women's March that protested the 45th president's inauguration, for demonstrations against Trump's attacks on immigrants and refugees, and for rallies calling for his impeachment. Most of those gatherings took place outside the majestic state capitol, where the great Midwestern progressive Robert M. La Follette once served as governor, and where the efforts of a lesser Midwestern governor, Scott Walker, to undo La Follette's legacy in 2011 inspired mass protests. The crowds came again on Saturday. deejays set up on the steps of the capitol and pumped up the volume. High school students waved rainbow banners. Grandmothers wore "Do it for Ruth" T-shirts. A flag-waving car caravan organized by the immigrant rights and labor rights group Voces de la Frontera circled the square. Black Lives Matter activists cheered for Biden and Harris and for a speaker who promised, "We're going to micromanage this administration...make sure they get the job done."

No doubt, it will be necessary to keep the pressure on. "As the Biden/Harris administration takes office, they are faced with a clear mandate from the people: They must take action to turn the tide of the Covid-19 pandemic, lead us out of this economic crisis to an economy that works for all, take bold steps towards advancing racial justice, implement humane immigration policies, transform our justice system, make up for lost ground in fighting climate change, and ensure quality health care for all," said Epps-Addison. "They will need to lead with a bold progressive vision, and overcome at every turn those-in Congress and in the judiciary-who will try to use their power to undermine the will of the people. That means we have more work to do."

Yes, more work to do. But also, as Gwen Moore says, a celebration of the power of the people who have ended "the chapter of the cruel, callous, and corrupt Trump administration. The nightmare is finally over."

(c) 2020 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

American Presidents Appear Chosen by Name; Their Fate Set By The Numbers
By James Donahue

Before Trump there has been something very spooky about the history of American presidents. It was almost as if the electoral process had no effect. Certain people are destined to be our nation's leaders no matter what. And certain presidents appear cursed to die in office.

If you study the names of the men we elected to this high office, there are a lot of them with double letters. Names like Roosevelt, Hoover, Kennedy, "Bill" Clinton and "Jimmy" Carter are quick to pop up. The other winners include Adams (with two "a's" in the name), Dwight D. Eisenhower (two d's and three e's), and Nixon (with two n's). I think you get the picture.

Using this formula, it is perhaps understandable that George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 election. Even though Gore out-polled Bush in popular votes, Bush was destined to win because he had two g's and two e's in his name. It also is easy to see why Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the next presidential race. The four "a's" in Obama's name, plus two "b's" out-trumped McCain's double "C's."

Donald Trump fits this pattern because he has two "D's" in his first name. Joseph Biden has two "E's" which also fit. By all of the odds, Hillary Clinton should have won the 2016 election. She actually won the popular vote but Trump stole the office via the Electoral College.

A few years ago I met a very unusual man who liked to study numbers and statistics like this. When he pointed out this phenomenon behind the winners in American presidential elections, I did not believe him at first. But then, after searching through American history records, I found that he was quite right.

The candidates with the double letters were always the winners, especially if their opponent was an unfortunate with a name like Al Gore. Because Gore did not choose to be known by his full first name, Albert, he had little chance of winning over a man named George. The name Albert Gore, if you notice, also has two e's in the full name, but the letters are separated by first and last names. George, which contains both g's and e's in the same name, was clearly the winning favorite. Had Al's first name been Allen, I believe that he could have been the winner.

You may perhaps write this off to a subconscious decision by American voters to trust or simply just prefer names with double letters. But there is another peculiar thing about our presidential history that is harder to explain and is much more disturbing.

Ever since Benjamin Harrison (with two r's) was elected to office in 1840, every president going into office on even number years except Ronald Reagan (three a's) has died in office. And there was an assassination attempt on Reagan's life and it was disclosed he was suffering from Alzheimer Disease during his later years in office. Some believe Nancy Reagan may have been running the country during this period. Was Reagan mentally dead while still serving as our president? This was especially troublesome because George W. Bush was elected on a triple zero election year, 2000. Yet Bush miraculously appeared to have broken what was known as the Tecumseh curse.

Will the winner of this election also escape the even year curse?

The story is that Chief Tecumseh was a Shawnee who wanted the American Indian tribes to break away from the reservation and return to their old ways. He established a village at Tippecanoe Creek, Ohio, called Utopia Town where his followers gathered. While he was away, William Henry Harrison, then an army general got into a skirmish with the people at Tippecanoe Creek and Tecumseh's brother was killed. This happened in 1811. Tecumseh was so angered that he gathered a band of about two thousand warriors and joined the British in battles against the Americans in the War of 1812. Later, when Harrison sought the presidency in 1840, Tecumseh cursed him.

The curse reads that if Harrison wins the office of Great Chief "he will not finish his term. He will die in office. And when he dies you will remember my brother. You think that I have lost my powers. I who caused the sun to darken and Red Men to give up firewater. But I tell you Harrison will die. And after him, every Great Chief chosen every 20 years thereafter will die. And when each one dies, let everyone remember the death of our people." Harrison was the ninth elected president and just as Tecumseh predicted, he became the first president to die in office. His term lasted only one month. He became ill and on April 4, 1841, shortly after taking office, he died. The death list has continued right on cue ever since.

--Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. He was murdered in 1865.
--James Garfield, elected 1880, took office in 1881, assassinated Sept. 19, 1881.
--William McKinley, elected to his second term in 1990, assassinated on Sept. 14, 1901.
--Warren G. Harding, elected 1920, died of a heart attack on Aug. 2, 1923.
--Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected 1940, died of ill health on Apr. 12, 1945.
--John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, assassinated Nov. 22, 1963.

