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In This Edition

Norman Solomon asks, "Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Pentagon In Your Hands?"

Ralph Nader warns, "Trump's Massive, Lawless, And Immoral Legacy To Our Country Will Continue Unless... ."

Glen Ford examines, "Biden, The Emcee At The Billionaires' Ball."

Jim Hightower sees, "The Worst Of Times, The Best Of Times."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Trump Lost The Election, But He Is Still Doing Terrible Damage."

John Nichols reports, "Rudy Giuliani Went To Court And Made A Compelling Argument-For His Own Disbarment."

James Donahue tells. "The Real American Thanksgiving Story."

David Swanson wonders, "The U.S. Traded In A Pro-War President For A Pro-War President: Now What?"

David Suzuki concludes, "Canada's Plastics Ban Should Include Beverage Containers."

Charles P. Pierce says, "They're All In On This, Top To Bottom."

Juan Cole reports, "At G20, Only India Is On Track to Meet Goals For Keeping Global Heating To 3.6 degrees F."

Rudy Giuliani wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich explains, "The Real Reason Trump Won't Concede."

Chris Hedges returns with a must read, "Here's the Truth: The Oligarchy Loves This Democratic Decay And Politics Of Lies."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Onion reports, "'Your Honor, I'm Ready To Present,' Says Giuliani Pulling Rotted Melon, Stray Cat Out Of Old Burlap Sack," but first Uncle Ernie sings, "When The War Comes The Cops Will Be On Their Side."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Christopher Weyant, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Bill Clark, Jabin Botsford, Mali Maedar, Samuel Corum, Jonas Gratzer, Elijah Nouvelage, The Washington Post, CQ Roll Call, 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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When The War Comes The Cops Will Be On Their Side
I'm having a deja vu again!
By Ernest Stewart

"Give you a foxhole, maybe a place to hide,
'Cause when the war comes the cops will be on their side."
Looking Back ~~~ Bob Seger

"Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for climate change." ~~~ Jagan Chapagain ~IFRC Secretary-General

"Truth isn't truth." ~~~ Rudy Giuliani

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

Yes, Lying Donald keeps on raking the muck which is his followers, with lies upon lies upon lies. This one just in

And moments before...

And before that...

Etc, etc, etc, of course it's only coming from fascist sites like Fox News, Newsmax, Breitbart News, Lou Dobbs and the like, so mainstream America isn't getting these lies, but the far right Trumpkins are hanging on every word, every lie.

I was surprised by a couple things about this election. That after all the evil things that Lying Donald has done in the last four years his popularity would increase by some 5 million votes. I knew that the average American voter was dumb, which explains how this country has been steadily going down hill for the last 50 years.

The other thing was that only a third of all eligible voters didn't vote this time, down from almost 50% that didn't vote in elections for those same 50 years. I get it, when your choice of presidental candidates is always the lessor of two evils which is exactly what the two parties and their puppet masters want, why even bother to vote, keep your head down and don't cause a stir!

Are we heading for another "civil" war? A line from an old Bob Seger tune keeps going through my mind, a line which became true, as the far right opened fire on unarmed citizens and the cops stood by and did nothing, as Bob sang back in 1971 when we were going through a similar thing with Tricky Dick, "'Cause when the war comes the cops will be on their side." And methinks with Lying Donald and his none stop lying about the election we may indeed be heading that way. Like the man said, "Keep your lamps trimmed, and your powder dry, America!"

In Other News

I see where Red Cross says the world has been hit by more than 100 climate change-related disasters since the WHO declared the pandemic.

The world should react with the same urgency to climate change as is to the coronavirus crisis, the Red Cross says, warning that global warming poses a greater threat than COVID-19. While the pandemic may kill a few million before it is brought under control, global warming will surely kill us all!

Even as the pandemic rages, climate change is not taking a break from wreaking havoc, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said in a report.

In its report on global catastrophes since the 1960s, the Geneva-based organisation pointed out that the world had been hit by more than 100 disasters - many of them climate-related - since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic in March.

More than 50 million people had been affected, it said.

"Of course, the COVID is there, it's in front of us, it is affecting our families, our friends, our relatives," IFRC Secretary-General Jagan Chapagain told a virtual news conference.

"It's a very, very serious crisis the world is facing currently," he said of the pandemic, which has already killed more than 1.3 million people.

But, he warned, the IFRC expects "climate change will have a more significant medium and long term impact on the human life and on Earth."

And while it looks increasingly likely that one or several vaccines would soon become available against COVID-19, Chapagain stressed that "unfortunately, there is no vaccine for climate change."

When it comes to global warming, he warned, "it will require a much more sustained action and investment to really protect the human life on this Earth."

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate-related events have been steadily climbing since the 1960s, said the IFRC.

In 2019 alone, the world was hit by 308 natural disasters - 77 percent of them climate or weather-related - killing some 24,400 people.

The number of climate and weather-related disasters has surged by nearly 35 percent since the 1990s, IFRC said, calling it a "deadly development."

Weather and climate-related disasters have killed more than 410,000 people over the past decade, most of them in poorer countries, with heatwaves and storms proving the most deadly, the report said.

Faced with this threat, which "literally threatens our long-term survival," IFRC called on the international community to act quickly.

"These disasters are already on the doorstep in every country around the world," it said.

"With challenges like these, international solidarity is not only a moral responsibility but also the smart thing to do.

"Investing in resilience in the most vulnerable places is more cost-effective than to accept continued increases in the cost of humanitarian response, and contributes to a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for everyone," it added.

While IFRC has got the gist of it, they don't seem to get the urgency of the matter, if we stopped polluting today the globe will continue to warm for centuries to come. We need to stop polluting and reverse the damage already done. If not for ourselves, think what the world will be like for our grandchildren, and their grandchildren!

And Finally

Bill Pascrel a New Jersey democrat is trying to get Rudy Giuliani law licenses revoked in all the states that Rudy has been in filing frivolous law suits on behalf of Lying Donald. So far everything Rudy has filed has been laughed out of court as Lying Donald continues grasping at straws! Of course, this hasn't stopped Rudy from filing frivolous lawsuits nor will it, until Lying Donald fires him.

As for me I'd like to fire Rudy too, like we used to say in the Army, "Fire him from a large bore cannon into a brick wall!" It's not the first time that Rudy has tried to pull a fast one, remember when he was mayor of New York City and he said even though he couldn't run again because of the term limmits law he'd stay on as mayor and take care of the aftermath on 911. They weren't buying his BS then and we're not buying it now!

So, since I can't "fire" Rudy I'll give him an award, the Vidkun Quisling Award for which he more than qualifies!

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!


12-04-1928 ~ 11-21-2020
Thanks for the film!

09-09-1953 ~ 11-23-2020
Thanks for the music!


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.

Former Defense Undersecretary for Policy Michele Flournoy prepares to testify during the House F
oreign Affairs Committee hearing on "NATO at 70: An Indispensable Alliance" on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Pentagon In Your Hands?
The pernicious and lucrative aspects of military madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden's Defense Secretary.
By Norman Solomon

By all accounts, the frontrunner to be Joe Biden's pick for Secretary of Defense is Michele Flournoy. It's a prospect that should do more than set off alarm bells-it should be understood as a scenario for the president-elect to stick his middle fingers in the eyes of Americans who are fed up with endless war and ongoing militarism.

Warning and petitioning Biden to dissuade him from a Flournoy nomination probably have scant chances of success. But if Biden puts her name forward, activists should quickly launch an all-out effort to block Senate confirmation.

As the Biden administration takes office, progressives have an opportunity to affirm and amplify the position that Martin Luther King Jr. boldly articulated when he insisted that "I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism." In the present day, the pernicious and lucrative aspects of that madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden's Defense Secretary.

Days ago, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) published a detained analysis under the headline "Should Michele Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?" The well-documented answer: No.

Citing "extensive defense industry ties," POGO provided an overview of Flournoy's revolving-door career. When she wasn't oiling the war machine in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Flournoy was profiteering from servicing that machine:

"In 2002 she went from positions in the Pentagon and the National Defense University to the mainstream but hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is largely funded by industry and Pentagon contributions.

