Monday Reads: Somebody needs to Cancel The Trump ShowPosted: November 23, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
The Biden Transition Team has been announcing its team while chaos and denial surround KKKremlin Caligula. It’s time to pull the big top down on Trump and Trumpism. I have a feeling we’ll have the sideshows for a very long time to include gun toting angry white nationalists.
The Biden Transition Team announced these folks and their role in the leadership team come January 21. The National Security Team is the focus of today’s announcements. This is from the NYT: “Biden Will Nominate First Woman to Lead Intelligence, First Latino to Run Homeland Security. John Kerry, the former secretary of state, will be climate czar, according to the Biden transition team.”
At an event in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden will announce plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to be his secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, his transition office said, and Avril Haines to be his director of national intelligence. He intends to name Mr. Kerry as a special presidential envoy on climate. The transition office also confirmed reports on Sunday night that Mr. Biden will nominate Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.
Mr. Biden will also nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations and restore the job to cabinet-level status, giving Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, an African-American woman, a seat on his National Security Council.
Mr. Kerry’s job does not require Senate confirmation. A statement released by the transition office said Mr. Kerry “will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the National Security Council.”
The emerging team reunites a group of former senior officials from the Obama administration, most of whom worked closely together at the State Department and the White House and in several cases have close ties to Mr. Biden dating back years. They are well known to foreign diplomats around the world and share a belief in the core principles of the Democratic foreign policy establishment — international cooperation, strong U.S. alliances and leadership but a wariness of foreign interventions after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The racial and gender mix also reflects Mr. Biden’s stated commitment to diversity, which has lagged behind notoriously in the worlds of foreign policy and national security, where white men are disproportionately represented.
This is encouraging. It’s going to take a lot of experienced people to put together the mess the Trump Regimists will leave in their respective Departments. Biden has also announced his choices for State and the UN. He appears to be looking for folks with quite deep credentials and experience. Kerry’s the only one so far that has a big name and the highly visible position. This is from WAPO: “Biden picks Antony Blinken as secretary of state, emphasizing experience and the foreign policy establishment”.
President-elect Joe Biden has selected Antony Blinken, one of his closest and longest-serving foreign policy advisers, as secretary of state as he prepares to unveil a slate of new nominees this week that will emphasize a deep well of experience in the foreign policy and national security establishment.
Blinken will be nominated to one of the highest-profile Cabinet positions at a time when Biden is planning to prioritize foreign policy as a major pillar in his administration, with vows to reassemble global alliances and insert the United States into a more prominent position on the world stage.
Soon after taking office, Biden plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, stop the U.S. exit from the World Health Organization and resuscitate the Iran nuclear deal. Blinken has been described as having a “mind meld” with Biden on a range of issues that will be important in his early tenure.
Blinken’s appointment, first reported Sunday night by Bloomberg News, was confirmed by three people familiar with an announcement scheduled for Tuesday. Jake Sullivan, another top Biden adviser, is expected to be named as national security adviser, according to two people familiar with the announcement.
Biden also is planning to announce Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, giving a former career Foreign Service officer and African American woman one of the most high-profile diplomatic posts in government, according to three people familiar with the decision.
All three expected nominees have decades-long careers working at the highest levels of government, and a deep respect for institutions.
This ought to have Steven Bannon muttering deep state from the recesses of his fevered brain and drug dreams. That’s not a problem. What is a problem is that Emily Murphy will not do her job. This is from The Atlantic and Anne Applebaum : “Why Won’t Emily Murphy Just Do Her Job? In delaying the transition, the General Services Administration chief is acting like an ideologue.” You think?
Not everybody has succumbed to this ideology. Just last week, Chris Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was fired for refusing to lie. He would not support the president’s baseless claims of electoral fraud, and so he was told to leave his job.
But not everybody is Chris Krebs. Clearly, Emily Murphy is not Chris Krebs. Confronted with the reality of Joe Biden’s victory, and with the predictably mendacious reaction of the president, Murphy, along with an astonishing number of elected and appointed Republican officials, has chosen to stand by him too. “Friends” are now speaking to the national media on her behalf. One of these “friends” told CNN that Murphy is distressed: “She’s doing what she believes is her honest duty as someone who has sworn true allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and the laws that govern her position.”
