1. says

    Trump just tweeted: “The ‘Surrender Caucus’ within the Republican Party will go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!”

  2. quotetheunquote says

    @SC #490 – “What if they gave a war, and nobody came?”
    Very wise of the Mayor to suggest this, I do hope people are paying attention; I’m thinking that the “boys”, while a truly vile bunch, are also (so far, at least) relatively small organization. It they find nobody there to “play” their game with them they’ll look (even more) like idiots.

    @SC #500 – I haven’t seen the original, but my first thought was “What?! Is he actually having some sort of fit of sanity?” Looks like this may be the closest we’re going to get to a concession speech.

    Doesn’t sound like the Hair Furor we’ve come to know (but if it’s from a staffer, he/she certainly got the tone right) .

  3. says

    Here’s the ink again to the January 4 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    From there:

    ‘No evidence’ delaying vaccine doses will work – manufacturers

    BioNTech and Pfizer have warned that they have no evidence their vaccine will continue to work if the booster shot is given later than tested in trials. They said:

    The safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules as the majority of trial participants received the second dose within the window specified in the study design.

    There is no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.

    Several nations have approved or are developing plans to space out doses in order to make stocks go further.

    The maximum interval of 42 days between the first and the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be respected to obtain full protection, the European Medicines Agency has said.

    Evidence of the vaccine efficacy is based on a study where administration of doses was done 19 to 42 days apart, the agency said, noting that full protection comes only seven days after the booster.

    Any change to this would require a variation to the marketing authorisation as well as more clinical data to support such a change, otherwise it would be considered as ‘off label use’.

    Off-label use entails lower liabilities on vaccine makers.

    As I said earlier, I think messing around with the vaccine schedules and doses is a mistake. We finally have something that works, and suddenly governments need to start trying to fuck around with it when they can’t even handle the basics right now.

    (The Guardian has exceeded their end-of-year fundraising goal, but the campaign continues until January 10. Support them if you can!)

  4. says

    NBC4 – “DC National Guard to Respond to Pro-Trump Protests This Week”:

    Members of the D.C. National Guard will respond as supporters of President Donald Trump protest the 2020 election results in downtown D.C. this week.

    The D.C. National Guard will assist the Metropolitan Police Department with crowd management and traffic control, MPD’s acting chief, Robert Contee, said at a news conference Monday morning. The department is expecting a crowd larger than at two pro-Trump events in D.C. last year.

    Anyone who carries a gun at a protest or within 1,000 feet of a protest will be arrested, in line with D.C. law, the acting police chief said. Police posted signs this weekend in Freedom Plaza, where protests are expected, warning about the law.

    Law enforcement will work to maintain order at the demonstrations, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

    “We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city,” she said.

    Officials will evaluate whether a curfew will be needed, Bowser said.

    Police will increase their presence around churches after demonstrators previously destroyed Black Lives Matter signs outside….

  5. says

    quotetheunquote @ #1, I first saw the Trump tweet when it was retweeted by Maggie Haberman with the comment “It’s rare that you get to watch a public figure process information in real time, from tweet to tweet, yet here we are.”

    (Trump’s tweet, quoted at the end of the previous chapter, reads: “The ‘Surrender Caucus’ within the Republican Party will go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!” Tom Cotton and Mike Lee, both Trumpers, have come out against the Cruz/Hawley plan in the past several hours.)

  6. says

    TPM – “EXCLUSIVE: Atlanta-Based U.S. Attorney Abruptly Departs Office Sooner Than Expected”:

    The U.S. attorney in Atlanta departed his post Monday, TPM has learned, after previously indicating that he would not leave until Inauguration Day.

    The reason for U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak’s change of plans are not clear. In an internal email announcing his departure obtained by TPM, Pak cited only “unforeseen circumstances” as the reason he was leaving Monday rather than Jan. 20.

    A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment when TPM reached out about the departure. The White House also declined to comment.

    Pak was nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate in 2017.

    It is not uncommon for U.S. attorneys to step down in the weeks leading up to the inauguration of a new administration, as a courtesy to clear the way for the incoming president to choose his or her own appointees. Other Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys have also left their posts in recent days.

    But the news that Pak is out effective Monday, rather than Jan. 20, as he had previously indicated, comes as Georgia is the focus of intense political attention.

    Before his appointment as U.S. Attorney, Pak, a Republican, served as a representative in Georgia’s General Assembly.

  7. tomh says

    Georgia secretary of state says Trump could face probe over taped election call
    Fadel Allassan

    Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that an Atlanta-area district attorney’s office could investigate a phone call Saturday during which President Trump asked Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory in the state.

    Raffensperger said his own office is not likely to investigate the matter because Trump has also recently spoken with the office’s chief investigator, which may present a conflict of interest.

    “I understand that the Fulton County district attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go,” Raffensperger said.

    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in a statement hours later that the secretary of state can refer the matter to her office after it completes its own probe, per WSB-TV. It is unclear whether Raffensperger’s office will look into the call.

    “It is my understanding from news reports that a member of the State Election Board has requested that the Secretary’s Election Division investigate the call, after which the board can refer the case to my office and the state Attorney General.”

    “As I promised Fulton County voters last year, as District Attorney, I will enforce the law without fear or favor. Anyone who commits a felony in violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable. Once the investigation is complete, this matter, like all matters, will be handled by our office based on the facts and the law.”
    — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

  8. says

    JUST IN: Another brutal opinion dismissing suit seeking to overturn 2020 election results. Argument ‘lies somewhere between a willful misreading of the Constitution and fantasy,’ Judge James Boasberg writes. Also threatens to refer counsel for discipline.”

    Opinion atl.

  9. says

    Two threads of Dave Weigel’s livetweeting of Pence’s GA rally today.

    Harris was in GA yesterday. Both Trump and Biden are appearing there tonight. Raffensperger’s office is doing a press conference at 3 ET (less than an hour from now).

  10. tomh says

    Lucky Georgians, everyone will be there tonight.

    POLITICO Playbook

    TRUMP’S MONDAY — The president will leave the White House at 6:10 p.m. for a rally in Dalton, Ga. Additionally, according to the official White House schedule sent to reporters, “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

    — PENCE will depart Washington at 9:05 a.m. He’ll arrive in Macon, Ga., at 10:50 a.m. and deliver remarks at a faith community call to action in Milner, Ga., at 12:05 p.m. He’ll then arrive back in Washington at 3:40 p.m.

    — BIDEN will travel to Atlanta to campaign for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. VP-elect KAMALA HARRIS will receive the President’s Daily Brief and meet with transition advisers.

    Meanwhile, The Coronavirus rages on: 20.6 million Americans have tested positive. … 352,000 have died. The vaccine rollout still stalled everywhere.

  11. says

    BBC – “Colchester Hospital: Covid deniers removed from ‘at capacity’ hospital”:

    Security officers removed Covid-19 “deniers” who were taking pictures of empty corridors at a NHS hospital where the intensive care unit is at maximum capacity, its chief executive said.

    The incident took place at Colchester Hospital at the weekend.

    Chief executive Nick Hulme said it “beggars belief” some people were calling the pandemic a hoax.

    He said it was “the right thing to do” to keep corridors in outpatients units as empty as possible.

    Mr Hulme said hospital security had to “remove people who were taking photographs of empty corridors and then posting them on social media, saying the hospital is not in crisis”.

    “When you’ve got that sort of social media pressure and those people denying the reality of Covid it really concerns us. Words fail me,” he said.

    “Why would people do that when we all know somebody who has died from Covid?

    “Of course there are empty corridors at the weekend in outpatients, because that’s the right thing to do.

    “We are facing the biggest health challenge we’ve ever seen and we are still seeing people flouting the [social distancing] rules.”

    Under coronavirus pandemic restrictions on social distancing, many outpatient consultations had been moved online or were taking place over the telephone, he added.

    Physical appointments, tests and procedures had been organised differently to avoid crowded waiting areas.

    Mr Hulme is chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust which also runs Ipswich Hospital and he said there were currently 320 patients being treated for Covid-19 across both sites.

  12. says

    Andrew Weissmann:

    So many parts of the tape evidence Trump’s criminal intent:
    -lies, and no facts, to support demands
    -seeking to find the precise number of votes to win (vs impartial scrub of votes)
    -reminding Secy he’s a Republican (how is that relevant?)
    -reminding him of criminal consequences

    Then add in the proof of his motive and his pattern of similar activity.

    Too many people are making the obvious point that criminal law requires proof of a person’s criminal intent (mens rea). Of course. But there already is substantial evidence of that…, and clearly reason to have DOJ/GA investigate this and other POTUS actions and calls.

  13. says

    This Republican Senate candidate in Georgia is confused:

    On Friday, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) didn’t vote when the Senate approved funding for the military. On Saturday, she accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) of wanting to “defund our military,” despite the fact that he, unlike Loeffler, actually supported the veto override that funded the military. And on Sunday, Loeffler refused to say whether she would’ve voted to fund the military if she’d shown up for work.

  14. says

    It may not be all about the money, but it certainly is mostly about the money:

    On New Year’s Eve, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) started raising money off the anti-election scheme he announced a day earlier.

  15. says

    An update of the no good, terrible week Representative Louie Gohmert has had:

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), desperate to help Donald Trump gain power he didn’t earn, filed a ridiculous lawsuit last week against, of all people, Vice President Mike Pence. It’s a little convoluted, but the Texas Republican effectively asked the federal courts to use his case to empower Pence to unilaterally reject electoral college results he disagrees with.

    Or more specifically, Gohmert asked a federal judge to let the vice president ignore actual electoral votes, and instead accept an alternate slate of fake pro-Trump electoral votes as if they were real.

    By way of a follow-up, it seemed worth noting the case’s failure.

    A federal judge on Friday dismissed a last-gasp lawsuit […]. Texas U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, wrote that the plaintiffs “allege an injury that is not fairly traceable” to Pence, “and is unlikely to be redressed by the requested relief.”

    Soon after, a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals — in this case, two Reagan appointees and a Trump appointee — also dismissed the lawsuit out of hand.

    After suffering predictable failures in court, Gohmert told one conservative news outlet that unless the results of the 2020 election are nullified, “it will mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government.” The irony of the comments appeared lost on him.

    LOL. Understatement. Irony appears to be lost on most Republicans.

    But that’s not all he said. Complaining about his legal defeats, the GOP congressman added, “Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and [Black Lives Matter].”

    Gohmert soon after argued on Twitter that his remarks were not intended as an endorsement of violence — which is the sort of denial that becomes necessary when a politician uses reckless rhetoric about street violence.

    Over the holiday weekend, HuffPost’s Matt Fuller tweeted an observation that stood out for me: “When I started covering House Republicans in 2013, a senior GOP aide told me to ignore the Steve Kings and Louie Gohmerts in the party. I pretty much did the exact opposite, and watched the whole party turn into Louie Gohmerts — and Louie Gohmert graduate to … this.”

    […] it’s tempting to dismiss Louie Gohmert as a fringe and unserious figure. Of course it’s easy to see him as a bumbling far-right lawmaker, who struggles to gain respect from his own colleagues. Gohmert is more of a cartoon than a congressman.

    But the more Republican politics becomes radicalized, it’s hard not to notice that the lines between Gohmert and the GOP “mainstream” are no longer clear.


  16. says

    When Raffensperger said, ‘The truth will come out,’ he wasn’t kidding

    In effect, Raffensperger and his attorney believed it was likely that Trump would do something improper during this phone meeting, so they recorded it.

    From Politico:

    It started on Saturday when Trump and his team reached out to talk to Raffensperger, who, according to an adviser, felt he would be unethically pressured by the president. Raffensperger had been here before: In November he accused Trump ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham of improperly exhorting him to meddle in the election to help Trump win Georgia. Graham later denied it. So why not record the call with the president, Raffensperger’s advisers thought, if nothing else for fact-checking purposes.

    Commentary (see the link above):

    […] It started on Saturday when Trump and his team reached out to talk to Raffensperger, who, according to an adviser, felt he would be unethically pressured by the president. Raffensperger had been here before: In November he accused Trump ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham of improperly exhorting him to meddle in the election to help Trump win Georgia. Graham later denied it. So why not record the call with the president, Raffensperger’s advisers thought, if nothing else for fact-checking purposes.

    CNN had a related report, adding that Raffensperger “told his advisers he did not want the recording or a transcript of the call released unless Trump attacked him or misrepresented the call.” Evidently, once the president lied yesterday morning about the phone meeting, all bets were off.

    This context is directly relevant to understanding the bigger picture. In effect, Raffensperger and his attorney, painfully aware of the political conditions, believed it was awfully likely that Trump would do something improper during this phone meeting. Recording it was the Georgia Republican’s way of having an official record of possible crimes.

    To no one’s surprise, Trump proved those expectations true.

  17. says

    Daniel Dale:

    Ongoing on CNN and elsewhere: Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling is doing a very thorough debunking of the lies coming from Trump and his allies.

    This is not a debate. One side has facts, the other side has nonsense, deception, idiocy.

    He didn’t hold back on Trump, either.

  18. says

    Targeting democracy, Ted Cruz bristles at criticism of his antics

    Ted Cruz’s position is he should be allowed to try to overthrow election results in peace, without a whole lot of hassle and criticism.

    […] It wasn’t just Democrats who were quick to denounce Cruz’s dangerous campaign. “A fundamental, defining feature of a democratic republic is the right of the people to elect their own leaders,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said in a statement of his own. “The effort by Senators Hawley, Cruz, and others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in swing states like Pennsylvania directly undermines this right…. The senators justify their intent by observing that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud by a losing campaign cannot justify overturning an election. They fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence.”

    Soon after, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added, “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic…. “I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”

    The Texas Republican is apparently aware of the pushback, and he’d like his critics to back off.

    Appearing on Fox News on Sunday, Cruz griped that critics of the charge he’s leading to rile up Republicans to challenge the election results should “tone down the rhetoric” and “calm down.” … “This is already a volatile situation,” Cruz said. “It’s like a tinderbox and throwing lit matches into it.”

    I can appreciate why this might seem a little bewildering — indeed, the point of comments like Cruz’s is to blur the lines of reality — but the Texas Republican is effectively making the case that people should stop giving him such a hard time about his attacks on our democracy. […]

  19. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    England will enter its toughest nationwide lockdown since March, with schools closed and people allowed to leave home once a day for exercise for at least six weeks, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced as the numbers of people in hospital reach new highs.

    All pupils will switch to remote learning until the February half-term, the prime minister said in an address to the nation, and GCSE and A-level exams are unlikely to go ahead as planned. All non-essential shops will be told to close.

    Under the third national lockdown, people in England will be ordered to stay at home until at least 15 February and advised only to leave once a day for exercise. MPs are expected to vote the tough new measures into law from Wednesday, though businesses will be advised to close from Monday night.

    Across the country, people must now only leave home for work – and only if it is impossible to work from home – and for essential food and medicine. Exercise with one other person from a different household is permitted but the advice is to stay local and limit activity to once a day.

  20. says

    Follow-up to SC @23, that public servant in Georgia did a great job of debunking all of Trump’s bogus claims. It must be so frustrating to have to even address Trump’s nonsense, but he did it well. One good point he made was that those bogus claims had, for the most part, already been debunked. And, as Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling went on to explain, he had even made sure that videos supporting the debunking were posted online for all to see. They were there for Trump and his bonkers lawyers to see. They were there Mark Meadows to see. I feel Gabriel Sterling’s pain.

    Here is more commentary on Trump’s mafia-like phone call: Trump creates a sequel to ‘I would like you to do us a favor, though’

    Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes were obviously a turning point in history. By most measures, Trump’s new tape is worse.

    […] The Washington Post, which first broke the story yesterday, posted the full recording and transcript of the 62-minute phone meeting, and it’s worth reviewing in full to appreciate just how scandalous Trump’s misconduct was during Saturday’s call.

    At one point, the president is heard suggesting to GOP officials in Georgia he wants someone to “find” votes that would flip the state Trump lost in November. He added to Raffensperger, “[T]here’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”

    In the same call, the recording features the president threatening Raffensperger if he refused to help rig the results in Trump’s favor. Specifically, the president pointed to a baseless conspiracy theory — the destruction of ballots in Fulton County — and urged Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the secretary of state’s general counsel, to endorse the made-up claim.

    “That’s a criminal offense,” Trump said. “And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”

    Raffensperger, a conservative Republican, did his best to reason with the president, and explain that his conspiracy theories were baseless. Trump — who made ridiculous comments about, among other things, parts of Dominion voting machines — didn’t care, insisting he believes what he’s learned by way of “Trump media.”

    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say this is among the most scandalous recordings ever made of an American president. The public has now heard the outgoing president, desperate to claim power he didn’t earn, exploring ways to cheat, and begging others to participate in his anti-democracy scheme.

    Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes were obviously a turning point in history. By most measures, these new revelations are considerably worse. The abuse is direct and unambiguous. The corruption is overt and deliberate. The recording is a bit like a glorified confession. We’ve known for weeks that Trump has been engaged in a lobbying effort, targeting state officials in the hopes that they’ll overturn election results he doesn’t like, but it wasn’t until yesterday that we heard the precise nature of his perverse pitch — which includes elements of madness, extortion, and fraud.

    It’s the kind of scandal that touches several bases at once:

    * Trump’s doing what he’s accusing his opponents of doing: The irony of the circumstances should be lost on no one. After two months of accusing others of engaging in election fraud, and trying to “steal” the election from the rightful victors by way of “found” votes, Trump has been caught on tape trying to engage in election fraud, with the intention of stealing the election from the rightful victors after urging allies to “find” votes.

    * [Trump’s] conduct may very well be illegal: […] soliciting election fraud is a crime. […]

    […] * This appears to be the sequel to “I would like you to do us a favor, though”: The parallels between Trump’s phone meeting with Raffensperger over the weekend and his 2019 phone meeting with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky — which led to the Republican’s impeachment — are striking. With the Ukrainian president, Trump made vague threats to an ally in the hopes he’d help Trump cheat. With the Georgia secretary of state, [Trump] did the exact same thing.

    * He’s still ignoring his actual job: Keep in mind that this phone meeting occurred just two days ago. In other words, on Jan. 2, 2021, Trump continued to ignore his day job — overseeing the executive branch of a global superpower during multiple crises, including a deadly pandemic — in order to extend a legally dubious lobbying campaign to give him illegitimate power.

    * Trump clearly isn’t preparing for a peaceful transition of power: Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day is in two weeks […] Trump sounds absolutely desperate, peddling bonkers ideas and making subtle threats, as if he perceives the near future is still up for grabs. He literally told Raffensperger at one point during Saturday’s call, “We have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly.”

    […] Will there be any kind of accountability for misconduct this brazen? Is there a point to a presidential impeachment process for an incumbent who’ll be out of office in 16 days?

    Finally, there are congressional Republicans to consider. The last time Americans heard a presidential recording like this, it was 1974, and Nixon was forced by a unanimous Supreme Court ruling to give up his Watergate tapes. Soon after, GOP leaders were at his doorstep, telling him his presidency was over.

    Nearly a half-century later, it’s likely contemporary Republicans will prefer to echo Trump’s manic nonsense and pretend that the new recording is benign.

  21. says

    One example of how Trump takes in absolutely shitty information, massages it, and then regurgitates it:

    Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia’s top elections official into stealing the state for him also served as a helpful illustration of the sort of disinformation that [Trump] regularly consumes — and creates.

    Look no further than Trump’s obsession with Ruby Freeman, who was a private individual until a few weeks ago, when fever swamp conspiracy-mongers (and the Trump campaign itself) decided they would target her with the false claim that she had illegally swung the Georgia election for Joe Biden.

    Trump’s obsession with Freeman is evident: He referenced her, by name, a dozen times at three separate points during his hour-long call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Trump referred to Freeman as “a professional vote scammer and hustler” and later as “a known political operative, balloteer.”

    Trump also singled out Freeman’s “lovely daughter.”

    “A very lovely young lady, I’m sure,” the President said, before noting that he was willing to “take on” Freeman.

    “Do you know that every single ballot she did went to Biden?” he said. “You know that, right?”

    How does Trump know? As he explained: “They watched it, certified, in slow motion — instant replay if you can believe it — and it was magnified many times over. And the minimum it was was 18,000 ballots, all for Biden.”

    “You know the internet?” he added separately. “You know what was trending on the internet? ‘Where’s Ruby,’ because they thought she would be in jail. ‘Where’s Ruby.’ It’s crazy.”

    It is crazy. But despite Trump’s assertion, Freeman wasn’t trending on the web at the time of his call. She was only trending in the echo chamber of disinformation that Trump has inhabited for years.

    […] Freeman entered the conspiracy theory lexicon in early December, when video started circulating of a ballot processing center at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani showed selectively edited footage from the video to Georgia legislators on Dec. 3. Fox News’ Sean Hannity invited Giuliani on that night to discuss the footage, calling it a “bombshell.”

    The campaign promoted the same footage on Twitter the same day, featuring a voiceover from the attorney volunteer and Republican donor Jacki Pick, who falsely claimed that it showed elections workers committing voter fraud.

    The video does not show fraud. As Raffensperger told Trump, his office walked WSB-TV frame-by-frame through the video on Dec. 4, demonstrating that it showed the normal ballot-counting process.

    “The President’s team is intentionally misleading the public about what happened at State Farm Arena on election night,” Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling said at the time.

    […] Trump has milked the footage for all it’s worth. At a rally a couple days after his campaign released the footage, he featured Newsmax’s coverage of the tape on the big screen. [video is available at the link]

    The President’s allies on the web and certain television networks ran with it.

    Within hours of the video’s release, websites like Gateway Pundit and Natural News identified Freeman as a woman wearing a purple shirt in the footage. “The lady with the blonde braids” mentioned in the video is, various right-wing websites and social media users have asserted, Freeman’s daughter. After her identity was revealed, Freeman was instantly bombarded with threats and has avoided speaking to the media.

    It wasn’t long before a fake Instagram post from an account falsely purported to belong to Freeman began circulating, in which “Freeman” claimed that she had fraudulently tilted the Georgia results to Biden.

    Among those fooled: Lin Wood, the pro-Trump attorney who’s very publicly gone off the deep end recently, foretelling public executions of his political enemies including Vice President Mike Pence.

    The conspiracy theory network InfoWars, of course, took the Freeman chum with gusto, publishing article after article theorizing about the elections worker and her daughter.

    […] [Trump] complained on Saturday’s phone call, “They went to the table with the black robe, the black shield, and they pulled out the votes.”

    […] his campaign’s grudge against Freeman and other elections workers carries unmistakably racist undertones.

    “They look like they’re passing out dope,” Giulani said of elections workers in the State Farm Arena, adding later that the surveillance camera video showed workers “surreptitiously passing around USB ports like they were vials of heroin or cocaine.”

    Trump, on his call with Raffensperger, referred to Freeman as a kingpin of sorts, just after telling the secretary and his staff, “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes, give me a break.”

    “I mean, I’ll take on anybody you want with regard to Ruby Freeman and her lovely daughter — a very lovely young lady, I’m sure,” he added.

    “But Ruby Freeman — I will take Freeman,” Trump said. “I will take on anybody you want.”


  22. says

    Follow-up to comment 28.

    From comments posted by readers of the article:

    I hope that Georgia is providing Ruby Freeman and her family with round-the-clock security. This is despicable.
    They learned that if you go after a large company like Dominion, they have lawyers and stuff and can fight back hard. But a private individual just doing her election worker job? Not so much. Thus, an easy target for lazy fuckwad bullies like Trump.
    Regardless of which tight corner Trump finds himself in he’ll always manage to identify a female worthy of being demonized and threatened. Pathological misogyny is a security blankie of sorts for him.
    The truth always has been, and always will be, Donald’s number one enemy. It is closing in on him.
    Trump ALWAYS “punches Down” so he doesn’t lose. It’s what cowards and bullies do.
    He’ll demonize anyone as and when it’s convenient for him but a woman of color is by far his favorite prey of choice.

  23. says

    Watch Kamala Harris shred Trump for recorded call threatening Raffensperger

    Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris showed up and showed out in support of Democratic Senate hopefuls Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock when she made a special trip Sunday to Savannah’s Garden City Stadium for a drive-in rally. In a speech colored with historical references about the late voting rights activist John Lewis, she impressed upon Georgians the importance of voting in the state’s upcoming Senate runoff. She also fit into her talking points the state’s notorious voter suppression efforts costing former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams her gubernatorial bid and President Donald Trump’s recent pressure applied to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a recorded call.

    “Have you all heard about that recorded conversation,” Harris asked an eager coastal Georgia crowd. A symphony of honking horns followed. “Well, it was yes, certainly the voice of desperation, most certainly that,” Harris said of Trump’s words. “And it was a bald, bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States.”

    […] Harris used the facts at play to recommend a question for Georgia voters in the face of the country’s top leader trying to suppress the state’s vote. “Whenever we see this happen, I think it requires not only action, but it requires a question,” Harris said. “Why are such powerful people trying to make it difficult for us to vote? And I think we know the answer. Because they know our power.”

    The video and a transcript of Harris’ speech are available at the link.

  24. says

    Business leaders, lobbyists urge Congress to certify election for Biden

    More than 100 executives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers pushed back against efforts to overturn the results.

    More than 100 business executives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers released statements on Monday urging Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win. Executives and founders of industries ranging from finance to media to fashion pushed back against […] Trump’s quixotic effort to overturn the election and insisted that Congress focus instead on the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. […]

  25. says

    Is a Trump lawyer about to get called on the carpet?

    A Milwaukee-based law firm said it was “concerned” about its attorney Cleta Mitchell’s participation in the Saturday phone call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

    Foley & Lardner, the law firm where Mitchell serves as a partner, issued a statement […]

    “We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s participation in the January 2 conference call and are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly,” the firm said in a statement.

    The statement indicated that Foley & Lardner made the decision in November not to represent “any parties seeking to contest the results of the presidential election.”

    The firm did permit its attorneys to participate in observing election recounts and similar activities as private citizens as long as they did not serve as legal advisers. […]


  26. says

    From Wonkette: “DC Judge Has Had It With These MF’ing Election Suits In His MF’ing Court.”

    […] This was the case where a bunch of swing state loonies teamed up with the Thomas More Society to sue Mike Pence, the House, the Senate, a bunch of state elections officials and also the Electoral College. The “theory” (loosely speaking) of their “case” (also loosely speaking) was that only state legislatures have the power to certify elections, and thus all the slates of electors in all fifty states and several decades of election law are UNLEGAL.

    Before Christmas, US District Judge James E. Boasberg told the plaintiffs that he’d get right on their motion for a preliminary injunction just as soon as they demonstrated proof of service on Mr. Electoral College, whom the legal eagles at Thomas More decided “lives” at Congress, because, sure, why not? But now it appears the court’s patience has run out.

    In addition to being filed on behalf of Plaintiffs without standing and (at least as to the state Defendants) in the wrong court and with no effort to even serve their adversaries, the suit rests on a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution. It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States. The Court will deny the Motion.

