#U.S . obsession with military hegemony threatens world peace

BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government recently rejected a Russian proposal to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty for at least one year without conditions. A U.S. representative to the United Nations also leveled baseless accusations against China’s arms control policy.

However, it is hegemony-minded Washington that poses the gravest threat to global strategic security and stability.

Historically, the U.S. defense policy has been infamously known for thriving on the idea that the United States must have an enemy and if there is none, the best thing is to create one.

As said once by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 2019, the United States is «the most warlike nation in the history of the world» because it has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 240-odd-year history.

This is because of America’s tendency to force other nations to «adopt our American principles,» the Newsweek then quoted Carter as saying.

Today, as the world’s leading military power, the United States is indulged with various «threat theories» and «war theories,» blatantly defining China and Russia as strategic competitors, hyping up external threats, and stirring up confrontation among major countries.

Obsessed with military build-up, the United States ranks first in military expenditure in the world. It spent more than 700 billion U.S. dollars on military in 2019, nearly 40 percent of the world’s total, and more than the next 10 countries combined. Even so, the Pentagon continues to increase its military spending, with its 2020 defense budget at a record 738 billion dollars.

In order to maintain its hegemony, the United States is not satisfied with simply leading others in military prowess. Instead, Washington seeks to overwhelm other nations militarily.

In recent years, the Pentagon has even started relaunching its star wars program by creating the Space Force and speeding up weapon tests and military drills in outer space. These acts pose serious threats to outer space security and grossly contradict the principle of the peaceful use of outer space.

Washington has also withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and impeded biological arms control by single-handedly blocking the relaunch of negotiations for a protocol that includes a verification regime to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.

All these U.S. tactics and political maneuvering have exposed its pure pragmatism on bilateral and multilateral arms control treaties and regimes, making Washington a stumbling block for global cause of arms control.

Washington is also breaking strategic balance by deploying missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe, and is planning to deploy land-based medium range missiles in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.

As said recently by Ambassador Geng Shuang, deputy permanent representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, the U.S. purpose is to enhance military presence and seek absolute dominance.

Peaceful development and win-win cooperation have for long become the consensus of the international community. As the strongest military power in the world, the United States shoulders more obligation of safeguarding global peace and must act responsibly in arms control and disarmament. 

How should Joe #Biden handle Donald #Trump ‘s post-presidency? Gerald Ford provides a guide

Ford had to follow a disgraced president and a disillusioned nation — and so does Biden. Can he learn from Ford?

By MATTHEW ROZSA JANUARY 19, 2021 12:59PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump has achieved many shameful firsts. He is the first sitting president to refuse to accept his reelection loss, making him a historic loser. He is the first president to urge his followers to commit an insurrection so he can stay in power. And he is the first president to be impeached twice. That’s just a shortlist. There is no precedent for Trump’s disgraceful behavior, however, that doesn’t mean that his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, will enter completely uncharted territory when he takes office.

One of Biden’s first tasks will be to heal a nation that has lost faith in its institutions after the presidency has been disgraced and the other branches of government failed to provide a real check. In that regard, Biden can take a page from the book of President Gerald Ford, the man who followed Richard Nixon in the White House after the Watergate scandal.

The Watergate scandal occurred because five burglars were arrested in the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate offices during the 1972 presidential election. After it was revealed that Nixon had attempted to cover up various activities following the burglary and in other ways interfered in the investigation, he was pressured into resigning before his inevitable impeachment. Normally this would have meant that the person elected as Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, would have taken over, but Agnew had resigned less than a year earlier after being accused of bribery, tax fraud and extortion. Agnew ultimately pleaded no contest to one felony charge of tax evasion and was replaced by Ford under the 25th Amendment. That meant Ford was next in line when Nixon left office in 1974 (at that time, interestingly enough, Biden was already serving his first term as a senator from Delaware).

