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November 19, 2020 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

This lawsuit actually says a state’s votes for Biden should just be flipped to Trump

Fox News reporter expertly debunks Rudy Giuliani’s nonsensical election claims: ‘Simply not true’


Here are 10 foreign policy fiascos Biden can fix on day one


A world being made for war: Behind the push for an era of great-power competition with China


Leaked White House docs reveal officials know the country is failing to manage the virus: report


Trump ‘reached out’ to 2 Michigan election officials day before they rescinded certification of results


Survivor of the Jonestown Massacre compares Trump to Jim Jones: ‘The rhetoric is so similar’


Trump’s own livestream hot mic catches open mockery of Rudy Giuliani’s dripping hair dye


‘Raise the alarm’: Experts warn of ‘sedition’ and ‘coup’ as Michigan GOP leaders plan meeting with Trump


Constitutional scholar warns that Republicans are a threat to democracy

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here are 10 foreign policy fiascos Biden can fix on day one

November 19, 2020 in Blogs

By Medea Benjamin

Donald Trump loves executive orders as a tool of dictatorial power, avoiding the need to work through Congress. But that works both ways, making it relatively easy for President Biden to reverse many of Trump’s most disastrous decisions. Here are ten things Biden can do as soon as he takes office. Each one can set the stage for broader progressive foreign policy initiatives, which we have also outlined.

1) End the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and restore U.S. humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Congress already passed a War Powers Resolution to end the U.S. role in the Yemen war, but Trump vetoed it, prioritizing war machine profits and a cozy relationship with the horrific Saudi dictatorship. Biden should immediately issue an executive order to end every aspect of the U.S. role in the war, based on the resolution that Trump vetoed.

The U.S. should also accept its share of responsibility for what many have called the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today, and provide Yemen with funding to feed its people, restore its healthcare system and eventually rebuild this devastated country. Biden should restore and expand USAID funding and recommit U.S. financial support to the UN, the WHO, and to World Food Program relief programs in Yemen.

2) Suspend all U.S. arms sales and transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Both countries are responsible for massacring civilians in Yemen, and the UAE is reportedly the largest arms supplier to General Haftar’s rebel forces in Libya. Congress passed bills to suspend arms sales to both of them, but Trump vetoed them too. Then he struck arms deals worth $24 billion with the UAE as part of an obscene military and commercial ménage à trois between the U.S., the UAE and Israel, which he absurdly tried to pass off as a peace agreement.

While mostly ignored at the behest of the weapons companies, there are actually U.S. laws that require the suspension of arms transfers to countries that use them to violate U.S. and international law. They include the Leahy Law that prohibits the U.S. from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that commit gross violations of human rights; and the Arms Export …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A world being made for war: Behind the push for an era of great-power competition with China

November 19, 2020 in Blogs

By TomDispatch

by Cassandra Stimpson and Holly Zhang

War: what is it good for? Apparently, in Washington’s world of think tanks, the answer is: the bottom line.

In fact, as the Bide presidency approaches, an era of great-power competition between the United States and China is already taken for granted inside the Washington Beltway. Much less well known are the financial incentives that lurk behind so many of the voices clamoring for an ever-more-militarized response to China in the Pacific. We’re talking about groups that carefully avoid the problems such an approach will provoke when it comes to the real security of the United States or the planet. A new cold war is likely to be dangerous and costly in an America gripped by a pandemic, its infrastructure weakened, and so many of its citizens in dire economic straits. Still, for foreign lobbyists, Pentagon contractors, and Washington’s many influential think tanks, a “rising China” means only one thing: rising profits.

Defense contractors and foreign governments are spending millions of dollars annually funding establishment think tanks (sometimes in secret) in ways that will help set the foreign-policy agenda in the Biden years. In doing so, they gain a distinctly unfair advantage when it comes to influencing that policy, especially which future tools of war this country should invest in and how it should use them.

Not surprisingly, many of the top think-tank recipients of foreign funding are also top recipients of funding from this country’s major weapons makers. The result: an ecosystem in which those giant outfits and some of the countries that will use their weaponry now play major roles in bankrolling the creation of the very rationales for those future sales. It’s a remarkably closed system that works like a dream if you happen to be a giant weapons firm or a major think tank. Right now, that system is helping accelerate the further militarization of the whole Indo-Pacific region.

In the Pacific, Japan finds itself facing an increasingly tough set of choices when it comes to its most significant military alliance (with the United States) and its most important economic partnership (with China). A growing U.S. presence in the region aimed at counterbalancing China will allow Japan to remain officially neutral, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Constitutional scholar warns that Republicans are a threat to democracy

November 19, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Although President-elect Joe Biden has won 306 electoral votes and leads by over 5.8 million in the popular vote, President Donald Trump has yet to concede — vowing to keep fighting the election results in court and claiming, without evidence, that he was the victim of widespread voter fraud. Most Republicans in Congress have yet to publicly acknowledge that Biden won the race. And Washington Post columnist and constitutional scholar Edward B. Foley argues that if Republicans in Congress cannot accept perfectly legitimate election results, U.S. democracy is in seriously trouble.

“If the losing party can’t accept defeat, the whole enterprise of electoral democracy is finished,” Foley warns in his column this week. “Two-party competition means each party taking turns, depending on what the voters want in any given election. President Trump himself will never acknowledge this. But the Republican Party institutionally must.”