    That is an inauspicious beginning for the plaintiffs. And it’s all downhill from there.

    “To say that Plaintiffs’ 116-page Complaint, replete with 310 footnotes, is prolix would be a gross understatement,” writes a clearly furious Judge Boasberg. “After explicitly disclaiming any theory of fraud, see ECF No. 1 (Complaint), ¶ 44 (‘This lawsuit is not about voter fraud.’), Plaintiffs spend scores of pages cataloguing every conceivable discrepancy or irregularity in the 2020 vote in the five relevant states, already debunked or not, most of which they nonetheless describe as a species of fraud.”

    He’s not impressed that the plaintiffs failed to serve the Electoral College, or anyone else — “Twelve days later, Plaintiffs have still not provided proof of notice to any Defendant, let alone filed a single proof of service or explained their inability to do so.” — and he’s not inclined to give them more time to dick around “[g]iven that time is short and the legal errors underpinning this action manifold.”

    Noting several cases in the past month affirming that individual voters lack standing to sue in federal court to enforce state election law based on “generalized grievances,” Judge Boasberg expresses his extreme displeasure at being roped into a matter involving state election officials over whom the federal court in DC has no jurisdiction. “Plaintiffs cannot simply sue anyone they wish here in the District of Columbia.”

    And even if we all pretended that the plaintiffs had standing and were suing in the right court, and if they hadn’t “waited until seven weeks after the election to bring this action and seek a preliminary injunction based on purportedly unconstitutional statutes that have existed for decades,” they would still lose because their cockamamie theory that legislatures can’t pass laws ordering the secretaries of state to certify election results “lies somewhere between a willful misreading of the Constitution and fantasy.”


    Oh, wait, Judge Boasberg isn’t done yelling yet.

    Yet even that may be letting Plaintiffs off the hook too lightly. Their failure to make any effort to serve or formally notify any Defendant — even after reminder by the Court in its Minute Order — renders it difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously. Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures. As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel.

    Does that read like a threat? Because it definitely is. This is a big, red flashing indicator that if these plaintiffs don’t voluntarily remove themselves from his courtroom right fucking now, not only will they lose, but something VERY BAD will happen to the lawyers in this case. […]


  27. says

    Here is a link to the full transcript of Trump’s phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger: The Hill.

    One excerpt that has not yet been posted on this thread:

    […] Trump: Okay, thank you very much. Hello Brad and Ryan and everybody. We appreciate the time and the call. So we’ve spent a lot of time on this, and if we could just go over some of the numbers, I think it’s pretty clear that we won. We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly. We’d be getting 25-30,000 people a rally, and the competition would get less than 100 people. And it never made sense. […]

  28. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    NHS doctors have compared hospitals to war zones as hospitalisations hit record levels in England and the alert level is raised to five – the highest possible.

    Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said that there was clear need for a major intervention to curb the virus, particularly the new variant, because “the NHS in on the brink”.

    He said: “Hospitals are stretched to breaking point, with doctors reporting unbearable workloads as they take on more Covid-19 admissions alongside the growing backlog of people who need other, non-Covid care.

    “Doctors are desperate, with some even comparing their working environment to a warzone as wards overflow, waiting lists grow, and ambulances queue outside hospitals because there are now so many people with Covid-19.

    This has resulted in the NHS facing a “perfect storm of immense workload and staff burnout” while more cases are expected due to socialising over Christmas.

    Dr Nagpaul called for the vaccination of healthcare workers to be significantly hastened “so they can continue to provide the care so vitally needed by so many”.

  29. says

    Ruth Ben-Ghiat (I recommend her book Strongmen) at NBC – “Trump’s call to Georgia election officials highlights White House bunker mentality”:

    Adolf Hitler retreated to his Führerbunker as the Allies advanced into Germany in the spring of 1945, leaving Germans to their fates. Moammar Gadhafi holed up in his fortress on the outskirts of Tripoli, refusing to surrender when Libyans took up arms against him. And President Donald Trump has turned the White House into his own refuge as he desperately seeks to remain in power despite having lost the presidential election.

    Trump has followed an authoritarian, rather than a democratic, playbook as president. It is fitting that he would end up like some of history’s best-known autocrats: hunkered down in his safe space, surrounded by his latest crop of unhinged loyalists, trying pathetically to escape the reality of his defeat.

    On Saturday, Trump literally begged Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the election results. “The people of Georgia are angry. The people in the country are angry,” Trump said in the call, a recording of which was obtained by NBC News. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”

    The “inner sanctums” of authoritarians take on special importance when things are going badly and their power is threatened. Composed of flatterers and family members, they function to shield the head of state from any information that conflicts with his delusion that he is always right and will stay in power indefinitely….

    For those who have followed Trump’s time in office closely, his recourse to such measures is unsurprising. During his presidency, Americans have witnessed not just the decline of accountability and ethics in government, but also the rise of a political cult that glorified Trump as a man able to get away with what lesser men cannot and replaced expertise with loyalty as a criterion for government service.

    Yet because Trump did not succeed in destroying democracy, the media and the political opposition have left a public record of the kinds of authoritarian dynamics we normally hear about only from exiles or dissenters. Large news outlets invested in new investigative teams to cover Trump’s corruption, and their fact-checkers were kept busy calling out his lies. “Whistleblowers” across government made the news. Many who served in Trump’s inner circle published tell-all books about his chaotic mode of governance or leaked news of his latest autocratic plans to the media while still in his employ.

    From start to finish, Trump’s administration offered Americans an extraordinary civics lesson in how democratic erosion works and a road map of the weaknesses in our institutions that we can follow to bolster our system.

  30. johnson catman says

    re SC @45: Of course the only races that should be decertified are ones whose outcome we don’t like. (/s) Hey Marjorie Taylor Greene, the races are on the SAME FUCKING BALLOT you fucking asshole.

  31. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    The Covid catastrophe in the Los Angeles region has continued to push the healthcare system to the brink, with officials warning that the surge from the holidays and New Year’s Eve gatherings will further exacerbate the crisis in the coming weeks.

    New Covid infections in LA county have been accelerating at by far the highest rate since the start of the pandemic. Over the weekend, officials announced that more than 800,000 people in the county have contracted Covid in 2020, with half of those cases occurring in December. LA mayor Eric Garcetti noted on Sunday that one person is now contracting Covid every six seconds, with one death every ten minutes….

  32. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz: “Georgia Secretary of State Blocks Caller After Receiving Unhinged Threats”

    Georgia’s secretary of state has blocked the number of a desperate caller who phoned him on Saturday with a series of unhinged threats.

    Brad Raffensperger said that he stayed on the line with the caller for approximately an hour “in the hopes of talking him down.”

    “He really seemed to be in distress,” Raffensperger said. “I thought that if I spoke to him in a calm, soothing voice, that might help him feel better, but nothing I said made any difference.”

    “He was spouting all sorts of nutty conspiracy theories about dead people,” he added. “It seemed like he spent a lot of time on Twitter.”

    After it became clear that the caller was “not in touch with reality,” the secretary of state ended the call and blocked the man’s number.

    “I felt bad about that, but there was nothing more I could do,” Raffensperger said. “I just hope he gets the help he needs.”

    New Yorker link

  33. says

    Guardian – “‘Fight like hell’: grievance and denialism rule at Trump Georgia rally”:

    An unrepentant Donald Trump has urged voters in Georgia to back Republicans in Tuesday’s Senate runoffs and vowed revenge against Republican state officials who refuse to overturn his own defeat.

    On a chilly night at a remote airport in Dalton, the US president mercilessly aggravated divisions within his own party, embracing loyalists and castigating perceived traitors. While it was ostensibly a campaign rally on behalf of Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, he could not resist veering off script to push bogus claims of a stolen election.

    “We won the presidential election, we won it big,” Trump falsely told a sympathetic crowd, “and we’re going to win tomorrow”. Loeffler duly joined him on stage and promised to join a dozen other Republican senators objecting to Joe Biden’s electoral college win on Wednesday.

    Trump noted that the press “didn’t like” a Saturday phone call in which he can be heard badgering Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to thwart Biden’s victory there. He promised to punish Raffensperger and state governor Brian Kemp, also a Republican.

    “Your governor, your secretary of state are petrified of Stacey Abrams,” he said, referring to a Democratic voting rights activist who lost to Kemp in 2018. “What’s all that about? They’re say they’re Republicans. I really don’t think they can be.”

    The president added ominously: “I’m going to be back here in a year-and-a-half and I’m going to be campaigning against your governor and your crazy secretary of state.”

    His relentless war on the integrity of the election has triggered party infighting and fears that some disillusioned voters may stay away from what they regard as a broken system. His potentially illegal phone call to Raffensperger, revealed on Sunday, could cause further damage and fire up Democrats.

    Trump sought to resolve the contradictions by arguing: “You must deliver a Republican victory so big the Democrats can’t steal it or cheat it away.”

    But he went on to spend less time on Loeffler and Perdue’s merits than his own sense of grievance and denialism, reeling off a long list of numbers that he claimed showed he was robbed of victory in Georgia. The state counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s win by a 11,779 margin. Officials found no significant irregularities.

    More than once, Trump read from a script that implied Senate wins are vital to keep a president Biden in check, only to break off and deny Biden’s legitimacy. “They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell.”

    He also repeatedly claimed that he had won Georgia in 2016 and did so again by an even bigger margin in 2020. “There’s no way we lost Georgia. This was a rigged election. We’re still fighting it.”

    Previewing Wednesday’s meeting of Congress to ratify the electoral college vote, he said of Mike Pence, the vice president who will oversee proceedings: “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us.”

    Dozens of Trump campaign lawsuits have been tossed by courts including the supreme court. Trump complained: “I’m not happy with the supreme court. They are not stepping up to the plate.”

    The crowd was warmed up with familiar Trump rally music, some of which gained new poignancy. Queen’s lyrics, “We are the champions, no times for losers” was immediately followed by Frank Sinatra’s “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain …”

    Perdue could not attend because he is in quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has Covid-19 but he sent a video message. Trump and other speakers warned that victories for Ossoff and Warnock would send America down a path of far-left socialism.

    The president’s eldest son, Don Jr, urged: “Don’t let Georgia be the starting point for the radical left in the United States Senate because that’s who they’re running. There is no such thing as a moderate Democrat. That party is long gone. It’s now a Marxist socialist party, a communist party.”

    There were also speeches by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and new congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. She said: “We’re not going to let Georgia go to two radical socialists.”

    Some attendees wore masks but many did not and there was little physical distancing and little concern about Trump’s explosive call with Raffensperger….

    There’s a picture at the link, and I have questions.

  34. says

    “Calls for Saudi Dakar Rally boycott while women’s right to drive activist in prison”:

    Supporters of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who campaigned for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia, have called for a boycott of the Dakar Rally for “sportswashing” the reputation of the conservative kingdom while Hathloul remains in prison.

    Racers in the off-road competition – including 12 women – are due to pass within a few hundred metres of Riyadh’s Al-Ha’ir prison, where Hathloul is being held, on Tuesday.

    “Women’s rights activists have endured years in prison, psychological and physical torture, and sexual abuse for campaigning for the right to drive. Many remain in prison to this day,” said Lucy Rae, spokeswoman for Grant Liberty, a human rights advocacy body which campaigns on behalf of Saudi prisoners of conscience.

    “It is utterly grotesque that at the same time Saudi authorities will host a motor sport event – including women drivers – while the heroes that won their right to drive languish in jail.”

    Amaury Sport Organisation, which runs the rally, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

    The Paris-Dakar Rally moved to South America in 2008 after terrorism threats in west Africa. Saudi Arabia became the host last year as part of the kingdom’s multi-pronged strategy to open up to the world and wean itself off dependence on oil revenues by 2030.

    “No-one should be fooled by the Saudi regime’s attempts at sportswashing… Racers might not know it, but their participation there is to hide and whitewash the host’s crimes,” said Lina al-Hathloul, Loujain’s sister.

    “The PR machine claims that hosting global sporting events is a sign the country is opening up, but the reality is that just a few hundred metres from the course my sister languishes in prison because she campaigned for women’s right to drive. Saudi Arabia needs real reform, real human rights, not this charade.”

    As well as Hathloul, three other activists who focused on Saudi women’s right to drive – Mayaa al-Zahrani, Nouf Abdulaziz al-Jeraiwi and Samar Badawi – remain in prison.

  35. says

    Here’s a link to the January 5 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    From there:

    A political row has erupted in India over the home-grown coronavirus vaccine, according to the South China Morning Post.

    The Covaxin vaccine was granted emergency approval before final-stage human trials had been completed. Health experts have widely criticised the move as premature, pointing out that there is no publicly available data on its efficacy.

    Squabbles between politicians from the BJP and other parties added to the simmering unrest among the Muslim and Hindu communities over the vaccine’s alleged contents.

    The All India Drug Network, a health watchdog, said in a statement that it was “shocked to learn of the recommendation” without phase-3 efficacy data or proof that it worked against mutant strains.

    “Anybody would tell you that this is bad vaccine development science,” co-convenor Malini Aisola said.

  36. says

    From last night:

    Former Defense Secretary William Cohen just said this on @CNN:

    “All of us [10 living defense secretaries] came to the same conclusion that we are in danger, that we have a commander-in-chief who is not above trying to use the military in order to achieve a political objective.”

  37. says

    Aaron Rupar’s livetweeting of Trump’s GA rally last night. It was even sadder and weirder than I thought.

    “The wall. The wall. The wall. Remember? ‘We’ll build a wall. We’re gonna build a wall.’ And that’s right, Mexico is paying for the wall. Or if I were here, they would be.” — Trump

  38. says

    Update to #7 above – TPM – “EXCLUSIVE: Trump Admin Bypasses Top Career Prosecutor To Name New Acting US Attorney In Atlanta”:

    Following the abrupt Monday resignation of Byung Jin “BJay” Pak, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, the Trump administration is bypassing his first assistant, a career prosecutor, to name a new acting leader from outside the office.

    The announcement came early Tuesday morning in an internal email obtained by TPM.

    The new acting U.S. attorney in Atlanta will be Bobby Christine, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, according to the email. Christine will continue simultaneously in both roles, according to the email.

    The email announcing the changes came from Kurt Erskine, the first assistant U.S. attorney. By putting Christine in the role, the Trump administration passed over Erskine, a longtime DOJ prosecutor.

    A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.

    Before being confirmed as U.S. attorney in 2017, Christine had extensive experience as a prosecutor in the Augusta District Attorney’s Office and also served as a magistrate judge.

    Erskine, in the email announcing Christine’s new roll, encouraged its recipients to join him “in welcoming Bobby to the office.”

  39. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Greek bishops’ determination to keep churches open for today’s Epiphany holiday in the face of a coronavirus lockdown have stepped up a confrontation with the government over health restrictions.

    Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today urged the country’s Orthodox church to “assume its responsibilities” by closing places of worship.

    His appeal follows repeated criticism of the influential church of Greece over the clergy’s failures to respect health restrictions. Some have been seen not wearing masks, ignoring social distancing rules and even distributing communion.

    The government had until now called only for “individual responsibility” among worshippers.

    Yesterday, the Holy Synod council of top bishops said in a statement that it “would not consent to the measures imposed by the government” and planned to open churches for worship on Wednesday, the orthodox date for Epiphany.

    After a meeting with 82-year-old church head Archbishop Ieronymos, Mitsotakis’ office said in a statement today that he had insisted on “the need for all to strictly respect health measures” and called on the church to “set an example”.

    At least five senior clerics have been hit with the virus in the past month, one of whom died.

    Among them was Archbishop Ieronymos, the 82-year-old head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, who was hospitalised for two weeks.

    Some senior clergy have nevertheless said they could turn to the courts to overturn government measures.

    Limited numbers of faithful wearing masks were allowed to attend Christmas services in December despite a strict lockdown in force since early the previous month.

    But the government moved last week to close non-essential shops and places of worship for fear of a third coronavirus wave.

    More than 4,000 of Greece’s total 5,000 pandemic deaths have occurred in the past two months.

  40. says

    I don’t remember who and where but I remember someone around FTB discussing how tipping is socially predatory and I saw this on Lawyers Guns and Money.
    “In late April, Moran sent an angry message to a local server who had criticized the second-home owners, posting his note to the GV2H Facebook group as well. Moran, who had apparently left the server a large tip, called her comments “a betrayal of the good people who have been gracious to you.” Around that time, there was talk on the Facebook group of compiling a list of locals they considered ungrateful. “People who rely on others for their livelihoods should not bite the hand that feeds them,” wrote one second-home owner.”

  41. says

    SC @57, OMG. Even more pathetic than I imagined. Trump slurred his words multiple times; he mispronounced names and common words; he invited Ivanka up on stage with the implication that she would run for office; and he just fucking lied his way through the whole thing. He is a big windbag.

    One encouraging sign, during much of Trump’s repetitious whining about this and that, the audience was silent. Photos of the audience show them looking bored. Bored and unmasked. They attended a super-spreader event and most of it wasn’t even entertaining.

  42. says

    From the latest Guardian world liveblog summary:

    Belgium will receive only half the doses of the US drugmaker Pfizer’s vaccine it ordered for January because of a logistical difficulty that occurred last month.

    Spain could use the military to boost its vaccination effort as frustrations mount over the plodding pace of the campaign. Just under 83,000 doses of the vaccine have been given out since Spain kicked off its campaign about 10 days ago.

    The UK has recorded a new record for the number of coronavirus cases, with a further 60,916 lab-confirmed cases – the highest daily total reported so far. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,774,479. A further 830 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 76,305. An estimated one in 50 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between 27 December and 2 January, the Office for National Statistics said.

    France reported 20,489 new confirmed Covid cases in the past 24 hours, up from 11,395 last Tuesday. It reported 867 new Covid deaths in hospitals and nursing homes. There were 378 hospital deaths on Monday.

    Italy reported 649 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday against 348 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 15,378 from 10,800.

    Germany is extending its nationwide lockdown until the end of the month and is introducing new tougher restrictions in order to get control of surging coronavirus infections, the chancellor, Angela Merkel, said.

    There is no indication that the coronavirus variant identified in South Africa is more transmissible than the one spreading fast in Britain, the World Health Organization’s technical chief on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said.

    The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency has told ambulance crews not to transport coronavirus patients who are unlikely to survive – in order to conserve oxygen supplies and ICU beds.

    The head of the World Health Organization is “very disappointed” that China has still not authorised the entry of a team of international experts to examine the origins of the coronavirus, Reuters reports.

    England has entered its toughest nationwide lockdown since March, with schools closed and people allowed to leave home once a day for exercise for at least six weeks, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced as the numbers of people in hospital reach new highs.

    Japan should issue a Covid-19 state of emergency in the Tokyo area as soon as possible, a panel of experts advising the government on coronavirus responses said….

  43. says

    Lynna @ #62:

    One encouraging sign, during much of Trump’s repetitious whining about this and that, the audience was silent. Photos of the audience show them looking bored.

    Yes, I noticed several people who were watching remark on that. They were very quiet and talking during his boring rant, and just in general more subdued than his pre-election audiences.

  44. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    People should get two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine within 21-28 days, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as many countries struggled to administer the jabs that can ward off the Covid-19 virus.

    “We deliberated and came out with the following recommendation: two doses of this (Pfizer) vaccine within 21-28 days,” Alejandro Cravioto, chairman of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), told an online news briefing.

    The panel said countries should have leeway to spread out shots over six weeks so that more people at higher risk of illness can get them. “SAGE made a provision for countries in exceptional circumstances of (Pfizer) vaccine supply constraints to delay the administration of the second dose for a few weeks in order to maximise the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose,” Cravioto said.

    He added: “I think we have to be a bit open to these types of decisions which countries have to make according to their own epidemiological situations.”

    SAGE executive Joachim Hombach said spacing out the two Pfizer inoculations could be acceptable for countries unable to implement the main recommendation. “The JCI, the recommending body of the UK, has given more flexibility up to 12 weeks in consideration of the specific circumstances that the country is currently facing,” he said.

    “We…totally acknowledge that countries may see needs to be even more flexible in terms of administration of the second dose. But it is important to note that there is very little… empirical data from the trials that underpin this type of recommendation,” he added.

  45. says

    A follow-up, of sorts, to SC’s comment 56.

    Trump got one thing right: The world really is watching

    Yes, the world is watching. But given Trump’s antics, and what’s become of his political party, our allies aren’t impressed by what they’re seeing.

    A couple of weeks after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, Donald Trump whined on Twitter about the president-elect moving forward with plans to choose a cabinet. As far as [Trump] was concerned, there was still a chance “the courts and/or legislatures” would “flip” states and allow him to claim power he didn’t earn.

    The tantrum culminated in a notable phrase: “THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!”

    Unfortunately, that was true. The Washington Post reported soon after on international reactions to the outgoing president’s attacks on his own country’s democracy, leaving foreign observers struggling “to maintain confidence that America’s principles and ideals will prevail.”

    Nearly two months later, as Trump desperately searches for ways to nullify election results he doesn’t like, much of the world has not turned away. The New York Times reported today:

    […] Trump’s extraordinary, wheedling telephone call to state officials in Georgia seeking to overturn the election results there has shaken many Europeans — not so much for what it reveals about Mr. Trump himself, but for what it may portend for the health of American democracy.

    Patrick Chevallereau, a former French military officer now at RUSI, a defense research institution in London, told the Times that Trump’s weekend call “shows that the current president is in a mind-set to do anything — absolutely anything — before Jan. 20. There is zero standard, zero reference, zero ethics.” Chevallereau added, “Everything else than himself can be destroyed and collapse, including us.”

    Just as importantly, the article quoted Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the U.S. and Americas program at Chatham House, the British research institution, saying, “[B]y far the most troubling thing is the number of Republicans who are willing to go along with [Trump], and what it’s doing to the Republican Party, playing out in real time.”

    But what I found especially interesting was the international response to 10 former Pentagon chiefs — every living former Defense secretary, including two from the Trump administration — co-authoring an op-ed recognizing Joe Biden’s victory and warning the U.S. military not to get involved in Trump’s anti-democracy efforts.

    Jana Puglierin, director of the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the Times that the statement from the former Defense secretaries was also an eye-opener in Berlin. “They realized this is serious,” Puglierin said. “That they see a reason to write such a letter is shocking.”

    Jean-Marie Guéhenno, a former French and United Nations diplomat who is president of the International Crisis Group, added, “Should we be reassured on U.S. democracy when 10 former defense secretaries warn against use of the military to dispute election results, or terrified that they believe taking a public stance has become necessary?” […]

  46. says

    From The New York Times:

    Former president Barack Obama cast Tuesday’s runoff elections in Georgia as an existential struggle for core democratic institutions, hours after a recording was made public of President Trump pressuring an official of the state to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss there. “Tomorrow is Election Day in Georgia and the stakes could not be higher,” the former president wrote on Twitter on Monday afternoon. “We’re seeing how far some will go to retain power and threaten the fundamental principles of our democracy. But our democracy isn’t about any individual, even a president — it’s about you.”

    The Times report also noted that a source close to Obama said that he was referring to Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

    “There needs to be a cost to trying to overthrow an election,” the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg wrote in her new column, adding, “[I]f there is no penalty for Republican cheating, there will be more of it.”

  47. says

    From Josh Marshall:

    […] There should be no context in which political leaders speak the name of a Ted Cruz or a Josh Hawley and not repeat that they were men who supported […] Trump’s failed coup. They attacked the American republic and for self-serving reasons.

    Some rich person or well-funded group should step forward to fund bar disciplinary actions against all the lawyers who have participated in this. In a democracy the highest law is that the people shall rule. These men and women have misled the public with what they know are lies. Again and again. In many cases they’ve brought knowingly fraudulent claims into courts or tried to stymie or overturn an election with frivolous claims. All of these actions merit disbarment.

    Will people be disbarred? I have no idea and that doesn’t really matter. Spending years defending your right to practice law has a deterrent effect in itself. And if they should be disbarred and it is wrong not to try to disbar them because not doing so undermines the premise that it should happen in the first place.

    This is incredibly important.

    Next, at the federal and state level Democrats and anyone who defends democracy should be working to pass laws that prevent something like this from ever happening again. It is admittedly challenging to devise new laws when the problem to be addressed is people ignoring the law. But again, this misses the point. Laws are norm-setting. They put the public on the record about what is right and wrong. Roll calls also make clear whose side people are on. […]

    Everyone who has participated in this attempted coup should be written out of public life forever. Doing so will be difficult and not even possible as long as a big minority of the country supports these actions. But by not trying, by not doing the work on every front, you undermine the very premise that they did anything wrong. You become complicit in the offense.

  48. says

    Ryan Reilly, HuffPo:

    Government asking for a stay away order for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, keeping him out of DC after he’s released. Judge indicating she’ll grant.

    Tarrio’s lawyer asking to make the stay away order apply only to Black Lives Matter Plaza and surrounding areas. Judge indicates she’ll stick with making it all of D.C.

    Judge said there are Black Lives Matter banners all over D.C., including in front of homes. Tarrio getting another court date in June.

    In sum, Enrique Tarrio needs to get out of D.C., and could be arrested if he showed up to the demonstration tomorrow.

  49. says

    I could well be wrong, but I feel like the moment polls close in Georgia tonight might be something of a turning point. Yes, Trump will still maintain his hold over his following, but Republicans and Republican officials won’t have any more immediate use for him. I’m sure they’ll still pull some nonsense tomorrow, but it could be a damp squib. (That doesn’t mean some of the conspiracy believers and Trump cultists aren’t capable of lashing out violently.)

  50. says

    Currently a picture of a “5G circuit” that will supposedly be hidden in the COVID 19 vaccine is circulating on Italian speaking parts of the Internet. I suspect it will show up elsewhere sooner or later. But it turns out the circuit diagram is actually the diagram for the Boss MT2 Metal Zone guitar distortion pedal. The diagram includes the name MT2, as well as controls marked for volume, bass, mids, and treble.

  51. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc may take about two months to determine whether doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine can be halved to double the supply of the jabs in the US, according to the agency.

    The news comes as the country grapples with a surge in cases, with the number of vaccinations falling far short of early targets.

    The US government has been considering the move to halve the doses for Moderna’s vaccine, which requires two injections, to free up supply for more vaccinations.

    Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine program, said on Sunday that officials were in talks with Moderna and the US Food and Drug Administration about the idea. The FDA said on Monday the idea of changing the authorised dosing or schedules of Covid-19 vaccines was premature and not supported by available data.

  52. says

    Michael Schmidt, NYT:

    Cleta Mitchell has resigned from @FoleyandLardner. The firm said in a statement: “Cleta Mitchell has informed firm management of her decision to resign from Foley & Lardner effective immediately.”

    The rest of the statement: “Ms. Mitchell concluded that her departure was in firm’s best interests, as well as in her own personal best interests. We thank her for her contributions to the firm and wish her well.”


