The Charlotte News

Monday, September 28, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Prime Minister Winston Churchill had said this night that he still favored a top level Big Four conference of the heads of state of Britain, France, the U.S. and Russia. The Prime Minister first proposed the conference on May 11, had since been taking time off from his duties on doctor's orders. British Labor leader Tom O'Brien had said a few days earlier, after having lunch with the Prime Minister, that the latter was ready to go to Moscow if necessary for such a conference, that it was not so much Mr. Churchill's illness but dissension inside the British Government which had caused the cancellation of the Big Three talks planned for Bermuda in June, prompting the release of the statement from the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister denied that any internal dissension had contributed to the delay in the Big Three meeting. The Big Three powers had invited Russia to a foreign ministers' conference in Switzerland on October 15 to discuss Germany and Austria, to which Russia had not yet formally replied.

In Panmunjom, the U.N. Command charged this date that a Korean Repatriation Commission document circulated among war prisoners who had renounced Communism and refused repatriation was slanted toward Communism. An Indian spokesman for the Commission denied the accusation. The U.N. Command said that the letter, distributed to the 22,600 prisoners of war resisting repatriation to their Communist homelands, had not been disclosed to the Command before its dissemination. The letter had declared that the prisoners would be required to attend interviews conducted by Communists to try to convince them to return to their homelands, a requirement which the allies had opposed, favoring voluntary attendance to avoid coercion by the Communists. Some of the prisoners to whom the letter was distributed had immediately destroyed their copies, printed in Chinese and on Chinese rice paper. A representative of the U.N. Command said that the letter did not deviate materially from the literal wording of the Armistice but disregarded its clear spirit.

In Sacramento, it was reported that it was likely that Governor Earl Warren would be appointed as the new Chief Justice, replacing the late Fred Vinson, who had died on September 8. A visitor, identified as Attorney General Herbert Brownell, had a secret conference with the Governor this date, fueling the speculation. If the appointment were made, Republican Lieutenant Governor Goodwin Knight, who had already declared his candidacy for the gubernatorial race in 1954, would become the new Governor. The speculation was correct, and the appointment would be made public two days hence.

The Administration probably would ask Congress in 1954 for authority to provide the country's allies with some secret atomic information to aid in the defense of Western Europe. The matter had been under study and was favored by many Administration officials, but would probably be decided finally by the Joint Chiefs. Many members of Congress opposed broadening of atomic secrecy. Presently, the Atomic Energy Act prevented disclosure of data on the manufacture and use of atomic weaponry, but it was possible that Attorney General Brownell would interpret the law to mean that it did not prohibit giving essential facts on the effects and operation of weapons to allies. Another possibility was revision of the law to strike out the ban against sharing information with allies. The U.S. was presently shipping to Europe tactical weapons which had atomic capability.

Two refugees from Russia and a former U.S. Communist testified this date before Senator Joseph McCarthy's Senate Investigations subcommittee that a document used in training U.S. Army intelligence officers, titled "Psychological and Cultural Traits in Soviet Siberia", was slanted in favor of Russian Communism. One of the witnesses, who claimed to be a former Soviet diplomat presently under death sentence in Russia, said that the booklet contained deliberate misinformation which served the interests of the Communist cause. Louis Budenz, a former Communist leader in the country and a frequent Congressional witness against his former associates, had described the manual as "the work of a concealed Communist". Senator McCarthy had made public most of the contents of the booklet on September 9, calling it "95 percent Soviet propaganda". Two days later, the Army made public the remainder of the booklet, which said that Soviet workers were as much chained to their jobs as convicts. The Army maintained that reading the full document would refute any claim that it was Communist propaganda, that it was intended for limited distribution to intelligence officers to develop their understanding of the Soviet people, useful in case of war. The Army also said that it had been classified as "restricted" and was stamped with a note that unauthorized release was a violation of espionage laws. Senator McCarthy responded by saying that no Government agency would "hide dishonesty, corruption or Communism by stamping it secret or restricted."

In Tallahassee, Florida Governor Dan McCarty was in critical condition and had become much worse. He had gone to the hospital six days earlier with a slight case of pneumonia, which doctors said had improved, but that his heart had been weakened by the pneumonia after suffering a February 25 heart attack.

