Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: In 48 hours, he's finally out

 Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: In 48 hours, he's finally out

Axios with a must-read:

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1:  A premeditated lie lit the fire

Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

Episode 3: Descent into madness … Trump: “Sometimes you need a little crazy”

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump’s outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

🚨📉📉 After Twitter banned Trump, a 73% plunge in election misinformation spread on the Internet in just one week. Fascinating analysis on how swiftly the president and his allies were able to amplify falsehoods … via @lizzadwoskin @craigtimberg

— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) January 16, 2021

Inquirer Editorial Board:

This MLK Day, Congress should remember Dr. King’s economic agenda

“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made this warning in his famous ”Beyond Vietnam” speech, exactly one year before his assassination on April 4, 1968.

In 2020, we’ve seen the “giant triplets” in full force. Militarized police forces crack down on racial justice protesters nationwide. The racially driven inequities in America’s provision of health care, as well as inequities in the social determinants of health such as housing and poverty, has made an allegedly “color blind” coronavirus much deadlier for Black people and people of color. And while renters faced eviction, business owners went bankrupt, and people rushed to food pantries, billionaires got richer. Each one of these economic hardships loomed larger and disproportionately impacted the lives of Black, brown, and Indigenous people.

A pastor I know in small-town Nebraska has had her column in the local paper canceled for submitting the following, which the editor refused to publish. It’s her scriptural take on what happened at the Capitol and I think it’s very much worth reading.

— Chris Polansky (@ChrisKPolansky) January 15, 2021

Here is that new CRS piece:

The Impeachment and Trial of a Former President

January 15, 2021

For the second time in just over a year, the House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump. The House previously voted to impeach President Trump on December 18, 2019, and the Senate voted to acquit the President on February 5, 2020. Because the timing of this second impeachment vote is so close to the end of the Trump Administration, it is possible that any resulting Senate trial may not occur until after President Trump leaves office on January 20, 2021. This possibility has prompted the question of whether the Senate can try a former President for conduct that occurred while he was in office…

The Constitution does not directly address whether Congress may impeach and try a former President for actions taken while in office. Though the text is open to debate, it appears that most scholars who have closely examined the question have concluded that Congress has authority to extend the impeachment process to officials who are no longer in office. 

We urgently need journalism that not only digs out the truth but presents it in ways that will be widely accepted, even among skeptical (reasonable) people. Here are 3 ways the media can vanquish the Big Lie that will linger after Trump goes. My column

— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) January 17, 2021

Anand Ghiridharadas:

We are falling on our face because we are jumping high

A dash of perspective in a dark hour

It’s scary out there right now. It’s going to be scary for some time to come. What has been unleashed, what has been revealed, is ugly. It is what makes democracies die.

In the despair, it is easy to lose perspective. I certainly do all the time. But from time to time, I step back and try to remember where we are as a country on the arc of things.

And I see then that this is both a very dark time and, potentially, a very bright time. It’s important to hold these truths together.

When I look down at the ground of the present right now, I feel depressed. If I lift my head to the horizon, I see a different picture.

This is not the chaos of the beginning of something. This is the chaos of the end of something.

In their own words: How Americans reacted to the rioting at the U.S. Capitol

— Pew Research Fact Tank (@FactTank) January 16, 2021

Skeptics call this strategy “JAQ-ing off,” and it’s important to understand what liars are doing with this. They are pretending to be reasonable, but functionally equating lies with truths.

— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) January 17, 2021

Daniel Dale/CNN:

The 15 most notable lies of Donald Trump’s presidency

Trying to pick the most notable lies from Donald Trump’s presidency is like trying to pick the most notable pieces of junk from the town dump.

There’s just so much ugly garbage to sift through before you can make a decision.

But I’m qualified for the dirty job. I fact checked every word uttered by this President from his inauguration day in January 2017 until September 2020 — when the daily number of lies got so unmanageably high that I had to start taking a pass on some of his remarks to preserve my health.

The last paragraph of @AlecMacGillis is such a punch to the gut. It is soul crushing.

— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) January 17, 2021


Fox News Viewership Plummets: First Time Behind CNN And MSNBC In Two Decades

“The unified wall of support for Trump has splintered after last week’s assault on the Capitol,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, a former TV executive and who now serves as Dean of Hofstra’s School of Communication. “Tristan Harris famously said that social networks are about ‘affirmation, not information’ — and the same can be said about cable news, especially in primetime.”

Trump advertised the date and place to meet. Aides set up event. He tweeted “be there, will be wild” and “fight.” He picked target. He tweeted incitement during raid. He invented the big lie. He said “stop” (how exactly?) the steal. He failed to protect during it. Need more?

— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) January 18, 2021

Alexandra Petri:

Now is not the time to point fingers, Julius Caesar. Now is the time for healing.

Julius Caesar, these Ides have been stressful for everyone, and I think the last thing the Roman people need right now is for you to be pointing fingers — at Brutus, at me, or at anyone, as you clutch at yourself and sink onto the Senate steps.

Now is not the time to cast blame and call out names. Now is the time for healing. Please stop bleeding on my toga; that is a sad reminder of a hurtful time I hope we can put behind us. The last thing we need is to be thinking about the past, when I have already dropped my dagger, forgotten every threatening or negative thing I ever said, and am, frankly, ready to move on. Now is the time to come together, for the good of Rome.

For someone who always made a big point of how he was uniting Rome, and who historically was so fond of Brutus, you certainly seem bent on dividing us and making Brutus look bad with your remarks now! “You too, Brutus?” Seriously?

We must focus on the future, Julius, and get back to the people’s business. The Roman people didn’t elect us (technically, the sentence could stop there!) to stand around engaging in pointless recriminations about who stabbed whom with what dagger concealed under whose toga. Ultimately, aren’t both sides at fault here? We can certainly agree that if you had not come to the Senate today, no one would have been stabbed. I’m just saying this to show we all bear some responsibility.

Manchin: Removing Hawley, Cruz with 14th Amendment ‘should be a consideration’

— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) January 16, 2021

And your final piece:

… Trump will be in desperate shape. His business is floundering, his partners are fleeing, his loans are delinquent, prosecutors will be coming after him, and the legal impunity he enjoyed through his office will be gone. ..

— rosierifka (@rosierifka) January 17, 2021

That’s too bad. 

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