  53. says

    Trump’s elite strike force team has another bad day in court

    Well that didn’t take long. The last-ditch legal effort by the elite strike force team of Trump lawyers to decertify the vote in Georgia is over. District Court Judge Mark Cohen denied Trump’s motion asking the court to decertify the election. The suit was leveled against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and, typical of the elite strike force, was submitted on the fly and a bit haphazard and scattershot.

    The campaign had also asked, in a December 31 filing, that the court hear the case before Wednesday’s Electoral College vote certification in the Congress. They didn’t bother to also share the complaint with lawyers for Kemp and Raffensperger, which is kind of a necessary step for a lawsuit. That sloppiness was part of why Cohen denied the injunction. “Although Plaintiffs counsel could have requested through this Court’s ECF filing system an immediate hearing over this past holiday weekend, and obtained a hearing before the duty district Judge, counsel did not do so,” he wrote. “Consequently, this Court was not informed of these filings until this morning at 9:38 a.m. when the case was assigned.”

    […] Trump’s problem, Judge Cohen said at one point in the hearing, is that “he just can’t live with” the the fact that he lost. “It’s hard to accept sometimes.” He chided the lawyers for their sloppiness and for their attitude that if the state courts didn’t provide them the outcome they wanted, they could just “bop on over to federal court” to get what they wanted. This judge didn’t appreciate that court shopping. […]

    Trump is delusional and probably thinks he can keep the office by force.

    The courts—one united branch of government, including the state courts—have spoken. The election is over. Trump lost. Now it’s just that handful of insurgent Republicans, and they are going to have to make a choice. They’ve already made it clear that they’ll put Trump and their own political aspirations ahead of country. They’ll have to decide if they’ll stick to that if it means bloodshed.

  54. says

    No charges against Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake

    The Blake shooting happened three months after George Floyd died.

    A Wisconsin prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralyzed […]

    Officer Rusten Sheskey’s shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, captured on bystander video […]

    Sheskey was among officers responding to a woman who had reported her boyfriend was not supposed to be around. Cellphone video shows Blake walking to the driver-side door of an SUV as officers follow him with guns drawn, shouting. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, Sheskey grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.

    The Kenosha police union said Blake was armed with a knife, and Sheskey ordered him several times to drop it but he would not. Sheskey’s attorney, Brendan Matthews, said Sheskey fired because Blake started turning toward the officer while holding a knife.

    State investigators had said only that officers saw a knife on the floor of the SUV and hadn’t said whether Blake threatened anyone with it. The officers were not equipped with body cameras.

    Sheskey, 31, has been the subject of five internal investigations since he joined the Kenosha department in 2013, including three reprimands for crashing his squad car three times over three years. He has also earned 16 awards, letters or formal commendations, his personnel file shows. […]

  55. says

    Follow-up to comment 80: Blake, who is Black, was shot seven times at close range on Aug. 23 as he walked away from Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey.

  56. says

    From NBC News:

    A pharmacist accused of trying to destroy hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine is a conspiracy theorist who believed the medication wasn’t safe, Wisconsin authorities alleged Monday. The man, Steven Brandenburg, 46, was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bond by Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy during a brief appearance.

  57. says

    From NBC News:

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Monday that it has made final its plan to open up vast areas of once-protected Arctic Alaska territory to oil development.

  58. says

    From Amy Davidson Sorkin, writing for The New Yorker:

    What exactly was Donald Trump asking the crowd to do when he spoke, on Monday night, at a rally in Dalton, Georgia? The occasion for the event was Tuesday’s dual Senate runoff elections in the state but no one, not even the Republican candidates—Senators Kelly Loeffler, who joined Trump onstage, and David Perdue, who is quarantining after a coronavirus exposure and appeared by video—pretended that was the main issue. “This President fought for us; we’re fighting for him,” Loeffler said. “President Trump has fought for us and we’re fighting for him, and a fair and accurate election,” Perdue said—a reference to the election, in November, that Trump lost, and to [Trump’s] efforts to throw out its results. “FIGHT FOR TRUMP! FIGHT FOR TRUMP!” the crowd chanted, at various points. But, given that Trump is not on any ballot, how, and with what weapons?

    The prelude to the rally was a telephone call, on Saturday, in which Trump threatened Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, with criminal liability—“a big risk to you”—if he did not “find” eleven thousand seven hundred and eighty votes for him—just enough to overcome Biden’s margin of victory in the state—somewhere, anywhere. Georgia’s votes have been counted three times. On the face of it, Trump’s demand was illegal. Raffensperger is a Republican, as are other state officials who have explained, again and again, that the President’s claims—about votes cast by people who were either underage or dead, or mystery ballots being brought in under the cover of a staged water-main break at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta—are demonstrably false. (Rudy Giuliani pushed the State Farm scenario with the help of deceptively edited security footage; the full video shows that the story is nonsense.) Trump repeated those claims at the rally in Dalton. He called Raffensperger “wacky” and Brian Kemp, the state’s Republican governor, “incompetent.” […]

    The runoff may be on Tuesday, but, at the rally, the key date that Trump mentioned was Wednesday, January 6th, when both houses of Congress, meeting in a joint session, will receive the Electoral College votes. The Electoral College itself voted last month: Biden won three hundred and six electors, and Trump two hundred and thirty-two—this is not an election on a razor’s edge. […] Given that the results have been certified by each state, after the Trump campaign got many days in court, this is nothing other than an effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans. […]

    There were two other Republican senators at the rally [in addition to Kelly Loeffler]. One was Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, who has wiggled around the question of whether he will vote to reject the Electoral College tally. Graham said over the weekend that the tactic is not really a means of “effectively fighting for President Trump,” raising the question of whether he has some better coup strategy in mind. But Graham added that he would hear Cruz et al. out, and weigh what they had to say. The other senator at the rally was Mike Lee, of Utah, who has reportedly sent signals that he doesn’t think Congress has the power, under the Constitution, to do what Trump wants it to do. (It doesn’t.) “I’m a little angry at him,” Trump said, adding later in the rally, “I just want Mike Lee to listen to this when I’m talking, because you know what? We need his vote.” […]

    Trump wanted to make sure that everyone knew his or her place. “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us,” he told the crowd. This was a reference for yet another scheme, according to which Pence would somehow use his purely ceremonial role as the presider at Wednesday’s joint session to sabotage the Electoral College count. Apparently, Trump expects Pence to pull some stunt or other, or else, he said, “I won’t like him quite as much.” (On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors”; this is false.) And others had already lost his favor: “I’m not happy with the Supreme Court,” he said. “They are not stepping up to the plate.”

    […] When he arrived at the rally, by helicopter, and surveyed the mostly white, largely maskless crowd, he said, “There’s no way we lost Georgia!” He also cited attendance at his rallies when he instructed Raffensperger to “find” more votes. And both at the rally and on the phone call he lambasted Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate who has been at the forefront of efforts to register new voters, many of them Black Georgians, and to prevent their votes from being suppressed. […]

    He wanted them to vote for Perdue and Loeffler, but that wouldn’t be enough. In the course of the rally, he warned that if “we don’t do something fast,” there will never be another free election and the United States will succumb to “communism.” “If you don’t fight to save your country with everything you have, you’re not gonna have a country left,” he said. He appeared to be past caring whether anyone listening heard that as a call to violence. The system is corrupt, he said, it is rigged, his supporters have a mission. “We have to go all the way, and that’s what’s happening,” Trump said. “You watch what happens over the next couple of weeks, you watch what’s going to come out, watch what’s going to be revealed.” The crowd cheered, and did so again a moment later when he said, “They’re not taking this White House; we’re going to fight like hell.”

  59. says

    Intel agencies point finger to Moscow on hack

    […] THE TOPLINE: A group of U.S. intelligence agencies on Tuesday formally accused Russia of being linked to the recently discovered hack of IT group SolarWinds that compromised much of the federal government.

    The FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) attributed the effort to Russia. The group had set up a cyber unified coordination group in December after the compromise of SolarWinds was revealed.

    “This work indicates that an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor, likely Russian in origin, is responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks,” the agencies said in a joint statement around their investigation into the cyber incident.

    Still digging: The agencies emphasized that “at this time, we believe this was, and continues to be, an intelligence gathering effort. We are taking all necessary steps to understand the full scope of this campaign and respond accordingly.”

    […] SolarWinds reported in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month that up to 18,000 of its customers had potentially been compromised. […]

  60. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz: “Trump Claims Constitution Invalid Because It Was Signed by Dead People”

    Advancing a new conspiracy theory during a rally on Monday, Donald J. Trump claimed that the United States Constitution is invalid because it was signed by dead people.

    “All we’re hearing is, the Constitution this and the Constitution that,” Trump said. “I’m telling you, as sure as you’re sitting there, that every person who signed that piece of paper is dead.”

    Trump said that he had his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate the signatories to the Constitution, “and he found a scandal bigger than Hunter Biden’s laptop.”

    “Their signatures do not match the signatures of any living person,” he said. “Not only are these people dead, but they have been dead for a long, long time. This should never have been allowed to happen.”

    In addition to questioning the legitimacy of the dead people’s signatures, Trump claimed that Alexander Hamilton’s “should be thrown out twice.”

    “First of all, he’s dead, and second, he wasn’t born here,” he claimed.

    New Yorker link

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Steve Koraacki at the big board. Da ja vu all over again…

  62. Pierce R. Butler says

    Lynna, OM @ # 82: … Steven Brandenburg, 46, was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bond …

    I really hope his 15 minutes of fame will be forever known as Brandenburg-gate.

  63. KG says


    So Georgia has voted for two Radical Marxist Socialist Muslim Communists! Comrade Biden and Ayatollah Harris will now no doubt proceed to the construction of a gulag (the dismantled wall will serve as a useful source of materials), and all Christians not summarily executed will be sent there for re-education. Long live the Soviet Islamic Republic of Usaistan!!!

  64. says

    It’s amazing news from Georgia. The networks haven’t called the Ossoff race yet (Wasserman has), but he leads by 16,000 and the remaining votes to be counted are in Democratic areas, so it’s possible he’ll not only win but win with enough votes to be outside the recount margin.

    Trump tweeted that he’ll rant at his followers demonstrating in DC today at 11 AM ET.

    The joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes begins at 1 PM ET. Here’s an NBC explainer of the process.

  65. says

    Guardian – “Dozens of Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested in sweeping crackdown”:

    More than 50 people, including pro-democracy politicians and campaigners, have been arrested in early-morning raids across Hong Kong in an unprecedented crackdown by authorities that was condemned as a “despicable” assault on freedom.

    In a police operation involving more than 1,000 officers, the 53 individuals were detained under the national security law (NSL), accused of “subverting state power” by holding primaries for pro-democracy candidates for the Hong Kong election. The election was ultimately delayed by Lam for a year, purportedly because of the pandemic.

    The raids on Wednesday sent shockwaves around the once semi-autonomous city, as social media posts and news reports confirmed arrest after arrest. By mid-morning, lists of more than 50 individuals emerged, reportedly including every candidate to have run in the unofficial primaries last year, as well as organisers and pollsters, and the first known foreigner – an American lawyer [John Clancey] – to be arrested under the law.

    Some of the targets livestreamed their own arrests, with at least one video capturing police confirming the accusations against them: participating in primary polling for the pro-democracy camp, with the ultimate aim of winning a majority in the legislative council. Under the new laws this was subversion, authorities said.The NSL defines subversion to include organising or planning to seriously interfere, disrupt or undermine “the performance of duties and functions” by the central or Hong Kong governments, and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for “principal offenders”.

    On Wednesday afternoon police said 47 people were arrested for participating, and six for organising the primaries. Officers searched 72 premises and ordered four media companies to hand over materials.

    Li Kwai-wah, the head of the police force’s NSL department, said the accused intended to use an “advantage in LegCo” (the legislative council) to vote down bills and force the resignation of the chief executive.

    “We are finding some people have been seriously interfering, disrupting, and undermining the operation of the Hong Kong government,” he said, displaying a PowerPoint presentation of the “plan”.

    The timing of the arrests was widely seen as deliberate, occurring on the day of the US runoff vote in Georgia, two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration, and just after the EU agreed a trade deal with China.

    Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick for secretary of state, labelled the arrests “an assault on those bravely advocating for universal rights” and said the Biden-Harris administration would stand with Hong Kong people against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy.

    The US Republican senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate select committee on intelligence, said the raids were “despicable”.

    “Chairman Xi sees a divided and distracted America, and he isn’t wasting the moment. These despicable raids expose the Chinese Communist party for the cowardly dictators they are.”…

    More atl.

  66. says

    Joe Scarborough was talking about how Josh Hawley is partially responsible for the Senate flipping and said something like “Enjoy Bernie Sanders being chair of the Budget Committee” and I think I heard Mika Brzezinski scoff in disgust at the thought.

  67. Ichthyic says

    “Long live the Soviet Islamic Republic of Usaistan!!!”

    I for one welcome our new socialist communist islamist lefty overlords.

    for the rest of the world, I truly say:


  68. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Over in Greece churches have opened their doors – in defiance of nationwide lockdown measures – to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.

    The decision to mark the baptism of Christ [ay], a major holiday in the Orthodox calendar, has put the powerful institution on a collision course with the centre right government following a dramatic increase in confirmed coronavirus cases.

    Police patrols could be seen imploring mask-wearing worshippers to maintain social distancing rules as services got underway. Local media reported chaotic scenes in Thessaloniki, the country’s northern metropolis, with faithful refusing to adhere to the public health measures as they attended the blessing of the waters.

    After easing restrictions over the Christmas period the government on Saturday unexpectedly ordered a week-long nationwide lockdown, enforcing the closure of places of worship to facilitate the planned reopening of schools next week.

    Previously it had said churches could conduct liturgies on Christmas Day, New Year’s day and Epiphany, which officially marks the ending of the festive season.

    Infuriated it had not been consulted earlier, the Holy Synod, the Church’s governing body, announced it would not accept the restrictions with bishops telling congregations to attend services.

    The EU’s drug watchdog has authorised emergency use of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, nearly two weeks after approving Pfizer and BioNTech’s shot for the virus.

    On Tuesday, Israel became the first country outside North America to grant authorisation to Moderna’s vaccine. The US and Canada have already started rolling out the two-dose vaccine….

  69. says

    Benjy Sarlin:

    At minimum, GA losses were the only way to substantially affect political perception of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, which could deter future attempts. “We tried that and it cost us the Senate,” is going to be hardened conventional wisdom among many R’s now.

    Whereas it seemed quite possible yesterday — even likely, to some — that the opposite would happen: R’s would win thanks to fired up base turnout among Trump supporters, thus encouraging others to pursue even more anti-democratic tactics and rhetoric.

    None of this is going to change the immediate situation or people’s minds who are deep in the Trump universe. But there’s an enormous difference between shaming elected R’s and partisan commentators into not doing something and demonstrating they’ll lose votes if they do it.

    People were still routinely citing political backlash to FDR’s court packing attempt 80+ years later (!) to oppose current efforts because it was their first association with the idea. Sweaty autogolpe attempt = party civil war, D turnout through roof, is now going to have a run.

  70. says

    Liz Cheney tweeted:

    We have sworn an oath under God to defend the Constitution. We uphold that oath at all times, not only when it is politically convenient.

    Congress has no authority to overturn elections by objecting to electors. Doing so steals power from the states & violates the Constitution.

  71. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Peru and Bolivia see hospitals overflow and cases rise as fears of second wave grow

    The critical care wards of major hospitals in Peru and Bolivia stand at or near collapse after end-of-year holidays, reflecting wider regional public health capacity concerns as much of Latin America struggles to secure adequate Covid-19 vaccine supplies.

    While infection counts remain below last year’s peak, depleted resources, weary medical workers and a recent rush of severe cases are taxing already ailing healthcare systems from Chile to Mexico, officials say.

    In Bolivia, long lines of patients seeking tests snaked along the street outside a hospital complex in the city of La Paz, prompting fears of worsening contagion amid the chaos.

    The scramble for hospital beds comes in a region where many countries have been slow to lock down vaccine supplies.

    Bolivia and Peru have lagged well behind some wealthier neighbours, only recently signing deals to procure vaccines. Neither country has begun to vaccinate its residents.

    Chile, a regional standout, was the first in South America to launch a vaccination programme, and says it aims to inoculate 80% of its population by mid-year.

    The procurement issues are not unique to the region’s poorest countries. Regional power Brazil, suffering from the world’s second-deadliest outbreak, has yet to approve a single vaccine.

  72. quotetheunquote says

    @SC #83
    Yea, verily, the holiest…
    I scrolled through this, and it kept getting weirder and weirder. (“beyond parody”, as one commenter said). Did they really disinter Alex Jones for this? Really?

    And Roger Stone, by god, smh. Quote of the day surely belongs to him: “I have two words to say: ‘Thank. You. Jesus.’ ” Yes, you read that correctly, Roger Stone Can. Not. Count. To. Three.

    Does anybody know who red-tie “Jesus is King!” guy is? He doesn’t look familiar.

  73. says

    quotetheunquote @ #110:

    I scrolled through this, and it kept getting weirder and weirder. (“beyond parody”, as one commenter said).

    Even though I’d expected it to be unhinged, I didn’t imagine how quickly it would spin off into contemporary conspiracy theories that somehow also sounded like we were back in the 1930s. And the COVID denialism!

    Someone said in the comments that he was Clay Clark (some “entrepreneur” grifter with a podcast), and that looks right. He’s from…South Dakota.

  74. KG says

  75. says

    From the New York Times:

    The Democratic Party’s 2020 victory just got a lot bigger.

    And Joe Biden’s chances of signing ambitious legislation — to fight climate change, reduce economic inequality and slow the coronavirus pandemic — got a lot bigger, too.

    The Democrats appear to have won both Senate runoffs in Georgia last night, giving them control of the Senate. The Rev. Raphael Warnock has beaten Senator Kelly Loeffler by about 2 percentage points, according to Times estimates. Most news organizations have not yet called the race between Jon Ossoff and Senator David Perdue, but Ossoff leads by about 16,000 votes and the outstanding votes come from Democratic-leaning areas.

    The Times’s Nate Cohn, who analyzes election returns, said he believed Ossoff would likely end up with a lead of more than 0.5 percentage points — large enough to avoid a recount. David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report wrote that he considered both races to be over.

  76. says

    KG @113, love that phrase “future fraudulent conditional.” Perfect description of the tortured syntax Republicans use to try to be loyal to Trump while also acknowledging reality (somewhat).

    Update from Steve Benen, concerning the Ossoff campaign:

    Though Georgia’s unresolved U.S. Senate race hasn’t yet been called, Jon Ossoff (D), ahead in the current tallies, this morning declared victory over Sen. David Perdue (R).

    On a related note, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Democrats’ Senate leader, issued a written statement predicated on the assumption that Ossoff prevailed. “It feels like a brand new day,” the New Yorker said. “For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people.”

  77. says

    From Rupar’s rally thread:

    “‘I want to go back 8 weeks. Let’s go back 8 weeks’. — Trump

    “Trump describes the counting of votes as ‘explosions of bullshit’. His fans respond by chanting, ‘bull-shit!'”

    I have to say that while Trump continues to lie and promote the half-assed putsch and claim he’ll keep “fighting,” this sounds kind of concessiony. He’s talking about his so-called accomplishments and so forth, and how he’s going to exact vengeance on the Republicans who are failing him.

  78. says

    More Georgia Senate campaign updates:

    * Predictably, Donald Trump tried to explain away Georgia’s results with another ridiculous conspiracy theory, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, still trying to smear Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock (D), said this morning that she doesn’t believe the Georgian “won fairly.”

    * For his part, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, fact-checked the president’s nonsense again this morning.

    About Trump’s new conspiracy theory to explain away the results in Georgia, here is some commentary from The Washington Post:

    […] Trump’s deeply invested in the untrue and unsubstantiated argument that fraudulent voting in the state cost him a victory in his contest with President-elect Joe Biden. By elevating new claims of suspect behavior in a different contest he can reinforce the skepticism about the 2020 election that is by now the lifeblood of his self-esteem. (And which continues to generate a decent chunk of change.)

    So, early Wednesday morning, there was Trump, asserting on Twitter that some 50,000 votes in Georgia had appeared out of the ether — intimating that they’d been produced illegally to aid Democratic candidates.

    They just happened to find 50,000 ballots late last night. The USA is embarrassed by fools. Our Election Process is worse than that of third world countries!

    This claim about election fraud is disputed [flagged by Twitter]

    This follows a tweet late on Tuesday in which Trump predicted that such a “dump” would occur.

    This is the rhetorical equivalent of explorers wowing indigenous people by predicting eclipses: If you know what to expect and your audience might not, it’s easy to cast it as something alarming or exceptional.

    When Trump tweeted about the “voter dump” that was coming, he was talking about the imminent release of mail ballot counts from DeKalb County. At the time, the number of votes cast statewide was 25 percent lower than the total in November; in DeKalb, the total was down more than 60 percent. The implication? There were obviously more votes to be counted there, unless some near-apocalypse-level event had occurred in the county and prevented people from casting ballots. But it seems likely that a comet striking the Atlanta suburbs would have made the news.

    Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet wasn’t much better. Those 50,000 votes that were “found” were found in things like “the mail” or “official ballot drop boxes.” Put another way, they were just ballots. […]

    Washington Post link

  79. says

    I don’t think I can take any more of Trump in any case, but it really is stomach-churning how he can drone on and on about himself and how everything is so unfair to him without a word about the thousands of people dying on his watch in the country every day, the overwhelmed hospitals, the food lines, the grief, the suffering.

  80. says

    SC @119, many media outlets are not carrying Trump’s bloviating spew live.

    Trump will find that he gets less and less live TV coverage.

    In other news: After Georgia, the left sees the US Supreme Court in a new light

    If the results out of Georgia hold, Stephen Breyer’s path to retirement looks a lot less complicated — if he’s interested in following it.

    Between the district and circuit courts, there are currently 45 vacancies in the federal judiciary — a number that’s likely to grow as more progressive jurists eye retirement after Donald Trump exits the White House. […]

    It’s clearly a top priority for the incoming team: The article added that Biden “wants judicial nominee recommendations for existing district court vacancies ‘as soon as possible,’ […] in a Republican-led Senate, Biden’s judicial nominees would likely languish. We need only look to 2015 and 2016 — the last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency — to see the ease with which a GOP-led Senate ignored, blocked, and defeated qualified judicial nominees as part of a partisan crusade to shift the courts to the far-right.

    But now that a Democratic-led Senate appears likely, the parties can now look at the federal judiciary in a very different light. As of this morning, Team Biden’s emphasis on the courts matters because his nominees stand a good chance of being confirmed.

    And as Politico noted, the calculus related to the U.S. Supreme Court has changed just as quickly.

    The results of the Georgia Senate runoffs aren’t yet final. But left-wing activists are already pressuring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to take advantage of a possible Democratic majority in the Senate and retire. Demand Justice, the group founded in 2018 as a progressive response to conservative organizing around the courts, praised Breyer in a statement to POLITICO but encouraged him to make way for a younger liberal replacement and to do it early in Joe Biden’s first term.

    I won’t pretend to know what Breyer is thinking about his future or possible retirement plans, but there are some obvious truths to consider. We know, for example, that the justice will turn 83 this year. We also know that the center-left jurist, tapped for the high court in Bill Clinton’s first term, wouldn’t ask Donald Trump to choose his successor.

    […] But if the results out of Georgia remain on their current trajectory, Breyer’s path to retirement looks a lot less complicated, if he’s interested in pursuing it.

    […] Postscript: In case anyone’s curious, there are only two other sitting justices above the age of 70: Clarence Thomas, who recently turned 72, and Samuel Alito, who’ll turn 71 later this month. Those hoping either of them might step down during Biden’s term should probably lower their expectations.

  81. says

    Schadenfreude moment: In the wake of failure, Republicans start to blame Trump

    The entire system of partisan incentives breaks down the moment Republicans stop fearing Trump and start blaming him.

    […] It’s quite a turnaround for the party: as the dust settled on the 2016 elections, Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House, and as the dust settles on the 2020 elections, the GOP won’t control any of those institutions.

    As Politico reported this morning, some Republicans are “pointing a frustrated finger at Donald Trump.”

    With control of the Senate at stake in the state’s two races, [Trump] chose to spend weeks peddling baseless claims that Georgia’s electoral system was rigged, fueling an online movement to boycott Tuesday’s election. He demonized the state’s Republican leaders and fractured the local GOP. He ignored calls from his allies to rally in the state sooner. His support for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue mainly came in the form of the occasional tweet and two rallies, including one on Monday. He blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not heeding his calls for boosted stimulus checks.

    Reflecting on Georgia’s results, one Republican strategist told Politico, “Trump is the cause of this, lock, stock and barrel.” Asked why the GOP incumbents struggled in Georgia, a senior Senate Republican aide added, “Donald J. Trump.”

    [Trump’s] intra-party critics clearly have a point. Loeffler and Perdue were flawed candidates — both were plagued by credible corruption allegations, non-existent records of accomplishments, and a message that was little more than incessant references to “socialism” — but if Trump had spent the last eight weeks quietly golfing, or perhaps even taking an interest in the deadly pandemic taking a brutal toll on his own country, the senators almost certainly would’ve been better positioned to prevail.

    […] Much of Trump’s perceived power in Republican politics is based on fear: GOP officials are expected to follow his lead because they’re afraid he’ll turn on them, and that fear leads the outgoing president to believe he’ll continue to effectively control the party, even after he exits the White House. Trump’s focus on the 2022 elections is already obvious, and he’s made little effort to hide his interest in next year’s Republican primaries.

    The New York Times reported around Thanksgiving that Trump intends to “retain control” of the GOP indefinitely, and if anything, that interest appears to have grown.

    And that’s what makes Georgia all the more significant. It’s a problem for the outgoing president that he campaigned for Loeffler and Perdue, and they appear to have come up short anyway, but it’s an even larger problem with the GOP’s circular firing squad deciding that Trump wasn’t just unable to save them, but was also largely responsible for their failures. […]

  82. says

    Warnock’s historic victory upends a failed Republican strategy

    Kelly Loeffler thought the key to success was running to the far-right and tying herself to Trump. Raphael Warnock exposed the flaw in that plan.

    […] The appointed GOP senator eventually boasted with pride that she’s “more conservative than Attila the Hun,” was “ranked the most conservative United States Senator,” and enjoyed a “100% Trump voting record.”

    On the eve of her runoff election, the incumbent settled on an unexpected closing message: Loeffler would use her office to object to Joe Biden’s victory, democracy be damned.

    How’d that work out?

    Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler Tuesday, […] Warnock, who has never before run for public office, is the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church in Atlanta. He will be the first Black senator from Georgia and only the 11th Black senator in American history.

    NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reflected on Loeffler trying to win by moving to the far-right, noting that it gave Democrats an opening to caricature her as “a pawn of the president and a party establishment that was using them.”

    Warnock, meanwhile, started the race as a longshot. Democratic leaders initially turned to a series of more well-known figures to run — Stacey Abrams, Sally Yates, and Michelle Nunn were among the many who declined — before recruiting the reverend.

