Empire in Decline

jtr1962

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It's no secret he was probably perpetuating the "stop the steal" lies to use the office of US President to grift. He does have about $400 million in personal obligations coming due not long after leaving office. This is going to put a damper on that:

 

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I found this article at The Conversation most illuminating:

QAnon tattoos

So essentially, these right wing terrorists/trump militiamen are nazis that have replaced swastikas with more subtle symbols. I find it interesting that religious nutters, antivaxers, climate change denialists, and various other conspiracy theorists all seem to be drawn together under this white supremacist banner.
 

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I found this article at The Conversation most illuminating:

QAnon tattoos

So essentially, these right wing terrorists/trump militiamen are nazis that have replaced swastikas with more subtle symbols. I find it interesting that religious nutters, antivaxers, climate change denialists, and various other conspiracy theorists all seem to be drawn together under this white supremacist banner.
Unfortunately the nazis all over the world likes to disgrace the nordic gods and destroy the symbols for ordinary people. But the interesting part is that the nationalists are cooperating, like when Steve Bannon traveled to Europe to help in the EU elections (it wasn't successful... that time), and the leader of our "Swedish democrats" party said yesterday on national TV that he still would prefer to see Trump as president of USA. (They got +20% of the votes in the last elections - and will probably grow in the next one.)

And more on the white supremacy theme:
Trump also uses a good old Hitler tactic from day one: Lügenpresse (the lying press) or Fake News as Trump like to say - to undermine the media and own "the truth" yourself.
 

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This is not good:

And Airbnb's actions against DC is causing some problems, but nice of the politicians to help their voters.
 

jtr1962

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Thankfully no drama today in DC or at state capitols by Trump supporters. Trump is gone, Biden is President. The national nightmare is over, finally. Maybe now the US can try to earn back some of the respect it lost over the last four years.
 

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Good bye. We'll see what happens with the polarisation in USA. I hope the situation will get better, but it will not come without effort.
 

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I doubt that Donald Trump will ever recant his delusion that he won the election "by a landslide". He will continue to endlessly assert that the election was "stolen", despite the many recounts, futile right-wing partisan "investigations", and baseless/evidence-less lawsuits that were laughed out of court.

Unfortunately, he has plenty of buddies in the Billionaire Boys Club that will help fund his future re-attempts to overthrow the U.S. government, and many fascist 1611179177035.png storm troupers to try to assassinate any officials that dare to question his Big Lies.
 

jtr1962

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I briefly turned on OANN. They weren't even covering Biden's inauguration. Instead, they were touting the accomplishments of Trump's term, with Rudy Giuliani stating that historians will eventually see Trump as one of the best Presidents ever. Honestly, if I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was satire. Sadly, the reporters there actually believe the drivel they spout.
 

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I actually didn't catch the inauguration, I'd meant to earlier this month but my grandfather (blood clot after a brain bleed caused by a fall out of bed in a hospital stay for a stroke, not COVID-related) passed on Saturday and his funeral was today.

I was, however, glad to hear of no issues in DC or state capitols -- I wasn't thinking about it at the time but going into it this morning I honestly thought someone might attempt to assassinate him. I was mildly surprised when on my way home (I wasn't driving) I thought about it and checked the news to see, to my relief, more or less business-as-usual.
 

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I doubt that Donald Trump will ever recant his delusion that he won the election "by a landslide". . . Unfortunately, he has plenty of buddies . . ., and many fascist storm troupers to try to assassinate any officials that dare to question his Big Lies.
Here are a couple of articles that actually gave me some hope that The Donald won't rise from the grave to terrorize us again:

‘A total failure’: The Proud Boys now mock Trump

QAnon in crisis as day of reckoning fails to materialize


I wasn't going to quote from those articles, but I couldn't resist this one:

"We all got scammed, you caused us all to lose friends over this charade,” posted one member of a QAnon discussion group created a few days after the Capitol riot. “Now we all sit with egg on our face.”​

About that last phrase, and the saying that "revenge is a dish best served cold", perhaps that dish should be called Eggs Benedict Arnold. 😉
 

jtr1962

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Well, I think I mentioned somewhere that the day Trump's followers turn on him will be the day he regrets he was born. To paraphrase him, these are very bad people. Not the kind you want pissed off at you.
 

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Actually, a cop was murdered, death #5. And the order came from your president.
Any violence against authorities should be prosecuted to the maximum extent. Shameful actions there by a few.

Show me where Trump said to act in a violent manner? The Capital violence was already getting underway while Trump was still giving his speech.

Heres what Trump said in regards to the march:

"I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

Then at the end:
"So we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue — I love Pennsylvania Avenue — and we are going to the Capitol. And we are going to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote — but we are going to try to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue."