"Five years later, she co-founded the second-most heavily contractor-funded think tank in Washington, the highly influential Center for a New American Security. That became a stepping stone to her role as under secretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration.

"From there she rotated­­ to the Boston Consulting Group, after which the firm's military contracts expanded from $1.6 million to $32 million in three years. She also joined the board of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm laden with defense contracts. In 2017 she co-founded WestExec Advisors, helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies."

Running parallel to Flournoy's financial conflicts of interest was her long record of advocacy for military conflicts.

"Flournoy was widely considered to have been one of Obama's more hawkish advisers and helped mastermind the escalation of the disastrous war in Afghanistan," Arwa Mahdawi pointed out in a Nov. 21 Guardian piece. "She has called for increased defense spending, arguing in a 2017 Washington Post op-ed that Trump was 'right to raise the need for more defense dollars.' She has complained that Obama didn't use military force enough, particularly in Syria. She supported the wars in Iraq and Libya. . ."

The president-elect is hardly in a position to hold such a record against prospective appointees. He has never fully acknowledged, much less renounced, his own roles in advocating for disastrous U.S. wars -- most notably and tragically, the war in Iraq. Biden hasn't gotten his story straight or come clean about supporting the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. His specious claims that he didn't really support the invasion have been gross misrepresentations of the historical record. Actually, Biden was the Democrat in the Senate who exerted the most leverage in support of the Iraq invasion, and he did so with public enthusiasm.

The foreseeable dangers of picking Flournoy to run the Pentagon are compounded by Biden's selection of Antony Blinken to be Secretary of State. It was Blinken who, 18 years ago, served as staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while its chairman, Joe Biden, oversaw the pivotal and badly skewed two-day hearing in summer 2002 that greased the congressional skids for approving an invasion of Iraq.

Blinken, along with Flournoy, co-founded WestExec Advisors, which the Washington Post's breaking-news coverage of the Blinken nomination gingerly described as "a political strategy firm." It was a nice euphemism, in contrast to how POGO describes the WestExec Advisors mission -- "helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies." The term "war profiteering" would be even more apt.

If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, there are ample reasons for apprehension about the top of the military and foreign-policy team that Biden has begun to install for his presidency. But realism should not lead to fatalism or passivity.

Extricating the United States from the grip of the military-industrial complex will require massive and sustained organizing. With that goal in mind, a grassroots campaign to prevent Michele Flournoy from becoming Secretary of Defense would be wise.

(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."

President Donald J. Trump departs after delivering remarks on delivering lower
prescription drug prices for all Americans in the James S. Brady Press Briefing
Room at the White House on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Trump's Massive, Lawless, And Immoral Legacy To Our Country Will Continue Unless...
"It is difficult to overestimate the continuing harm to our beleaguered democracy and its people, should Trump and his cohorts not be brought to justice."
By Ralph Nader

Trump has gotten away with almost everything throughout his bankruptcy-driven business career and his corrupt, cruel, and costly political years in the White House. Things changed on November 3, when he was retired by the voters.

Refusing to concede, however, so as to prolong his crazed fantasies, Trump is distracting the mass media from his looting of the Executive Branch departments to the advantage of big business bosses and his failing family enterprises. Expect this to continue until January 20, 2021. (See my op-ed titled: "If Trump loses, expect him to exact revenge on his way out" Boston Globe, August 10, 2020).

Trump and his cronies will get away with their crime sprees unless Joe Biden has a Justice Department team that will follow the law and prosecute any government official who broke the law. In 2009, Barack Obama let law-breaking Wall Streeters and the Bush/Cheney war criminals become successful fugitives from justice.

Trump has inflicted lasting damage to our social morality and to the rule of law. Unfortunately, the destructive and uncontrollable momentum unleashed by Trump will not be easily reversed.

Trump's unabashed verbal and physical abuses of women were widely publicised. Consider the repulsive example Trump sets for young boys and young men who see the president getting away with menacing machismo.

Trump boasts about paying very little income taxes. With declining corporate tax compliance in the country, exacerbated by his starving of the IRS enforcement budgets. Many of Trump's supporters think his tax avoidance and evasions are cool and believe his actions are a model for emulation.

Trump's relentless and baseless charges alleging massive election fraud are inflammatory and dangerous. Trump's lies seriously undermine the public's confidence in our vote-counting system, not just by his supporters, but by foes and friends abroad.

Trump's erosion and subversion of the laws and the Constitution have lowered the bar for future presidents and their regimes. Chronic Presidential violations of the law preceded Trump (the Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administrations and other previous administrations before them), but Donald Trump took this Executive Branch's lawlessness to new depths - both in open sight and under a cloak of government secrecy. Corruption, obstruction of justice, self-dealing, and mass giveaways to corporate crooks is a way of life at the lying Trump White House.

It is difficult to overestimate the continuing harm to our beleaguered democracy and its people, should Trump and his cohorts not be brought to justice. (See our new book, Wrecking America: How Trump's Lawbreaking and Lies Betray All)

Trump's assault on facts and truth is multiplied by his non-stop tweets to 70 million people and a dittohead media. Previous Presidents had a tiny bully-pulpit by comparison. Trump projects an image of getting away with stiffing everyone - his workers, consumers, and creditors, as a failed gambling czar, and the Congress, the IRS, and government investigators as President. When the leader of the country, headlining the daily mass and social media throughout each day presents such a many-sided decadence and criminality, it can only accelerate a decaying culture and goad his supporters into believing that they too can get away with anything. Remember Trump said, "I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president."

A country-wide rebound, toward a wholesome, respectful, and steadfast America is more than the responsibility of just the political representatives who replace the Trumpsters. Ultimately, it must come from aroused civic communities that have historically saved and advanced our country.

(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).

Biden, The Emcee At The Billionaires' Ball
By Glen Ford

The Lords of Capital use periods of crisis to devour the less-rich and reshape the political economy to their further advantage, so that the Joe Bidens of the world jump higher and come quicker when summoned.

The Orange Era of racist rants will soon be over - just a few hundred mad tweets to go till January 20th, when the head flunky for the real rulers of the USA will take over the levers of government. Joe Biden made only one campaign promise that counts -- to the only people that matter to corporate Democrats -- when he assured the party's rich funders that "No one's standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change" under his presidency. But even as he spoke, back in June, the greatest change in wealth and power relationships in U.S. history was in full roar, as the billionaire class feasted on the Covid economy. As detailed in a November 12 report by the Institute for Policy Studies and other leftish outfits, the combined wealth of the 647 U.S. billionaires increased by almost a trillion dollars, and 33 new billionaires were created, during the same period that 22 million Americans lost their jobs, many of which will not return when the virus has receded. The Pew Research Center found that "one-in-four adults have had trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus outbreak started, a third have dipped into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet, and about one-in-six have borrowed money from friends or family or gotten food from a food bank."

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post and the guy that runs the cloud where the CIA keeps its secrets, grew richer by $70 billion during the Covid crisis - a $2 billion per week increase in wealth. As a group, U.S. billionaires are one-third richer than before the coronavirus struck.

What ordinary people experience as disaster is manna from heaven for the Lords of Capital. "Disaster capitalism" is only disastrous for those without capital. Every catastrophe consolidates the power of the billionaires, who use these periods to devour the less-rich and reshape the political economy to their further advantage, deepening their dominance of society so that the Joe Bidens of the world jump higher and come quicker when summoned.

The oligarchs are so obscenely rich, they bend all social and political institutions to their will. "Democracy" cannot possibly exist alongside oligarchy. It is, therefore, necessary that politicians like Biden pretend that the oligarchs are just regular folks, like the rest of us. "You know what I've found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money," Biden assured a group of 100 rich people in Manhattan.

Black voters may have put Biden in the Oval Office, but the former "Senator from Mastercard" has always taken his orders from the oligarchy. The oligarch-in-charge at the Democratic National Committee is Michael Bloomberg, who has fronted much of the DNC's bills this year. The coronavirus has been very good to Bloomberg: he added $10.5 billion to his mega-fortune - a 22 percent increase -- in just the two months between March 18 and May 15. Such sums can buy every important politician in the Democratic half of the corporate duopoly.