Foley adds, “That is the critical challenge facing Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.): When and how decisively will they pull the plug on Trump’s desperate effort to force upon the nation a second term that he did not earn from the electorate?”

The GOP, Foley stresses, “must get to the point where it publicly congratulates Biden on being the one the voters wanted.”

He argued, too, that Democrats haven’t been perfect on this front. Even though Hillary Clinton promptly conceded to Trump in 2016, she and others subsequently cast doubt on the reality of his Electoral College win.

“And what Trump is doing now is much more wrong, because an outgoing president’s attempt to delegitimate the mandate of an immediate successor is inherently more corrosive,” he said.

“Even the most conservative of election law commentators have joined the chorus to observe that courts don’t overturn elections without adequate evidence of invalid votes that actually made a difference in the outcome,” he continued. “The Trump campaign has provided no proof of that kind in any state, much less the three necessary to deny Biden an electoral college majority.”

Some Republicans in Congress have publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory and described him as the president-elect, including Utah’s Mitt Romney, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. But Foley warns that unless the GOP on the whole accepts Biden’s victory, democracy will suffer in the U.S.

“The longer McConnell and his colleagues allow this unnecessary uncertainty about the election’s outcome to fester,” Foley laments, “the worse off …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Fox News reporter expertly debunks Rudy Giuliani's nonsensical election claims: 'Simply not true'

November 19, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

On Thursday, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, held a press conference to discuss the Trump campaign’s legal battle against the 2020 presidential election results. Giuliani has claimed that Trump, not President-elect Joe Biden, is the real winner and that his client was the victim of widespread voter fraud. But when Fox News correspondent Kristin Fisher reported on the press conference, she slammed Giuliani as being “light on facts.”

Fisher, speaking from the White House, told her colleague Dana Perino: “That was certainly a colorful news conference from Rudy Giuliani, but it was light on facts. So much of what he said was simply not true or has already been thrown out in court.”

The Fox anchor added that Giuliani opened the press conference by making a “really bold and baseless claim” and saying that “a lot of this alleged nationwide voter fraud he’s referring to all came from one centralized place.”

Fisher explained, “He called it a nationwide conspiracy. And yet, he failed to provide any hard evidence to back up that one specific claim —especially when you’re dealing with a claim that really cuts to the core of our democratic process. Now, in Pennsylvania, Giuliani continued to claim widespread voter fraud in Philadelphia — even though he has already said in court, and I quote: ‘This is not a fraud case.’ So what he’s saying in public, not under oath, is different from what he said in court.”

Fisher went on to debunk Giuliani’s false claims about Michigan, where the Trump campaign dropped one of its lawsuits.

“Two Republican canvassers in Wayne County say they now want to rescind their votes to certify the election,” Fisher told Perrino “Giuliani says they dropped the lawsuit because the state did decertify, but that is not true. The results were certified in Michigan on Tuesday, and Biden won.”

Fisher added, “Up on that stage with Giuliani was a poster with the headline ‘Multiple paths to victory.’ But Giuliani never credibly explained a single path — let alone multiple ones. Dana, the fact remains that the Trump campaign has yet to provide, at least in court, hard evidence of voter fraud and irregularities widespread enough to overturn the outcome of the election and to effectively …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Extraordinary 1915 Photos from Ernest Shackleton’s Disastrous Antarctic Expedition

November 19, 2020 in History

By Madison Horne

Frank Hurley’s photos were originally intended as scientific documentation of an unexplored continent. Instead, they recorded an epic survival story.

When photographer Frank Hurley signed on to document British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole in 1914, he knew he’d be capturing some of the earliest images of Antarctica’s bleak and beautiful unexplored terrain. But after Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance, was trapped by pack ice—and slowly succumbed to its crushing pressure—the expedition’s fate, and that of its crew, looked bleak. Hundreds of miles from inhabited territory, and far from any well-traveled shipping lanes, they wouldn’t be rescued for more than a year and a half.

Explorer Ernest Shackleton

Hurley’s photographs, captured on heavy glass negatives, were originally intended as documents of the expedition’s pioneering scientific research. But after the Endurance met its unlucky fate, they recorded something even more extraordinary: the epic survival of 28 men amid extreme physical hardship and mental stress. He captured not only the desolate polar landscape, but the grit and determination of the stranded crew members trying to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures, stave off starvation and despair, and pass time on an ice floe as they witnessed the slow-motion destruction of the Endurance, their only refuge.

As the photographs show, Hurley had no trouble lugging his heavy camera gear up the sides of mountains or high up into the ship’s rigging, to get panoramic views. He even set up a darkroom in the ship—no small feat. As he wrote in his journal: “Darkroom work rendered extremely difficult by the low temperatures it being minus 13 [degrees] C outside. The temperature in the darkroom, near the engine room, is just above freezing. Washing [plates] is troublesome, as the tank must be kept warm or the plates become [enclosed] in an ice block… Development is a source of annoyance to the fingers, which split and crack around the nails in a painful manner.”

WATCH: Full episodes of History’s Greatest Mysteries online now and tune in for all-new episodes Saturdays at 9/8c.


Australian photographer Frank Hurley during the expedition

When the Endurance was finally swallowed up by the ice after 10 months, taking Hurley’s collection of glass plate negatives with it, the photographer, determined to preserve his work, dove into the freezing water to retrieve the negatives and film. However, Shackleton had different priorities and deemed the negatives too heavy to carry along in …read more

Source: HISTORY