    He ends the race as a senator, after running like a seasoned pro. […]

  83. says

    Oh, FFS.

    […] Trump on Wednesday hinted that he would join his supporters marching to the Capitol Building to harass legislators who are convening to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

    “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and -women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said from a stage set up outside the White House, after noting “I’ll be there with you” to the assembled thousands.

    “We’re never going to take back our country with weakness,” he added. “You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

    Though at one point he mentioned the demonstration outside the Capitol being “peaceful,” Trump repeatedly emphasized that Republicans had to “fight” and “be strong” for him to steal a second term. […]

    Separately, he referenced Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who’s spoken out against Trump’s effort to subvert democracy and on Tuesday was harassed by Trump supporters on a flight to Washington, D.C.

    “I wonder if he enjoyed his flight in,” Trump snarked approvingly. [Petty, stupid bullies]

    “I’m going to be watching,” Trump added later. “Because history is going to be made. We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders, or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history. Throughout eternity, they’ll be ashamed.”

    “If they do the wrong thing, we should never ever forget that they did,” he said. “Never forget.”


    Link to coverage of Romney being harassed during his trip to DC.

  84. says

    They’re objecting to Arizona, and say it’s in writing and signed by a Senator. Golpistas in the chamber applaud. The clerk is now reading the objection. They still haven’t said who the Senator is. The objection is extremely vague. Now they’re withdrawing from joint session for two hours to debate.

  85. says

    From Wonkette: “Crackpots Now Convinced Italy Stole Election From Trump!”

    Buongiorno miei cari! It is a lovely day today. It is the day that the Electoral College will be officially certified, and there is really nothing anyone can do about that. It is, of course, going to be a great disappointment to the many MAGA creeps gathered in DC and around the country, especially those who still believe with their whole heart that Mike Pence can just step in and declare Donald Trump the winner of the election and President for Life.

    Many of them are, unsurprisingly, grasping at straws. And one of those straws is a theory that Italy — yes, Italy — is responsible for stealing the election from poor Donald Trump. With like … satellites?

    SteelKRAKEN! Ann Vandersteel
    BREAKING: 🚨Italy and Obama are guilty of rigging the election. @SidneyPowell1 evidence dropping about Italy’s part in stealing the election for @JoeBiden

    I’ve listened to an audio tape whereby the entire process was laid out. @POTUS is aware.

    AND NOW, #ItalyDidIt is trending on Twitter. Though to be fair, a very large percentage of those tweets are coming from Italians who think it is very hilarious that anyone thinks Italy got it together to rig the American election.

    y’all think italy sabotaged the election? bro our government doesn’t even know how to sabotage themselves #italydidit

    […] You may be wondering who the fuck Ann Vandersteel — the SteelKRAKEN! — even is and where the fuck this is all coming from. Allow me to explain!

    Vandersteel is a Pizzagate lady turned QAnon lady who hosts an “investigative journalism” show called “SteelTruthTM” and made the news a couple years ago after claiming that she was on Trump’s 2020 advisory board when she was not. […]

    This led to the Trump campaign having to issue a denial and say that she is not and was never a member of any advisory board. Guess they really missed out!

    Vandersteel did not come up with this herself, it’s the telephone game version of some nonsense that has been circulating among some QAnon people for a month or so about German servers and a CIA raid and MURDER. […]

    What Vandersteel is referring to is a new version of that scenario (with less murder), most prominently coming from Brad Johnson, a guy who writes for the Epoch Times, a wacky far-Right fake news site, and claims to be a former CIA official and spy but is almost definitely not a former CIA official or spy. It’s just really easy to pretend to work or have worked for the CIA because it’s not like the CIA is gonna confirm or deny that. He is probably a former CIA official like Ann Vandersteel was a Trump campaign surrogate and member of his 2020 advisory board. […]

    From what I can tell, from various sources (by which I mean the Twitter feeds of the people who believe this crap), this is the gist of what they think happened. Back in 2017, Barack Obama got $400 million together and transferred it to different accounts all over the world, all to “unravel the Trump presidency.” […]

    It’s not clear if that’s what they think happened with the $400 million in the Iran deal, or if it was another $400 million altogether. But somehow this led to the hatching of an evil master plan involving Germany, Italy, […]

    And, of course, Dominion voting machines.

    According to Johnson, on election night, you could see everything going towards Trump, and that is when all of the evil Trump-hating people started panicking. So they froze the five swing states where Trump lost and sent the information from the Dominion voting machines — which were hooked up to the internet — to a Dominion server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, where some CIA guys were supposed to work a little algorithm magic and send the information back, but their algorithm didn’t account for Trump getting all the votes.

    So what they did was, they sent that money to the US embassy in Italy. And there were people there. […] And they looked at the raw data and the US Deep State and were like “Oh no! This can’t happen! Trump is getting all of the votes!”

    And thus, a new plan was born!

    The problem was that the algorithms were overloaded, so what they had planned on didn’t work because Trump got so many votes. And he got a record number of votes, I mean, among Blacks and Hispanics, everybody voted for Trump. and that skewed all of the algorithms, so what they had planned didn’t work. That’s why everything had to be shut down.

    So they upload all of the stuff, it gives them time to analyze all this and to create new analogs that would then allow the vote to come out in favor of Biden.

    So they did that and then sent all of the new information back to the United States with Italian military satellites, provided by Italian military contractor Leonardo. This was, apparently, all part of Obama’s plan and Giuseppe Conte, the Italian prime minister, was involved somehow, though that’s never actually explained. They just know they were in cahoots. Somehow.

    Johnson also claims this is “dominating” the news in Italy, which it’s not. Like it’s not even sort of a thing. There was one article saying that Trump’s lawyers think Italy was involved in stealing the election from him, in La Veritas, a not-terribly-popular conservative newspaper, but that’s about it. […]

    It’s clear why this is an appealing scenario for these Trump supporters to believe in, especially the part about how he won all of the Black and Hispanic votes (because that is a thing one can tell from looking at ballot data). They’ll believe anything at this point, especially if the words “Dominion,” “algorithm,” “tapes” and “satellites” are thrown around a lot. They’ll take whatever they can get, even if it doesn’t result in Trump’s losing, because they at least want to be comforted by the idea that literally every person in the country voted for him.

    But unless you’re talking about delicious food, being super hot, or singing opera, I’m gonna have to say #ItalyDidNotDoIt.

  86. says

    From Rupar’s thread: “Trump closes with this: ‘We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Ave … and we’re going to [try] to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re to try and get them kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country'”

  87. says

    Wonkette says goodbye to Mitch McConnell:

    […] No more 35-year-old hacks appointed to lifetime judgeships. No more progressive legislation passing the House only to die in Mitch’s graveyard. No more using the Senate as a tool to harass the incoming Biden administration. Ron Johnson, the Senate’s dumbest Republican, will no longer control the Homeland Security Committee — so no more laundering Russian intel on the floor of the Senate. Instead we’ll have Gary Peters overseeing an effort to undo the incalculable damage Chad Wolf et al. have done at DHS. You want an investigation into the family separation policy to ensure those poor migrant kids find their way back to their parents? It’s about bloody time!

    Dick Durbin will chair Judiciary, instead of Lindsey Graham. Sherrod Brown takes over the Banking Committee from Mike Crapo. Bernie Sanders replaces Mike Enzi as head of Banking. Mark Warner will lead at Intel, with Patti Murray at Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Patrick Leahy at Appropriations, Maria Cantwell at Commerce, Bob Menendez at Foreign Affairs, and Ron Wyden at Finance. These things matter.

    We’re not going to be prisoner to a Republican Party that ballooned the deficit, gave away trillions to their wealthy backers, and then cried crocodile tears about “moral hazard” when it came to bailing out unemployed Americans during a global pandemic. No more nihilistic attempts to blow up the economy to spite Joe Biden. Well, they can try it, of course. But without Mitch McConnell blocking legislation from coming to the floor, they’ll be shit outta luck. Republicans will actually have to take those votes and get the blame for filibustering laws to help Americans. And if that builds support to nuke the filibuster rule, so be it.

    […] This is the guy who greeted Obama’s landslide victory with a promise to make him a one-term president. This is the guy who held Scalia’s SCOTUS seat open for a year in defiance of all precedent and principle. The same guy who blew up the filibuster for justices, then jammed through Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. The same guy who ignored the House’s COVID relief bill for six months, then blamed Nancy Pelosi for bringing nothing to the table. The same guy who threatened Barack Obama that he would turn it into a partisan issue if the president publicized Russian efforts to ratfuck the 2016 election, and has systematically blocked efforts to protect our voting system ever since. The same guy who could probably have held on to the majority if he agreed to bring the $2,000 relief package to the floor. But he didn’t do it, and now he’s headed into the minority where he can supervise the coming GOP civil war.

    […] HOSANNA.

  88. says

    Pelosi is trying to enforce the public health guidelines in the chamber. Says there’s a “gross violation” on the Republican side of the aisle, and asks them to rectify it for their own health and to set an example.

    Oh – the Senator objecting to Arizona was Cruz. How shameful.

    Steve Scalise is blathering on with vague nonsense and insinuations, and the coup-mongers are applauding.

    It’s going to be a long day.

  89. KG says

    NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reflected on Loeffler trying to win by moving to the far-right, noting that it gave Democrats an opening to caricature her as “a pawn of the president and a party establishment that was using them.” – Lynna, OM@124, quoting from MSNBC

    In what possible sense could that be considered a caricature?

    The Vicar thought Biden might well reappoint Barr as AG. I’m sure he’ll inform us that Merrick Garland is just as bad if not worse.

  90. says

    McConnell manages to perform the basic defense of democracy and at the same time turn his speech into a disingenuous and dishonest attack on Democrats while claiming to be rising above partisanship. He is loathsome.

  91. says

    The CNN reporter says the protesters are talking about storming the building. They’ve broken through the barricades to reach the building and are now right outside. I imagine they think this is all part of Trump’s planned coup (and it probably is, given how deluded and fascistic he is).

  92. says

    Manu Raju said they have reporting that there are “scores” of “protesters” inside the Capitol building. They’re advising legislators and workers to go to offices and stay there.

  93. says

    Senate gaveled out, VP Mike Pence whisked off the Senate floor.”

    Trump tweeted 17 minutes ago: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

  94. says

    Trump just tweeted: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

    This fucker needs to be removed from office immediately.

  95. microraptor says

    MAGAs are trying to overthrow the government and cops are using less force than they’d use against a black teenager suspected of shoplifting a Snickers. White privilege at its finest.

  96. says

    Well, the Trump supporters managed to halt the count of the electoral votes, and they halted the confirmation of Joe Biden as President-Elect.

    The National Guard has been asked to quell the riot, but they are not yet on scene.

  97. says

    Diplomats all over world are texting and calling to say that they are appalled by what they are seeing in the U.S. Capitol.

    There are unconfirmed reports that one person has been shot.

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m watching MSNBC and I saw the woman being taken out by EMTs on a side feed. Looked bad.

  99. says

    Pence tweeted: “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

  100. says

    There are reports that aides around Trump are trying desperately to get him to make a statement on camera, but that Trump is still furious at Pence and is refusing to shut down the coup attempt.

  101. says

    From TPM:

    Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI) urged President Trump to “call it off” after the President’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

    “I’ve not seen anything like this since I was deployed to Iraq,” said Gallagher, a Marine Corps veteran who said he is sheltered in place in his office.

    “This will be the first time in four years I’m encouraging him to tweet,” the congressman added, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview that his guidance to the President would be to deliver a tweet telling his followers to “go home,” and declare that he supports the peaceful transfer of power.

  102. says

    Governor Northam of Virginia is sending state troopers and members of the Virginia National Guard to Washington D.C.

    Pete Williams is reporting that an improvised explosive device has been found.

  103. blf says

    As I suspect many other people here are as also, I am astonished by the blatantly open sedition at the USAian capital building, mostly as shown live by France24, Trump protesters storm US Capitol building and halt election debate. Most of the analysis seems spot on, albeit there is some confusion, but legal and “political”.

    One point they are making is “many” of the original-treason-mod seem to be backing-off or not invading the building; i.e., it seems the seditionists traitors are a minority of the invading rebels.

  104. says

    From The Hill:

    D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine released a statement Wednesday afternoon as protesters stormed the Capitol, calling on President Trump to instruct his supporters to stop.

    “We call on President Trump to immediately tell his supporters, who are trampling on the District of Columbia and have breached the U.S. Capitol, to cease and desist and return from whence they came in a peaceful manner,” the statement reads.

    He added, “We urge President Trump to do what he has not yet done, but what he must do: order his supporters to leave the District of Columbia and fully embrace the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”

    Trump has so far tweeted twice asking his supporters to “remain peaceful,” but has so far not asked them to stop their storming of the Capitol.

    “In the midst of this unrest, all District residents must remain at home. Under no circumstances should anyone travel downtown nor be in the vicinity of federal buildings,” Racine said as he ended his statement.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has issued a 6 p.m. curfew that will bar people from walking, driving or loitering on the streets of D.C. until 6 a.m. Thursday.

    Footage of the riots showed protesters breaking windows and doors of the Capitol. Loud bangs have been reported from reporters inside the Capitol.

  105. says

    From Wonkette: “Trumpists Storm Capitol At Behest Of Dear Leader”

    Today, thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington for what they are calling their “Save America Rally” — though it might more accurately be described as a “Death Wish Rally.” Not only because are they all smushing real close together without masks, but because yesterday they were actually chanting “Victory or Death!” [video available at the link]

    Given that the odds of victory are nil, they may as well have just stood there chanting “death!”

    During the rally today, Rudy Giuliani called for a “Trial by Combat” — perhaps he did not mean literal combat, and yet that is what is literally going on right now.

    That’s not what a trial by combat is, of course, but why expect these people to start using terms correctly now? Also, in his speech to the crowd, Giuliani expressed hope that Vice President Mike Pence would do some congressional magic and give Trump all of the votes from the five states he didn’t win but thinks he did, ensuring that he would remain president for decades to come.

    You know who else spoke at the rally today? Donald Trump himself! For over an hour. [video available at the link]

    Trump, too, hoped that Mike Pence would “come through” and do a thing he is definitely not legally allowed to do, or some vice president would have named himself king by now.

    “Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country, because YOU ARE SWORN TO UPHOLD OUR CONSTITUTION.”

    That did not happen. In fact, right around the time Trump was saying this, Mike Pence released a letter explaining that he would not be able to decide to accept or reject electors from any state. [Image available at the link]

    Too bad, so sad.

    Here are some other things that happened in that very long speech, just to break it down for you.

    – So much whinging about Hillary Clinton and how she is the saddest person in America because “they” didn’t steal the election for her like “they” did for Joe Biden.

    – Lots of “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. And you’re the Real Americans who built this country!” to his supporters.

    – A weird detour about how Oprah had him on in the final week of her show, which she did not (this is a thing he lies about a lot for some reason) and how Oprah used to love him and then didn’t love him when he ran for president and said a lot of racist things while doing so.

    – The mainstream media won’t report that he won and that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president voted into office by stupid people

    – Hunter Biden!

    – Twitter is censoring him and no one sees his tweets ever, which is weird because I feel like half of all of our freaking lives revolved around his tweets for the last five years.

    – Various stuff he made up about how the elections were rigged in the five states he’s disputing.

    – His conversation with the Georgia Secretary of State? Actually good. And people LOVED IT.

    – He totally won the election and people can’t let it be taken away from him.

    At the end of this speech, he announced his plans to lead his supporters on a march to the Capitol building.

    We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue — I love Pennsylvania Avenue — and we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless they’re never voting for anything, not even one vote — but we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try to give them the kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country.

    Let’s see how that worked out! [video available at the link]

    Wonkette link

    From Andrew Feinberg:

    It took 159 years, but a mob marching behind a confederate flag has stormed the US Capitol. They are doing so on @realDonaldTrump’s express orders.
    Video available at the link. One policeman with a baton is trying to hold off an entire crowd.

  106. says

    Hosts on MSNBC noted that it took the Governors of surrounding states, (Maryland and Virginia), to get enough troops into Washington D.C.

    Trump is reported to still be watching the assault on TV.

    Joe Biden is speaking now, live. MSNBC is carrying his remarks. “[…] This borders on sedition and it must end now. […] The words of a President matter […] at their worst, those words can incite.”

  107. says

    From the NATO Secretary General:

    Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.

  108. tomh says

    Why wasn’t the National Guard surrounding the building starting yesterday? Surely this can’t have surprised anyone.

  109. says

    Rachel Maddow noted that the trumpian rioters did not need to cover their faces when they stormed the Capitol. They will be, no doubt, charged and jailed.

    She also made the point that the so-called leaders who encouraged this violence should be held to account.

  110. blf says

    France24 is reporting most of the rebels have been cornered in the building, and so, pending the arrival of reinforcements, the capital police &tc will be able to clear the building of the traitors fairly quickly. They are now disscussing whether or not the seditional thugs in the House and Senate will continue their rebellion, or fold.

  111. says

    Trump just did a televised address. He tells people to go home, but bookends it with claims that the election was stolen and fraudulent and the other side is evil. Tells the insurrectionists “I love you,” that he understands them, etc.

    Jake Tapper: “I feel ambivalent about the fact that we even aired it, to be honest.”

  112. blf says

    tomh@201, My current understanding is the was a mixture of delusional thinking and sensible policing: In reverse order, not inflame the situation with armed troopers, and believing the (now-obvious-)rebels would not attack.

    France24 is (also) now reporting the other Georgia Senate race has been called in flavour of the non-traitors (whom I usually refer to “dummies” but now must reconsider my terminology, since the thugs have not indispensability shown themselves to be “insurrectionist” (an analyst on France24 has not only used that term, but pointed out “governments” of countries like Turkey are thrilled at the attempted rebellion).

  113. says

    Trump’s tough talk to his brownshirts: “…So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home at peace.”

  114. blf says

    Re @204/@205, An analyst on France24 live has referred to that statement as “delusional”. And has just pointed out that, like hair furor, John Wilkes Booth was also an actor.

  115. says

    Ilhan Omar:

    “I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment.

    Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate.

    We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”

  116. says

    And there are legitimate questions to ask about why nobody prepared for this and whether anybody might have been asked to stand down. It’s too early to be sure of anything, but the questions should be asked.

  117. says

    As the saying goes, there’s a tweet for everything. At this point, it’s really just for the record:

    Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov

  118. says

    Boris Johnson: “Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”

    Josep Borell: “In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege.

    This is an unseen assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law.

    This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected.”

    Jens Stoltenberg: “Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

    National Assoc. of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons: Pence “should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

  119. blf says

    SC@220, My (current) understanding is DC does not have a “national guard”, as it is not a State. The national guard would be from the surrounding States — and it is my current understanding (from memory) they were asked before the rebellion to provide support, and did, in the form of special chemical and biological experts (e.g.).

  120. blf says

    France24 is currently interviewing a lawyer, who has called the rebels just that; and confirmed the National Guard in DC is under the control of the alleged-“president”, not any State.

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    bfl#223, from what I’ve gleaned from the MSNBC coverage, the DC National Guard is under pentagon control, not a state governor. Finally the district Mayor bypassed the DOD civilian political brass, and called Gen. Milley directly to get permission to deploy in the present circumstance.

  122. blf says

    France24 just showed a (short) loop of Capital Police pushing back — and being remarkably (and very professionally) restrained — the rebels. The journalist, trying to remain neutral, has called the attacking mob “insurrectionists”, “rebels”, &tc — and pointing out that, in France, somewhat similar events here in France despite attempts, that did not happen…

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rachel just reported the critically wounded woman has died. Dang

  124. blf says

    France24 is saying “the capital complex has not been declared secure” (apologies that I do not recall the source).

    To various people replying to @223, DC is not a state. The national guard is a state-level force (under non-war circumstances). Therefore, anything which is consider the “DC” national guard is not controlled by any state governor. Now every single one of you, WHAT THE FECK IS YOUR POINT?

  125. blf says

    me@234, oops! the capital complex has not been declared secure → the capital complex has been declared secure [no not — my typo!]

  126. says

    Trump tweeted: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”


  127. says

    blf @ #234, from my link @ #226:

    The District of Columbia National Guard is the branch of the United States National Guard based in the District of Columbia. It comprises both the D.C. Army National Guard and the D.C. Air National Guard components.

    The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief for the District of Columbia National Guard. Command is exercised through the Secretary of Defense and the commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), District of Columbia National Guard. The Secretary of Defense has delegated his command authority to the Secretary of the Army for the District of Columbia Army National Guard and the Secretary of the Air Force for the District of Columbia Air National Guard.[2] The District of Columbia National Guard is commanded by a major general with a brigadier general as his or her adjutant general. The mayor of the District of Columbia, the United States marshal for the District of Columbia, or the National Capital Service director may request the commander-in-chief to aid them in suppressing insurrection and enforcement of the law; however, there is no chain of authority from the District of Columbia to the D.C. National Guard.

    Perhaps I missed something – I’m not sure why you’re so focused on governors, but DC has a National Guard.

  128. blf says

    France24 live is reporting Pence ordered “the National Guard” to intervene in the open rebellion at the capital building.

  129. blf says

    SC@238, “DC has a National Guard” — yes, under the control of the president; compare it to other National Guard, who (outside wartime and curtain declared situations) are under the control of the state governors.

  130. says

    blf @ #240, yes, but – again, I must have missed something – with whom are you arguing?

    From your #223:

    My (current) understanding is DC does not have a “national guard”, as it is not a State. The national guard would be from the surrounding States…

    DC has a National Guard. It was discussed @ #3 above.

  131. Czech American says

    The 6pm curfew tonight has also been put into effect in Alexandria and Arlington by order of the Governor of Virginia. A lot of the Trump mob is staying in hotels on the other side of the river.

  132. blf says

    France24 live is currently reporting one of the (ex-)President Bush has just referred to hair furor’s coup (actions?) as those of a “banana republic”. (I haven’t seen any confirmation of that, yet…)

  133. says

    The “It was anti-fa all along” story is picking up steam.

    Meanwhile, this comment is a bit scary:

    Insurrectionists telling journalists they’re planning to get violent tonight. The passive response to storming the capitol has clearly encouraged it. They’re not worried about repercussions since they’re showing their faces on camera.

    And I’ve never seen this from the right before. It’s almost endearing. Almost.

  134. says

    Just like with the testing response and the vaccine response, there is zero sense of urgency in quelling this insurrection. They’re just letting them hang around dangerously, like COVID.

  135. blf says

    SC@241, “with whom are you arguing?”

    I see no further reason to participate in this thread.

  136. says

    blf @ #243, Reuters – “Ex-President George W. Bush condemns D.C. riots as ‘sickening and heartbreaking'”:

    Former Republican President George W. Bush condemned the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and said he was appalled by the “reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election.”

    “It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight,” Bush said in a statement. “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic.”

    He said the violent assault on the Capitol was undertaken by “people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes. Insurrection could do grave damage to our nation and reputation.”

    (Of course, Republicans have long been happy to overthrow democratically elected governments, destroy institutions, promote corruption, and orchestrate coups in other countries in our hemisphere – including to back banana companies! – and then dismiss those countries as “banana republics.”)

  137. says

    blf @ #246:

    I see no further reason to participate in this thread.

    Uh…OK? Whatever you want to do. I’m honestly perplexed – I don’t know what the argument, if there is an argument, is about.

  138. says

    Update to #s 248 and 252 – Maddow just reported that Twitter said they took down the tweets and are threatening to suspend the account for inciting violence. Do it.

  139. says

    My first resolution in Congress will be to call for the expulsion of the Republican members of Congress who incited this domestic terror attack on the Capitol.


  140. says

    Twitter Safety:

    As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.

    This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.

    Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.

    Our public interest policy — which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years — ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe.

  141. says

    Sen. Susan Collins:

    The lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill today was a dangerous, shameful, and outrageous attack on our democracy. But this attack will not deter Congress from performing our constitutional duty. We will affirm the certified results of the presidential election.

    Rachel Vindman responding:

    You protected him, Susan.
    You enabled him, Susan.
    You defended his right to remain in office, Susan.


  142. says

    I re-watched footage from the capitol today. A few things are clear:
    1. This was highly planned+coordinated. They knew the entry points+vulnerabilities.
    2. A number of men had clear military experience.
    3. Some key D.C. police aided+abetted.
    4. Some had pre assigned targets.

    Link. I’m not sure how much credibility to give this, but I had the same thought. While the crowd was rather headless, some people did seem to know what they were doing.

  143. says

    Lankford walked back his participation. (His remarks challenging the EC vote for Arizona were abruptly interrupted when they had to adjourn due to the storming of the Capitol.) He now says they’re obviously not going to get what they (disingenuously) asked for. Hope the others are planning to do the same thing, and this can be certified tonight.

  144. says

    Matt Fuller

    As Hoyer speaks about singing “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps after 9/11, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz are in the back of the room sharing a laugh with each other.

    What was that about boiling?

  145. says

    Maggie Haberman

    The president, a senior adviser says, has “lost it.” He has been almost impossible to talk to throughout the day today, and has been watching the coverage of the Capitol.

  146. says

    WH resignations in the past couple of hours:

    Stephanie Grisham (Melania Trump’s press secretary)
    Rickie Niceta (WH social secretary)
    Sarah Matthews (WH deputy press secretary)

    JUST IN: ‘This is not news we deliver lightly’, [Margaret Brennan, CBS] says as she reports: Trump Cabinet secretaries are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump. Nothing formal yet presented to VP Pence.

    ‘I’m talking about actual members of the Cabinet’, she says”

  147. says

    Police just shut down the post-curfew protest at Capitol Hill. Protesters shouted ‘pigs’ at police, called them ‘traitors’ and said ‘you’ll get the noose too’

    Video thread

  148. logicalcat says

    Is the person who was mentioned earlier that died from a shooting at the protest also the same person whi was a protester herswlf and killed by a police officer?

  149. says

    From NBC News:

    […] More senior members of the Trump administration are also considering putting in their letters of resignation, including National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, according to people familiar with the matter. […]

  150. says

    From TPM:

    Report: Trump Told Aides To Ban Pence’s Chief Of Staff From Entering White House
    Trump was pissed at his VP after reading in a New York Times report that Pence wouldn’t go through with challenging the ratification of Biden’s Electoral College victory, according to Bloomberg News. Trump reportedly blamed Pence chief of staff Marc Short for the Times report.

    It didn’t matter, however, because Short was at the building on Wednesday anyway, according to Bloomberg News.

  151. says

    From Josh Marshall:

    […] there have been a few hints over the last hours that the national security structure and some critical functions of government are operating separate from [Trump]

    The Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs conferred with Mike Pence and the Democratic and Republican congressional leaders about bringing in the National Guard. Apparently there were no discussions with the President and Mike Pence eventually gave the order, even though there’s no basis I can think of on which Pence could give such an order.

