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Trump knows his legal team of 'fools' is a national embarrassment: report

November 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Donald Trump has a new set of scapegoats for what is turning into the colossal embarrassment that is his effort to overturn the will of the people and make a coup: his lawyers. When he needs to blame someone for his loss, that’s who it will be. At least, that’s what sources to NBC say.

He has “been complaining to aides and allies about his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and recently-removed lawyer Sidney Powell’s over-the-top performances at a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters last week, these people said.” Mr. Self-Awareness believes that the whole legal team is a bunch of “fools that are making him look bad,” but whom he won’t fire because “in essence, who knows?” He didn’t have too much of an issue booting the woman. That despite the fact that Giuliani’s claims are nearly as bonkers as hers.

What has disillusioned him about Giuliani is just so on point for who Trump is. It’s that he literally looked bad in that press conference last week. “Trump was also not pleased with the optics of the brown substance, presumed to be hair dye or a makeup product, dripping down Giuliani’s face during the nearly two-hour news conference Thursday, according to one of the sources familiar with the president’s reaction.”

Because Donald is the exemplar of how to do hair and makeup.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Michigan just certified Biden's win — dashing Trump's plan to steal the election

November 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

Officials on Michigan’s state elections board voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 victory on Monday afternoon, thwarting a plot President Donald Trump and his allies have floated to steal the election in the face of defeat.

The bipartisan board voted 3-0 to certify the result. One of the Republican members, Norm Shinkle, who had publicly expressed doubts about Biden’s victory despite no evidence of serious malfeasance in the state, abstained from the vote.

That’s disturbing on its own. Usually, certification of election results is hardly a newsworthy event. It’s a formality that follows the actual vote, affirming the widely accepted result. But Trump’s attempt to cast doubt on the election — even in Michigan, where he lost by more than 150,000 votes — has succeeded in spreading disinformation and distrust in the results into much of the GOP. It’s reasonable to fear that a Republican abstaining from certifying the election may be a precursor to future efforts to overturn legitimate results and thwart the intent of voters.

But for now, Trump’s plot to remain in power has hit the skids. Georgia and Arizona, two key swing states, have already certified their votes for Biden. In Michigan, Trump has met with top Republican legislators on Friday, raising fears that he was pressuring them to overturn the voters’ decision in the presidential race. While they initially suggested they saw no reason to doubt Biden’s win, the suggestion remained that the legislature might try to step in and throw the state’s Electoral College votes to Trump if the state failed to certify.

That path, however, was abruptly closed off on Monday when the board voted to certify the official results.

Despite allegations from the Trump campaign that the voting process was corrupted and fraudulent, there’s been no evidence that the result was significantly impacted by any misconduct at all. The campaign’s lawsuits trying to stop the election results from being certified have been repeatedly thrown out of court.

Aaron Van Langevelde, one of the Republicans on the Michigan election board, said Monday that he believed it was legally obligated to certify the election. He voted with the two Democrats to approve the results.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How the US Civil War Divided Indian Nations

November 23, 2020 in History

By Bryan Pollard

Most tribal leaders in Indian Territory aligned with the Confederacy, but a Home Guard unit arose to support the Union. The result: Indians fighting Indians in a white man’s war.

The American Civil War wasn’t just a conflict between citizens of the Union and the Confederacy. Spilling over into Indian Territory, on the western frontier of the war, it profoundly divided tribal nations, communities and families. An estimated 20,000 Indian soldiers participated in the conflict, fighting for both sides.

At the outset of the war, many nations in Indian Territory signed treaties with the Confederacy—supported by a minority of wealthy slave-holding Indians within their communities. But those sympathies weren’t monolithic: Many Indians leaned toward abolitionism and advocated for sovereign independence from the U.S. and its bloody conflict. As the war progressed, momentum shifted as three Indian Home Guard regiments emerged to support the Union and protect vulnerable tribal communities from violent guerrilla warfare. The result: Indians fighting Indians in a white man’s war.

While Native American soldiers went to battle for a variety of reasons—to support or fight slavery, to defend tribal sovereignty and to protect family and community—the war did little to advance their needs and interests. Instead, it aggravated longstanding internal tribal tensions and ravaged territory the U.S. government had relocated them to decades earlier, creating a new wave of impoverished refugees.

