Comments

  1. says

    Follow-up to SC’s comment 496 in the previous chapter of this thread.

    Pentagon’s timeline of cooperation with D.C. police is as deceptive as its name for the insurrection

    On Friday, the Office of the Secretary of Defense put out a timeline to “memorialize” the involvement of the D. C. National Guard in the violent insurrection that took place on Wednesday. Except the Pentagon didn’t call it a violent insurrection, they called it “the First Amendment Protests.”

    But there’s more to be outraged about in that timeline of events than just the rebranding of a violent assault on the Capitol. It also includes statements like this one:

    Sunday, January 3

    Acting Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet with the President. President concurs in the activation of the D. C. National Guard to support law enforcement.

    There’s almost nothing about that statement that isn’t an overt exaggeration, or an outright lie.

    First, it only takes looking a few paragraphs lower to find what Donald Trump’s “concurrence” actually meant. In response to a request from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, what the Pentagon actually provided was authorization for just 340 members of the D.C. National Guard to be activated.

    If that sounds like not nearly enough to deal with the number of white supremacists, militia groups, and plain old Nazis who everyone knew were headed to town, it gets worse. Because of that 340, most were support personnel who never left an office. What the Capitol actually got from Trump and his people at the Pentagon was 90 National Guard to work at “traffic control points,” and 24 to work at Metro stations. Even those scant forced were unarmed, denied riot control gear, and ordered to avoid contact with Trump supporters.

    But that’s only part of the story. Because saying that Trump approved the use of National Guard forces to assist D. C. police in controlling his invited and incited group of insurrectionists, is a 180-degree flip of what actually happened. As The New York Times reports, Trump did want the Guard in Washington, but not to hold back his followers. Trump wanted the National Guard to clear a path for the attempt to take down the government and lynch lawmakers.

    The president had also expressed interest beforehand in calling in the National Guard to hold off anti-Trump counterprotesters who might show up, the people said, only to turn around and resist calls for bringing those troops in after the rioting by his loyalists broke out.

    The result of all this is that a handful of completely defanged National Guard troops were literally left directing traffic blocks away from the Capitol, even as Trump’s insurrection was mounting the steps. And while the nation looked on in shock as the occupation wore on and on, Trump refused to allow actions necessary to recapture the seat of government.

    It was only when governors and members of the military bypassed Trump that significant National Guard forces were deployed to regain control.

    JFC. Every part of the report above makes my blood boil.

  2. says

    Referring back to the previous chapter of this thread:Several Well-Known Hate Groups Identified At Capitol Riot

    And here is some more information in the same vein: At least one of the ‘Zip Tie Guys’ has been identified, and he wants you to know he’s a good guy

    […] the images of armed men in tactical gear have particularly stood out as an indicator of what might have been. In particular, men with handfuls of plastic flex cuffs have served as a chilling indication of what some of Trump’s terrorists came to do: Take hostages, and do harm to them.

    Now, The New Yorker reports, one of those men—“clad in a combat helmet, body armor, and other tactical gear, (and) carrying zip-tie handcuffs—has been identified. As his friends told Ronan Farrow, he is retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock, Jr. an Air Force combat veteran who’s long been radicalized.

    […] There was the Texas flag patch, and even more helpful, there was the yellow fleur de lis of the 706th Fighter Squadron […] Michael Sheldon of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, also identified the 53-year-old father of three who lives in an affluent part of the Dallas metro area.

    Brock’s friends and family tell Farrow that his military service is a huge part of how he defines himself, and that they’ve all but washed their hands of him in recent years, months, weeks, as he’s become radicalized and “extreme” and engaged in “weird rage talk.” His Trump support is fervent, and his racism has been on display. “Both family members said that Brock had made racist remarks in their presence and that they believed white-supremacist views may have contributed to his motivations,” Farrow writes—before noting that Brock doesn’t deny he’s one of the men that Twitter calls “Zip Tie Guy,” but he’s not racist.

    The real doozy? Brock’s explanation for the photos and video of him from the riot, which show him both on the House floor, and in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office.

    (Brock) echoed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, saying that he derived his understanding of the matter principally from social media. He told me that he had gone to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate peacefully. “The President asked for his supporters to be there to attend, and I felt like it was important, because of how much I love this country, to actually be there,” he said. Brock added that he did not identify as part of any organized group and claimed that, despite the scenes of destruction that day, he had seen no violence. When he arrived at the Capitol, he said, he assumed he was welcome to enter the building.

    Brock denied that he had entered Pelosi’s office suite, saying that he “stopped five to ten feet ahead of the sign” bearing her title that insurrectionists later tore down and brandished. However, in the ITV video, he appears to emerge from the suite. Brock said that he had worn tactical gear because “I didn’t want to get stabbed or hurt,” citing “B.L.M. and Antifa” as potential aggressors. He claimed that he had found the zip-tie handcuffs on the floor. “I wish I had not picked those up,” he told me. “My thought process there was I would pick them up and give them to an officer when I see one. . . . I didn’t do that because I had put them in my coat, and I honestly forgot about them.”

    Well, gee. That settles it. Surely the FBI will believe him. […]

    See also: https://twitter.com/gtryan/status/1347336458571554817

    Was described by a former spec ops guy as “the scariest picture I saw from the whole thing.”

    “Anatomy of a professionally trained insurrectionist.”

  3. says

    From Republican Senator Pat Toomey:

    “I do think the president committed impeachable offenses,” said Toomey said during an interview on Fox News’ “The Journal Editorial Report.”

  4. says

    From Wonkette:

    Last week, Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz were all set to oppose the Senate’s counting of the electoral votes, on the grounds that maybe the election was stolen from Donald Trump. This process was interrupted when a bunch of zealots attempted to stage a coup and overthrow the government because they believed Donald Trump when he said he won the election in a landslide, and were encouraged by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz giving those views credence.

    Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden criticized Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for pushing this bullshit, saying they were partially responsible for the fact that this happened and compared their actions to Joseph Goebbels’ mantra of repeating a lie so often it becomes the truth. Which is exactly what they and Trump and every idiot who went along with it but probably should have known better was doing. Ted Cruz even said that the main reason he was pushing this was because so many people believe that the election was rigged, and therefore there must be something to it.

    His entire rationale was pretty much “Well, enough people believe this wrong thing that maybe it’s true!?!?” and that is just not how anything works. Especially when the reason people have doubts is because you keep saying “there are doubts.” It is a vicious circle!

    Here is the statement Josh Hawley or Josh Hawley’s staff had the gall to actually write:

    President-elect Biden has just compared me and another Republican Senator to Nazis. You read that correctly. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Because I raised questions in the format prescribed by the laws of the United States about the way elections were conducted in the state of Pennsylvania, just as Democrats did about other states in 2001, 2005, and 2017, he is calling me a Nazi. This is undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect. It is utterly shameful. He should act like a dignified adult and retract these sick comments. And every Democrat member of congress should be asked to disavow these disgusting comments.

    OH COME THE FUCK ON. After Trump? You think you can try this after Trump? While defending a weird lie you told in hopes of getting Trump in office for a few more years? Once you vote for Trump, once you support Trump, you relinquish your right to ever, ever suggest anyone act like a dignified adult.

    Hawley was not “just asking questions.” He was asking questions that had already been answered for the express purpose of raising doubt about the answers. […]

    I snipped the text describing how Ted Cruz blamed Biden for “vicious partisan rhetoric.”]

    […] Here, for the record, is what Ted Cruz said about funding Obamacare back in 2013, via Talking Points Memo:

    “If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.'”

    “And in America there were voices that listened to that,” he continued. “I suspect those same pundits who say it can’t be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on tv and they would have been saying, ‘You cannot defeat the Germans.'”

    Just so we’re clear — people having healthcare [Obamacare]? Just like the Nazis. People pushing the same lie over and over again until people believe it, to the point where they are willing to commit extreme acts in furtherance of the ambitions of a charismatic leader? […]

    I would just like to point out that many of the people storming the capitol on Wednesdays were, in fact, actual Nazis and white supremacists.

    […] Their idea of a unified relationship with Democrats is not entirely dissimilar from the relationship Veruca Salt had with her father. They act like assholes, they say whatever they want, they do whatever they want, we give them whatever they want, and then we pat them on the head and tell them they are the most wonderfullest salt-of-the-earth patriots in all the land, […] even though they want to pass laws that hurt poor people, people of color, LGBTQ people and women, […] they are good people with good hearts and we love them.

    It’s the same reason we had to stop using the term “tolerance.” It never helps to be sincere when you are dealing with disingenuous asswipes who will just keep screaming “I know you are but what am I?” over and over again into eternity.

    It has been A DAY AND A HALF! And now it is your open thread, unless there is a thermonuclear war. in which case Rebecca says I have to come back and write up the thermonuclear war. […]

  5. tomh says

    Election Law Blog
    Rick Hasen

    I found the part in bold of Twitter’s explanation for the suspension to be particularly noteworthy:

    This determination is based on a number of factors, including:

    President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.

    The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.

  6. says

    From WIRED: “A Game Livestreaming Site Has Become an Extremist Haven”

    DC rioters used DLive to stream from the Capitol to thousands of people on Wednesday—and to get donations from them too.

    […] Mainstream platforms like Facebook cracked down on videos glorifying the attack […] Lesser-known platforms that have supported extremists and conspiracy theorists for years were also activated by the insurrection. Among them is a blockchain-based livestreaming site called DLive, which hosted multiple streams from the Capitol on Wednesday and allowed viewers to donate directly to the streamers as they broadcast their actions and misinformation.

    Channels with hundreds of viewers went live on Wednesday with titles like “March to Save America,” and “Time to Take Our Country Back.” More than 140,000 DLive viewers watched streams about the events at the Capitol, many condoning or encouraging the mob there. At least one person streamed after breaking into the Capitol itself as donations flooded in.

    DLive was founded by entrepreneur Charles Wayn in 2017 […] The platform broke into the mainstream when YouTube’s top gaming celebrity, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, streamed there exclusively for a brief period starting in 2019. Since then the site has kept growing […]

    A major contributor to DLive’s growth has been the white nationalist leaders and other far-right personalities who fled there after bans on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and elsewhere. On DLive, however, they’ve been able to cultivate enormous audiences thanks to the platform’s lenient, hands-off moderation. Dozens of prominent extremists and conspiracy theorists stream on the site, many under “Verified Partner” badges. They’re also able to earn money there, via DLive’s in-app currency, Lemon, often amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, according to data shared with WIRED by a livestreaming analyst. […] eight of the top 10 earners were extremists or conspiracy theorists [data from August 2020].

    One streamer who received donations as he stormed the Capitol on Wednesday was Tim Gionet, also known as BakedAlaska. Gionet was banned from Twitter in 2017; YouTube removed his channel in October after he harassed retail workers over wearing masks. On Wednesday he streamed on DLive for over 20 minutes from inside the Capitol, reaching an audience of over 17,000 at its peak. “Thank you everyone for sharing this video,” he said at one point, before encouraging the mob around him to start an “America first” chant. Online viewers in his livestream joined in the chatroom, asking him to “SMASH THE WINDOW” or “HANG ALL THE CONGRESSMEN.” They also rewarded him with donations. […]

    […] In a livestream today, DLive’s head of community addressed yesterday’s events: “I do want to make it incredibly, incredibly clear that DLive does not condone any illegal activity. Peaceful protests? Fine. Reporting on the protests? Fine. But if your channel or you the streamer are involved in any illegal activity, your channel will be taken offline.” […]

    DLive’s community guidelines also prohibit hate speech, but it explicitly puts the onus for moderation on channel owners and moderators: “DLive provides tools to aid moderators, but does not prescribe their usage. Channel owners and moderators are required to moderate the chat based on the community guidelines above.”

    […] as the attack on the Capitol roiled on yesterday, savvy Twitter users disturbed by Gionet’s stream raced to identify DLive’s hosting provider and content distribution network (CDN), or the group of servers delivering content on DLive. Once they discovered that Peer5 was DLive’s CDN, Twitter users @ed the company, notifying them of Gionet’s stream. Within minutes, employees indicated they were taking action.

    “Peer5’s terms of service prohibit the use of our service in connection with any content that is unlawful, harmful, or otherwise objectionable, among other things,” a company representative told WIRED. “We learned in real time that harmful content related to today’s events was being streamed on DLive. We have taken immediate action, in coordination with DLive, to remove that content.” […] While Gionet’s videos from the Capitol have disappeared, his account remains online with a Verified Partner badge.

    A day after this story was published, DLive released another statement saying that the company will implement additional reporting tools and that it had taken action against several unnamed accounts.

    One former DLive employee told Time in August that “they care more about having good numbers than weeding these people out.” DLive’s continued apathy toward who it hosts isn’t a simple matter of free speech and censorship. By allowing extremists to remain on their platform, DLive serves as a recruitment tool. Decades ago, says Squire, white supremacist groups met in person and used electronic media like email for communication. “Things are opposite now,” she says. “They meet online and move offline for real-world action once they find a viable activity or trust one another enough to do so.”

    Squire points to Nick Fuentes, who hosts the far-right podcast America First and received $44,000 in donations through DLive in the last two months of 2020, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Fuentes mobilizes his followers in person, including at the Million MAGA March in Washington DC, where he spoke onstage to eager followers. Gionet too was present at the march.

    As of Thursday afternoon, Gionet’s chat was still active and buzzing with fans despite his being offline. […]

    Link

  7. says

    ABC – “Trump allies helped plan, promote rally that led to Capitol attack”:

    In the days before a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s political apparatus worked behind the scenes with pro-Trump groups to plan and promote events in Washington, D.C., that ultimately led to Wednesday’s attack on Congress.

    While the “March to Save America” rally was publicly promoted as being organized by groups not directly tied to the president’s team, including “Women for America First” and “Stop the Steal,” behind the scenes White House staff and close allies of the president, including former Trump campaign staff, worked with the organizers to plan and promote the events on Wednesday that would ultimately erupt into the deadly storming of the Capitol, sources said.

    A permit for the rally submitted by “Women for America First” Executive Director Kylie Jane Kremer — the daughter of the group’s founder, former Tea Party activist Amy Kremer — was approved on January 4. The permit stated that the event would take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with 30,000 attendees, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

    “Women for America First” is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization that was founded in 2019. Since the November election, the group has taken the lead in organizing events, bus tours, and protests challenging the results of the election, which often feature members of the president’s campaign and family.

    Sources tell ABC News that many staffers who had worked on the president’s 2020 campaign were involved in setting up and taking down the event space, including the stage on the National Mall. The Trump campaign denied that any active members of its team were involved in the planning of the rally, telling ABC News in a statement, “We did not organize, operate or finance this event. No campaign staff was involved in the organization or operation of this event. If any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign worked on this event, they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.”

    Following the attack on the Capitol, “Women for America First” posted a statement on its website from Kremer denouncing the violence and distancing itself from any responsibility.

    Kremer and “Women for America First” did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment. The group has not disclosed its funding, and unlike other political committees that are required to disclose donors to the Federal Election Commission, its 501(c)4 status means it is not required by law to disclose its donors….

    On a private call following the election, the Trump campaign called on outside surrogates and organizers to be ready to put on events and show public support for the president, according to audio obtained by ABC News.

    “At a moment’s instance, we may need your help at protests in your state to make sure that the president is represented and our side of the argument shows,” Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said on the call. “At a moment’s notice, we may need your help and support on the ground, you know, waving the flag and yelling the president’s name and support.”

    Trump first promoted the event in mid-December before he was announced as a speaker….

    On “Good Morning America” Friday, Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine said his office will investigate those who incited Wednesday’s violence, including President Trump.

    “Clearly, the Capitol was ground central in the mob’s behavior. Donald Trump Jr, Rudy Giuliani, even the president were calling on supporters and hate groups to go to the Capitol, and in Rudy’s words, ‘exercise combat justice,'” said Racine. “We’re going to investigate not only the mob, but those who incited the violence.”

    Since the November election, the president’s campaign has significantly trimmed down its staff despite massive fundraising hauls, and has largely leaned on the behind-the-scenes help of outside groups like “Women for America First” and “Stop the Steal,” a pro-Trump group contesting the 2020 election results, to conduct events that show support for the president following his loss.

    Online, a “March to Save America” event page showed plans for protesters to head to the Capitol following the president’s speech.

    “Take a stand with President Trump and the #StopTheSteal coalition and be at The Ellipse (President’s Park) at 7 am. The fate of our nation depends on it. At 1:00 PM, we will march to the US Capitol building to protest the certification of the Electoral College,” the event signup page read.

    A flyer was also circulated online by the group “Stop the Steal” showing a planned protest at the Capitol following the president’s remarks.

    And as the protesters swarmed the Capitol, “Stop the Steal” national organizer Ali Alexander posted a video of himself overlooking a sea descending onto the nation’s capital saying, “I don’t disavow this. I do not denounce this.”

    Kremer has supported every despicable rightwing cause of the past several years, including the campaign of Roy Moore. She’s a major figure in Stop the Steal. It’s like a patchwork of obscure and overlapping organizations, which might be to enable grift. Today, she’s tweeting that Trump’s Twitter ban amounts to a coup. She’s using his avatar as her avatar. If Trump starts using her account to get around the ban, she’ll get suspended.

  8. says

    I’m relieved. From the officer shown being crushed in a door during the Capitol siege:

    I’m ok and greatly appreciate everyone’s well-wishing. It’s also important everyone knows that it was both my and my colleagues’ privilege to defend the Capitol against insurrection, and we’ll do it as many times as necessary. I can do this all day.

    (The r/politics moderators preface it with: “The mod team received a message from the police officer shown in this post. We have verified his identity using the same standards we use for AMA proof.”)

  9. says

    Maggie Haberman:

    Trump advisers are working on a series of events throughout next week to try to highlight what the administration sees as accomplishments, and areas where Republicans are going to try to draw lines on policy matters they will press the incoming Democratic administration on.

    According to a person briefed on the planning, the border trip that is likely on Tuesday. is now part of that effort.

    WHAT THE FUCK?! He tried to stage a coup! To overthrow democracy and have himself installed as dictator! He sicced a mob on his own Vice President! They chanted “Hang Mike Pence”! They set up a gallows! They killed a cop! They trashed the US Capitol! Congress narrowly escaped! WHAT THE FUCK?! This is INSANE.

  10. says

    Follow-up to TPM reporting: “…White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before GA U.S. Senate runoffs because Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s allegations of election fraud.”

    WSJ link atl. I assume he’s a witness in the case they’re building.

  11. says

    Follow-up to SC @11.

    U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Georgia Byung Jin “BJay” Pak abruptly announced his departure Monday, as TPM first reported this week, after previously telling associates he would step down on January 20. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Pak was, in fact, asked to leave by a Justice Department official, under orders from the White House.

    […] Christine, the U.S. attorney installed by Trump to succeed Pak, brought with him to Atlanta two other prosecutors from Georgia’s Southern District, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Both prosecutors, Jason Blanchard and Josh Bearden, served as the”election security” officers in November’s election for Georgia’s Southern District. The unusual move to bring outside prosecutors into the new office raised concerns in legal circles in Georgia that Christine was brought in to spearhead the phony fraud investigations that Pak had resisted launching. There is no public indication yet that such an investigation has been launched. […]

    Link

  12. says

    180 House Members Have Cosponsored Article To Impeach Trump

    […] The news of growing House support comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced during a news briefing earlier in the week that the House was prepared to pursue impeachment if the Trump did not resign and Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet did not invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.

    During a CNN interview on Saturday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) a member of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the authors of the article of impeachment, echoed Pelosi’s comments, saying that House Democrats “will prefer that Donald Trump simply do the right thing and resign, or that Vice President Pence actually shows some spine, at least for himself and his own family and invoke the 25th amendment.”

    Lieu noted that in the absence of action from either Trump or Pence, the House was prepared to launch the effort for a second impeachment of President Trump as early as Monday, adding: “we do expect a floor vote this coming week.”

    No president has ever been impeached twice, but there appeared to be widespread enthusiasm among House Democrats for the four-page draft which zeroes in on “incitement of insurrection” as the sole article of impeachment.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had criticized the effort on Friday suggesting it would only sow further division.

    But Pelosi told CBS’ Lesley Stahl in a “60 Minutes” interview set to air in full on Sunday that it is sad that “the person that’s running the Executive Branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president.” […]

  13. says

    Follow-up to comment 13.

    Cosponsoring just means you want your name on the bill and doesn’t represent the total number of votes for it. The fact that they got 180 cosponsors (all likely Democrats right now) is actually impressive for what would normally be a very controversial action.

    What it means is that they only need 38 more votes for impeachment, which will likely include the rest of the Dem caucus plus a few GOPers who want off the Trump Train at the last minute.

  14. says

    California records a high of 695 coronavirus deaths in a single day

    California reported 695 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, setting a new record for the state’s single-day death toll as it continues to deal with a rise in coronavirus cases.

    The new fatalities bring the state’s coronavirus death toll to 29,233, according to coronavirus data reported by the state.

    California also reported 52,636 new coronavirus infections, brining its cumulative total to 2,621,277.

    The numbers come as the coronavirus ravages California following a surge from the fall and winter holidays that has stretched hospital capacity in the state. California recorded 74,000 new coronavirus infections alone on Monday, surpassing a single-day record high for new cases of over 66,000 on Dec. 28, 2020. […]

  15. says

    AOC:

    Let’s be very clear.

    The officials urging for no serious consequences after Wednesday’s attack on our country – including the impeachment, removal, expulsion, and/or indictment of officials who aided, abetted, or incited the attack – are opening the door for it to happen again.

  16. says

    From Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe and Razzan Nakhlawi, writing for The Washington Post: “A mob insurrection stoked by false claims of election fraud and promises of violent restoration”

    The problem with devotion to a prophet of falsehoods is that reality eventually intrudes.

    By mid-December, […] Trump’s fraudulent claims of a rigged election were failing in humiliating fashion. Lawsuits were being laughed out of courts. State officials, including Republicans, were refusing to bend to his will and alter the vote. And in a seemingly decisive blow on Dec. 14, the electoral college certified the win for Joe Biden.

    It was a disorienting sequence for legions of supporters who believed Trump’s lies that the election had been stolen from him but that he would prevail and reclaim it […]

    Some clung to the hope that Vice President Pence would use his procedural role on Jan. 6 to write an alternate ending. But as it became clear that Pence would refuse with the backing of most Senate Republicans, Trump’s most ardent abettors began planning the siege of the Capitol.

    “War it is,” read a post on TheDonald.win, a rabid pro-Trump forum that exploded in fury at post-election realities. “We kill now,” said another user identified only as “AngloMercia.”

    Sam Andrews, a Missouri gun-range manager and former member of the Oath Keepers movement, appeared on a video that spread rapidly on right-wing sites urging followers to descend on Washington “armed, in large groups.” A Trump army, Andrews said, needed to arrive “en-masse in D.C., armed, demanding, not asking, that we get a peaceful resolution on these voter corruption issues.”

    By Dec. 19, Trump was, as he so often does, feeding these flames with accelerant. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” he tweeted. “Be there, will be wild!”

    Come they did. And by day’s end, insurrectionist fantasies nursed online culminated in one of the most harrowing, horrifying events in the 244-year history of U.S. democracy.

    The sacking of the Capitol was enabled by a host of factors, including catastrophic security failures now being investigated. But the temporary seizure of a global seat of power was, at its core, an outgrowth of delusional and destructive forces cultivated online and unleashed by the president.

    Among the dead were Brian D. Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran whose social media postings trace a descent into deep-state conspiracies.

    Some Americans have traveled a path to radicalization that reminds current and former U.S. national security officials of the indoctrination of Islamist militants.

    Cindy Storer, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, said that adherents in both cases were drawn to an ideology that emphasizes a loss in control or status. “We had this glorious past and it got screwed up and now we need to do something about it,” she said, summarizing the mind-set. What makes such movements turn violent, she said, is the additional belief that some other entity — usually based on race, religion, or nationality — is to blame for perceived humiliation.

    […] noting that Trump’s entire approach to politics employs this pervasive sense of victimhood and demonization of enemies.

    […] Babbitt, a former Air Force airman and co-owner of a struggling swimming pool supply company, was consumed by the same apocalyptic pronouncements. Her Twitter feed starts in November with retweets, but builds to a conspiratorial crescendo.

    “Nothing will stop us…They can try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours,” she wrote the day before she was shot and killed while trying to breach a police barrier in the Capitol. “Dark to light!” her message ended.

    By early January, raiding Congress had emerged as a clear objective in dozens of far-right forums.

    “If Congress illegally certifies Biden,” a Jan. 4 post on TheDonald.win said, “Trump would have absolutely no choice but to demand us to storm Congress and kill/beat them up for it.” Some referred to Trump as GEOTUS: “God Emperor of the United States.”

