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U.S. Supreme Court flat-out denies GOP request to block Biden's Pennsylvania win

December 8, 2020 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court rejected a GOP request to block Pennsylvania’s certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the state, with not a single justice registering a dissent.

The decision reflected the absolute absurdity of the request, which had been widely panned by election law experts, and the fundamental futility of President Donald Trump’s hopes of overturning the 2020 election in the courts. It also came on Dec. 8, which federal law designated as “safe harbor day,” the point at which states can choose their presidential electors and they have to be accepted by Congress.

“The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the single-sentence order said.

Not even Justices Samuel Alito or Clarence Thomas, the most conservative and Trump-sympathetic of the court’s members, piped up in the defense of the petition.

Rick Hasen, a prominent election law scholar, noted that he had previously dismissed the request from GOP state Sen. Mike Kelly as transparently ridiculous. He called it “perhaps the dumbest argument ever made in emergency petition to the Supreme Court.”

Nevertheless, the case has excited some Republicans still hoping that Trump could remain president. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas offered to argue the issue before the court, even though that opportunity didn’t present itself in this case.

Trump himself has repeatedly expressed the hope that the Supreme Court will somehow hand him victory in the 2020 election. He even expressed this wish prior to the election, suggesting that he needed to get Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the court so that she could be in place to ensure his win. And on Tuesday afternoon, Trump even retweeted a post suggesting that Barrett would be on his side at the Supreme Court:

More studious observers of the court, however, have argued Trump had no viable path to get the justices to overturn the election. There are other election cases that Trump allies are trying to take before the court, but few serious commentators expect them to gain any traction either. Had the result been closer, and had disputes over the vote counting rested on some more contentious issue of election law, the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here are 5 wild moments from Trump's speech on vaccines

December 8, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

During the 2020 presidential election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden repeatedly slammed President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — and Biden’s messaging worked. Trump has been voted out of office, President-elect Biden won 306 electoral votes, and the former vice president defeated the incumbent by more than 7 million in the popular vote. Close to 300,000 American deaths have been reported due to COVID-19, though the real number is likely much higher and growing rapidly every day.

Regardless, Trump claimed, during a White House news conference on Tuesday, that his response to the pandemic was one of the greatest successes of his presidency.

Here are five of the wildest moments from that event.

1. Trump claimed that the ‘numbers should skyrocket downward’

Trump, throughout the pandemic, has predicted that the number of Americans infected with COVID-19 would dramatically plummet. He was making that prediction back in March and April, and he once again made that prediction during his speech on Tuesday — insisting, “The numbers should skyrocket downward.” It’s quite possible that if the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and others are widely available in 2021 and huge numbers of Americans are vaccinated, the number of Americans being infected will go way down. But in the meantime, health experts warn, the pandemic is entering its worst period yet. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the pandemic has killed more than 285,000 people in the U.S. so far. And hospitals are being overwhelmed all over the country.

2. Trump made a herd immunity argument

On Tuesday, Trump implied that the U.S. is achieving herd immunity with COVID-19, telling reporters, “You do have an immunity. You develop an immunity over a period of time. I hear we’re close to 15%.”

The idea with “herd immunity” is that if enough people are infected with a disease, it will be neutralized. But in fact, COVID-19 infections have been surging all over the U.S. in recent weeks. The pandemic has been getting worse in the U.S., not better. The New York Times has reported record numbers of deaths and infections. And the fact is, achieving immunity by widespread infection of the virus means extreme levels of avoidable suffering and death, all of which could be prevented with …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump says it’s 'terrific' that 15 percent of Americans may have contracted COVID-19

December 8, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

President Donald Trump is celebrating Americans’ high coronavirus infection rate.

According to the president about one in every eight Americans, or around 15 percent of the nation, has contracted COVID-19. More than 290,000 Americans have been killed by the deadly virus and coronavirus cases are surging. More than 15 million Americans in the U.S, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, although the CDC months ago said it believes the real numbers could be ten times higher.

As of Tuesday the average infection rate is now more than 200,000 people each and every day.

But Trump has been pushing herd immunity, which medically is not a goal or a strategy but a statistic to determine at what point a virus can no longer successfully spread widely among a population.

“I hear we’re close to 15 percent. I’m hearing that, and that’s terrific,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, when asked what words of advice he had as the country enters the Christmas holiday season.

“I think that the vaccine was our goal,” Trump also told reporters. “That was number one because that was the way it was the way it ends, plus you do have an immunity, develop immunity over a period of time and I hear we’re close to 15% I’m hearing that and that is terrific,” he said in random, babbling remarks.