In a book Mysteries of the Unexplained published by Reader's Digest, 1982, I found some interesting synchronicities linked to the Kennedy assassination. There is a federal mint in Dallas that issued a dollar bill just two weeks before Kennedy was shot there. It is now known as the Kennedy assassination bill. Since Dallas is the location of the eleventh of twelve Federal Reserve Bank districts, the bill has the letter K, or the eleventh letter of the alphabet, printed on its face. Also the number eleven appears in each corner. The serial number of this bill begins with K and ends with A, suggesting "Kennedy Assassination. Kennedy was shot on the eleventh month of the year. Adding the two elevens on either side of the bill makes twenty-two, the date of the shooting. The series number is 1963, the year Kennedy died.

The writer of the article points to yet another interesting set of synchronicities connected with both the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations. Both men were shot on Friday and in the presence of their wives. They were both shot by bullets in the head. Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theater and Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Both men were succeeded by vice-presidents named Johnson. Both accused assassins were murdered before they could be brought to trial.

(c) 2020 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

Delaware Senator Joesph Biden presents Secretary of "Defense" William Cohen with a model C5 aircraft at a
luncheon in Sec. Cohen's honor during his visit to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday, December 15, 1999.

Everything Will Fundamentally Change
By David Swanson

In June 2019, Joe Biden promised wealthy so-called donors that nothing would fundamentally change. At this moment hundreds of millions of people - from those shooting off fireworks to those ranting as though they will soon shoot up public places in their MAGA hats - seem convinced that everything will fundamentally change. Biden was wrong. Everybody else is right. Either everything will change for the better or one or both of the twin dangers of environmental and nuclear apocalypse will change everything for the worse.

What should someone who cares about ending war think? How can we get from the euphoria of electing a warmonger to mobilizing people to end war? How should we talk with the people who are celebrating? And how with the people who are outraged?

With those who are celebrating, I see no reason to oppose their joy and happiness. I happen to love joy and happiness, as long as people can work hard while celebrating. The trick is that working hard implies that a holy and infallible emperor has not been enthroned, that something more is needed. The trouble is that lesser evilists upon selecting a lesser evil candidate often adopt the position that their candidate is actually great and glorious, that in fact it's part of their duty to learn only good bits of information about their chosen one. One thing we could try is reminding people of the wisdom of their lesser evil election choice in a manner that restores to their consciousness exactly how evil was that lesser evil choice, or - even better - exactly how evil is the society that only allows us such choices.

It may help to tamp down the offensiveness of our truth-telling about Biden to speak of representative government, of the goal - if not often the reality - of elected officials moving their positions in response to public demand. It's our job to move Biden not because he is Biden but because he is president-elect. It would have been our job to move Bernie too.

Before we can talk about any of that, we have to be granted standing, we have to qualify to speak. That requires that we explain to people at some length our awareness of how evil Trump is and how delighted we will be to be rid of him. One reason for this is the common perception that there are two types of being in the universe, Biden backers and Trump backers. Uttering a discouraging word about Biden will instantly transform you into a maskless, mouth-breathing, minion of the Moronic One, unless you've prefaced it with numerous basic facts about Trump and your feelings about him. Another reason is that corporate media has sometimes painted Trump as a peacemaker, and peace as a threat to all that is good including, rather strangely, to peace. This logic has made enemies of Trump into fans of NATO, the CIA, foreign bases, and a cold war with Russia, so we have extra motivation to unravel it.

If your record is anything like mine, you should be able to succeed in gaining standing. I worked for Trump's impeachment for numerous clear-cut offenses since before his inauguration. I'm now pushing to see him prosecuted for those political offenses that have also been criminal, which appear to include incitement of violence, violation of immigration laws, election fraud, tax fraud, obstruction of justice, refusal to comply with subpoenas, proliferation of nuclear technology, illegal departure from the INF treaty, and of course various wars, coups, and murders by missile. Trump spent four years creating (along with Congress) record military spending, record drone killings, escalation of numerous wars, major base construction, major nuclear weapons construction (and threats to use them), unprecedented shredding of disarmament treaties, heightened hostility with Russia, more weapons in Europe, more weapons on Russia's border, larger war rehearsals in Europe than seen in decades, record weapons dealing around the globe, greater military spending and investment in NATO by its members, and - of course - no end to the war on Afghanistan that Trump promised to end 4 years ago, or to any other war.

The media-induced specter of Trump withdrawing all troops from Europe and disbanding NATO and ending the war on Afghanistan was a fantasy we should all have supported if real. Trump the peacemaker and Biden the socialist were the best candidates in the recent election, but they were 95% fictional. Still, the lack of any major new war in the past 4 years is huge, unprecedented, and a trend we desperately need to continue - which might be easier if we are aware of it.

So, hip hip hurray, the witch is dead, the prize is won. Why would we now want to stomp on people's joy? Do wars and wildfires and floods and lack of basic resources not stomp on people's joy a hell of a lot more than honest assessments of what needs doing? Can we not apply a little lesser evilism to that choice? Aren't we allowed to speak, having qualified ourselves as anti-MAGA-ites?