    Discussion boards filled with messages on implements to bring for violent confrontation, including riot shields and flagsticks that could also serve as bayonets or clubs for breaking windows. […]

    Trump continued to goad them. “JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!” he tweeted on Dec. 30. But his scheme to derail certification would have remained in the realm of fringe fantasy were it not legitimized by some Republican lawmakers. […]

    The “Three Percenters” — a name based on the erroneous belief that only 3 percent of U.S. colonists fought the British — posted a short manifesto expressing their preparedness “to take back our country from the pure evil that is conspiring to steal our country away from the American people.”

    The statement mentioned Cruz and praised Trump lawyers Rudolph W. Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood as inspirational figures in this looming battle. But it voiced particular reverence for former U.S. Army Gen. Michael Flynn, who after being pardoned by Trump appeared at rallies, spread falsehoods about the election and urged using the U.S. military to reverse the election outcome.

    “We are ready to enter into battle with General Flynn leading the charge,” the Three Percenters’ statement said.

    On the eve of the assault on the Capitol, Flynn delivered an incendiary speech riddled with falsehoods, claiming that more dead voters had cast ballots for Biden than filled the cemeteries of Gettysburg and Normandy. [JFC!]

    He then issued a veiled threat to members of Congress. […]

    The next morning, Giuliani appeared before the same crowd and called for a “trial by combat.” Then, as Pence made his way to the Senate chamber, Trump took the stage — behind sheets of bulletproof glass — and instructed the sea of red-clad supporters to follow the vice president and refuse to accept anything short of victory.

    “You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength, you have to be strong.”

    Clint Watts, a former FBI counterterrorism analyst, compared the rhetoric of Flynn, Giuliani and Trump with the radicalizing messages from leaders of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State that so worried U.S. security officials in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. […]

    Like many who gathered in Washington on Wednesday, Shinn and Babbitt weren’t especially interested in the speeches from Trump and his allies, which were just restatements of the screeds they had already absorbed on social media.

    In an interview, Shinn said she came to Washington for one purpose: to confront lawmakers who Trump insisted had stolen the election. “We went in to storm the Capitol so our voices would be heard,” she said.

    Before Trump had even finished speaking, Shinn began marching down the Mall toward the Capitol dome. She was joined by Babbitt and Thomas Baranyi, a 28-year-old from New Jersey, who wore a Trump baseball cap and a New York Giants sweatshirt.

    As he marched Baranyi, in an interview posted online, recalled gazing up at the U.S. Justice Department building. Through the windows he said he could see federal workers “filming us and laughing at us.”

    Babbitt, meanwhile, was filming herself for her social media followers: “We’re walking to the Capitol in a mob. There’s an estimated 3 million people here today,” she said, using an utterly fictitious number.

    Shinn, who entered the Capitol hoping to confront House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was standing only 20 feet from Baryani and Babbitt as the two tried to push their way through a hallway window inside the Capitol. She could hear armed officers rushing up the stairs behind her.

    Just in front of her, a police officer fired and struck Babbitt, who fell back into Baryani. Her body started to spasm. Blood spurted from her neck, nose and mouth. Minutes later Baryani, who had come to Washington animated by Trump’s fantasies, described in a trembling voice the gory reality he had just encountered.

    “It was a joke to them until we got inside and then all of a sudden guns came out. We have to do something. People have to do something, because this could be you or your kids,” he said, holding up his hand, still coated in Babbitt’s blood.

    For all its horror, experts said the event could have been — and perhaps was intended to be — scarier and deadlier.

    […] Law enforcement officials have recovered suspected pipe bombs. Images showed armored people inside the Capitol brandishing plastic bands used to cuff prisoners — an indication, Hoffman said, that some intended to take lawmakers hostage.

    Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a constant target of Trump’s ire for his role in the president’s impeachment, said that during lawmakers’ frantic evacuation he was urged to stay out of sight of the mob by a worried Republican colleague.

    “I know these people and can talk to them,” the Republican said, according to a statement from Schiff, who did not identify his GOP counterpart. “You are in a whole different situation.” […]

    Washington Post link

    More at the link.

  17. says

    NBC – “Joe Biden wants to set aside deficit concerns to invest in ailing U.S. economy”:

    President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that he favors setting aside concerns about the federal deficit in order to spend more money to boost the ailing American economy.

    “Every major economist thinks we should be investing in deficit spending in order to generate economic growth,” Biden told reporters Friday, citing low interest rates and limited Federal Reserve powers to fix the Covid-19 crisis.

    As this city reels from the chaos of a deadly riot at the Capitol spurred by President Donald Trump, Biden said he’ll lay out an economic relief package this year that will cost “in the trillions of dollars.” He said it will include emergency relief for those harmed by the pandemic as well as investments in infrastructure, health care and “a whole range of things that are going to generate good-paying jobs.”

    “If we don’t act now things will get much worse and harder to get out of the hole later. So we have to invest now,” Biden said. “There’s a dire, dire need to act now.”

    The president-elect suggested he believes the $900 billion pandemic relief package passed by Congress last month would not be enough. His remarks were well-received by progressives who have been skeptical of his moderate and deficit-conscious instincts.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the runner-up in the 2020 Democratic primary and likely incoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, praised Biden’s comments in a Saturday interview.

    “The president-elect is exactly right that this is not the time for austerity politics,” Sanders told NBC News. “We cannot maintain the austerity economics that have allowed the very rich to do phenomenally in this country while working people suffer.”

    Sanders is poised to oversee the budget reconciliation process, which is not subject to a filibuster. Democrats, who will seize control in the 50-50 Senate with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will be able to approve policies of taxing and spending with a bare majority of votes.

    Sanders said he’s eying a “bold” agenda that includes $2,000 stimulus payments, enhanced unemployment insurance, access to child care, action on climate change, mitigating student debt and investing “very significantly in expanding health care,” including by lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60.

    The Vermont senator urged his colleagues to aim big or risk suffering a repeat of Obama’s first midterm election, when Republicans won huge victories in congressional races because, as Sanders tells it, voters “judged that Democrats didn’t do anywhere near enough” to improve their lives.

    “We have to act with a boldness that we have not seen in this country since FDR,” Sanders said. “If we do not, I suspect that in two years we will not be in the majority.”

    In addition, House Democrats adjusted the chamber’s rules to make it easier to pass legislation that raises the deficit if it’s related to “economic or public health consequences resulting from the pandemic; and measures to prevent, prepare for, or respond to economic, environmental, or public health consequences resulting from climate change,” according to an official summary.

    In the near term, at least, some fiscally conscious Democrats say they are willing to set aside fiscal concerns to address the pandemic-induced economic crisis….

  18. says

    So, I’m not on Parler, so I can’t verify, but:

    There is a post on Parler requesting those who took park in the siege of the US Capitol to leave their name, city, and a list of crimes committed in order to receive a pardon for Trump.

    Many people have already provided this information.

  19. Trickster Goddess says

    Amazon is kicking Parler off its cloud hosting service effective Sunday at midnight.

    “Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” the email reads. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”

    An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the suspension.

    In a post on Sunday evening following publication of this story, Parler CEO John Matze, who did not return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, said it is possible the social network will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch.”

    BuzzFeed

  20. says

    NEW: Trump and Pence haven’t spoken since Weds. Trump has declined to order flags flown at half staff on exec branch buildings like the White House. Pence refused to go along with Secret Service requests to fle[e] Capitol for safety on Weds.”

    NYT link atl. Capitol flags are flying at half mast. Pelosi has reached out to Sicknick’s family:

    Sicknick’s father said Vice President Mike Pence and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the family on Friday to offer their condolences. During the call, Pelosi invited the family to the Capitol to pick out a spot for a plaque that will be made in Sicknick’s honor. Funeral services will also be held at the Capitol, according to his father.

    Trump has said nothing about him publicly, hasn’t contacted the family, and told his killers he loves them.

  21. says

    AOC:

    These Republicans are not asking for unity. They are requesting capitulation to a deeply unwell and volatile man.

    That will not heal or unify anything.

    Accountability, rule of law, and removal of clear & present dangers are what will help stabilize the present situation.

  22. says

    This gets a bit rambling, but there are good points in there. Thread:

    As a) a highly trained movement organizer and b) a professional researcher of the violent far right, I cannot roll my eyes enough at everyone from law enforcement to CNN personalities being like “we’re trying to figure out who organized this.

  23. tomh says

    WaPo:
    Lawmakers may have been exposed to coronavirus in Capitol lockdown, attending physician says

    Lawmakers who hunkered down together for safety while a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday may have been exposed to someone in the same room who was infected with the coronavirus, according to the Office of the Attending Physician.

    “On Wednesday January 6, many members of the House community were in protective isolation in room located in a large committee hearing space,” Brian Monahan, the attending physician to Congress, wrote in an email that was sent to members of Congress on Sunday morning. “The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

    …Video first published by Punchbowl News on Friday showed maskless Republicans refusing masks offered by Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) while in the room.

  24. says

    BuzzFeed – “These Black Capitol Police Officers Describe Fighting Off ‘Racist-Ass Terrorists'”:

    …BuzzFeed News spoke to two Black officers who described a harrowing day in which they were forced to endure racist abuse — including repeatedly being called the n-word — as they tried to do their job of protecting the Capitol building, and by extension the very functioning of American democracy. The officers said they were wrong footed, fighting off an invading force that their managers had downplayed, and not prepared them for. They had all been issued gas masks, for example, but management didn’t tell them to bring them in on the day. Capitol Police did not respond to BuzzFeed News’s request for comment about the allegations made by officers.

    While some of the images from that day appeared to show officers standing by to let the mob into the Capitol building, the veteran officer said that they had fought them off for two hours before the attackers eventually gained access. The officer said that many of the widely spread images of smiling marauders, wandering the halls dressed in absurd costumes, had the effect of downplaying how well prepared some of the rioters were to overtake the building, and even to capture and kill Congress members.

    “That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the veteran said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. [I believe there was another on the Capitol grounds.]

    The officer even described coming face to face with police officers from across the country in the mob. He said some of them flashed their badges, telling him to let them through, and trying to explain that this was all part of a movement that was supposed to help.

    “You have the nerve to be holding a blue lives matter flag, and you are out there fucking us up,” he told one group of protestors he encountered inside the Capitol. “[One guy] pulled out his badge and he said, ‘we’re doing this for you.’ Another guy had his badge. So I was like, ‘well, you gotta be kidding.’”

    Another officer, a newer recruit, echoed these sentiments, saying that where he was on the steps to the rotunda on the east side of the Capitol, he was engaged in hand-to-hand battles trying to fight the attackers off. But he said they were outnumbered 10 to one, and described extraordinary scenes in which protesters holding Blue Lives Matter flags launched themselves at police officers.

    “We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and they’re telling us, they are on our side, and they’re doing this for us, and they’re saying this as I’m getting punched in my face by one of them … That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper sprayed in the face by those protesters, I’m not going to even call them protestors, by those domestic terrorists,” said the officer.

    While it was a hard day for almost every officer at the Capitol, Black officers were in a particularly difficult position, he said, and he drew a stark contrast with how police handled the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.

    He said that what upset him the most was when he later saw images of a white colleague taking a selfie with the attackers, seeming to enjoy his time with the insurrectionists who were roaming the US Capitol with confederate flags and other symbols of white supremacy.

    “That one hurt me the most because I was on the other side of the Capitol getting my ass kicked,” he said.

    The older Black officer didn’t think it was a simple case of treating the rioters differently from BLM protesters, but instead part of a bigger issue with how the agency is managed.

    “Our chief was nowhere to be found, I didn’t hear him on the radio. One of our other deputy chiefs was not there,” he said. “You don’t think it’s all hands on deck?”

    The veteran officer welcomed the resignation of US Capitol Police chief, Steven Sund, but he thinks more needs to change at the agency, which answers to Congress and where security is not as tight as it should be.

    At the end of the night, after the crowds had been dispersed and Congress got back to the business of certifying president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, the veteran officer was overwhelmed with emotion, and broke down in the rotunda.

    “I sat down with one of my buddies, another Black guy, and tears just started streaming down my face,” he said. “I said, ‘what the fuck, man? Is this America? What the fuck just happened? I’m so sick and tired of this shit.’”

    Soon he was screaming, so that everyone in the rotunda, including his white colleagues, could hear what he had just gone through.

    “These are racist-ass terrorists,” he yelled out.

    “I got called a [n—-r] 15 times today,” the veteran officer shouted in the rotunda to no one in particular. “Trump did this and we got all of these fucking people in our department that voted for him. How the fuck can you support him?”

    “I cried for about 15 minutes and I just let it out.”

    More atl.

  25. says

    SC @27, that officer really knew how to think on his feet. Well done.

    From Josh Marshall: A Headless Government

    One thought I keep returning to: if there were a functioning federal government we’d be seeing regular press conferences updating the public on on-going arrests, health status of the injured, progress of the investigation. As far as I can tell there hasn’t been a single one. Nothing from DOJ, FBI, Capitol Police, the Pentagon. Normally you might expect such information to be channeled through press conferences at the White House. But, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s not clear or perhaps too clear which side the White House is on.

    This continues the point I’ve been making in a series of posts over the last 72 hours. Whatever happens with efforts to remove the President from office, the federal government already seems semi-decapitated. The President is there. Legally he’s still President. But he’s not clearly acting as President and – perhaps even more important – it’s not clear that the chain of command in the executive branch is treating him as President.

    […] The best I can figure is that different parts of the federal government are working through the basics of what they think they should be doing, perhaps with low-key communications with congressional leadership or cabinet secretaries. One example is the string of arrests we see of insurgents around the country, having decamped to their home states and now taken into custody by federal law enforcement. One presumes transition activities are continuing. Indeed, cabinet secretaries who were resisting the transition process quickly announced they would start complying after the insurrection.

    The best analogue or constitutional description for the current situation is that the President has abandoned his post but not resigned his office. In practice he did that when he led an insurrection which stormed the seat of government, despite his oath to enforce the laws and protect the constitution. But since then he just seems to have walked away. I will emphasize again that other than two videos, clearly taped under duress, we have not seen the President since Wednesday morning. We really have no idea what he’s doing. And at any moment he could pick up the reins of his constitutional powers and cause a new tragedy or force a fresh constitutional crisis in which members of the government explicitly refuse his orders.

  26. says

    Eric Kleefeld, MMFA:

    Clarence Thomas’ wife was a fundraiser and organizer [of Wednesday’s rally/putsch]. He should be publicly pressured into resigning from the Supreme Court.

    The congressional hearings on this whole atrocity need to bring in Ginni Thomas a witness, to divulge in public her involvement in organizing the rally and any other communications she might’ve had.

    Rep. Clyburn said they’re considering impeaching Trump in the House but then waiting 100 days to send the articles to the Senate to give Biden time to put together his administration and act on the multiple crises facing the country. This would also allow more time for investigation, and after Trump is out much more information will be revealed.

  27. says

    […] instead of being honored by the supporters of a man who likes to call himself the “law and order” president, Black Capitol officers found themselves under attack.

    “I got called a [N=word] 15 times today,” the veteran officer shouted in the rotunda to no one in particular. “Trump did this and we got all of these fucking people in our department that voted for him. How the fuck can you support him?”

    “I cried for about 15 minutes and I just let it out.”

    Link

  28. says

    Dominion Voting Releases The Kraken On Sidney Powell

    While Sidney Powell was busy getting banned from Twitter this week, she also became a defendant in a federal lawsuit.

    You love to see it.

    As y’all well know already, a favorite pastime of Sidney Powell is coming up with whackjob conspiracy theories. And a favorite target of hers is Dominion Voting Systems, which contracts with governments around the country to provide voting hardware and software for our elections.

    Now, Dominion is suing Sidney Powell for $1.3 billion for her “viral disinformation campaign” that it says has destroyed the value of its business.

    In US Dominion v. Sidney Powell, filed in federal court in DC, Dominion lays out all of the crazy shit Sidney Powell made up and vomitted all over Trumpland. Election experts have already noted that, despite absolutely zero evidence of any wrongdoing or even negligence, Dominion may not be able to survive Team Trump’s attacks. Dominion makes its money as a government contractor, and if it can’t convince local officials that it is reliable and trustworthy, it will be out of business. And this week’s events have done a great job of clarifying just how many Americans are already really far gone — including some elected officials.

    As a general matter, I don’t really like defamation and libel lawsuits. All too often, they’re petty bullshit filed by people who are mad that someone was mean to them. There are First Amendment implications when the government punishes people for speech, and I tend to struggle with courts deciding what speech is entitled to constitutional protection.

    But if there was ever a defamation suit that was entirely earned, this is it. So I’m going to do something new for y’all, and, for once, mock the defendant in a defamation suit instead of the plaintiff.

    […] Dominion has a LOT to say about all of Sidney’s lies and spends 124 pages showing just how all of “Powell’s wild accusations are demonstrably false.” (Most complaints are in the 15 – 40 page range.)

    It starts off with a lovely summary:

    This defamation action arises from statements made by Sidney Powell, who—acting in concert with allies and media outlets determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election—caused unprecedented harm. During a Washington, D.C. press conference, a Georgia political rally, and a media blitz, Powell falsely claimed that Dominion had rigged the election, that Dominion was created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez, and that Dominion bribed Georgia officials for a no-bid contract.

    I am continually amazed at just how dumb everything is. The fact that Dominion even has to refute an insane claim that dead Hugo Chavez somehow rigged the election for Joe Biden is … really something. And the fact that it has to do this to refute the president’s lawyer should scare us all.

    Far from being created in Venezuela to rig elections for a now-deceased Venezuelan dictator, Dominion was founded in Toronto for the purpose of creating a fully auditable paper-based vote system that would empower people with disabilities to vote independently on verifiable paper ballots.

    Oh and

    there are mountains of direct evidence that conclusively disprove Powell’s vote manipulation claims against Dominion—namely, the millions of paper ballots that were audited and recounted by bipartisan officials and volunteers in Georgia and other swing states, which confirmed that Dominion accurately counted votes on paper ballots.

    Just to add insult to injury, Dominion also throws in this nice photo of poll watchers staring at the Georgia poll workers while they did their jobs. [Photo available at the link]

    It just really is incredible when you see all of Sidney’s bullshit just laid out there for all to see.

    Did Dominion bribe Georgia election officials? Only if you choose to believe Sidney Powell’s photoshopping of a public document to create forged, false “evidence.”

    When respected Georgia Republicans disproved Powell’s false accusations by announcing that Georgia’s paper ballot recount had verified the accuracy of Dominion’s vote counts, Powell sought to discredit them by falsely accusing Dominion of paying kickbacks to them and their families in return for a no-bid contract. The only “evidence” Powell ever put forward to support that false accusation was a doctored certificate from the Georgia Secretary of State. Powell has insinuated that the fact that the certificate is undated is suspicious. In reality, the authentic certificate is dated and is publicly available on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, along with public records showing there was a competitive bid process for the Georgia contract.

    This description of Powell’s “evidence” and “sources” is truly a work of art:

    Although Powell assured the public during television and radio appearances that her claims were backed by “evidence,” Powell’s “evidence” included declarations from a motley crew of conspiracy theorists, con artists, armchair “experts,” and anonymous sources who were judicially determined to be “wholly unreliable.” One of Powell’s wholly unreliable sources was a purported “military intelligence expert” who has now admitted that he never actually worked in military intelligence, that the declaration Powell’s clerks wrote for him to sign is “misleading,” and that he “was trying to backtrack” on it. After he was discredited, Powell pivoted by presenting his declaration as having been written by a different anonymous source.

    Did Dominion’s founder say on tape that he could change a million votes? Sidney said she had a video, so it must be real, right?!

    lolno

    Powell deliberately lied about having a video of Dominion’s founder saying he could “change a million votes, no problem at all.” Powell has never produced that recording because it does not exist.

    […]

    There is a lawsplaining section at the link.

  29. says

    Someone in the thread @ #39 quotes from this piece in something called Police Magazine (I prefer not to link) – “Dozens of DC Metro Officers Injured in Capitol Riot Response”:

    Acting chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Department Robert J. Contee said at a press conference Thursday that 56 of the department’s officers were injured responding to Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

    Contee said one officer was hospitalized after he was dragged into the crowd, beaten, kicked, and shocked with a stun gun.

    Thrown projectiles, irritant sprays, and hand-to-hand violence were used on his officers as they made 25 arrests over curfew violations after 6 p.m., Contee said. Arrests were also made on other charges, including weapons.

    Contee said many of the officers continued to “fight valiantly” against the rioters even after they were injured. “They would get triaged quickly and return to the line,” he said.

    Asked why the arrest numbers are so low, Contee said, “The first thing you have to do is regain control (before you can make safe arrests).”…

    They hit him with an American flag!

  30. says

    Meanwhile, in the parallel universe over on Parler, 4.8 million people read this earth-shattering news….”

    It’s the conspiracy nonsense that the blackout at the Vatican earlier – if there was a blackout, which I haven’t seen confirmed – was because the Pope was being arrested. (I saw it on Twitter, because for some reason Katie Hopkins still has a Twitter account.) If there was a blackout at all, it was likely due to the fact that the Pope’s personal doctor died from COVID yesterday.

  31. tomh says

    WaPo:
    Police departments across the U.S. open probes into whether their own members took part in the Capitol riot
    By Kim Bellware
    Jan. 9, 2021

    Police officers and at least one police chief from departments across the United States are facing termination, suspension or other discipline for their proximity to or alleged involvement in a chaotic gathering in Washington on Wednesday that ended in a riot at the U.S. Capitol and left five people dead.

    Departments in California, Washington state, and Texas are among those that have announced investigations into their officers based on tips, social media posts and other evidence, though more officers could be identified as evidence emerges in the coming days…

    In Seattle, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz confirmed at least two officers had been placed on administrative leave and referred to internal investigations after the department received social media posts showing the officers in Washington Wednesday…

    Thomas Goldie, a Pittsburgh area officer with the Zelienople Borough Police Department, is under investigation by the borough’s legal department after he was photographed at Wednesday’s rally wearing a hat that read “Trump MAGA 2020 f— your feelings”…

    In Troy, N.H., an interview by Police Chief Dave Ellis that placed him at Wednesday’s scene was quickly noted by residents in his hometown who called for his resignation…

    In San Antonio, Texas..Roxanne Mathai, a Bexar County sheriff’s lieutenant, is facing an investigation after she posted a video on Facebook of herself at the Capitol draped in a Trump flag…

    Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a virtual news conference Thursday that his staff had forwarded the images of Mathai to the FBI.

  32. says

    Tim Alberta:

    The stuff I’ve heard in the last 72 hours—from members of Congress, law enforcement friends, gun shop owners, MAGA devotees—is absolutely chilling.

    We need to brace for a wave of violence in this country. Not just over the next couple of weeks, but over the next couple of years.

  33. says

    NBC – “FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say”:

    The FBI and the New York Police Department passed information to the Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the Jan. 6 protests against the ratification of the presidential election, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.

    Those previously unreported details undercut the assertion by a top FBI official this week that officials had no indication violence was a possibility, and add to questions of what intelligence authorities had reviewed prior to the Capitol riot that led to the death of an officer and four others, including a rioter who was shot and killed by police.

    Asked Friday whether Wednesday’s slow police response was the result of an intelligence failure, the official who leads the FBI’s Washington field office, Steven D’Antuono, said it was not, and added, “There was no indication that there was anything (planned) other than First Amendment-protected activity.”

    D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said something similar Thursday, telling reporters, “There was no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol.”

    Ken Rapuano, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, told reporters that Justice Department and other law enforcement told the Pentagon repeatedly that they had no indications that there would be “significant violent protests.”

    But there were, in fact, ample indications of potential violence.

    “Prior to this event, the FBI obtained credible and actionable information about individuals who were planning on traveling to the protests who expressed a desire to engage in violence,” the senior FBI official told NBC News. “The FBI was able to discourage those individuals from traveling to D.C.”

    The official was not in a position to explain why D’Antuono, the head of the Washington, D.C. field office, said there were no indications of violence.

    The FBI official said that by dissuading some extremists from traveling to Washington, the bureau may have prevented an even more violent situation.

    The NYPD, which has the most robust intelligence collection and analytical arm of any local police agency in the country, sent law enforcement agencies across the country — including the Capitol Police — an intelligence packet describing threats and violent rhetoric on social media in the weeks and days leading up to the Jan. 6 rally, multiple senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.

    The officials say the Capitol Police were given a specific and separate intelligence report describing threats of violence and extremist rhetoric that appeared on social media in connection with the rally.

    Law enforcement officials familiar with the intelligence assessments say President Donald Trump’s exhortation of the crowd to march on the Capitol likely prompted a much larger contingent of people heading there than may otherwise have occurred….

  34. says

    SC @42, I think those guys are the Oath Keepers. We will, no doubt, get confirmation of identities soon.