His speech went on for a while so perhaps I missed some violent insurrection comments?
 

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Well, he did not actually say "go and kill some coppers", but the crowd went crazy after his speech. And the "trial by combat" remark from Giuliani did not help either.

You just have to see it in the context of everything that has happened since November 3.
 

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Of course some of them are pushing the narrative that this was Antifa dressed up as MAGAs. You accuse others of what you're guilty of yourself. It's the oldest trick in the book.
Not all of them were, but lets take for example this guy who travelled from Utah:

John "Jayden X" Sullivan

John Sullivan, a far-left agitator and activist who was present at the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, was arrested by the FBI on Thursday and faces multiple federal charges including “violent entry and disorderly conduct” as well as “interfering with law enforcement” for his role in the chaos.


His comments as he approached and entered the Capitol:

“There are so many people. Let’s go. This shit is ours! Fuck yeah,”
“We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of
this history,” and “Let’s burn this shit down.”

There's a lot more incitement in the complaint. He was very close to the woman as she was shot by Capitol police as she attempted to enter while it was still being evacuated.

And to accompany him on his little "adventure" of inciting violence per his own video clips, there was a CNN photographer with him. Jade Sacker. Shes caught on video celebrating as they manage to get into the Capitol: ""We did it!" - and he says, "Is this not gonna be the best film you've ever made in yr life?"

His defense was that he was just trying to fit in with the crowd and was only there as a journalist.
 

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Well, he did not actually say "go and kill some coppers", but the crowd went crazy after his speech. And the "trial by combat" remark from Giuliani did not help either.

You just have to see it in the context of everything that has happened since November 3.
I understand where you are coming from. That in say the totality of the last 4 years it all culminates in incitement. But thats not how the courts see it:


"The Senate will now decide whether President Donald Trump should be convicted on the House's charge of incitement of insurrection, and there has also been discussion of potential criminal charges arising from the same conduct after he leaves office. These would include federal crimes, such as advocating the overthrow of government, rebellion and insurrection.

But it would be difficult to convict Trump in a conventional criminal trial for his speech, even if the Senate convicts him. And if the Senate follows First Amendment precedent, he could escape conviction there, too.

...

On the other hand, the free speech clause of the First Amendment protects a wide variety of speech even if listeners may consider it deeply offensive. Speech is not "incitement" unless (1) there is proof that the speaker intended the speech to produce imminent lawlessness and (2) the speech is likely to produce that lawlessness.

Speech with only violent imagery would be protected by the First Amendment. Even the mere tendency of speech to encourage unlawful acts is not enough to punish it, according to the Supreme Court.

Punishable incitement must "specifically advocate" for listeners to take unlawful action, give the crowd detailed instructions on how to break the law or enlist the crowd to carry out a criminal act, the court has said."

Now the Senate doesn't go by the rules of the criminal courts and its just a 2/3rd majority to convict versus criminal jury trials having to be unanimous, but certainly Trumps speech on the day in question doesn't seem to rise to the level needed for a criminal conviction.

Whether the Senate can vote to "remove a sitting President" when he is in fact no longer sitting is another question yet to be answered. On the face of it, it seems absurd. But I guess the Dems are terrified he might run again in 2024 and will do whatever they can to prevent it.
 

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Thankfully no drama today in DC or at state capitols by Trump supporters. Trump is gone, Biden is President. The national nightmare is over, finally. Maybe now the US can try to earn back some of the respect it lost over the last four years.
No, no violence by Trump supporters on inauguration day. That was reserved for the far left in Portland as they vandalized DNC headquarters:


I'm sure President Biden will denounce them any day now...
 

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Well, perhaps John Sullivan just wanted to protest against Ted Cruz for example, who knows? And I suppose he would have attacked the Capitol even if he was alone against 300+ cops?
 

jtr1962

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No, no violence by Trump supporters on inauguration day. That was reserved for the far left in Portland as they vandalized DNC headquarters:


I'm sure President Biden will denounce them any day now...
Far left generally means commies and the like. Give the Dems some time to condemn this. Or borrowing from the GOP playbook, maybe these were MAGAs in far left attire posing as left wing activists. At this point, it seems when one side starts something, the other side takes advantage of it. I don't doubt there were some number of left-wing activists storming the Capitol, either. These things tend to attract the violent, the mentally ill, etc. of all stripes. I don't even think most of these people have that strong of an ideology, either left or right. They just enjoy destroying stuff, stealing things, beating up cops, whatever. They'll use their ideology to try to justify it in their minds, but in the end it's all about just liking to create mayhem.
 