But what can we say to our MAGA-hatted brothers and sisters? I think we can stand on our record if it's a fair one. When Trump stopped threatening to nuke North Korea and proposed to speak with its leader, but Democrats freaked out and worked to forbid any U.S. troop ever leaving South Korea, some of us denounced the Democrats for that. Same on troops in Germany. If we can show that we've been for peace regardless of party or politician, and for peaceful actions regardless of insane rhetoric and motivations, we may get farther. Most importantly, we should remain respectful and open to collaboration, but not imagine that we need to win over 100% of the public. Winning over a majority for peace is not hard at all. Mobilizing a good fraction of that majority to engage in the necessary activism to make it happen - that's the trick. Biden Republicans seem to be little more real than unicorns. Trump won more of the Republicans in 2020 than in 2016. And if Biden Republicans existed, they probably wouldn't be leading peace activism.

A basic fact that we need to figure out how to turn to our advantage is that all questions of foreign policy, federal budget, weapons, bases, wars, treaties, and international law are virtually absent from most elections. The country has not just suffered through a bitter years-long disagreement over war and peace, but rather one over the other 40% of the federal discretionary budget that pays for everything else, and more than that over cultural differences that only marginally impact on policy. Like most Democrats running for public office, Biden had a website with lots of issue statements but no foreign policy. He formed several policy task forces, but none on foreign policy. To my knowledge, no candidate in history for president or Congress, with the exception (so I'm told though nobody has produced proof) of Jesse Jackson Sr., has every proposed even an approximate federal budget. So, people didn't vote against or for Trump principally because of his foreign policy. And people certainly didn't vote for or against Biden because of his.

Beyond Biden's absent foreign policy there's his record. He was the most important Congressional backer of the war on Iraq. The Democrats controlled the Senate. He controlled the hearings. He pushed every lie. He defended those lies long afterwards. He now lies about all that. He's been an advocate for war for decades. The weapons dealers put more money into him than into Trump, and now publicly proclaim they have nothing to worry about. Based on past behavior and recent statements, we can expect Biden, if left to his own devices, to reclaim the military spending record from Trump or come close to it, to end no wars, to close no bases, to continue to increase the use of murderous drones, to continue to increase the use of secret agencies and special forces, and to continue the increased sales of weapons to horrible governments all over the world.

Some of these things require Congress. Some of them it would only take one chamber of Congress to prevent. If the House alone refused to pass a military budget that wasn't reduced by 50 or 10 or 1 percent, then such a budget wouldn't be passed.

Importantly, when two candidates for an office are both pretty bad, they aren't actually identical in every way. Where Biden has said anything positive, even if he's tried to hedge on it, we need to hold him at his word. This means that we need to do the following:

We need to demand that Biden come through on restoring better relations with Cuba and move beyond that to ending the brutal blockade of that island.

We need to demand that Biden come through on ending U.S. participation in the war on Yemen - something already passed by Congress but vetoed by Trump. We need to build on that to a repeal of the AUMF, a restoration of the power of war to Congress, and beyond that the effective incorporation into U.S. politics of the criminality of war - which denies the power of war to anybody, including Congress.

This will mean dropping all vindictive measures against officials of the International Criminal Court, supporting the ICC's investigation of the war on Afghanistan, and encouraging that court to end its practice of prosecuting only Africans.

We need to demand that Biden come through on ending weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, something already passed by Congress but vetoed by Trump. Then we need to extend that model to an end in weapons sales and gifts to oppressive governments the world over, including Ukraine (which could boost Biden's anti-corruption credentials and be labeled the restoration of the Obama-era policy). In general, the decades-long bipartisan practice of arming the world and both sides of most wars should be something we can tackle without any partisan rancor. It should lead into a program of economic conversion, and - for that matter - a Green New Deal with actual funding in it.

We need to demand that Biden come through on ending the war on Afghanistan. Both candidates promised this. One of them was promising it for the second time. The media could hardly have cared less, few took it seriously, and both candidates hedged and fudged and wobbled. But we need to hold Biden to it. We can remind him how much love Obama got just for pretending to do it.

We need to celebrate bringing troops home from places like Afghanistan - and if possible Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, etc. And we need to raise the question of keeping troops in South Korea against the will of South Korea (not to mention the bipartisan bill in Congress that would finally end the Korean War), keeping troops in Iraq against the will of Iraq, and so on around the world. With all the spirit of even-a-stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day, we need to pick up Trump's proposal to pull some troops out of Germany, drop the insane notion that to do so is to punish Germany, end the warmongering policy of finding somewhere else to send them, and try asking what the people of Germany and the world and the United States want and need.

We need to hold Biden to re-joining the Iran agreement, and demand U.S. compliance with it, demand an end to murderous sanctions, demand a halt to all the hostility, celebrate not an era of "holding Iran accountable," but one of ceasing to threaten Iran with war.

We need to insist on an era of re-joining treaties that Trump claimed to shred, most importantly disarmament treaties with Russia. New Start expires on February 5th.

Decreasing the risk of nuclear apocalypse needs to replace increasing it as the proper good humanitarian position, putting the insanity of Russiagate behind us. Globally we need to be working toward the day that all nations join the new treaty on the prohibition of nukes. Locally we can do this through divestment and education.

We need to hold Biden to re-joining the Paris agreement and immediately push beyond that for a serious green new deal as well as a serious pandemic response as well as a serious jobs program, all of which work together very well, and hardly work at all separately or separate from taxing the rich, and certainly not separate from moving funding out of the military.

The Green New Deal is the greatest opportunity to move money out of militarism. Moving money out of militarism is the greatest opportunity for a successful Green New Deal.

But shouldn't everyone get a day or a week or a month to celebrate and bask? Sure. Ya 'bout done now? The corporate lobbyists are lining up the new cabinet as we speak or fail to. The newspapers are running stories on how confident the weapons dealers are in their rising fortunes - and no stories on what proponents of peace think of anything. Yet it's our side that's supposed to pause and have a drink or three? We just dumped perhaps $14 billion into elections. I think we got three new clearly antiwar Congress members, bringing the total to 15 or so, out of 535. In a few weeks, on Giving Tuesday, people will donate perhaps $60 million to good (and not so good) causes. These priorities are upside down!

