Heather Cox Richardson~JAN 22, 2021 on Biden Covid 500K

Heather Cox RicharHeather Cox RichardsonsonFeb 23
THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY HISTORIAN ON A MEMORABLE DAY IN WASHINGTON; TRAGEDY FOLLOWED BY CAUTIOUS HOPE

Today the United States passed the heartbreaking marker of 500,000 official deaths from COVID-19. President Biden held a ceremony tonight to remember those lost, saying “On this solemn occasion, we reflect on their loss and on their loved ones left behind. We, as a Nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one Nation to defeat this pandemic.” The South Portico of the White House was illuminated with 500 candles—one for every thousand lives lost—and the president will order flags on federal property lowered to half staff for five days in their memory.

And yet, there is good news on the horizon: By the end of March, Pfizer plans to ship more than 13 million vaccine doses per week to the United States; Moderna plans to deliver 100 million doses; and Johnson & Johnson expects to ship at least 20 million doses. This means that by the end of March, the United States is on track to receive 240 million doses. By mid-year, we should receive about 700 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate our entire population. By the end of the year there should be 2 billion doses for the whole world.

Sixty-seven percent of Americans, including 34% of Republicans, approve of Biden’s response to the coronavirus.

Aside from the pandemic news, there were two important developments today on the national level: a series of Supreme Court decisions and Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearings for the position of attorney general. Together, these showed quite strikingly that Trump supporters are retreating into a politics of grievance while Democrats are embracing policy and governance.

The Supreme Court (often abbreviated SCOTUS, for Supreme Court of the United States), today denied former president Trump’s request to block a grand jury subpoena for his financial records. In its investigation into hush money allegedly paid by the Trump Organization to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential race, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office subpoenaed eight years of financial information from Trump’s accountant, Mazars USA. Trump has fought the subpoena all the way to SCOTUS, but today the court upheld the decision of the lower court that his accountant must produce the information. Mazars USA should turn over the documents, which run to millions of pages, this week.

The former president issued a statement rehashing his usual litany of complaints about how he is treated, saying this was “a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country.” He said the decision, made by a court on which three of his own appointees sit, was “all Democrat-inspired.” It is, he said, “political persecution.”

SCOTUS also refused to hear eight cases Trump or his allies had brought over the 2020 presidential election. It appears SCOTUS is done with the former president.

But Trump is not done with politics. He will be speaking this Sunday at the annual conference of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), which has turned into a pro-Trump gathering. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are all scheduled to speak at the convention, on topics like “Why the Left Hate the Bill of Rights… and We Love It,” and “Fighting for Freedom of Speech at Home and Across the World.”

Mike Allen of Axios heard from a longtime Trump advisor that, in his speech on Sunday, Trump will indicate that he is the Republicans’ “presumptive 2024 nominee” and is in control of the party. He is eager to take revenge on those who have not supported him, and plans to encourage primary challengers to them in 2022. He is expected to lay into President Biden as a failure of the Washington, D.C., swamp, and to promise to take on that swamp again from the outside.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported today that Trump reported his earnings from his businesses during his four years as president at $1.6 billion.

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings for the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general. Garland is famously a moderate, and his confirmation is expected to sail through. The senators questioning him could use their time as they wished, and the results were revealing.

Pro-Trump Republican Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) seemed to be creating sound bites for right-wing media. They complained that the Democrats under the “Obama-Biden” administration had politicized the Department of Justice, including the Russia investigation, and demanded that the abuses they alleged had occurred under Obama be addressed. They made no mention of Attorney General William Barr and his use of the office as an arm of Trump’s White House.

It was striking to hear long-debunked complaints about 2016 reappear in 2021. Honestly, it felt like they were just rehashing an old script. They are clearly pitching for 2024 voters, but will their politics of grievance resonate in three more years?

Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) tried to carve out their own space in the presidential pack, as well. Cotton tried to get Garland to admit that Biden’s call for racial equity, rather than racial equality—by which Biden means that some historically marginalized groups may need more than equal treatment—was itself racist. It was an obscure point that didn’t land. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, pressed Garland somewhat interestingly on the president’s power, then nodded to QAnon with a statement against the notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

In contrast to them was the performance of the new Democratic senator from Georgia, Jon Ossoff, who asked Garland first about protecting voting rights, then about funding public defenders, then about civil rights investigations, using the specific example of Ahmaud Arbery, murdered in 2020 in Georgia while jogging. Ossoff’s focus on policy and governance illustrated the difference between Senate Republicans and Democrats.

For his part, Garland hammered home his conviction that the Department of Justice should represent the people of the United States and should enforce the rule of law for all. When Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) asked him to explain why he wanted to give up a lifetime appointment as a judge to take the job of attorney general to fight “hate and discrimination in American history,” Garland answered:

“I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution. The country took us in and protected us. And I feel an obligation to the country to pay back. And this is the highest, best use of my own set of skills to pay back. And so, I want very much to be the kind of attorney general that you’re saying I could become. I’ll do my best to try to be that kind of attorney general.”

—-

Notes:

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/02/22/970233291/as-u-s-death-toll-nears-half-a-million-biden-plans-to-order-flags-to-half-staff

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/22/trump-taxes-supreme-court-refuses-step-halt-turnover/3685217001/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/22/trump-taxes-supreme-court-refuses-step-halt-turnover/3685217001/

Republicans condemned Trump. Now they’re seeking his help.

By JILL COLVINJanuary 29, 2021

Sad and dangerous, They just can’t pull the trigger.

In this Jan. 21, 2021, photo, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Just two weeks ago, McCarthy declared then-President Donald Trump culpable in the attack on the nation’s Capitol as Washington leaders recoiled from the violence. But on Jan. 28, McCarthy was meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring of a man who remains the undisputed leader of the Republican Party. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Just two weeks ago, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy declared Donald Trump culpable in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. By Thursday, he was seeking his political support.

A private meeting between the two men at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort signaled a remarkable turnaround in the former president’s stature among elected Republicans. In the immediate aftermath of the insurrection Trump inspired, the idea that he would enjoy any sort of kingmaker role in his post-presidency seemed highly unlikely.ADVERTISEMENT

But following an initial wave of condemnation, Republicans appear to be warming toward Trump, fully aware that his supporters are poised to punish anyone who displays disloyalty. With that in mind, party leaders are working to keep Trump in the fold as they focus on retaking the House and Senate in 2022.MORE STORIES:

“United and ready to win in ’22,” McCarthy tweeted after their meeting. Both he and Trump issued statements outlining their pledge to work together to help Republicans win back control of the House and Senate in 2022.

The realignment with Trump comes as those who have crossed him continue to feel the burn. Trump ally Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, spent the day in Wyoming trying to take down Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, who voted for Trump’s impeachment. Amid the backlash, Senate Republicans largely made clear this week that they have no intention of convicting Trump.

While Trump tries to exert influence, he’s undeniably diminished.

Before he incited his supporters to storm the Capitol, Trump was expected to spend his post-presidency gleefully settling scores with Republicans rivals, launching a Twitter-fueled takedown of his successor and mulling over running again for a second term. Now, he is largely isolated and silenced by social media platforms as President Joe Biden attempts to dismantle his agenda executive order by executive order.

He has not been seen in public since he disappeared behind the well-manicured hedges at Mar-a-Lago last Wednesday, a half-hour before his presidency ended. He has spent his days consulting with aides and defense lawyers as he prepares for his historic second impeachment trial.

Things are very different now. Last time, Trump had an army of defenders that included a team of Washington lawyers, a presidential communications shop, a taxpayer-funded White House counsel’s office and the steadfast backing of top Republicans, including the Republican National Committee.Full Coverage: Politics

This time, Trump is still scrambling to pull together a legal team, with the trial less than two weeks out.

“I think he’s at a significant disadvantage,” said criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was part of Trump’s legal team in 2020 but is among the long list of lawyers sitting this one out.

