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Trump is impeached again — but we've already tipped into the abyss

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By The Conversation

by Henry Giroux, McMaster University

Just a week after the U.S. Capitol was attacked by his supporters, Donald Trump has become the first president of the United States to be impeached twice. But regardless of how Trump leaves the White House — the Senate won’t act on the impeachment before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 — the domestic terrorism he has inspired will not end there.

Democrats in the House of Representatives — as did 10 brave Republicans, none of whom voted in favour of Trump’s first impeachment a year ago — made a compelling case for removing the president in the final days of his administration.

During Trump’s four years in office, lies, ignorance and a thirst for violence have desensitized America to the point where a right-wing mob could attack police in broad daylight, break into the U.S. Capitol and occupy the Senate chamber.

America no longer lives in the shadow of authoritarianism. It has tipped into the abyss.

The domestic terrorism of Jan. 6 will not end there. This was Trumpism in full bloom, in all its ignorance and lawlessness, proving again that fascism begins with language and ends with violence.

Trumpism is a new political formation, blending white supremacy, voter suppression, market fundamentalism and authoritarianism, and it will survive long after Trump leaves the White House.

The travesty in Washington had been building for years in the dark recesses of conspiracy theories, lies, the dark web, white rage and hatred of those its adherents consider “enemies of the people.”

The mob on Capitol Hill was reminiscent of thugs roaming the streets of Germany in the 1930s brutalizing dissenters and “others” in the deranged Nazi notion of racial and political cleansing.

Fanning the flames

Trump has fanned fascist impulses consistently through the language of violence and division, aided by right-wing media outlets such as Fox News and Breitbart.

The storming of the Capitol reaches far beyond Trump’s toxic personal politics, incompetency and corruption. Such violence —rooted in ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, white supremacy, systemic police violence and anti-immigration bigotry — has a long history in the U.S. It has lately been normalized as a right-wing populist movement, which Trump brought to the surface of American politics and has worn like a badge.

He came to power by seizing upon the fears of whites and white supremacists who …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Uproar breaks out in the House as Matt Gaetz lets loose with an inflammatory speech

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Although some House Republicans have come out in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump following the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building last week — including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — Rep. Matt Gaetz remains a Trump supporter to the bitter end. And the far-right Florida congressman expressed his unwavering support of the president during a diatribe on the House floor on Wednesday.

Gaetz, wrongly blaming Democrats for the unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd last year, shouted, “Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame — well, they lit the flame, lit actually fires. And we put them out.”

During the huge “Justice for George Floyd” demonstrations held all over the U.S. last year, many well-known Democrats who pushed for criminal justice reform — from the Rev. Al Sharpton to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — repeatedly spoke out against violence and emphasized the need for peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations.

As Gaetz began shouting, an uproar broke out in the House from Democrats responding in outrage. A voice declared, “Time expired! There will be order in the House.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump impeached again — with shocking Republican support

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By Raw Story

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to impeach President Donald Trump on a single count of “incitement of insurrection” only eight days after the fatal riot by supporters of the president seeking to reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Ten Republicans joined a united Democratic Party caucus in voting for impeachment, setting a record for the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history. The impeachment of former President Bill Clinton had just 5 members of his own party willing to cross the aisle and support impeachment.

The bipartisan vote made Trump the only president to be impeached twice.

The U.S. Senate is currently on vacation, but a Senate impeachment trial could begin as early as Tuesday.

The vote came after roughly three and a half hours of debate.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is reportedly leading Trump’s impeachment defense, but so far only nine Republican senators have publicly come out against impeachment.

The total vote was 232 yays to 197 nays.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Fools rush in: Trump, pardons and the tyrant’s cult

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By Joshua Frank

There is little doubt among readers of this online magazine that Donald Trump, like all U.S. presidents before him, is a criminal. His grotesqueness and belligerence, however, has elevated Trump to Nixonian heights. With Bugsy Siegel’s mob swagger and the ponzi-salesmanship of Bernie Madoff, Trump, the petty grifter, is unlike almost any official we’ve witnessed in public life.

In his 1979 book, the Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations, social critic and historian Christopher Lasch all but predicted the dawn of Trumpian politics, writing:

“…the prevailing obsession with celebrity and a determination to achieve it even at the cost of rational self-interest and personal safety. The narcissist divides society into two groups: the rich, great, and famous on the one hand, and the common herd on the other … The narcissist admires and identifies himself with ‘winners’ out of his fear of being labeled a loser. … his admiration often turns to hatred if the object of his attachment does something to remind him of his own insignificance.”

The only point that Lasch perhaps missed in his pioneering work is the cultish atmosphere a specimen like Donald Trump is able to cultivate and exploit for his own personal and political gains. It’s this innate narcissism, emboldened by a coterie of abiding fools circling round him, that led to the invasion of the Capitol. His racist minions, not too unlike the conditioned and dutiful helter-skeltering Manson Girls, were more than willing to sacrifice their personal safety for what they believed was the greater good — in this case, a battle against the “injustice” Trump had faced at the hands of some mysterious electoral fraud. The sinister enemies were everywhere. The media. Mitch McConnell. Nancy Pelosi. The Georgia Secretary of State and even that smarmy Mike Pence. The lone truth-teller was Trump, the great defender of the supremacy of white America, and to his energetic fans, the only man able to save our fragile and dying Republic from the brink of collapse.