Ford faced an unenviable task. He was the first and to this day the only president who took office without having been elected to either the presidency or vice presidency. American partisanship was extremely vicious in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the Vietnam War in which thousands of Americans died due to government incompetence, a floundering economy, and a gas shortage. Similarly, Biden has to take over after hundreds of thousands needlessly died due to Trump’s incompetent response to the coronavirus pandemic, the economy is in horrific shapeclimate change threatens to destroy the planet and Trump has convinced millions to falsely believe that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Yet each president also had the advantage of comparatively high approval ratings. The initial Gallup Poll taken after Ford assumed office had him at 71%, whereas a recent Pew Poll found that 64% of Americans approve of Biden’s conduct since Election Day and 58% approve of how he has explained his upcoming policies and plans. Biden has the added benefit of Trump’s approval rating plummeting due to the Capitol Riot, with that same Pew survey finding Trump with a measly 29% approval rating and 76% of Americans holding a negative view of his post-election behavior. A Quinnipiac Poll last week found Trump’s approval rating is at 33% while his unfavorable numbers are at 60% and an average of recent polls at FiveThirtyEight.com said that Trump’s approval rating is at only 38%. Overall Biden enters office with a 49.9% favorable rating and a 43% unfavorable rating, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average as of Friday, giving him a net favorable rating of 6.9%. That may seem unpromising but, considering that Biden is bound to be compared to Trump, it is more hopeful when you realize that RealClearPolitics shows Trump with an average favorable rating of 39.8% and an unfavorable rating of 57%, resulting in a net unfavorable rating of 17.2%.

The challenge now is what each president should do with that public support. What can Biden learn from Ford? What did Ford do right — and what did he do wrong?

«He began things off on a good note,» V. Scott Kaufman, a historian at Francis Marion University who wrote a biography of Ford, told Salon. «He said our national nightmare is over. He reached out to groups like the Black Congressional Caucus to try to say, ‘Look, I’m not like Richard Nixon. I want to reach out to all Americans.’ He also approached things so he came across as just your average American, while Richard Nixon was very aloof, was not very gregarious.» As Kaufman emphasized to Salon, Ford did his best to focus on bringing Americans from all walks of life together and focusing on the shared problems that they faced as Americans.

Kaufman’s views were echoed by Gleaves Whitney, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

«In the wake of the Watergate scandal, President Ford knew the most important thing he could do to heal the nation was reinforce that he was trustworthy,» Whitney told Salon by email. «He just had to keep being himself. That meant he would lead by example. He would be transparent with the media. He would talk straight with the American people. And he would work his hardest to reestablish trust, at home and abroad, in the office of the presidency of the U.S.»

At the same time, Ford also made a very serious mistake.

«What he did wrong — and again, we can debate this — but pardoning Nixon,» Kaufman explained. «He did a very poor job of preparing the nation for that possibility. What he did came as a surprise not only to the average American, but even to members of his own party. And it only added to the belief that there’s a conspiracy out there. It came back to haunt him in the 1976 presidential election.»

There has been a lot of debate over whether Ford should have pardoned Nixon. For the rest of his life Ford defended his decision on the grounds that it allowed Americans to move past the Watergate scandal, which would have been impossible if Nixon had undergone a prolonged trial. Ford also cited the 1915 Supreme Court case Burdick v. United Stateswhich held that accepting a pardon implies an admission of guilt. An obvious counter to those defenses is that, by setting a precedent in which a president could break the law and not be held legally accountable, Ford emboldened future presidential lawbreakers like Trump. Perhaps if Nixon had spent time in jail for his misconduct while trying to win in 1972, Trump wouldn’t have been brazen enough to try to win in 2020 by attempting to coerce Ukraine into smearing Biden and, later on, working to overturn the election results.

Either way, it is definitely clear that Ford paid a steep political price for how he handled the pardon, with his approval rating plummeting to 50% in the immediate aftermath and being stuck in the high 30s and 40s for most of the remainder of his presidency. If Ford had not pardoned Nixon, he could have capitalized on the massive goodwill he initially inherited, worked with members of both parties to achieve important things and even been elected to a term of his own. Instead the single thing he is most remembered for doing as president is pardoning Nixon.

This brings us to Biden. Although there will no doubt be pressure on him to pardon Trump — or at the very least discourage impeachment and prosecutions for the former president — he should not succumb to those pressures. All of the talk of «unity» will be nonsense because (a) Biden will alienate millions of Americans by sending the message that, once again, a criminal president is above the law and (b) it is absurd to think that die-hard Trump supporters will give Biden credit for going easy on Trump (or anything else, for that matter). While Biden should avoid seeming vindictive toward his predecessor, he will suffer immensely if he allows Trump to avoid the same legal consequences that ordinary Americans would face if they were accused of comparable crimes. The best way to unify the country is for people to have faith in Biden’s integrity and judgment, not simply for his disgraced predecessor to be out of the headlines.

In a similar vein, it will behoove Biden to emulate the example Ford set before he pardoned Nixon. While the hostility toward Biden is much greater in 2021 than the hostility toward Ford in 1974, that animus is almost entirely rooted in Trump’s bogus claims that the election was stolen; it is no more personal against Biden than it would have been against any other Democrat who beat Trump in the 2020 contest. Although die-hard Trump supporters will never let that go, the passage of time will likely cause the anti-Biden anger to fade for those who aren’t part of the Trump cult and will want to move on with their lives. Therefore, like Ford, Biden will have the opportunity to focus on the constructive things he wants to do as president — revive the economy, end the pandemic, fight climate change — and use his Senate and House majorities to achieve them.