Trump went on to lie about the huge number of cases, once again suggesting there are so many coronavirus cases because of all the tests that have been performed.

The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein reports the President “meant that as a suggestion we’re getting towards herd immunity, which would be around 70%. So, clearly, not close and very much not terrific.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Republicans kill resolution to declare Biden president-elect

December 8, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

Republicans on the six-member joint, bipartisan House and Senate Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) on Tuesday killed a resolution naming Joe Biden President-elect.

The Committee was created under the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is “responsible for the planning and execution of the Inaugural Ceremonies of the President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States at the Capitol.”

But on Tuesday in a 3-3 vote along party lines Republicans blocked the Committee from doing its constitutionally-mandated job.

“The rejection came in a private meeting, where House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer offered a motion recognizing the congressional inaugural committee meeting was preparing for the inauguration of Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris, a member of the Senate,” CNN reports. “It was rejected by Republicans, a move that effectively denied acknowledging that Biden is the President-elect.”

The six-person committee is comprised of three members of the House and three members of the Senate. Three are Democrats and three are Republicans.

They include Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the committee’s chairman, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The committee’s website even has a countdown clock to noon on January 20.

“For more than 200 years America’s citizens have witnessed the Inauguration ceremonies of the President and Vice President of the United States,” its website says. “From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to today, as we prepare for the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership.”

The election was five weeks ago today. President Donald Trump lost but has never conceded. He spends his days lying, reportedly to everyone he can, that he won while grifting the American public out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Chairman Blunt, who voted against today’s simple resolution, had the audacity to post this monstrously hypocritical tweet and video touting the committee’s commitment to democracy and continuity of government of the committee’s website.


59th Inaugural Ceremonies | Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union

www.youtube.com

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Ramifications of reckless behavior': CNN’s John King slams Jenna Ellis on news she has COVID

December 8, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

Trump campaign and personal attorney Jenna Ellis is the latest in the president’s orbit – one of literally more than 50 – to test positive for coronavirus. As the news broke, CNN’s John King chastised the attorney, who has been seen repeatedly without a mask.

Ellis informed the White House, Axios notes, “stirring West Wing fears after she attended a senior staff Christmas party on Friday.

“On CNN, anchor John King reported the news, commenting her contracting the virus was simply, “ramifications of reckless behavior.”

Ellis’s co-attorney Rudy Giuliani was admitted to a D.C. hospital Sunday after he too tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

“People brought their families,” a senior White House official who attended the party told Axios, after learning of Ellis’ positive diagnosis, as if attending was a good idea sans Ellis’ attendance, which it was not.

White House staffers were angered with Ellis even before learning she has COVID-19.

“She had the nerve to show up at the senior staff Christmas party knowing everyone was furious with her for constantly stirring Trump up with nonsense,” a senior administration official said.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How Eleanor Roosevelt Pushed for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 8, 2020 in History

By Becky Little

In the wake of World War II’s horrors, Roosevelt saw the need to support refugees and affirm the right to education, shelter and medical care.

“The future must see the broadening of human rights throughout the world,” Eleanor Roosevelt told a crowd in September 1948 at the Sorbonne in Paris. “People who have glimpsed freedom will never be content until they have secured it for themselves… People who continue to be denied the respect to which they are entitled as human beings will not acquiesce forever in such denial.”

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking at the Conference For Human Rights in La Sorbonne, 1948.

Roosevelt was there to speak about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document whose drafting she’d overseen at the newly-formed United Nations. The U.N. adopted the document that year on December 10, a date now commemorated as Human Rights Day.

The rights enumerated in the declaration were controversial among the U.N.’s member nations, and remain so today. It proclaimed, among other rights, that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.” The former First Lady fought hard to make the declaration comprehensive, and later wrote that she considered it “my most important task” during her years at the U.N.

Preventing War by Supporting Human Rights

The 51 countries that founded the U.N. did so in October 1945, just a couple months after the end of World War II. In the wake of two world wars and the first nuclear bomb attacks, and in the midst of a global refugee crisis, many feared that a more destructive World War III was right around the corner. The U.N. was founded at a time when people like Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to avoid such a disaster and address human rights as a way of preventing war.

President Harry Truman appointed Roosevelt to the U.S. delegation to the U.N. at the end of 1945. By then, she was well-known in the U.S. and abroad. As First Lady during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration from 1933 to 1945, she had championed poverty alleviation, access to education and civil rights, and traveled to the European and Pacific front lines of World War II. In April 1946, she became chair of the U.N. …read more

Source: HISTORY