READ MORE: How Native Americans Struggled to Survive on the Trail of Tears

An Old Feud ‘Burst Forth in All Its Fury’

Cherokee Chief John Ross

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Indian Territory encompassed most of the area now occupied by the state of Oklahoma. Ancestral home to tribal nations including Osage, Quapaw, Seneca and Shawnee, it had also become the mandated home for the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole nations (known as the Five Civilized Tribes). Between 1830 and 1850, those groups had been forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Southeast and marched hundreds of miles west by the U.S. government. The relocation, later known as the Trail of Tears, killed thousands.

The Cherokee Nation, politically divided since that convulsive period, exemplified how tribal nations were further torn asunder by the war. On one side stood Principal Chief John Ross, the leader who had navigated the nation through the Trail of Tears. Supported by nearly a two-thirds majority, he urged neutrality and national unity as the …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Resurfaced video exposes Ted Cruz's failed prediction as a dangerous COVID-19 screed

November 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

When Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was interviewed on July 22, he made a bold prediction that has now been decisively disproven. He claimed that if Joe Biden won the presidential election, Democrats officials would suddenly quit talking about the COVID-19 pandemic and would reverse policies meant to control the virus.

A video of that interview has resurfaced on Twitter, underscoring the GOP senator’s willingness to politicize a dangerous health crisis for partisan gain.

In the video, Cruz declares, “If Biden wins in November — I hope he doesn’t, I don’t think he will — but if he does, I guarantee you, the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors will say everything’s magically better. Go back to work, go back to school. Suddenly, the problems are solved. You won’t even have to wait for Biden to be sworn in — all they’ll need is Election Day, and suddenly, their willingness to destroy people’s lives and livelihood, they will have accomplished their task. That’s wrong, it’s cynical, and we shouldn’t be a part of it.”

Biden won the election, receiving 306 electoral votes and defeating President Donald Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote. And Democrats, contrary to what Cruz predicted, didn’t suddenly quit talking about COVID-19 after the election. The opposite has happened. With COVID-19 surging in the fall and many health experts warning that the pandemic might be entering its most dangerous period yet, numerous Democrats at the state and local levels are calling for more aggressive social distancing measures. Many would likely go even further, if the federal government provided that support that local officials have been calling for.

Here are some responses to the Cruz video:

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New report finds a 'shadow candidate' in Florida is under investigation

November 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

This year, one of the GOP victories in Florida came when Ileana Garcia, co-founder of Latinas for Trump, defeated incumbent Democrat José Javier Rodríguez in a state Senate race. It was a narrow victory, however, and Miami Herald journalists Samantha J. Gross and Ana Ceballos are reporting that Rodriguez has demanded an investigation of a third-party candidate, Alex Rodríguez.

In that race, Alex Rodríguez (unrelated to José Javier Rodríguez) received more than 6,300 votes, which was a big deal given how close the race was. Garcia defeated José Javier Rodríguez by a mere 34 votes, and there has been speculation that Alex Rodríguez was planted as a spoiler to take votes away from the incumbent Democrat.

“Alex Rodriguez’ candidacy appeared to exist for only one reason: to suck votes away from incumbent José Javier Rodríguez, who shares the same surname,” according to Gross and Ceballos. “The incumbent lost by just 34 votes, and he is now calling for an investigation into Alex Rodriguez — and whoever may have put him up to run.”

“Shadow candidate” Alex Rodriguez, the Herald reporters note, has “drawn the attention of law enforcement.”

“Sources with knowledge of the investigation tell the Miami Herald that Miami-Dade state prosecutors are now probing the mysterious candidacy, which has also led to a series of investigative reports from the Herald and other news outlets such as WPLG-10 and Univision, whose reporters found Rodriguez renting a home in Palm Beach County — not in Miami-Dade County, where he filed to vote and run for state office,” the Herald reporters explain.

In a video posted on Facebook, José Javier Rodríguez argued, “Democracy requires transparency. In order to achieve that, I believe this election requires a full investigation so that those who may have violated the law are held to account and so that such tactics are not used in future elections.”