In Pittsburgh, two teenaged boys were being held on murder charges in what homicide detectives said was the brutal beating and kicking to death of a 52-year old father of six who refused to provide them a cigarette. Four other boys were being held as material witnesses and on assault and battery charges related to another incident preceding the slaying. Those four were alleged to have initially attacked a barber who lived at the janitor's residence. The barber had escaped and informed his landlord of what had happened. The janitor then went to a nearby corner, where he saw two boys loitering and asked if they had helped in the beating of the barber, which they denied, then asking the janitor for a cigarette. When he refused, they pounced on him and beat him to death. An autopsy found that he had died of a hemorrhage at the base of his brain. The two boys charged with the murder said they were scared because the janitor had a stick and that they only wanted to "just hit and run". Police said that three newsboys who had witnessed the attack, however, said that the janitor had no stick.

In Tulsa, a six-year old girl took over the household duties of fixing meals for herself and her eight-year old brother for two days when their mother left to bring them a "nice present". The two children were placed in a foster home after neighbors complained that they had been left alone. The girl said that she believed that her mother had been gone so long because she was taking her time to pick out a nice present for them. She said everything had gone along fine, and they had gone to school as scheduled on Friday morning, except that she became frightened at nighttime. She had gone to the neighbor's house to get her hair combed, when the neighbor discovered the problem. Juvenile officers said that the mother had returned to Tulsa the previous day, but the children had not been returned to her custody, pending investigation. Did she bring a nice present? If so, all should be forgiven. Maybe a hair ribbon or a new comb.

On the editorial page, "More Bond Questions and Answers" again addresses questions regarding the proposed 72 million dollar bond issues on the October 3 ballot, 50 million of which would be for new school facilities and 22 million for renovating, enlarging and equipping the inadequate mental institutions. It favors passage of both bonds, and if you are particularly interested in the subject, you may read the questions and answers.

"Legality of Merchants Patrol in Doubt" indicates that a ruling by the State Attorney General's office the previous week had cast doubt on the legality of the Charlotte Merchants Patrol. A person from High Point had inquired of the Attorney General whether or not such a security force would constitute the offense of impersonating a police officer, the response to which from the Attorney General's office having been that the only special officers authorized by North Carolina law were those employed by railroads, electric or water power companies, construction or manufacturing companies, motor carriers and express agencies, all of which had to be appointed by the governor and act only for the businesses for which they were employed.

For a long time, the operator of the Merchants Patrol had a governor's commission for the purpose. It urges that in light of the response by the Attorney General's office, the City Manager and the Mecklenburg County chairman ought clarify the legality of the enterprise, and that if was illegal, it should be discontinued. If it was a needed service, then an effort might be made in the 1955 General Assembly to legalize it.

"This Tax Relief Idea Gets Our Vote" tells of one of the tax relief proposals being considered by the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue being a liberalization of deductions for medical and dental expenses, the details of which had not yet been revealed. It favors the idea and hopes that the Administration would generally get behind revision of tax laws.

A piece from the Columbia (S.C.) State, titled "North Carolina Irked", tells of the fact that South Carolina's per capita income was higher than that of North Carolina having irked some North Carolinians. It indicates that while it was proud of its economic progress, it was not so concerned about whether it was ahead of other states but rather in knowing that the people of South Carolina were doing well. The fact that per capita income in the state was ahead of that in North Carolina was only an interesting gauge of improvement, signaling that the historic trends of illiteracy and low per capita income in South Carolina were being licked. It indicates that the job, however, was not done.

Drew Pearson tells of how former Vice-Premier of Russia L. P. Beria, former head of the secret police, wound up on the list of potential witnesses for Senator McCarthy's hearings, after a story had surfaced that Mr. Beria had managed to flee to Spain in July following his arrest on June 26 in Russia. Senator McCarthy had hoped that he would be able to benefit from Mr. Beria surrendering to the Senator, to rebuild public confidence in him after the debacle following his hiring and then firing of J. B. Matthews, who had claimed in the American Mercury that the American clergy was filled with Communists.

The story regarding Mr. Beria's supposed escape from behind the Iron Curtain was provided to Senator McCarthy by a soldier of fortune, Flavio Gallo, a Nicaraguan who had been trying to overthrow the current regime in that country and had political axes to grind against the current regime of Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala. He had also been the source of a story that a State Department official had been bribed with $150,000 during the Truman Administration.