    The coup isn’t over: Republican leaders stoke same conspiracies while others brag of involvement

    […] Republican lawmakers have given only lip service to coup condemnations; instead, they have devoted the vast majority of their statements to insisting that “unity” demands taking no action to remove Donald Trump, even after he provoked an insurrection, and declaring that the greater travesty is online efforts to isolate and expel those that advocated for and planned the violence.

    Trump’s own handpicked leader of the Republican National Committee, in the meantime, a woman who willingly abetted malevolent hoaxes claiming that the United States elections that removed Trump from power were fraudulent and should be nullified, was reelected to lead the party by a unanimous vote.

    That is evidence enough that Republican lawmakers and leaders have no remorse over their own parts in stoking, relentlessly, the fraudulent propaganda that domestic terrorists then used as justification for attempting to murder Trump’s enemies in Congress. It is also the reason the acts of individual lawmakers should be investigated, by Congress, and expelled en masse if warranted. But further evidence can be found in the materials being distributed by Republican candidates and officeholders in the immediate aftermath of the murders.

    They want constituents to know that their attacks on America’s democracy and government will continue, and that they are proud of their actions to date.

    In new campaign materials, recent North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Sandy Smith bragged of her involvement in an attempted overthrow of the government.

    “I was at the March for Trump and the Stop the Steal Rally, supporting the President, fighting for our country and our Constitution!” says Smith, a fascist, seditionist […] Of the participants in the event: “None were inciting violence,” she claims.

    Of “Republicans in DC”: “To them, it’s fine if Biden stole the election and takes office.”

    “No wonder the establishment cheated to get Trump out.”

    Sandy Smith, a Republican congressional candidate, is unrepentant in continuing to stoke the provably false propaganda claim that the United States elections were “stolen.” Every court in the land has decried these claims; there is, literally, no evidence for them. Not a stitch. The claim is a lie, and it is a lie that Trump’s fascist enablers signaled before the election he would pursue if he lost. It is a hoax intended to overthrow this nation’s government […]

    In a pinned Tweet, Smith claims she herself won her election for North Carolina’s 1st District seat, “if we audit” it. She did not. She lost. Her claims are false […]

    She is not the only Republican who has continued to claim that the elections that ousted Trump were fraudulent, of course. Over a hundred Republican lawmakers claimed the same, even as pooled blood continued to dry outside the chamber doors Wednesday evening. It is a false claim, explicitly demanding the nullification of an election based on a propagandistic hoax perpetrated by a deranged madman and his fascist allies. The Republican Party is a fascist movement. There are no “good” Republicans after Wednesday: There are only ex-Republicans or seditionists. The party has made clear what it stands for.

    The Arizona Republican Party and other state parties, all of them stripped of any leaders perceived to be insufficiently loyal to their orange-hued tax-dodging rapist leader, have only doubled down on their support […], which is to be expected. It is a party with no remaining morals; it cannot be forced to condemn a coup it itself attempted to bring into being with anti-American lies.

    This coup is not over. From Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy to Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, the party continues to claim the election that ousted Trump is invalid and that “unity” requires allowing the organizational tools of the coup, its party allies, and their own seditious rhetoric to go unmolested as they continue to push the same pro-Trump hoaxes that American fascists used to justify their attempted murder of top national leaders. This coup is not over, and its enablers fully intend to rebuild their hoaxes rather than abandon them.

  35. blf says

    Locally, the area of France I am in is now under a 6pm–6am curfew (starting today, about four hours ago), due to the pandemic. Other parts of the country had the nationwide curfew extended last(?) week. (The curfew was 9pm–6am.)

    This extension is not surprising, and is quite possibly largely due to the poor situation in Marseille, which is not a million kilometres away. There are also some cases of the more-easily-spread variant(s?) in Marseille.

    There is some confusion in reports I’ve read, with some claiming local officials in Marseille imposed the extended curfew (which was announced by the PM yesterday), and other reports saying the local officials are objecting and doubting the effectiveness of (any?) curfew. I presume those later reports are correct, in part because the local officials in Marseille have “priors” and, in part, a curfew is a more more difficult beast to police in the second largest city in France than it is in the village were I live. (It should perhaps be noted the largest city in France, is still under the shorter 9–6 curfew (I do not know if that is sensible or not from a public health view); and Marseille has a long rivalry with Paris and the central(-ised) French government; and I think Marseille is one of the most vaccination-hesitant areas in an already extremely vaccination-hesitant country.)

    Also, restaurants and bars won’t be opening-up until sometime in February at the earliest (not soon this month as had been hoped), except for take-away / delivery.

  36. says

    Trump’s secretary of defense is incompetent. He must be removed.

    Link

    […] no substantive response from the Department of Defense as this nation’s top lawmakers hid from terrorists in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. And it now appears that that inaction, by Trump Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, very nearly caused the fall of the U.S. government. And that, regardless of intent, is an inexcusable failure. Miller has proven unfit for his office, at best. His failure to respond to a terrorist attack in any substantive way endangered the entire country; during a national crisis, he proved at best incompetent.

    He must be removed from his post immediately for that failure alone. It may be more important to remove “acting” Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller from his post than it is to remove Trump himself; while Trump worked to provoke the attack, during an assembly of known-violent extremists known to law enforcement as potential domestic terrorists, it is Miller that decapitated the nation’s response to the insurrection as terrorists hunted officials inside the breached halls of Congress.

    […] As we learn the true events of last Wednesday’s attempted coup, the true nature of both the attack and the horrific lack of federal response are becoming clear. We now know that the attack was not spontaneous; within the larger crowd of willingly violent Trump allies, a subset was armed, knew where they were going, and intended to execute Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other Trump opponents. As calls for backup from Capitol Police, lawmakers, and congressional staff went unanswered, the assassins came very close to succeeding.

    We also know that top Trump administration officials knew in advance of the threat to the Capitol, but downplayed threat assessments given to the Capitol Police and to Congress so as to justify a far weaker law enforcement presence than for any other major (or even minor) planned mass protest. This lack of preparation comes after a Trump administration gutting of Department of Homeland Security intelligence officials, part of a larger purge of officials deemed insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump.

    But perhaps the most consequential actions were by newly appointed Trump Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller—the same Christopher Miller that President-elect Joe Biden called out for blocking national security briefings to the incoming administration. The timeline now makes clear that even long after Capitol Police had reported multiple officers injured and the Capitol building being overrun, Miller still took no significant action.

    According to the timeline of the Wall Street Journal, officer injuries were reported at 1:18pm. By 1:41, Capitol Police were overrun. Capitol Police chief requested National Guard support at 2:22pm, one of numerous officials to do so—many hiding inside the building awaiting immediate help.

    It was not until 5:45pm [that the dispatch was formally approved] for the Maryland National Guard. The delay in response? Hours. […]

    It is difficult to imagine that, after two decades of security theater and an unending list of curtailed public freedoms after 9/11, the federal response to an actual terrorist assault on the U.S. Capitol could consist of exactly nothing, for hours, as congressional security forces fought by themselves to protect national leaders from execution. It is impossible to imagine—and yet it happened, and many days after the attack, neither Miller nor any other executive branch appointee has deigned to so much as brief the public on how such a massive failure could have taken place. […]

    […] Chris Miller and other administration leaders willingly looked the other way as an attack on this nation’s capital unfolded. […]

    Acting Secretary of Defense Miller must answer for his apparent role in defeating a timely response to an insurrection. He, and his Department of Justice counterparts, must answer for the lack of backup outside and inside the designated target of a mass gathering of known insurrectionists—and, especially, for the inability to muster such backup even as McConnell, Pelosi, Pence, and other leaders hid in offices as their own security teams made clear that inaction could lead to executions.

    It is not forgivable, or recoverable. Miller operated either with an assumption that the terrorists were not who they plainly self-identified to be […] or Miller willingly sat on his hands as the attempted coup unfolded.

    In prior remarks, Joe Biden singled out the Department of Justice and Department of Defense as the two agencies where political hires were continuing to stonewall national security briefings of the incoming administration. It should not go without notice that these were the two agencies responsible for assessing the risk to the Capitol in advance and providing backup and rescue services when it became necessary—and that both of those teams failed, spectacularly and perhaps deliberately, in both tasks. In a recent open letter, all living ex-secretaries of defense condemned Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results and warned, specifically, that military leaders could be charged with crimes for abetting them. It was an unprecedented warning amid a sea of unprecedented warnings. […]

    It is now necessary to ask whether Chris Miller mounted an incompetent response to a terrorist attack because he truly is incapable of his job, or whether he did so in a conspiracy siding with the terrorists. That is how horrific his response is. That is how unthinkable the actions of top federal leaders are. We need not await an answer before acting: Whatever may have occurred, it was so damaging to the nation that Miller cannot remain in his post another moment. He must be removed.

  37. says

    I’m posting this because it gives us a better understanding of what it was like to actually be there as the Capitol was overrun by Trump’s rabid cult followers.

    From The Washington Post:

    […] Armed only with their phones and some of the best Rolodexes in the world, lawmakers and their aides began calling and texting anyone they thought could help — the secretary of the Army, the acting attorney general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, governors of nearby states, the D.C. mayor.

    The McConnell adviser, who described his role on the condition of anonymity because of security concerns after the attack, reached out to former top officials at the Justice Department.

    Speaking in a whisper, he told one the situation was dire: If backup did not arrive soon, people could die.

    […] Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Administration Committee that oversees Capitol security, said she held a teleconference with Sund and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, another ex-Secret Service assistant director selected by Pelosi for his post.

    The National Park Service, which issued the permit to organizers, had allowed the pro-Trump supporters to adjust their expected crowd size sixfold, up from 5,000 to 30,000.

    Lofgren asked whether Capitol police had enough officers to handle the capacity, and if they had the National Guard on standby and available to quickly help if needed.

    Sund insisted, yes, they had both bases covered, Lofgren said. Later, in a call with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), he repeated those assertions, Ryan said.

    In fact, three days earlier, Capitol police had told the Pentagon that it was not requesting National Guard support for the event, according to defense officials. And when masses of Trump supporters began pushing against the limited barricades around the Capitol, the agency’s officers were rapidly overrun.

    […] By around 1 p.m., as the joint session began, the mood in the crowd outside began to shift. Trump had just given a one-hour speech to thousands of supporters amassed on the Ellipse near the White House, excoriating his enemies and reiterating his baseless claims of fraud. GOP lawmakers, he emphasized, needed to take a stand.

    “We’re going to the Capitol,” he said. “We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

    The president added: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

    Trump returned to the White House; he did not go to Capitol Hill. But his supporters began streaming east along Pennsylvania Avenue.

    […] A seeming fortress from a distance, the Capitol contains more than 400 separate doors, entryways and ground-level windows. And police lines on all sides of the building were collapsing.

    Waters placed an urgent call to Sund, who was at Capitol police headquarters two blocks away, two law enforcement officials said.
    Protesters were already crossing the plaza. “What are you going to do about it?” Waters asked. “We’re doing the best we can,” came Sund’s reply, she said, and then the line went dead.

    Waters was unsure if the call had dropped or if Sund hung up. She turned to a staffer: “That’s not a plan.”

    On the other end of the building and a floor below, alarm was growing among senior congressional staffers crowding into the office of Stenger, the head of security for the Senate.

    His House colleague, Irving, was placing a call to a law enforcement association that can organize mutual aid from county and state police forces in suburban Maryland and Virginia, according to people in the room. The request was brand new, and it would take an hour or two for any officers to arrive, Irving was told. A Democratic aide and a Republican one in the room looked at each other in surprise.

    At that point, Irving began talking about bringing in the National Guard. While a few hundred D.C. National Guard members had been activated and were elsewhere in the city, the two aides realized there was no arrangement to pre-stage military assets to help at the Capitol. […]

    Outside on the west side of the building, a handful of Capitol police officers had been backed into a corner, under the scaffolding holding up the inaugural stage. One was pulled down a set of stairs and then beaten and kicked while he tried to cover his head, according to footage of the incident.

    Atop the stairs, another had his helmet ripped off as he tried to hold up the last remaining metal barrier before the crowd could flood into the building. A person in the mob sprayed something at an officer.

    […] Shortly before 2 p.m., rioters were on all sides of the building. They waved Trump flags from landings and porticos, while the most violent and those armed with pipes, rocks and other objects trained on the many doors and windows.

    One used a police shield to break a window. A rioter jumped through, followed by others who either used the window or nearby doors.

    On the second floor, Lofgren could see the mob encircling a landing. She didn’t yet know protesters were inside.

    She again turned to Irving — what was going on? He said the National Guard was on its way.

    In fact, Sund had just requested National Guard support from the Defense Department. It would be hours before they would arrive.

    A moment later, the thunderous sounds of banging at exterior doors around the House side gave way to a crash of window glass and then shouts from rioters who had breached a second side of the building.

    At 2:14 p.m., Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) had begun his speech objecting to Arizona’s electoral college results. As he spoke, Pelosi’s protective detail agents hustled her away.

    Moments later, there was yelling in the gallery, as staff and security details started to move around with a heightened sense of alarm.

    [….] As lawmakers were ushered out another side of the chamber, plainclothes Capitol Police officers dragged a desk to use as a barricade in front of the door that presidents enter to deliver the annual State of the Union address.

    On the other side, rioters began breaking small windows. The officers inside drew their guns.

    Lawmakers inside were still being evacuated when, around a side entrance, the mob came much closer to breaking their way onto the House floor — less than 10 feet away from an open door into the chamber.

    I snipped the description of events leading to the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, as that has been covered in other posts.

    […] The intruders ran around the back hallways of the second floor, weaving in and out of the Senate majority leader and House speaker’s adjoining suites, and entering the sanctum of the two most powerful figures in Congress like the halls were their playground.

    […] At 2:11 p.m. on the Senate side, Vice President Pence sat in the chair of the presiding officer when aides started motioning to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) that he had to replace him. The vice president hurried out a door.

    At that moment, one floor below, rioters had crashed through windows and climbed into the Capitol and clashed with police, including a lone Black Capitol police officer who tried to prevent them from ascending toward the Senate chamber.

    A video captured by Igor Bobic, a congressional reporter for HuffPost on the scene, shows the officer trying to hold back a few dozen rioters who push him back and up the steps leading almost directly to the chamber.

    For almost a minute, the officer held them back — at the exact moment that, inside the Senate, police were frantically racing around the chamber trying to lock down more than a dozen doors leading to the chamber floor and the galleries above.

    “Second floor!” the officer yelled into his radio, alerting other officers and command that the mob had reached the precipice of the Senate.
    Had the rioters turned right, they would have been a few feet away from the main entrance into the chamber. On the other side of that door, had they made their way into the Senate, were at least a half-dozen armed officers, including one with a semiautomatic weapon in the middle of the floor scanning each entrance for intruders.

    Instead, the group — all White men — followed the Black officer in the other direction and met a group of police in a back corridor outside the Senate.

    At 2:16 p.m., Bobic tweeted a photo of a half-dozen police confronting the protesters.

    According to the contemporaneous notes of a Washington Post reporter inside the chamber, it was mere seconds of a differential: “2:15 p.m., Senate sealed.”

    […] Calls for help were going out as fast as people could text and dial.

    The senior McConnell adviser reached a former law firm colleague who had just left the Justice Department: Will Levi, who had served as Attorney General William P. Barr’s chief of staff.

    They needed help — now, he told Levi.

    From his home, Levi immediately called FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, who was in the command center in the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

    Capitol police had lost control of the building, Levi told Bowdich.

    The FBI official had been hearing radio traffic of aggressive protesters pushing through the perimeter, but Levi said it had gone even further: The mob had already crashed the gates and lives were at risk.

    […] Bowdich decided he couldn’t wait for a formal invitation.

    He dispatched the first of three tactical teams, including one from the Washington field office to secure the safety of U.S. senators and provide whatever aid they could. He instructed two more SWAT teams to follow, including one that raced from Baltimore.

    […] “Get their asses over there. Go now,” he said to the first team’s commander. “We don’t have time to huddle.”

    From their secure locations, meanwhile, Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made calls for help to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). […]

    […] A few hours later, shaken lawmakers filed back in, surrounded by the wreckage of the day’s attack: smashed windows, splintered furniture, a bust of President Zachary Taylor smeared with what appeared to be blood. They went back to work. At 3:42 a.m. Thursday, Pence affirmed Biden’s victory as the next president.

  38. says

    Geoff Bennett:

    NEWS: Eric Munchel was arrested today in Tennessee and “charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.” #ZipTieGuy

  39. says

    A few podcast recommendations:

    Latest episode of CNN’s Reliable Sources – “Elle Reeve recounts the Capitol riot and her interviews with Trump supporters who were radicalized on the internet”:

    CNN correspondent Elle Reeve tells Brian Stelter what she witnessed in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 6, from the Save America March near the White House to the riot at the Capitol. She examines the process of MAGA media radicalization that led up to the insurrection and the links to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Reeve explains how her team members were able to move nimbly through the mob and says the people were not all “Internet basement dwellers.” She says “I don’t think, as a culture, we’ve grappled with the way social media is a brainwashing machine.”

    The New Abnormal – “Michael Cohen: I Am Certain That Donald Trump Is Psychotic Right Now”:

    Donald Trump is in deep shit. So deep, that he finally admitted to leaving the White House at the end of the month. And his supporters? Well, some would say Wedesnday’s riot in D.C., when his supporters-turned-domestic-terrorists defaced the Capitol, inspired an “oh-fuck” moment. As for what is going through the president’s head right now, co-hosts Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast turned to the man who spent a good deal of time with Trump to find out. Michael Cohen, author of Disloyal and host of the Mea Culpa podcast, came on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to chat about the chaos and what Trump’s next moves are. Needless to say, he did not censor himself in the slightest. “I am certain that Donald Trump is psychotic right now,” he says, adding that he fully believes a coup was the president’s goal all along….

    Slate’s Trumpcast – “The 1/6 Insurgency”:

    For this emergency episode reviewing Wednesday’s violence against Congress, we reached out to historian Joanne Freeman, author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. Virginia Heffernan and Freeman review the history of political violence in Congress and why this week’s events had a different implication.

  40. says

    Ray Redacter:

    People who broke into the Capitol Wednesday are now learning they are on No-Fly lists pending the full investigation. They are not happy about this.

    Pretty much the same mood as the woman who complained that she got maced, even though “It’s a revolution!”
    They’ve clearly gotten so used to being on top, the very notion there might be any consequences for them makes them lose their minds.

  41. says

    Pelosi in statement calls Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood ‘a patriot who dedicated his life to defending the Capitol and protecting all who serve, work in and visit this temple of our Democracy. His passing is a great tragedy that compounds the horror of this past week’.

    More: ‘May Officer Liebengood’s service be an inspiration to support and defend the Constitution and protect the American people. And may it be a comfort to Officer Liebengood’s family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time’.”

  42. says

    On Monday morning, there’ll be resolution in the House calling on the @VP ‘to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to declare the President incapable of executing the duties of his office’, @SpeakerPelosi tells colleagues.”

    Full letter atl.

  43. Trickster Goddess says

    Tracking an event that is picking up steam on Parler and Gab, called the “Million Militia March” on Inauguration Day. They are encouraging people to bring guns, execute Nancy Pelosi.

    link

  44. says

    Juliette Kayyem

    Political commentators are falling into mistake that violent terror threats get less so if some mercy (no impeachment) is shown its leader. There is history of counterterrorism efforts that show otherwise. Only complete isolation, powerlessness, deplatforming, of leader works. 1/4

  45. says

    PZ this morning – “A little glimmer of satisfaction every morning”:

    …In other fantastic news, after months of far right jerks announcing that they were stomping off to join Parler, the new social media site for just fascists, all the rich tech companies like Amazon and Apple and Google abruptly pulled the rug out from under them and withdrew all support, and Parler has gone dark….

    Even better, they’d signed up for Parler even though it required them to hand out sensitive info, like their social security information, and now it’s revealed that all the GPS information for their criminal activities in Washington DC was uploaded with their photos and videos! It turns out that Parler was the world’s ugliest Honey Trap!…

  46. says

    Guardian – “Ex-head of Capitol police: officials reluctant to call in national guard”:

    The head of the Capitol police who resigned over the storming of Congress last week has given a detailed account of security failings, as warnings have emerged in recent days of fresh violent plots.

    Steven Sund said there was reluctance by senior officials involved in security in Congress and at the Pentagon to have the national guard put on standby even as fears mounted over the potential for violence. One of Sund’s officers died during the assault by a pro-Trump mob.

    In an interview with the Washington Post, Sund claimed the House of Representatives’ sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, said he was not comfortable with the “optics” of declaring an emergency ahead of the demonstration, while the sergeant-at-arms at the Senate, Michael Stenger, suggested he should only informally seek for the national guard to be put on standby.

    Irving and Stenger, who also resigned over last week’s attack, have not commented on Sund’s allegations.

    Claiming he sought assistance on some dozen occasions both in the run-up to the rally and in the midst of the rioting, Sund told the paper: “If we would have had the national guard [available] we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” he said.

    Describing the delays in deploying the national guard as the mob pushed past Sund’s officers to enter the Capitol as Congress was sitting to certify Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election, Sund said he joined a 2.26pm conference call with the Pentagon to plead for help, but once again received pushback because of the perceived “optics” of deploying the national guard.

    “I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for national guard assistance,” Sund said. “I have got to get boots on the ground.”

    Among those pushing back, according to Sund, was Gen Walter E Piatt, the director of the army staff, who Sund said did not like the potential “visual” of the national guard standing in a line with the Capitol in the background. The guard was eventually deployed by the acting defence secretary, Christopher Miller, at 3.04pm.

    The Washington DC mayor, Muriel Bowser, has asked the Department of Homeland Security to accelerate its security plan for Biden’s swearing in and bring its measures into force from Monday.

    “We believe strongly that the 59th presidential inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” said Bowser, asking for a “pre-disaster declaration” to allow for federal assistance.

    The request came amid widespread reports of far-right and other groups discussing plans to target the inauguration, including discussing the use of violence, on sites such as Parler that have become popular with pro-Trump extremists.

    “We took the building once,” one person said. “We can take it again.”

    Representative Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and former army ranger, said on Sunday he had spoken with military officials who were aware of “possible threats posed by would-be terrorists” in the period leading up to the inauguration.

  47. says

    Here’s a link to the January 11 Guardian world liveblog.

    From there:

    Half a million placed under lockdown in Beijing

    More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the Chinese government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of Covid-19 cases.

    China has largely brought the virus under control, but is tackling a number of local infections with lockdowns and mass testing.

    Authorities are keen to stem any outbreak in the capital – home to more than 20 million people – particularly ahead of a week-long national holiday next month.

    All rural villages in Shunyi district on the outskirts of Beijing are locked down until a fresh round of mass testing has been completed, district official Zhi Xianwei said at a press briefing Monday, AFP reported.

    The move means around 518,000 residents will not be permitted to leave their villages until they have undergone testing.

    Officials also said locals would be under “closed management”, suggesting they will be barred from leaving their residential compounds.

    The district, which has a total population of 1.2 million, is home to many rural migrant workers. Zhi said officials would “knock on doors … all migrants will be classified and accounted for.”

    Experts have not yet identified the source of the outbreak, but one asymptomatic case confirmed on Sunday was a driver for an online ride-hailing service, and the government has suspended all taxi-hailing services in the district.

    BioNTech ups vaccine production target to 2bn doses this year

    German company BioNTech, which developed the first coronavirus vaccine approved in the West, said Monday it expects to produce two billion doses in 2021, up from the 1.3 billion previously forecast.

    “We now believe that we can potentially deliver approximately 2 billion doses in total by the end of 2021, which incorporates the updated six-dose label,” said the company, referring to an additional dose that could be extracted from each vial of the vaccine.

    European regulators last week approved doctors drawing six doses from each vial, boosting dosage capacity by 20 percent.

    The Mainz-based company, which developed the jab with US giant Pfizer, is planning to open a new factory in Marburg, Germany, in February, expected to ramp up production capacity by 750 million doses a year.

    The site will join five other sites in Germany, Belgium and the US shared with Pfizer.

    The company said it had shipped nearly 33 million doses by January 10, more than a month after Britain became the first Western nation to approve any vaccine on December 2.

    The German company said last week that studies show its vaccine works against the new mutation found in variants uncovered in Britain and South Africa.

  48. says

    CNN – “House Democrats would impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection'”:

    House Democrats are formally unveiling their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s riots at the US Capitol.

    The single impeachment article, which will be introduced at 11 a.m. ET when the House gavels in Monday, points to Trump’s repeated false claims that he won the election and his speech to the crowd on January 6 before pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol. It also cited Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where the President urged him to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state.

    “In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the resolution says. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

    The impeachment resolution is Democrats’ first step toward holding an impeachment vote this week to make Trump the first president in history to be impeached for a second time.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats on Sunday evening that the House would proceed with bringing an impeachment resolution to the floor this week unless Vice President Mike Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the Cabinet to remove Trump from power.