It is activism that changes the world - and the elections. It was BLM activism - not electoral tokenism - that pushed racism back another step, and registered huge numbers of new voters. Now elections in Georgia are going to continue to suck out all energy and resources.

The Senate excuse matters, no doubt. Whether you're convinced that Biden actually wants the Senate excuse (as a basis for failing on all things progressive) or longs to remove it, it matters. But it also matters that the course the Democrats are on will cost them more seats in two years and likely install another Trump in four or eight. If anything, this is a moment in which we should all publicly commit to conditions on future lesser evilism. Two, four, six, and eight years hence, we will only support candidates who are dedicated to taxing the rich and the corporations, demilitarizing, investing in a major Green New Deal, establishing Medicare for All, making college public, and ending mass incarceration. If you want our support, you've got until your election to evolve. If you don't, forget it. We have no time left to waste before insisting on the greater good.

(c) 2020 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Unwillingness to change the status quo is the biggest barrier to caribou recovery.

What Do We Lose When The Caribou Disappear?
By David Suzuki

One caribou herd in Jasper National Park is gone. The two remaining are on the brink. Regrettably, the story is not particularly new; almost every caribou herd in Canada has been assessed as being at risk of extinction, and too little is being done to save them.

Last year in British Columbia, two caribou herds - the South Selkirk and South Purcell - died out. Caribou along Lake Superior's north shore are clinging to survival, dislocated from their relatives further north by extensive habitat fragmentation that requires aggressive restoration. Even though Jasper National Park is a protected area, past poor wildlife and access management and disturbed surrounding landscapes have made survival difficult for caribou there. Backcountry trails and lodgings are still open from mid-February to mid-October in high-quality caribou habitat of one of the remaining herds.

What do we lose when a population or species becomes extirpated; that is, locally extinct?

Most scientists would argue there's no absolute answer. Nature is too complex and species too interdependent for us to comprehend how the loss of a particular plant or animal species will affect the ecosystems of which it is a part.

Species extinguishment is not merely an ecological loss, though. Many people are grieving the vast biodiversity decline the planet is facing. It's now widely accepted that exposure to nature is good for mental health, but the opposite is also true. When we turn away from the wondrous world not shaped by human hands and decrease our connection to other living things, we can be struck by profound loneliness. Indeed, pre-COVID, many social scientists described loneliness as an emergent pandemic. Recent studies show that one in five people in Canada identifies as lonely.

In Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives - and Save Theirs, author Richard Louv writes, "While green spaces can bring joy and reduce stress, a deep connection to other animals has a special power to deliver us from our isolation, both as individuals and as a species." A sense of bereavement was clear in media interviews following B.C. caribou extirpations. Local hog farmer Jim Ross told the Narwhal, "It just saddens the hell out of me. I have two daughters who are 19 and 21 and they're never going to see a caribou. It's just not going to happen for them unless they see it in an enclosure."

Wildlife biologist Leo DeGroot echoed that sentiment: "It's sad to see these animals go. It's such an iconic animal. They've been on this landscape for thousands and thousands of years. Due to human influences largely, they're gone now."

The loss of caribou herds is deeply felt by many Indigenous Peoples whose ways of life and sustenance have been connected to caribou for millennia. When the caribou they have lived in relation with for generations no longer show up for seasonal rounds, many people have articulated an intense loneliness. Elders from Doig River and West Moberly First Nations have expressed a longing to eat caribou once again before they die.

Chief Patricia Tangie of the Michipicoten First Nation in Ontario has fought hard for the survival of caribou on Lake Superior's shores. When they were almost wiped out in 2017, she led efforts for a relocation initiative. As Michipicoten lands and resources consultation co-ordinator Leo Lepiano said, "We've arrived at a time when the rest of the animals on the planet need our help to survive. These are animals that have helped the Ojibwe people survive in the past." Unwillingness to change the status quo is the biggest barrier to caribou recovery. Extirpation can also turn into a perverse incentive for industrial and commercial operations that degrade critical habitat. Once caribou are gone, so too are requirements to protect and restore their habitat.

Caribou, like most species, can be bred in captivity, and populations can be augmented, but there is little value in doing so without adequate habitat to support their life cycles. Significant efforts are needed to restore habitat where it has been lost.

We must cherish our present relationships with nature and hold space for future connection by fighting for wildlife survival. One way to do this is to support recovery measures, including maintaining and restoring habitat, for highly imperilled caribou populations - before it's too late.

(c) 2020 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Mitch McConnell Has Joined The Effort To Hamstring The Presidential Transition
The Senate Majority Leader backed Trump's cluster of hopeless legal challenges in a speech from the Senate floor
By Charles P. Pierce

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Attorney General Bill Barr in a spectacular conjunction of career vandals. After their meeting, McConnell took to the floor of the Senate and proceeded to prove once again that, in the proud history of American political dickheads, he may stand alone.