For the Lords of Capital, control of the Democrats is critical, since they are the party that claims to represent the people hardest hit by capitalist crises. (The Republican "base," although full of people in economic straits, demands only that white supremacy be championed.) It is the Democratic Party's job to beat back popular demands for social and economic justice, because the peoples and classes that make these demands are Democrats. As the crises become deeper and more frequent under late-stage capitalism, the oligarchy's hold on the Democratic Party tightens, accordingly.

The Black vote is key, because African Americans are the most left leaning constituency in the nation, the group most in favor of income redistribution - the oligarch's nightmare - and a range of other measures that would provide working people with some degree of security in this cutthroat capitalist economy. Therefore, the trick for keeping the austerity regime (Race to the Bottom) on track is to make Blacks and their allies more afraid of Republican racists than of rule by oligarch-controlled Democrats. That's why Hillary Clinton's campaign was so determined to run against Donald Trump, the most outrageously racist Republican, in 2016, as revealed by Wikileaks.

But the straw-man refused to be knocked down. For the next four years the Democrats, the bulk of the corporate media, and the national security state waged the most furious and dangerous campaign of demonization since Lincoln was elected in 1860. (Trump was correct in making that analogy but, like everything else from his mouth, it came out stupid.) It was a four-year, non-stop shock to the system, administered by the bulk of the ruling class and their media -- the biggest beneficiaries of the system. They risked delegitimizing the very institutions that have facilitated corporate governance, for the chance to rewrite the national narrative. From now on, the United States is on a permanent national security emergency footing, requiring censorship of social media, draconian punishment of protesters, and 24/7 witch hunts for Russians, Chinese, Venezuelans and their home-grown "dupes."

The Lords of Capital know, better than most of the rest of us, that the Race to the Bottom that immiserates the working class and disperses Black communities, is also responsible for the exponential, fantastical growth of oligarchic wealth. The Race to the Bottom is a global phenomenon of late stage imperial capitalism, which funnels ever-increasing proportions of wealth upward by forcing all the world's workers to compete against each other. War must be endless, to enforce the terms of the Race on as much of the planet as possible. Government social, health and income supports that allow workers to refuse "gig" and less-than-living wage work, spoil the Race.

Biden is the oligarchs' pick to keep the Race to the Bottom accelerating and the profits skyrocketing. On the other side of the duopoly, the Amerikkaner hordes plot vengeance for their perceived loss of what W.E.B. Du Bois called the "public and psychological" wages of whiteness. There is nothing lesser about either of these evils - which is why the only real option for Black and working people is an independent politics of struggle.

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

The Worst Of Times, The Best Of Times
By Jim Hightower

Many years ago, literary critic Dorothy Parker skewered an unfortunate author with her sharp wit: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly," she said. "It should be thrown with great force!"

That's how a lot of us feel about this presidential election year, distinguished by an incumbent who is so self-centered, incompetent, and both mentally and morally unsteady that he's more dangerous than a baby who's gotten hold of a hammer - demolishing truth, shattering law, smashing rights, trashing the common good, and … well, generally eradicating our people's egalitarian principles. The worst, most divisive election ever, right?

No. That honor belongs to the 1860 contest that Lincoln won, despite rabid racism, furious intimidation of voters, vicious personal attacks, and daily death threats not only from the goofball "proud boys" of the day, but from public officials and establishment newspapers. "If Lincoln is elected," a Virginia member of Congress told the New York Herald, "we will go to Washington and assassinate him before his inauguration." Ten Southern states wouldn't even put his name on the ballot.

Yet Lincoln stayed both calm and firm in a time of dangerous turmoil, and not only did he hold a bitterly divided nation together, but he expanded our democratic ideals and advanced the power of ordinary people to achieve them. He didn't just shout "Make America Great Again" - he did it. Indeed, he died for it.

The point is that Lincoln didn't preserve the noble idea of America by rewriting law, but by altering the culture, pushing the people themselves to act on their better natures. So, 160 years after that toxic election, here's another one, and there's no Lincoln in sight. That means that We The People have to do the healing ourselves, based on our shared values of fairness, justice, and opportunity for all.

(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

President Trump arrives at the White House on Marine One on November 3, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Trump Lost The Election, But He Is Still Doing Terrible Damage
By William Rivers Pitt

Donald Trump will emerge from his bunker today to participate in an old Thanksgiving tradition: the official pardoning of a turkey. If the dented rules of current reality hold true and 2020 does its thing, the turkey will turn on its talons today, raise a drumstick, and pardon Trump instead. Trump will click his heels, leap the portico like an orange gazelle and disappear into the swirl of the District. A manhunt will yield nothing, and the turkey won't talk. Two weeks from now, the lights will come on inside a brand new dacha on the Volga River, and the circle is closed.

Tell me - honestly - if any of that would surprise you at this point. Me? I've got it on my 2020 bingo card, so I'll be watching the pardon ceremony today with great interest.

Speaking of ceremony, the transition between the outgoing calamity of the Trump/Pence administration and the incoming quiet-on-purpose Biden/Harris administration is officially underway. General Services Administration (GSA) official Emily Murphy, perhaps the strangest lynchpin to presidential fate since Rose Mary Woods, abandoned her vexing stance as Decider of Nothing yesterday and finally filed the paperwork.

Trump, while still refusing to concede, signaled his support for this bureaucratic mechanism that was out of his hands as soon as the letters were sent. King Canute commanded the tide, but still doesn't get the joke.

The importance of the transition period is difficult to overstate. If you decide to do it, the U.S. presidency is a dragon of a job. The absence of a proper head start can be deeply damaging to any incoming administration. Aside from the myriad national security, climate and economic briefings the incoming administration needs to absorb, there is the necessity for a full accounting of how damaged the federal government's COVID response is, what specifically needs doing to begin to repair that lethal breach, and what appointees within that system need to be shown the door on Inauguration Day.

Something that bears watching now that the transition is underway: Jill Lepore of The Atlantic put a burr under my saddle a few days back regarding the actual purpose of this enforced three-week delay before the transition finally began. It seems like everyone has chalked it up to a combination of Trump's temper and Ms. Murphy's cowardice, but Lepore forced me to wonder what the administration may have actually been doing with that time.

"It took a very long time to establish rules governing the fate of Presidential records," wrote Lepore. "Trump does not mind breaking rules and, in the course of a long life, has regularly done so with impunity. The Presidential Records Act isn't easily enforceable. The Trump Presidency nearly destroyed the United States. Will what went on in the darker corners of his White House ever be known?"

In the end, this portion of the larger, ongoing, preposterous presidential tantrum finally came to an end with no dramatic "Have you no decency?" moment. After weeks - years, really - of disgusting and appalling GOP acquiescence to this pestiferous president and his every shabby whim, the transition floodgates were kicked open by a small-office Michigan Republican named Aaron Van Langevelde who, quite simply, chose to follow the law.

He was joined in this simple, vital stand by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who on most days would never be mistaken for a hero of defending the vote. Raffensperger, like his boss Gov. Brian Kemp, has had his fingers in some of the most brazen voter suppression pies ever to emerge from the Republican oven. In this instance, however, and with the integrity of the vote in Georgia on the line, Raffensperger stood the gaff against an astonishing presidential assault and yielded not one step.

This is all to be cheered, of course. The nation desperately needs the Biden/Harris administration to hit the ground running in January. Due to the lack of federal leadership on COVID and the disregard for safety strictures currently taking place across the country, the aftermath of this travel-heavy Thanksgiving holiday promises to be as gruesome as anything we have seen to date. Many hospitals are already full, and the wave may still be weeks away from cresting. It is going to be very, very bad, so giving the incoming administration time to adequately prepare is very, very good.

Yet we must all pause here in this brief moment of relative quiet to ponder just how terrifying, how destabilizing, all of this has been and continues to be.