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This is not good:
Those allegations were later withdrawn by the Federal prosecutors:

Feds back away from claim of assassination plot at Capitol


"PHOENIX -- Federal prosecutors who initially said there was “strong evidence” the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials” backed away from the allegation after the head of the investigation cautioned Friday that the probe is still in its early stages and there was no “direct evidence” of such intentions."
 

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DrunkenBastard, I am really happy if I am wrong on that one. We will see what the final investigation brings to the table.

Otherwise I agree 100% with jtr1962, troublemakers exists everywhere. And left extremists are no better than right extremists.
 

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My favourite, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, gives a quite detailed view into how some people are reasoning. Words matter.

Also a pretty good analysis of the situation in USA, beginning around 18.57.
 
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DrunkenBastard

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Here is the Florida statute he is being charged under:

"836.10 Written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism; punishment; exemption from liability.—
(1) Any person who writes or composes and also sends or procures the sending of any letter, inscribed communication, or electronic communication, whether such letter or communication be signed or anonymous, to any person, containing a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084."

I'm curious if they will be able to obtain a conviction.
 

jtr1962

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I'll readily admit a lot of the evidence against people, including Trump, might be legally insufficient to convict them in a court of law. However, convictions aside, anyone who took any part in this should be removed from public office, and made ineligible to ever run for public office again. That includes Trump. It also includes all the members of Congress who voted to overturn the AZ and PA election results. Amendment 14, section 3 of the Constitution is what makes this possible:

No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Connections to any domestic terror organization, be it the Proud Boys, QAnon, The OathKeepers, the KKK, Antifa, etc. should be sufficient grounds to remove said people from office. We already have some members of Congress who are open QAnon supporters. They need to be excised immediately.
 

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If an allegation will not withstand scrutiny in a criminal court, why should we then move on to some kind of less robust system? The court of popular belief? Judge Judy?

"It also includes all the members of Congress who voted to overturn the AZ and PA election results".

Presumably they were voting their conscience, and were completely within the bounds of House procedures? You are suggesting they never be allowed to hold office again because you disagree with their actions? And that voting against is "insurrection or rebellion? That seems like a China/Russia system where any dissenters are locked up or simple disappeared.

Also not sure you are aware but Kamala Harris supported a bail fund that helped BLM and Antifa thugs, including a guy that was facing attempted murder charges against police, should she be removed from office as well?

 

jtr1962

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The key here is were any of the BLM and Antifa people involved in insurrection? From my point of view they were just acting like common criminals, rioting or looting, not storming a government building with the intent to overturn an election. If any Trump supporters who were just committing common criminal actions received help from Congresspeople, then no, that doesn't merit removing those people from office.

Here's the legal background behind Congress overturning the electoral college. After what happened in 1876, the Electoral Count Act put the burden of resolving electoral disputes on the states. Given that, there was absolutely no purpose to be served by voting to overturn the AZ and PA results since the votes weren't there to prevail. Even if there were, doing so wouldn't have been sufficient to overturn the election. Those who voted for it aren't stupid. They knew that. But they voted to appeal to Trump's base and help their own political future. In short, they voted for personal gain over the good of the country. One can certainly argue that could be seen as sedition, even if loosely, by perpetuating a lie that resulted in the Capitol Building riot. In the end though, corporate sponsors are distancing themselves from many of these people. They may find their political careers over from simple lack of campaign funds.

More to the point, let's put aside the Congresspeople who voted to overturn the AZ and PA results for a moment. Maybe that's the only negative thing some of them did. However, some Congresspeople openly support QAnon and other similar groups. These groups are, or should be, declared domestic terror organizations, along with a bunch of others, both left and right. Any Congressperson openly supporting them needs to be removed under Amendment 14, Section 3. I especially find the QAnon supporters very disconcerting given that QAnon supports an alternate set of facts. At the very least, those charged with running the country must at least agree on the same set of facts. The lies spread about coronavirus for example cost hundreds of thousands of lives. I also wish there's an eventual accounting for that, maybe a Nuremberg type trial where those national leaders who downplayed this are held accountable at the end of a noose, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Prob better to address this here than in the coronovirus thread:

There seems to be this narrative that Trump sat on his ass and did nothing while states were doing everything during early 2020:

"The lies spread about coronavirus for example cost hundreds of thousands of lives. I also wish there's an eventual accounting for that, maybe a Nuremberg type trial where those national leaders who downplayed this are held accountable at the end of a noose, but I'm not holding my breath"

The Federal government is responsible for certain things, like international flights. Despite the vehement objections from Democrats like Pelosi, Schumer and Biden, Trump restricted flights from China on January 31st 2020 and then Europe later. This actually went against the advise of Fauci and the WHO. He also kickstarted vaccine development and production through Operation Warp Speed.