    Pelosi said that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would seek to take up a resolution from Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland on Monday urging Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, and if they were blocked the House would consider the measure on Tuesday.

    Democrats are calling on Pence to respond within 24 hours, she said. If that does not happen, Democrats will bring their impeachment resolution to the floor.

    Timing of an impeachment vote is still fluid, though the expectation is it would happen on Wednesday.

    The impeachment resolution was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Raskin and Ted Lieu of California.

    Cicilline tweeted Sunday evening that the resolution now has more than 200 co-sponsors, nearly all of the Democratic caucus. The resolution would likely go to the House Rules Committee before it’s brought to the floor….

    Here’s the full resolution, from CNN.

  49. says

    Michael Kaplan, CNN:

    NEWS: The US Capitol Police has had to respond to “a couple of incidents” of officers threatening to harm themselves in the wake of the attack on Capitol Hill. This includes a female officer who turned in her own weapon for fear of what might happen. [I don’t understand why so many people feel it necessary to include “female” when the pronoun makes it unnecessary, and it’s irrelevant in any case.]

    A source told @CBSNews the dept. is “demoralized”.

    “There’s tremendous moral injury, a sense of failure weighing them down. They went home to family and were asked how did this happen. And it’s very easy for those officers to interpret that as ‘how could you let this happen?’”

  50. says

    Rep. Pascrell:

    Terrorists ransacked the US Capitol and *hours later* 138-of-202 (68%) House republicans voted to make trump a dictator. Nothing they say about unity is worth a nickel. They tried to finish the rioters’ job and end democracy.

    Here are the 138 House republicans who voted to install trump as a dictator hours after murderous terrorists tried to do the same. How do you lecture about “unity” after seeking to end American democracy?…

  51. johnson catman says

    re SC @71: “Unity” for those 138 republicans means “Shut up and do what we say”.

  52. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Johns Hopkins University data showed California has recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the pandemic started nearly a year ago.

    Deaths have exploded in America’s most populous state since a Covid-19 surge began in October, AP reported. It took California six months to record its first 10,000 deaths. But in barely a month, the total rose from 20,000 to 30,000.

    Over the weekend, state officials reported a two-day record of 1,163 deaths.

    California ranks third in the US in coronavirus deaths, behind Texas and New York, where there have been nearly 40,000

    Health officials have warned the worst is yet to come later this month, when there’s full picture on infections from the holidays.

    The city of Los Angeles announced late Sunday that its huge Covid-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium will be transformed into a massive vaccination center by the end of the week.

  53. says

    NEWS: U.S. Army Captain Emily Rainey has resigned her commission, @CBSDavidMartin reports, after leading a group of people from N.C. to the rally in Washington that led up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol.
    Rainey was a psychological operations officer, @JimLaPorta reports.

    More from @CBSDavidMartin: A Defense official says the Army is investigating how many soldiers from Ft. Bragg accompanied Rainy to D.C.. She had already resigned her commission after receiving a career-ending letter of reprimand for her actions at an earlier protest in the Ft. Bragg area. Because the process takes time, she was still on active duty when she led a group of protestors to Washington and is due to leave the Army next month, reports @CBSDavidMartin

    Officials at Ft. Bragg are now working to determine what other soldiers went to Washington and whether they were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol, reports @CBSDavidMartin”

    Links atl.

  54. says

    Dave Wasserman

    True story: the day before the election, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told me that if Trump refused to concede, he and McConnell would eventually have to come out and issue a joint statement acknowledging the result.

    In the end, McCarthy left McConnell twisting in the wind.

  55. says

    More financial fallout after Trump’s attempted insurrection and coup:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. said they are pausing all PAC donations to Republicans and Democrats in the coming months. Other companies, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance group and Marriott International Inc., said they would pause donations to Republican lawmakers who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win after supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

    Quoted text is from the Wall Street Journal. Yes, shut off the money spigot.

  56. says

    Oh, FFS. They never learn.

    GOP’s Roy Blunt: Trump is ‘unlikely’ to commit more misdeeds

    It’s genuinely amazing that some Republicans continue to see Donald Trump as a learn-valuable-lessons sort of guy.

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership, appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday and was willing to criticize Donald Trump’s recent actions. Reflecting on Trump’s behavior leading up to last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Missouri senator conceded that Trump was “clearly reckless.”

    It led host Margaret Brennan to ask the obvious follow-up question: “Are Republican leaders going to hold them accountable in any way for it?” According to the network transcript, Blunt replied:

    “The president should be very careful over the next 10 days that his behavior is what you’d expect from the leader of the greatest country in the world. Now, my personal view is that the president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again.”

    A few things.

    […] About a year ago, after his first impeachment, a number of GOP senators made the same pitch, insisting that Trump would be on his best behavior from now on, chastened by the painful experience.

    Those predictions were soon proven foolish, and yet, there was Blunt, making the case that Trump is “unlikely” to commit even more offenses during his limited remaining time in office.

    […] the idea that Trump will be on his best behavior from now on is predicated on the idea that he regrets last week’s violence. There’s reason to believe otherwise. The New York Times reported, for example, “Behind closed doors, he made clear that he would not resign and expressed regret about releasing a video on Thursday committing to a peaceful transition of power and condemning the violence at the Capitol that he had egged on a day before.”

    […] For Roy Blunt to be right, Trump would need to feel some sense of contrition. There’s no reason to believe that’s the case.

    […] it was Blunt who told a national television audience — weeks after Joe Biden was declared the winner — that “there was some element of voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election. What’s more, shortly after Biden was declared the president-elect, Blunt told reporters, “You know, [Trump] wasn’t defeated by a huge number. In fact, he may not have been defeated at all.”

    If we’re going to talk about those who were “clearly reckless,” the list doesn’t end with Trump.

  57. says

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/dont-engage

    From Josh Marshall:

    […] it has taken Republicans only three or four days to resolve that they are the primary victims of the events of the last week. We’ve skipped ahead from the “stolen election” lie to claims Republicans are the new Jews being trained off to concentration camps because their months-old pet social network Parler became too radioactive for the hosting service it ran on.

    Whether it’s upset that Democrats are demanding accountability over amnesia or outrage that [Trump] lost his Twitter account, the leadership of the current Republican party and unfortunately many tens of millions of Americans are wedded to a mindset of grievance and bad faith that has kept the country in its thrall for far, far too long.

    Operating within, getting tangled up within these tangles of bad faith and whining has enervated and hobbled Democrats for years. Dispensing with that won’t make things simple or fix things in itself. Indeed, the challenges only begin once you have. But it clarifies things. [Don’t chase] nonsense. This past week is the ultimate example of the costs of indulging lies.

  58. says

    FLOTUS Plays Victim While Finally Breaking Silence On Pro-Trump Insurrection

    First Lady Melania Trump complained about what she claimed to be “false misleading accusations” against her on Monday morning in her first statement on the violent assault President Donald Trump’s supporters inflicted upon the Capitol last Wednesday.

    “I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda,” she said in a statement released by the White House. “This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.”

    The first lady asserted that “our Nation must heal in a civil manner” and that she “absolutely” condemns the insurrection, though she did not mention that her husband was the one who had encouraged his supporters to mob the Capitol, which led to six deaths.

    CNN correspondent Kate Bennett noted that part of Trump’s statement was copied directly from her speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC).

    […] response on Monday came after CNN reported that she ignored the attack while doing a photoshoot in the White House.

    “Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing,” a source told CNN. […]

  59. says

    Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic’s recounting of events:

    […] He told “Good Morning America” Thursday he was covering what is normally a routine procedural step of Congress certifying electoral votes from the presidential election when he heard “a commotion” and “yelling.” “And I ran downstairs to the first floor of the Senate building, where I encountered this lone police officer courageously making a stand against the mob of 20 or so Trump supporters who breached the capitol itself and were trying to get upstairs,” Bobic said.

    Goodman didn’t pull his gun out, and he wasn’t wearing tactical gear. Still, he shoved the mob leader to bait him and ran to grab a baton, Bobic’s video showed. Members of the mob chased Goodman at times and paused to yell at others. “They were yelling ‘Traitors. We want justice. This is our America. If we don’t stop this now, we won’t get justice. Trump won,’” Bobic told “Good Morning America.”

    They managed to get onto the Senate floor after it was sealed and senators were taken to safety. “One man eventually got onto the dais […] to take photos and to say ‘Trump won this election,’” Bobic said. “It was surreal, surreal and sad, sad day.”

    Bobic identified the man leading the mob as Doug Jensen, of Iowa. He was arrested Saturday on five federal charges, according to jail records ABC-affiliated WOI-DT obtained. Jensen, 41, faces charges of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority; disrupting the orderly conduct of government business; disorderly conduct and violent entry in a capitol building; “parading, demonstrating or picketing” in a Capitol building; and “obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder”, WOI reported.

    Jensen worked as a laborer for the masonry company Forrest & Associate Masonry in Des Moines but has since been fired, CEO Richard Felice told KCCI. Jensen dismissed the news station as “Fake News” when a reporter reached out to him for his comment via Facebook. Jensen had earlier been quite active on the social media site, identifying himself facing off with officers and posting a photo of himself near the Washington Monument in the same QAnon t-shirt he was pictured in at the riot, according to the Des Moines Register. In a Facebook post dated Jan. 7, Jensen said the “Storm” was coming, a reference to the day QAnon conspiracy theorists believe Trump will “reveal the truth and arrest high-ranking Americans involved in the fake conspiracy,” the newspaper reported.

    He also formerly pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing, domestic assault, and disorderly conduct in unrelated incidents, the Des Moines Register reported. His older brother, William Routh, told the newspaper his brother is a “good man,” a “family man” influenced and “confused” by the internet. “When I talked to him, he thought that maybe this was Trump telling him what to do,” Routh said.

    Link

    Video snippets are available at the link.

  60. says

    My friend who lurks Reddit posts messaged me in the middle of the night with this absolutely bombshell. I work in tech and someone on the internet has managed to crack into Parler and begin downloading all of their content. They were able to do this because Twilio severed their ties to Parler. For those who are not tech savvy, Twilio helps keep track of a website’s users and passwords. It makes it so you can build your website faster rather than worry about boilerplate stuff like logging in and password recovery, etc. Well, since Twilio announced they were severing ties, hackers were able to create administrator accounts which gave them full privileges inside Parler. This means all the videos, posts, and other [stuff] media people uploaded are available and currently being downloaded…including driver’s license photos.

    You see, Parler billed itself as the far right alternative to Twitter and Facebook. It’s the brain child of the mega Trump donors: The Mercer’s. On Parler you can upload your driver’s license to prove you’re a citizen so you know you’re talking to real people and not random bots. It also has a nice nationalist ring to it. Also, they were going to keep your data secure, unlike the evil anti-free speech big tech.

    And unlike Big Tech, they are AMATEURS with security.

    […] When Twilio said “Hey, we’re not supporting your authentication anymore Parler because you aid and abet terrorism” that means that when you try to go to Parler and log in, there is nothing checking your password to see if you’re you. If I were the programmer, when you try to log in, and Twilio isn’t available for whatever reason, you would get an error saying “Hey, uh, I dunno what happened but Twilio isn’t responding. Get out.” I would close access to my system after this error. It’s logical because the maxim “unauthenticated users do not get permissions” would apply.

    Parler didn’t.

    So that leaves the door WIDE OPEN. It was easy to create an administrator password, if not thousands of them to cover your tracks, and then you get access to the whole store. Another thing which also appalls me, is that there is a lot of PIFI (personal information) data that a would-be hacker has access to…and it doesn’t seem to be encrypted. See, when you build security you need to have fail-safes if in fact they do succeed in hacking you. I mean, 10 foot wall, 11 foot ladder applies in tech. If you break into my database, and you’re scrounging around for people’s social security numbers, then A) I’m not going to so easily label them as that and more importantly B) I’m going to encrypt them. This is “at rest” encryption, meaning when it is sitting in my database it is in encrypted form. So that column labeled “General_ID” (which may or may not be their SS #) will have a bunch of gobbledygook and it’ll take you a long time to figure out how to decrypt it. Have fun.

    So I don’t think Parler encrypted their PIFI data or their image data with respect to licenses, or store it in a secure image bucket. I mean, this is one horrific security architecture failure after another. The bigger thing, however, is the fact that now all your neighbors violent posts about insurrection are being archived and associated with their identification. You cannot hide behind the anonymity of a username since the database keeps track of which user posts what. I mean for law enforcement this is huge, but for anyone tracking the far right this data would be a veritable gold mine.

    Conservatives like to pretend liberals are bad at executing things, but then we get gems like this.

    Link

    Also, in case you’re wondering, there’s a design choice between deleting data and having it go away forever, and deleting data but in reality you’re just “deactivating” it and it still sits on your servers. Parler chose the latter, so everything, I mean EVERYTHING, is up for grabs.

  61. says

    The New York Bar Says It Is Investigating Rudy Giuliani

    The bar is looking into Giuliani for his role in frivolous election lawsuits and encouraging insurrection.

    Rudy Giuliani is in danger of losing his law license. The president’s lawyer faces the prospect of disbarment from the New York Bar for his role in frivolous lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election, as well as for his speech inciting insurrection in Washington, DC, on January 6.

    Alongside […] Trump, Giuliani rallied thousands of Trump supporters shortly before Wednesday’s attack on the US Capitol Building. “If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail,” Giuliani said of his baseless allegations that fraud deprived Trump of victory on November 3. “Let’s have trial by combat.”

    In a statement Monday morning, the New York State Bar Association announced its investigation into Giuliani that could result in disbarment, the most extreme sanction at the bar’s disposal. The bar’s bylaws say that “no person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by force or other illegal means, shall be a member of the Association,” the statement noted. “Mr. Giuliani’s words quite clearly were intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to take matters into their own hands. Their subsequent attack on the Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup, intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power.” […]

  62. says

    https://twitter.com/Cleavon_MD/status/1347700524364140544

    Rosanne Boyland, 34, from Kennesaw, Georgia was trampled to death during the riot at the US Capitol carrying a flag reading: “Don’t tread on me”

    The brother-in-law of Rosanne Boyland who was crushed to death at the Capitol said, “The president’s words and rhetoric incited a riot that killed 4 of his biggest fans and I believe that we should invoke the 25th amendment.”

  63. says

    From Wonkette: “GOP: Let’s Keep ‘Humoring’ Deranged Sociopath In White House, Because That’s Worked Out So Well”

    January 6, 2021 would likely not have become a date permanently seared in our collective American memory if not for an earlier date, November 9, 2020. That’s when almost all Republicans agreed to humor their mad king’s efforts to overturn the election results. As Mitch McConnell would later admit just before Donald Trump’s thugs stormed the Capitol, the 2020 presidential election wasn’t even that close, […] but Republicans aided and abetted Trump’s Big Lie.

    They probably believed backing Trump’s delusions would keep the party united and help boost turnout for the critical Georgia Senate runoffs. The baseless claims of fraud could also cast a cloud of illegitimacy over Biden’s presidency. Republicans admitted off the record that they knew Biden cleaned Trump’s clock, but they took a “no harm, no foul” approach to Trump actively undermining democracy.

    On November 19, the Washington Post quoted an unnamed senior Republican official, whose shameless cynicism should haunt them for the rest their life.

    “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change,” said one senior Republican official. “He went golfing this weekend. It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He’s tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he’ll leave.”

    Barely a month later, Georgia election officials were receiving death threats. A Dominion Voting Systems contractor and his family were threatened with a noose. Georgia elections manager Gabriel Sterling begged his fellow Republicans to stop “humoring” Trump, who was in fact “plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on January 20.”

    These cowards kept adding fuel to Trump’s Reichstag fires. A week after Sterling’s press conference, Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Supreme Court to toss out 20 million votes in states that weren’t Texas and overturn the election for Trump. He wasn’t alone: 126 House Republicans and 17 Republican attorneys general signed their names to this “unprecedented assault on our democracy.”

    Looking back on the past two months, a violent climax to this insanity seems inevitable. Repeated losses in courts across the country only emboldened Trump, who ramped up his inflammatory rhetoric. All the while, Republicans kept silent, kept “humoring” him.

    And then, on January 6, Trump’s thugs invaded the seat of American democracy. Trump incited this mob, and now five people are dead. This includes a police officer whose death the so-called president won’t acknowledge.

    Have Republicans at long last learned something? Are they finally done “humoring” Trump or minimizing the damage he can cause?

    Of course not.

    Sensible people believe a president who raises a lynch mob against his political opponents, including his own vice president, is a clear and present danger. He shouldn’t remain in office a second longer. Republicans, however, counter that Trump’s probably learned his lesson this time, just like all the other times he didn’t. […]

    Nine days is a long time when the president is a sick bastard. He could start a war, perhaps even of the nuclear variety. We don’t even have any real assurance that he’s done with coups. He kept trying to overturn Biden’s win after states certified their results. He continued past the safe harbor date when those results were legally considered “conclusive.” He didn’t stop once the Electoral College voted last month. He kept pressuring officials to “find votes” and uncover imaginary fraud.

    As even the most corrupt and vaguely legal options dwindled for Trump, he only became more unhinged, declaring Mike Pence a coward because he wouldn’t shred democracy for him.

    America isn’t safe until Trump is no longer president. Nine days, even nine minutes, is too long to have a ticking time bomb in the White House.

    Link

  64. says

    Hillary Clinton: Trump should be impeached. But that alone won’t remove white supremacy from America.

    Washington Post link

    Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol was the tragically predictable result of white-supremacist grievances fueled by President Trump. But his departure from office, whether immediately or on Jan. 20, will not solve the deeper problems exposed by this episode. What happened is cause for grief and outrage. It should not be cause for shock. What were too often passed off as the rantings of an unfortunate but temporary figure in public life are, in reality, part of something much bigger. That is the challenge that confronts us all.

    Over these last days, I’ve thought about my experiences as a senator from New York on Sept. 11, 2001, and the 9/11 Commission Report that followed. The report’s authors explored the failures that opened the door for a devastating terrorist attack. “The most important failure,” they wrote, “was one of imagination. We do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat.”

    Almost 20 years later, we are living through another failure of imagination — the failure to account for the damage that can be done to our nation by a president who incites violence, congressional leaders who fan the flames, and social media platforms that sear conspiracy theories into the minds of Trump’s supporters. Unless we confront the threats we face, we risk ensuring that last week’s events are only a prelude to an even greater tragedy.

    Trump ran for president on a vision of America where whiteness is valued at the expense of everything else. In the White House, he gave white supremacists, members of the extreme right and conspiracy theorists their most powerful platforms yet, even claiming that there were “very fine people” among the torch-wielding militia members who converged on Charlottesville in 2017.

    […] Trump left no doubt about his wishes, in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and with his incendiary words before his mob descended.

    So how do we move forward as a country? What does it say about us that so many were complicit, while those who sounded the alarm were dismissed as hysterical?

    The generous explanation is that it’s hard to comprehend the danger of what seem like ridiculous conspiracy theories until you experienced that danger firsthand. This is a lesson I’ve learned myself. I’ve had my share of unpleasant experiences with people who believed I was evil incarnate — everything from being burned in effigy for fighting for health-care reform, to claiming that I was running a pedophilia ring out of a pizza parlor, to receiving a mail bomb from a rabid Trump cult member.

    Fanatical ideas can lead to real, even deadly harm. That’s something the people of Michigan realized last year when armed militia members plotted to kidnap their governor. It’s something Nashvillians saw when a conspiracy theorist blew up an entire city block. Now, it’s something all of America has experienced.

    […] In Isabel Wilkerson’s new book “Caste,” she cites a question from historian Taylor Branch: “If people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?” Wednesday reminded us of an ugly truth: There are some Americans, more than many want to admit, who would choose whiteness.

    […] Removing Trump from office is essential, and I believe he should be impeached. Members of Congress who joined him in subverting our democracy should resign, and those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately. But that alone won’t remove white supremacy and extremism from America. There are changes elected leaders should pursue immediately, including advocating new criminal laws at the state and federal levels that hold white supremacists accountable and tracking the activities of extremists such as those who breached the Capitol. Twitter and other companies made the right decision to stop Trump from using their platforms, but they will have to do more to stop the spread of violent speech and conspiracy theories.

    […] We have the strength, the ability and — yes — the imagination to confront what happened and ensure that nothing like it ever happens again. That’s what real patriotism looks like.

    I’m glad to see Hillary Clinton define “patriotism” in a way that does not match the vague definition Trump’s cult followers seem to use (all white, all Christian, all willfully ignorant).

    I want to take the word “patriotism” back. I felt patriotic when Ossoff and Warnock won in the Georgia Senate runoff races. At last, competent and well-meaning people would have a majority in the U.S.Senate. Competent people would be helping to govern my country.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Trump is visiting his wall along the border Tuesday.

    President Trump is preparing to visit the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday in the midst of planned impeachment proceedings following a violent week at the U.S. Capitol.

    The White House did not provide details on Trump’s visit, which was first reported by Brownsville TV station KVEO, but it comes a week after Department of Homeland Security officials touted the “historic” completion of 450 miles of border fencing during his administration.

    The Rio Grande Valley is the site of furious legal and construction activity related to the border wall as U.S. Customs and Border Protection races to build new miles of fencing ahead of Inauguration Day.

    Earlier this week, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said the agency aims to award new contracts for 300 miles of new fencing before Jan. 19.

  66. says

    Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, and David Williams, the former inspector general for five federal agencies, wrote a joint op-ed for Politico raising a provocative point about last week’s deadly insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol: Donald Trump may face charges.

    If the federal investigation into the deaths determines that those responsible were incited to violence at the Save America rally that occurred just hours before, President Donald Trump could face criminal charges, even if he didn’t storm the Capitol himself. The federal criminal code (18 USC 373) makes it a crime to solicit, command, induce or “endeavor to persuade” another person to commit a felony that includes the threat or use of physical force. Simply put, it is a crime to persuade another person, or a mob of several thousand, to commit a violent felony.

    They’re not the only ones thinking along these lines. The Washington Post reported late last week that Trump’s own legal advisers “expressed increasing concern Friday about possible criminal liability in the wake of Wednesday’s melee.” The article added that Trump “has been told by attorneys that he could face legal jeopardy for inciting a mob.”

    For the better part of the last four years, the issue has been difficult to avoid: Trump keeps taking actions that appears to be at odds with the law, while legal experts debate the complexity and propriety of prosecuting a sitting president.

    But as Trump prepares to leave the White House next week, there’s nothing academic about the conversation. There’s a list of possible offenses that would keep Trump’s defense attorneys busy, and it isn’t short.

    Indeed, about a week after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 race, the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy report on Individual 1 — let’s not forget that Trump is already an unindicted co-conspirator — and the Republican’s “potential criminal liability.”

    Among the trouble areas: Trump’s alleged financial crimes, alleged campaign-finance-law violations, alleged obstruction of justice, and alleged public corruption. Now, evidently, we can perhaps add an entirely new category: inciting an insurrectionist attack on his own country’s Capitol.

    Yes, there’s been ample talk about Trump issuing a self-pardon before leaving office, but more than a few legal experts have questioned whether such a tactic would withstand scrutiny. It also raises questions anew about whether he might try to strike some sort of deal with Vice President Mike Pence — presumably, this would mean Trump would have to stop giving Pence the silent treatment — in which Trump would agree to end his term prematurely in exchange for a promised pardon from his Republican successor.

    I’m skeptical that this will happen, but it’s a safe bet that after every conversation with his lawyers, this is on Trump’s mind.

    * Postscript: Some of the potential charges involve state crimes, for which a presidential pardon would be no use.

    Link

  67. says

    SCOTUS Signals It Remains Uninterested In [abetting] Trump Coup

    The Supreme Court wants nothing to do with the flurry of Trump-aligned lawsuits that have hit its door step seeking to overturn the election. In several of those lawsuits, the court made clear Monday that it won’t be intervening any time soon, if ever. As part of a longer list of orders, the justices denied the requests before them that they expedite consideration of the cases, which included lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign itself and some “Kraken” cases brought by his allies. […]

  68. says

    KPIX5 (CBS SF) – “Pro-Trump Demonstration At Twitter Headquarters Appears To Be A Bust”:

    A demonstration by supporters of President Donald Trump to protest his ban from the Twitter social media platform outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters appeared to be a bust Monday morning.

    The protest was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., but an hour later only a mere handful of protesters had showed up. There were no crowds along the police barriers erected outside Twitter’s Market street headquarters.

    Inside the headquarters, the halls and offices were mostly empty as thousands of employees have been working remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak since mid-March 2020.

    In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday night, a company spokesman said Twitter respects “people’s right to express their views.”