Senator McCarthy had been informed of the story sometime in July and had sat on it for about two months, not informing the State Department until the previous week, notwithstanding the fact that such information could be of great use to both the State Department and the CIA. Vice-President Nixon had substantiated advance knowledge of the matter when he had stated in New York the previous week that he had known of the alleged escape of Mr. Beria for about a month. Instead of providing the State Department with the information, Mr. Gallo had shipped his Cadillac to Italy in August and then supposedly rendezvoused with Mr. Beria in Italy and Spain. After finally learning of the matter, the State Department and the CIA had sent two men who were familiar with Mr. Beria to look into the case. The belief was that it would not be him, but they nevertheless wanted to investigate the matter to dispose of the rumor.

Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee was suspicious of the way the Commerce Department had pushed around American newspapers and the Cuban Government regarding newsprint to be derived from Cuban sugar cane at a much cheaper cost than obtaining newsprint from Canada, which presently had a monopoly on the newsprint supply, causing costs to rise so much for newspapers that some had been forced out of business. The Senator was looking into the role of dollar-per-year men inside the Commerce Department, typically men from the business world who worked for the Government at a much reduced salary in order to exert influence on behalf of their businesses. The previous May, the Cuban Government had written a letter to the State Department asking for a loan of an expert to develop the process of making newsprint from bagasse, a byproduct of sugar cane. After two months of delay, the Commerce Department had written back that it could not spare the expert in question, despite the facts that Cuba had agreed to pay for his time and expense and that he was doing little within the Commerce Department, from which he was about to resign. The Cuban Government had written again on August 3, wanting to know if the expert could be spared, and thus far, there had still been no response. Another Commerce Department adviser on newsprint matters had been loaned to the Government by Kimberly-Clark Co. of Wisconsin and had written a report on development of newsprint from saw grass, saying it was unlikely that any fibers produced from chemical processes alone could displace ground wood pulp as the principal component of newsprint. That statement flatly contradicted another report from within the Commerce Department, sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which stated that newsprint from bagasse was practical and feasible. Kimberly-Clark manufactured paper from wood pulp, and Senator Kefauver wanted to know what part the Kimberly-Clark representative had in blocking Cuba's request for advice in developing newsprint from the competing chemical process.

Stewart Alsop indicates that, despite the concession by Democrats of the personal popularity of the President, they were quite hopeful about the 1954 midterm elections, a hope recently bolstered by the six seconds of applause from only about ten percent of the farmers present at the National Plowing Contest in Wisconsin, following a speech by Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. The Democrats were hopeful, therefore, that they might pick up at least one house of Congress—in fact to be both houses.

Farm income had been falling since the beginning of the year and Democrats believed that even a minor shift in the farm vote in 1954 would provide them control of the House, and perhaps the Senate. The Democrats had suffered terribly in the farm districts in 1952, while holding their own elsewhere. There was only one member of the House presently from a predominantly agricultural district outside the South, that being Congressman Fred Marshall of Minnesota. The Democrats needed only five additional seats to have majority control in the House and only one Senate seat, assuming that Governor Frank Lausche of Ohio appointed a Democrat to fill the seat of the late Senator Taft—as he would. Since the President would not be heading the ticket in 1954, he would not have the coattail effect as in 1952.

If farm prices and farm income dropped a little more and the disillusionment of the farmers thus increased somewhat more, the Democrats reasoned that they could hand the Republicans the same sort of surprise victory which had occurred in the presidential race in 1948, when the farm vote was generally credited with making possible President Truman's re-election. And the Republicans, despite publicly disavowing any worry, were in fact concerned.

The Administration was counting on Representative Clifford Hope, who was touring the country to try to get a feeling for a politically acceptable answer to the farm problem, while Secretary Benson and his aides were also wrestling with constructing a new farm program. The Secretary opposed rigid farm supports, as the present mandatory 90 percent of parity, but the farmers opposed the Benson theory that farm supports ought be flexible, acting as a form of disaster insurance. A program whereby farmers would pay a lower price for consumer items, with the difference made up by the Government, had been floated as an idea in the Agriculture Department, but such a proposal suggested a New and Fair Deal form of subsidy and so would not be popular with Republicans.

Mr. Alsop indicates that the October 13 special election in a heavily agricultural, normally Republican district of Wisconsin, with an undistinguished Democrat running, would provide a good barometer of how the Democrats might fare in 1954. If he were to win, the Democrats would be even more hopeful of a positive outcome in 1954, as well as in 1956, encouraging Democratic candidates to vie for the presidential nomination.