    Later National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien tweeted that he’d spoken to Vice President Pence and supported him. That says a lot since the President had just denounced Pence. But who exactly is O’Brien reporting to? It’s all implicit. There’s nothing explicit to say he is somehow disengaged from the President. But I think it suggests it. […]

  152. says

    Support is growing for Pence to invoke 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office—now

    […] Considering that Trump went through the day expressing his “love” for insurrectionists, telling them they were “very special,” and encouraging them to remember what a fun day they had attempting to overthrow the American government, it’s clear that Trump can’t be allowed to remain in power. Not even for a day.

    That absolute truth is generating a growing call for Mike Pence and members of Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, contact Congressional leaders, and remove Trump from power. Immediately.

    And it appears those calls are being heard. Because word out of the White House is that Cabinet members are considering exactly that.

    In light of today’s events, the calls for declaring Donald Trump incapable of performing his duties have been widespread.

    Rep. Kathy Castor
    Rep. David Cicilline
    Rep. Madeleine Dean
    Rep. Val Demings
    Rep. Veronica Escobar
    Rep. Sylvia Garcia
    Rep. Pramila Jayapal
    Rep. Ted Lieu
    Rep. Richard Neal
    Rep. Tim Ryan
    Rep. Martha Gay Scanlon
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren

    The Washington Post
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Miami Herald

    National Association of Manufacturers

    Links to sources are embedded in the article.

  153. says

    Kansas City Star editorial board slams Republican Sen. Josh Hawley for having ‘blood on his hands’

    After the worst of Wednesday’s Capitol building insurrection that left one woman dead, The Kansas City Star editorial board published a stinging condemnation of Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley. The editorial denounced Hawley as being one of the public figures most responsible for today’s bloodshed and sedition, saying that “Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”

    The headline of the article makes it very clear: “Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt.” Hawley’s craven ambition for higher office has been apparent the past couple of weeks, as he has very publicly been a promoter of sending out $2,000 checks to Americans in need (knowing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t let it happen) while also stoking Donald Trump’s election fraud claims and saying he would oppose accepting the states’ certifications of Joe Biden’s election victory.

    The Missouri newspaper pointed to Hawley’s lone, pathetic statement: “Thank you to the brave law enforcement officials who have put their lives on the line. The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress must get back to work and finish its job,” and it’s disingenuous omissions of all the reasons this terrorism happened today. It pointed out that when the newspaper’s board had attacked Hawley’s actions earlier, telling its readers that Hawley’s actions were “dangerous,” many readers called them out for being alarmist and hyperbolic.

    But, as the Star summarizes most precisely, what happened today has been apparent to anyone willing to get their head out of their own ass for a moment. “This revolt is the result, and if you didn’t know this is where we’ve been headed from the start, it’s because you didn’t want to know,” the editorial charged.
    They make sure to name-check Hawley’s fellow dirtbag prick Sen. Ted Cruz, who has also attempted to keep his ambitions afloat through similar treasonous promotion of Trump’s anti-democracy lies. […]

    As of the publishing of this story, Hawley and Cruz and fucking Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar of all people—three men that even a mother can’t love—still seem to believe that their plans on making hay by objecting to our democracy are worth pursuing. That may change of course, but only if they think that the blood on their hands will get them that 2024 nomination they all so desperately want.

  154. says

    Senate smacks down Trump supporters’ challenge to his election loss in Arizona
    Hawley, Hyde-Smith, Marshall, Tuberville, Cruz, Kennedy supported


  155. says

    Mayor Muriel Bowser:

    I have issued Mayor’s Order 2021-003, extending the public emergency declared earlier today for a total of 15 days, until and unless provided for by further Mayoral Order.

    That covers the inauguration.

  156. says

    I was going to go to bed early tonight. That was the plan. I was just going to check the news before heading off to bed.

  157. says

    Ted Lieu

    Let me be very clear: if all we do is accept the certified Electoral College results and go home, we would have failed our country. We must impeach Trump, or have the 25th Amendment execute, or have @realDonaldTrump resign. Congress cannot just go home like nothing happened.

  158. says

    Heather Caygle:

    DC Police saying in live update that they have made 52 arrests.
    Yes, only 52.
    They also recovered pipe bombs both at the RNC and the DNC and found a vehicle on Capitol grounds with a long gun and molotov cocktails.

  159. says

    Update: They finally completed the certification in the middle of the night. The Trumpers in the House got Senators to join in their objection to certifying PA’s vote, but no other states.

    Update to Lynna’s #280: Deputy NSA Matt Pottinger has now resigned.

    logicalcat @ #278, yes. Reports are that four people (at least) died during the events, but I don’t know what caused the deaths of the others.

    The ransacked office of the Senate Parliamentarian:…”

    Video atl.

  160. says

    John Heilemann, who was reporting from DC yesterday, is talking about how there’s plainly some sort of fifth column among Capitol Police who had a clear chumminess with the fascists storming the building. He says they were calmly and smugly hanging around afterwards, which we could see on TV. Some of the police opened up the barricades for them to enter, took selfies with them, and stood by passively as they advanced.

  161. says

    Here’s a link to the January 7 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    Their most recent summary:

    Japan declares state of emergency for Tokyo area as Covid-19 cases surge. Japan has declared a one-month state of emergency in the capital, Tokyo, and three neighbouring prefectures to stem the spread of coronavirus infections, as new daily cases surged to a record of more than 7,000, media reported.

    WHO calls for intensified measures over “alarming” virus variant. The World Health Organization’s European branch said more needs to be done to deal with the alarming situation brought on by a recently discovered variant of the coronavirus. WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, also urged safe flexibility on the time between the first and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

    US suffers record daily coronavirus deaths. The US suffered another sad day on Wednesday amid the chaos at the Capitol, with the country’s daily coronavirus death toll the highest recorded in any country over the course of the pandemic, at 3,865 for 6 January.

    Dire warning that London hospitals could be overwhelmed by Covid. Hospitals in London could soon be overwhelmed by Covid-19 and left short of almost 5,500 beds they need to cope with the explosion in cases, NHS leaders have revealed.

    Russia’s official number of coronavirus deaths passes 60,000. Russia reported 23,541 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which brought the total number of cases to 3,332,142.

    Covid kills half of Sussex care home’s residents over Christmas. A care home in East Sussex has been devastated by Covid, losing half of all its residents to the disease over Christmas, fuelling fears the new, more transmissible virus variant sweeping the south-east of England is beginning to breach homes’ defences.

  162. says

    From CNN’s reporting:

    …Federal and local law enforcement responded to reports of possible pipe bombs in multiple locations in Washington, DC, according to a federal law enforcement official.

    A pipe bomb was found at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters, a RNC official told CNN. The device was found on the ground outside, along the wall of the headquarters. It was safely detonated by the police, the RNC official said.

    At least two suspected pipe bombs were rendered safe by law enforcement — the one at the building that houses RNC offices and one in the US Capitol complex, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. The official said these were real explosive devices and they were detonated safely.

    The Democratic National Committee was also evacuated after a suspicious package was being investigated nearby, a Democratic source familiar with the matter told CNN. The party had preemptively closed the building ahead of the protests, the source said, but a few security and essential personnel were evacuated.

    Near the scene where one of the pipe bombs was found Wednesday, police detained a suspect and found a vehicle with a rifle and as many as 10 Molotov cocktails, according to a federal law enforcement official. Investigators are working to determine whether there’s a connection to the bombs found earlier.

  163. says

    JOURNALISTS: Let me help you debunk the lies in the @mattgaetz floor speech about a ‘facial recognition company’ discovering antifa agitators. It all comes from a fake news article from the notorious Washington Times. I will break it all down for you…”

    Thread atl.

  164. says

    Susan Glasser:

    The reason that it’s so important to show the images of looting and destruction and terror in the Capitol yesterday is because the campaign to lie about what happened and rewrite history has already begun.

  165. says

    Arieh Kovler on Dec 21st

    On January 6, armed Trumpist militias will be rallying in DC, at Trump’s orders. It’s highly likely that they’ll try to storm the Capitol after it certifies Joe Biden’s win. I don’t think this has sunk in yet.

  166. stroppy says

    Some wishful thinking about about how Republicans are going to pay for this. That remains to be seen.

    Chris Hayes

  167. says

    Rep. Kinzinger: “It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked. My statement:…”

    Law & Crime – “Bill Barr Condemns Trump’s ‘Betrayal’”:

    Bill Barr, the 77th and 85th Attorney General of the United States who recently resigned from office after declining to back President Donald Trump’s lies about there being evidence of widespread election fraud, called the events of January 6, 2021 a “betrayal” of Trump’s making.

    The Associated Press reported Thursday that Barr placed blame for the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol squarely on Trump, condemning the 45th president’s “betrayal of his office and supporters.”

    Barr said “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”

    Facebook has announced that they’re extending the block on Trump’s accounts indefinitely (and at least until after the 20th).

  168. says

    Kyle Cheney

    SCHUMER calls for immediate impeachment and removal of the president.
    “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

    He asks for Pence to invoke the 25th amendment and say, short of that, Congress should impeach and remove.

    Maybe they really got scared enough to actually do something. Fingers crossed.

  169. tomh says

    45 percent of Republican voters support storming of Capitol building: poll
    By James Walker On 1/7/21 at 8:23 AM EST

    Almost half of Republicans support the pro-Trump protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, putting them at odds with Democrats who largely oppose the actions of the demonstrators, a poll has found.

    The survey released by YouGov on Thursday morning found that 45 percent of Republican voters backed the attack on the Capitol building, while 43 percent said they “strongly or somewhat” opposed the protesters’ behavior.

    Six percent of Republicans were unsure while a further 6 percent said they were unaware of the events.

    …more than two-thirds of Republicans (68 percent) felt the protesters were not a threat to democracy, compared to 27 percent who felt they were.

  170. says

    The White House announces that the president has withdrawn Chad Wolf’s nomination to be the permanent Homeland Security secretary, hours after Wolf urged the president to denounce yesterday’s violence.”

    INBOX: Schumer Statement Calling for the President to Be Immediately Removed from Office

    SCHUMER calls on Pres Trump to be removed from office: ‘The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment’.

    FULL STMT:…”

  171. tomh says

    Here’s another reason to impeach and remove immediately, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig advised via Twitter. “Trump can issue a blanket pre-emptive pardon for anybody who was at the Capitol building today (or at least try to). Given his comments today and recent behavior in general, you trust him not to?”

    He doesn’t necessarily have to name them. Jimmy Carter issued pre-emptive blanket amnesty to all Vietnam draft evaders.

  172. says

    Ilhan Omar

    Articles of Impeachment for introduction, so proud of everyone co-leading this effort with us.
    We need to move quickly to remove this President from office.

  173. tomh says

    Trump greeted with cheers as he calls in to Republican National Committee meeting
    By Josh Dawsey and Felicia Sonmez

    Trump briefly called in to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday morning — and received a loud and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception when RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel put him on speakerphone, according to people in the room.

    “We love you!” some in the room yelled.

    Addressing RNC members by phone as they held a private, members-only breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida, Trump said he had heard that the news media had falsely reported he would not be speaking. He told the RNC members he wanted to speak, was sorry to miss the event and looked forward to seeing them in person.

    Trump made no mention of Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol, according to the people present, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the president’s remarks. Trump had originally intended to deliver a longer speech but is not scheduled to address the event Thursday night.

  174. says

    One thing I don’t think Republicans have fully absorbed is that the people who attacked the Capitol yesterday could have been much more heavily armed, and if they had murdered McConnell and Pence Trump would have been completely fine with it. Chao is in the Cabinet, and Trump incited people to attack her husband, potentially take him hostage or injure or kill him. And people like Hawley and Gaetz think their obsequiousness makes them safe, but – aside from the fact that they could have been collateral damage in the putsch – Trump would turn on them in an instant if he thought it suited him.

  175. says

    It’s still odd to me that three people on the Capitol grounds had fatal medical emergencies yesterday. And I think they said during the press briefing this morning that one was 51 and one was 34 (I think the third might also have been in their 50s). I’m not saying it’s suspicious, but it does seem odd.

  176. says

    SC @326, it’s nice of them to announce the date so that this time the national guard and regional law enforcement officers will be ready for them.

    Ideally, the FBI will arrest them before they can bring their guns to the Capitol.

  177. says

    From the DoJ – “Statement of Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen”:

    Yesterday, our Nation watched in disbelief as a mob breached the Capitol Building and required federal and local law enforcement to help restore order. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law. Our criminal prosecutors have been working throughout the night with special agents and investigators from the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, ATF, Metropolitan Police Department and the public to gather the evidence, identify perpetrators, and charge federal crimes where warranted. Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.

  178. says

    Brandy Zadrozny at NBC – “Woman killed in Capitol was Trump supporter who embraced conspiracy theories”:

    Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot and killed Wednesday in the riot in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, apparently by Capitol Police, was an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump and a follower and promoter of many well-known radical conservative activists as well as leaders of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, according to her social media profiles.

    Babbitt, 35, had come to Washington to protest Trump’s election defeat, her brother-in-law Justin Jackson told KNSD-TV, a San Diego station owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.

    Babbitt was an Air Force veteran who was a decorated security forces controller and served multiple Middle East tours from 2004 to 2016, according to Air Force records.

    She also owned a pool service and supply business with her husband, according to her now-deleted Facebook page.

    “Ashli was both loyal as well as extremely passionate about what she believed in,” Jackson said. “She loved this country and felt honored to have served in our Armed Forces. Please keep her family in your thoughts and respect their privacy during this time.”

    Though some of her family members expressed confusion about why Babbitt would break into the Capitol, her social media postings offered some insight into possible motivations.

    Using the handle CommonAshSense, Babbitt’s Twitter account was almost singularly focused on radical conservative topics and conspiracy theories. Among other fringe beliefs, she tweeted about pizzagate, a viral disinformation campaign that falsely alleged a child abuse ring was being operated by Democrats from a Washington pizza restaurant.

    Babbitt was a loyal Fox News watcher, according to thousands of tweets to Fox News hosts, but she also engaged on social media with the conspiracy news internet news site InfoWars. In 2020, Babbitt began to tweet with QAnon accounts and use QAnon hashtags….

    Prominent figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, including L. Lin Wood, the pro-Trump lawyer behind several failed lawsuits to overturn the election results, have also been behind many of the wildest claims, parroted by the president, that the election was somehow stolen.

    Babbitt’s final tweets included a retweet of Wood, in a call that “Mike Pence@vp @Mike_Pence must resign & thereafter be charged with TREASON,” and, “Chief Justice John Roberts must RESIGN.” Wood was suspended from Twitter on Wednesday.

    The day before the rally, she tweeted, “Nothing will stop us….they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!”

    The Storm is a reference to a QAnon fantasy in which Trump will supposedly punish Democrats and Hollywood elite for their supposed misdeeds.

    On forums and platforms like Parler, where followers fled after being banned on Twitter and Facebook, QAnon followers claimed Babbitt’s death was faked and had been engineered as a “false flag” by the so-called Deep State.

  179. says

    The Trump campaign lawyer who said there were a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans observing Philly vote count asks to withdraw:

    ‘client has used the lawyer’s services to perpetrate a crime and the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant'”

    Document atl.

  180. says

    Hakeem Jeffries is telling Jake Tapper that one of the putschists urinated outside his office. One of his staffers, who was sheltering in place in the office, said they could hear it when it was happening. I hope they got a DNA sample.

  181. says

    More details regarding various high level trumpians resigning: Following Trump-incited riot, Mulvaney joins resigning officials

    It wasn’t until yesterday that Mick Mulvaney, a member of Team Trump for four painful years, realized he “just can’t” be a part of this administration?

    A couple of years into Donald Trump’s presidency, there was a running joke about Mick Mulvaney and the many jobs the president gave him. Mulvaney, a former far-right congressman, was originally tapped to serve as the White House budget director, but before long, he was also leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Soon after, Trump made him White House chief of staff. After Mulvaney was no longer politically useful, the president named him the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland.

    That job, however, will apparently be his last.

    President Donald Trump’s former acting chief of staff and current special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said he has resigned from his post after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. “I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I would be resigning from that. I just can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney said in an interview with CNBC.

    Mulvaney conceded his resignation doesn’t have any real practical significance, but he felt the need to do it anyway. “I can’t stay here, not after yesterday,” Mulvaney said. “You can’t look at that yesterday and think I want to be a part of that.”

    While his resignation is arguably the highest profile departure after yesterday’s Trump-incited riot, there have been others. White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger has also reportedly resigned, as have a handful of other officials, including a deputy press secretary and a White House social secretary. (I believe the first to quit was Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff.)

    By some accounts, the list is expected to grow today.

    And that’s probably a good thing. For four years, I’ve been among the many who’ve marveled at some officials’ willingness to tolerate and enable Trump’s madness, wondering what it’d take for them to resign. Evidently, Trump inciting an attack on his own country’s Capitol — because he’s desperate to nullify election results he doesn’t like — was a bridge too far.

    I’m not inclined to criticize those who take the step I’ve long suggested they take. But it’s not unreasonable to ask these same officials what in the world took them so long. […]

  182. says

    A few details about the rioters that Trump said he loved:

    […] Perhaps the most recognizable figure in the entire scrum was a guy with a painted face and horns who appeared to be Jake Angeli, otherwise known as the QAnon Shaman. Angeli is a bigtime QAnon adherent and a regular face at gatherings and protests.[…]

    The podcast QAnon Anonymous interviewed Angeli a few months ago. “Hollywood is full of interdimensional vampires,” he told them. After yesterday’s siege, in which he was photographed taking Mike Pence’s place on the Senate dais, Angeli recorded a video message for the people of Venezuela.

    Angeli was one of the people identified as a person of interest by police

    […] Another easy one is Tim Gionet, otherwise known as Baked Alaska, a far-right influencer and live-streamer. In years past he’s hosted neo-Nazis like Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin on his talk shows and tweeted gas chamber memes. The night prior to the attack, he was filmed on the streets of Washington, D.C. saying “I want to stand up for our race.” [yep, White Supremacist through and through]

    How do we know he stormed the Capitol? He literally live-streamed himself in the act […]

    West Virginia State Rep. Derrick Evans (R-Wayne)
    This is a fun one: Evans, like hundreds of others, live-streamed himself storming the Capitol Building, at one point saying, “I don’t know where we’re going, but I’m following the crowd.” But unlike hundreds of others, he’s a newly elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. […]

    Richard “Bigo” Barnett
    Listen, if you’re going to storm and ransack a government building, at least don’t claim credit for stealing a piece of the Speaker of the House’s mail to a New York Times reporter. And that’s exactly what it appears Arkansas man Bigo Barnett did. In fact, he downright hammed it up. […]

    […] Adam Johnson instantly became one of the most recognizable faces of the riot when a Getty photographer snapped him smiling and waving while lugging off a podium from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office. The Bradenton, Florida Herald, his hometown paper, quickly confirmed his identity.

    […] This Idiot Who Wore His Work Badge To A Coup
    We don’t have the name of this fellow, but he wore a badge belonging to the company Navistar Direct Marketing during the Capitol breach, and the company subsequently confirmed in a statement that the man was an employee who had been terminated “for cause,” WBAL’s Tre Ward reported.

    The man was also included in the D.C. police persons of interest list […]


    Video snippets are available at the link.

  183. says

    Erin Bergren

    Here’s how the other three vigilantes died:
    – one woman was crushed to death by the mob
    – one man had a stroke and died at the hospital
    – one man accidentally tasered himself and had a heart attack

  184. says

    After inciting armed insurrection, Trump gets rage-y that aides are resigning

    One day after inciting an armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, guess who feels victimized? Well, of course—Donald Trump! Sure, some people died, law enforcement officials were injured, federal property was destroyed, lawmakers huddled in gas masks on the floors of the congressional chambers, journalists feared for their lives, and the United States of America suffered its biggest international embarrassment since the day of its founding nearly 250 years ago—all at Trump’s direction.

    But safely tucked inside the White House residence, sipping on Diet Cokes and consuming TV coverage of the melee he had whipped up, Trump seethed as he learned some White House aides weighed resigning, according to The Washington Post. Because that’s just what a petty garbage human being Trump is.

    By Thursday morning, only a handful of less consequential players had followed through with resigning: Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian Affairs for the White House National Security Council; two of First Lady Melania Trump’s top aides, Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham and White House Social Secretary Anna Cristina Niceta; Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews; and yes, Mick “Get Over It” Mulvaney, […]

    Trump tried to stem the bleeding Thursday morning with yet another half-hearted statement in which he reiterated his conspiracy theories before feigning his commitment to peacefully transferring power:

    “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

    In Trump’s view, nothing was greater than watching a bunch of armed conspiracy-laden loyalists storm of the U.S. Capitol he has sworn to protect and threaten to drag to everyone, including his own vice president, out to the gallows to hang them for the fantasy treason they have supposedly committed.

    In fact, Trump repeatedly declined to condemn the throng of terrorists, insisting that “the vast majority of them are peaceful.” Trump even refused to call into one of his once favorite news outlets, Fox News. One White House official told the Post, “He was a total monster today,” adding, “He’s so driven by this notion that he’s been treated unfairly that he can’t see the bigger picture.”

    As ever, loser Trump can’t handle the truth, so he’s become the victim of his imaginary story line while, back in reality, everyone else pays the price.

    […] Trump didn’t just spend one singular day as a monster—he’s been a monster forever and has simply spent the last four years under the glare of the White House spotlight. […]

  185. says

    […] 1) get the cell site location information (CSLI) for Jan 6 from 2 to 3 o’clock

    2) identify all the cell phones located in the Capitol

    3) filter out all the phones belonging to cops,Capitol employees, press, senators, representatives, and staff.

    4) the remainder are now trespassers.

    5) obtain warrants on all the trespassers phones for “pin register” data. That shows who they were communicating with.

    6) all parties either located in capitol or communicating with phones during the commission of a felony are now targets of legitimate search warrants.

    7) execute search warrants and seize ALL digital devices — phones, computers, network appliances, etc. — that may contain evidence of conspiracy to commit sedition. […]

    It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how this also creates an expanding network of collaborators and the basic data needed to identify the ring leaders for this Confederacy of Dunces. […]


  186. says

    Quoted @ LykeX’s #346:

    one woman was crushed to death by the mob

    Calling that someone having a medical emergency is not at all accurate. If this information is correct, (at least) two of the three died from unnatural causes directly related to their role in the insurrection. I knew it sounded odd. Also, that’s awful.

  187. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Brazil has hit another dire milestone in its struggle with coronavirus as its death toll rose above 200,000 with the epidemic again worsening.

    On Thursday afternoon a coalition of news groups that tracks the number of deaths said Brazil’s death toll had risen to 200,011.

    The South American country’s first Covid case was recorded last February. More than 7.9 million infections have since been confirmed. On Wednesday Brazil registered 1,266 deaths, the highest number since mid-August.

    Few world leaders have responded to the Covid crisis in a more provocative and haphazard way than Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro who has called Covid a “little flu”.

    Nearly a year after the global pandemic began, he continues to trivialize the risks of the disease and undermine containment efforts with regular public appearances.

    Last week Bolsonaro appeared in the water off a beach in São Paulo, one of Brazil’s worst-hit states, swimming towards a huge crowd of mask-less supporters.

    He has also been criticised for sabotaging immunisation efforts by saying he will refuse to be vaccinated and delaying the roll-out of a nationwide vaccination program.

    Bolsonaro’s behaviour has led many political opponents to accuse him of genocide. On Thursday he rejected that label. “They accuse me of genocide,” he reportedly told supporters. “Who did I kill?”

  188. tomh says

    Re: #323 Chao has resigned.

    I don’t get this. If cabinet officers are so horrified by Trump now, why not stay and vote him out in case the 25A comes into play. It takes a majority of the cabinet to vote him out. Resignation sounds like cowardice to me.

  189. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Tomh: “I don’t get this. If cabinet officers are so horrified by Trump now, why not stay and vote him out…Resignation sounds like cowardice to me.”

    You answered your own question. They are hoping to seem “noble” and “statesmanlike,” when in reality, all they are trying to do is avoid having blood on their hands–either that of citizens or of Darth Cheeto.

  190. says

    Heidi Przybyla:

    NEW, per @KenDilanianNBC

    Rep. Tim Ryan—who chairs key subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Capitol– says as many as 60 Capitol Police officers were injured yesterday, including 15 hospitalized and 1 in critical condition. Many were hit in the head with lead pipes, he said

    He said he is “livid” over the “strategic blunder” that left the Capitol Police without a solid plan and adequate reinforcements. They held off the mob for more than an hour before the building was breached, he said.

    He said he does not understand, and plans to investigate, why the mob was allowed to get so close to the Capitol when he was assured by police officials that could not happen. He added that there was an “intelligence failure,” to anticipate the scope of the threat.

    While praising the heroics of most rank and file Capitol Police, he said he was concerned about videos showing police officers appearing to act with passivity, and in one case posing for a selfie with a rioter.

  191. says

    McEnany just held a press briefing. Very short, condemning the violence (“on behalf of the entire white house”), but also leaving open the door for claiming it was just a small, radical group. No responsibility taken.

  192. says

    Jake Sherman

    HOUSE DEMOCRATS will have a caucus call tomorrow at noon on impeachment/25th amendment, security failures and the general mess that was yesterday

    Many comments expressing impatience.

  193. says

    DC’s Top Federal Prosecutor Doesn’t Rule Out Probing Trump Remarks That Drove Capitol Mob

    Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin did not rule out the possibility on Thursday that President Trump would be investigated for comments he made egging on the Trump-supporting rioters who overran the Capitol on Wednesday.

    “All actors” who played a role in the mob were being looked at, Sherwin said, according to the Washington Post, “not only the people that went into the building, but … were there others that maybe assisted or facilitated or played some ancillary role in this.”

    He was asked specifically about the speech that Trump gave to the protestors on Wednesday, in which the President told his supporters that “you will never take back our country with weakness” as he urged them to head over to the Capitol.

    “We are looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role, if the evidence fits the element of a crime, they’re going to be charged,” Sherwin said, according to the Post.

  194. says

    […] the notion that Facebook is anti-conservative is laughable, as can be seen by the platform’s most shared content on January 5:

    The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from:

    1. Franklin Graham
    2. Dan Bongino
    3. Franklin Graham
    4. Donald J. Trump
    5. Franklin Graham
    6. ABC News
    7. Ben Shapiro
    8. Occupy Democrats
    9. The Dodo
    10. Fox News

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 are all conservative voices. And I’m not cherry-picking […] The list is always dominated by politically conservative voices. In fact, Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire blatantly breaks Facebook’s rules in promoting his material, yet Facebook has been too afraid to act, lest it give [Josh] Hawley further ammunition for his anti-Section 230 crusade.

    […] here we are today, with Facebook issuing perhaps the most aggressive deplatforming of the major social media outlets, calling the suspension “indefinite.” By all indications, it’ll last through the rest of Trump’s presidency. And if no one can control Trump now, imagine when he’s a private citizen again? He’ll be even worse, completely subsumed by QAnon conspiracy theories with little checks on his ability to vomit that crap on Twitter and Facebook. Without the protections of his office, there’ll be even less hesitation for those platforms to keep him around. Trump’s ability to do damage on Parler will be limited.