Michigan was not going to flip to Trump's column even if Van Langevelde decided to make a pest of himself, and the Trump campaign's slapstick law firm of Larry, Moe & Curley wasn't getting anywhere with the Pennsylvania courts. Imagine, however, if the margins in those states had been narrower, and a competent attorney had argued a case with sufficient clarity to allow Trump's complaint into the bloodstream of the judicial branch. All roads there lead to a wildly conservative Supreme Court, and no telling how that story ends.

Speaking of endings, there is none here just yet. "Poll: 79 Percent of Trump Voters Believe 'Election Was Stolen' via @BreitbartNews," Trump shriek-tweeted this morning. "They are 100% correct, but we are fighting hard. Our big lawsuit, which spells out in great detail all of the ballot fraud and more, will soon be filled. RIGGED ELECTION!" It appears the president still has some fundraising to do.

There are 57 days until the inauguration. That is plenty of time for Trump and his people to make deeply damaging mischief, and they are not wasting the opportunity. Beyond that is the strange, unsettling quiet from the fringes of Trump's supporters. Justin King, also known as video blogger Beau of the Fifth Column, somberly notes that groups like the Proud Boys have not taken a seat at the table just yet, and no one can be sure what it will look like if they choose to intervene. The menace of it looms like a distant thundercloud that doesn't seem like it's moving, perhaps because it's headed right for you.

"That events could so easily have turned out the other way, however, should make Americans wary of any notion that this country glides across time and space along a natural arc of progress," notes Atlantic writer Clint Smith. "Our norms, our institutions, or our systems do not inevitably bend toward justice and protect us. That has been made clear. The truth is that, in some instances, we have simply been extremely lucky. And this month, even after a period of uncertainty, we were lucky again."

At bottom, it is less important that Trump's tactics were insufficient to his goal of overthrowing a national election, and far more important that he and the GOP tried to do this in the first place. He leaned on obscure low-level state officials and loosed his well-trained dogs on them in order to break their will and bend them to his. Even in his incompetence, Trump managed to get almost all of the Republican Party to stand mute while he throws wild accusations around for no better reason than to convince millions that Biden stole the election.

Could a more competent authoritarian have done a better job at this? Probably. Will a more competent authoritarian come along someday and go to school on Trump's tactical errors? I can think of a few who are already lining up for the job.

Such is our national inheritance from this debacle. While these most recent events are worthy of celebration, the fact remains that Trump has several more weeks to tear up the country before he departs, and appears to have every intention of continuing to swing his wrecking ball once he's gone. Celebrate the Biden transition as you wish, and then get ready for whatever comes next.

(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.

Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani Went To Court And Made A Compelling Argument-For His Own Disbarment
Representative Bill Pascrell says, "Mr. Giuliani has participated in frivolous lawsuits and used our nation's courts to assault public confidence in the electoral system."
By John Nichols

Federal Judge Matthew Brann dismissed Donald Trump's over-the-top challenge to Pennsylvania's election results with a withering rebuke to arguments made by the leader of defeated president's legal team: "This claim, like Frankenstein's Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together." Then the judge, a former Republican Party operative whose biography identifies him as a member of the conservative Federalist Society, let rip.

Describing former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's proposal to disenfranchise 7 million Pennsylvania voters as "unhinged," the judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania wrote:

This court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.

That has not happened. Instead, this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by the evidence.

Judge Brand concluded, "In this case, the Trump campaign has not pled a cognizable theory."

That was a damning assessment of a legal strategy that literally made no sense-except as a deliberate abuse of the courts to discredit the election that Giuliani's client lost. "In his ruling, Brann delivered a repudiation of both the Trump campaign's unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud and the lawyer who presented them in court: Giuliani," observed a review of the ruling by The Philadelphia Inquirer, which continued:

The former mayor of New York, who is leading Trump's national effort to challenge the election's outcome, personally took charge of the case at a hearing in Williamsport last week and delivered a fevered, fumbling performance built on baffling conspiracy theories of a nationwide cabal of Democratic mayors working to rig the election for Biden that had little to do with what campaign lawyers had argued in their filings. He promised evidence. He didn't deliver. He promised affidavits detailing fraud. There were none. And he vowed statistical analysis that would prove Trump had won the state in a landslide. Nothing of the sort was ever filed with the court.
If Trump really thought there was a case to be made for his allegations, he would immediately fire Giuliani. But at this point Trump is fighting on primarily to discredit free and fair elections, maintaining the pattern of antidemocratic behavior that has characterized his presidency. While attention in recent days has focused on battleground-state fights over recounts and the certification of results for Democrat Joe Biden-most recently, on Monday, in Michigan-the real story of Trump's failed post-election strategy has been written in the courts. In state after state, dozens of legal challenges mounted by Giuliani and his team have been rejected on their merits-and with judges calling out the absurdity and irresponsibility of the attempted arguments.

Giuliani's advocacy on behalf of Trump has been one long exercise in malpractice with malicious intent. And US Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat who serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has had enough. In letters to legal bar authorities in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania, the congressman has sought the disbarment of Giuliani and 22 other lawyers representing Trump's attempt to overturn election results. "We live together in extraordinary and increasingly dangerous national circumstances. At present, our sitting President has refused to accept the outcome of our national election and is attacking the integrity of our electoral system to keep himself in power," writes Pascrell. "The pattern of behavior by these individuals to effectuate Mr. Trump's sinister arson is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life. In carrying out that perversion, they have clearly violated the Rules of Professional Conduct they swore to uphold and should face the severest sanction your body can mete out: revocation of their law licensures."

Pascrell's letter to the State of New York Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh & Thirteenth Judicial Districts spells out concerns:

In his capacity as a public spokesman and attorney representing the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, Mr. Giuliani has participated in frivolous lawsuits and used our nation's courts to assault public confidence in the United States electoral system, violating the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. Therefore, I request your office commence an immediate investigation of his actions and consider sanctions for his conduct up to and including revocation of Mr. Giuliani's licenses to practice law in your jurisdiction.
Recounting the New York Rules of Professional Conduct for licensed attorneys, the congressman highlights concerns about possible violations of Rule of Professional Conduct 3.1, which requires that "[a] lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous," and Rule 8.4(c), which posits that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer "to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation."

Pascrell's complaint is an appropriate one, as there must be a response to the clear abuse of the courts and of the democratic process. He explains:

As of today, President-elect Joe Biden has won the states of Arizona (by 10,457 votes, or 0.31 percent), Georgia (13,554 votes, or 0.27 percent), Michigan (by 154,187 votes, or 2.79 percent), Nevada (by 33,596 votes, or 2.39 percent), and Pennsylvania (81,487, or 1.18 percent) by margins virtually [certain not] to be reversed by any recounts. Despite the difficult circumstances of this pandemic, these states' administration of their elections were strong and there is no evidence of systematic malfeasance or fraud in any of them. Nevertheless, Mr. Giuliani has participated in the filing a series of absurd lawsuits seeking to overturn the will of the voters in these states and has caused irreversible damage to public trust in the fair administration of our elections.
(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.

The Real American Thanksgiving Story
By James Donahue

Our schools appear to still be filling the heads of American children with that age-old twisted story of the first thanksgiving when the Pilgrims in 1621 sat down with the Wampanoag Confederation of natives to share in the fruits of their first year of harvest.

That part of the story is true. But it is surrounded by a larger history of barbaric brutality and native reprisals that marked a dark and carefully covered-over part of the history of the American settlements. While the Puritans sought religious freedom when they arrived in the New World, it wasn't freedom from persecution in Europe as history books have been teaching.

An essay on the subject by historian Chuck Larsen, on a web site for the Manataka American Indian Council, identified the Puritans as a radical religious group that believed they were living in the "end times" and that they were the "chosen elect" as described in the Book of the Revelation. They saw themselves as establishing an apocalyptic "new world" in the wilds of New England and were willing to use "any means, including deceptions, treachery, torture, war and genocide to achieve that end. They saw themselves as fighting a holy war against Satan, and everyone who disagreed with them was the enemy."