And then there is the presidential race. Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount. And I believe the president may have legal challenges under way in at least five states. The core principle here is not complicated. In the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted. Any illegal ballots must not be counted. The process should be transparent or observable by all sides, and the courts are here to work through concerns. Our institutions are actually built for this. We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options. Let's go back 20 years ago. 20 years ago, when Florida came down to a very thin margin, we saw Vice President Gore exhaust the legal system and wait to concede until December.
(Here is where we point out that, in 2000, it was the Republicans who first went to court in Florida. We go on.)
More recently, weeks after the media had called President Bush's reelection in 2004, Democrats baselessly disputed Ohio's electors and delayed the process during Congress. In 2016, the election law saw recounts or legal challenges in several states. If any major irregularities occurred this time of a magnitude that would affect the outcome, then every single American should want them to be brought to light, and if Democrats feel confident they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny. We have the tools and institutions we need to address any concerns. The president has every right to look into allegations and to request recounts under the law.

And notably, the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the President of the United States. Now, more broadly, Mr. President, let's not have any lectures, no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election. And who insinuated that this one would be illegitimate, too, if they lost again.

This is McConnell saying in no uncertain terms that he is still full MAGA. This is McConnell announcing that he is fully in support of the cluster of hopeless legal challenges emitting from Camp Runamuck. This is McConnell announcing that he is fully on board with what appears to be an administration*-wide effort to hamstring the presidential transition. This is McConnell placing a viper into Joe Biden's outstretched hand. I have serious concerns about the healing.