    “While we respect people’s right to express their views, we’ve been transparent about the factors leading up to our decision last week,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We have nothing to add but wanted to confirm that we continue to have mandatory work from home guidance for Twitter employees.”

    The San Francisco police said they have plans in place — including the calling in of mutual aide from nearby law enforcement agencies — if needed.

    But on Monday morning the contingent of officers at the building stood along the barriers with no protesters on the other side. A lone man stood on an traffic island with a sign reading — “Impeach, Remove Today.”…

  69. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Two captive gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for Covid-19 after falling ill, and a third gorilla appears also to be symptomatic, California governor Gavin Newsom said.

    Newsom said the source of infection is still being investigated to determine whether the virus was transmitted between animals or from humans to the apes.

  70. says

    Sorry – there was more: “…Ryan says he is going to get more information on the arrest. Clarifies he’s unsure if it was a USCP officer or a Guardsman and the reason for the arrest.”

  71. says

    Vice – “Parler Finds Refuge With the Far-Right’s Favorite Webhost”:

    Epik, a Washington State-based internet webhosting safe haven for far-right websites, has given refuge to Parler after it was banned by several major tech companies.

    ,,,

    Epik is already known as the internet savior of the far-right due to its support of other social media sites associated with the far-right.

    In 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a report noting that Epik, though not overtly racist in its mission statement, had begun “cornering the market on websites where hate speech is thriving.”

    Gab, another social media app popular with rightwing extremists and once the choice place for terror groups like the Base and Atomwaffen Division to recruit, also uses Epik. 8chan, the toxic messaging board known for fomenting online hate speech for years, turned to the webhost after Cloudflare, a denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation firm, booted it from its services in August 2019.

    After a neo-Nazi podcast network began using its service after being booted by another host in 2019, Epik CEO Rob Monster told VICE News that the company “allows lawful free speech” and that it welcomed “all views, without bias or preference.”

  72. says

    Guardian world liveblog:

    Immunity produced from Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine should last at least a year, the company has said.

    The company’s vaccine, mRNA-1273, uses synthetic mRNA to mimic the surface of the coronavirus and teach the immune system to recognise and neutralise it.

    Moderna said in December it would run tests to confirm the vaccine’s activity against any strain.

    The company said on Monday it expects to deliver between 600m doses and one billion doses of its vaccine in 2021, and forecast vaccine-related sales of $11.7bn for the year, based on advance purchase agreements signed with governments.

    “The team feels very comfortable with the track record we have now … that we are on track to deliver at least 600 million doses,” chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said.

  73. says

    Sen Sherrod Brown is telling Ari Melber that during the siege he was near Lindsey Graham while Graham (maskless, of course) was screaming at one of the Capitol police officers that they hadn’t done enough to protect them.

  74. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz: “Deranged Trump Orders Eric and Don, Jr., to Hand Out Flyers with His Tweets on Them”

    Driven over the edge by his expulsion from Twitter, a deranged Donald J. Trump ordered his two adult sons to hand out flyers with his tweets on them.

    The incident occurred at three o’clock Sunday morning, when Trump, wide awake and in a state of extreme agitation, had an idea for a tweet but no platform on which to broadcast it.

    Wearing his bathrobe, he summoned his adult sons to the Oval Office and scrawled his tweet on a piece of paper with one of the Sharpies that had served him well in the past.

    Reportedly, Trump then commanded Eric and Don, Jr., to go to the nearest copy shop and order ten thousand flyers containing his tweet to hand out on street corners.

    According to Trump’s plan, supporters desiring to retweet his tweet would also go to copy shops and hand out flyers, a system he claimed was “better than Twitter.”

    Witnesses to the early-morning meeting said that the two Trump sons left the Oval Office looking sullen and beleaguered.

    “Only nine more days of this shit,” Eric Trump reportedly muttered.

    New Yorker link

  75. says

    From NBC News:

    The FBI has sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Jan. 16, and also says an armed group has threatened to travel to Washington, D.C., the same day and stage an uprising if Congress removes President Donald Trump from office, according to a senior law enforcement official.

    Bears repeating.

  76. blf says

    Teh republican Attorneys General Association had a robocall “that urged supporters of Donald Trump to join the 6 January march on the US Capitol that resulted in a deadly insurrection”, Republican attorneys general condemned over robocall that urged march to Capitol. That sedition mob’s leaders are now saying they knew nothing about the call and are busily throwing the sedition mob’s staff under the most convenient bus — despite the teh thugs’s gutting of public transport (not to mention the pandemic).

  77. says

    From NPR: “Trump Regulator’s Rule Would Force Banks To Lend To Gun-Makers And Oil Drillers”

    WTF?

    The Trump administration is trying to push through a last-minute rule that could force banks to offer loans to gun-makers and oil exploration companies or to finance high-cost payday lenders.

    The move follows announcements by the biggest U.S. banks that there are some industries and activities they don’t want to finance, such as drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or making loans to gun manufacturers who make assault-style weapons. Some major banks have sworn off making those loans.

    Now, a Trump-appointed banking regulator is pushing for a rule that considers that an unfair, discriminatory practice.

    “It’s a very poorly constructed rule,” says John Court, the head of regulatory affairs at the Bank Policy Institute, which represents the biggest banks in the country. He says the rule is “clearly hastily conceived and hastily constructed.”

    The rule was proposed in November after President Trump lost his reelection bid. And Court says it appears that the Trump-appointed acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is scrambling to enact it before the Biden administration begins next week.

    […] critics say the rule is really about forcing banks to finance firearms companies that make assault-style rifles, or even predatory payday lenders that charge 300% in annual interest.

    “Payday lenders not only disproportionately harm people of color, they target communities of color,” says Rebecca Borné, a lawyer with the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending.

    “So the agency is really taking the language of civil rights to do something that’s fundamentally inconsistent with the original intent of that language.” says Borné. The result, she adds, would be to exacerbate lending discrimination, “cloaking it in this language of civil rights.”

    The main trade group for payday lenders, INFiN, said in a statement that it “supports steps by the OCC to protect legal businesses from discrimination under the proposed fair access rule.”

    If the Trump administration finalizes the rule before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Court says that would make it harder, but not impossible, for the new administration to undo it. And he says if it comes to it, banks would likely sue to try to stop the rule. […]

    Link

  78. blf says

    PBS Newshour (11-Jan-2021, video) is reporting hair furor is no longer talking to not only to Pence, but also to the House minority leader and the (soon to be ex-)Senate majority leader. He is apparently also fuming his Bedminster golf course has been stripped of some 2022 PGA competition. (The Scottish golf powers-that-(usually-)kowtow has also signaled his courses in Scotland will not host any(?) competitions.)

  79. blf says

    Follow-up to SC@99 from the Grauniad’s current thug-directed insurrection live blog, another rat jumps ship:

    Donald Trump has suffered yet another rebuke from a former ally with the New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick saying he will not accept the presidential medal of freedom. […]

  80. blf says

    Canada considers adding Proud Boys to terrorist list alongside Isis and al-Qaida:

    […]
    A terrorist designation in Canada would mean that the group’s assets could be seized or forfeited by Canadian authorities, although the group is unlikely to have large, hidden assets.

    But the follow-on effects could be more significant […]

    “Banks and companies like PayPal will probably not want to do business with anyone who has been outed as being a member of the Proud Boys. These kind of companies are pretty risk averse,” said Jessica Davis, a terrorism expert and former analyst with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

    In 2019, the Canadian government added two neo-Nazi groups, Blood & Honour and Combat 18, to its terrorism list […]

  81. John Morales says

    re #118:

    President Trump and Vice President Pence met in the Oval Office on Monday, marking the first time they have spoken since a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol on Wednesday during the certification of the 2020 electoral votes, forcing Pence and others in the building to be evacuated or taken to secure locations.

    “The two had a good conversation, discussing the week ahead and reflecting on the last four years of the administration’s work and accomplishments,” a senior administration official said.

    (https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/533734-trump-and-pence-speak-for-first-time-since-capitol-riots)

  82. says

    Follow-up to blf’s comment 120:

    […] A longtime friend of the president’s, Belichick and the Patriots previously visited the White House in 2017 after winning the Super Bowl, though the team did not do the same in 2019 after another win. Belichick was also named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition in 2018. […]

    So…Trump’s feelings will be hurt again.

    […] The president has moved to honor a number of loyalists with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recent weeks including House members Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

    Link

  83. says

    Laughable:

    […] In a bizarre question posed to the Trump aide on Monday, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Gidley [Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley ] whether Trump feels “emasculated” from “the social media crackdown” in the waning days of his presidency.

    Gidley then attempted to project Trump as “the most masculine” POTUS to have ever lived.

    “Look, I wouldn’t say emasculated,” Gidley said. “I mean, the most masculine person ever I think to hold the White House is the president of the United States.” […]

    Link

    From Laura Bassett:

    Fox: Did getting banned from Twitter affect the president’s sperm count

    Gidley: I can assure you that Mr. Trump has never been more virile.

  84. says

    Follow-up to comment 124.

    From comments posted by readers of the article:

    Before I get to the fun part here I have to say that “emasculated” is used by extension to mean “deprived of power or influence.” It’s not weird or creepy to use it in that sense.

    Haha but now the fun part. John H. Gidley (he likes for you to call him Hogan, his middle name, and go explain that) is by fundamental nature one of those wimpy creepy guys who hang around as sidekicks to a bully. You’d think at his fortyish age you’d grow the hell out of that, but one look at him and you can see he doesn’t have other pathways in life. Bully sidekick was foreordained for him, and he must live out his destiny, contemptible as it is. Sucks to be you, John H. Gidley.
    ——————-
    Masculinity? Are they confusing it with MassObesity?
    ———————
    I think he misunderstands…Trump is a big dick, he doesn’t have a big dick.
    ——————–
    An abject failure all around. Is that the new ‘masculinity’?
    ————————
    There are many presidents who have done brave things, from the ones who fought in the military to ones that passed legislation that they knew would cost them support because it was the right thing to do. Our great presidents showed real bravery in putting themselves out there and risking their lives or futures.

    Trump has never been brave, he’s a craven coward who lacks the basic human behavior that would make anyone do something risky that might cost them. He’s simply a coward, afraid to confront our enemies (or even comforting them) while enraging his violent base in order to control the Republican party and the nation. He’s just like the worst bullies, all it takes is a punch in the nose to show what cowards they really are, and even if they come back you just have to do it again.

    Trump got punched in the nose on Tuesday…he thought he would be able to take advantage of the Capitol invasion in some way, or he just enjoyed the idea of terrorizing the members of Congress who have stood against him. That all blew up in his face, but he’s going to try to egg his racist tools on again, and again, and get them to do all of the dirty work because he’s too cowardly to lead from the front. He’s stolen their money, now he’s getting everything else he can out of them to sow chaos. It won’t work, America is clearly stronger than him or them and we won’t fall, though it may hurt to deal with this nonsense again.

    And, in the end, Trump will go down in history as our worst president…that was already on the table but even Buchanan didn’t incite riots or the start of the Civil War, he just stood by and let it happen. There’s no comparison in our history to what just happened, the closest I can think of is Jackson’s inauguration party, and that wasn’t a planned event to attack the government but a party that got out of hand. On top of everything else he’s done, it’s just the cherry on top…with the fear that he has a few more cherry bombs to throw before he’s done.
    ———————-
    Deadender Trumpers are obsessed with projecting virility, often in inadvertently humorous ways.

  85. says

    Trump seems clueless enough that hypothetically fleeing south (or north? What would he choose?), might not be likely. It’s interesting how I’m seeing bigots in some places think about emigrating while other (the same?) anonymous posters complain about immigrants. It’s surreal and makes a twisted sense.

  86. blf says

    More violence planned as extreme rightwing groups draw Trump backers (Grauniad edits in {curly braces}):

    […]
    As they prepare for protests beginning this Sunday, disillusioned Donald Trump supporters will be drawn into even more extreme rightwing groups and could once again bring violence to rallies scheduled around Joe Biden’s inauguration, experts warn.

    […]

    As fissures in the Trump movement widen […], neo-Nazi “accelerationists” are now openly plotting to draw hardcore Trumpists into their orbit.

    […]

    There is a growing sense of paranoia among many rightwing activists amid arrests of scores of members of the pro-Trump mob that rampaged through the Capitol in a sustained assault that cost five lives.

    [… the scraping of parler users’s data, including “deleted” rants…]

    Meanwhile, ex-members of the Parler service formed ad hoc groups on other platforms with lax or nonexistent moderation. On Telegram, a Parler Lifeboat group had over 15,000 members by Monday morning.

    Many Trump supporters continued to express a desire for violent reprisals on those they saw as the president’s adversaries. On Monday morning, one wrote on Telegram that Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi presents a clear and present danger to the safety of the nation. She is guilty of treason and should be removed from power immediately, by any means necessary.

    […]

    “The word I’d use right now is ‘confusion’,” said Alex Newhouse, Research Lead in the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, when asked in a telephone conversation about the current mood on the far right.

    […]

    Like many other experts, Newhouse worried about where the disillusionment of Trump supporters might lead them.

    “There are already some signs that {neo-Nazi} accelerationist groups are trying to peel off militant Trumpers,” he said, referring to a movement which eschews any engagement with the political process, in favor of terroristic acts which will accelerate what they see as the inevitable decline of decadent liberal democracies.

    Newhouse’s claims were borne out by the propaganda being pushed by accelerationist neo-Nazis on Telegram and other communications channels on Thursday and Friday. Various channels urged their followers to leverage Trump’s concession, the online crackdown, and Trump’s ejection from Twitter as opportunities to recruit angry Trumpists who had lost faith in the political process.

    One neo-Nazi channel, which has thousands of subscribers, posted, Every day the internet gets shut down further and further, every day the trap closes around us … All across the west nationalist networks are growing, find your tribe.

    […]

    Apart from more organized groups, [co-founder of the Global Project against Hate and Extremism, Heidi] Beirich is also concerned about embittered lone actors.

    “I don’t want to be an alarmist,” Beirich said, “but I worry about a mass casualty event at the inauguration.”

    In general, Beirich said, whatever Trump’s actions may be in the future, “I don’t see how you can embolden and energize this many people, in what has become an anti-democratic movement, without creating a strong possibility of violence.”

  87. blf says

    This is not The Onion, Greg Locke Alleges Mitch McConnell Was Controlled by Illuminati Hand Signals During Election Certification:

    Radical right-wing pastor Greg Locke [… delivered] an unhinged rant in which he accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of being controlled by Illuminati hand signals when Congress gathered to certify the election results last week.

    Locke, who was among those who spoke at the various so-called Stop the Steal events in Washington DC, that took place before before [… the attack], insisted that the insurrection at the Capitol was a left-wing false flag designed to intimidate Republicans in Congress so that they would not raise objections to the certification.

    As evidence, Locke alleged that a figure seated behind McConnell was flashing him Illuminati hand signals as a threat that he would be killed if he didn’t follow orders. I’m here to tell you there’s a group of elites that run this nation, a bunch of globalists that run the world, and their money runs it, Locke bellowed. […]

    For what it is worth, based on the black suit, blue tie, and label pin, it appears as if the person sitting behind McConnell as he spoke was newly elected Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas who, ironically enough, was among those who objected to the certification of the election.

    As quoted in the RWW article, this obvious lizard person didn’t mention teh Trilateral Commission, UN Black Helicopters, chemtrails, fluoridation, pineapples on pizza, and so on, but did get in pedophiles, child-sacrifice, a lot of spittle, and a Jimmy Hoffa reference.

  88. KG says

    In Isabel Wilkerson’s new book “Caste,” she cites a question from historian Taylor Branch: “If people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?” Wednesday reminded us of an ugly truth: There are some Americans, more than many want to admit, who would choose whiteness. – Hillary Clinton, quoted by Lynna, OM@93

    More than Clinton would want to admit, I think. Exit polls indicate that a clear majority of white Americans who voted, did so. This held across all age groups, although somewhat less among 18-29-year-olds. Trump had made abundantly clear that he would reject the result if he lost, so no-one who voted for him had any excuse for not knowing they were voting against democracy.

  89. says

    There’s more in this article, but this bit stood out:

    One topic of discussion was the need to put every member of Congress through a metal detector before the inauguration. A member on the call told HuffPost that there was an “eyes-wide-open realization” that Capitol Police needed to take precautions against “all these members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.”

    “You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to [Joe] Biden and [Kamala] Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.

  90. says

    Statement from Rep. Jayapal’s office – “Jayapal Tests Positive for COVID-19 Following Lockdown at Capitol With Republican Lawmakers Who Cruelly and Selfishly Refused to Wear Masks”:

    United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) received a positive COVID-19 test result tonight after being locked down in a secured room at the U.S Capitol where numerous Republican lawmakers recklessly refused to wear masks in the moments after the January 6 attack. Dr. Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, advised representatives and Congressional staff on Sunday that those in the secured room could have, “been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.” The duration in the room was multiple hours and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.

    “Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “While I am isolating per the Capitol Physician’s instructions, I will continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount. I share the outrage and anger of my constituents and those across this country who have watched Donald Trump fail to combat this raging pandemic and refuse to take care of Americans who are suffering, dying, and devastated. Now, we have also watched him openly fuel and incite these insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol and our democracy on January 6—so I will not rest until I do everything in my power to remove this President from office.”

    “I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” Jayapal continued. “Additionally, any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”

    Jayapal began quarantining immediately after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, fearing and foreseeing exactly what would occur given the number of maskless lawmakers sitting in the same room as her and her colleagues. In an interview with The Cut on Thursday, she said, “I’m quarantining now because I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured room — where there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks — was a superspreader event.”

  91. says

    HuffPo – “House Democrats Briefed On 3 Terrifying Plots To Overthrow Government”:

    Capitol Police briefed Democrats on Monday night about three more potentially gruesome demonstrations planned in the coming days, with one plot to encircle the U.S. Capitol and assassinate Democrats and some Republicans.

    On a private call Monday night, new leaders of the Capitol Police told House Democrats they were closely monitoring three separate plans that could pose serious threats to members of Congress as Washington prepares for Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

    The first is a demonstration billed as the “largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.”

    Another is a protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the woman killed while trying to climb into the Speaker’s Lobby during Wednesday’s pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.

    And another demonstration, which three members said was by far the most concerning plot, would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government.

    The members of Congress whom HuffPost spoke to Monday night were extremely concerned by the call.

    “It was pretty overwhelming,” one member said.

    Officials on the call warned lawmakers about sharing too much information with the media, saying that divulging specific dates, times and countermeasures could aid the organizers of the plots. HuffPost is not disclosing certain information, such as who appears to be organizing these plots and when they are to take place.

    One member was explicit that these groups were trying to get journalists to report on their demonstrations.

    “Some of their main communications to organize these have been cut off, so they’re purposely trying to get the media to report on this as a way to further disseminate information and to attract additional support for their attacks,” this member said.

    Democrats were told that the Capitol Police and the National Guard were preparing for potentially tens of thousands of armed protesters coming to Washington and were establishing rules of engagement for warfare. In general, the military and police don’t plan to shoot anyone until one of the rioters fires, but there could be exceptions.

    Lawmakers were told that the plot to encircle the Capitol also included plans to surround the White House ― so that no one could harm Trump ― and the Supreme Court, simply to shut down the courts. The plan to surround the Capitol includes assassinating Democrats as well as Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s effort to overturn the election ― and allowing other Republicans to enter the building and control government.

    All of these plots may never materialize. The Capitol Police have established a new perimeter with fencing and razor wire, and the National Guard has already been called in to help protect the Capitol and lawmakers.

    But while Capitol Police assured members they were prepared for these terrorist plots, there was obvious concern from a number of lawmakers….

    More atl.

  92. says

    Reuters – “Deutsche Bank will not do future business with Trump – NYT”:

    Deutsche Bank will not do business in the future with U.S. President Donald Trump or his companies in the wake of his supporters’ deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, the New York Times reported.

    Deutsche Bank is Trump’s most important lender, with about $340 million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization, the president’s umbrella group that is currently overseen by his two sons.

    The NYT cited a person familiar with the bank’s thinking. [LOL]

    Reuters reported in November that Deutsche was looking for ways to end its relationship with Trump after the U.S. elections, as it tires of the negative publicity stemming from the ties.

  93. says

    More re #135:

    Deutsche execs have concluded that, short of canceling Trump’s $300M+ of debts, there is nothing they can do to extricate themselves quickly.

    Signature Bank, where @IvankaTrump used to sit on the board, is calling for Trump’s resignation as president.

    Signature has reportedly closed his accounts.

  94. says

    Guardian – “Twitter suspends 70,000 accounts sharing QAnon content”:

    Twitter has said it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content as the social media site continued to crack down on content after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.

    “Given the violent events in Washington DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said in a blog late on Monday.

    “These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” the company said.

    Twitter said the move could result in some accounts losing thousands of followers.

    “Our updated enforcement on QAnon content on Twitter, along with routine spam challenges, has resulted in changes in follower count for some people’s Twitter accounts. In some cases, these actions may have resulted in follower count changes in the thousands.”

    On Monday, Amazon said it was working to remove some QAnon products from its online marketplace, citing policies that prohibit offensive inappropriate items.

    The world’s largest online retailer drew scrutiny for having apparel with QAnon insignia and related books up for sale days after last week’s attack on the US Capitol.

    Twitter had said on Friday it would permanently suspend accounts pushing QAnon content, banning prominent right-wing boosters of its conspiracy theories.

    Shares in Twitter dropped sharply after it permanently suspended Trump following the attack on the US Capitol last week. The social media company lost $5bn in market value as investors took fright at potential tougher future regulation for the site….

  95. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 130

    Wait, they don’t do that to EVERYONE who enters the Capital Building each day?

  96. says

    Akira MacKenzie @ #140, from the article @ #34 I didn’t quote:

    “Congress can bring anybody in the building that they want. They can go outside and find 200 people, and say, ‘Hey, they’re with me. Come on in.’ They don’t have to go through security as long as a congressman said so,” [a veteran Capitol Police officer] explained. “They just want to make Congress happy. So I think the next chief needs to come in and sit down with Congress.”

    It’s shocking.

  97. says

    Here’s a link to the January 12 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    From their summary:

    Angela Merkel suggested Germany’s hard lockdown may last a further eight to 10 weeks. Health officials are particularly concerned about the spread of the new, far more contagious variant from the UK, which is thought to have been in the country for several weeks.

    Israel may include children over the age of 12 in groups being vaccinated. A health official said the step could be taken within the next two months if research shows it is safe. Israel says it aims to have administered one or both shots to 5 million of its 9 million citizens and reopen the economy, by mid-March.

    A quarter of coronavirus admissions to hospital are people under the age of 55, the head of NHS England has said. Sir Simon Stevens told MPs on Monday the virus was spreading out of control across much of the country, with worrying consequences for hospitals. “In London perhaps one in 30 people has the coronavirus, in parts of London it may be twice that number. In Merseyside in just the last week there has been a further 50% increase in the number of Covid hospitalisations,” he said.

    China locked down Langfang city. Authorities in China introduced new Covid-19 curbs in areas surrounding Beijing on Tuesday, putting 4.9 million residents under lockdown as new infections raised worries about a second wave in a nation that has mostly contained the diseases. The city of Langfang in Hebei on Tuesday said residents will be put under home quarantine for seven days and be subject to mass Covid-10 testing in the latest attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

    Malaysia’s king has declared a months-long national state of emergency one day before a strict lockdown is imposed on millions of people, a decision that critics say will allow its unstable government to evade scrutiny and cling to power.

    Despite vaccines, no Covid herd immunity in 2021: WHO. The WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned that it will take time to produce and administer enough doses to halt the spread of the virus and that herd immunity is not achievable in 2021.

    US CDC says nearly 9 million Americans vaccinated. The 8,987,322 people who have been given the first of two shots, according to the CDC, represent less than one-third of the total doses distributed to states by the US government.

    Australian Open qualifiers halted mid-match to tell player he had Covid. Denis Kudla has been rushed into quarantine at the Australian Openqualifying event in Doha after testing positive for Covid-19.

  98. says

    Ryan Goodman excerpting WaPo (article linked atl):

    This advisor sounds like a good first-hand witness for the prosecution:

    “The president himself was busy enjoying the spectacle. Trump watched with interest, buoyed to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf, one close adviser said.”

    2. “The Twitter missive was insufficient, and the president had not wanted to include the final instruction to ‘stay peaceful.’”

    3. “A small group of aides … was imploring Trump to speak out against the violence. Meadows’s staff had prompted him to go see the president, with one aide telling the chief of staff before he entered the Oval Office, ‘They are going to kill people.’”

    4. “McCarthy pleaded with [Kushner] to persuade Trump to issue a statement for his supporters to leave the Capitol, saying he’d had no luck during his own conversation with Trump.”

    5/5 And, finally, that scripted conciliatory speech Trump gave:

    “The president said he wished he hadn’t done it, a senior White House official said, because he feared that the calming words made him look weak.”

