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'Never Had To Be Like This’: US Marks 300,000 Virus Deaths

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On the same day the first American received a coronavirus vaccine, the U.S. pandemic death toll surpassed 300,000 on Monday, another grim milestone that comes less than four weeks after the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country reached 250,000.

The Associated Press put the staggering statistics into context: "The number of dead rivals the population of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. It is equivalent to repeating a tragedy on the scale of Hurricane Katrina every day for 5 1/2 months. It is more than five times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. It is equal to a 9/11 attack every day for more than 100 days."

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Trump Bashes Kemp At Georgia Rally For Refusing To Void Election Result

President Donald Trump on Saturday morning called Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to pressure him to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state, and hours later at a rally in support of GOP lawmakers Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue—who are campaigning ahead of January 5 runoffs that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate—slammed Kemp for refusing to support his authoritarian scheme to retain power.

Two unnamed sources familiar with the conversation told the Washington Post that Trump urged Kemp "to call a special session of the state legislature for lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors who would back the president at the Electoral College.""Trump also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do," the Post reported. "Kemp declined the president's entreaty."

Also on Saturday, Mike Lindell, the right-wing CEO of My Pillow who helped bail out Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, "brazenly [laid] out Trump's last-ditch plan to steal the election," as relayed by Aaron Rupar.


In response to the news that Trump asked Kemp to persuade the state legislature to reverse the results of the 2020 election, journalist Seth Abramson asked for "lawyers who specialize in little-used federal criminal statutes like Sedition to explain to me why a federal official openly seeking to conspire with another federal official to overthrow a democratically elected government isn't a crime."



Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Post that "if Trump invoked his federal authority in his conversation Saturday with Kemp, or made the call from the Oval Office, he could have violated criminal provisions of the Hatch Act, which prohibits government officials from political activity in their official roles."

During Saturday night's rally, the crowd applauded when Trump said, "Your governor should be ashamed of himself," in an attempt to malign Kemp for not going along with his coup attempt.


The Post reported that "as the large crowd chanted 'Stop the Steal'—what's become a rallying cry for Republicans unwilling to accept Democrat Joe Biden's victory in last month's presidential election—Trump responded that 'Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing.'"

Post reporter Amber Phillips argued that some of Trump's rhetoric about being the victim of a rigged election could paradoxically dampen GOP participation in Georgia's upcoming runoff races, the outcomes of which will have significant implications for the future of U.S. politics.

"Trump's voter-fraud claims," she said, "are threatening to depress turnout among some Republican voters" who may feel less inclined to go to the polls if they believe the results are predetermined.

The Post's Dave Weigel shared on social media an image from the lie-filled rally, during which the GOP screened "a compilation of OAN and Newsmax videos making election fraud claims."


Trump still implored the audience to vote next month, however, saying it is possible to be upset about and challenge the results of the presidential election while supporting Loeffler and Perdue at the same time. "At stake in this election is control of the U.S. Senate, and that really means control of this country," Trump said.

Weigel, who is on-the-ground in Georgia this weekend, noted on Twitter that he and "every reporter [he] talked to has found" that most Trump voters believe not only that the president won but that "he'll still win the challenges and get a second term."

Moreover, according to Weigel, "none of these voters plan to skip the Jan. 5 runoff."

Trump’s Pentagon Turmoil Stirs Fear Of A ‘Coup In Progress’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Fears that a possible slow-motion coup is in progress in the United States continued to grow on Wednesday, as observers sounded the alarm over President Donald Trump's decision to install "extreme Republican partisans" at the Pentagon after his firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper resulted in resignations by numerous top officials at the department earlier this week.

The stacking of the Pentagon with Trump loyalists—combined with the president's ongoing refusal to accept his electoral defeat and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Tuesday comment that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration"—has heightened concerns about the Republican Party's authoritarianism and left experts and lawmakers warning that the country is in the midst of an extremely dangerous moment.

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New Probe Shows Political Meddling Behind Trump’s Pandemic Failure

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A new analysis reveals that throughout President Donald Trump's failed response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout that has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and left millions unemployed without public support, his administration has "engaged in a persistent pattern of political interference—repeatedly overruling and sidelining top scientists and undermining Americans' health to advance the president's partisan agenda."

The report (pdf) released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis documents 47 separate instances in which White House officials have "attacked and undermined health experts" in the past eight months.

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