The Wider World

It’s the changing of the guard

PRESIDENT Donald Trump said goodbye on Tuesday (White House photo).

President-elect Joe Biden and outgoing President Donald Trump each made addresses to the nation on Tuesday, reflecting on their soon-to-change status.

At noon on Wednesday, Trump’s presidency passes into history and Biden will become the 46th President of the United States.

Biden spoke from the National Guard headquarters in his home state of Delaware. He expressed his affection for “The First State,” which sent him to the U.S. Senate at the age of 29. He also spoke soberly of the challenge ahead.

“These are dark times,” he said. “But there is always light.”

The outgoing president’s remarks were videotaped. While not mentioning Biden, he said, “We extend our best wishes and we also want them to have luck, a very important word.”

He criticized the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and praised himself for starting no wars. Trump will not be attending the swearing-in ceremonies.

Trump, however, continues to take criticism from many former supporters. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senate Majority Leader and –until recently – a strong backer of the president, said Tuesday that the attack was “provoked by the president.”

“The mob was fed lies,” said McConnell. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence.”  According to USA Today, McConnell has privately said that Trump has committed “impeachable offenses.”

After Wednesday’s inauguration of Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, the Senate will be busy with considering confirmation of cabinet appointments and the second impeachment trial of Trump. Although he will be out of office by tomorrow, there is a precedent for convicting federal officials and disqualifying them from ever holding office at the national level, which would keep Trump for running for a second term in 2024.

News: COVID-19 deaths in U.S. pass 400k

While new coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surged past 400,000 on Tuesday, there were some encouraging signs in the struggle against the pandemic. The Johns Hopkins University counted 1,400 more fatalities on Monday, the lowest daily total since Jan. 3. The New York Times is reporting that its 14-day tracking of new cases nationally is showing a 7 percent decline, while deaths have risen 21 percent over that period.

DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT: A report urging “patriotic education” was released Monday by a commission formed by President Donald Trump. The “1776 Commission” is considered a conservative reply to the “1619 Report” from The New York Times and others. According to United Press International, it attempts to place the issue of slavery in a broader context – the U.S. was just one of many nations ever engaged in that practice – but also criticized “progressivism.” Critics of the report note that none of the 18 associated with creating the report were historians.

Sports: Don Sutton dead at 75

Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher best know for his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died at the age of 75. The cause of death was given as cancer. Sutton, who won 324 games in his career, also played for the California (now Los Angeles) Angels, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics.




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