    …and because he wanted the putsch to succeed, and still does.

  99. says

    Michael Beschloss:

    Do we feel safe with the security of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris provided by intelligence agencies, Secret Service and other government institutions that are under Donald Trump’s control till noon on January 20th? Every precaution must be taken.

    Nixon talked on secret tapes about putting loyalists on Ted Kennedy’s Secret Service detail, said to aide, “Plant two guys on him.” Nixon also discussed revoking Kennedy’s protection, saying, “If he gets shot, it’s too damn bad.”
    Anyone think Trump wouldn’t descend to this level?

    What assurance do we have that White House Family Quarters will be safe, sanitary and secure immediately after noon on January 20, 2021? Sorry to bring up delicate subjects, but the issue is too important to the country.

    Gerald Ford and his family stayed in their private house in Alexandria VA for ten days after he became President. LBJ and his family stayed in their DC house for two weeks after he became President. No necessity for a new President to move immediately into White House.

  100. says

    HuffPo – “Ted Cruz’s Communications Director Resigns Amid Fallout From Deadly Capitol Riot”:

    The communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), resigned on Monday following last week’s mob attack on the Capitol that was inspired by false election fraud claims peddled by President Donald Trump, Cruz and other Republicans.

    “I’m grateful to Senator Cruz for the opportunity and wish him and his first-rate staff nothing but the best,” Lauren Blair Bianchi, who had worked in Cruz’s office since July 2019, said in a statement to Punchbowl News.

    Bianchi had become increasingly uncomfortable with Cruz’s efforts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win, a source familiar with Bianchi’s decision to step down told the outlet.

    “Since the election it was becoming clear things were moving in a direction that she was not comfortable with and that culminated with last week’s tragedy in the Capitol,” the source said. “Given that every member of Congress deserves to have a staff aligned with and supportive of their vision, and coupled with the start of the new Congress, she felt it was an appropriate time to step aside.”

    Cruz’s office said the senator and Bianchi “agreed that it would be best to part ways,” adding: “He thanks her for her service and wishes her the best.”…

    HuffPo – “GOP Congressman Told Crowd To ‘Lightly Threaten’ Lawmakers: ‘I’m Coming After You’”:

    Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) last month urged the crowd at a conservative gathering to “lightly threaten” lawmakers ahead of the certification of the presidential election results.

    Cawthorn, speaking at a Turning Point USA event on Dec. 21, said he would help raise money for primary challengers to Republicans who don’t join the right-wing effort the subvert the will of the voters.

    According to The Charlotte Observer, he told the crowd:

    “Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody’s coming after you.”

    The comments are drawing renewed attention after last week’s deadly violence as supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

    The freshman lawmaker also spoke at the rally that preceded the attack, where he denounced his House colleagues as “cowards,” lied about the election results and declared: “Wow, this crowd has some fight in it” shortly before the mob engaged in actual fighting at the Capitol.

    He later attempted to appeal for calm as the violence reached the House floor, and Monday he told ABC11 in Raleigh that he found the violence “sickening and infuriating” and that Trump had some responsibility….

  101. says

    George Conway:

    While waiting for my daughters to finish field hockey practice yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the Starbucks at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda to get coffee.

    The lobby of the hotel was *filled* with Army National Guard in camo gear.

  102. says

    Oh my gosh. The White House has not told city officials in Alamo, Texas anything about Trump’s visit today….”

    City of Alamo statement atl. He’s already on his way there. (Are they plotting to try to fake some attempted attack on him or something?)

  103. tomh says

    Governor Rejects Lockdowns and Urges Schools to Reopen in State of the State Address
    January 11, 2021 BRAD POOLEFacebookTwitterEmail

    Republican Governor Doug Ducey defended Arizona’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in his State of the State address Monday.

    TUCSON, Ariz. (CN) — In a brief State of the State address Monday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey doubled down on his resistance to another statewide lockdown, saying he believes closing businesses would be worse than the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed roughly one of every 720 state residents…

    “From the very outset of Covid-19 there have been disagreements about how to deal with it,” Ducey said. “In my 50-plus meetings with the press, I’ve heard endless variations of the same question: Why not more and longer lockdowns? Why not more aggressive lockdowns?”

    Ducey said those that raise such questions fail to consider the consequences of shutting down businesses, including no income for people who can’t work from home, depression and loneliness. More people would be evicted, spelling “catastrophe” for many, and suicide rates would rise, according to the governor.

    “The rest of life doesn’t stop in a pandemic,” he said. “People still have bills to pay, children in need of education, businesses to run, and employees who depend on them.”…

    Ducey chastised mayors across the state who have called on him to allow local lockdowns. Earlier this year, Ducey issued an executive order preventing local governments from issuing any Covid-19 measures — with the exception of mask mandates — that are more stringent than state restrictions…

    As of Monday, the pandemic had claimed 10,147 of the state’s 7.4 million residents, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

    Hospital and intensive care bed occupancy hovers around 90% with roughly 5,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalized — the highest level since the pandemic began. More than 627,000 cases have been identified, which amounts to 13.3% of people tested, the state reported…

    Ducey said Arizona has shown its resilience through the pandemic, which briefly in recent weeks had the state leading the world in the rate of cases by some metrics. He urged school districts to return students to classrooms…

    Matt Grodsky, spokesman for the Arizona Democratic Party, responded to the address in an emailed statement.

    “Arizonans are no longer taking the Governor seriously,” Grodsky said. “From his failed COVID-19 response, to his weak attempt to rein in the radical elements of his own party, to meddling with the Independent Redistricting Commission, Ducey has abdicated his responsibilities. The Governor has shown Arizonans why his office should not go to a Republican when his term is up next year.”

  104. says

    Following Capitol attack, Trump insists he bears no responsibility

    It was 10 months ago tomorrow when NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Donald Trump whether he accepted any responsibility for the administration’s strained response to the coronavirus outbreak. “No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” the Republican replied.

    This morning, NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell asked a similar question about the attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump helped inspire. Once again, he’s refusing to take responsibility at all.

    Asked by reporters on Tuesday about whether he held any “personal responsibility” over the tragedy that beset the Capitol last week, Trump replied, “If you read my speech, and many people have done it and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analyzed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate…. Everybody to a ‘T’ thought it was totally appropriate.”

    Fucking delusional Orange Liar in Chief.

    It’s the “perfect call” defense all over again: just read the transcript and you’ll agree with “everybody” that Trump is as pure as the driven snow.

    Reality, however, tells a very different story. The New York Times published a relatively detailed review of Trump’s remarks, and the Republican’s role in inciting violence seems quite obvious. It’s why so many GOP officials have condemned Trump’s role in the attack — including a handful of Republican members of Congress who’ve gone so far as to say he should resign. They obviously didn’t see his remarks as “totally appropriate.”

    What’s more, the Washington Post reported late last week that Trump’s own legal advisers “expressed increasing concern Friday about possible criminal liability in the wake of Wednesday’s melee.” The article added that Trump “has been told by attorneys that he could face legal jeopardy for inciting a mob.”

    Obviously, Trump’s lawyers wouldn’t be concerned about his criminal liability if “everybody to a ‘T’ thought it was totally appropriate.”

    But as part of the same Q&A, [Trump] went on to say, “This impeachment is causing tremendous anger. And you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing. For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence.”

    This is, of course, how organized crime figures talk about their enemies: Trump doesn’t want to see violence, but Democrats are responsible for creating “tremendous danger” and “tremendous anger.” He didn’t literally say, “It’s a nice country you have here; it’d be a shame if something happened to it,” but the subtext wasn’t subtle.

    The basic details are as head-spinning as they seem:

    Trump incites violence.

    Lawmakers prepare to impeach Trump for inciting violence.

    Trump says Democrats will be responsible for inciting violence by holding him accountable for inciting violence.

    But let’s not lose sight of the timing: lawmakers are likely to vote on Trump’s impeachment tomorrow. Common sense suggests he has every incentive to be on his best behavior today, giving wavering members an excuse to see him as a responsible figure who need not be removed from office prematurely.

    And yet, here we are, with a fresh reminder that Trump literally can’t help himself.

  105. says

    Campaign-related news items, as summarized by Steve Benen:

    * Ahead of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Republican Attorneys General Association sponsored robocalls urging “patriots” to participate in last week’s gathering. Yesterday, the group’s executive director, Adam Piper, resigned.

    * Alabama Gov Kay Ivey (R) told reporters that Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who addressed the right-wing mob last week before it attacked the Capitol, “does not speak for all Republicans, much less all Alabamians.” The Republican governor suggested Brooks’ constituents “hold him accountable at the ballot box.”

    * On a related note, the editorial board of the Decatur Daily in Alabama has called for Brooks to resign.

    * Fresh off his easy statewide victory, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) was asked yesterday whether his fellow Missouri Republican, Sen. Josh Hawley, should resign. “You know, everybody has to be responsible for the decisions they make, good or bad, indifferent,” the governor said. “That’s what I’ll say.”

    * A month ago, former New Jersey Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt kicked off a gubernatorial campaign. Yesterday, Steinhardt, the enthusiastically pro-Trump candidate, abruptly quit the race, citing “unforeseen professional obligations.” New Jersey is one of two states that will hold gubernatorial elections this year.

    * Roll Call reports that Georgia election officials expect to certify Raphael Warnock’s and Jon Ossoff’s U.S. Senate victories by Jan. 20, which is a week from tomorrow. (It’s also, of course, Inauguration Day.) The Senate’s recess is scheduled to end on Jan. 19.

    * After a difficult election cycle for the GOP in Arizona, the Arizona Republican Party prioritized a censure resolution admonishing Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow. The measure, to be approved next week, upbraids her for supporting marriage equality, endorsing Joe Biden, and defending her late husband from Donald Trump’s criticisms. […]

    Link

  106. says

    Soon-to-be-twice impeached Donald Trump is ending his white supremacist presidency the same way he started his campaign more than five years ago: racist, anti-immigrant fearmongering. Having basically gone into hiding after inciting a violent mob of seditionist supporters who ransacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results—and resulted in numerous deaths, including of a police officer—Trump is traveling to Texas on Tuesday to bluster about the border wall that Mexico never did end up paying for.

    The Associated Press reports that missing from the visit will be unlawfully appointed acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf, who resigned Monday. But following the D.C. attack (nice job securing the “homeland” there, Chad), elected officials, editorial boards, and border communities are demanding Trump stay away […]. “Normally we would welcome a presidential visit to our state. Not now,” the Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board wrote. “Not by a president who is unhinged and unrepentant for the violent mob he sent last week to the Capitol.” […]

    Trump acts as if his legacy along the border will be construction of a ‘beautiful’ wall,” Austin American-Statesman continued. “In truth, his legacy is one of destruction: Crying children pulled from their parents’ arms as part of his shocking family separation policy, with hundreds of kids still waiting to be reunited. Migrant kids dying in U.S. custody for lack of proper care. A shameful humanitarian crisis just south of the border as the U.S. turned its back on those who are lawfully seeking asylum. A degradation of America’s values and standing in the world.” […]

    “Rather than spend his last days in the Oval Office addressing the pressing Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring an orderly transition, Trump is doubling down on his xenophobic, white supremacist agenda,” Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) executive director Fernando García said in a statement […] the City of Alamo said in a statement it hasn’t even been contacted about Trump’s visit.

    “His presence at the borderland is a provocation, and an act of violence in and of itself,” García continued. “Border communities are calling for the dismantlement of the wall of shame, racism and white supremacy. The wall and all it represents have no place in our society, and Trump must be held accountable.” […]

    Link

  107. says

    https://twitter.com/ScientistSwanda/status/1335988328362090500

    Here I describe a brief overview of how the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines work. Taking a vaccine is one’s personal choice, and I hope this video can help someone make that decision rooted in science.

    Great video is available at the link.

    There’s additional information in the thread that follows the video.

    Twitter cut off the intro to the video, full length can be found on IG: @ swandive_rob

  108. says

    Giuliani Allies Were Part of “Russia-Linked Foreign Influence Network,” US Government Says

    Rudy Giuliani is about to become the first presidential lawyer whose own actions helped lead to his client being impeached twice.

    The House is moving toward impeaching Trump for inciting violence against the government of the United States at a rally in which Giuliani also called for “trial by combat,” and the New York State Bar association has indicated that it is investigating the former New York mayor for his actions. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Monday offered a reminder of Giuliani’s role in the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump’s 2019 impeachment, announcing that several Ukrainians who assisted Giuliani’s effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden were “part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network” that tried “to influence the 2020 US Presidential election.”

    Last September, Treasury announced sanctions against Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian parliamentarian who supplied Giuliani with misleading information about Biden in an effort to smear the then-Democratic candidate. Treasury said that Derkach has been “an active Russian agent for over a decade.”

    Giuliani met in late 2019 with Derkach and other Ukrainians who pushed baseless allegations that Biden had acted improperly in 2016 when, as vice president, he joined an international push for the removal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, due to suspected corruption.

    Derkach later held press conferences in Kiev during which he played a series of secretly recorded tapes of Biden speaking by phone with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Though the tapes did not reveal wrongdoing by Biden, Derkach claimed they bolstered Trump’s and Giuliani’s allegations about Biden. […]

  109. says

    From Wonkette: “Terrorist Leader Emerges From Cave, Says IT WAS A PERFECT CALL!11!!!11!1”

    The thing that ordered its rabid followers to attack the US Capitol last week appeared today outside the White House, where he is legally allowed to live for a maximum of eight (8) more days.

    And surprise, as he has said so many times before, he says his call for violent insurrection was a PERFECT CALL!11!!1!!

    TRUMP: So, if you read my speech, and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analyzed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.

    When he calls the GOP Georgia secretary of state and tells them to “find” him 11,780 votes so he can illegally “win” Georgia, it’s a PERFECT CALL1111!!!!!

    When he calls the President of Ukraine to extort that guy to “do us a favor though” to help him steal the election from Joe Biden in exchange for giving Ukraine the military assistance Congress has already appropriated, it’s a PERFECT CALL!1!!!

    So too now.

    Of course, literally nobody besides Trump’s Y’all Qaeda terror cell thinks what he said was appropriate. Everybody saw it as an incitement to violence, and surprise, his radicalized recruits listened. And they went. And they killed people. And they wanted to kill even more people. They were quite literally hunting Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. And they’re still plotting attacks. This why he lost his Twitter privileges forever. This is why seemingly every company from Deutsche Bank on down to the sunglasses kiosk in the mall is no longer willing to do business with him or contribute to Republicans who sympathize with the terrorists.

    TRUMP: And if you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland, Seattle and other places …

    And that was the point where MSNBC decided it was time for Trump to fuck off and cut away, because eat shit you lying racist.

    Trump also told reporters that the new impeachment, his second, is a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.” Moreover, he said that for “Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” wink wink nudge nudge. He added, “I want no violence,” but it’s pretty clear he had his fingers crossed up inside his asshole.

    NO VIOLENCE, NO VIOLENCE, YOU ARE THE VIOLENCE, and if his acolytes happen to cause some more violence, well then it is Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s fault. […]

    So that happened.

    We think this tweet from Josh Marshall is exactly appropriate: “Trump determined to strike in the US.”

    Get the fucking terrorist leader out of there, as he is an imminent threat to this country and to the entire rest of the world.

    Link

  110. says

    FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence.

    Washington Post link

    A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.

    A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.

    “As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

    […] The warning is the starkest evidence yet of the sizable intelligence failure that preceded the mayhem, which claimed the lives of five people, although one law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action, said the failure was not one of intelligence but of acting on the intelligence.

    An FBI official familiar with the document said that within 45 minutes of learning about the alarming online conversation, the Norfolk FBI office wrote the report and shared it with others within the bureau. It was not immediately clear how many law enforcement agencies outside the FBI were told, but the information was briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack, this official said. […]

  111. says

    SC @163, while I think those people should be on a no-fly list, I do worry about forcing them to drive to D.C. One terrorism expert warned that insurrectionists in cars will be able to bring more guns and explosive devices.

  112. says

    Trump used his first public appearance in front of reporters since a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol last week, resulting in the deaths of five people, to test out whether his old defenses still carried any water.

    It’s been a comparatively long time since we’ve heard from [Trump] directly. The lack of public access to his stream of conscious via Twitter has made it difficult to predict how he might be feeling about various developments surrounding his incitement of a mob of his supporters to breach the Capitol last week. It’s been reported that he’s seething about the Twitter ban and more angry about the PGA pulling its tournament from his golf club than he is about Democrats pursuing impeachment.

    We’ve also learned in just the last day that he’s decided to hop aboard the flagrantly dishonest claim that “antifa” was involved in the Capitol insurrection last week and that he has no plans to aggressively fight the impeachment proceedings bubbling up in the House. A handful of Democratic lawmakers introduced an article of impeachment against Trump yesterday, accusing him of inciting violence, and the House is set to vote on a resolution calling on the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment to boot him from office.

    Trump made his feelings about the ordeal clear on Tuesday morning, when he appeared in front of reporters for the first time since the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. He invoked an old friend — chalking up any investigation against him to a “witch hunt” — and told reporters that while he doesn’t want “violence,” he thinks impeachment is the real move “causing tremendous danger to our country.” All sounds vaguely familiar.

    The President is now on his way to Alamo, Texas — shockingly with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in tow — to visit his border wall in a pathetic attempt to distract from the insurrection and the ongoing threats of violence around the country. We may hear from him again later as part of that visit and we’ll bring you the latest as we navigate this new Trump tweet-free world.

    Link

  113. tomh says

    Reps. Dingell, Brown want to fine members $1,000 a day for not wearing masks in Capitol
    By Paulina Firozi

    Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) have proposed a $1,000 fine on members who refuse to wear masks while in the U.S. Capitol complex.

    The legislation would amend House rules to add that lawmakers are required to wear masks in the complex. If the Ethics Committee “determines that any Member, Delegate or Resident Commissioner” is in violation, the committee “shall fine such individual $1,000 for each day that such violation occurs,” according to the text of the bill…

    “It is not brave to refuse to wear a mask, it is selfish, stupid, and shameful behavior that puts lives at risk,” Dingell said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Days ago, a colleague of ours died from this virus and left behind a beautiful, young family to mourn his loss. Yet still, in the midst of a deadly assault on our United States Capitol, a number of our Republican colleagues laughed off rules designed to keep not just their colleagues safe, but to protect the lives of the teams of workers keeping things going, law enforcement, and staff throughout the Capitol.”

    Dingell and Brown’s legislation would require mask-wearing in the Capitol complex until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspends its recommendations for wearing masks inside buildings.

  114. says

    As others (including Andy McCabe on CNN just now) have pointed out, it’s inexplicable that Rosen and Wray weren’t part of this briefing. I didn’t see the beginning of the briefing, but the part I saw left more questions than answers and the tone was somewhat odd.

  115. says

    Jake Tapper: “Whether or not they intended it, the absence of acting AG Rosen and FBI director Wray from that law enforcement press conference risks sending the signal that the Trump administration is NOT taking this terrorist attack on the US with the utmost seriousness.”

    Or that there’s something bad happening behind the scenes.

  116. says

    From David Remnick, writing for The New Yorker:

    […] Donald Trump still has millions of supporters, but he is likely a spent force as a politician. The three-minute-long speech he gave on Thursday night, calling for an orderly transfer of power, was as sincere as a hostage’s gunpoint confession. He may yet be impeached again, two feet from the exit door. He could return as a TV blowhard for hire, but in the future his most prominent place in public life may well be in a courtroom.

    In a disgraceful time, Joe Biden has acted with grace. He has been clear about the magnitude of what’s ahead. “The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law,” he has said. But repairing the “national fabric,” as Lincoln put it, is only part of what awaits Biden. So many issues––the climate catastrophe, the pandemic, the racial crisis––will not tolerate delay or merely symbolic change. The moment will not tolerate distractions. Donald Trump is just days from his eclipse. It cannot come soon enough.

    Link

    More at the link.

  117. says

    Timothy Snyder:

    The claim that Trump won the election is a Big Lie.

    A Big Lie changes reality. To believe it, people must disbelieve their senses, distrust their fellow citizens, and live in a world of faith.

    A Big Lie demands conspiracy thinking, since all who doubt it are seen as traitors.

    A Big Lie undoes a society, since it divides citizens into believers and unbelievers.

    A Big Lie destroys democracy, since people who are convinced that nothing is true but the utterances of their leader ignore voting and its results.

    A Big Lie must bring violence, as it has.

    A Big Lie can never be told just by one person. Trump is the originator of this Big Lie, but it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill.

    Political futures now depend on this Big Lie. Senators Hawley and Cruz are running for president on the basis of this Big Lie.

    There is a cure for the Big Lie. Our elected representatives should tell the truth, without dissimulation, about the results of the 2020 election.

    Politicians who do not tell the simple truth perpetuate the Big Lie, further an alternative reality, support conspiracy theories, weaken democracy, and foment violence far worse than that of January 6, 2021.

  118. says

    Michael Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney, D.C.: “Regardless of if it was just a trespass in the Capitol, or if someone planted a pipe bomb — you will be charged and you will be found.”

    SHERWIN says prosecutors are treating this as a “significant counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigation.”

    He says they’re looking at “money, travel records, disposition, movement, communicaftion records.”

    FBI/DOJ press conference makes it pretty clear that the Capitol dragnet is going to be massive – stretching across entire country, lasting months, with charges against hundreds or even thousands.

    The 160 cases open now will expand ‘geometrically’ — U.S. atty Michael Sherwin.

    SHERWIN says people will be “shocked” by some of the non-public details of things that happened inside the Capitol.

    D.C.’s acting U.S. attorney says he has assembled a team of prosecutors whose only job is to bring sedition and conspiracy charges “related to the most heinous acts” when a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

  119. says

    Follow-up to comment 175.

    Acting US attorney Michael Sherwin says they are looking at building “signifiant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” which carry prison terms of up to 20 years. Some prosecutors are looking specifically at acts of violence committed against members of the media.

  120. says

    From Wonkette:

    […] Pompeo isn’t just some [guy] on the internet. […] Yesterday the secretary of State marched over to the Voice of America to give those reporters a lecture on NEWS, HOW DOES IT GO, for simultaneous broadcast on every VOA station on the planet, naturally.

    First he praised himself and shit on China, as per custom.

    When the Chinese Communist Party attempted to exploit the tragic death of George Floyd to claim their authoritarian system was somehow superior to ours, I issued a statement, which read in part: “During the best of times, the People’s Republic of China ruthlessly imposes communism. But amid the most difficult challenge, the United States secures freedom.”

    There is no moral equivalence. This is a self-evident truth.

    Then he made it clear that VOA’s chief mission is as an evangelist for God and Apple Pie, not to grub around with objective reporting of actual facts, which only gives aid and comfort to our enemies.

    But this isn’t the Vice of America, focusing on everything that’s wrong with our great nation. It’s the Voice of America. It certainly isn’t the place to give authoritarian regimes in Beijing or Tehran a platform.

    Your mission is to promote democracy, freedom, and American values all across the world. It’s a U.S. taxpayer-funded institution aimed squarely at that.

    Indeed, this is what sets VOA apart from MSNBC and Fox News and the like.

    Addressing the staff, Pompeo lamented the bad old days in the Obama administration when “VOA lost its commitment to its founding mission. Its broadcasts had become less about telling the truth about America, and too often about demeaning America.” Then he congratulated himself for decimating the VOA’s governance structure.

    “I read that some VOA employees didn’t want me to speak here today. I’m sure it was only a handful,” he laughed. “They didn’t want the voice of American diplomacy to be broadcast on the Voice of America.” Because if Mike Pompeo is anything, it’s diplomatic!

    Censorship, wokeness, political correctness, it all points in one direction – authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness. It’s similar to what we’re seeing at Twitter, and Facebook, and Apple, and on too many university campuses today.

    It’s not who we are. It’s not who we are as Americans, and it’s not what Voice of America should be. It’s time that we simply put woke-ism to sleep.

    And then, taking no questions from the assembled reporters, he strode out imperiously. Or tried to, anyway. Here’s VOA reporter Patsy Widakuswara attempting to ask the secretary questions, which is her job. [Video at the link.]

    After that, Mike Pompeo, who just got through telling the world how much he deplores censorship and repression of free speech, got Widakuswara demoted. Yeah, try not to faint.

    NPR reports:

    [Pompeo’s deputy Elizabeth] Robbins, previously a State Department official under Pompeo, made the request later Monday for Widakuswara to be reassigned away from covering the White House. Through a spokeswoman, Voice of America said it did not comment on personnel matters. A group of anonymous whistleblowers filed a formal complaint last week over Pompeo’s visit, saying it was propaganda and that [newly installed VOA Director Robert A.] Reilly’s intention to broadcast the address over VOA’s airwaves was a violation of the newsroom’s protections for editorial independence.