    But given Facebook’s fear of riling up conservative critics, wouldn’t deplatforming Trump, even temporarily, be problematic? Well, that’s where Josh Hawley comes into play.

    1. Republicans lost the Senate

    Hawley’s ability to call for heHawley’s ability to call for hearings and use the Senate majority as a platform for his anti-Facebook crusade is obviously degraded. […]

    2. No one can pretend Trump’s Q-flavored rhetoric and supporters aren’t dangerous

    Republicans and other Trump defenders claimed that no one took Trump literally, that it was all figurative! Turns out, the deplorables were absolutely taking his rhetoric literally. […] people died as our own Capitol was taken over by terrorists […]

    3. And now, Josh Hawley is on the wrong side of history

    I’ll have more to say on this in the coming days, but Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol changed everything.

    On Tuesday, Republicans were bought into the Trump wing of the Republican Party, doing their damndest to cater to the crazy deplorables. We saw this in the challenges to the electoral votes of Arizona, and the planned challenges to other states. Rudy Giuliani was even pressuring its allies in the Senate to challenge up to 10 states to gum up the works! Hawley and Cruz and others were tripping over themselves to prove the most Trumpy, looking toward the 2024 presidential election […]

    Then the siege happened, and everything has changed. Those gallows and zip ties weren’t just for Democrats. In fact, they seemed even more directed at Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence himself, traitors in the eyes of the deplorables. There was real fear in the statements put out by Republicans in the aftermath of the attack, doing little to tamp down on Democratic calls for 25th Amendment or impeachment solutions.[…]

    When the dust cleared, Republican appetite for more challenges evaporated, yet there was one a-hole still pushing them—Josh Hawley, the same guy who had cheered on the terrorists moments before their attack began. He’s steadfastly refused to distance himself from the mob. He still sees them as his allies and pals and best path toward the 2024 nomination. […]

    Problem is, a big chunk of his party sees the deplorables as a problem—a problem electorally (they will further repel suburban voters and motivate core Democratic constituencies), and a personal safety problem. They created this monster, and it’s clear many Republicans have little appetite to keep feeding it.

    So you can see Hawley’s problem, as he refuses to back off. Without even talking about the coming Republican civil war, it’s clear that Hawley’s personal brand is now far less daunting and scary than it was a mere two days ago. […] once elevated by Trump, but now pushed back to back-bencher status. […]


  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna # 359. Trump’s attempt at coup de etat, may end up as his coup de gras?

  196. says

    From Jennifer Rubin, writing for The Washington Post:

    […] What is to stop seditious congressmen and senators from repeating this attack on democracy either in the next couple of years or in a subsequent election? The House and Senate each has ethics rules. The purpose of these is to deter bad conduct, discipline offenders and, if needed, expel members for particularly egregious conduct. It makes a mockery of those rules to say that misallocating funds to decorate your office, for example, is punishable, but seeking to undo an election and inciting rioters are not.

    Each chamber can enact a simple rule: “No member shall retain a seat if he or she endeavors to overthrow the results of an election, file frivolous lawsuits seeking to do the same or seek to pressure any election official to change the results of an election.” In addition, “No member shall incite domestic terrorists verbally or by gesture.”

    Such rules would not run afoul of members’ First Amendment rights; instead, they recognize that the privilege of holding a seat in Congress comes with responsibilities. The bare minimum of those responsibilities involves refusal to participate in delegitimization of an election by perpetuating a nonstop stream of disinformation.

    In addition, I want to highlight four Republicans who voted with the seditionists: Reps. Mike Bost (Ill.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Dan Meuser (Pa.) and Lloyd Smucker (Pa.). (Smucker and Meuser even voted to disenfranchise their own state.) These are members of the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus. This group was founded specifically to oppose rank partisanship and support reasonable debate and bipartisan governance. Their actions turn that group into a fraud and a joke. They should be expelled from that caucus; if not, it should be disbanded.

    Every Republican bears a responsibility for what happened on Wednesday, whether or not they participated in a seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy. In the House, they voted for leaders who participated in sedition. They continue to caucus with the perpetrators of a great assault on our democracy. It is now up to Republicans to dissociate themselves from these members of their party. Expulsion or at least censure and loss of committee seats is necessary to underscore the depth of their offense. If they fail to do so, they will ratify their fellow Republicans’ behavior.

    Democrats have an obligation here as well. They must confront their Republican “colleagues” and summon the nerve to take disciplinary action against them. It may not be pleasant, but it is a defining moment for them as well.


  197. says

    Nerd @361, well said! :-)

    SC @363, I wonder how the Capitol police will feel if it is proven that Trump refused to send reinforcements. Many Capitol police members were injured.

  198. says

    Facebook Forced Its Employees To Stop Discussing Trump’s Coup Attempt

    The employees were scared and frustrated, and some came to the realization that the platform they had helped build and operate had contributed to the wave of fear, disinformation, and chaos that flooded Congress. So they spoke out on an internal message board, and some called for Trump’s removal from the platform.
    In less than an hour, Facebook moved to silence them. Without any apparent explanation, administrators froze comments on at least three threads in which employees had discussed removing Trump from the site.

    More than an hour after the internal post went up, one manager said that “dealing with the ongoing situation” was the priority, and as such they were “going to turn off comments on this thread for now.”

  199. says

    This just in: @SimonSchuster ‘has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book, THE TYRANNY OF BIG TECH’.

    S&S says ‘it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom’.”

  200. says

    Lynna @ #365:

    I wonder how the Capitol police will feel if it is proven that Trump refused to send reinforcements. Many Capitol police members were injured.

    Come to think of it, it increasingly looks like the situation with the military…

  201. says

    The chatter over Jake ‘Q Shaman’ Angeli’s identity is missing a key element: his tattoos. He’s covered in Odinist symbols—Yggdrasil, Mjolnir, and, significantly, the valknut. These Norse symbols aren’t inherently fascist, but when they show up ON a fascist, it’s for a reason.

    Most pagans are very nice people with decent politics, but these old Germanic and Norse symbols have long been appropriated by white supremacists. Angeli could’ve gotten any number of innocuous runes instead, but chose this one. It matters.”

    This is discussed in Talia Lavin’s Culture Warlords, which I recommend.

  202. says

    Natasha Bertrand

    Meanwhile, a current Metro D.C. police officer on the scene yesterday said in a public Facebook post that off-duty police officers and members of the military, who were among the rioters, flashed their badges and I.D. cards as they attempted to overrun the Capitol.

  203. Akira MacKenzie says

    Impeachment will not work. The 25 Amendment will not save us. WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO?

  204. says

    From Trump’s “I am a hostage, reading from a script someone else wrote” video, which was issued today at 5:10 PM:

    We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.

    A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. […]

    My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In doing so I was fighting to defend American democracy. […]

    America is and must always be a nation of law and order. The demonstrators who infiltrated the capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country and to those who broke the law, you will pay.

    […] I immediately deployed the National Guard. [Lie, bullshit]

    Commentary from The Washington Post:

    […] Reading off a script in a flat voice, Trump claimed he immediately deployed the National Guard to help secure the building and expel the intruders. Other officials have disputed that account. Trump also claimed his attempts to overturn the election results were simply his efforts to “ensure the integrity of the vote.”

    From a statement tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino as Trump remained locked out of his account:

    Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.

    From what Trump said on Wednesday when he was inciting insurrection:

    […] We will never give up. We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore. […] You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.

    […] [Mike Pence did not have] the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.

    I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard today.

    Trump also used the word “fight” many times, and he claimed that he would be there at the Capitol with his followers. He was not. He watched the riot and the desecration of the Capitol on TV.

  205. says

    Guardian – “‘We’re the news now’: Pro-Trump mob targeted journalists at US Capitol”:

    The violent mob of Donald Trump supporters that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday targeted journalists and the press during the rampage, incited by a president who has branded the news media an “enemy of the people”.

    “Murder the media,” was the message scrawled on a door of the Capitol during the siege. Outside, the Bloomberg News reporter William Turton captured on video the moment that part of the mob began to attack a group of reporters and their camera equipment while yelling, “Fuck the mainstream media.” As one man brandished a flag pole as a weapon and others menaced, the journalists abandoned their equipment to retreat.

    “We are the news now,” said one of the rioters, according to the BuzzFeed News reporter Paul McLeod. The sentiment has become common among adherents of QAnon and other rightwing conspiracy movements, who have worked to create an alternative disinformation ecosystem that is impervious to reality or evidence-based reporting.

    The group subsequently fashioned a noose from the abandoned camera equipment, McLeod reported.

    The mob wasn’t the only threat to journalists in Washington DC Wednesday. Two reporters for the Washington Post were briefly detained by police while reporting Tuesday night, an echo of the extensive targeting of reporters by law enforcement that was seen throughout the Black Lives Matter uprisings of 2020.

    The reporters, Zoeann Murphy and Whitney Leaming, said on Twitter that they were released quickly and were safe.

    Leaming referred obliquely to the strain and trauma of reporting under such conditions, however,…

    Many reporters ended up sheltering alongside members of Congress as the Capitol came under attack….

    Advocates for freedom of the press condemned the day’s events, noting that the Capitol building is the workplace not just for the country’s lawmakers, but for those who report on them….

  206. says

    Update to #99 above – Guardian – “Hong Kong police release all but three of those held in crackdown”:

    Hong Kong authorities have released all but three people arrested in Wednesday’s unprecedented roundup of opposition figures.

    Amid heated debate about the legal premise of the accusations against the group, police are yet to lay any charges.

    The American lawyer John Clancey was the first to be released on bail pending further inquiries, less than 24 hours after the mass arrests of politicians, campaigners, and activists over accusations that their holding of a democratic poll violated the national security law (NSL) imposed by China’s government. By Friday afternoon, 51 others had joined him.

    Those still being held are the activists Joshua Wong and Tam Tak-chi, who were already in prison, and the former Democratic party chairman Wu Chi-wai, who has been remanded in custody after police found he had not declared a passport during a previous case.

    In a press conference on Friday, five members of the Democratic party who had been arrested accused the authorities of detaining them for political reasons and vowed to maintain their party platform.

    “They haven’t charged us yet, but I’m quite sure they may charge some of us sooner or later, whether they have sufficient evidence or not,” said the party’s vice-chair, Lam Cheuk-ting.

    “The true motive is very simple. The regime tries to make Hong Kong people silent. They want to create a chilling effect. They want us to bow to the regime and say yes to anything regarding the Carrie Lam administration.”

    The individuals, who include former lawmakers, academics, social workers, and students, were released on police bail pending charges. Required to surrender their passports, they will have to report back at regular intervals….

  207. says

    Here’s a link to the January 8 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    From there:

    US suffers more than 4,000 deaths in 24 hours

    More than 4,000 people died in the US on Thursday, Johns Hopkins University data shows – a world record daily toll, and the first time it has passed 4,000.

    In 24 hours, 4,085 Americans died, according to the data, while nearly 275,000 cases were confirmed.

    The virus is surging in several states, with California hit particularly hard, reporting on Thursday a record two-day total of 1,042 coronavirus deaths. Skyrocketing caseloads there are threatening to force hospitals to ration care and essentially decide who lives and who dies.

    “Folks are gasping for breath. Folks look like they’re drowning when they are in bed right in front of us,” said Dr Jeffrey Chien, an emergency room physician at Santa Clara Valley Regional Medical Center, urging people to do their part to help slow the spread. “I’m begging everyone to help us out because we aren’t the front line. We’re the last line.”

    Meanwhile, the number of Americans who have had their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine climbed to at least 5.9 million on Thursday, a one-day gain of about 600,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hundreds of millions will need to be vaccinated to stop the coronavirus.

    Sweden passes new pandemic law

    Sweden’s parliament has voted today in favour of a new pandemic law giving the government power to close certain businesses or limit visitor numbers and opening hours, which will come into effect from January 10th.

    Parliament was recalled from its Christmas recess for the first time since 2005 in order to debate the coronavirus bill, reports Sweden’s English-language online newspaper, the Local.

    “We know that Covid-19 is in the society and will be here for a long time to come. More precise measures are needed, that are possible to maintain over time,” Health Minister Lena Hallengren said.

    The new pandemic law gives the government the possibility to shut down businesses, but Hallengren stressed that this is not the main goal of the legislation.

    It also introduces extra measures, such as the possibility to introduce limits on visitor numbers or opening times in order to reduce the risk of infection spread. The new law means these measures could be applied to places including public transport, shops and shopping centres, cinemas and theatres, and public parks or beaches for example.

    Any measures introduced using the new law would be legally enforced. This means people could face sanctions for violating them, which is not the case with the Public Health Agency’s recommendations, the main tool used thus far as part of Sweden’s non-coercive coronavirus strategy.

    The pandemic law will come into force on Sunday January 10th and applies until September 2021.

  208. says


    “These pictures made me furious and also sad.”

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said President @realDonaldTrump created the atmosphere that made the violence at the #capitol in #WashingtonDC possible.

    “I regret very much that President #Trump since November has not conceded his defeat, and not yesterday either.”

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts to the attack on the #USCapitol….

    Video clip atl.

  209. says

    From last night: “BREAKING: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick has died after he was hurt responding to pro Trump riot. Police say he was ‘injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed’. Will be investigated as homicide….”

    More atl. I read elsewhere that he was hit with a fire extinguisher, but haven’t seen that confirmed.

  210. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has formally declared an effective emergency in the UK capital, as it grapples with a soaring number of coronavirus cases and hospitals struggle to cope with the influx of patients, write Guardian politics reporters Peter Walker and Heather Stewart.

    Khan formally declared a “major incident”, in his dual role as mayor and chair of the London Resilience Forum, after discussions with NHS London, local authorities, Public Health England and emergency services in the capital.

    London has been the worst-hit area of the UK so far in the winter peak of Covid-19 cases….

  211. says

    A week ago Josh Hawley thought he was advancing his career by signing onto a putsch. Today…:

    Hawley problems:
    -Publisher rescinded book deal
    -Top donor calling for censure
    -Home state papers KC Star/STL Post-Dispatch calling for resignation
    -Mizzou law students calling for resignation
    -Danforth calls his support of him “biggest mistake” of his life
    -Colleagues distancing

  212. says

    Arguing with people about whether this counts as an attempted coup. I’m getting a whole new understanding of how these things happen. Just bit by bit you slide into shit, while people go “It’s not that bad” every step of the way.

    And you start wondering if it’s because, deep down, they’re perfectly okay with the shit.

  213. says

    Trump is back on Twitter: “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!!!”

  214. says

    Reminding myself as well as others: Its perfectly legitimate to take a break and breathe. Self-care is a good thing.

  215. lumipuna says

    On this particular bit:

    From a statement tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino as Trump remained locked out of his account

    Out of curiosity, I checked if the official POTUS account even exists any more. It does, but almost all of it is selected retweets from the realHairFuror* and the rest is retweets from the White House institutional account. Much function, very official.

    *Active again – and he just promised to NOT attend Biden’s inauguration!

  216. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    The recovery in the US jobs market collapsed in December, the last full month of Donald Trump’s presidency, as coronavirus infections soared across the country, writes Dominic Rushe for the Guardian US.

    The US lost 140,000 jobs in December, down from a gain of 245,000 in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The loss ended seven months of jobs growth with the leisure and hospitality sector once again bearing the biggest losses.

    The unemployment rate stayed at 6.7%, close to twice as high as it was in February before Covid-19 hit the US. It is also three percentage points higher than the 4.5% rate Trump inherited from his predecessor Barack Obama.

    Some 372,000 jobs were lost in food services and drinking places, offsetting gains in other areas, as Covid-19 infections and deaths rose sharply across the country. “The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and efforts to contain the pandemic,” the BLS said.

    The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, declared the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK capital “out of control” in a broadcast interview on Friday afternoon.

    “I’m afraid this virus is out of control,” Khan said, after declaring a major incident with the capital’s hospitals struggling to cope with coronavirus patients.

    “The NHS in London is at risk of being overwhelmed … we could run out of beds.”

    Khan told BBC News that as many as one in 20 people had the virus in some parts of the city. ‘The best way you can help the NHS is by staying at home,’ he said.

    The drive to vaccinate health workers in the US has stumbled in many parts of the country because those offered the vaccine are refusing to take it, the Associated Press reports.

    While the federal government has released no data on how many people offered the vaccines have taken them, glimpses of resistance have emerged around the country, according to the US-headquartered news agency.

    In West Virginia, only about 55% of nursing home workers agreed to the shots when they were first offered last month, according to Martin Wright, who leads the West Virginia Health Care Association.

    The governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, said only 40% of the state’s nursing home workers have accepted vaccines.

    North Carolina’s top public health official estimated more than half were refusing the vaccine there.

    The pushback comes amid the most lethal phase in the outbreak yet, with the death toll at more than 350,000, and it could hinder the government’s effort to vaccinate somewhere between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population to achieve “herd immunity.”…

    UK hits new record coronavirus death toll

    The UK recorded a record 1,325 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus on Friday.

    A further 68,053 additional cases were reported.

  217. says

    Follow-up to SC @398.

    Facing backlash, Missouri’s Hawley pressed to resign in disgrace>/a>

    t was on Wednesday, Dec. 30, that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) thought he’d come up with a clever political move. While his own party’s leaders pleaded with senators not to object when Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, the Missouri Republican ignored the calls and announced he’d do it anyway.

    Naturally, on New Year’s Eve, Hawley started raising money off the anti-election scheme, encouraging donors to reward his hostility for democracy with cash.

    The GOP senator’s move was not well received. The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, described Hawley’s “heedless ambition” as “a threat to the republic.” The Atlantic’s Peter Wehner accused the young Missourian of “engaging in civic vandalism” and serving as “an emblem of a weak and rotten Republican Party.” Former Sen. Jack Danforth (R-Mo.), sometimes seen as an elder statesman in GOP politics, acknowledged that he’d personally recruited Hawley to run for Senate and added that his scheme represented “a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government.”

    On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, Hawley’s GOP colleagues were “furious” with him. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called Hawley’s move “destructive,” while Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), referring to Hawley, said that “adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government.”

    The Missouri Republican was undeterred. […]

    Exactly one week after Hawley announced his plans, a mob — made up of people who believed the lies Hawley, among others, had told them — gathered at the U.S. Capitol. On the east side of the Capitol, the freshman senator prepared to enter the building, but first he acknowledged the nearby crowd, giving them a thumbs up and a fist pump in apparent solidarity. Around the same time, Hawley sent out another fundraising appeal, seeking more rewards for his anti-election plans.

    […] Hours later, when some Republicans backed off from anti-election objections in the wake of the riot, Hawley followed through anyway.

    If the far-right senator thought the blowback would soon die down, he quickly learned otherwise. The editorial board of the Kansas City Star concluded that Hawley has “disgraced his office and our state,” and “must either resign or be removed from the U.S. Senate.” The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his home state’s other major daily, also called for the Republican to resign, adding that he “deserves to be cast into political purgatory.”

    Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) a moderate with bipartisan bona fides, also said Hawley should resign. Former Sen. Jack Danforth (R-Mo.) said of Hawley, “Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life.”

    The Washington Post’s George Will, a prominent conservative voice, said Hawley will now “wear a scarlet ‘S’ as a seditionist.” A Missouri businessman who helped bankroll Hawley’s first campaign denounced him as a “political opportunist” who used “irresponsible, inflammatory, and dangerous tactics” to incite Wednesday’s attack. The same donor called for Congress to censure the senator.

    Simon & Schuster, a prominent publisher, then canceled Hawley’s upcoming book, citing “his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

    And that’s when the senator started pushing back: “This could not be more Orwellian… It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment.”

    Given the Republican’s Ivy League education, he probably ought to know (a) there’s nothing Orwellian about a book publisher parting ways with a controversial politician; (b) George Orwell actually fought against fascists in Spain, making this an ironic use of the word; and (c) no one has a First Amendment right to a book deal.

    All things considered, this week probably didn’t turn out quite the way Josh Hawley intended.

    George Orwell fought fascists in Spain.

  218. says

    Why Trump’s grudging ‘concession’ speech was literally unbelievable

    After pleading with his followers to come to the nation’s capital on Jan. 6 for a “wild” confrontation, and after lying to them for months about the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump dispatched a mob to attack Capitol Hill and disrupt the certification of the incoming president. He reportedly “enjoyed watching the scenes play out on television.”

    As the attack was ongoing,[Trump] chose to make matters worse by issuing a video from the White House, professing his “love” for the rioters, calling them “very special people,” and telling them how just their cause was.

    About 24 hours later, Trump reversed course, issuing a new video in which he effectively conceded the race he lost two months ago. In carefully scripted remarks, he told Americans:

    “Now Congress has certified the results, and the new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power.”

    Let’s review the many problems:

    1. Trump’s video is filled with lies. […] “I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.” I wish that were true, but it’s plainly not. What’s more, in the new video, Trump condemned the insurrectionist mob as “heinous,” and claimed to be “outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” which is the opposite of what he told the public a day earlier.

    2. Teleprompter Trump is not to be trusted. The pattern has been obvious for quite a while: Trump speaks his mind, sparks outrage, and then does damage control by reading the words others put on a teleprompter for him to read. As a rule, this is soon followed by a fresh round of scandalous sincerity, in which Trump contradicts the script.

    3. It’s too late. Oh, now Trump is committed to “a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power”? […] the transition is underway, but there’s nothing smooth, orderly, or seamless about it.

    4. Motivations matter. Trump’s video was born of panic. As his failed term nears its end, he faces the very real possibility of impeachment, being removed from office through the 25th Amendment, and possible criminal liability for inciting a riot against his own country’s Capitol.

    Indeed, the New York Times reported that Trump “initially resisted taping the video, agreeing to do it only after aides pressed him and he appeared to suddenly realize he could face legal risk for prodding the mob.” The article added that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone “had warned Mr. Trump of just that danger.”

    With this in mind, the Republican’s video was less a concession speech and more a please-let-me-stick-around-for-12-more-days-and-please-don’t-prosecute-me speech.

    There were plenty of pundits reflecting late yesterday on Trump’s shift in “tone,” but make no mistake: this new video is about strategy, not sincerity. Those afraid of what he might do in closing days of his term need not feel reassured. The threat, made obvious on Wednesday, remains unchanged.

  219. says

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a trusted Pelosi ally who chairs the committee in charge of Capitol security logistics, said Sund misled her about the security preparations for the Jan. 6. session.

    Lofgren told reporters Thursday that the Capitol Police chief assured her that all contingencies were in place and “there was no doubt they were completely able to keep us secure in the Capitol.” The National Guard was at the ready, Lofgren said Sund told her.

    “We were told it was all in place, it was all a go,” she said. “It was just not true. They had not been called.”

    This is more specific than I’ve heard before. If he genuinely just lied about the preparations, then we’re past incompetence.

  220. says

    Trump’s new officials at Pentagon blocked National Guard from ‘interacting with’ insurrectionists

    Shortly after the election in November, Donald Trump began replacing officials at the Pentagon. Experienced leaders and those with at least some degree of competence, were dismissed as Trump packed the halls with sycophants who had demonstrated complete loyalty to Trump. And in particular, Trump made sure to get rid of those officials who had resisted efforts to use active military troops against Black Lives Matter protestors over the summer.

    At the time, most people were concerned that Trump was preparing for some last-minute military strike overseas, or that he wanted to be ready to level bayonets at any additional BLM protests. But it’s now clear there was a plan. Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol was the plan. Because Trump’s new crew at the Pentagon blocked requests from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for the use of the National Guard to contain Trump’s “wild” protest. And they kept on blocking it even as senators and representatives were frantically phoning from inside the siege.

    This was not a spontaneous event. It was, in every way, a coup plot. And the Pentagon was part of it.

    Looking at the obviously anemic preparations for the mob which swarmed the Capitol on Wednesday, it may have seemed like bad planning. However, it’s becoming more and more obvious that it was absolutely intentional.

    As The Washington Post reports, Bowser made multiple requests for National Guard forces to help contain a crowd that was expected to contain a large number of white supremacists and militia. But a pair of memos issued in response to that request, the Pentagon blocked the distribution of weapons or riot gear to the D. C. guard, prohibited them from interacting with protestors, and even blocked the guard’s ability to share equipment with local law enforcement.

    As the assault on the Capitol unfolded Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned on Thursday, made “an urgent plea” for a 200-member rapid response force to help police at the Capitol building. However, an official from the office of the secretary of the Army replied that “wasn’t going to be possible.” As a reason, that official said the Pentagon didn’t like the “optics” of Guard members entering the Capitol—even though the building was at that point surrounded by thousands of Trump supporters were had forced their way through multiple levels of police security. It wasn’t until Trump supporters had actually stormed the building, smashed their way into the chambers of Congress, ransacked congressional offices, and prowled the halls hoping to take political leaders hostage, that the Pentagon finally approved the use of National Guard forces.

    All of this shines a new light on Trump’s post-election moves at the Pentagon. That included bringing in disgraced former Gen. Anthony Tata, Islamophobic right-wing radio host Frank Wuco, and conspiracy theorist Rich Higgins. A day after positioning this trio, Trump replaced the chief of staff at the Pentagon with former Devin Nunes staffer Kash Patel. On the same day, he forced out the undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

    On Thursday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy claimed the military had “acted as quickly as possible” and that officials hadn’t anticipated the level of violence demonstrated by Trump supporters in their “wildest imagination.” If so, they were the only ones. Because Trump encouraged exactly this type of action, and everyone else certainly expected it.

    In fact, many of these same groups invaded Washington, D.C. in December, where they spread violence, ignored police, and planned for the bigger event that Trump was already pushing for the day of the Electoral College vote count.

    That the Trump event was going to be a large violent gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, militias, and others intent on a violent overthrow of the American government was clear weeks before the Capitol building was pillaged. And there were preparations for the event that went back to November. Only those preparations weren’t from the D.C. police. The preparations were on the part of Trump, who made sure that the Pentagon would not provide necessary forces to protect the nation’s capital against the assault he was orchestrating.

  221. says

    Pelosi consults with Joint Chiefs chairman about preventing Trump from accessing nukes

    “We must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” she wrote in a letter.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with the nation’s top military officer on Friday about precautions in place to prevent President Donald Trump from ordering a nuclear strike or conducting other military hostilities as Democrats seek his removal from office.

    The stunning revelation came in a letter from the speaker to House Democrats outlining next steps following a violent breach of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by Trump supporters. […]

    “This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” Pelosi said in the letter.

    “The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” she added.

    Milley’s office did not immediately comment. […]

  222. says

    ‘They are running away’: Clyburn blasts DeVos, Chao for resigning without invoking 25th Amendment

    The South Carolina Democrat also suggested Trump is unlikely to be removed from office by impeachment with less than two weeks before his term expires.

    House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Friday accused former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao of “running away from their responsibility” by resigning from President Donald Trump’s Cabinet before invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

    In an interview Friday morning on CNN, Clyburn (D-S.C.) repeated his call for Cabinet members to join together to remove Trump from the presidency, arguing that particular constitutional remedy was preferable to launching a second round of impeachment proceedings in the final 12 days of Trump’s term.

