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When he takes office on Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump will have something in common with Dwight Eisenhower—beyond the fact that neither was a politician before stepping into the presidency. That is, he’ll have both chambers of Congress in his own party. Not a bad place for a president to start, but one of Ike’s first lessons when he took office in 1953 was that members of his own party could sometimes be his harshest critics. In any case, Ike’s Republican Congress didn’t last. In a blink of an eye, the 1954 elections came and restored Democratic control. Ike was left to grapple with a Democratic Congress for the next six years. Top Republicans are well aware of this lesson today—“Nothing is forever in this country,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned his giddy GOP colleagues on Nov. 9. The next election is less than two years away. As Ike might have advised, best to make friends where you can.
When Barack Obama takes to the lectern to deliver his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday, he’ll likely have a few things to say about a political climate that has grown viciously polarized over the past 8 years and culminated in a bruising, insult-driven campaign in 2016. If he does call out the destructive effects of hyper-partisanship on our democracy, he will be following in the footsteps of the first farewell address, by George Washington, printed in the American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796.
peaking in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he was highly confident that Russia had interfered in the presidential election. With testimony like that from the country's highest ranking intelligence officer, and a declassified report on alleged Russian interference expected out next week, Democrats now have plenty of new fodder for their endless quest to delegitimize Donald Trump by tying him to Russia.
A silent war continues, led by the west, ignored by the media, writes John Pilger.
The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions. In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!”