Yet even the impeachment trial, once seen as an opportunity for Senate Republicans to purge Trump from the party by barring him from ever running for office again, is now being used as a rallying cry to reunite the party against Democrats. Instead of debating whether he is guilty of “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States,” Republicans have instead attacked the process, arguing that it is unconstitutional to try a president who has already left the White House.

“At a time when our country needs to come together, Democrats in Congress are rehashing the same strategy that they employed for the last four years: politically motivated overreach that will only divide us further,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement that came after heated internal divisions over whether the group should publicly criticize Trump for inciting the riot.

In an interview, McDaniel declined to criticize the five Republicans senators who voted this week to move forward with the trial. But she said “it’s more important to look at the 45 that said this is ridiculous.”

Aside from the trial, Trump has gradually begun to return to the public conversation, firing off press releases from the political committee he created before leaving the White House.

“He’s decompressing. He’s got a legal team he’s trying to organize, and he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close congressional ally who has been helping Trump stand up a legal team after numerous firms punted.

“I think there’s an adjustment,” said Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union and another Trump ally.

Jason Miller, an adviser to Trump, insisted that it was “too early” to discuss the president’s impeachment strategy and the post-presidential political operation that is expected to include former White House political director Brian Jack and Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien.

“We’ve had discussions about where we want to get active with regard to the 2022 midterms and how we help Republicans win back the Senate and the House,” Miller said, but Trump has yet to decide whether he will get involved in primary races to challenge Republicans who voted to impeach him.

After those members faced intense backlash from Trump supporters, Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial.

“I think that’s pretty clear that Republican voters are adamantly opposed to impeachment and Republicans who vote for impeachment do so at their own peril,” Miller said.

Despite the Capitol riot, polls show Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters — many of whom now consider themselves more closely aligned with him than the party.

“It’s not Trump so much they’re trying to hug. It’s Trump’s base they’re trying to hug,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist. “I think Trump’s departure left a huge vacuum. He was the one thing that united Republicans more than anything. I mean, the Republican Party became the Trump Party for four years. And without him leading it, there’s an obvious power vacuum, and I think you’re seeing that play out now in Congress.”

The question is whether Trump’s influence will endure. The internal divisions his team is fomenting could ultimately undermine the party’s quest to retake Congress. And it’s unclear whether he can transfer his personal popularity to other candidates when he’s not on the ballot. Republicans lost control of the House in 2018 and gave up the Senate this month despite a last-minute appeal from Trump.

Graham, who declared just this month that he’s done with Trump — “All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.” — has since stressed the importance of keeping the party together.

“I want to make sure that the Republican Party can grow and come back, and we’re going to need Trump and Trump needs us,” he told reporters.

As for Republicans who vote to convict Trump, “I guess it depends on what state you’re in and what phase in your career you are,” he quipped.

___

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and Steve Peoples in New York contributed to this report.ADVERTISEMENTTrending on AP NewsArkansas state senator says he’s leaving Republican PartyGOP’s Thune says Trump allies engaging in ‘cancel culture’The lighter days of CNN’s Cuomo Brothers show are long goneby TaboolaADVERTISEMENTTop Articlesby The Associated PressBiden to visit Mich. vaccine plant aswinter throws a curvejavascript:false00:14/01:00SKIP ADPAID FOR BY COMPARISONS.ORGGoldens Bridge,New York Launches New Policy For Cars Used Less Than 49 Miles/DayDrivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Should Do This On February

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Nikki Haley breaks with Trump: ‘We shouldn’t have followed him’

Blogger note: Back and forth she goes but this time the severing of ties seems–serious?

Much more

Nikki Haley breaks with Trump: ‘We shouldn’t have followed him’

BY CELINE CASTRONUOVO – 02/12/21 07:22 AM EST 5,455218,149

Just In…

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued stunning remarks breaking with former President Trump, telling Politico in an interview published Friday that she believes he “let us down.” 

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley, who served in her ambassador role under Trump, said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

Haley’s remarks are her strongest yet against the former president in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and come as Trump’s legal team is set to present its defense of Trump on Friday in his second Senate impeachment trial.