Understanding Trump as a cult leader is the only way to truly appreciate the power he wields and the idiocy he manifests. Few others could call upon their legions to rush government buildings with the dashing hope their efforts would make a difference, overturning what they falsely believed was a rigged election. No longer did police lives matter to these twisted Patriots. …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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7 Things You May Not Know About MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

January 13, 2021 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech ranks among the most famous in history, but there are a few lesser-known facts about the 1963 moment.

On August 28, 1963, in front of a crowd of nearly 250,000 people spread across the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Baptist preacher and civil rights leader , King himself obtained the rights a month after he gave the speech, when he sued two companies selling unauthorized copies. Though some parts of the speech may be used lawfully without approval (for example, individual teachers have been able to use the speech in their classrooms), the King estate requires anyone who wants to air the speech to pay for that right.

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Source: HISTORY

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Some House Republicans would vote to impeach Trump — but they literally fear for their own lives: reports

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Numerous Republicans in Congress have been afraid to publicly criticize President Donald Trump or challenge his debunked and baseless election fraud claims because they don’t want to face a GOP primary challenge or be voted out of office in 2022. But according to Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat, their fears go beyond their political interests — some of them fear being targeted for violent attacks if they vote in favor of any articles of impeachment against the president.

Interviewed by NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Wednesday, Crow discussed impeachment proceedings against Trump and said, “A number of things are happening on the Republican side. A very small handful, I think, are kind of morally bankrupt individuals who have given into these conspiracy theories and are too far gone to be redeemed. But the majority of them are actually paralyzed with fear. You know, I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues last night. A couple of them broke down in tears, talking to me and saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment.”

Crow continued, “My response was, not to be unsympathetic, ‘Welcome to the club.’ That’s leadership. Our country is in a very challenging time. Many of us have felt that way for a long time because we’ve stood up for our democracy, and we expect them to do the same.”

Right-wing pundit Guy Benson — a Townhall editor who is also known for his radio show and his Fox News appearances — responded to Crow’s comments and tweeted that some House Republicans are, in fact, fearing for their “lives/physical safety”:

It isn’t hard to see why members of Congress are worried about political violence during the final days of Trump’s presidency. Crow’s comments during his interview with Todd came a week after a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of preventing Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory — and a week after extremists hoped to murder Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump demanded that Pence overturn the Electoral College results, which he didn’t have the power to do, during the joint session of Congress …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why the Candy Bar Market Exploded After World War I

January 13, 2021 in History

By Jessica Pearce Rotondi

By the end of the 1920s, more than 40,000 different candy bars were being made in the U.S.

Candy bars may seem quintessentially American, but they have origins in the World War I chocolate rations given to European soldiers. The American military followed suit, helping its doughboys develop a sweet tooth they would bring home after the war. Throughout the 1920s, thousands of small, regional confectioners emerged to meet the demand, creating a candy boom brimming with catchily named bars based on popular expressions, pop culture icons and even dance crazes. (Hello, Charleston Chew.) The goal of the most ambitious new sweets makers? To take a bite out of a candy business dominated by Hershey’s, the planet’s biggest chocolate maker.

The Military History of Chocolate

While the history of chocolate consumption stretches back 4,000 years to ancient cultures in what is today Mexico and Central America, the U.S. story of chocolate has strong military associations.

In the earliest decades of the United States, candy was quickly recognized not just as a sweet treat, but as a valuable way to fuel troops. During the Revolutionary War, chocolate, a favorite treat of George Washington, became part of his soldier’s rations. It was prized for its combined kick of caffeine and sugar; it even served as occasional payment to American troops in lieu of money. Candy also played a role in the Civil War, used as “a provision with quick energy and lots of sugar,” says Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.

While the first chocolate bar was created by Joseph Fry in Great Britain in 1847, and Cadbury began selling individual boxes of chocolate candies there as early as 1868, it would take the outbreak of war on a global scale for the chocolate candy bar to really take off.

READ MORE: Soldiers’ Rations Through History: From Live Hogs to Indestructible MREs

World War I: The Candy Bar Is Born

Two soldiers of the 351st Field Artillery which returned on the ‘Louisville’ receive candy from the Salvation Army women that welcome every troopship arriving in port, 1919.

In World War I, the British military gave soldiers chocolate to boost morale and energy. The Mayor of York sent a tin of hometown confectioner Rowntree’s chocolates to residents in uniform, and in 1915, every U.K, soldier abroad received a “King George Chocolate …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Photos: Presidential Inaugurations Through History

January 13, 2021 in History

By Madison Horne

From pomp and circumstance to protests, see how presidential inaugurations have looked over the years.

The first presidential inauguration was held on April 30, 1789, in what was then the nation’s capital of New York City. On a second floor balcony of Federal Hall, George Washington took the oath of office as the first president of the United States. With his left hand on the Bible, Washington recited the words that would be said by every president after him: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789 in New York City.

READ MORE: The First Presidential Inauguration

View the 19 images of this gallery on the original article

In the nearly 250 years since, many traditions around presidential inaugurations have remained the same—but a lot has changed. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be sworn in in the nation’s new capital, Washington, D.C., the site of nearly all inaugurations since. After Washington and until Franklin D. Roosevelt, inaugurations were always held on March 4, the anniversary of the Constitution first taking effect in 1789. After the passage of the 20th Amendment in 1933, however, Inauguration Day became January 20.

James Buchanan’s inauguration ceremony in 1857 was the first to be photographed. William McKinley‘s in 1897 was the first to be filmed and Harry Truman’s in 1949 was the first to be televised. The introduction of cameras brought a wider audience to the ceremonies and to the peaceful transfer of power in action—another sacred American tradition since the days of Washington.

…read more

Source: HISTORY