James Marlow looks at taxes for 1954, indicates that the 10 percent tax reduction to go into effect at the end of the year was the only sure bet for tax reduction for individual taxpayers. He also points out that there would be an increase in the Social Security tax from 1.5 to 2 percent, which would erase a large part of the decrease.

In addition, the excess profits tax on corporations would end at the end of the year.

There would also be excise tax cuts on luxury items, taking effect on April 1, for instance, on liquor, cigarettes, new cars, etc. But that tax cut might be postponed by Congress, if the Administration decided it needed the billion dollars in estimated revenue for the increased defense budget.

Because of the midterm elections, Congress would not be in the mood to raise taxes but rather to reduce them. Committees were already looking at ways to save taxpayers money, of which he provides examples.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "in Which A small Paean Of Praise Is Chirped Versus The Outdoor Life:

"I am a happy indoor man.
Sans chigger bite or coat of tan."

Now, the press secretary and her Boss,
Refuse to accept the electoral Loss,
Or the seriousness of the pandemic,
Betraying race orientation, endemic.

Speaking of the 2020 election, we have a question, which we do not mean to cast aspersions or insinuate anything other than a question: How is it that Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was a freshman at UNC in 1973-74, and yet was able to graduate from the UNC Law School in spring, 1978, at age 23?

The requirements at the time for graduation from UNC included a minimum of 120 hours of course credits, each normal course counting for three hours, meaning an average of 15 hours per semester for the normal four years of study, with the option of two five-week summer school sessions, at which a student could take twelve hours over both sessions, two courses per session, with 18 hours per semester being the maximum load allowed freshmen. The requirement for graduation from the Law School at that time was 85 hours of course credits, normally acquired in three years, with no way to abbreviate the first year or to start the prescribed, continuous five-course curriculum mid-year, regardless of when one graduated from college. Yet, Ms. Powell managed to obtain her undergraduate degree and her law school degree in the course of five academic years, from the fall of 1973 through spring, 1978. We find it remarkable that anyone could do that, as we have never heard of anyone doing that. The most course credits possible in two academic years, including summer school sessions after each year, would have been 96 hours, assuming a jam-packed 18-hour schedule per semester for two years, accounting for 72 hours, and then two summers of double summer school sessions, for an additional 24 hours maximum, still leaving the necessity of an additional 24 hours, more than a single semester, to complete undergraduate study—not including the potential for some partial college credit in high school for advance placement courses, accounting, however, for no more than a few hours. Any graduate of the University will tell you that is nigh on impossible to do or to complete the course of study in anything less than three years. Yet, somehow, Ms. Powell appears to have accomplished the impossible in only two years. And no one completes the law school curriculum in just two years, even with summer school in between, assuming she completed her undergraduate study in three years.

Thus, how in five years did she do the whole of it?

We ask the question innocently, without personal knowledge of this individual, because she has been on national tv in the past week, making bizarre statements, proclaiming evidence of “widespread voter fraud” in Michigan and several other states, for which she has presented absolutely no evidence, on the feeble excuse that she would not wish to reveal to the American people her evidence before going to court. Why? This is not a criminal case or even a normal civil case, where one would wish to hold one's cards close to the vest to avoid giving away legal strategy to the opposition. This is the election of the next President. The "opposition" is the electorate of the United States, who voted by an overwhelming majority for President-elect Biden, not for the Clown whom she represents. What she is attempting to do is to overturn the stated will of the American people on the purported basis of “patriotism”, almost tearfully expressed, regarding the "globalists" seeking to steal the election of The Leader by the dedicated Trumpies doing obeisance to their Lord at His golden feet, based on claims of use of the same software in rigged Venezuelan elections some 15 years ago, in 2005, as that supposedly being used in some states today, including Republican-run states like Georgia and states with Republican-majority legislatures, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Election officials, however, have stated that the software does not tabulate the votes in the sense that Ms. Powell, the whiz-kid, tries to imply, but rather only counts the votes optically, based on the filled-in paper ballots fed through the machine, easily subject to verification by hand recount. Moreover, she offers no proof that it is the very same version of the same software or that the software has been misused in any manner as purportedly occurred in Venezuela some 15 years ago to re-elect Hugo Chavez, El Presidente.

It is a ludicrous assertion on its face. And so we have to wonder who is this woman?

The time to have contested the tabulation software was well before the election, bringing the matter before the Congress a year or more ago, which, we are certain, with McConnell in charge of the Senate, would have received a full airing. Hugo Chavez? Venezuela? 2005? Get right on that to get to the facts.