    “It’s the quickest way to do it, and it’s there. It is the proper way to do it,” Clyburn said. “But this president always liked being distinctive, for whatever reason. And he can be by being the first president in this country to be impeached twice. So if they don’t do it, I do believe that the votes are in the House of Representatives to put forth articles of impeachment.”

    The third-ranking House Democrat also suggested the president is unlikely to be removed from office by impeachment with less than two weeks before his term expires.

    “No, I do not believe 13 or 14 days are enough to run that. But it’s sure enough for the vice president and the Cabinet members,” Clyburn said, before invoking DeVos and Chao.

    “For two Cabinet members to resign, that says to me they are running away from their responsibility. If they feel that strongly, they would stay there and wait on this meeting so they can cast two of the votes that are necessary to invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said. “They are running away.” […]

  223. says

    From Wonkette: “Idaho [Man] Who Stormed US Capitol Has Regrets, Lawyer”

    Idaho man Josiah Colt, 34, was one of the rioters who proudly swarmed into the US Capitol. In fact, he’s the subject of a couple of the more iconic images of the takeover of the Senate chamber, which had to be evacuated Wednesday because he and his domestic terrorist pals were breaking windows and smashing open doors to make their way into the building, and then into the rooms where all of Congress was hiding under desks.

    And after bragging on social media about his role in saving America from tyranny through a very reasonable coup attempt, Colt, from the Boise suburb of Meridian, now wants you to know just how sorry he is that he got all swept up in the moment, OK? Particularly because his name and photo are all over the news. Sounds sincere to us!

    In a now-deleted comment on a friend’s Facebook post announcing their planned trip to Washington, Colt confidently explained, in some very original language,

    It’s time to fight for the freedom of this country from getting bulldozed by the domestic terrorists in office pushing Chinese communist agendas and ideology while stripping our freedoms away one by one. […] Now is the time to fight.

    Once he got to Washington, Colt remained quite sure of the justice of his cause. In one (also deleted now) video on the eve of the insurrection, he proclaimed “It’s definitely going down tomorrow.” In another, in which he wears a helmet and a Trump flag tied around his neck, he speculated that the time of purification was at hand, that things might get serious, and that’s just how it has to be:

    It’s time to take back our freedom. It’s going to be crazy tomorrow. […] Praying that everybody are able to prove a point without violence, but you don’t know, you don’t know how it’s going to go down.

    Boise TV station KTVB notes that yet another video shows “the aftermath of the Meridian man’s companions accidentally releasing bear spray into the van in which they were riding.” Truly, these heroes are America’s last hope of Liberty.

    Once the insurrection got rolling, Colt found himself a real media star. The crowd he was with made it into the Senate gallery, and then he literally went over the edge, as captured by Getty photographer Win McNamee. [image at the link]

    Colt then made his way to the dais where Mike Pence had been presiding over the certification of the electoral vote shortly before, and yelled, “Trump won that election!” as one does when you’re doing a coup and overthrowing democracy (but, you know, for freedom).

    After leaving the Capitol, Colt recorded a couple more videos that were captured before he deleted all his social media accounts; here they are, spliced together to help future ninth-graders write comparison-contrast essays. In the first snippet, he’s very excited about having liberated the chamber presided over by “that [B-word]” Nancy Pelosi, because he literally had no idea where he was. But in the second, he’s starting to realize he’s not going to be the good kind of famous, and wow, look at him insisting he was only there for a “peaceful protest.” [video at the link]

    He was just so proud of himself, at least in the adrenaline rush of having participated in the coup attempt:

    I just got in, I just got into the Capitol Building. I was the first one, I hopped down into the chamber and I was the first one to sit in Nancy Pelosi’s [chair], that [B-word], she’s a traitor, she’s treasonous.

    That thrill is gone by the second clip, because oops, people saw him and he’s dimly aware he isn’t being hailed as a hero.

    I don’t know what to do. I’m in downtown DC. I’m all over the news now.

    But, like, I’m just like every single one of those people that was marching. A peaceful protest, we’re here to represent America … we’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of people stealing from us, stealing our freedoms, stealing our liberties. I didn’t hurt anybody in there. Like, yeah, I did sit in Nancy Pelosi’s seat. She shouldn’t be there.

    To cap it off, Colt sent a very moving statement to Boise’s CBS affiliate in which he said he was ever so sorry and he knows he made a mistake, and look how well he treated the Senate chamber he’d invaded:

    I love America, I love the people, I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t cause any damage in the Chamber. I got caught up in the moment and when I saw the door to to the Chamber open, I walked in, hopped down, and sat on the chair. I said my piece then I helped a gentlemen get to safety that was injured then left.

    Colt insisted that he was in fact very respectful of the sacred hallowed holy sanctified ground of Democracy that he and his pals had entered after forcing the entire Congress — and the vice president, too, so that’s two branches of government! — into lockdown.

    While in the Chamber I told the other protesters that this is a sacred place and not to not do any damage. Some of them wanted to trash the place and steal stuff but I told them not to and to leave everything in it’s place. We’re still on sacred ground.

    See what a hero he was? He made sure that his co-conspirators violated the “sacred ground” of the Senate respectfully, so that [B-word] Pelosi would know how much he cared.

    Also he apologized very sincerely, so please forgive him, OK?

    In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I realize now that my actions were in appropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho.

    My intention wasn’t to put a stain on our great Country’s Democratic process.

    Precisely. His intention was to help Donald Trump completely subvert the democratic process because he really sincerely believed Joe Biden stole the election, and isn’t overturning a lawful election you think was unlawful actually the most democratic thing you can do?

    The TV station’s story closes with a note that Colt says he’s “speaking with his lawyer to see what his next steps should be.”

    Golly, we dunno. How about turning himself in, since he’s included in a collection of photos of “persons of interest” the DC Metro police would like to speak to?

    Or maybe he’s angling for a job with One America News Network.


  224. says

    Burgess Everett

    McCarthy: “Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more. “

    Right. Maybe if we do nothing, the violent mob will just go away. Maybe if we give Trump one more chance to fuck over the nation, he’ll do the right thing.

    If I were McCarthy, I’d be more worried about proving I wasn’t part of the coup attempt. Because it certianly looks like he was.

  225. says

    Lynna @ #s 346 and 416, CNN is just now reporting that Evans, Barnett, the guy with the Molotov Cocktails in his truck, and I think maybe Colt have now been arrested and face federal charges. I think they said 15 people so far.

  226. says

    Mark Joseph Stern, Slate:

    On the morning of Jan. 6, Ginni Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—endorsed the protest demanding that Congress overturn the election, then sent her “LOVE” to the demonstrators, who violently overtook the Capitol several hours later. She has not posted since.

    For background, Ginni Thomas is a conservative lobbyist and avid Trump supporter who campaigned for him. She also routinely spreads fringe conspiracy theories on Facebook. She recently posted: “No one, and I mean no one, has done more to harm America than the Democrats.”

    Here, for instance, is a characteristic Ginni Thomas post. She has repeatedly (and falsely) warned that George Soros is funding a sweeping conspiracy against Donald Trump and the United States government….

    In July, Ginni Thomas shared this post from a Facebook group flagged for promoting anti-vax conspiracy theories, including the false claim that Bill Gates would use the COVID vaccine to kill people….

    Ginni Thomas also led a campaign to identify and oust federal employees whom she deemed disloyal to Trump. She met with the president at the White House to provide him with a list of names she compiled….

    Ginni Thomas is often treated like a joke because she continually spouts deranged conspiracy theories. But there’s nothing funny about a sitting justice’s spouse endorsing a protest meant to overturn an election—hours before it became an insurrection….

  227. Trickster Goddess says

    NYT: These Are the Rioters Who Stormed the Nation’s Capitol

    Aaron, the construction worker from Indianapolis, and his two friends had heard people talking about going to Ms. Pelosi’s office. So once inside they decided to instead find Senator Chuck Schumer’s office. Both are Democrats.

    “We wanted to have a few words” with Mr. Schumer, he said. “He’s probably the most corrupt guy up here. You don’t hear too much about him. But he’s slimy. You can just see it.”

    But they could not find Mr. Schumer’s office. He said they asked a Capitol Police officer, who tried to direct them. But they appeared to have gotten nowhere near the minority’s leader’s office.

    WTF? A friendly cop helping rioters find they person they want to terrorize?

  228. says

    NBC – “Extremists made little secret of ambitions to ‘occupy’ Capitol in weeks before attack”:

    A digital flyer made public on Instagram and Facebook in December made little secret of the ambitions of some of the people planning to visit Washington on Jan. 6: “Operation Occupy the Capitol.”

    That call to arms is just one of the many warning signs on extremist sites and mainstream social media platforms that extremism experts say were easy to spot but ultimately disregarded by law enforcement in the runup to Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol, which led to the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was reportedly hit with a fire extinguisher during the melee.

    Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl A. Racine told MSNBC on Friday that “there were no surprises there” when it came to what extremists prepared to do before Wednesday’s siege.

    “Everyone who was a law enforcement officer or a reporter knew exactly what these hate groups were planning,” Racine said. “They were planning to descend on Washington, D.C., ground center was the Capitol, and they were planning to charge and, as Rudy Giuliani indicated, to do combat justice at the Capitol,”

    On the fringe message board 8kun, which is popular with QAnon followers, for example, users talked for weeks about a siege of the Capitol, some talking about it like a foregone conclusion. Others simply debated how violent the uprising should be, and if police should be exempt.

    “You can go to Washington on Jan 6 and help storm the Capital,” said one 8kun user a day before the siege. “As many Patriots as can be. We will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount.”

    Some users pushed back. “Why kill cops and security guards? I was under the impression the enemies were the high government officials and the rest are uninformed masses?”…

    Users on extremist sites have continued to urge armed insurrection even after Wednesday’s siege.

  229. says


    Dominion’s lawsuit against Powell is serious, much more serious than defamation suits over political rhetoric typically are.

    That’s because so much of Powell’s rhetoric has involved provably false statements of fact rather than mere hyperbole or invective.

    Dominion will very likely be treated as a public figure that has to prove actual malice, and faces a challenge — how do you prove that crazy-eyed Powell knew she was lying or showed reckless disregard for the truth?

    You might think “reckless disregard” is easy to prove for such obvious lies, but it’s actually somewhat complicated — it’s not 100% clear to what extent reckless disregard is objective (she ignored evidence) or subjective (she didn’t believe evidence) or a mix.

    Dominion’s approach is a sensible frontal assault – they’re portraying Powell as a grifter rather than a loon, arguing that she’s in it for the clicks and money. That’s a good strategy and a very plausible one.

    This is a serious case.

  230. says

    Slate – “They Were Out for Blood”:

    I can’t stop thinking about the zip-tie guys.

    Amid the photos that flooded social media during Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol—shirtless jokers in horned helmets, dudes pointing at their nuts, dumbasses carrying away souvenirs—the images of the zip-tie guys were quieter, less exuberant, more chilling. And we’d better not forget what they almost managed to do.

    It’s easy to think of the siege of the U.S. Capitol as a clown show with accidentally deadly consequences. A bunch of cosplaying self-styled patriots show up, overwhelm the incomprehensibly unprepared Capitol Police, and then throw a frat party in the rotunda. The miscreants smear shit on the walls and steal laptops and smoke weed in conference rooms. Someone gets shot; someone else has a heart attack, possibly under ludicrous circumstances. When they finally get rousted, they cry to the cameras about getting maced.

    Those rioters, the bozos, were the ones who talked to the press, who waved gleefully to photographers, who selfied and streamed the entire afternoon, without even a thought that there might ever be consequences. They were doing it for the ’gram, and their story overwhelms the narrative because their faces and voices dominated the day.

    But there were other rioters inside the Capitol, if you look at the images. And once you see them, it’s impossible to look away. The zip-tie guys.

    Call the zip ties by their correct name: The guys were carrying flex cuffs, the plastic double restraints often used by police in mass arrest situations. They walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets, armor, camo, holsters with sidearms. At least one had a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. At least one, unlike nearly every other right-wing rioter photographed that day, wore a mask that obscured his face.

    These are the same guys who, when the windows of the Capitol were broken and entry secured, went in first with what I’d call military-ish precision. They moved with purpose, to the offices of major figures like Nancy Pelosi and then to the Senate floor. What was that purpose? It wasn’t to pose for photos. It was to use those flex cuffs on someone.

    They went into the Capitol, as Congress was counting electoral votes, equipped to take hostages—to physically seize officials, and presumably to take lives. The prospect is terrifying. But just because it seems unthinkable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think hard about what almost happened….

    Today, we’re hearing more about the violence that accompanied the buffoonery: the Capitol Police officer killed with a fire extinguisher, the AP photographer dragged away by goons, the New York Times photographer thrown to the floor who feared for her life. No doubt we’ll hear even more as more stories come out.

    But it could have been much, much worse. If the rioters had been a little quicker through the doors; if senators and representatives hadn’t just moved from their joint session into separate chambers to debate the Arizona challenge and had instead still been packed into one harder-to-evacuate room; if any number of things had happened differently, the three people next in the line of succession for the presidency might have been face to face with those zip-tie guys. And then: Who knows.

  231. says

    The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have drafted Articles of Impeachment, which includes a single count: “incitement of insurrection.” They’re seeking to make Trump ineligible to ever run again for public office, so the trial in the Senate could conceivably happen after the inauguration.

  232. says

    SC @422, she is a “stop the steal” dunderhead. Her basic argument is that many people question the results of the election, therefore the election must have been stolen.

    In related news: Capitol attack does fresh harm to the United States’ global standing

    It’s foundational to Trump’s vision: the US was an international laughingstock before he single-handedly restored our global stature. Yeah, about that…

    In late September, the New York Times reported that much of the world was “watching the United States with a mix of shock, chagrin and, most of all, bafflement.” The U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic was doing extensive harm to our international standing, and as the article added, Donald Trump’s refusal to honor a peaceful transition of power made matters worse.

    The Times quoted a lawmaker in Myanmar — a poor country struggling with open ethnic warfare — saying, “I feel sorry for Americans.”

    As regular readers know, it is foundational to Donald Trump’s worldview that the United States was an international laughingstock for decades, until he arrived in the White House and single-handedly restored the nation’s global stature. He spent much of his term repeating the line constantly […]

    It was, however, a lie: International surveys have shown global respect for the United States falling to unprecedented depths during Trump’s term.

    I think it’s fair to say conditions are vastly worse now.

    Images of a pro-Trump mob swarming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday reverberated around the world […]

    U.S. allies were despondent, while U.S. foes were delighted, characterizing the events as the end of our moral authority on the international stage.

    Venezuela, in particular, seemed eager to rub salt in the wound, issuing a written statement that read in part, “Venezuela hopes that the acts of violence will soon cease and the American people can finally open a new path towards stability and social justice.”

    Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, meanwhile, blamed Trump directly for having instigated mob violence.

    But there was something the New York Times noted in passing that stood out for me:

    In Russia, by contrast, the violence fit neatly into the Kremlin’s narrative of a crumbling American democracy. The Kremlin released no official comment, but state television offered extensive late-night coverage of the attack on the Capitol, with the footage of the violence set to dramatic, orchestral music.

    […] “You know, we’re respected again,” Trump said as Election Day 2020 neared. “You may not feel it, although I think you do. You may not see it. You don’t read about it from the fake news, but this country is respected again.”

    I desperately wish that were true. It’s Trump’s fault that it’s not.

  233. says

    DOJ Backs Away From Targeting Trump And Others For Remarks Inciting Capitol Riot.

    After the acting U.S. Attorney of D.C. suggested that the Justice Department was not putting off-limits the speeches made by President Trump and others Wednesday that egged on the violent mob at the Capitol, DOJ officials played down the possibility that they might bring charges for those remarks, NBC News reported Friday.

    On a conference call on Friday, a DOJ official was asked whether the Department was considering incitement charges against the President, according to reporting read on air by MSNBC’s Katy Tur.

    The official said, according to Tur, “We don’t expect any charges of that nature.”

    Another official weighed in later on the call, in comments that suggested the Justice Department would not be targeting any of the speakers at the rally that preceded the breach of the Capitol.

    “At this point in the investigation, it is focused solely on the criminal acts at the Capitol building,” the official said, according to Tur.

    Previously, the top federal prosecutor in D.C. suggested those speakers, including Trump, were fair game if the Department found evidence supporting the conclusion that those actors broke the law.

    […] In his Wednesday remarks, Trump directed his supporters towards the Capitol and told them “you will never take back our country with weakness.” Other notable speakers at the rally were two of Trump’s sons, Don Jr. and Eric; his personal lawyer, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

  234. says

    GOPers Refuse To Wear Masks While Hiding From Pro-Trump Insurrectionists In Crowded Room

    A group of Republican lawmakers refused to wear masks while they were crowded with their colleagues taking shelter from an angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

    In a video published by Punchbowl, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) is seen offering masks to Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Scott Perry (R-PA), Michael Cloud (R-TX), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who turn the Democrat away: [video at the link]

  235. says

    Rep. Joaquin Castro says no federal building or property should ever be named after Trump

    exas congressman and House Committee on Foreign Affairs vice chair Joaquin Castro says he’s preparing legislation that would bar federal buildings and property from being named after Donald Trump, who incited a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol this week and to very likely try to take hostage members of Congress.

    “President Trump incited an insurrection that damaged some our nation’s most significant and sacred federal property,” Castro said in a series of tweets. “Most importantly—let us learn from our past. Donald Trump should never become a future generation’s confederate symbol.”

    Castro is among the over 150 House Democrats and counting who support impeaching Trump, and has also called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to begin the process of removing him from office.

    “We must send a clear message not only to the American people, but to the world that the United States is a resilient democracy governed by the rule of law—of, by, and for the people,” Castro tweeted on Thursday. “I support invoking the 25th amendment and impeachment to remove President Trump from office.”

    Castro has also called for the resignation of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for his role in inciting this violent mob. “He has conducted himself shamelessly,” Castro told The Texas Tribune on Wednesday, “and I think he has done this because he believes it’s the only way, the only chance that he has to win the Republican nomination for president.”

  236. says

    Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Friday that he heard from senior White House officials that President Trump was “delighted” to hear that his supporters were breaking into the Capitol building in a riot Wednesday that turned deadly.

    “As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” Sasse told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt in an interview. “That was happening. He was delighted.”

    “I’m sure you’ve also had conversations with other senior White House officials, as I have,” Sasse told Hewitt. […]


  237. says

    From Aaron Rupar:

    Just before a MAGA mob descended on the US Capitol on Wednesday and caused a riot that killed five people, including a Capitol police officer who was beaten to death, President Donald Trump delivered a speech to his supporters in which he used the words “fight” or “fighting” at least 20 times.

    “We’re going to have to fight much harder and Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump said at one point, alluding to Pence’s ultimate refusal to attempt to steal the election for him during that day’s hearing where the Electoral College made his loss official.

    “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. You have to be strong,” he added during the speech in which he pushed long-debunked lies about Joe Biden’s convincing victory over him being the product of fraud.

    […] Trump began his speech by urging the media to “show what’s really happening out here because these people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer.”

    “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” he said. “Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about.”

    Trump encouraged his listeners to march to the Capitol following his speech “to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity.” He did mention in passing that he was confident they would march “peacefully,” but his fans seemed to hear a different message, at one point chanting “fight for Trump!” as Trump said, “We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen.” […]

  238. says

    From Wonkette:

    […] On “Fox & Friends” this morning, cohost Ainsley Earhardt talked about how Trump supporters, like the ones who led that siege, are just really scared and heartbroken right now.

    “There are 75 million people that voted for President Trump,” Earhardt explained, “and they are scared. They are worried about what the future of this country looks like. They are confused and heartbroken that their candidate didn’t win and they don’t want to be forgotten.”

    Oh, the poor dears. Perhaps they should have gotten out of their bubbles more! [Video is available at the link.]

    This, by the way, was meant as an introduction to a Tucker Carlson segment from last night in which he laid out some of those fears for the future. Surprise — it was pretty racist.

    If America becomes a place in which you have to violate your own conscience in order to hold a job, you’re not allowed to protect your family from mob violence, where your children can’t afford to get married and raise your grandchildren because employers don’t like their skin color, then what’s the point of all of it?

    It always comes down to “And then there will be no more white babies, ever again,” doesn’t it.

    But how about this? What if these people are “scared” because they are watching Fox News and the people on Fox News are telling them that they need to be scared. That if Democrats are in power, white people won’t be allowed to have jobs and that the streets will be teeming with murderous mobs. […]


  239. says

    […] Trump evangelicals sought to recover lost social influence through the cynical embrace of corrupt power.

    […] the overwhelming support of evangelicals is the single largest reason that Trump possesses power in the first place. It was their malignant approach to politics that forced our country into its current nightmare. As white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, misogynists, anarchists, criminals and terrorists took hold of the Republican Party, many evangelicals blessed it under the banner “Jesus Saves.”

    […] The political and religious costs of a tight evangelical alliance with violent bigots and crackpots were easily foreseen. I and many others foresaw and foresaw until our fingers ached at the keyboard. Yet Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress and the others either shut their eyes or shared in Trumpian hatreds. “There has never been anyone,” said Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, “who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!”

    “We didn’t vote for him to be our pastor or our husband,” explained Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America. “We voted for him to be our bodyguard.” But what if the bodyguard you hired turns out to be a brutish, bigoted, narcissistic, authoritarian thug who wants to burn down any democratic institution he can’t control? Perhaps the moral character of political bodyguards actually matters. Perhaps evangelicals should not be hiring bodyguards in the first place, but rather supporting moral leaders who seek the common good. […]

    Washington Post link

  240. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Kevin “The Coward” McCarthy: “Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more. “”

    Gee, I would have hoped the country could have united over the need to oust a lunatic from the most powerful office in the country, but that’s just me.

  241. johnson catman says

    re a_ray_in_dilbert_space@446: McCarthy maybe doesn’t realize that if The Orange Toddler-Tyrant is successfully impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he will NEVER be allowed to run for public office again. So, if the remaining republicans in the administration will not invoke the 25th Amendment, impeachment is a valid course of action to assure that the monster will not be in a position to damage the country like he has for the last four years.

  242. says

    Kim Kelly

    The bad takes on “who the Trump rioters are” ignore the fact that most poor and working class people can’t even afford to take off work when their kids are sick, let alone load up on Trump merch and body armor, travel across the country, and spend all day playing fascist putsch

    It costs a lot of money to fund this fascist bullshit. Don’t lay the blame solely on the lazy avatar of the “blue collar Trump voter.” There were lawyers and CEOs and a judge’s son leading the charge. One of them took her private jet out to storm the Capitol!

  243. chigau (違う) says

    Hopefully he’ll use Melania’s account, then twitter could suspend it. Then Ivanka, Mr. Ivanka, etc.

  244. says


    Apple has given Parler, the social network favored by conservatives and extremists, an ultimatum to implement a full moderation plan of its platform within the next 24 hours or face expulsion from the App store.

    On Parler, CEO John Matze struck a defiant tone. “We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors! We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity. But we WONT cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!” he wrote in a message.

    …And now it’s down.

  245. says

    New Pelosi statement: ‘It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign.

    But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment’.

    ALSO most House committees haven’t been officially stood up for this Congress (bc it’s a few days old)

    But House Dems made a point of approving Rules Cmte members on today’s caucus call if the House needs to act fast against Trump.”

  246. says

    Reps. Lieu and Cicilline started drafting articles of impeachment while in lockdown together in Cicilline’s office for hours as the Capitol was overrun by pro-Trump rioters. They were on the phone with the lawyer from the Judiciary Committee and with each other. – NBC’s Hill team”

  247. says

    Parler may continue for awhile without Apple’s having it on the App store, and it may continue with Donald Trump having switched from Twitter to Parler, but Trump will have a much smaller audience on Parler.

    Trump is now a shrinking man. He is getting smaller and smaller.

  248. says


    There is nothing wrong with being gleeful about dangerous propagandists being deplatformed.

    However, please try to be kind to the victims of the cult. They will be confused and angry. It’s actually a good time to make a connection if you can….”

    (I don’t necessarily agree with the entire thread, but this is good advice.)

    I’ll once again recommend all three seasons of the Leah Remini series, originally on A&E and now on Hulu and I think Netflix as well.

    I was thinking about Ashli Babbitt as I was walking today. According to the Bellingcat article @ #412, she voted for Obama. I can’t imagine that in 2015 she could have foreseen that in 2021 she would be shot and killed while attacking the US Capitol in a coup attempt with a bunch of white supremacists.

  249. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    From AP:

    An online tool that can identify Covid-19 patients who are at highest risk of deterioration is being made freely available to NHS doctors from Friday.

    The new risk-stratification tool, developed by researchers from the UK Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (known as ISARIC4C), assesses data collected from hospital patients along with some standard laboratory tests.

    It then calculates a percentage risk of deterioration based on the information, which is known as the 4C Deterioration Score.

    The new tool builds on the scientists’ previous work – the 4C Mortality Score – which predicts the percentage risk of death from Covid-19 after admission to hospital.

    The researchers said their work, published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, could help improve patient outcomes and may save lives.

    Mahdad Noursadeghi, a professor of infectious diseases at University College London’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, who is a co-senior author on the paper, said: “Accurate risk-stratification at the point of admission to hospital will give doctors greater confidence about clinical decisions and planning ahead for the needs of individual patients.

    “The addition of the new 4C Deterioration Score alongside the 4C Mortality Score will provide clinicians with an evidence-based measure to identify those who will need increased hospital support during their admission, even if they have a low risk of death.”

    To develop their online tool, researchers used data from 74,944 adults with Covid-19 who were admitted to 260 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales, between February 6 and August 26 2020.

    They said it can be incorporated into NHS trusts’ Electronic Health Record System – used to manage all patient care – so that risk scores for patients can be generated automatically.

  250. says

    Bernie Sanders: “Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.”

  251. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Chris Hayes (All In on MSNBC), receiving the $2,000 relief check should be dependent upon receiving the Covid vaccine….I approve.

  252. says

    Several hours ago, Sleeping Giants tweeted:

    “UPDATE: The calls for violence over on Parler are getting much, much worse.

    There are now open calls for the murder of police officers and planning for violence on January 20th

    This obviously severely violates the law, much less the @AppStore and @GooglePlay rules.


    Examples atl.

  253. blf says

    Nerd@466, “Chris Hayes (All In on MSNBC), receiving the $2,000 relief check should be dependent upon receiving the Covid vaccine…. I approve.”

    I understand that sentiment, and with the caveat it does not apply to does who have legitimate medical reasons for not being vaccinated, am inclined to agree — but do not. I am appalled at the apparent presumption that people without legitimate reasons for non-vaccination are also “less-worthy” of being vaccinated. Despite their apparent stupidity, that is simply not acceptable.

    This is awkward for me here in France, where c.60% are indeed that stupid — which potentially means people who want to to be vaccinated, including myself, are possibly being denied vaccination sloths by higher-prioroty peoplle not utilising their slots.