The House impeached the former president for a second time shortly after the insurrection, saying his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud following his election loss to President Biden and his comments earlier that day incited the mob that stormed the Capitol.

The former South Carolina governor told Politico that she has not spoken with Trump since the mob attack, further expressing her disappointment with remarks he gave at a rally ahead of the assault condemning his own vice president, Mike Pence.

“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley said. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”

Haley said that the president “believes he is following” his oath of office by challenging the election results, adding, “There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election.” 

“He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it,” she said. 

Haley in the days immediately following the attack said in a speech to Republican National Committee (RNC) members that Trump was “badly wrong with his words” at his Jan. 6 rally. 

“And it wasn’t just his words,” she added at the time. “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

Haley said in Friday’s Politico interview that when she gave the RNC address, she “was not expecting a whole bunch of love from that speech.”

“I know how much people love Donald Trump. I know it. I feel it,” she continued. “Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside.”

She went on to say, “Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should.”

Instead, Haley argues, “what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party. But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party.”

“I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back,” she added. 

Haley, who many speculate is a possible 2024 presidential contender, announced a new political action committee last month named after her Stand for America advocacy group. Her spokeswoman Chaney Denton said at the time that the PAC would be focused on helping get conservatives back in control in the House and Senate in 2022.

Bradley Crate, the treasurer for Haley’s PAC, was the treasurer for Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) top financial adviser for both his presidential runs.

GIANELLA BRIGNONI on women as world leaders: STUDENT RESEARCH:

My student in INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/ Poltical Science 370, February, 2021….GENDER IN WORLD POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

While there are many differences between difference feminism and liberal feminism, they share one thing in common: Having more women in leadership positions is beneficial. With difference feminism, according to Pevehouse and Goldstein, they state “A strand of feminism that believes gender differences are not just socially constructed and that views women as inherently less warlike than men (on average)” (99).

Essentially, difference feminism focuses on the belief that women and men do have major differences while liberal feminism, as stated by our authors, emphasizes “Gender equality and views the ‘essential’ differences in men’s and women’s abilities or perspectives as trivial or nonexistent” (99). Again, while both strands of feminism do have their differences, the similar foundational belief that having more female leaders is beneficial overall. 

Under difference feminism, the concept of women collaborating to promote peace and social reform is emphasized. In essence, according to difference feminism, having more women leaders would lead to more peaceful solutions and total social reform.

Similarly, according to Joseph Nye’s “Yes, the World Would Be More Peaceful with Women in Charge,” he famously references Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” by explaining “Pinker presents data showing that human violence, while still very much with us today, has been gradually declining. Moreover, he says, ‘over the long sweep of history, women have been and will be a pacifying force. Traditional war is a man’s game: Tribal women never band together to raid neighboring villages.’

As mothers, women have evolutionary incentives to maintain peaceful conditions in which to nurture their offspring and ensure that their genes survive into the next generation” (para 2). Overall, from the difference feminist’s perspective, having more female leaders would lead us to mediation, social reform, and more peaceful resolutions. 

Unlike difference feminism, our authors discuss “Liberal feminists think that women have the same capabilities as men, so the inclusion of women in traditionally male occupations (from state leader to foot soldier) would bring additional capable individuals into those areas. Gender equality would thus increase national capabilities by giving the state a better overall pool of diplomats, generals, soldiers, and politicians” (103).

Through this statement, it is emphasized how having more women in leadership positions would add further value in different perspectives and general capabilities. By having fewer women in these positions, many organizations miss out on the opportunity to have more diverse perspectives and capabilities. 

Again, with all things considered, both strands of feminism differ in many ways, however, they ultimately agree on one thing: Having a handful of female leaders can enhance all worldly operations. 

Works Cited 

Goldstein, Jon C. Pevehouse; Joshua S. International Relations (Subscription). Pearson Education (US), 2019. [VitalSource Bookshelf].

Nye, Joseph S. Yes, the World Would Be More Peaceful with Women in Charge. Daily Star, 18 Feb. 2012, www.belfercenter.org/publication/yes-world-would-be-more-peacefulwomen-charge.