This, too, will not be easy. But when Ford focused on being proactive in solving America’s problems, and using his genial image to seem like a well-intentioned statesman, Americans warmed up to him. If Biden behaves honorably and similarly adopts a «let’s move forward» approach, he could similarly benefit… again, except among those who have a cult-like devotion to Trump, and are therefore beyond hope.

This doesn’t mean that Biden won’t face unique challenges. Perhaps the biggest one is that Republican timidity is much greater now than in the 1970s, when Nixon’s own party played an instrumental role in convincing him to step down. For example, when Salon reached out to Ford’s 1976 vice presidential running mate, Bob Dole, for his thoughts on what Americans can learn from Ford’s presidency, a representative from Dole’s team told Salon that «he has been entirely laying low on the topic.» Salon pointed out that this was surprising, given that Dole should at least be willing to go on record saying Ford would not have approved of the Capitol Riot, and asked whether Dole personally disapproved of the riot and believed Ford would have as well. Dole’s camp did not reply.

This may speak to the fact that America is far more polarized in 2021 than it was in 1974.

«There are some similarities but many differences,» Whitney told Salon when asked to contrast Ford’s America in 1974 with Biden’s America in 2021. «Despite the turmoil of the Sixties, the social foundation of the U.S. was more intact in 1974 than it is today. There was more unum and less pluribus then. More Americans shared common beliefs and values when it came to religion, economics, politics, and society than they do today. Given our divisions today, it will be extremely difficult for President-elect Biden to bring about more unity. He will have to work at least as hard as President Ford did to start the healing process. But he has to do it. It is Job One.»

Incidentally, Ford’s successor President Jimmy Carter had a similar observation when he was interviewed by this reporter in 2018 about the 1970s, observing that «we still have the same crises of that time, plus a serious loss of faith in democracy, the truth, treating all people as equals, each generation believing life would be better, America has a good system of justice, etc.»

As for what Ford would have thought of the Capitol Riot? Kaufman shared a revealing anecdote.

«After Jimmy Carter’s inauguration, President Ford departed the White House via helicopter,» Kaufman wrote to Salon. «As he flew over the Capitol building, he said, with tears in his eyes, ‘That’s my real home.’ For a person who had served in Congress for a quarter century, Ford knew that that ‘home’ was where the representatives of the people conducted business for American people. It is a hallowed place, a symbol of democracy. Had he been alive today and witnessed a group of thugs break into the Capitol, ransack it, and desecrate his statue by putting a Trump flag in his hand and a MAGA hat on his head, he would have been irate.»

MATTHEW ROZSA

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

Republican lawmakers caught helping pro-Trump mobs at U.S. Capitol, Oregon statehouse

One West Virginia Republican live-streamed with the mobs in DC, another was caught opening doors to them in Oregon

Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., and other members take cover as protesters attempt to disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

By SOPHIA TESFAYE – JON SKOLNIK
JANUARY 9, 2021 1:34AM (UTC)

We’re in! Let’s go, keep it moving, baby!» shouted Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates, as he is seen pushing his way through the rotunda at the U.S. Capitol with a throng of violent Trump supporters in a video live-streamed on Facebook.

«Trump, Trump, Trump!» he chanted as attackers rushed the doors.

The video, deleted by Evans after circulating Twitter, shows him donning a helmet and military gear, shouting, «Derrick Evans is in the Capitol […] Patriots inside, baby!»

Evans, 34, won his first term as a state lawmaker in November and was charged by the Department of Justice on Friday for illegally entering the Capitol. He is one of several elected Republican lawmakers across the country who have been identified as either participating in or aiding violent pro-Trump attacks on legislative bodies this week.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, who describes herself as «Trump in heels,» spoke at the rally that preceded the riot on Wednesday. She later praised the rioters and blamed the violence on «antifa or BLM agents of destruction,» for which her Facebook account was suspended on Friday. After Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem posted photos of himself at Trump’s rally, he continued to push a baseless conspiracy theory — that anti-fascist activists, not Trump supporters, broke into the Capitol — which had already been debunked by the Department of Justice.  

Missouri state lawmaker Rep. Justin Hill skipped his own swearing-in ceremony to travel to Trump’s coup, where he admits he sat back and watched as an angry mob descended on the U.S. Capitol. Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a retired military colonel who said he helped organize a bus ride to the demonstrations, posed for photos with former Republican state representative Rick Saccone, who served for 18 years in the U.S. Air Force. 