  254. John Morales says

    blf, huh. So, I started listening to the dirge, gave up. Too drony.
    Looked at the lyrics. Gave up.

    Care to explain to me how it’s supposedly antithetical to “the sedition”?
    Because I don’t see any of that, it’s just some waily waily ballad.

  255. says

    From NBC News:

    U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield on Friday described the Capitol riots as a ‘surge event’ that would lead to ‘significant spreading’ of Covid-19.

    In other news, there’s this from the Anchorage Daily News:

    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Friday that Donald Trump should resign the presidency immediately and that if the Republican Party cannot separate itself from Trump, she isn’t certain she has a future with the party. “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said during a 17-minute interview from her small Capitol office, steps away from the Senate chambers that were invaded by pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday.

    Follow-up to news about Lisa Murkowski, from Steve Benen:

    […] The senator went on to say, “I think he should leave. He said he’s not going to show up. He’s not going to appear at the at the inauguration. He hasn’t been focused on what is going on with COVID. He’s either been golfing or he’s been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with the vice president. He doesn’t want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out.”

    As surprising as these comments were, even more striking was Murkowski voicing skepticism about her future with the Republican Party.

    Asked whether she intends to remain a Republican, Murkowski said that depends on the party itself. “Well, you know, there’s a lot of people who actually thought that I did that in 2010, think that I became an independent. I didn’t have any reason to leave my party in 2010. I was a Republican who ran a write-in campaign and I was successful. But I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.

    […] Murkowski has been one of Congress’ most interesting Republican members in recent years. […]

    When her party tried to replace the Affordable Care Act with a far-right alternative, she balked. When her party rallied behind Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, Murkowski was the only GOP senator to vote “no.” When Senate Republicans pushed a resolution last year to denounce the House’s impeachment inquiry, the Alaskan didn’t sign it. When Mitch McConnell vowed to remain in “total coordination” with Team Trump during the president’s impeachment trial, she made her displeasure known.

    And while Murkowski didn’t vote to convict Trump in the Senate’s impeachment trial, she was one of a handful of GOP senators to concede that the president’s extortion scheme toward Ukraine was wrong.

    […] Murkowski is up for re-election in 2022, and Trump has vowed to support her Republican primary rival*, whoever he or she might be. If the Alaskan became an independent and caucused with Democrats — in two weeks, the new majority party in the chamber — her power and influence would be considerable, making it easy to return home and tell her constituents, “Re-elect me because I’m now the Senate’s most powerful member.” […]


    Online speculation among some of Trump’s cult followers is that he announced he won’t be at the inauguration so that they can feel free to show up and cause havoc on that day without fear of harming Trump.

  256. says

    The other crisis: As Trump incites insurrection in Washington, COVID-19 rampages everywhere

    On the same day that Donald Trump sent his followers to capture the Capitol and threaten the lives of lawmakers in an attempt to overthrow the nation, COVID-19 killed over 4,000 Americans in a single day. The 4,100 who were tallied at WorldOMeters by the end of Wednesday was, by far, a new record. That record held all the way until Thursday, when 4,200 died. Thursday also brought 261,000 new cases in a single day, also a new record.

    As Trump focuses on nothing but encouraging violence and protecting his own fading power, it appears that the federal government is giving zero attention to the crisis that has now killed 375,000 Americans. Nothing is being done to address the inadequate testing. Nothing is being done to provide guidance on the increased need for masks and social distancing. Nothing is being done to address the stumbling efforts to roll out vaccines. Nothing is being done to address bulging hospitals. Right now, the results of a New Year surge, on top of a Christmas surge, on top of a Thanksgiving surge are becoming clear. And those results are written in blood. [charts and graphs are available at the link]

    […] It’s difficult to single out a specific “hot spot” in a nation that’s at red-hot levels of disease almost everywhere. However, two of the states that were hit hard in the summer, Texas and Arizona, are again shuffling to the front by almost any statistic. ABC News calls Arizona the “hottest hot spot” as the almost 10,000 new cases and 300 deaths there on Thursday are terrifying on a national level. But it’s more than just a bad day for the state.

    “The state currently has the highest seven-day average of COVID-19 infections per capita of any region in the world, based on Johns Hopkins University data.”

    […] the urgency of getting vaccines out and getting the virus load down is being made ever more critical as variants appear. […] Another new, more contagious strain is spreading in—and from—South Africa.

    In the last week, a coronavirus task force report warns that there may be another fast-spreading strain … in the United States. And that report makes it clear that vaccines need to be given now rather than later.

    “Do not delay the rapid immunization of those over 65 and vulnerable to severe disease; recommend creation of high throughput vaccination sites with use of EMT personnel to monitor for potential anaphylaxis and fully utilize nursing students. No vaccines should be in freezers but should instead be put in arms now; active and aggressive immunization in the face of this surge would save lives.”

  257. says

    US judge blocks Trump administration’s restrictions on asylum eligibility

    A U.S. district judge on Friday ruled against the Trump administration’s latest effort to curb immigration with less then two weeks until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

    […] District Judge James Donato in San Francisco sided with advocacy groups that sued against the restrictions, arguing that acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf lacked authority to impose the new rules.

    Donato ruled that Wolf’s appointment violated the agency’s order of succession, saying it was the fifth time a court has ruled against the department for the same reasoning.

    “The government has recycled exactly the same legal and factual claims made in the prior cases, as if they had not been soundly rejected in well-reasoned opinions by several courts,” Donato wrote in his ruling, according to the AP.

    “This is a troubling litigation strategy,” he added. “In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into a gate, hoping that someday it might break through.”

    The proposed asylum restrictions, which were set to take effect Monday, were first announced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice in a 419-page document last month.

    The rules included broadening the grounds for a judge to decide if an application is “frivolous,” and allowing judges to deny requests without a hearing if the asylum claims are deemed to be backed by insufficient evidence.

    The new policy also stated that asylum-seekers must prove that they will suffer “a severe level of harm” should they return to their home country. Current law says asylum-seekers must have a “credible fear of persecution or torture.”

    Aaron Frankel, an attorney for the plaintiffs in Friday’s case, has called the rules “nothing less than an attempt to end the asylum system,” […]

  258. says

    Trump suggests that he will build his own platform since Twitter banned him:

    Trump suggested Friday night that he may seek to build his own online platform after Twitter permanently suspended his account less than two weeks before the end of his presidency.

    Trump, tweeting from the @POTUS account after Twitter banned @realDonaldTrump, wrote that he and his team are looking at the possibility of “building out our own platform in the near future.”

    “As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,” he wrote.

    “I predicted this would happen. We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future,” Trump added in a series of tweets. “We will not be SILENCED!” […]

    Twitter removed Trump’s tweets.

    […] Attempts by Trump to circumvent the ban using the @POTUS or @WhiteHouse handles will be removed, a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.

    “As stated in our ban evasion policy, if it is clear that another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension,” the spokesperson said. “For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use.” […]

    A Reddit spokesperson on Friday also announced it would be banning the forum called r/DonaldTrump after repeated violations regarding posts about the riot at the Capitol. […]

  259. says

    “The people who this is hardest on, aside from obviously the people in the Capitol and the police and the people who were hurt, are the people who have staked their reputations and their political, financial and career fortunes on defending the president and he’s just made it harder on us,” a lower-level Trump administration official told Politico yesterday.

    Cry me a river.

  260. lumipuna says


    This is awkward for me here in France, where c.60% are indeed that stupid — which potentially means people who want to to be vaccinated, including myself, are possibly being denied vaccination sloths

    Yo I heard the French vaccination campaign deploys sloths at the ground level…

  261. KG says

    Lisa Murkowski says Trump “needs to get out.” She also “sincerely question[s]” whether the Republican Party is the party for her. SC@445

    She’s stayed in it while it fawned on Trump for four years. Now she evidently thinks leaving may be a smart career move, and is testing the waters.

  262. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Murkowski was one of the 100 people who could have actually prevented this whole shitshow–not just the sacking of Congress and subsequent riots and death, but the ongoing tragedy of the COVID debacle, the absurd election and post-election spectacle and the unraveling of the world’s oldest democracy.
    All it required was for her and a dozen and a half or so of her fellow invertebrates to grow a spine and vote to impeach a mad man. She failed. Her colleagues failed. If she looks at that failure, this could be an opportunity for her to grow as a human and as a politician–to understand her privilege and her power. However, I suspect that here, too, she will fail. If you are still in the Republican party after 8 years of Bush and 4 years of Trump, I suspect your learning curve doesn’t have a positive slope.

  263. says

    All In last night – “Must-see new video shows Capitol riot was way worse than we thought”:

    Chris Hayes: “It is entirely possible that there were people in that crowd, looking to apprehend, possibly harm, and possibly murder the leaders of the political class that the President, and people like Mo Brooks, and even to a certain extent Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, have told them have betrayed them.”

    10-minute video atl.

    Here’s Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney talking about the events on MSNBC:

    part 1
    part 2

  264. says

    Politico – “Trump went ‘ballistic’ after being tossed off Twitter”:

    President Donald Trump has many prized possessions. But few seemed to inspire as much personal joy as his Twitter feed. Trump routinely boasted of the social media bullhorn he possessed. He credited it with launching his political trajectory. And he used it as a tool to lacerate his foes.

    On Friday night, he lost it. And, then, he lost his mind.

    The president is “ballistic,” a senior administration official said after Twitter permanently took down his account, citing the possibility that it would be used in the final 12 days of Trump’s presidency to incite violence. The official said Trump was “scrambling to figure out what his options are.”

    So too was much of the political universe, which has become bleary-eyed obsessive about Twitter these past four years as Trump used the medium to fire advisers, sink legislative initiatives, encourage social duress and, lastly, praise the scores of MAGA faithful, just days after hundreds of them violently ransacked the Capitol.

    In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said he’d been “negotiating with various other sites” while “we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” But aides did not reveal what plans were in the works. When Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr. offered up a URL to those hoping to keep tabs of his father’s whereabouts, it was a site that had been purchased in 2009 and, in recent years, a place where his books were sold. For those who did sign up, an email was sent, plugging his latest work: “Liberal Privilege”.

    “As you know, the election is coming up,” it read, of the contest that took place two months ago.

    For Trump, the Twitter ban was yet another inglorious passage to the final chapter of his presidency. Over the past two days, he’s been admonished by his own aides, chastised by Republicans, and threatened once more with impeachment.

    If this is how Trump’s presidency closes out, it will be a remarkable endnote. As a candidate for office, he was — at times — ubiquitous: posting outrageous takes on Twitter, calling into cable news shows, and grabbing the camera’s attention even when the podium on which he was set to hold a campaign rally was empty. Now, he’s increasingly isolated and receding from the spotlight. His favorite bullhorn is gone; oh, and the presidency is too.

  265. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Anyone heaving a sigh of relief thinking this is over, hasn’t read the room where the rightwing nutjobs reside. The legacy of Trump’s attempted coup will be with us for a decade, and it is not a foregone conclusion that they won’t succeed next time. Certainly the soft response–and the fact that 45% of Rethugs approve of the sacking of the Capitol can only embolden the racist right.

  266. says

    NPR – “Voice of America CEO Accused Of Fraud, Misuse Of Office All In One Week”:

    Fresh crises and fresh challenges confront the Trump-appointed CEO of the parent of Voice of America, even with less than two weeks left of the Trump presidency.

    To start, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia this week accused U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack of illegally funneling more than $4 million to his private documentary company through a not-for-profit that he also controls.

    Then, five recent chiefs of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – appointed under Democratic and Republican administrations – jointly warned President-elect Joe Biden that Pack poses “a long-term threat to the credibility and professionalism of the five networks” he oversees.

    And now Pack is now being accused of trying to propagandize the Voice of America by a group of whistleblowers. They take exception to a planned appearance by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at VOA’s Washington headquarters on Monday, just nine days before the Biden administration begins.

    Pompeo will soon be out of his job. And it’s expected Pack will be replaced promptly as well. But he has sought to outlast his time in office by burrowing himself and conservative allies into boards that will steer Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. The not-for-profit broadcasters are all funded by the federal government through USAGM.

    Those networks, along with VOA and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, collectively reach more than 350 million people across the world each week….

    Through an associate, Pack declined earlier this week to comment on the suit filed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine. The associate said Friday that Pack was not available to comment on the other developments.

    Pack has thrust his agency on a path of tumult, pursuing an agenda that appears to prize loyalty to President Trump and his policies over the values that, by law, the federal broadcasters are supposed to espouse.

    Already, two judges have ruled that Pack acted illegally in office. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates federal whistleblowers’ complaints, concluded that he probably did so in a separate instance. Pack has instigated investigations of journalists for purported anti-Trump bias; withheld visa extension for journalists who are foreign citizens, requiring their return to their home countries; and sought to erase regulations that insulate his newsrooms from political interference.

    In interviews with multiple conservative outlets, Pack has relied upon Trumpian rhetoric to say he intended to “drain the swamp” at networks he says are staffed by journalists seeking to sabotage the president. He also sought to fire executives at USAGM, alleging they had been so lax on security measures that the networks would be ripe for espionage.

    …Six USAGM and VOA staffers raised concerns about the appropriateness of Pompeo’s visit so close to the end of his term. Initially, new VOA director Robert R. Reilly said it would also run on whatever VOA broadcast services were live at the time of his speech. Journalists at VOA pushed back; it was not clear whether the Pompeo speech would ultimately run on its networks at all or would be streamed on its digital site.

    Journalists also pointed to the nature of the event — in person and indoors — as a possible health risk, even with limited seating….

    On Friday, a group of anonymous USAGM and VOA whistleblowers represented by the private Government Accountability Project filed a formal complaint to Pack, Reilly, Congress. the U.S. State Department inspector general and the U.S. Special Counsel, another investigative office.

    The letter from the whistleblowers’ lead attorney, David Z. Seide, decried “the use of VOA to disseminate political propaganda in the waning days of the Trump administration.” He argued it was yet another effort by Pack and Reilly to politicize the network and its parent agency. And the whistleblowers also alleged VOA’s announced intention to broadcast the speech marks a violation of the “firewall” protections intended by statute and also in regulations swept aside by Pack last year….

    More atl.

  267. tomh says

    Video Shows Oregon Lawmaker Letting Protesters Inside State Capitol
    January 8, 2021 KARINA BROWN

    A Republican lawmaker opened a locked door to let violent far-right protesters into the closed Oregon capitol building during a contentious special session Dec. 21, video obtained by Courthouse News shows.

    SALEM, Ore. (CN) — Far-right demonstrators swarmed into Oregon’s Capitol last month, as legislators gathered for a contentious special session. New video shows a Republican lawmaker opened a locked door to let them in.

    Representative Mike Nearman, R-Independence, breezed through a locked door to the state Capitol Dec. 21, opening it to a crowd of far-right protesters who then assaulted state troopers protecting the building, according to video from a security camera…

    “This was a serious breach of public trust and his actions put the safety of legislators, staff and law enforcement in danger,” House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, said in a statement. “The resulting entry was especially terrorizing for our members and staff of color because the rhetoric of the protesters was out of the Trump playbook and is aligned with white supremacy…

    Far-right protesters sprayed police with bear mace or another chemical irritant outside the Capitol building that day, and clashed with leftist counter-protesters. They broke the window of another door in their attempt to enter the Capitol…

    The video, provided under a records request, is from a surveillance camera just inside a side door. It shows far-right protesters waiting outside a glass door. Rep. Nearman strides through an internal door into the frame and opens a second, external door before walking through the crowd of protesters…

    The incident is under investigation by Oregon State Police. After that, Speaker Kotek said her office will decide on consequences that could include a $5,000 fine and expulsion from the Legislature…

    “When the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review for possible charges, if any,” Captain Tim Fox said in an email.

    Asked how state troopers, who are responsible for guarding the Capitol, plan to prevent a similar incident in the future, Fox offered even less certainty.

    “Any ideas?” he asked…

  268. says

    Thread and link to article

    Let’s be clear: For the far-right groups that carried out Trump’s insurrection, the siege of the Capitol was a huge success, a major propaganda coup. I talked to experts in right-wing extremism about what this event really meant to them. Alarming stuff

  269. KG says

    Further to #491, here’s my list of those currently identified as being intruders into the Capitol. Note that there is one apparent leftist, as against a dozen prominent members of the Far Right:

    Prominent Far Right: from Garrett Craig
    – Jake Angeli (“Qanon Shaman”)
    – Richard Barnett (“Bigo”)
    – Derrick Evans (newly elected WV House of Delegates, District 19, (R) )
    – Nick Fuentes (Holocaust denier, white nationalist)
    – Tim Gionet (“Baked Alaska”, alt-right neo-Nazi, keynote speaker at Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally)
    – Matthew Heimbach (neo-Nazi, former head of “Traditional Worker Party”, organiser of Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally)
    – Elijah Schaffer (pro-Trump reporter for “The Blaze”)
    – Jon Schaffer (rhythm guitariast and songwriter for Iced Earth)
    – Steve Smith (Keystone Skinheads, also an elected Republican committeeman from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania)
    – Jason Tankersley (founder of the Maryland State Skinheads and associate of the Keystone State Skins)

    Other prominent Far Right:
    Larry Rendall Brock Jr. (Air Force vet, Lt. Col., Trump supporter, election conspiracist; white supremacist according to family and friend)
    Nick Ochs, founder of the Hawaii chapter for the far-right group Proud Boys

    Small fry:
    Josiah Colt (34, small business CEO, Covid conspiracy theorist, Trump fan)
    Brad Rukstales (52, CEO of tech company Cogensia – now suspended, donated $12,000 to Trump’s re-election campaign)
    Ashli Babbitt (Trump fan, Qanon idiot, got herself shot dead by police)
    Adam Johnson (Florida resident, pictured holding a lectern)
    “Elizabeth from Knoxville” (whined about being maced while entering Capitol, taking part in what she called a revolution)

    John Sullivan (founder of “Insurgence USA”, claims to have been documenting events)

  270. says

    Michael Beschloss:

    Yes, remember that the United States Constitution says that “no Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress” who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the Constitution, “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

    Under the Constitution, there should be an investigation of any U.S. Senator or Representative who encouraged or participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol of Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

    In case Hawley has ever read the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution, he would know that he may now be liable to expulsion from the U.S. Senate.

  271. says

    Fascinatingly, the Defense Department is referring to Wednesday’s pro-Trump riot as ‘the January 6, 2021 1st Amendment Protests’.

    To be precise, and as others have pointed out, this is a memo issued by the office of the acting Defense Secretary, the fifth person appointed by President Trump to lead the Department of Defense.”

    Memo atl.

  272. says

    CNN – “Trump pressured Georgia elections investigator to ‘find the fraud’ in 2020 election”:

    President Donald Trump last month urged the chief investigator for the Georgia secretary of state’s office to “find the fraud” in the 2020 presidential election, telling the individual that they would be a “national hero,” according to a source with knowledge of the call.

    The phone call, which was first reported by The Washington Post, is the latest unearthed effort by Trump to attempt to pressure Georgia government officials to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the Peach State.

    Despite Trump’s insistence, his own administration and state election officials across the country have found no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

    The phone call with the investigator happened in December more than a week before Trump’s January 2 call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to the source. The Post reported that the “lengthy” phone call was on December 23, citing a person familiar with the call.

    Raffensperger confirmed to the Post that Trump had placed the call, but said he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the conversation between his office’s chief investigator and the President.

    He added that it would be inappropriate for the President to have attempted to intervene in the audit, the Post reported.

    The newspaper withheld the name of the investigator, explaining its decision to do so is “because of the risk of threats and harassment directed at election officials.” The individual did not reply to the Post’s requests for comment.

    The timing of Trump’s call came as the investigator was leading an audit started in December into allegations that Cobb County election workers had inadequately performed signature matches ahead of the June primary, according to the source.

    The secretary of state’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation audited more than 15,000 signatures in Cobb County and found no fraudulent ballots….

  273. says


    Since it appears GOP leaders need a reminder:

    There is no “healing” from this without accountability.

    And there is no “unity” with white supremacists.

    You know the President’s state has devolved dangerously. If you’re too weak to do anything about it, you’re too weak to serve.

  274. says

    SC @496, More of the Big Lie. And more evidence, as if we needed it, that Trump installed his lackeys at the Pentagon for a purpose.

    In related news: Several Well-Known Hate Groups Identified At Capitol Riot

    […] “The ProudBoys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist…,” Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the group’s president, wrote in a late-December post on Parler, a social media platform that has become popular with right-wing activists and conservatives. “We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams. And who knows….we might dress in all BLACK for the occasion.”

    The precise composition of the mob that forced its way into the Capitol on Wednesday, disrupting sessions of both houses of Congress and leaving a police officer and four others dead, remains unknown. But a review by a ProPublica-FRONTLINE team that has been tracking far-right movements for the past three years shows that the crowd included members of the Proud Boys and other groups with violent ideologies. Videos reveal the presence of several noted hardcore nativists and white nationalists who participated in the 2017 white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that […] Trump infamously refused to condemn.

    Tarrio does not appear to have been present during the insurrection. Two days before members of the House and Senate gathered to certify the Electoral College results, Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department arrested Tarrio and charged him with possessing high-capacity firearm magazines and destruction of property over the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner last month. A judge barred him from entering the city while he awaits trial.

    But it appears that Tarrio’s followers heeded his advice. […] since the incident, Proud Boys social media channels have flaunted their direct role in the attack and looting of the Capitol.

    One prominent Proud Boys account encouraged rioters as the chaos was unfolding: “Hold your ground!!!… DO NOT GO HOME. WE ARE ON THE CUSP OF SAVING THE CONSTITUTION.”

    So far, police have arrested more than 80 people in connection with the attack, including at least one Proud Boy, Nick Ochs. They have seized pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails and arrested at least six people on illegal firearms charges, including one Maryland man who was captured in the visitors’ center of the Capitol. More arrests are expected.

    As the crowds ringing the Capitol swelled on Wednesday, a small group of men clad in body armor shuffled toward the doors at the center of the building’s east-facing facade.

    The eight men, whose movements were captured on video, were identified by ProPublica and FRONTLINE as members of the Oath Keepers, a long-standing militia group that has pledged to ignite a civil war on behalf of Trump. Members of the group joined the protesters and insurrectionists flooding into the Capitol. Footage from later in the day shows Oath Keepers dragging a wounded comrade out of the building.

    Stewart Rhodes, a former soldier and Yale law school graduate, who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009 and built it into a nationwide network, was seen on video standing outside the Capitol building. While he was not seen entering the Capitol, he could be seen talking with his militia followers throughout the day.

    Several other of the participants ProPublica and FRONTLINE identified from video have direct links to the white nationalist movement, which has seen a resurgence of activity during the Trump era.

    One was Nick Fuentes, an internet personality who streams a daily talk show on DLive, an alternative social media platform. Fuentes, who marched in Charlottesville during the 2017 white power rally there, speaks frequently in anti-Semitic terms and pontificates on the need to protect America’s white heritage from the ongoing shift in the nation’s demographics. He has publicly denied believing in white nationalism but has said that he considers himself a “white majoritarian.”

    […] One group of Fuentes’ supporters, who call themselves the Groyper Army, was filmed running through the Capitol carrying a large blue flag with the America First logo.

    Days before the Capitol was stormed, Fuentes seemed to encourage his followers to kill state legislators in a bid to overturn Biden’s electoral victory […]

    “What can you and I do to a state legislator — besides kill him?” he said with a smirk. “We should not do that. I’m not advising that, but I mean, what else can you do, right?”

    That last bit above is the kind of rhetoric Trump used to incite the riot.

    […] DLive recently announced that it has booted Fuentes from its platform.

    Another figure inside the Capitol with ties to white nationalists was Tim Gionet, a livestreamer who uses the handle Baked Alaska and who participated in the Charlottesville rally, which left one woman dead. Gionet was photographed within the Capitol and apparently used DLive to stream from within the building as events unfolded. […]

    Other extremist figures present either at the rally or within the Capitol included Vincent James Foxx, an online propagandist for the Rise Above Movement, a now-defunct Southern California white supremacist group.

    Also on scene: Jason Tankersley, a former Nazi skinhead leader from Maryland, and Gabe Brown, a New Englander who helped create Anticom, a now-defunct organization devoted to physically combating leftists. In 2017, Anticom members posted a vast trove of bomb-making manuals to a private online chatroom.

    […] Rep. André Carson, a Democrat from Indiana, said the scene reminded him of a Ku Klux Klan rally. Photos from within the Capitol showed one unidentified man carrying a Confederate battle flag and another wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a skull and the words “Camp Auschwitz,” a reference to the infamous Nazi death camp.

    […] After the siege, a Boogaloo Bois group called the Last Sons of Liberty, which includes militants from Virginia, posted a video to Parler purporting to document their role in the incident — a clip that shows members inside the Capitol. A loose-knit confederation of anti-government militants, the Boogaloo Bois have been tied to a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and to the murder of two law enforcement officers in California. […]

    Some far-right activists are already calling for retribution over the death of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from California who was shot and killed by a security officer. “We’ve got a girl that’s dead. She’s shot, laying on the ground in there,” said Damon Beckley, leader of a group called DC Under Siege, in an interview just outside the Capitol while the riot was ongoing. “We’re not putting up with this tyrannical rule. … If we gotta come back here and start a revolution and take all these traitors out — which is what should happen — then we will.”

    Another person took to Parler to say that they were planning to show up, armed, in Washington for Inauguration Day. “Many of us will return on January 19, 2021 carrying Our weapons,” wrote the Parler user, who goes by the handle Colonel007. “We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match.”

    The Proud Boys also celebrated on social media. On Parler, one Proud Boys leader posted a photo of members of Congress cowering in fear and captioned it with a menacing statement: “Today you found out. The power of the people will not be denied.”

    See also:

    I came across some Proud Boys dressed in black around H Street.

    They’re basically using American flags on their masks, arms, or shirts to distinguish themselves from actual antifa activists.

    I asked to take pic, this is what I got.

  275. says

    Kim Jong-Un, whom Donald Trump boasted he would corral, announces plans for more and better nuclear weapons: North Korea’s 37-year-old supreme leader, who repeatedly snookered Donald Trump in arms talks, announced Jan. 5 at the first Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea in five years that the nation will go for “subduing” the “war monster” United States with “autonomic development” of more advanced nuclear technologies and missiles.

    Those plans include both the miniaturizing of nuclear warheads as well as giving them greater explosive yield and fine-tuning the navigation capabilities of the regime’s missiles in order to be able to strike targets up to 9,320 miles away, which would mean anywhere in the United States. The effort would also include developing a solid-fuel rocket, which would be quicker to launch than the liquid-fueled weapons North Korea now has. Ankit Panda, a Stanton Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said, “It lights a fire under the Biden administration. Kim is making clear that if Biden decides not to prioritize North Korea policy, Pyongyang will resume testing and qualitatively advancing its nuclear capabilities in ways that would be seriously detrimental for Washington and Seoul.”