Well, no. She is not doing her honest duty. She is behaving badly, dishonestly, unfairly. She is violating the Constitution of the United States of America by refusing to recognize that the election is over, that Trump’s lawsuits and legal games are frivolous, and that the transition has begun. But she, like so many others in the White House, seems to believe the exact opposite: that it is part of her job to support radical, norm-breaking, democracy-destroying lies. Like so many others in the Republican Party, she appears to think that election results do not need to be accepted; that legal votes can be challenged; that courts and political pressure can be used to change the result.
In the grand historical scheme of things, this particular form of delusion is not uncommon. A lot of historical and political-science work has been devoted in recent years to bureaucrats who become ideologues—though I cringe to mention it, because most of it applies to people in much more severe and dramatic situations. In the years since Hannah Arendt coined the expression banality of evil, a number of historians have begun to argue, for example, that most of the Nazi bureaucrats who later described themselves as “just following orders” were doing no such thing: They were active and enthusiastic partisans, imagining themselves to be brave members of the Nazi avant-garde. They thought they were good people.
A similar argument has been made retrospectively about the participants in the infamous “shock experiments” carried out by the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. Most of those who agreed to deliver a series of what they thought were painful electric shocks to a person in the next room were doing so not out of an ingrained instinct for obedience, as Milgram claimed at the time, but because Milgram had truly convinced them of the significance of their task. They didn’t see themselves as delivering pain, but rather being part of a cutting-edge scientific project. They thought they were good people too.
I’ll be interested in seeing what BB says about the Milgram experiments.
And speaking of interesting:
Cark Bernstein appeared on CNN last night and spilled a few beans about which senators think Trump is acting cray cray.
It seems that more than just a few Republicans are getting tired of these crazy antics by Trump to hold on to the presidency. “Trump’s legal absurdities force more Republicans to speak out”. This analysis is by Stephen Collins of CNN.
President Donald Trump’s increasingly inane legal claims and constitutional arson are prompting a growing number of high-profile Republicans and informal advisers that it’s time for him to end his attempt to overturn his election loss.
The President, ruining time-honored traditions of a peaceful transfer of power, is firing off long-shot court challenges and heaping pressure on state election officials. His aides are stoking a political storm apparently designed to destroy Joe Biden’s presidency before it starts and to shield Trump from the historic humiliation that comes with losing an election after only a single term.
Most congressional GOP leaders are still silent. But the spectacle has some senior Republicans ready to call time. “It’s over,” GOP Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan said on CNN’s “Inside Politics” Sunday. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a frequent Trump critic, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump’s behavior was akin to that seen in a “banana republic.” And even Trump’s friend, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” branded Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his cohorts a “national embarrassment.”
Meanwhile, Trump keeps doing really odd things in the National Defense arena.
This includes vetoing a bill to remove confederate traitors names from military bases and flying B-52 Bombers near Iran as some kind of message. He’s also withdrawing troops from Somalia.
This has led to a flurry of denouncements from the National Security Leaders for Biden group who are especially interested in starting the transition. This was reported by The Hill this morning. “Former Republican national security officials demand GOP leaders denounce Trump’s refusal to concede election. “
More than 100 former GOP senior national security officials who served under former Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, as well as President Trump, are urging party leadership to demand the president cease his “anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election” and concede.
“It has been clear for over two weeks that Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential election, garnering 306 electoral votes, far more than the 270 electoral votes required to be elected,” reads letter signed by the group of former officials, known as Former Republican National Security Officials that was released on Monday.
“While the President is legally entitled to request recounts and file good-faith legal challenges, he has presented no evidence of widespread fraud or any other significant irregularities. Nearly every case filed by the President’s team across multiple states has been summarily dismissed,” the letter continued.
So, I have no idea what’s going to be going on the rest of the year with all of this but I do see some troubling signals coming from airports where a lot of really stupid Americans are creating Thanksgiving SuperSpreader events. As for me and mine, we shall stay home.
Take care! Have a great holiday where you’re safe from harm!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?