«We’re storming the Capitol!» Saccone said in a video he posted to Facebook. «They broke down the gates!» he continued. «They’re macing them up there. We’re trying to run out all of the evil people and all the RINOs that have betrayed our president. We’re going to run them out of their offices!» 

Oregon Republican Rep. Mike Nearman was caught on video opening a door to protestors who rushed into the state Capitol in Salem, where rioters then sprayed six law enforcement officers with a chemical substance and others violently attacked journalists. 

In light of his actions, West Virginia officials are now calling for Evans’ hasty prosecution and resignation.

The West Virginia Democratic Party declared in a statement, «[Evans] must be held accountable for participating in an act of insurrection against the United States government and risking the lives of lawmakers and Capitol police.» The Party added, «The West Virginia Democratic Party calls for his immediate resignation from the House of Delegates and that he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.» A Change.org petition, with over 50,000 signatories, has also called for Evans’ immediate removal from office. 

Roger Hanshaw, the speaker of the West Virginia’s House of Delegates, said Evans will have to «answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.»

Evans responded to sharp rebukes online by claiming that he did not participate in any violence or destruction of property, and defended his involvement in the riot as «an independent member of the media.» He added, «I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement.» 

Evans’ attorney John H. Bryan told NBC that his client «did nothing wrong.» Bryan explained, «He was exercising his First Amendment rights to peacefully protest and film a historic and dynamic event […] He engaged in no violence, no rioting, no destruction of property, and no illegal behavior.»

The #US’ fury over the #China-Europe investment deal shows how rattled & isolated they are. It’s clear who’s been 2020’s big winner

It’s no coincidence that Washington slapped new tariffs on European goods just hours after the agreement was signed. A year of repeatedly seeking the international vilification and isolation of Beijing has ended in abject failure.

European Union leaders, including Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen hosted a virtual summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday and sealed a comprehensive EU-China investment treaty. Described as the most “ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third country,” the agreement serves to open up a number of sectors in China to European investment, substantially expanding their market access whilst also preserving Beijing’s existing stake within Europe. 

The United States reacted with fury. The signing created a storm of controversy in Washington, with Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger descending into a tirade, accusing the EU of disregarding the interests of the US on the eve of a new administration. 

Although the deal’s been in the offing for a while, having been negotiated over seven years, Beijing set a goal with the EU to complete it in 2020 and pulled it off. Despite this, the US media had become increasingly complacent that it would not happen, with a pending Biden administration official having last week sought to send a message to the EU to unite against China.

Suddenly, within hours of this deal having been agreed, the Trump administration slapped new tariffs specifically targeting goods from France and Germany. Although these measures are stated to be part of the longstanding dispute between Boeing and Airbus, the timing is no coincidence, and it seems apparent that they are a targeted retaliation against the EU’s deal with China. One that undercuts the US position and rubbishes talk of a “transatlantic alliance” against Beijing, with Commission President von der Leyen stating: “Tomorrow’s post-COVID world needs a strong EU-China relationship, to build forward better.”

The situation represents a cold reality check for the US, and in turn an act of desperation by a losing side which will only serve to deepen the rift between America and Europe that Trump has created. Ultimately, Mike Pompeo’s talk of a “transatlantic awakening” has been exposed as utter drivel and rehashed Cold War nostalgia which has been deeply out of touch with not only the realities of contemporary Europe and the global economy, but how the administration itself has approached these issues. Thus, as 2020 comes to an end, a year where the US has sought to vilify and isolate Beijing but yielded little fruit, the Biden administration now arguably faces an enormous uphill battle if he seeks to fix this “sledgehammer” effort.

The US’ obsession over common liberal values and a shared cultural heritage ignores an increasingly apparent reality that Washington and the EU are, in fact, differing and even competing geo-political actors. This transatlantic fracture has been brewing for a long time, but it has increasingly come to the surface under Donald Trump, who has had no hesitation in treating Europe as a trade competitor and seeing its protected market as a challenge to American interests. Despite this, the US simultaneously has seen European support for its security policies as a given, blinded by the historical legacies of World War II and the Cold War, and the belief that America “saved Europe.”

The White House has been contentious towards the EU, while simultaneously attempting to arm-twist it into compliance in its neo-Cold War against China, with Pompeo arguing that they have an obligation to do so as “free nations.” 