Larsen wrote that his research reveals that "the Wampanoag Indians were not the 'friendly savages' some of us were told about when we were in the primary grades. Nor were they invited out of the goodness of the Pilgrims' hearts to share the fruits of the Pilgrims' harvest in a demonstration of Christian charity and interracial brotherhood." Indeed, the Puritans regarded the natives as evil tools of Satan, but were caught up in an odd situation that first year after landing at Plymouth Rock when one specific member of the Patuxet tribe, known among the whites as Squanto, helped them produce a successful planting of corn and other crops, and taught them where to fish and capture eels for food.

There is irony in the Squanto story. He was among a number of natives captured by an English expedition headed by Thomas Hunt in 1614, and carried on a ship to Spain where he was sold into slavery. Some Catholic friars rescued Squanto, converted him to Christianity, and brought him to England. There Squanto worked briefly at ship building before finding a vessel that took him back to his native homeland. He arrived in 1619, one year before the Mayflower landed.

Perhaps it was Squanto's conversion to the Christian faith, or his personal friendship with a British explorer named John Weymouth, that led him to help the Pilgrims survive their first year in that fledgling colony that became the community of Plymouth. The Pilgrims, however, saw Squanto as "merely an instrument of God, set in the wilderness to provide for the survival of His chosen people."

It was through Squanto's efforts that a peace treaty was brokered between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Confederation of tribes. Larsen wrote that the real reason the Wampanoag tribal leaders were present during that first historic "thanksgiving" feast was to sign a treaty that would secure the lands of the Plymouth Plantation for the Pilgrims.

"It should also be noted that the Indians, possibly out of a sense of charity toward their hosts, ended up bringing the majority of the food to the feast," Larsen wrote.

That was one moment of a strained cooperative feast shared by people separated by a radical religious bigotry that has never ever been erased. What happened after that was such a cruel display of wickedness that American historians have tended to sweep it all under a rug and pretend it did not happen.

While the Puritans considered the natives barbarians and had no problem capturing them and selling them into slavery in Europe, they were joined by British and Dutch settlers who set about seizing the native territorial lands for farming, hunting and trapping animals for a fur trade and engaging in armed warfare with the tribes.

Larsen wrote that "a generation later, after the balance of power had indeed shifted, the Indian and white children of that Thanksgiving were striving to kill each other in the genocidal conflict known as King Philip's War. At the end of that conflict most of the New England Indians were either exterminated or refugees among the French in Canada, or they were sold into slavery in the Carolina's by the Puritans."

When we examine all of the facts, that first so-called "thanksgiving feast" at the Plymouth Colony as not a celebration of the harvest or even a recognition of gratitude for the help the natives gave to the Pilgrims.

It was not until President George Washington proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving on October 3, 1789, that the first real celebration known as Thanksgiving was held. President John Adams declared two additional celebrations of thanksgiving in 1798 and 1799. It was not until Abraham Lincoln declared it an annual holiday in 1863 that the concept of Thanksgiving as we currently know it was born.

(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.


The U.S. Traded In A Pro-War President For A Pro-War President: Now What?
By David Swanson

Trump changed many things.

U.S. media outlets will now point out when a president is lying. If that policy holds consistently, we'll never have a war again.

Congress will now vote to end a war (Yemen) and a president will veto it. If Congress can repeat that on a monthly basis, and the president not veto, we'll end a lot of wars.

Top military officials will openly laugh about tricking a president into believing he'd withdrawn more troops than he really had from a war (Syria). If presidents or Congress or the public should develop any outrage over that, we might be in good shape. If not, we could be in trouble.

The world can no longer as easily deny the selfish, destructive motivations behind U.S. imperialistic behavior, even if a new president dresses it up more politely.

Trump continued many things: ever increasing military spending and drone murders and wars fought ever more from the air, more base construction and coups and nuclear weapons construction, more weapons sales, more shredding of disarmament treaties, more weapons in Europe and hostility toward Russia and war rehearsals, and more badgering other nations to spend more on weapons. As the White House flips from one of the two war parties to the other and back again, it becomes harder to end ongoing atrocities.

Yet Trump was the first U.S. president in a long time to not start a major new war. So, longstanding trends can be ended. Outrages can be made less normal.

However, liberals have spent four years learning that Russia is their enemy, that foreign dictators must be hated and attacked as friends of Trump, that NATO and the CIA are their saviors, and that foreign bases and occupations and cold wars are the backbone of a stable, humane, de-Trumped world. It's unclear how lasting that damage will be.

But this was the most foreign-policy-free election in decades. Nobody voted on foreign policy. Biden didn't even have a foreign policy page on his website or a foreign policy task force. His long career promises catastrophic horrors, but his campaign promised very little good or bad.

The public demand for a Green New Deal is the best chance at moving funding out of militarism and into something useful - and doing that is the best hope of a successful Green New Deal.

The demand to re-end the war on Yemen and not have it vetoed has some momentum, and opens the door to ending weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE and others. And if that war can be ended, why shouldn't Afghanistan or Syria be next?

Biden has promised better relations with Cuba - which we must use to open the door to ending brutal sanctions on Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and others.

Biden must be pressured to drop sanctions against top officials of the International Criminal Court - and we must use that to open a door to consideration of actually behaving lawfully and supporting the rule of law.

There is no shortage of work to be done.

(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.

Beverage containers are among the most ubiquitous of environmentally devastating plastics.

Canada's Plastics Ban Should Include Beverage Containers
By David Suzuki

What we refer to as "plastic" hasn't been around for long. But its usefulness has caused production to skyrocket - from about two million tonnes in 1950 to almost 400 million tonnes a year now, and rising steadily. It's a problem.

Although much of it can be recycled, most isn't. That's led many local and national governments worldwide to ban or consider bans on non-essential "single-use" plastics. Canada plans to prohibit many items by the end of 2021, but the list isn't comprehensive. Plastic grocery bags, cutlery, straws and stir sticks, beverage-pack rings and a few more items will be prohibited. Garbage bags, snack-food wrappers and beverage containers won't.

The exemption for beverage containers, in particular, is controversial. Many argue they're unnecessary and are petitioning government to include them. Others note that bottled water is sometimes needed in emergency situations. And some communities, especially Indigenous communities, still lack access to safe tap water.

The federal government, which is accepting public input on the issue until December 9, says beverage containers won't be included in the proposal for the ban's "first wave" because they're easy to recover and recycle and are necessary in communities that don't have access to clean water. It's proposing recycled content requirements for plastics not subject to the ban, but the focus ought to be on reducing plastic packaging in the first place.

We note that the government committed to ending long-term boil-water advisories on First Nations by March 2021, but the pandemic has put that deadline in question. As for recycling, of the 5.3 million bottles of water Canadians buy each day, much of it ends up in the environment, as do the enormous quantities of other plastic-bottled beverages.

Recycling requires a lot of energy, and plastic polymers break down in the recycling process. That, along with low fossil fuel prices, makes new oil-derived materials more cost-effective than recycled plastic. But it takes more water to create a plastic bottle than the bottle will hold, and the energy required to produce a bottle of water is 2,000 times that to produce the same amount of tap water.

The government says it wants to work with provinces to ensure more plastics are recycled, but it will be challenging.

Although many concerns around banning single-use plastic beverage containers are valid, ban proponents argue they aren't insurmountable - and the reasons to include them in a ban are compelling. To start, alternatives based on "reduce and reuse" distribution are available and could be expanded. Most people in Canada have access to safe tap water, even though 20 per cent continue to drink water from bottles. Some beverage companies already offer the option to refill reusable containers, which will be part of the solution. Furthermore, even in the realm of single-use packaging, aluminium and glass are easier to recycle than plastic, as they don't degrade in the same way as plastic during the recycling process.

But we must prioritize "reduce and reuse" if we're going to make progress toward zero waste. The truth is we don't need most of the sweetened beverages sold in single-use plastics, and our bodies might be better off without them! Water is the exception. But Canada has the infrastructure to provide high quality tap water to most communities, at much lower cost than bottled water. Tap water is also far more regulated and tested than bottled water, which can contain microplastics and other contamination. In fact, most bottled water is obtained from municipal or public water supplies, at little or no cost to corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle.