Garcia defeated José Javier Rodríguez in Miami-Dade County, which is one of the more Democratic-leaning areas of Florida. And that loss wasn’t the only disappointment that Democrats suffered in South Florida this year: Joe Biden underperformed among Latinos in Miami-Dade County compared to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Florida’s 29 electoral votes were called for President Donald Trump on Election Night — although Bided ended up winning the election, with 306 electoral votes and a lead of more than 6 …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Is Trump really plotting a coup — or is it just a pathetic last gasp of a defeated man?

November 23, 2020 in Blogs

By The Conversation

by Daniel Cooper, Griffith University and Brendon O’Connor, University of Sydney

US President Donald Trump’s time in the White House is coming to an end. But, as has become obvious over the past few weeks, he is unlikely to deliver a gracious concession speech.

Instead, the president has spent much of his time since the November 3 election plotting ways to undo what has turned out to be a rather clear victory for President-elect Joe Biden – all credible media outlets have given Biden 306 electoral college votes to the outgoing president’s 232. The successful candidate needs to amass 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency.

Time is simply running out for Trump. By December 8, all states are required to certify their results, with the electors in each state to cast their votes by December 14. The inauguration of the next president takes place on January 20 2021.

None of this should obscure the anti-democratic coup d’état Trump is attempting as he refuses to concede defeat. However, it is unlikely to succeed.

His legal challenges alleging fraud and misconduct are close to running their course. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against his claim that election “observers” were too far away in Philadelphia from workers counting ballots. In Georgia, a hand recount has finished with Biden confirmed the victor. And Michigan lawmakers appear ready to defy the president, who now seems intent on wreaking havoc on the certification process.

Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election are real. His attempt to influence Republican state legislators, in effect to persuade them to replace electors committed to voting for Biden with electors ready to vote for Trump, is profoundly undemocratic. Under a winner-takes-all system, Michigan’s 16 electoral college votes should be going to President-elect Biden, the clear winner of the state by almost three percentage points.

If Trump had succeeded in overturning the results, one could go as far as questioning America’s status as a liberal democracy. Not since Southern secessionists contested the legitimacy of Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 has a single actor been so nefarious in their attempts to undermine an incoming president.

Look no further than Trump’s actions on the transition. With over 250,000 Americans dead …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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8 Ways Past US Presidents Handled the Peaceful Transfer of Power

November 23, 2020 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

Presidential transitions through U.S. political history have ranged from smooth to awkward to adversarial.

The peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next is a hallmark of American democracy. After John Adams was inaugurated as second president of the United States in 1797, he wrote to his wife, Abigail, describing George Washington‘s actions, “When the Ceremony was over he came and made me a visit and cordially congratulated me and wished my Administration might be happy Successful and honourable.”

Washington’s example set the stage for future U.S. presidents to follow this tradition. Yet that doesn’t mean the actual process has always gone smoothly. In fact, many presidential transitions have been highly uncomfortable affairs, beginning with the first-ever transfer of power between political opponents in 1801. But there have also been gracious momentsincluding a heartfelt letter of support from George H.W. Bush to his successor, Bill Clinton, which launched a new tradition followed by the nation’s most recent presidents.

John Adams – Thomas Jefferson

John Adams chose not to attend the inaugural ceremony of Thomas Jefferson, to whom he lost the brutal election of 1800. Instead, Adams slipped out of Washington on the early morning train on the day of Jefferson’s inauguration. Jefferson’s victory marked a complete shift of power in the young nation from the Federalists to Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans, in what Jefferson called “the revolution of 1800.”

READ MORE: How John Adams Established the Peaceful Transfer of Power

John Quincy Adams – Andrew Jackson

Four years after winning the popular vote but losing the White House thanks to the “corrupt bargain,” Andrew Jackson defeated John Quincy Adams in an 1828 campaign marred by mudslinging on both sides; Jackson even blamed the Adams camp’s attacks for contributing to the death of his wife, Rachel.

On Inauguration Day, Adams followed his father’s example, leaving town before the ceremony. A mob of some 20,000 people flooded into the White House to shake the hand of the new “Frontier President,” causing such chaos that Jackson himself was forced to flee through a side door.

Andrew Johnson – Ulysses S. Grant

Jackson and his successor, Martin Van Buren, rode to the Capitol in the same horse-drawn carriage for Van Buren’s inauguration, setting a new example for peaceful transitions. Most outgoing presidents after Jackson would follow the same custom—but there were exceptions. …read more

Source: HISTORY