What were state officials doing during this time when there were few detected cases early in the pandemic?

Pelosi’s Chinatown Visit

“It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time to be able to be unified with out community. We want to be vigilant about what might be on the horizon — what is out there in other places, we want to be careful with how we deal with it, but we do want to say to people, ‘Come to Chinatown, here we are. We’re again careful, safe … and come join us.'”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California (Monday, February 24, 2020)


"NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Administration officials and community leaders joined together today to declare Flushing, Queens open for business. Together, they encouraged New Yorkers to visit an Asian-American owned small business in their neighborhood.

“In hard times, New Yorkers know to stand by their neighbors,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City’s Chinatowns are open for business!”

“It is important to support the Chinese community in New York City. Unfortunately many businesses and restaurants in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park are suffering because some customers are afraid of the coronavirus. But those fears are not based on facts and science. The risk of infection to New Yorkers is low. There is no need to avoid public spaces. I urge everyone to dine and shop as usual,” said Speaker Corey Johnson."

The question is, would the deaths have been less if Hillary Clinton was President? I think its safe to say she wouldn't have cut international flights as quickly as Trump did.

President Biden ran on a platform that he was going to take covid seriously and get things under control. Presumably with strict mask enforcement in areas under Fed controk. On Friday he said: “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”

Apparently rigorous mask wearing won't be helping.

Let's not forget Cuomo scaring people about the vaccine, October 19, 2020:

"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday he was "not that confident" in the approval process for a possible coronavirus vaccine in place at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Cuomo also cast doubt on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that both the CDC and FDA are seen less credibly under the Trump administration.

The New York governor, whose state has suffered tens of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus, also said the public lacks faith in how the administration will handle vaccine development.

"I'm not that confident, but my opinion doesn't matter. I don't believe the American people are that confident," Cuomo said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I think it's going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine, and they should be.""


Should Cuomo be held accountable for deaths from people he scared away from taking the vaccine? He already killed thousands in NY nursing homes.
 

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But Trumps Covid response was not fact based. It was more in line with the response of Bolsonaro of Brazil and Lukasjenko of Belarus.



If you try and solve a problem, it's easier if you are allowed to use facts.
 

jtr1962

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Prob better to address this here than in the coronovirus thread:

There seems to be this narrative that Trump sat on his ass and did nothing while states were doing everything during early 2020:
There's a difference between inaction due to lack of information, versus spreading outright falsehoods. Trump started off handling the pandemic as well as can reasonably be expected. So did other leaders. Unfortunately, there was a serious lack of information about how dangerous this virus was thanks to China.

I'm more concerned what happened from April onwards, not prior to that:



I'm talking about stuff like "It's a Chinese hoax", "It's no worse than a bad cold", "We need to open things up by whatever the next holiday is.", "We're rounding the corner."

Then you had politicizing mask wearing, touting every new untested drug as some miracle cure, etc. And there was this embarrassing press conference where I was cringing at being an American:


What he should have done was listen to medical professionals and just do as they said. Instead, he created a universe of alternate facts which some GOP governors happily adopted.
 

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"I'm talking about stuff like "It's a Chinese hoax""

That was actually Biden manipulating a Trump speech on Feb 28th 2020 by cutting over 50 seconds out in between the comments:


"Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is presenting a distorted account of President Donald Trump’s words on the coronavirus, wrongly suggesting Trump branded the virus a hoax.

In fact, Trump pronounced Democratic criticism of his pandemic response a hoax."

And in his follow up the next day specifically to clarify:

"“No, no, no.” he said. ”‘Hoax’ referring to the action that they take to try and pin this on somebody, because we’ve done such a good job. The hoax is on them, not -- I’m not talking about what’s happening here. I’m talking what they’re doing. That’s the hoax.”

He continued: “Certainly not referring to this. How could anybody refer to this? This is very serious stuff.”"

So the reality there is that instead of calling the virus a hoax he actually calls it "very serious".
 

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After what happened in 1876, the Electoral Count Act put the burden of resolving electoral disputes on the states. Given that, there was absolutely no purpose to be served by voting to overturn the AZ and PA results since the votes weren't there to prevail. Even if there were, doing so wouldn't have been sufficient to overturn the election. Those who voted for it aren't stupid. They knew that. But they voted to appeal to Trump's base and help their own political future. In short, they voted for personal gain over the good of the country. One can certainly argue that could be seen as sedition, even if loosely, by perpetuating a lie that resulted in the Capitol Building riot.
So I thought what some of the Republicans did in voting against acceptong the votes and getting two hours of debate time to argue their case per the House rules was something new and scandalous. Maybe even sedition or insurrection.