Studies also show that people ingest the equivalent of a plastic credit card every week. And the impacts of plastic pollution on oceans are a major threat to marine life and to human health and survival - not unlike the impacts of fossil fuels, from which plastics are made.

At the very least, all single-portion plastic beverage containers should be banned and no effort should be spared to ensure everyone in Canada has access to safe tap water. Canada is fortunate to have plentiful water and the capacity and knowledge to deliver it to people.

Beverage containers are among the most ubiquitous of environmentally devastating plastics. We don't need single-serve plastic bottles.

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

They're All In On This, Top To Bottom
That includes the Republican leaders in the Michigan state legislature.
By Charles P. Pierce

The visit to Camp Runamuck by the Republican leaders of both houses of the Michigan legislature has set off the storm sirens. This is understandable, especially to those of us who quit asking the question, "He wouldn't do that, would he?" around about the night of the Indiana primary in 2016. From Politico:

It is unclear how many GOP legislators will visit the White House, but the group is expected to include Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. Jason Wentworth, who is succeeding Chatfield as speaker, was also spotted at the D.C. airport.

Shirkey and state Sen. Tom Barrett were met by a throng of protesters and reporters outside Reagan National Airport upon their arrival Friday. The pair passed through the airport without talking to the media. Earlier this week Shirkey told Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit news outlet, that the idea the legislature would defy the voters is "not going to happen."

Local dog refuses to hunt.
No one from the Trump's campaign staff will be at the meeting, according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany - who herself has doubled as a campaign surrogate, blurring the line between the two - and she downplayed the significance of the president summoning the state legislators. "He routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country," McEnany said at a press briefing on Friday, her first since Oct. 1. "This is not an advocacy event."
I may be way out on a limb here, but I think the president* was associated with his campaign and, anyway, his personal lawyer was going to be stopping by.

However Rudy Giuliani, who recently took over the campaign's legal battles, told a New York City Fox affiliate Friday morning that he would be on hand at the meeting to answer any questions from Trump or the state lawmakers about the situation in Michigan "because I probably know the case better than anyone else." "I'm there just to answer any questions they have," he said on "Good Day New York."

The Michigan delegation was met at the airport in D.C. by reporters and demonstrators, some of the latter carrying big letters spelling out, "SHAME." Leader Shirkey finally resorted to singing a hymn to fend off a persistent reporter and Speaker Chatfield tweeted out that he was only doing his patriotic duty.

"No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it," he tweeted. "I won't apologize for that. In fact, I'm honored to speak with POTUS and proud to meet with him."
When the president* whistles, Chatfield rolls over. Good Speaker. Good boy.

They're all in on this, top to bottom and stem to stern. Shun them all if this ever ends.

(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-

"Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump, the most dangerous president ever, golfs and sends out bogus tweets in an outrageous and desperate attempt to overturn an election he lost by more than 6 million votes. Bye-bye, Trump. You will not destroy American democracy."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Gopalakrishna Devraj inspects the solar panels at the Fortum solar park in Karnataka state, one of indias bigest solar energy producers.

At G20, Only India Is On Track to Meet Goals For Keeping Global Heating To 3.6 degrees F
Although most of India's electricity and heating now comes from carbon-intensive coal, the country has big plans to transition to renewables.
By Juan Cole

The 2020 Climate Transparency report finds that India is on track to meeting the carbon dioxide emissions levels that, if all countries on earth did the same, would keep global heating to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees centigrade).

The bad news? Of all the top 20 economies in the world (i.e. the G20), India is the only one, says The Weather Channel, that is on track to meet that 3.6 degrees F. goal.

Although 3.6 degrees F./ 2 degrees C. does not sound like much, it would be a very challenging situation. This is the amount that the average surface temperature of the whole earth would go up. It includes the cold seas and Antarctica. So in any one place (say, Phoenix, AZ), the actual increase in average temperatures will be more.

India is above average on the contribution of renewables to power generation, with 27% coming from renewables. The G-20 average is only 21%.

Although most of India's electricity and heating now comes from carbon-intensive coal, the country has big plans to transition to renewables. Despite the coronavirus downturn, India has made strides on renewables in 2020, adding 833 megawatts of rooftop solar in the first nine months of 2020. Some of this installation was supported by significant government subsidies for the sector, especially in Gujarat state. Gujarat has the largest solar farm in all of Asia.

Solar energy has many uses in India beyond just electricity generation. Solar panels are being provided to rural families to run water pumps for drinking water.

In the third quarter, the country put in 438 megawatts worth of solar farms.

These numbers are lower than last year, given the sour economy and pandemic, but 2021 is expected to see a big rebound. All in all, 3.3 gigawatts of new solar is expected to be brought on line in 2020.

By 2022, India is expected to have a 100 gigawatt solar capacity. Its current solar capacity is 37 gigawatts, so the next two years will see nearly a tripling of solar in India.

(c) 2020 Juan R.I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

The Dead Letter Office-

Rudy gives the corporate salute

Heil Trump,

Dear Anwalt des Prasidenten Giuliani,

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 continued challenges without merit to over turn the election for der Fuhrer, 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 01-01-2021. We salute you herr Giuliani, seig heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

The Real Reason Trump Won't Concede
By Robert Reich

Joe Biden has decisively won the presidency. There is no way for Trump to overturn the results of the election, and his campaign's post-election lawsuits have gotten dismissed left and right.

That hasn't stopped him from launching an "Official Election Defense Fund" and bombarding his supporters with fundraising appeals to supposedly finance the campaign's ongoing litigation.

But the fine print tells a very different story.

60 percent of a donation to Trump's "Official Election Defense Fund" goes to Save America, Trump's new leadership Political Action Committee that he set up less than a week after the election. The other 40 percent goes to the Republican National Committee.

So if someone donates $500, Trump's PAC gets $300, the RNC gets the other $200, and not a cent actually goes to the election defense fund.

Donations only start going to that fund once Trump's PAC reaches the legal contribution limit of $5,000 - and the RNC gets $3,000.

This means a supporter would have to donate over $8,000 before any money goes to the fund they think they're supporting.

Apparently enriching himself on the taxpayer dime for the past four years wasn't enough for Trump. Now he's lining his pockets by attacking our elections and undermining our democracy - and swindling his supporters every step of the way.

Is this just a final grift before Trump leaves office? Or is there more at stake?

Trump certainly wants to keep the money flowing, and a leadership PAC is an easy way to do it. Trump's PAC can be used to fund a lavish post-presidency lifestyle, as leadership PACs can use donors' funds for personal expenses, like personal travel and events at Trump properties, while campaign committees cannot.

But there's more at stake than just Trump's personal greed. Creating a PAC solidifies Trump's grip on the GOP, as he can distribute the funds to GOP candidates. It helps keep his base whipped up ahead of the Georgia runoffs. And the PAC allows him to start preparing for a potential 2024 run, an idea he's already floated to his inner circle.

In the grand scheme of things, Trump's PAC also fuels the GOP's cynical strategy to maintain power. The GOP has a permanent stake in stoking a cold civil war.

A deeply divided nation serves the party's biggest patrons, giving them unfettered access to the economy's gains while the bottom 90% of Americans fight each other for crumbs. That division will persist even with Trump out of the White House, thanks to his bonkers claim of a stolen election, and a base more riled up from racist appeals than ever.

We may have defeated Trump, but we haven't defeated Trumpism. We must work to push the Biden administration to tackle the systemic conditions that allowed Trump to seize power in the first place.

(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

A Georgia State Trooper separates Biden supporters from Trump supporters at a "Stop the Steal" rally against
the results of the U.S. Presidential election outside the Georgia State Capitol on November 18, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here's the Truth: The Oligarchy Loves This Democratic Decay And Politics Of Lies
American political leaders display a widening disconnect from reality intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by global corporations and billionaires.
By Chris Hedges

Joe Biden's victory instantly obliterated the Democratic Party's longstanding charge that Russia was hijacking and compromising US elections. The Biden victory, the Democratic Party leaders and their courtiers in the media now insist, is evidence that the democratic process is strong and untainted, that the system works. The elections ratified the will of the people.