(c) 2020 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote-

"The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested contests headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor."
~~~ Donald P. Trump

Biden was risky because of his swampy record because he had so little to offer so many people in such deep crisis.

Time for Democrats To Betray The Donor Class-Not The People
A great many people did not vote for Joe Biden, they voted against Trump. We have to recognise how narrow this win was.
By Naomi Klein

These have been a harrowing few days. And these days have been more harrowing than they should have been. As we all know, Joe Biden won the Democratic primaries based on the claim that he was the safest bet to beat Donald Trump. But even if the Democratic party base was much more politically aligned with Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren, in their support for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, for racial justice, the party was sure that Bernie Sanders was too risky. And so, as we all remember, they banded together and gave us Biden.

But I think that after days of gnawing our fingers down to the quick, it's fair to say that Biden was not safe at all, as we always knew. Not safe for the planet, not safe for the people on the front lines of police violence, not safe for the millions upon millions of people who are seeking asylum, but also not even safe as a candidate.

Defeating Trump is a really important popular victory. A great many people did not vote for Joe Biden, they voted against Trump, because they recognize the tremendous threat that he represents. And the fact that the movements that are behind so much of that political victory are not able to even just take a moment and feel that victory, because they are already under attack by the Democratic establishment, as it seeks once again to abdicate all responsibility for ending us in the mess that we are in, is really its own kind of a crime. People should not have to be fighting off these attacks. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should not have to be on Twitter all day, making the point that it is not the fault of democratic socialists that the Democratic party has underperformed in the way that it has.

In fact, she and so many others should be taking a bow for the incredible organizing and leadership that they've shown in this period.

Biden was a risky candidate for the same reasons Hillary Clinton was a risky candidate. He was risky because of his swampy record because he had so little to offer so many people in such deep crisis. It seems he has secured an electoral victory by the skin of his teeth but it was a high risk gamble from the start. And not only is the left not to blame. We are largely responsible for the success that has taken place, not the Lincoln Project, which has, as David Sirota said, set fire to $67m in this election by trying to reach suburban Republican voters.

We are the levees holding back the tsunami of fascism. The wave is still gaining force, that's why this is such a difficult moment to celebrate. We need to shore up those levees, and we also need to drain energy away from their storm. So how do we do that?

We need to, I think, recognize first of all that, though we may be dealing with the same kind of corporate Democrats as we were in 2008, we are not the same. We have changed. Our movements have grown. They grew during the Obama years, and they grew during the Trump years, they have grown in size but they've also grown in vision. In the vision of defund the police, moving the resources from the infrastructure of incarceration, of policing, of militarism to the infrastructure of care. Vision work has happened. The vision work behind the Green New Deal has happened. And of course the movement supporting Medicare for All.

Even as we approach this juncture with so much fatigue, we have to remind ourselves that we have changed. That the presence of "the Squad" is a difference from the Obama and Biden years. Obama and Biden did not have to contend with Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and now Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman. So I think where we go from here is, we need more coordination in all of this rising power.

I think about that moment in 2018, when the Democrats took back the House of Representatives. They were expecting their victory parade and instead had their offices occupied by the Sunrise movement and [Ocasio-Cortez] greeting them and pledging to introduce Green New Deal legislation. That sort of inside-outside pincer is what we need to be replicating again and again and again. That is a glimpse of the kind of dynamic that we will need if we are going to win the policies that are actually enough to begin to keep us safe.

What we have seen with the failure of the Democratic party to do the one thing that we look to from a political party, which is be good at winning elections. I don't need to outline all the things we had going in our favor but this election should have been a repeat of Herbert Hoover's loss in 1933. We are in the grips of a pandemic, a desperate economic depression and and Trump has done absolutely everything wrong.

This should have been a sweep. It should have been the sweep that we were promised. And the fact is, the Democratic leadership bungled it up on every single front. It wasn't just a mistake. They did not want to offer people what they needed. They are much more interested in appeasing the donor class than they are in meeting the needs of their constituents, who need them now more than ever.

(c) 2020 Naomi Klein is Senior Correspondent at The Intercept and the inaugural Gloria Steinem Chair of Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. Naomi Klein's book "On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal" will be published in September by Simon & Schuster. On September 9, she will appear with Greta Thunberg at an event hosted by The Intercept. To read all her latest writing visit You can follow her on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein.

The Dead Letter Office-

Emily gives the corporate salute

Heil Trump,

Dear Administrator der General Services Administration Murphy,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge Samuel (Sammy the con) Alito.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your refusal to issue a letter of ascertainment so Biden can begin his teams work, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 11-28-2020. We salute you frau Murphy, seig heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

People celebrate on Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House in Washington, DC
on November 7, 2020, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential
election. As of Sunday, President Donald Trump has continued his refusal to concede or acknowledge his defeat.

There Will Be No Graciousness Or Concession From Trump-Incapable Of Either
So how can Biden heal the nation when Trump doesn't want it healed?
By Robert Reich

It's over. Donald Trump is history.

For millions of Americans-a majority, by almost 5 million popular votes-it's a time for celebration and relief. Trump's cruelty, vindictiveness, non-stop lies, corruption, rejection of science, chaotic incompetence and gross narcissism brought out the worst in America. He tested the limits of American decency and democracy. He is the closest we have come to a dictator.

Democracy has had a reprieve, a stay of execution. We have another chance to preserve it, and restore what's good about America.

It will not be easy. The social fabric is deeply torn. Joe Biden will inherit a pandemic far worse than it would have been had Trump not played it down and refused to take responsibility for containing it, and an economic crisis exacting an unnecessary toll.

The worst legacy of Trump's term of office is a bitterly divided America.

Judging by the number of ballots cast in the election, Trump's base of support is roughly 70 million. They were angry even before the election (as were Biden supporters). Now, presumably, they are angrier.

The nation was already divided when Trump became president-by race and ethnicity, region, education, national origin, religion and class. But he exploited these divisions to advance himself. He didn't just pour salt into our wounds. He planted grenades in them.

It is a vile legacy. Although Americans have strongly disagreed over what we want the government to do, we at least agreed to be bound by its decisions. This meta-agreement required enough social trust for us to regard the views and interests of those we disagree with as equally worthy of consideration as our own. But Trump continuously sacrificed that trust to feed his own monstrous ego.

Elections usually end with losing candidates congratulating winners and graciously accepting defeat, thereby demonstrating their commitment to the democratic system over the particular outcome they fought to achieve.

But there will be no graciousness from Trump, nor a concession. He is incapable of either.

He will be president for another two and a half months. He is still charging that the election was stolen from him, mounting legal challenges and demanding recounts, maneuvers that could prevent states from meeting the legal deadline of 8 December for choosing electors.

