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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 26, 2021

The new pandemic is confusion.

— If you are waiting for a coronavirus vaccine — if you’re going slowly nuts because you cannot make an appointment for a vaccine — you are hearing that we don’t have enough vaccines — especially since that seems the only way through this pandemic.

— If you’re the federal government, at least the holdovers from the outgoing administration, you think you’ve handed off to the various states everything you’ve been given — and all of that has not yet been injected into American arms.

— If you’re the state, you believe the feds have shined you on about what’s coming, and keeps changing both the rules and the numbers of dosages available. You can’t buy your own supply, and all you can see are rising numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, not enough personnel or federal aid, and a lengthening list of complaints from your residents about not being able to make appointments smoothly. Some states have not used even half their allotted supply, reports The New York Times, while the rest are running short of doses.

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 25, 2021

Days into the new government, it’s clear that Joe Biden is running an energetic, activist White House while new Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is still stuck in the same stalled Senate that he served in the ever-victimized minority.

Whatever else you want to say about Schumer, he’s no LBJ, who dominated as a Senate majority leader, or even Harry Reid.

From the outside, it looks like majority leading by pleading, not arm-twisting. You don’t hear that other senators fear Schumer as much as hope that he can stand up to the ever-manipulative tactics of a crafty Mitch McConnell,, who has lost the Majority Leader title, but not its magic to set the agenda. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 24, 2021

Senate Republicans seem to be betting that pushing an impeachment trial for Donald Trump by a few more days will help cement the arguments to dismiss the idea that he incited anti-democratic attacks on his own government.

Instead, new disclosures from journalists are making the case more forcefully that there is a pattern over the last months of doing anything and everything, legal or not, constitutional or not, to throw out election results in order to declare Trump the winner. It was exactly in pursuit of that goal that Trump pointed his red-hatted mob toward the Capitol on Jan. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 23, 2021

The more we look at the Jan. 6 Insurrection attack at the Capitol, the more we see participants with military experience.

A National Public Radio (NPR) analysis of the 140 arrested to date says that one in five were military veterans, who clearly had sworn in the past to protect the Constitution and democracy. By comparison, veterans represent about 7 percent of Americans altogether.

That there are strains of political extremism in the military, outward expressions of support for White supremacy and racism is hardly a new development, But participation in a violent attack on the U.S. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 22, 2021

At the height of the Inauguration of Joe Biden and talk of “unity,” the top half of the One America News Network was devoted to Donald Trump’s parting remarks, followed the next morning by a tribute to the Trump legacy.

Newsmax highlighted rising coronavirus numbers already ruining Joe Biden’s plans for a coordinated attack on the pandemic; Breitbart used its top headlines to feature Republican voices dismissing Biden’s comprehensive immigration proposal as amnesty run wild before turning to downtown Seattle window-breaking and anti-immigration vandalism that Breitbart labeled as work of Antifa, loosely leftist demonstrators. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 22, 2021

Amid a promised flurry of executive orders, hefty legislative packages and the necessary attention to confirming a new government, Joe Biden inherits an American foreign policy in disorder that international friends and foes want addressed — right now.

Even setting aside the leftover issues of Donald Trump’s double-impeachment and continuing national divisions, Biden is forced to deal with even last-minute ways in which Team Trump has made America’s position in the world precarious.

It will take some days, at least, to get the Biden national security team into place, since confirmation must come in a Senate that itself is trying to move through a different majority-minority set-up. Biden has selected an experienced, if unexciting set of people to handle foreign affairs, something that should help with easier confirmation hearings. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 21, 2021

In relatively simple, straight words and actions contrasting fully with his predecessor, Joe Biden started the work he said he would do as president.

There was a certain national determinedness evident in choosing to have the ceremonies on the Capitol steps just days after a Trump-clad mob swarmed to deny presidential election results, and would-be healing messages that seemed welcome to a majority of the country.

It was a ceremonial day that was a non-corny, heartfelt flood of oratorical references to Hope, Light, Unity, Positivity and Truth. “We need to end this uncivil war,” Biden intoned in a speech he has wanted to make for more than 40 years. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 20, 2021

Presuming we get through the day without major incident, we’re going to hear a lot of “Unity” talk today.

As we’ve been told by political color commentators, most of that will be from incoming President Joe Biden, but it also is being bandied about in the defensive tone of opposition Republicans still hoping to avoid conviction of the outgoing Donald Trump on impeachment charges for inciting an attack on his own government.

The Unity theme is being alternately used for bridging deep divisions — Biden’s promise to govern for those who did not vote for him — or as a back-door insistence on sudden bipartisanship, depending on the political silo in which you stand isolated. The political Right is throwing the term around with dripping sarcasm to highlight any effort to be inclusive that does not continue to bow to Trump’s continuing election fraud fantasies. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 19, 2021

In conversations with old friends, the notion has come up multiple times: All those years ago, when we joked, hopefully, about a political “revolution” in this country, it wasn’t going to be like this.

Two generations ago already, we were talking about America coming to its senses about Vietnam, about Civil Rights, about rights for workers over profit-bound corporations, about internationalism, the role of education and empathy for individualism free of censorship.

When the revolution comes, we would say, people could live their lives without worry about color of skin, sexual choices or music with a message, with equality and fairness as a watchword for daily life, with more concern about peace and love and a whole lot less on the power of the gun. …

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Terry H. Schwadron

Jan. 18, 2021

With threatened right-wing protests in Washington and around state houses very muted yesterday, there was consideration of the defense strategies taking shape among those responsible for the Capitol insurrection.

Curiously, defenses for actual rioters may put more blame on Donald Trump.

For anyone hoping that any of these pending legal actions will end this chapter, the arguments are anything but hopeful.

As we know, Trump says flatly that he did nothing to incite the rioting, despite his fiery send-off to his red-hatted followers towards the Capitol to stop any certification of election results. Therefore, there’s no contrition, and thus and a need for a trial now for impeachment — which sets a different legal bar than criminal charges. Still, possible criminal charges loom, as do possible civil claims from those who died or were injured in the attacks. …

About

Terry Schwadron

Journalist, musician, community volunteer

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