But imagine if Donald Trump had been reelected. Would the Democrats and pundits at The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC pay homage to a fair electoral process? Or, having spent four years trying to impugn the integrity of the 2016 presidential race, would they once again haul out the blunt instrument of Russian interference to paint Trump as Vladimir Putin's Manchurian candidate?

Trump and Giuliani are vulgar and buffoonish, but they play the same slimy game as their Democratic opponents. The Republicans scapegoat the deep state, communists and now, bizarrely, Venezuela; the Democrats scapegoat Russia. The widening disconnect from reality by the ruling elite is intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by predatory global corporations and billionaires.

"This is a disgraceful thing that was done in this country," Giuliani said at his recent bad-hair-day press conference. "Probably not much more disgraceful than the things these people did in office, which you didn't and don't bother to cover and you conceal from the American people, but we let this happen, we use largely a Venezuelan voting machine in essence to count our vote. We let this happen. We're going to become Venezuela. We cannot let this happen to us. We cannot allow these crooks, because that's what they are, to steal an election from the American people. They elected Donald Trump. They didn't elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballots, the illegal ballots, that were produced and that were allowed to be used, after the election was over."

Giuliani's rant was topped by those of Sidney Powell, until yesterday another of Trump's lawyers, who blamed software designed for Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, for Trump's loss, as well as "the massive influence of Communist money." The software "was created so Hugo Chavez would never lose another election, and he did not after that software was created," Powell said. "He won every single election and then they exported it to Argentina and other countries in South America, and then they brought it here."

Compare this to how Hillary Clinton, during the recent primary campaign, warned that the Russians were "grooming" a female candidate, widely assumed to be Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, to run as a third-party candidate to serve Russian interests. Previously, Clinton called the 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein a "Russian asset." She insisted, although the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors found no evidence to support her charge, that the Trump campaign worked closely in 2016 with Moscow and WikiLeaks - which she insists is a Russian front - to defeat her. Hillary's staff put together a "hit list" in the final days of her 2008 campaign, according to the book, "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign" by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, listing those who were loyal to the Clintons those who were not. They used a scale of 1 to 7.

"Step back and think about it," Clinton wrote in her book, "What Happened," about the 2016 election. "The Russians hacked our election systems. They got inside. They tried to delete or alter voter information. This should send a shiver down the spine of every American."

Never mind that both ruling parties are silent about the massive interference in our elections by Israel, which uses its lobbying groups to lavishly fund political candidates in both parties and flies members of Congress and their families to Israel for junkets at seaside resorts. Israel's intrusion in our political process, including when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress in 2015, without informing then President Barack Obama, to attack the president's Iran nuclear deal, dwarfs that of any other country, including Russia.

The two warring factions within the ruling elite, which fight primarily over the spoils of power while abjectly serving corporate interests, peddle alternative realities. If the deep state and Venezuelan socialists or Russia intelligence operatives are pulling the strings no one in power is accountable for the rage and alienation caused by the social inequality, the unassailability of corporate power, the legalized bribery that defines our political process, the endless wars, austerity and de-industrialization. The social breakdown is, instead, the fault of shadowy phantom enemies manipulating groups such as Black Lives Matters or the Green Party.

"The people who run this country have run out of workable myths with which to distract the public, and in a moment of extreme crisis have chosen to stoke civil war and defame the rest of us - black and white - rather than admit to a generation of corruption, betrayal, and mismanagement," Matt Taibbi writes.

These fictional narratives are dangerous. They erode the credibility of democratic institutions and electoral politics. They posit that news and facts are no longer true or false. Information is accepted or discarded based on whether it hurts or promotes one faction over another. While outlets such as Fox News have always existed as an arm of the Republican Party, this partisanship has now infected nearly all news organizations, including publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, along with the major tech platforms that disseminate information and news. A fragmented public with no common narrative believes whatever it wants to believe.

I first assumed this job posting from The New York Times for a Moscow correspondent was a parody posted by the Onion. It wasn't. It speaks volumes about the self-immolation of The New York Times and the press. JOB DESCRIPTION: Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world. It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa. If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year. Of course, every charge leveled here against Russia regarding foreign interference can be leveled in spades against the United States, both in the present and past, and even the implied criticism of its pandemic response seems like a textbook case of projection. More to the point, why should the Times even send someone to Moscow to report on what Russians think, feel and how they view themselves and the world if they have already decided they are a cartoon villain? Why have a Moscow bureau at all?

A parody response circulating on the internet imagined a parallel posting by Pravda for a U.S. correspondent:

JOB DESCRIPTION: Donald Trump's America remains one of the biggest stories in the world. It sends out its armies, its drones, and its agents around the world to kill its enemies. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony, undermining and overthrowing regimes, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out on the golf course. If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news. We will have an opening for a new correspondent.
I was a foreign correspondent for twenty years, fifteen of them with The New York Times. My job was to become bicultural, which requires hundreds of hours of language classes, to see the world from the perspective of those I covered and reflect it back to an American audience. But this type of reporting is now anachronistic. The paper might as well rehire the con artist Jayson Blair to sit in his apartment and snort coke while filing fictional variants on the preordained narrative the paper demands. Or maybe computer algorithms can do the job.

I guess I should not be surprised. After all, it was the Times that produced a ten-part podcast by its reporter Rukmini Callimachi based on interviews with a Muslim identified as Abu Huzayfah al-Kanadi who claimed to have been a member of ISIS in the Middle East. He provided lurid accounts of murders and crucifixions he supposedly carried out. His stories, catering to the rampant Islamophobia that poisons American society, were the audio version of snuff films. They were also a lie. The Canadian "Abu Huzayfah," whose real name was Shehroze Chaudhry, was arrested in September 2020 by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and charged under Canadian hoax laws for fabricating his story.

The flagrant partisanship and discrediting of truth across the political spectrum are swiftly fueling the rise of an authoritarian state. The credibility of democratic institutions and electoral politics, already deeply corrupted by PACs, the electoral college, lobbyists, the disenfranchisement of third-party candidates, gerrymandering and voter suppression, is being eviscerated.

Silicon Valley billionaires, including Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, donated more than $100 million to a Democratic super PAC that created a torrent of anti-Trump TV ads in the final weeks of the campaign to elect Biden. The heavy infusion of corporate money to support Biden wasn't done to protect democracy. It was done because these corporations and billionaires know a Biden administration will serve their interests.

The press, meanwhile, has largely given up on journalism. It has retreated into competing echo chambers that only speak to true believers. This catering exclusively to one demographic, which it sets against another demographic, is commercially profitable. But it also guarantees the balkanization of the United States and edges us closer and closer to fratricide.

When Trump leaves the White House millions of his enraged supports, hermetically sealed inside hyperventilating media platforms that feed back to them their rage and hate, will see the vote as fraudulent, the political system as rigged, and the establishment press as propaganda. They will target, I fear, through violence, the Democratic Party politicians, mainstream media outlets and those they demonize as conspiratorial members of the deep state, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. The Democratic Party is as much to blame for this disintegration as Trump and the Republican Party.

The election of Biden is also very bad news for journalists such as Matt Taibbi, Glen Ford, Margaret Kimberley, Glenn Greenwald, Jeffrey St. Clair or Robert Scheer who refuse to be courtiers to the ruling elites. Journalists that do not spew the approved narrative of the right-wing, or, alternatively, the approved narrative of the Democratic Party, have a credibility the ruling elite fears. The worse things get - and they will get worse as the pandemic leaves hundreds of thousands dead and thrusts millions of Americans into severe economic distress -the more those who seek to hold the ruling elites, and in particular the Democratic Party, accountable will be targeted and censored in ways familiar to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, now in a London prison and facing possible extradition to the United States and life imprisonment.

Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties, which included the repeated misuse of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers, the passage of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to permit the military to act as a domestic police force and the ordering of the assassination of U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists in Yemen, was far worse than those of George W. Bush. Biden's assault on civil liberties, I suspect, will surpass those of the Obama administration.