Europe isn’t gullible enough to believe that, though. For example, the US has been using semiconductor sanctions on Huawei to block European companies from doing business with it, whilst issuing exceptions to American companies to seek to dominate the market. As a result, it may be construed that the US and EU are in fact competing against themselves over China, and thus it is no surprise that EU officials have shown no interest in siding with a trajectory which only serves to benefit the United States. Now, they can claim victory for choosing the path of negotiation over a rhetoric of threats.

The result is that the American position, despite all the fiery rhetoric, is increasingly isolated when it comes to China. It’s demanded other countries decouple and cut ties with Beijing in the same way it is doing, but the opposite is happening, because it’s really about US interests first above everyone else, rather than ideological solidarity. The fact that they have responded to the EU by slapping on tariffs shows their deep frustration over the fact their China vision is failing to materialize, with their leverage on Beijing having just been sharply reduced. 

The result is a further deterioration of transatlantic ties, leaving Biden with a much more difficult task to rebuild them. His new presidency is not going to succeed in this unless it accepts the pragmatic reality very early on that China is not the Soviet Union, but an increasingly dominant economic superpower that countries around the world want to engage with, as opposed to signing up to a zero-sum ideological vision. Despite all the disruption, upheaval, and hatred vented towards Beijing, it’s pretty obvious that they have won 2020, and that Trump contributed to this victory more than anyone else. 

#USA : The final, desperate days of psychopath in chief.

Our pathological president is sunk in worsening delusion, with three weeks to go. And none of this had to happen

From Salon

We must face the alarming truth. Our irrational and reckless president will spend his last 23 days in office harboring the hope that a military coup in our country will allow him to remain in power. Or that Congress will overthrow the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. Donald Trump is totally preoccupied with his existential survival as the walls of reality are closing in on him. He has been repudiated in the election. His psyche cannot comprehend how he could have lost to such an ordinary, mortal man. He is beside himself with embarrassment and humiliation. He is driven by revenge. He wants to settle scores. His thin veneer of greatness and superiority is crumbling away. He is desperate and flailing.

Trump is a psychopath. He has all the defining characteristics in spades: narcissistic, sadistic, antisocial, paranoid. This is malignant psychopathology in the embodiment of our president. He has the kind of personality pathology that should be unacceptable in our top public servant. Trump should have been rooted out in 2016. A psychopath should never have been elected to the highest office in the land. We have been suffering for it ever since: division, tribalism, hostility, racism, xenophobia, terrorism and more.

Some mental health professionals voiced concern about Trump’s mental health after his election in 2016. In late 2017, 37 mental health professionals described Trump’s dangerousness and unfitness in a bestselling book, «The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.» But the publication of that book did not open the floodgates for mental health experts to voice their opinions in the media. In fact, there was considerable pushback from concerned colleagues. Plus, the mainstream media showed a rather strong allegiance to the antiquated «Goldwater rule» advanced by the American Psychiatric Association. Mental health experts were largely rebuffed by the media. As a result, the public was ill-informed and Donald Trump was elected.

Four years later, Trump was defeated by Vice President Joe Biden in November 2020, but not with the help of the mainstream media. Once again, the media buckled under the smothering influence of the Goldwater rule. Journalists’ descriptions of Trump’s pathology were published in the media, but experts themselves were muzzled. The primary exception, in fact, was Salon, which published commentary from a number of mental health professionals leading up to the November election and did not shy away from exposing the disturbing features of Donald Trump.

So here we are. Twenty-three days to go, and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the next dreadful and unimaginable act from this disordered man. Our Constitution states that we are to have a peaceful and orderly transition of power to the next president. But we should not be surprised by Trump’s desperate attempts to save himself by throwing democracy under the bus. Once and for all, we should be convinced that our psychopath in chief does not give a damn about the preciousness of our democratic way of life.

Trump is now totally consumed with his survival, his self-preservation. He cares about nothing else. He has totally abdicated his role as president. He is preoccupied with his anger, his grievances, his conspiracy theories and his conniving plans. He is a man on a mission to save his power and his pride simultaneously. It is a mission borne out of utter contempt for the will of the people.

He is willing to use corruption and seditious behavior to subvert democracy for his personal gain. He is trying to find the right conspiracy theory or voter-fraud narrative that will allow him to hang onto power. He does not understand why the guardrails of democracy are deterring him. He cannot fathom why the U.S. Supreme Court has not come to his rescue, especially after he has appointed three «Trump» associate justices. He does not treasure democracy. If anything, he sees it as an annoying obstacle to his goal of establishing a family dynasty. He wants to be a dictator or, better yet, a king.