    Ain’t he a peach!

    But sometimes being a raging asshole has a cost.

    “Looking forward to my upcoming travel on January 13-14 to Brussels, to reaffirm the deep and enduring partnership between the U.S. and Belgium,” Pompeo tweeted yesterday.

    But today the trip was off, ostensibly because everyone at the State Department is just so busy “identifying the career officials who will remain in positions of responsibility on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials” that they’ve had to cancel all travel.

    And if you are saying, “Mike Pompeo is going to give up a free trip to pat himself on the back in Europe to stay home and help Joe Biden out? Come the fuck on!” you are CORRECT. Reuters reports that Pompeo canceled his trip because no one in Europe will meet with him after his boss tried to stage a violent coup last week.

    The extraordinary snub to Washington came days after the storming of U.S. Capitol by thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, an unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and U.S. allies.

    Pompeo, a close ally of Trump, had sought to meet Jean Asselborn [the Minister for Foreign Affairs] in Luxembourg, a small but wealthy NATO ally, before meeting EU leaders and the bloc’s top diplomat in Brussels, three people close to the planning told Reuters.

    Pompeo had originally planned to go to Luxembourg, but that leg of the trip was scrapped, one diplomatic source said, after officials there showed reluctance to grant him appointments. The Brussels leg was still on until the last minute.

    Dissed by Luxembourg! Welcome to private life, Mister Pompeo. May it be the first of many, many slights both big and small, and may they all be a stinging humiliation.

    https://www.wonkette.com/mike-pompeo-dissed-by-luxembourg

  121. says

    Reuters – “Exclusive: Luxembourg, EU snub Pompeo in final Europe trip, diplomats say”:

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said.

    The Europeans snubbed Washington’s top envoy days after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump, an unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and U.S. allies.

    Pompeo, a close ally of Trump, had sought to meet Jean Asselborn in Luxembourg, a small but wealthy NATO ally, before meeting EU leaders and the bloc’s top diplomat in Brussels, three people close to the planning told Reuters.

    Pompeo had originally planned to go to Luxembourg, but that leg of the trip was scrapped, one diplomatic source said, after officials there showed reluctance to grant him appointments. The Brussels leg was still on until the last minute.

    But Pompeo’s final visit schedule in Brussels was not going to involve any meetings with the EU or any public events at NATO. A third diplomatic source said allies were “embarrassed” by Pompeo after the violence in Washington last Wednesday.

    Appalled by the violence, Luxembourg’s Asselborn had called Trump a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac” on RTL Radio the next day.

    Luxembourg’s foreign ministry confirmed the previously planned stop there was cancelled, but declined to give further details. The EU declined to comment.

    The U.S. State Department, in a statement, attributed the cancellation to transition work before Biden takes office on Jan. 20, even if until recently Pompeo had been reluctant to unequivocally recognise Biden’s win. The State Department declined further comment on European officials’ rejection of meetings with Pompeo.

    In Brussels, Pompeo was due to have a private dinner with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday evening at Stoltenberg’s private residence, before meeting Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, whose country is a NATO ally.

    The cold shoulder was a contrast with Pompeo’s previous visits to Brussels, which is home to NATO and EU headquarters, over the past three years, where he has given key-note speeches on U.S. policy and met the EU’s chief executive, even as Europe balked at Trump’s foreign policy.

    In 2018, Pompeo said in Brussels that Trump’s ‘America First’ policy was reshaping the post-World War Two system on the basis of sovereign states, not institutions such as the EU.

    EU officials, who say they were exhausted by Trump’s unpredictability, are eager to build fresh ties with Biden….

  122. says

    Oregon state lawmaker who opened door for armed protesters kicked off committees, billed for damages

    Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman (R) is facing calls to resign and being billed for damages caused by a group of protesters he allowed to enter the state capitol by opening a door while exiting the building, The Oregonian reported on Tuesday.

    The incident occurred on Dec. 21 during a special session on the coronavirus and the state’s response to it. Footage obtained by the Oregonian showed Nearman exiting through two doors, pushing one open which allowed protesters to enter the building.

    According to state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), Nearman has been stripped of his two committee assignments and fined $2,000 for the damages caused by the protesters.

    “His actions have created immense fear among legislators and Capitol staff,” Kotek said in a statement released on Monday. “I believe he should resign immediately because he has already breached the public trust and endangered our ability to safely conduct the people’s business.” […]

  123. says

    So … McConnell is now reported to be in favor of impeachment. That is, he is in favor of Democrats impeaching Trump in the House because that will make it easier for Republicans to purge Trump from their party. But … McConnell will not call the Senate back into session so that the House’s impeachment articles can be presented in the Senate trial.

    McConnell wants Democrats to do his dirty work.

  124. says

    Judge halts final two executions of Trump term after inmates diagnosed with COVID-19

    A federal judge halted the last two federal executions set to take place during the Trump administration after both death-row inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

    The ruling from Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, will block the executions of Corey Johnson, who was scheduled to be put to death on Thursday, and Dustin Higgs, who would have been executed on Friday. Should the ruling stand and not be overturned by a higher court, the punishments would be delayed until at least March, after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

    “The court is deeply concerned that the government intends to execute two prisoners who are suffering from COVID-19 infection, particularly given that the disease impacts individuals in drastically different ways and can have particularly devastating long-term effects, even for those with mild symptoms,” Chutkan wrote.

    The judge also noted that going through with the execution would put those participating in and witnessing the punishment at risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

    “This is irresponsible at best, particularly when a temporary injunction will reduce these risks,” she said. “The public interest is not served by executing individuals in this manner.” […]

  125. says

    […] In a surprise move, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday will unveil a climate rule that will effectively prohibit the future regulation of greenhouse gases from any stationary industry other than power plants.

    The rule comes just eight days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has pledged a multitrillion-dollar initiative that would combat climate change by making sharp cuts in the United States’ carbon dioxide pollution. The new regulation could hamstring much of that agenda, for example by prohibiting Biden’s EPA from setting carbon limits on oil and gas wells or refineries.

    The vehicle for the latest EPA action was also surprising: The agency included it in a long-planned Trump administration regulation that had originally been aimed at a much narrower target — easing greenhouse gas limits for coal plants that might be built in the future. It never sought public comment on the proposal to exempt a wide swath of industries from carbon restrictions.

    Environmentalists quickly condemned the rule — first reported by POLITICO — as a parting gift to polluters.

    “EPA is perverting the Clean Air Act to ensure that no industry other than the power sector ever has to cut its climate pollution,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate & Clean Energy program.

    “This unlawful rule is a transparent attempt to erect roadblocks to protecting public health and the environment for the new administration,” said Jay Duffy, an attorney for a group called the Clean Air Task Force. […]

    Link

  126. says

    Maybe Graham told McConnell after the Texas trip that Trump is increasingly deranged and violent?

    In any case, McConnell needs to call the Senate back into session and get it done.

  127. John Morales says

    re #182:

    “The court is deeply concerned that the government intends to execute two prisoners who are suffering from COVID-19 infection, particularly given that the disease impacts individuals in drastically different ways and can have particularly devastating long-term effects, even for those with mild symptoms,” Chutkan wrote.

    A mind-boggling rationale.

  128. says

    Scott Wong, The Hill:

    NEW SECURITY MEASURES for the House floor: Magnetometers erected at chamber entrances after 1/6 Capitol insurrection, per acting sergeant at arms

    NEW: PELOSI implementing fines for members who refuse to wear masks:

    $500 fine for first offense. $2,500 for second office. Fines will be deducted from Member pay (no use of campaign funds or MRA for fines).

    House Office Building Commission will be immediately considering the implementation of a similar fine system for mask wearing non-compliance in the House Office Buildings and house side of the U.S. Capitol Building.

  129. says

    TPM – “Secret Service Officer Cheered On Trump’s Attempt To Steal Election On Facebook”:

    A Secret Service officer posted pro-Trump content on Facebook that boosted President Donald Trump’s attack on the election, according to the Washington Post.

    The Post reported that it had obtained screenshots showing that on the day after Trump’s supporters violently mobbed the Capitol on Wednesday, the officer posted a comment accusing lawmakers of “committing treason on live tv” by certifying the results of the election.

    The officer’s reported comment also seemed to cheer on the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the siege while blaming “Antifa” (an amorphous anti-fascists movement) for the violence at the Capitol, even though the FBI has stated that there has been “no indication” that anyone supporting Antifa was involved in the siege. The conspiracy theory has been peddled by some of Trump’s closes allies for several days now and Trump himself has reportedly supported the conspiracy theory in private.

    “Good morning patriots! Yesterday started out beautiful and as usual Antifa soured the mood and attacked police and an Air Force veteran was murdered…. It’s OFFENSE time finally!!” the officer wrote, according to the Post.

    Additionally, the officer reportedly posted a meme titled “Here’s to the Peaceful Transition of Power” that had been edited to show Trump shaking hands with himself in the Oval Office….

  130. says

    From The New York Times:

    Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

    At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

    While Mr. McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to Mr. McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Mr. Trump for his conduct. In private, Mr. McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out.

    Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically fraught and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces in the wake of last week’s assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory.

    As more violent images emerged on Tuesday from the mayhem wrought by the rioters, including of the brutal attack that ultimately killed a Capitol Police officer, and as lawmakers were briefed about threats of more attacks on the Capitol, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers grew angrier about the president’s role in the violence.

    Yet as they attempted to balance the affection their core voters have for Mr. Trump with the now-undeniable political and constitutional threat he posed, Republican congressional leaders who have loyally backed the president for four years were still stepping delicately. Their refusal to demand the president’s resignation and quiet plotting about how to address his conduct highlighted the gnawing uncertainty that they and many other Republicans have about whether they would pay more of a political price for abandoning him or for continuing to enable him after he incited a mob to storm the seat of government.

    Making their task more difficult, Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.”

    Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has indicated that he wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday, which is expected to draw support from as many as a dozen Republicans, potentially including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 in the House. But he has made clear in private discussions that he believes now is the moment to move on from the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for causing Republicans to lose the Senate.

    On Monday, Mr. Biden telephoned Mr. McConnell to ask whether it was possible to set up a dual track that would allow the Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s cabinet nominees and hold a Senate trial at the same time, according to officials briefed on the conversation who disclosed it on condition of anonymity. Far from avoiding the topic of impeaching Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell said it was a question for the Senate parliamentarian, and promised Mr. Biden a quick answer.

    […] “This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic,” Mr. McConnell said as the Senate reconvened on Wednesday to finish the electoral count disrupted by the siege. “Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.”

    In the days since the attack, Mr. McCarthy has veered from asking Republican colleagues if he should call on Mr. Trump to resign to privately floating impeachment to his current posture, opposed to impeachment but open to a censure. He even approached Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, about a censure vote, saying he could deliver a large number of Republican votes for a formal rebuke if Democrats backed off impeachment.

  131. tomh says

    Reversing every lower court it had come before.

    NYT:
    Supreme Court Revives Abortion-Pill Restriction
    By Adam Liptak
    Jan. 12, 2021

    WASHINGTON — In the Supreme Court’s first ruling on abortion since the arrival of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court on Tuesday reinstated a federal requirement that women seeking to end their pregnancies using medications pick up a pill in person from a hospital or medical office.

    The court’s brief order was unsigned, and the three more liberal justices dissented. The only member of the majority to offer an explanation was Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who said the ruling was a limited one that deferred to the views of experts.

    The question, he wrote, was not whether the requirement imposed “an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion as a general matter.” Instead, he wrote, it was whether a federal judge should have second-guessed the Food and Drug Administration’s determination “because of the court’s own evaluation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Elena Kagan, said the majority was grievously wrong.

    “This country’s laws have long singled out abortions for more onerous treatment than other medical procedures that carry similar or greater risks,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. “Like many of those laws, maintaining the F.D.A.’s in-person requirements” for picking up the drug “during the pandemic not only treats abortion exceptionally, it imposes an unnecessary, irrational and unjustifiable undue burden on women seeking to exercise their right to choose.”

  132. tomh says

    The House voted to impeach Andrew Johnson before they even drew up the Articles. A week later the wrote up the Articles of Impeachment and sent them to the Senate. They could have voted to impeach Trump the day after the riots.

  133. says

    @201
    Having failed to enforce their will on the nation, Republicans default to enforcing their will on women. Because they can’t imagine any political strategy that doesn’t include a victim.

  134. says

    Dear Officer,

    Im Emma, and I’m 10 years old. I hope you heal from being crushed. I feel bad for you. Those people are really bad hurting you. I hope you and your family are nice and healthy. When I saw the video on CNN about people crushing you with a door I almost cried. Get well.

    -Emma

    Original atl.

  135. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz: “Fauci Says Immunity from Trump Requires Two Doses of Impeachment”

    Full immunity from Donald J. Trump will require two doses of impeachment, Dr. Anthony Fauci has advised.

    “One impeachment was a good start, but it didn’t get it done,” the esteemed virologist said. “If you want to keep this terrible situation from coming back, you’re gonna need that second dose.”

    Acknowledging that two doses of impeachment, taken a year apart, have never been tested before, Fauci said, “We’re in an emergency situation here.”

    The epidemiologist said that people are working on the second dose of impeachment “around the clock,” and that it could be ready as soon as Monday.

    “It’s truly remarkable how fast they’ve been able to come up with it,” he said. “We’re talking warp speed.”

    New Yorker link

  136. tomh says

    House Republicans balk at new rules requiring all members to pass through metal detectors.
    Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane

    House Republicans on Tuesday were infuriated by a new rule put in place by the chamber’s top security official requiring all lawmakers to go through a metal detector before entering the chamber.

    The rule, announced on Tuesday by Timothy P. Blodgett, the acting sergeant-at-arms, came in an apparent response to the siege last week, and after some Democrats expressed concerns that Republican lawmakers would try to bring firearms intended for self-defense onto the floor.

    As lawmakers waited to go through the metal detectors on Tuesday and long lines to get into the chamber stacked up, some began to fume. Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois, the top Republican on the Committee on House Administration, called their placement “bullshit,” and complained to Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, that the detectors were “taking valuable resources completely away from where it needs to be without any consultation.”

    Other Republican lawmakers ignored them completely, sweeping past Capitol Police officers and ducking into the chamber. After setting off the metal detector, Representative Lauren Boebert, a freshman Republican from Colorado who owns a restaurant where the waitresses openly carry handguns, refused to allow Capitol Police officers to search her bag.

  137. says

    Emma Gray, HuffPo:

    @AOC just told viewers on Instagram Live that she had a “close encounter” during the attacks on the Capitol in which she thought she might die. Said she cannot disclose full details out of security concerns.

    “Wednesday was an extremely traumatizing event. And it was not an exaggeration to say that many members of the House were nearly assassinated.” @AOC

    AOC also says that she didn’t feel safe going to the safe room and sheltering with other members of Congress, because she felt some of them might disclose her location to rioters and put her in danger.

    “Too late… You were a part of it,” says @AOC to Trump administration officials who resigned after the attacks. “Those 5 peoples’ blood is on your hands.”

    @AOC does not mince words, says that the Capitol attacks were ultimately upholding the politics of white supremacy.

    “Their lust for power has driven them away from their loyalty to democracy. It’s not just Trump who has to go,” says @AOC.

    To every member of Congress who voted to overturn the results of the election: “If any member of Congress so much as stutters to say that the Confederacy were traitors to the U.S., that the Confederacy is a legion of white supremacists…turn in your pin and get out.” @AOC

    @AOC addresses Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley specifically: “You do not belong in the United States Senate.”

    Here’s a clip of @AOC discussing (at least a segment of) the GOP’s deep attachment to supremacy:…

    “Consequences are the only way that they will stop contributing to violence… So they need to go. They need to get out.” @AOC

    “We will be impeaching the President of the United States tomorrow,” says @AOC. “While it’s a little late for some Republicans to scramble together a reputation… maybe you should vote to impeach him because he’s an active threat to every single American.”

    “You’re either with the people, or you’re with that mob.”

    And on that note, @AOC ends her powerful monologue and is onto IG Live Q&A.

  138. says

    YouTube:

    After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies. It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a *minimum* of 7 days.

    Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section.

  139. johnson catman says

    re tomh @212: Those republicans are again demonstrating that the “law and order party” means law and order applies to everyone but them. If they can’t follow the rules that protect everyone in the Capitol, they should be denied entrance, period.

  140. says

    I just looked at the previous chapter of this thread to remind myself about the days leading up to the attempted putsch. I had forgotten how incendiary Trump’s remarks at the Georgia rally on the 4th were:

    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 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.”

    and this warning from the ten Defense Secretaries:

    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.

    and Trump’s tweet from the evening of the 6th (deleted by Twitter):

    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!

  141. johnson catman says

    re SC @223:

    This Hail Mary attempt to remove him from the White House is an attack on every American who voted for him.

    The attempt to prevent the fairly elected President Biden from taking office is an attack on 7 million more Americans than the insurrectionist crowd. Logic seems to elude Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  142. KG says

    johnson catman@224,
    You have to remember that at least 8 million of Biden’s voters were transdimensional shapeshifting lizards.

  143. johnson catman says

    re KG @225: At least the transdimensional shapeshifting lizards are on the right side!

  144. says

    Will Bunch in the Philadelphia Inquirer – “An insurrection of upper-middle class white people”:

    The stunning pro-President-Trump insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol less than a week ago must have been a carnival for one’s olfactory bulb, as the stinging aroma of tear gas blended with the pungent odors of the occasional joint, or maybe the piles of dung that some of the cruder mob members left in the hallways once graced by icons like Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and LBJ. The only thing that wasn’t in the air on Wednesday was the smell of what so many have falsely tied to Trump’s authoritarian movement — any whiff of “economic anxiety.”

    When fascism finally came to America in the form of an attempted coup to halt our presidential election, it came from lush-green suburbs all across this land, flying business class on Delta or United and staying in four-star hotels with three-martini lobby bars — the better to keep warm after a long day of taking selfies with friendly cops or pummeling the unfriendly ones, chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and generally standing athwart democracy yelling “Halt!”

    Long ridiculed as deplorables rising up from the muck of Rust Belt trailer parks, the Donald Trump counter-revolution has finally revealed itself as an upper-middle-class affair.

    Political junkies like us remember 2000′s “Brooks Brothers riot” of well-heeled GOP activists and lobbyists that successfully halted Florida vote recounting in populous Dade County. Apparently what we witnessed Wednesday was the “Pottery Barn insurrection.” As key figures who invaded the Capitol have been steadily identified over the last five or six days, it’s remarkable how many alleged lawbreakers emerged from upscale zip codes.

    Yes, many of the 74 million citizens who voted for the guy who then incited an attempted coup do fit the stereotype of struggling or laid-off blue-collar worker in a rusted-out rural community. But those folks aren’t the ones who can take a Wednesday off and fly hundreds of miles, let alone plunk down hundreds of dollars, to get to the nation’s hub. While the Capitol mob was bulked up with other Trumpists — including an alarming number of off-duty police officers, as well as some neo-Nazi or KKK types who’ve been around forever — it was the 401(k) crowd that formed the front line of America’s first real putsch.

    If that surprises you, then you weren’t really paying attention. For the last four years, political scientists have been trying to wrap their brains around Trump’s shocking 2016 victory in the Electoral College while trying to tell us that the 45th president’s true base is a lot of things — but it’s not poor….

    …A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, the political scientist Diana Mutz, found that Trump voters generally weren’t struggling economically yet did feel great anxiety about their status — whether the threat was the rise of a foreign power like China or the idea that America, and its government, was becoming increasingly nonwhite.

    That explains a lot….

    The main reason that so many reasonably well-off folks tried to shut down American democracy wasn’t because they feared losing their paycheck, but because they feared losing their white privilege.

    More atl. (I’m not crazy about the “Long ridiculed as deplorables rising up from the muck of Rust Belt trailer parks” line. It reads a class connotation into “deplorables” that wasn’t implied by Clinton.)

  145. tomh says

    Re: SC @ 220 Boston Globe article

    ‘It was like looking at evil’: The Capitol attack through the eyes of the Massachusetts delegation – The Boston Globe
    Yvonne Abraham

    As supporters of President Trump descended upon downtown, Representative Jim McGovern walked to the Capitol alone. “I told my staff to stay home,” he said, worried after reading about the online threats of violence.

    They were following the instructions from Capitol Police: Arrive early, remain indoors, and use the underground network of tunnels to move throughout the Capitol complex. Those basic guidelines offered a hint of danger from the Trump rally outside of the White House, but no sense of anything like the deadly attack that was to come.

    On the House floor, one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s aides asked Representative Jim McGovern to take over in the speaker’s chair. He figured she just needed to take some calls in her office. “I don’t think she even knew what was about to happen because she left her phone there,” he said. But after a few minutes McGovern was forced to adjourn the House when it became clear Pelosi wasn’t going back to her office but was being evacuated.

    The traumatic events of a day now etched in history are the backdrop for Wednesday’s House impeachment vote.

    Those early hours a week ago were ominous yet quiet.

    After a workout at a gym in the Capitol Complex, Moulton watched the group of officers before heading out to meet a friend for breakfast off grounds. “They had no riot gear,” he said. “It seemed like they were preparing for something very routine.”
    […]

    But Representative Ayanna Pressley had two reasons to be afraid: She has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that puts her in the high-risk category for coronavirus, and she is one of four Democratic representatives in a group self-dubbed “The Squad,” which has drawn ire and racist attacks from Trump and his supporters.

    Because of multiple death threats over the past two years, running through safety drills and threat scenarios has become routine at Pressley’s office, said Sarah Groh, her chief of staff. Groh, Pressley, and her husband had planned to wait in Pressley’s D.C. apartment until later in the afternoon. That changed as the House sergeant-at-arms pressured lawmakers to come sooner, warning the crowds could get too thick to safely escort them in.

    “I was deeply concerned,” Groh said of going to the Capitol complex. “It felt like the heat was being turned up in terms of the rhetoric and Trump’s aims to incite violence.”

    At Representative Ayanna Pressley’s office, safety drills have been common because of her position. As the threat became clear Wednesday, staffers barricaded the entrance of her office.

    Most members could pinpoint the time when the roar of protesters outside grew louder: It was as the president wrapped up his speech on a makeshift stage between the White House and the Washington Memorial. The long diatribe had included a litany of false election claims, attacks on political enemies, and pleas to supporters to “walk down to the Capitol.”

    As protesters streamed toward Capitol Hill, Moulton’s special assistant, Billy Hennessy, kept a window open. He poked his head out every so often to watch the group massing outside the Capitol. Soon, he saw some Trump supporters fleeing with blood on their faces.

    “I was hearing a lot of cheers, a lot of screaming, a lot of chanting,” he said. “And it went from chanting and screaming to gas canisters being shot and exploding to what sounded like bullets being fired all within a matter of 20 to 30 minutes.”…

    One of the last of roughly 50 members swept out of the House chamber, McGovern saw rioters had shattered windows in the adjacent lobby and were banging on the doors.

    “It was like looking at evil,” the Worcester Democrat said.

    In videos since released, McGovern is seen just moments before one of the rioters, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, 35, attempts to jump in through a broken window and is fatally shot by police. McGovern said he probably heard those shots, but didn’t register them in the din of shouts from protesters and commands from officers as he escaped down a marble staircase.

    “It was a horrific day,” McGovern said. “I just assumed that the noise we were hearing outside the chamber was just a handful of people. I couldn’t imagine that entire mob could gain access to the Capitol.”

    As people rushed out of other buildings on the Capitol grounds, staffers in Pressley’s office barricaded the entrance with furniture and water jugs that had piled up during the pandemic. Groh pulled out gas masks and looked for the special panic buttons in the office.

    “Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” she said, though they could come up with no rationale as to why. She had used them before and hadn’t switched offices since then. As they were escorted to several different secure locations, Groh and Pressley and her husband tried to remain calm and vigilant — not only of rioters but of officers they did not know or trust, she said.

    In her office in another building, Trahan bolted the doors as she toggled between feeling sad and outraged. As she and her staffers watched the mob on television, Trahan said, she remembered how her husband and two daughters had stood on the same steps of the Capitol just days before. She was relieved her family had gone back to Massachusetts.

    Lynch eventually made the quick walk back to his apartment after sheltering for some time at one of the Capitol buildings.

    Representative William Keating hustled back to his office from the underground Capitol tunnels when he heard security officers were rushing evacuees to his building.

    A former prosecutor who had previously served on the Homeland Security committee, he had walked the grounds with Capitol Police the evening before to learn more about their plans. He received assurances that security would be tight and their perimeter would be wide enough to keep protesters away from the building.

    ”I was given some confidence by the discussions I had, which I think was sincere from the front line people that they had this under check,” he said. But as rioters stormed in Wednesday, it became “very clear that the planning was an abysmal failure.”