The censorship was heavy handed during the campaign. Digital media platforms, including Google, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, along with the establishment press worked shamelessly as propaganda arms for the Biden campaign. They were determined not to make the "mistake" they made in 2016 when they reported on the damaging emails, released by WikiLeaks, from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. Although the emails were genuine, papers such as The New York Times routinely refer to the Podesta emails as "disinformation." This, no doubt, pleases its readership, 91 percent of whom identify as Democrats according to the Pew Research Center. But it is another example of journalistic malfeasance.

Following the election of Trump, the media outlets that cater to a Democratic Party readership made amends. The New York Times was one of the principal platforms that amplified Russiagate conspiracies, most of which turned out to be false. At the same time, the paper largely ignored the plight of the disposed working class that supported Trump. When the Russiagate story collapsed, the paper pivoted to focus on race, embodied in the 1619 Project. The root cause of social disintegration - the neoliberal order, austerity and deindustrialization - was ignored since naming it would alienate the paper's corporate advertisers and the elites on whom the paper depends for access.

Once the 2020 election started, The New York Times and other mainstream outlets censored and discredited information that could hurt Biden, including a tape of Joe Biden speaking with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which appears to be authentic. They gave credibility to any rumor, however spurious, which was unfavorable to Trump. Twitter and Facebook blocked access to a New York Post story about the emails allegedly found on Hunter Biden's discarded laptop. Twitter locked the New York Post out of its own account for over a week. Glenn Greenwald, whose article on Hunter Biden was censored by his editors at The Intercept, which he helped found, resigned. He released the email exchanges with his editors over his article. Ignoring the textual evidence of censorship, editors and writers at The Intercept engaged in a public campaign of character assassination against Greenwald. This sordid behavior by self-identified progressive journalists is a page out of the Trump playbook and a sad commentary on the collapse of journalistic integrity.

The censorship and manipulation of information was honed and perfected against WikiLeaks. When WikiLeaks tries to release information, it is hit with botnets or distributed denial of service attacks. Malware attacks WikiLeaks' domain and website. The WikiLeaks site is routinely shut down or unable to serve its content to its readers. Attempts by WikiLeaks to hold press conferences see the audio distorted and the visual images corrupted. Links to WikiLeaks events are delayed or cut. Algorithms block the dissemination of WikiLeaks content. Hosting services, including Amazon, removed WikiLeaks from its servers. Julian Assange, after releasing the Iraqi war logs, saw his bank accounts and credit cards frozen. WikiLeaks' PayPal accounts were disabled to cut off donations. The Freedom of the Press Foundation in December 2017 closed down the anonymous funding channel to WikiLeaks which was set up to protect the anonymity of donors. A well-orchestrated smear campaign against Assange was amplified and given credibility by the mass media and filmmakers such as Alex Gibney. Assange and WikiLeaks were first. We are next.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told CNN during this campaign that Russian disinformation efforts are "more problematic" than in 2016. He warned that "this time around, the Russians have decided to cultivate U.S. citizens as assets. They are attempting to try to spread their propaganda in the mainstream media."

This will be the official mantra of the Democratic Party, a vicious redbaiting campaign without actual reds, especially as the country spirals out of control. The reason I have a show on Russia-funded RT America is the same reason Vaclav Havel could only be heard on the US-funded Voice of America during the communist control of Czechoslovakia. I did not choose to leave the mainstream media. I was pushed out. And once anyone is pushed out, the ruling elite is relentless about discrediting the few platforms left willing to give them, and the issues they raise, a hearing.

"If the problem is 'American citizens' being cultivated as 'assets' trying to put 'interference' in the mainstream media, the logical next step is to start asking Internet platforms to shut down accounts belonging to any American journalist with the temerity to report material leaked by foreigners (the wrong foreigners, of course - it will continue to be okay to report things like the 'black ledger')," writes Taibbi, who has done some of the best reporting on the emerging censorship. "From Fox or the Daily Caller on the right, to left-leaning outlets like Consortium or the World Socialist Web Site, to writers like me even - we're all now clearly in range of new speech restrictions, even if we stick to long-ago-established factual standards."

Taibbi argues that the precedent for overt censorship took place when the major digital platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Google, Spotify, YouTube - in a coordinated move blacklisted the right-wing talk show host Alex Jones.

"Liberal America cheered," Taibbi told me when I interviewed him for my show, "On Contact":

"They said 'Well this is a noxious figure. This is a great thing. Finally, someone's taking action.' What they didn't realize is that we were trading an old system of speech regulation for a new one without any public discussion. You and I were raised in a system where you got punished for speech if you committed libel or slander or if there was imminent incitement to lawless action, right? That was the standard that the Supreme Court set, but that was done through litigation. There was an open process where you had a chance to rebut charges. That is all gone now. Now, basically there's a handful of these tech distribution platforms that control how people get their media. They've been pressured by the Senate, which has called all of their CEOs in, and basically ordered them, 'We need you to come up with a plan to prevent the sowing of discord and spreading of misinformation.' This has finally come into fruition. You see a major reputable news organization like the New York Post - with a 200-year history - locked out of its own Twitter account. The story [Hunter Biden's emails] has not been disproven. It's not disinformation or misinformation. It's been suppressed as it would be suppressed in a Third World country. It's a remarkable historic moment. The danger is that we end up with a one-party informational system. There's going to be approved dialogue and unapproved dialogue that you can only get through certain fringe avenues. That's the problem. We let these companies get this monopolistic share of the distribution system. Now they're exercising that power."
In the Soviet Union the truth was passed, often hand to hand, in underground samizdat documents, clandestine copies of news and literature banned by the state. The truth will endure. It will be heard by those who seek it out. It will expose the mendacity of the powerful, however hard it will be to obtain. Despotisms fear the truth. They know it is a mortal threat. If we remain determined to live in truth, no matter the cost, we have a chance.

(c) 2020 Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact.

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Christopher Weyant ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

'Your Honor, I'm Ready To Present,' Says Giuliani Pulling Rotted Melon, Stray Cat Out Of Old Burlap Sack
By The Onion

WILLIAMSPORT, PA-Informing the judge that he had definitive proof of voter fraud against Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani reportedly announced Thursday in court "Your honor, I'm ready to present" as he pulled a rotted melon and a stray cat out of an old burlap sack.

"Give me a second and I'll show you hard evidence that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mail-ballot irregularities, it's somewhere in here under all these pizzas and teeth," said the president's lawyer, rummaging through a large, stained canvas bag, discarding multiple grease-coated catalogs, dozens of half-eaten chicken tenders, and a mason jar containing a murky brown liquid, then holding up what he believed to be damning reports that turned out to be a soaking-wet tarp.

"Hang on, your honor. As you'll soon see, there are all kinds of testimonies and other documents proving definitively that officials knowingly engaged in-no, not this, how did this bath towel get in here? Whose bath towel is this? Objection! Now listen, judge your honor, it's as clear as the evidence that I've written on the back of these cheeseburger wrappers, which if the ketchup writing wasn't so smeared would clearly evidence fraud to the jury. No matter, though, because I'm smart and I made careful backup ketchup copies of the fraud on some gloves, which are legally admissible in court, as soon as I find them.

"Just a moment. Now where are my potato peels? Sirs of the jury, I submit here for legal questioning and subsequent arrest and execution whichever culprit took my potato peels. I have probable cause! Those are top-secret pieces of information that have client-attorney permission. Do not look at the potato peels! If the potato peels have been stolen, well that's witness tampering right there, which means that Trump's case is automatically won on the grounds of appellate dismissal. "That's all very legal. But first I submit these hockey pucks, and if you ignore the bite marks, it's unmistakable that they-wait, excuse me, these are the wrong hockey pucks.

"Objection! The election is a fraud and I have the plastic bags of wet leaves to prove it!"

At press time, Giuliani had confidently stated "No further questions, I rest my case" and sat chewing the melon rinds, spitting the seeds onto the prosecution's table.

(c) 2020 The Onion

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Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 47 (c) 11/27/2020

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