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Amid comments that he is sick and unstable, Trump says he's not going anywhere. Certainly not to Biden inauguration

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WASHINGTON: Calls to variously impeach, dismiss from office, and launch criminal prosecution against Donald Trump have erupted across the US political spectrum and the media — including in conservative outlets and among former friends — as the defeated President briefly retreated into a shell, abandoned by all but his most die-hard supporters.
While calls for his resignation from liberal outlets such as New York Times and Washington Post was expected, some of the harshest criticism came from the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, one of whose editorial writers called him sick, and suggested he was mentally unstable and dangerous.
“Mr. Trump is a sick, bad man and therefore, as president, a dangerous one. He has grown casually bloody-minded…No one seems to be certain how Mr. Trump spends his days. He doesn’t bother to do his job. The White House is in meltdown,” Peggy Noonan, a former Presidential speechwriter and Conservative grand dame wrote, adding, ” America is not safe in his hands. It is not too late. Removal of the president would be the prudent move, not the wild one. Get rid of him. Now.”
Noonan also characterized Trump and his hardcore legislative flock as the “Devil and his apprentices” who pandered to the “sickness within the base.” Calling rioting Trump followers “idiots,” she said they should be dragged out of their basements and brought to justice.
But after a brief moment in which appeared chastened by the events on Wednesday, the belligerent President found his voice again on Twitter (which restored his frozen account on Thursday night) tweeting, “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he added.

There have been reports that he will host a rally at the same time as the Biden inauguration (Noon on January 20) and some militia groups have been posting that they will descend on Washington DC again on that day.
Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence meanwhile is reported to have said he will attend the Biden inauguration if he is invited. So will almost the entire Congress on both sides of the aisle — leaving only Trump and his family out in the cold.
Informally if nothing else, the Republican Party split is evident. It now remains to be seen whether the half dozen Senators who fronted for Trump in is efforts to challenge the Biden election despite the terrorist attack on the Hill (eight others returned to the mainstream Republican fold) will stay with the defeated President. Some 120 Congressmen, more than 2/3th the Republican House strength, also stayed with Trump attesting to the power he exercised over his base.

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Joe Biden proposing 5-year extension of nuke treaty, says US official

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WASHINGTON: The Biden administration is proposing to Russia a five-year extension of the New START treaty limiting the number of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons, a US official said Thursday.
The proposal was being communicated to Russian officials, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a matter not yet publicly announced by the administration.
The treaty is set to expire in February and is the last remaining agreement constraining US and Russian nuclear weapons.
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Kamala Harris becomes the new power centre in Washington

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WASHINGTON: One does not have to read numerous editorials and commentaries assessing that Kamala Harris will be one of the most powerful and consequential vice-presidents in American history. A glance at President Biden’s schedule for his first full day in office is a pointer. It shows Kamala Harris in on each of the four listed engagements, including a joint intelligence briefing that is typically reserved for the President.
Biden himself has said more than once that he expects Harris to be ready to step up to the Oval office if required, and that she will be the last person in the room after everyone has left who will have the ear of the President. He once joked about a Harris-Biden administration, much to the alarm of “Trumpublicans” who have demonized her and suggested she is a “socialist Trojan horse” who will soon replace him.

Madam Vice-President assumes office

On evidence of their first (half) day in office, there is nothing hidden or furtive about the power she will wield — with or without Biden’s consent.
Harris’ power was also on full display in the US Senate, where she was welcomed with applause by her former colleagues as she walked in to chair a session in her capacity as the constitutionally-designated President of the Senate — the first woman to become one.
She swore in three Senators, one of them California’s Alex Padilla, who will replace her as for the two remaining years of her term, before seeking a re-election in 2022. After reading out her own name in third-person as the senator that Padilla would replace, she chucked. “That was very weird.”

Decency and sense of purpose return to White House

Beneath the laughter there is also expected to an iron fist, since she is expected to preside over impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Although the chief justice of the Supreme Court typically chairs the Senate trial of a President, since Trump had demitted office and is now the ex-president, the mantle is expected to fall on Harris, particularly since Chief Justice John Roberts is said to have expressed reluctance to preside over a second Trump impeachment.
The three new Democratic inductees has also resulted in a 50-50 tie in the Senate, which means that Harris will be called on to cast a tie-breaking vote in the chamber on legislation that hews to party lines, virtually making her a 51st Senator in addition to her duties as vice-president. What is remarkable is she served only part (four years) of one six-year term as Senator. Only Barack Obama, who served only two years of a six-year term as Senator before leaping into the White House, made a faster transition.
Democratic control of the Senate with Harris’ tie-breaking vote also means the powerful chairmanship of various committees, including those tasked with confirmations and budgeting, will pass into Democratic hands. For instance, in a nightmare scenario for Republicans (and much to the delight of liberal and progressive Democrats), the budget committee chairmanship is expected to go to Bernie Sanders, who is the highest ranking Democrat on the committee.
The ethnic and racial background of Kamala Harris and the three new Democratic Senators — a Black, a Jew, and a Latino — itself augurs a power shift in a chamber that has long been dominated by old white men with nativist visions of America. Padilla is the first Hispanic Senator from California. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnoff, both from Georgia, which has long been a crucible of racial discrimination, are the first Jewish and first Black Senators respectively from the state.

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