He has turned his back on the thousands of Americans who are dying each week from the coronavirus. He has not mentioned the pandemic in weeks. He has not listened to a public health expert in months. He does not pay tribute to our fallen Americans. He has washed his hands of all responsibility for our pathetic response to this once-in-a-century national emergency. He is pretending that the coronavirus is gone, much as he pretends that he is smart and great and strong. He seems to derive a kind of sadistic pleasure from watching Americans die under his direction. He must see himself as the master of misery. Remember it was Trump who shut down a U.S. Postal Service plan to mail masks to all Americans. He also shut down mass testing and trace contacting.

Trump has abandoned the economic mess he caused. He did not lift a finger in the negotiation and passage of the new COVID relief bill, held it hostage for a couple of days for the drama of it all, and finally signed it. His erratic behavior has cost millions of Americans one week of their unemployment benefits. He acts as if the economy is humming along well when, in fact, we have had a net loss of 11 million jobs during the pandemic. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since March. He has not had a concrete plan for restoring the country’s economy. Such a plan is not possible while the coronavirus is still surging in infections and deaths. To this day, he will not acknowledge the interconnectedness of the pandemic with our collapsed economy. And our economy is getting worse, not better.

His paranoia is raging as his desperation mounts. Trump is lashing out against even his most ardent apologists. He is accusing others of disloyalty and abandonment. He asked for Joe Biden to be arrested weeks before the election. He always sees himself as the victim when he is exposed or challenged or cornered. To be sure, his victimhood is both inaccurate and disingenuous. He is never the victim. He is always the one who is aggressive, cruel and reckless. His victimhood is a cynical psychological ploy to garner sympathy from his supporters and to try to wriggle out of a jam. But this jam is too much for him: He has lost the election fair and square, he has been abysmal in his handling of the pandemic and the economy is in dire shape. This trifecta cannot be overcome.

Trump is now issuing a spree of sleazy pardons. He has pardoned two people who lied to the FBI during the Mueller investigation, two corrupt ex-congressmen, and four war criminals who were involved in a 2007 massacre of civilians in Iraq. A few days ago, he pardoned his son-in-law’s father and two of his closest associates (Roger Stone and Paul Manafort). Trump has always been aligned with criminal friends and associates. Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths. They have a shared lack of conscience and an obvious absence of shame. This is the president who put young children in cages at the border and now has pardoned murderers — a glimpse inside the hollow heart and soul of Donald Trump.

If Trump pardons his children and himself during the next three weeks, it will be a clear confession of wrongdoing by the psychopath in chief. Innocent presidents do not need to pardon themselves or their family members. A pardon is intended to absolve criminal actions. It would prove that Trump’s victimhood is pure mythology.

Trump has been grifting nonstop since his election defeat in November. He has received more than $220 million in donations from his supporters, under the guise of fighting election fraud. In truth, the money will be used to pay off his campaign debt and to fund his PAC. It will be his personal piggybank. He is fleecing his supporters, and they do not seem to notice or care. Grifting others is Trump’s only natural skill. But it is hardly the makings of a president who deserves to be on Mount Rushmore.

Trump still finds time to play golf on weekends and holidays. Nothing will stop that — not even a car bombing in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day. He would never let responsibility or care for others interfere with his pleasure at taxpayer expense ($151 million and counting). He has no understanding of how pathetic he looks on the golf course while thousands of Americans are struggling to take their last breaths or standing in food bank lines because they have been unemployed since March. A chance to cheat at golf while the country is not looking is way too much fun for him to pass up.

Trump is on a collision course with self-destruction. He is the Titanic and everyone around him is beginning to jump ship. Former Attorney General Bill Barr has jumped ship. Evangelist Pat Robertson has jumped ship. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has jumped ship. Even Vice President Mike Pence has one foot in the water. It is just a matter of time before Trump wakes up in an empty room of silence and gold toilets.

Republicans must accept their share of blame for their complicity with this destructive president. At any point along the way they could have found their collective voices and stopped him. Their party is teetering on the brink of irrelevance if they do not separate themselves from Trump. They have a chance to begin that separation on Jan. 6 in Congress when they refuse to participate in Trump’s demand — fueled by bribes and threats — to reject the Electoral College results.

Because loyalty is a one-way street for Trump, he will end up alone. He will still have his children and his son-in-law, of course — they are stuck with him. But one or all of them may turn on him when criminal charges are finally filed. Before it is over, Trump’s closest friend may be his cellmate.

Democracy will prevail. Trump will be gone on Jan. 20. He will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration because he cannot tolerate the embarrassment of his loss. He cannot even fake humility and kindness for an hour or two for the good of the country. He will slither away through the back door of the White House, all the while proclaiming victory and affirming his exalted status as the best president ever. After all, he has to maintain his «idealized self» of indispensable greatness.