We stayed up all night November 3-4 to listen to the vote as it was coming in, retired only when it was apparent that the mail-in votes were bringing Vice-President Biden into the lead in Wisconsin and Michigan. There was no stoppage of the counts in those states in the "middle of the night", as claimed by the Trump lawyers. The count was continuous. Only in Pennsylvania did the count stop at around midnight so that poll workers could rest, a pre-planned stoppage, resumed the following morning at 10:00. There were no votes "brought in" strangely in the wee hours of the morning. They are talking about the counting of legally cast mail-in ballots, the counting of which did not start in many states until the night of the election, in Pennsylvania, only the next day. These are false claims without basis or evidence. Most of the "evidence" relates to South America several years ago, with the proviso that this or that practice "probably" occurred in the 2020 election in this country, "probably" all over the country. Don't be fooled. These are suppositions and plain lies. Moreover, who says that if there was vote manipulation via these machines across the country as claimed, it did not take place for Trump, and exclusively for Trump, in Republican precincts and states? "Trump won by a landslide"? Suit this lying woman up with a strait-jacket.

Obviously, this spurious claim was the game plan all along, which was why Trump constantly claimed during the campaign that he would lose only if fraud would occur at the polls. Blame the software used in Venezuela to elect Hugo Chavez in 2005 and get all the stupes who are suckers for the bait-switch and projection routine to demand an accounting, seeking to overturn the adverse result, undermining in the process the legitimacy of the incoming Administration.

The Euro-interviewed and lured shirt-tail tucker claims that there are 200 to 350 percent overvotes, votes beyond the number of those registered, in some precincts somewhere. But where is the proof? With particularity, what precincts? Put it online. Let's see it. Oh, you don't want to do that because of the pending court cases—or because it simply is untrue or because that was in Venezuela in 2005. Well, time is running, and so you had better produce it in a few days or shut the hell up and go home.

Maybe there is a nice, innocent explanation for Ms. Powell's five-year whirlwind undergraduate and legal education at UNC, which will show her considerable aptitude at unusually quick acquisition and digestion of academic coursework, which thus far, in the public spotlight this week, she has been rather loath to show to the "medias". Perhaps, there was some glitch in the data in the preparation of the Yackety Yack in 1973-74 and she was not a freshman but rather a junior—just as perhaps there are explanations for the supposed voting “irregularities” in 2020, which have nothing to do with Hugo Chavez.

The tabulated results nationwide currently are on track for President-elect Biden to wind up with 81.5 million votes to 74.5 million for Trump. Yet, she and her pal, Rudy, the shirt-tail tucker, want to invalidate for their boss the effect of all 81.5 million votes, and we take it quite seriously and personally as our vote is in there among the 81.5 million. You won't steal or nullify our vote.

Patriotism... You don't understand the meaning of the word. We feel certain that you must have learned something about it during the course of your UNC education, unless your five-year whirlwind study somehow caused you to leave out the finer points, as a speed-reader who gets the gist of the story, knows the names of all the characters and the basic plot, but fails in the process to glean the substance, the literary theme and its nuances, the poetry, the ultimate justice, of the thing.

On a related but different point, we wasted about an hour of time this morning disproving to our satisfaction a spurious claim being made on the internet regarding a purportedly overt “steal” taking place in Wayne County, Michigan. The claim is that there is something fishy about the numbers being reported for registered voters versus voters who voted, that where there were 0 registered voters, there were 173,000 votes tabulated across the “AVCB's” in Detroit, those being Absent Voter County Boards, which tabulate votes independently from the regular precincts, which are then combined in a canvass of the votes. We do not want to take the time to go through this supposed anomaly, as there appears no anomaly, only a misunderstanding by the omniscienti on the radio as to the meaning of the voter statistics compiled by Wayne County regarding the AVCB's. Obviously, the numbers do not mean literally x number of votes against no registered voters. The data in the tables presently available have simply not yet been combined, as tabulated last on November 5, with that of the regular precinct totals. (By the way, where were your cries of outrage and foul in 2016 when a recount of the 10,704-vote victory margin for Trump in Michigan was stopped by a Federal judge on the basis that Green Party candidate Jill Stein lacked sufficient ground to ask for the recount as it could not possibly lead to her victory?)

