Aloha and I hope you are on the way to having a happy Thanksgiving.
As millions of Americans ignore the fact that a pandemic is claiming up to 2000 lives a day in this country and go to eat Turkey with their grandparents anyway and then to go out to bars and restaurants and spread this thing as far and wide as possible, one thing has become apparent to me. Those fucking idiot bikers in South Dakota at Sturgis were like one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. South Dakota now has the highest positivity rate in the world - along with many deaths and completely full hospitals.
Trump, of course, is another horseman of the apocalypse and his pal Rudy Giuliani looks like Pestilence itself.
Wall Street is coming around to the view that things are very problematic: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/18/business/stock-market-election-trump-jpmorgan/index.html
"I think we're making far too little of this," CNBC anchor Jim Cramer said Wednesday while expressing worries about a peaceful transition to a new administration.
But hey, nothing to worry about even if there are record gun sales happening in the country that already has more guns per capita than any other.
Also - somewhat related - the 17-year old shooter in Minnesota posted $2 million dollar bail with Republicans widely donating to help him and no surprise - the mass shootings have started again - also some mask-less old guy in Trump gear forcefully breathing on women outside a Trump golf course - the women were there protestingTrump.
Mainstream media are finally also waking up to the fact that Trump’s actions are not only dangerous to the future, but also dangerous to the present - though they haven’t yet jumped on the ‘this guy isn’t going to step down’ bandwagon. They are still filled with wishful thinking that ‘unity’ can save the day - even as Republicans continue to box them into unwindable contests.
I’ll tell you exactly what is happening. The election lawsuits are a smokescreen for what the Trump campaign is actually doing. They are forcing Biden to build a shadow government and they will continue to refuse to cooperate with a transition eventually - refusing to hand over power. I wrote about this happening back in 2018.
Even if the majority of the US Government insists on transferring power to Biden, Trump and his loyalists will refuse. He will (if he has to) retreat to Mar a Lago, which the media has already dubbed the Winter White House and he will declare his a government in exile. The Secret Service is already working on making Mar a Lago more secure and there is no doubt that Trump will run his ‘government in exile’ from there. Agents in his detail are already being asked to transfer there. This is the more hopeful outcome - the less hopeful one is that he manages to cling to enough power not to leave the White House and to force Biden into the position of being the government in exile. The fascination with opposition that the Trump administration showed with Juan Guaidó , the exiled President elect of Venezuela was not an idle interest of the Trump regime. It was, like everything, a carefully studied trial balloon.
For those unfamiliar - here is a summary:
Guaidó has been a key figure in the Venezuelan presidential crisis, which began when the National Assembly, which considered the 2018 Venezuelan presidential election illegitimate, refused to recognize the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro to a second presidential term on 10 January 2019. Just 18 days after he was chosen to lead the Assembly, Guaidó announced, on 23 January 2019, that he was formally assuming the role of interim president under Article 233 of the Constitution of Venezuela, with the backing of the National Assembly, until free elections could be held.He has received formal recognition of legitimacy from almost 60 governments worldwide, including the United States, Canada and various Latin American and European countries as well as from the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela. Other nations, including Russia, China, South Africa, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Turkey have continued to recognize Maduro. As of May 2020, Guaidó has been unable to unseat Maduro from power, who has remained in control of the military, government bureaucracy, and state enterprises. In addition, the Maduro administration has prohibited Guaidó from leaving the country, has frozen his Venezuelan assets, has launched a probe accusing Guaidó of foreign interference,and has intimated threats of violence.
In January 2020, security forces prevented Guaidó and other congress members from entering the legislative palace during an internal election to choose the board of directors. A majority of lawmakers held an "emergency meeting" in the headquarters of the newspaper El Nacional and voted to reelect Guaidó as their leader, with a sworn in ceremony inside the parliament a day later, while the remaining lawmakers at the legislative palace elected Luis Parra, a dissident opposition congressman.Security forces have denied Guaidó and opposition lawmakers access to parliament many times since.
I know, it’s not an exact replay - but trust me - they have studied every aspect of it and we will start to see it unfold in the coming couple of months. The current Trump administration is making plans to have an inauguration and if they have to do as Maduro did and make it alternate because of the contempt of the the voters or institutions, they will do so.
At the very least, the Trump campaign has been using their smokescreen to negotiate some sort of a deal that will keep Trump from being prosecuted. We won’t hear about this if it happens, but if the Trump administration starts to deal with the Biden administration, you can be sure that he has been promised some sort of immunity from prosecution. (As of Monday, I believe that this deal has been made - Biden is praising the Trump outreach on transition now and suggesting they put a Trump voter in the cabinet to create ‘unity’ - yeah, whatever - the deal has been struck). As for Trump’s 1 minute visit to the press room where he celebrated the Dow reaching 30k and called it a mystical or sacred number - that was obviously some sort of code. For what though, I have no idea. This guy has manipulated markets since he started and most likely gotten far richer from it than we will ever know.
Still…it is worth looking at the many many many ways Trump and his sweethearts have tried to steal this election - the Guardian did a great job of listing them. We will all have to wait however, to see how they actually steal it.
Speaking of lists - Carl Bernstein called out a group of Trump Enabling Senators who have publicly or privately criticized the worst monster in American history - but still continued (or continue) to support his policies and power grabs. These Trump enablers should have a permanent T for either Traitor or Trump tattooed on their foreheads.
On the Biden side of things, I’d be lying if I said that his cabinet appointments are any kind of inspiring. Looks like the Neo-liberal agenda is fully embracing the Neo-cons to become the Neo-Democrats. Is anyone actually celebrating these picks? At least it’s better than Fascism or Trumpism - so I’ll give them that.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
Some interesting reads I came upon this week:
Someone or something put a shiny metal monolith in the middle of the Utah desert. No one knows who or for what purpose. Maybe the aliens are coming…or maybe it was just Elon Musk or maybe like the Seattle Monolith, almost exactly twenty years ago…it was done by ‘Some People’.
Representative Rashida Tlaib has an idea that would implement a universal basic income - without raising the national debt. Mint the Coin.
Fascinating read on the schism of BLM protestors and Portland Anarchists from the LA Times.
It’s not all bad news, however, the pandemic has broad mainstream consideration and sometimes near adoption of utopian ideas like job guarantees and universal basic income. In Europe, some of these programs are getting tried out and they may stick.
Here’s something just old and weird.