Historians will be extremely unkind to Trump. He will be seared by presidential scholars. He will deserve all their harshness and condemnation. He will likely be remembered as the worst president in U.S. history. His legacy will be one of incompetence, cruelty and corruption. If he thinks he is humiliated now, wait until his supporters wake up and finally reject him for being such a failed, miserable and treasonous leader.

Hopefully, Donald Trump will be our one and only psychopath as president. We must not put ourselves through this national anguish and darkness again. Above all else, we must make sure the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans teach us an unforgettable lesson.

Lesson learned. Never again.

Forty-one days of pure hell: How do we survive the end of the #Trump presidency?

Donald Trump cannot handle the emotions called up by his defeat. His narcissistic response is painful and dangerous

#USA

By ALAN D. BLOTCKY – SETH D. NORRHOLM

Salon.com


Donald Trump has 41 days to go before his presidency is over. Instead of assisting with the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden, he has chosen to spend his final days exhibiting his psychiatric disorder. His rhetoric and his behavior are manifestations of his pathology. He shows every day that he has no self-control, no insight and no capacity to function effectively at his job.

Trump lost the election fair and square. But he cannot handle the defeat because his narcissistic injury has triggered outrage, hostility, accusations and victimhood. Despite his loud proclamations of a rigged election, there is absolutely no evidence of it. Trump has been rejected by a majority of the American people, and now he is an angry, miserable and destructive loser.

Trump is not capable of experiencing true depression. His psyche is not equipped for such a normal response. Rather, he responds to loss or disappointment by becoming enraged and accusatory. He feels and acts as if he were a victim. Trump’s response is primitive and pathological. It is pathognomonic of personality pathology. It is entirely outside the realm of normalcy. It is dangerous.

Trump’s «alternative universe» is being threatened by the reality of his election loss. He is desperate to maintain the persona of being smart, superior, strong and almighty. This is his «false self,» a fantasy created to cover up the truth: that he is not very smart, that he is lazy, that he is disinterested, that he is not as rich as he claims, that he does not care about people, that he is corrupt and that he is cruel. That is Trump’s «true self.» He has spent his entire life spinning a fake web of grandiosity and superiority with enablers along the way to keep the ruse alive. As president, he has convinced millions that his false persona is more true than observable reality. That, my friends, is a skilled con man, an accomplished grifter, an unabashed criminal.

From all reports, Trump has stopped working. His days are filled with angry outbursts, watching television, promulgating conspiracy theories and playing golf. He is incapacitated by his psychiatric symptoms. He is abdicating his responsibility as president. The idea that he is our ultimate public servant could not be further from the truth. Trump is totally self-absorbed with his narcissistic injury and his grievances. Governing others is beyond his psychic capacity. In fact, it is his vindictiveness and his irrationality that have risen to the forefront.

So Trump’s mental pathology is not allowing him to tackle the existential challenge facing the American people: the deadly pandemic that is raging and the resulting economic fallout. He has washed his hands of it. He has not mentioned it in months. He has not attended a task force meeting in months. He has not mentioned the 288,000 deaths under his watch — a number that will have grown by the time you read this. He continues to oppose mask wearing and favor herd immunity, for no coherent or rational reasons. He just endangered the lives of many other people a few nights ago at his pep rally in Georgia. Trump’s lack of empathy, his inability to govern and his deep-seated cruelty are all on display in their most naked form.

Part of Trump’s pathology is his scorched-earth mentality in response to his electoral defeat. He is filing baseless and frivolous lawsuits to try to overturn our free election. He is trying to subvert democracy by pressuring election officials to be dishonest and corrupt. He is exacting his revenge on Americans for rebuffing him. He is trying to undermine his successor so that he will be unsuccessful. He wants to pardon everyone in sight so that the rule of law will not apply to them. He wants to reinstitute executions by firing squad. He is not allowing the Biden transition team to talk with our intelligence agencies. Fascist sycophants are coming out of the woodwork to condone Trump’s anti-democratic and anti-American rants.

He is so angry, embarrassed and humiliated that he cannot stand it. His instinct is to lash out, blame others, hurt others, distort reality, claim victory and exhibit false bravado. Nothing about his response is healthy, mature or normal. He is out of control. Our country is being forced to tolerate his crazed rhetoric and behavior.