This "report" on supposed evidence of voter fraud in Detroit is another example of the irresponsible and baseless claims being made by people unable to accept the reality of Trump's decided defeat both in the electoral college and in the popular vote, perpetuating the fantasy that the majority of the Supreme Court will soon declare him elected based on “fraud at the polls”. This was not a close election won by less than one percent of the popular vote, as, for instance, in 1960 and 1968, or one in which the popular vote winner lost the electoral college, as in 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016. President-elect Biden will wind up winning the popular vote by more than four percentage points, already at 3.8 percent, with something less than two percent of the count still outstanding, that late-counted vote running about 2 to 1 against Trump, as it involves the mail-in voting which he discouraged among his supporters.

Grow up, Trumpies. Trump lost, decisively. He knows that. He is milking this time for all it's worth, hoping to undermine the incoming Administration, for pure spite against the American people who have rejected him and his brainwashing cult. He does not give a damn for your health or well-being, economically or physically. He has proved that, finally and decisively. If you voted for him, you are an expendable, someone used and discarded, yesterday's news, good only for helping him build his post-White House business interests and to be brainwashed and used again potentially for a 2024 run.

As it always was about Trump and only Trump, he sinks into the ignominy of history, still vainly supposing himself to be a kind of king, infallible and having a right to the office—"who knows, for another eight years, 12 years, 16 years". He is an impeached charlatan who may well wind up going to jail. That would not be at all troublesome to many of us. President Nixon, for all of his faults, was legitimately elected both times, even if through highly questionable and sometimes illegal tactics on the part of his henchmen. He left office in disgrace, but accepting his disgrace, when it became apparent that he could not withstand an impeachment trial in the Senate, where, at most, he had a dozen votes left in his corner in August, 1974, after the House Judiciary Committee voted articles of impeachment. He was pardoned by President Ford for all crimes associated with Watergate, and, at the time, we accepted that result and believed it would have been imprudent to indict the disgraced President and "unindicted co-conspirator", who would never, by his own statements, realistically be able to seek office again, barred, of course, by the Constitution's term limit provision from ever again seeking the presidency.

But Trump is a different case. He refuses to acknowledge wrongdoing in the summer of 2019, in his “perfect phone call” with the President of the Ukraine, in which he sought political dirt on his probable opponent in the 2020 election, a phone call which amounted to soliciting a political bribe, a political “favor” from a foreign government in exchange for release of foreign aid already authorized by Congress. Nothing prevents his subsequent prosecution for that conduct.

Now, having failed in the election, despite deploying an attempted smear campaign in the final weeks before the election, he refuses to admit defeat and instead bumbles along in a vain attempt to block certification of the election in critical states, seeking the disenfranchisement of millions of Americans because they happened to have voted in large cities, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, etc. He wants the votes only of rural Americans to count. He won that vote. But that is not America as a whole. To exclude a whole segment of the country from the tabulation of the vote on the pretext of "fraud" in the cities, taking advantage thereby of antecedent prejudices held by many of those in the less populated areas, those to whom Trump made his sole appeal throughout his term and during the two campaigns, would render the country as a Venezuela or Argentina.

Who is this guy? Who are his attorneys?

The real problem, of course, is that which he is rigging behind the scenes, under cover of election and pandemic distraction, the sudden announcement yesterday, for instance, of withdrawal of nearly all forces from Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, and other post-election shenanigans being undertaken, including the firing of key personnel for strange reasons in a lameduck period, all of which suggests an ongoing attempt to establish booby traps for the incoming Administration to make it as hard as possible for it to achieve success, all in the fanciful hope that Trump can emerge again in 2024 as the “I told you so” candidate, once again stirring disunity among the people on the old divide-and-conquer strategy, the only strategy this one-hit wonder knows.

Who is this guy? Do you who voted for him really know anything about him? Do you never stop and consider the unprecedented major occurrences, destructive of our democracy, which have taken place just in the last year, from the basis for the impeachment, the downplaying of the pandemic in its early stages, ignoring the medico-scientific warning of its magnitude, even mocking its seriousness with "over by Easter" comments, the continued bungling thereafter of the mixed-message output from the Administration, calculated as an attempt to take maximum political advantage of the problem, the complete abdication during the past month of any public response to the late wave of infections now besetting the country, the last-minute Supreme Court nomination last month, as irresponsible as it gets, to the now unfounded, dispiriting and divisive claim of fraud in the election he lost and refusal to yield to basic, traditional cooperation in the transition process while claiming, dictator-style, "victory", inconvenient truths to the contrary notwithstanding? Venezuela. Perhaps, the reference is apt, but in a way not intended.

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