If he continues, America could find itself in a situation similar to what it faced in 1876, when claims about ballot fraud forced a special electoral commission to decide the winner, just two days before the inauguration.

I wouldn't be surprised if Trump refuses to attend Biden's inauguration and stages a giant rally instead.

He'll send firestorms of aggrieved messages to his followers-questioning Biden's legitimacy and urging that they refuse to recognize his presidency. This will be followed by months of rallies and tweets containing even more outlandish charges: plots against Trump and America by Biden, Nancy Pelosi, "deep-state" bureaucrats, "socialists", immigrants, Muslims, or any other of his standard foes.

It could go on for years, Trump keeping the nation's attention, remaining the center of controversy and divisiveness, sustaining his followers in perpetual fury, titillating them with the possibility he might run again in 2024, making it harder for Biden to do any of the national healing he's promised and the nation so desperately needs.

How can Biden heal the nation when Trump doesn't want it healed?

The media (including Twitter, Facebook, and even Fox News) could help. They have begun to call out Trump's lies in real time and cut off his press conferences, practices that should have started years ago. Let's hope they continue to tag his lies and otherwise ignore him - a fitting end to a reality TV president who tried to turn America into a reality warzone.

But the responsibility for healing America falls to all of us.

For starters, we'd do well to recognize and honor the selflessness we have observed during this trying time-starting with tens of thousands of election workers who have worked long hours under difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances.

Add to them the hospital workers across the nation saving lives from the scourge of Covid-19; the thousands of firefighters in the west and the emergency responders on the Gulf coast battling the consequences of climate change; the civil servants getting unemployment checks out to millions of jobless Americans; social workers dealing with family crises in the wake of evictions and other hardships; armies of volunteers doling out food from soup kitchens.

These are the true heroes of America. They embody the decency of this land. They are doing the healing, rebuilding trust, reminding us who we are and who we are not.

Donald Trump is not America.

(c) 2020 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Who can doubt that Donald Trump himself was the personification of hell on Earth?

State 0f Chaos
Donald Trump knew us better than we knew ourselves.
By Tom Engelhardt

In 2016 as now, he was the candidate of chaos. Yes, he was a billionaire (or wanna-be billionaire or in-hock billionaire, not to mention a liar, a cheat, and a scoundrel), but from the beginning, he appealed to the forces of order in America that were also, as it happened, the forces of chaos. Donald Trump entered the presidential sweepstakes, or to be completely accurate rode an escalator into it, from stage right. In another universe, he could have entered from stage left and he wouldn't have given a damn either way.

After all, there never really was a left, right, or center for the king of apprentices. There was never anything but the imposing figure known as The Donald, the man of the hour, any hour, past, present, or future. Whatever his political position of the moment, he reflected one thing above all: the underlying chaos and bad faith of a world of wealth, power, and ever-growing inequality, a world, as it happened, just waiting to go down.

Now that he's defeated, count on one thing: he'll take as much of this country with him as he can. If he has his way, when he finally decides to jump ship, money in hand, he'll leave the rest of us at a vast mask-less rally with death running wild in our midst. From the beginning, he was always the orange-faced, yellow-haired personification of chaos. Now, just as the Republican Party did in 2016, this country has taken on his chaos as our own and, in the wake of the recent election, one obvious question is: Are we, too, scheduled for the ventilator of history?

Do I sound extreme? I damn well hope so. We're in a gridlocked, post-election moment of previously unimaginable extremity in an increasingly over-armed, ever more divided country that used to be known as the "last superpower" on Planet Earth. It matters (but not enough) that that aged Democratic centrist Joe Biden has taken the presidency and, if all goes faintly as previously expected, will make his way into the future White House. Without a Senate majority, however, and with a reduced majority in the House, without the Democrats having taken a single state legislature from the Republicans, and with Donald Trump's America still fully mobilized and ready for... well, who knows what... don't count on good tidings ahead.

The Personification of Carnage

From the start, he was imperial America's candidate of decline, even if few recognized it at the time. Still, it should have been obvious enough in 2016-it was to me anyway-that his trademark slogan, Make America Great Again, was nothing short of an admission that this "exceptional," "indispensable" nation of ours, the greatest superpower in history (or so this country's politicians then liked to believe) had, in fact, seen better times.

Donald Trump was then, and remains, a vengeful, preening peacock sent by god knows whom to make that reality obvious to one and all. That was certainly true of the slice of white, heartland, working-class America that decided to embrace the billionaire bankuptee and reality TV host. In a land of already staggering inequality, he was the one who would somehow give them back their lost status, their lost sense of American wellbeing, and of a future that they could embrace for their children and grandchildren. And if he didn't do that for them, he would at least be emotional payback when it came to all the loathed powers-that-be in Washington who had, they felt, taken them down.

His "base," as they came to be known in the media, whom he abhorred, adored, and played like an accordion, embraced the man who, in the end, was guaranteed to leave them holding the bag without the slightest compunction. In those years, they became his property, his very own apprentices, like the political party he also absorbed without a second thought.

When it came to that base, he became, after a fashion, their god or perhaps their demon, and so he remains today, even in defeat. Of course, he won't care if he ends up bankrupting them, leaves them in a ditch, or continues to rev them up at future rallies that, though they may spread death, leave him feeling whole and good and top of the line. On the other hand, when Joe Biden, the definition of an old white man, finally limps into the Oval Office, he'll represent a return to normalcy in Washington, the retrieval of an America that was. The only problem: the America that was-if you'll excuse the repetition of a verb-was an America in decline, even if its leaders didn't know it. It was a country on course for a previously un-American version of inequality and so instability that once would have been unimaginable.

Who can doubt that Donald Trump himself was the personification of hell on Earth? He was the witch in the wardrobe. He was a satanic art-of-the-dealer (every deal, by definition, meant only for himself). He was what this country vomited up from the depths of its disturbed innards as a uniquely symbolic president. From the moment he delivered that Inaugural Address of his on January 20, 2017, he would also be the personification of carnage.

And yes, goad me a little more, and believe me I could go on. But you get the drift, right?

And yet give Donald Trump the credit he deserves. However intuitively, he grasped just where this country was and was going (and, of course, how he could benefit from that). He understood its fault lines in a way no one else did. He even understood how to run a campaign for-instead of against-a pandemic in a way that should have left him 20,000 leagues under the sea, not floating in a heated pool at Mar-a-Lago.

There couldn't be a grimmer moral to the American story than this: he knew all of us so much better than we knew ourselves. To so many Americans, he spoke what felt like reality itself. It mattered not at all that he looked like, felt like, and was a con man in a great American tradition, or that he had stiffed the government with those tax returns he'd never release. After all, whatever he was, he was the genuine (fraudulent) thing in a world where increasing numbers of Americans already felt conned by the 1% politics of a Washington that was filled with con artists of a different sort.

Now, despite the scads of lawyers he's called into action to screw the works, Donald Trump has missed his chance for a second round in the Oval Office and, as a result, rest assured, we'll all be left holding the bag. In the midst of the pandemic from hell-don't doubt it for a second-this will be another kind of hell on earth.

A Vote for Doom