Forty-one more days of hell are ahead of us. What could possibly save our country from this man’s decompensation before our eyes? His immediate removal from office would minimize his damage to America. But, of course, congressional Republicans are enabling him and will not intervene in any way, let alone appropriately. Short of that, we will just have to endure the angst of the next six weeks.

Historians will be critical of Republicans because of their complicity over the past four years. Their unwillingness to deal with this irrational and destructive president right now will stand as their unforgivable legacy. Almost to a person, they have been silent and absent. They have been weak. As of this week, only 27 congressional Republicans are willing to acknowledge publicly that Joe Biden is our president-elect. Donald Trump could have been contained by a Republican Party that put country over party, good over evil, and courage over cowardice. But it did not.

The moral of this nightmare is that we must never again elect a mentally disordered president. We must require a psychological and psychiatric examination of all presidential candidates going forward, to be administered by a team of qualified experts. We must have a process whereby dangerous psychopathology can be identified and specific recommendations for public service can be offered. We could have saved our country from the past four years of anguish if we’d had a such a process in place in 2016.

Forty-one days to go to rid ourselves of this toxic and self-destructive man. We will prevail. But it will be hell getting there.

Donald Trump will make sure of that. He wants it that way.

ALAN D. BLOTCKY

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

MORE FROM ALAN D. BLOTCKY

SETH D. NORRHOLM

Seth D. Norrholm is an associate professor of psychiatry in the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

#U.S. hits record-high 80,000 average daily COVID-19 cases

(«All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly,» said Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s leading infectious disease expert.)

Xinhua

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported a record-high 80,000 average daily increase of COVID-19 cases in the country, a new record of average daily cases since the onset of the pandemic.

The seven-day average daily cases and deaths have been on a rise since late September, and stood at 80,800 and 826, respectively, as of Monday, CDC data showed.

The CDC reported 77,398 new cases and 451 new deaths on Sunday. The country’s single-day COVID-19 case count topped nearly 100,000 on Friday, setting the highest single-day number of cases recorded around the world.

The new record number, which was 99,750, surpassed the previous daily record held by India, which reported 97,894 coronavirus cases in a single day on Sept. 17.

The United States has recorded more than 9.26 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 231,300 deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

It took only 14 days for the country to add one million new cases from 8 million to 9 million, the fastest rate since the pandemic began.

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s leading infectious disease expert, said the country is in a terrible position to face the coming months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

«We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,» Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Friday.

«All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly,» he said. ■

 

#MEDICC Decries Added #US Restrictions for #Travel to #Cuba

Published by Alma

By Cubaminrex

Oakland, CA, June 6, 2019—MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba) has deplored the Trump administration’s decision this week to further curtail US travel to Cuba. “This latest move is one more assault on the freedom of Americans, Cuban-Americans and the health and livelihoods of Cubans on the island,” said Dr. Peter G. Bourne, Chair of MEDICC’s Board of Directors.

MEDICC has long stood for open dialogue and cooperation with Cuban educators, health professionals and researchers, to generate the kind of collaboration that can bring improved health to the USA, Cuba and the world. The US has technologies and know-how that could be shared with Cuba and the island nation provides access to medical services and outcomes that often surpass those of the United States.

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La #CIA en #Panamá y la cancillería istmeña implicados en conspiración contra #Venezuela.

Publicado por Alma

Por 

Tal como denunciamos con anterioridad, la CIA norteamericana reclutó en julio de 2017 al entonces segundo secretario de la embajada venezolana en Panamá, Gabriel Hernán Pérez, con la finalidad de emplearlo para ser parte de la guerra sucia contra la Venezuela Bolivariana. Los pasos posteriores a su traición lo vinculan a una conspiración orquestada por esta Agencia en complicidad con elementos de la cancillería panameña, el grupúsculo contrarrevolucionario VEPPEX –radicado en Miami–, el llamado Tribunal Supremo de Justicia en el Exilio (TSJE) Capítulo Panamá y otros miembros de la derecha latinoamericana.

Las acciones de estos implicados están dirigidas a lograr varios objetivos: evitar que los venezolanos residentes en Panamá participen en las elecciones del venidero 22 de abril y boicotearlas descaradamente, levantando calumnias contra el registro electoral de la embajada venezolana en Panamá; convencer –con la ayuda del TSJE– a organismos internacionales y regionales, así como gobiernos derechistas en Latinoamérica, bajo la manipulación de mecanismos y la legislación internacional el “facilitar la atención inmediata” al pueblo venezolano en cuanto a alimentos y medicinas bajo el manto de una “intervención humanitaria”, como primera fase para legitimar una siguiente acción militar contra Venezuela bajo el mando de EEUU y la venia de la OEA.

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