Apparently its just absolute hypocrisy by the Dems: they did the exact same thing many times before:

"In January 2005, in the wake of Mr. Bush’s re-election, Democrats were more aggressive. Senator Barbara Boxer of California joined Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio to lodge a formal objection to Ohio’s electoral votes. The objection compelled Congress to spend two hours in debate, even though Mr. Bush won Ohio by more than 118,000 votes

Representative Barbara Lee of California claimed that “the Democratic process was thwarted.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York said that the right to vote was “stolen.” Ms. Waters objected too, dedicating her objection to the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” painted a dark (and at times factually debatable) picture of the Bush presidency.

The motion failed, but not before 31 members of the House, and Ms. Boxer in the Senate, voted to reject Ohio’s electoral votes — effectively voting to disenfranchise the people of Ohio in the Electoral College."
 

jtr1962

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"I'm talking about stuff like "It's a Chinese hoax""

That was actually Biden manipulating a Trump speech on Feb 28th 2020 by cutting over 50 seconds out in between the comments:


"Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is presenting a distorted account of President Donald Trump’s words on the coronavirus, wrongly suggesting Trump branded the virus a hoax.

In fact, Trump pronounced Democratic criticism of his pandemic response a hoax."

And in his follow up the next day specifically to clarify:

"“No, no, no.” he said. ”‘Hoax’ referring to the action that they take to try and pin this on somebody, because we’ve done such a good job. The hoax is on them, not -- I’m not talking about what’s happening here. I’m talking what they’re doing. That’s the hoax.”

He continued: “Certainly not referring to this. How could anybody refer to this? This is very serious stuff.”"

So the reality there is that instead of calling the virus a hoax he actually calls it "very serious".
The thing is I don't particularly care if Biden distorted facts somewhat or not since all politicians do this during campaigns. Trump claimed when asked that he took the virus very seriously. Now was this him walking back what he said earlier, as he often does when it damages him, or how he really felt? More importantly, actions speak louder than words. If he really took the virus seriously, then why did his actions in the following months suggest otherwise?


Like I said, Trump started off in March as well as anyone could reasonably expect given the lack of information from China about how bad this really was. Ditto for the other leaders in the country. Cuomo screwed up in the beginning, but ever since NY has had once of the best responses in the country. Look at how low our numbers stayed during the summer. Even the second wave here in the fall and winter was far milder than in the rest of the country. Had Trump followed science instead of lies I think we would have gotten out of this with under 50,000 deaths. And he may well have been enjoying a second term.
 

jtr1962

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So I thought what some of the Republicans did in voting against acceptong the votes and getting two hours of debate time to argue their case per the House rules was something new and scandalous. Maybe even sedition or insurrection.

Apparently its just absolute hypocrisy by the Dems: they did the exact same thing many times before:

"In January 2005, in the wake of Mr. Bush’s re-election, Democrats were more aggressive. Senator Barbara Boxer of California joined Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio to lodge a formal objection to Ohio’s electoral votes. The objection compelled Congress to spend two hours in debate, even though Mr. Bush won Ohio by more than 118,000 votes

Representative Barbara Lee of California claimed that “the Democratic process was thwarted.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York said that the right to vote was “stolen.” Ms. Waters objected too, dedicating her objection to the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” painted a dark (and at times factually debatable) picture of the Bush presidency.

The motion failed, but not before 31 members of the House, and Ms. Boxer in the Senate, voted to reject Ohio’s electoral votes — effectively voting to disenfranchise the people of Ohio in the Electoral College."
One thing to keep in mind is that when the Democrats have done this in the past, it was largely symbolic. In 2004 nobody disputed that Bush won the election. In 2020 there was an ongoing movement, led by Trump, to reverse the election results. Thankfully only AZ and PA even came up for a vote. Other states had been planned but after the riots they lost the support of any Senators, and therefore the objections could no longer be debated or voted upon. In the highly unlikely event these objections had been uphold, Congress essentially would have been thwarting the will of the people. Even Mitch McConnell said this would have damaged us forever:


Keep in mind the purpose of the Electoral Count Act, which raises the bar for Congress throwing out electoral votes, seems to be to limit this only to cases where widespread voter fraud could be confirmed. By widespread, I mean stuff like thousands of voters voting, shaving off their beards, and voting again. There was no fraud even close to that scale in the 2020 elections.

The US really needs to move towards a popular vote system so we no longer have so-called swing states. Every other country elects its leaders in this way.
 
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