Now, let's look on the bright side, because at such a moment who wants to just read a screed of negativity? So here's the good news: thanks to President Trump's defeat in election 2020 (however long it may take to play out in court), the world will go down more slowly, though how much more slowly remains to be seen. After all, there was one factor in any Trump second term that was going to be unlike any other.

Though it may not seem like it to us, the rest of what we would have seen from a Trump second term-autocratic behavior, raw racism, a red-hot version of nationalism (white and otherwise), aggrieved masculinity, all amid the pandemic of the century-would have been just another passing chapter in human history. In that long tale, autocrats and nationalists of every grim kind have been a dime-a-dozen and even nightmarish pandemics anything but unknown. Give it a decade, a century, a millennium, and it would be as if nothing had happened at all. Who but the historians (if they still exist) would even remember?

Unfortunately, that's not true of one factor in election 2020, though it played the most modest of roles in the campaign itself. That was, of course, the phenomenon of climate change, the human heating of the planet through the never-ending release into the atmosphere (and the oceans) of greenhouse gasses from the burning of fossil fuels.

Certainly, since the coal-fired industrial revolution began in England in the eighteenth century, the warming of this planet has been sparked and fed by us humans, but it is not, in fact, part of human history. It will operate on a timescale likely to leave that history in the dust. Once released, and if not brought under some reasonable control (as is still possible), it's a phenomenon that will stand, in the most devastating fashion imaginable, outside human history altogether. Unlike any other Trumpian phenomenon, once it truly sets in, give it a decade, a century, even a millennium, and it will still be working to ensure that Earth, to one degree or another, becomes a distinctly unlivable planet for humanity.

It's little short of passing strange-you might actually call it suicidal-that Donald Trump (and the crew he brought to power) would be quite so intent not just on ignoring or "denying" climate change, as is often charged, but on amplifying it by, in essence, actively setting this planet afire. The president's term for it was "unleashing American Energy Dominance." How strange, however, that his intent to destroy a habitable planet proved quite so popular, not once, but twice-and who knows about a third time in 2024?

After all, a vote for Trump was, in essence, a vote for doom. At some level, it wasn't even complicated, but from a base that seemed to glory in those mask-less, chanting love fests for their One and Only, perhaps none of this should have been a surprise at all.

If Donald Trump has become something like a god to his supporters, then perhaps it's worth asking what kind of a god would be quite so intent on setting fire to the planet (and while he was at it murdering his own apprentices with Covid-19)? Perhaps we need to think of him, in fact, as our very own boatman Charon on the river Styx, paddling us all to what someday could quite literally be a hell on Earth.

After all, I'm writing this piece in New York City on a November day when it's 74 degrees outside (and, no, that's not a misprint). Yet another fierce tropical storm in a record year of them has drenched parts of Florida, a place that's no longer a swing state but, like Mar-a-Lago, property of The Donald. Meanwhile, parts of the West, having burned and smoked and flamed in a historic fashion across millions and millions of charred acres amid heat waves galore, are still smoldering (though hardly noticed by anyone), and the world couldn't be less together.

In a Senate controlled by Mitch McConnell, green new deals or two-trillion-dollar climate plans will become more fantastic than Donald Trump himself. Still, with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at least partially running a deeply divided country in the midst of a pandemic and an economy that's gone to hell, the pyromania will ease up somewhat. Some modest steps might even be taken toward alternate forms of energy and some to save the environment, as well as a humanity in distress. It won't be what's needed, but it won't be a torch either and that's the best thing to be said about our moment and why it truly mattered that Donald Trump was not reelected.

Now, return for a moment to 1991, when that other superpower, the Soviet Union, imploded. America's power brokers then (including Joe Biden), believing themselves alone and powerful beyond imagining on Planet Earth, the inheritors of everything that had gone before, launched what would become disastrous forever wars, sure that this planet was theirs for the taking, even as history itself-just imagine-was ending.

Almost three decades later, that same last superpower is a democracy in decline, not to say chaos; an imperial power in decline globally; a military power that can't find a winning war to fight (even as Congress, no matter the president, appropriates yet more funding for the military-industrial complex). We have a 78-year-old man getting ready to inhabit the Oval Office and another 78-year-old preparing to oppose him in the Senate, while an 80-year-old runs the House. Doesn't this tell you something about a country swept away by a pandemic-100,000 or more cases a day-and, despite assurances from Donald Trump, without a turnable "corner" in sight? And none of this would be the end of the world, so to speak, if it weren't for climate change.

Admittedly, Covid-19 has turned this country into a kind of hell on Earth, having been left to roam in an unprecedented fashion by a killer president. Cases are soaring, hospitals overwhelmed, deaths rising, and almost half of America can't think about anything but crowding together for presidential rallies, living mask-less lives, and "opening" the economy.

Trumpism has split America in two in a way that hasn't been imaginable since the Civil War. The president and the Senate are likely to be in gridlock, the judicial system a partisan affair of the first order, the national security state a money-gobbling shadow empire, the citizenry armed to the teeth, racism rising, and life everywhere in an increasing state of chaos.

Welcome to the (Dis)United States. Donald Trump led the way and, whatever he does, I suspect that this, for at least the time being, is still in some sense his world, not Joe Biden's. He was the man and, like it or not, we were all his apprentices in a performance of destructive power of the first order that has yet to truly end.

(c) 2020 Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's His sixth and latest book, just published, is A Nation Unmade by War (Dispatch Books).Previous books include: Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (with an introduction by Glenn Greenwald). Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 (co-authored with Nick Turse), The United States of Fear, The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's, The End of Victory Culture: a History of the Cold War and Beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from here.

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To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

"It's A Fraud" Claims World Famous Fraud
By The Waterford Whispers News

DONALD TRUMP, the world's preeminent expert on perpetrating deception, chicanery and fraud on expectant people has today falsely claimed that the counting of citizens' votes as part of a democratic election is 'fraud'.

The US president for now, who knows what happens next, is believed to know something about fraud having paid $25 million in a settlement to Trump University students who say they were defrauded, which is different from counting votes; commonly referred to as democracy, not fraud.

"Wow, for someone so well versed in being fraudulent himself, he's pretty fucking terrible at identifying it in others," confirmed one observer.

Yes the man, who's third wife for now, who knows what happens next, arrived in the US in 1996 on a H-1B visa reserved for people with 'extraordinary abilities' despite being a model is really pulling the fraud card, seriously.

Despite filing for multiple bankruptcies that left him owing millions of dollars, and currently being investigated by the tax department of New York for potential tax fraud, the confused New Yorker took to TV and called people voting ''fraud.'

"We have won the election fairly but it is also somehow a fraud being carried out by my rival," explained the man who paid $750 in federal taxes and purposefully downplayed Covid-19 when he knew the potentially devastating impact it could have.

The Republican, whose administration stood accused of slowing down the US Postal Service to create a scenario in which mail-in ballots arrived late and took days to count, has claimed that if this scenario that his administration planned for occurred it would be proof of fraud*.

*Legal voting.

The 74-year-old also claimed he is still somehow loved by unfathomably large portions of the American people in what has proved to be his only true statement since votes began to be counted.

(c) 2020 The Waterford Whispers News

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Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 45 (c) 11/13/2020

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