    Back in his office, Moulton did a couple of media interviews.

    At one point, Moulton called a friend in the FBI and urged him to get his unit to the Capitol, but it would be hours before they would be given the green light. Moulton and Hennessy were taken to the secret location where other House members were sheltering.

    It was there that Trahan learned about the acts of bravery during the attack: the combat veterans like Representative Ruben Gallegos of Arizona, who had helped elderly and scared members put on their gas masks as they fled. It was there that Pressley and other colleagues started drafting articles of impeachment. And it was there that resolve grew among members to return and finish the vote count.

    “The experiences of Wednesday were harrowing and unfortunately very familiar in the deepest and most ancestral way,” Pressley told Joy Reid on MSNBC. “And so of course I’m fearful, but that fear is not new.”
    […]

    Keating, who was one of the last House Democrats to sign on to impeachment against Trump in 2019, said this time it is “clear cut.”

    On a phone call, he laid out the facts in the dry manner of a prosecutor: “We are members of Congress — we are human, but importantly, we are instruments of the government doing our jobs, and this was an attempt to stop that from happening.”

  146. says

    tomh @ #231, thanks. Wow.

    “The experiences of Wednesday were harrowing and unfortunately very familiar in the deepest and most ancestral way,” Pressley told Joy Reid on MSNBC. “And so of course I’m fearful, but that fear is not new.”

    Horrible.

  147. tomh says

    WaPo:
    Lawmakers gave groups ‘reconnaissance’ tours of the Capitol one day before riots, Democratic congresswoman says
    By Andrea Salcedo
    Jan. 13, 2021

    One day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, a Democratic lawmaker says, she saw colleagues leading groups on “reconnaissance” tours of the building.

    Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) made the startling claim in a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday night as she accused Republicans of inciting the pro-Trump mob that vandalized the Capitol and attacked police officers.

    Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, described seeing “members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.”

    “I’m going to see that they’re held accountable,” Sherrill added.

    Sherrill did not specifically identify which lawmakers she saw leading groups through the Capitol. Her office did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post late Tuesday. The FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police also did not immediately respond to messages about whether the agencies are investigating the claim.

    Sherrill aired her claims the same night that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said she feared that GOP colleagues sympathetic to the rioters might give her up to the mob. Critics have also taken aim at one freshman GOP lawmaker who tweeted out the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the chaos.

    Several Capitol Police officers have also been suspended and more than a dozen others are being investigated for suspected ties to rioters or for showing inappropriate support for last week’s attempted insurrection.

    Sherrill, a second-term lawmaker who represents northern New Jersey, spent nearly 10 years on active duty as a helicopter pilot flying missions across Europe and the Middle East…

    That afternoon, Sherrill recounted, she learned from messages on her phone that Vice President Pence had been escorted to safety. Shortly after that, she said, Pelosi was rushed to a secure location.

    “We attempted to continue the debate,” Sherrill said. “That became impossible as crowds gathered and started banging on the doors, so we were told to get out the gas masks in case we had to egress.”

    Soon, Sherrill and her colleagues crouched on the floor for safety. She watched as some lawmakers called relatives “afraid that would be the last call that they ever made.” Sherrill said she called her husband to let him know she would soon walk to a safe room.

    “We were worried that at every corner we would find the mob,” Sherrill said, referencing the evacuation.

    Sherrill accused President Trump of inciting the attack to “ensure that we could not have a peaceful transfer of power.” She also blamed GOP lawmakers who “abetted” Trump, and “those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy.”..

    “We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the election results,” she said.

  148. says

    SC @219, good points. Thanks for the reminder.

    Following up to comments about metal detectors, comments 130 and 212.

    […] As for this morning, as the floor debate began on impeaching Donald Trump, some GOP members were again seen circumventing the metal detectors without incident, effectively rendering the new system useless. Even members who are setting off the detector are ignoring it. […]

  149. says

    From The Washington Post, an update on polling results:

    A poll released Friday by Marist University and its partners at PBS NewsHour showed that since a similar poll was conducted at the beginning of December, Trump’s overall approval rating dropped five points, to 38 percent. The biggest drop was among Republicans, with his approval within his own party sinking 13 points, from 90 percent to 77 percent…. On Monday, Quinnipiac University released similar findings: Trump’s overall approval dipped to 33 percent, tied for the lowest the pollster has recorded. The drop among Republicans was 18 points, to 71 percent.

    As Steve Benen noted, there’s also a new Politico/Morning Consult poll showing Trump’s approval rating down to 34%. FiveThirtyEight maintains an overall average, which shows Trump’s support at about 40% — down 5 points since mid-November.

    That’s good news and bad news. It is heartening to see Trump’s approval ratings falling, but keep this in mind:

    Trump obviously isn’t broadly popular with Americans — he never has been — but an approval rating in the 30s is hardly consistent with a man who, among other things, recently incited a deadly insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol.

  150. says

    Resigning GOP staffer condemns mob’s ‘congressional enablers’

    “Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less,” a Republican staffer on the Armed Services Committee wrote.

    Most of the Republicans in the U.S. House voted to reject Joe Biden’s election victory last week, even after the insurrectionist riot. Among them were 13 members of the House Armed Services Committee, who ostensibly focus on the nation’s defenses.

    It led Jason Schmid, a senior Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, to resign in disgust. Politico reported on what Schmid had to say on his way out the door.

    “Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms,” Schmid wrote in a letter addressed to the committee’s top Republican. “Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the republic.” That included 13 members of the Armed Services Committee, where Schmid has worked for four and a half years as a top policy staffer. The panel’s incoming top Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, was also among that group.

    Politico’s report noted that Schmid, before working on Capitol Hill, did two tours of duty in Iraq as an Army intelligence analyst, and was wounded during his service while embedded with an Iraqi infantry battalion.

    In his resignation letter, Schmid went on to write that GOP lawmakers “harmed the ability of every service member, intelligence officer, and diplomat to defend the nation and advance American interests.” He added they “disregarded” American democratic ideals “for cynical political purposes.”

    “Regardless of the motivations behind the vote, these members bear the consequences that the men and women in harm’s way will face for many years to come,” Schmid wrote. “I cannot imagine any series of events more damaging to the already fragile US led post-World War II order that has brought more peace and prosperity to the world than at any other time in history.”

    He added, “Congressional enablers of this mob have made future foreign conflict more likely, not less.”

    It’s likely that Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee, if they even see the resignation letter, will shrug it off as unimportant. And that will be a shame because Schmid’s admonishment deserves to be taken seriously

  151. says

    Well, that didn’t work out for Trump. Another one of his handpicked prosecutors finds no voter fraud.

    On fraud claims, Trump-appointed prosecutor acknowledges reality

    Two of Trump’s own handpicked federal prosecutors in Georgia have come to the same conclusion: there was no election-fraud problem in the state.

    Early last week, Donald Trump fired one of his own federal prosecutors: Byung J. “BJay” Pak, a Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Georgia, was abruptly ousted because Trump expected Pak to chase his baseless voter-fraud conspiracy theories. When the prosecutor failed to satisfy the White House’s political agenda, he had to go.

    Under normal circumstances, this would be a rather dramatic presidential scandal, with Trump once again politicizing federal law enforcement and retaliating against a prosecutor for failing to play along with Trump’s anti-election schemes.

    But with much of the political world’s focus elsewhere, Pak parted ways with Team Trump, replaced by a Trump-approved successor, Bobby Christine. The trouble for the White House is, Christine appears likely to disappoint, too. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday that the new U.S. attorney for northern Georgia can’t find evidence of election fraud, either. In fact, on his first day, he reviewed two possible fraud cases, but dismissed them as meritless.

    “I would love to stand out on the street corner and scream this, and I can’t,” said Bobby Christine, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But I can tell you I closed the two most — I don’t know, I guess you’d call them high profile or the two most pressing election issues this office has,” he said. “I said I believe, as many of the people around the table believed, there’s just nothing to them.”

    […] “Quite frankly, just watching television you would assume that you got election cases stacked from the floor to the ceiling,” Christine said. “I am so happy to find out that’s not the case, but I didn’t know coming in.” The article added:

    …Christine met with the FBI, GBI and the Department of Homeland Security on his first day in Atlanta to get briefed on election cases, he said. So far, Christine said the election cases were overblown, and cited the two cases he closed last Wednesday. “In my opinion, there is no there, there,” he said.

    In other words, Trump fired Pak because Trump believed the Republican federal prosecutor was failing to take seriously evidence of election fraud. Trump then tapped Bobby Christine for the job, only to discover that Christine also can’t find evidence of election fraud.

    Let’s not forget the larger context: Trump and his followers have acted with certainty that fraud ran rampant in Georgia. It’s partly why Trump has lashed out wildly at the state’s Republican governor, Republican lieutenant governor, and Republican secretary of state, each of whom have had the audacity to tell the truth about their own state’s election results.

    And now, two of Trump’s own handpicked federal prosecutors in Georgia have come to the same conclusion. Reality has a tendency to be stubborn.

  152. says

    “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a [P-word],” Trump told Pence in a call hours before his supporters staged a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol according to the New York Times.

    […] In spite of all this, Pence rebuffed a call from the House on Tuesday to invoke the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office.

    “I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) objecting to the move.

    Quoted text is from Talking Points Memo. The link contains the P-word, so I won’t post it here.

  153. says

    Follow-up to comment 241.

    From comments posted by readers of the TPM article:

    Sounds about right that †Я☭mp was having a high-level negotiation under stress, using words he does not understand.
    ——————–
    I’m curious to see how far Pence’s devotion to the Mangolomaniac goes. Would he be willing to testify against him in, say, a criminal proceeding?
    ———————
    Well, this way, at least Pence can’t be counted on to pardon the motherfucker once he’s out of office. [That’s what I was thinking.]

  154. says

    Good. Another defeat for Trump:

    The Census Bureau was told Tuesday evening to cease work on a directive from President Trump to provide the data that would allow the President exclude undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment.

    […] the Census Bureau is not likely to produce the population counts used for apportionment until later this spring. Justice Department lawyers acknowledged that timing reality at court hearings in recent days in the litigation over how the administration has handled the census.

    But now the administration is in full retreat from the project, after a Commerce Department inspector general letter Tuesday revealed that the political appointees in the Bureau were still seeking a “report” on undocumented citizenship data.

    The letter from Inspector General Peggy Gustafson to Census Director Steve Dillingham called him out by name as one of the appointees who were pressuring Bureau experts to produce the data by end of this week. The letter suggested that the political appointees had been seeking the report even after it became clear that the timing issues would preclude the exclusion policy from being implemented.

    […] “One senior Bureau employee went as far to say that this work is statistically indefensible,” the letter from Gustafson said. The inspector general is seeking information from Dillingham about why he was seeking the report on the data.

    […] the Trump administration was relentless in trying to put the policy in effect before Trump left office. A plan to give the Census Bureau until April 2021, given the pandemic, to produce the apportionment counts was reversed after Trump announced the immigrant data policy.

    The administration also faced several lawsuits challenging the legality and constitutionality of excluding undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment. Several courts declared the plan illegal, and one also said it was unconstitutional. But the Supreme Court last month reversed those rulings because the conservative justices said that resolution of the legal questions should wait until after the bureau produced the data.

    Link

  155. says

    Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano has been a big anti-coronavirus lockdown protest organizer for the past few months. This is basically most of what one needs to know about Mastriano. That and you might remember how after the election—the one being contested on no grounds other than seditious ones—Mastriano, his son, and his son’s friend had to abruptly leave a secret meeting in the Oval Office with Donald Trump because they had tested positive for COVID-19.

    This gave the world about a week or two of no Mastriano news. And even with God and nature telling Mastriano to sit this one out, you cannot stop someone hell-bent on making their brand fascism. In the least surprising news of the last two weeks, it turns out the Pennsylvania official was an active part of the Washington, D.C. protest-turned-riot-turned-insurgency at the Capitol building. Calls for his resignation have grown, especially after social media posts showing Mastriano and two-time Republican loser Rick Saccone surfaced [at the D.C. riot]. Mastriano also reportedly organized one of the bus trips from Pennsylvania down to the rally.

    Mastriano tried to defend himself on Facebook, saying: “At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines,” and stated he left before the violence began. He also called the riot repugnant while blaming it on a few bad apples in the crowd. This appeal by Mastriano has not satisfied many. Reps. Brian Sims and Tim Kearney continue to call for his resignation.

    WHYY reports that records show the Pennsylvania senator used “thousands of dollars on charter buses ahead of the Washington D.C.” Those “thousands” came from his campaign and as such are logged into his campaign finance ledger. […]

    Link

    Using campaign funds to foment sedition.

  156. says

    Multiple Republican representatives accused of helping to plan January 6 insurrection

    It’s obvious that many Republicans—including Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz in the Senate, and dozens in the House, including minority leader Kevin McCarthy—actively inflamed Donald Trump’s white supremacist mob and encouraged their deadly assault on the Capitol. However, it now seems that some Republicans in Congress may have done more than knowingly fan the flames. In the days since the rotunda was cleared of debris and the halls were cleaned of the literal human excrement smeared there by Trump’s biggest fans, information has appeared that indicates some Republicans may have actively been involved in planning or carrying out the assault.

    On Tuesday evening, Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill conducted a Facebook live session for her constituents during which she explained her support resulting in calling on Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. During that webcast, Sherrill made an astounding accusation. She claimed to have witnessed Republican members of Congress leading Trump supporters on, not a tour, but a “reconnaissance” of the Capitol. “We can’t have a democracy,” said Sherrill, “if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results.”

    […] The accusations of involvement by Republican members of Congress aren’t just coming from Democrats, they’re coming from those who were involved in the assault.

    As The Washington Post reports, Ali Alexander, the right-wing activist who formed the “Stop the Steal” movement, did so with the help of three Republican members of Congress: Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar. “We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” said Alexander. Biggs’ staff has denied any contact with Alexander—but the involvement of all three Republicans is certainly worthy of investigation.

    Completely disowning Alexander’s claims could be difficult. He and Gosar appeared together at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Phoenix on December 19. At that same rally, Alexander played a recorded message from Biggs, who he described as a “friend.” In both the live and recorded messages, Gosar and Biggs singled out January 6 for action.

    Gosar would go on to promote other “Stop the Steal” events more than a dozen times, as well as pumping out tweets and emails promoting the January 6 gathering in D.C. Typical of Gosar’s statements was an op-ed on the site Revolver, Gosar called simply counting the legal electoral vote a “Third World coup d’etat.” According to Gosar, Biden’s win involved “statistically impossible” spikes in the voting and “We will not tolerate this.” Far from distancing himself from Alexander’s group, Gosar claimed ownership. “As many of you know, I helped organize the very first ‘Stop the Steal’ rally,” he wrote. “… Patriotic warriors joined together to gather evidence and tell the Left we will not accept a coup and a usurper in the White House.”

    All three Republicans continued to be involved in “Stop the Steal.” As The New York Times reports, In the hours immediately before the assault on the Capitol, Brooks addressed the “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” said Brooks. “Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder! Will you fight for America?”

    Gosar, Biggs, and Brooks are far from the only Republicans connected to Alexander’s group, or the only ones who both inflamed Trump supporters through lies about the election and demands to attend the January 6 event.

    On December 30, Alexander tweeted what would happen if Congress voted to approve the count of the Electoral College vote. “If they do this, everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building. 1776 is always an option.” The use of “1776” appeared in a number of statements from hard-line Trump representatives right up to the insurrection. Both Q-supporting Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert directly called the insurrection an “1776 moment.” […]

    From Jacob Rubashkin:

    On Jan. 3, GOP Rep. Pete Sessions tweeted that he had a great meeting with “folks from ‘Stop the Steal'” and that he “encouraged them to keep fighting.”

    Tweet was deleted 4 days later, on Jan. 7, after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol.

  157. says

    Sponsors of the Pre-Attack Rally Have Taken Down Their Websites. Don’t Forget Who They Were.

    The organizers of the March for Trump (also known as the March to Save America) have taken down the website for the rally and subsequent march, but an archived page cites nine “coalition partners.” It is a list that should not be forgotten—especially given that some of the sponsors have apparently tried to wipe away their fingerprints.

    Women for America First. This outfit, which was created in 2019 to oppose the Trump impeachment, was the main organizer of the rally. As a dark-money nonprofit, it does not have to disclose its donors […]

    My Pillow. Yes, a pillow company run by that guy you see on television, Mike Lindell, helped spark a terrorist raid on the US government. Lindell, who co-chaired Trump’s reelection campaign in Minnesota, has been one of Trump’s loudest champions—and a spreader of conspiracy theories. […]

    Turning Point Action. This is the student-oriented right-wing group of Trump lovers run by Charlie Kirk, who was the opening speaker at last years’ Republican convention. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Kirk has organized Trump-cheering events that have crammed together attendees. In September, the Washington Post reported that Turning Point was running a “sprawling yet secretive campaign” to disseminate pro-Trump propaganda “that experts say evades the guardrails put in place by social media companies to limit online disinformation of the sort used by Russia during the 2016 campaign.” […]

    Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. This is the outgrowth of the group that rightwing titan Phyllis Schlafly, who died in 2016, ran for years, It opposes UN treaties, “radical feminists,” federally regulated daycare, abortion rights, gun restrictions, the usual. On the day of the attack, Ed Martin, the president of this group, posted a photo of himself meeting with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) in which they are smiling and together holding a “Stop the Steal” sign. […]

    Moms for America. This is another Schlafly-ish nonprofit. Its president and founder, Kimberly Fletcher, has been on the Trump conspiracy bandwagon for years. In October 2016, she wrote an article for the Blaze contending that Trump’s claims that he was going to be the victim of a rigged election “isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s a conspiracy fact.” […]

    Peaceably Gather. This group calls itself “an organization that stands for Americans right to freely worship.” Its guiding force is a pastor named Brian Gibson who leads a church in Owensboro, Kentucky. He has railed against COVID safeguards that limit church attendance. He is a fiery speaker and participated in the “March for Trump” bus tour that preceded the rally. On January 2, at a stop in West Monroe, Louisiana, a worked-up Gibson told the crowd about the Black Robe Regiment, preachers who fought during the American Revolution. “You are not designed to be controlled…This is our land, not their land,” he bellowed. “And it’s about time we get serious about taking it back.” He noted that the the Black Robe Regiment “preached out of Ecclesiastes. They said there was a time for peace and there was a time for war. What pastors do is we lead sheep. We feed sheep. But we also kill wolves…You cannot negotiate with wolves. There is only one thing we can do with a wolf.” […]

    Wild Protest. It is unclear exactly what Wild Protest is—or was—and who was behind it. A website called WildProtest.com promoted the rally and the subsequent march to Capitol Hill, referencing Trump’s statement that this day would be “wild.” […]

    Stop the Steal. Stop the Steal is the name of the right-wing movement to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, which has been led by Ali Alexander, its self-proclaimed “national organizer.” (Alexander pleaded guilty to credit card fraud in 2008.) In mid-November, a lawyer for Alexander registered Stop the Steal as a limited liability corporation in Alabama. Last month, at a rally in Arizona, Alexander told the crowd, “One of our organizers in one state said, ‘We’re nice patriots, we don’t throw bricks. I leaned over and I said, ‘Not yet. Not yet!’ Haven’t you read about a little tar-and-feathering? Those were second-degree burns!” But it’s unclear exactly what Stop the Steal meant on the list of coalition partners. Immediately after the election, a Stop the Steal group materialized on Facebook, claiming Biden was robbing Trump of a rightful victory. […]

  158. says

    Oh, FFS.

    Kelly says Trump can’t admit to making mistakes: ‘His manhood is at issue here’

    […] Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, said that his ex-boss can’t admit to making mistakes because “his manhood is at issue here.”

    Kelly made the dig during a conversation with Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s short-term White House communications director, on Tuesday, The Des Moines Register reported.

    Kelly said Trump needs to appeal to Americans for peace after a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol last week as lawmakers met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The House is expected to impeach Trump, who spoke to his supporters before the siege, on Wednesday over his role in the rioting.

    “I don’t care what the issue is, that you have an absolute right to protest, an absolute right to say what you want, but you have no right to break things, to destroy things,” Kelly said. “You have absolutely no right to do violence.”

    Scaramucci asked Kelly why the president “was having a hard time doing that.”

    “The man does not ever, ever, ever want to appear weak … or that he might have been wrong,” Kelly responded.

    Kelly added that “great leaders, good leaders” have to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

    “He doesn’t have the ability to do that. His manhood is at issue here,” he said of the president. […]

  159. says

    Too little, too late, too hypocritical:

    As Wednesday’s floor debate was underway, Trump issued a statement calling for there to be no violence at any of the protests that are expected to take place during the week of Biden’s inauguration.

    “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said in the statement, which was first reported by Fox News. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

    According to Fox News, the White House will “attempt to post the statement to all of Trump’s official social media accounts.” […]

    Washington Post link

  160. says

    White House plan to pushback against impeachment doesn’t really exist

    One reporter noted that White House officials aren’t really “working this impeachment vote,” adding, “They seem to be pretending it’s not happening.”

    With just hours remaining before the U.S. House votes to impeach Donald Trump for a second time, one might ordinarily assume that the White House would be scrambling. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine circumstances in which Trump tweeted away; the White House’s counsel’s office produced documents and talking points; and the West Wing became a hotbed of kinetic activity.

    As the Associated Press reported, this is not at all what’s unfolding at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    The team around Trump has hollowed out, without any plan for combating the impeachment effort. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on the Hill.

    Reporter Jake Sherman, an MSNBC contributor, noted this morning that White House officials aren’t really “working this impeachment vote,” adding, “They seem to be pretending it’s not happening.”

    Axios’ Jonathan Swan heard from a senior official from Trump’s 2020 campaign, who said, “Maybe there’s no one in the [White House] willing to defend the president against impeachment to members.”

    […] NBC News heard today from a White House source, who said the White House is now “basically a ghost town.”

    There are also, of course, no Trump tweets making the rounds, because Twitter determined that he posed a security risk.

    Is it any wonder anti-impeachment Republicans seem to have no idea what to say in Trump’s defense?

  161. says

    We can now add Walmart to the list of corporate giants halting PAC contributions to anti-election Republicans. This morning, Morgan Stanley made the same announcement.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said Republicans who took steps to discredit the election will no longer receive the group’s financial support.

    Oklahoma’s Mickey Edwards, a former eight-term GOP congressman and former chair of the House Republican Policy Committee, joined the Republican Party in 1958. Today, he quit, writing, “I’ve left the Republican party. I will not be going back.”

  162. says

    Predictable: Jordan Whines That Dems Are ‘Canceling’ Trump For Inciting Deadly Coup Attempt

    […] In a truly monumental invocation of GOP handwringing over “cancel culture,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday tried to paint Democrats’ second impeachment of President Donald Trump, who encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol in a violent siege that left five people dead, as a tyrannical suppression of Trump’s freely held beliefs.

    “Democrats are going to impeach the President for a second time one week, one week before he leaves office. Why? Why?” the Republican asked on the House floor ahead of the impeachment vote. “Politics and the fact that they want to cancel the President.”

    Jordan proceeded to rant about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and Democrats’ first impeachment of Trump over the Ukraine scandal.

    “It’s not just about impeachment anymore,” he said. “It’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the President and anyone that disagrees with them.”

    Then came a doomsday prophecy.

    “It needs to stop because if it continues, if it continues, it won’t just be Republicans who get canceled, it won’t just be the President of the United States,” Jordan thundered. “The cancel culture will come for us all.” […]

  163. says

    I know I bring this topic up often, but it amazes me that Republicans, even now in the course of making (bullshit) appeals for unity and healing, still have so much contempt for the Democratic Party that they can’t even call it by its name.

  164. says

    From Dave Weigel:

    Florida Rep. Brian Mast making what seems, to him, to be a dramatic point: Standing silently after asking if any rioters have said that they acted bc of the president.

    Well. [Followed by video of rioters outside the Capitol shouting at police: “We were invited here. We were invited by the president of the United States.”]

    From Daniel Dale:

    Now Republican Rep. Pat Fallon repeats this nonsense, saying the “silver lining” of the insurrection (???) is that Democrats have “come to realize that riots are bad.” He also says this horrible riot was “just for an afternoon,” unlike the riots last year.

    Republican Rep. Lance Gooden said, baselessly, “I also want to thank my Democratic colleagues for finally joining Republicans in condemning mob violence after six months of refusing to acknowledge it.” Democrats including Biden and Pelosi repeatedly condemned it last year.

    Republican Rep. Jodey Arrington says “the president didn’t incite a riot,” though Arrington says he’s not saying Trump didn’t exercise “poor judgment.”

    “The criminals who stormed the Capitol that day acted on their own volition,” he says.

    […] This was a common Trump-campaign lie – just ignoring all the times Biden condemned rioting and looting to bash Biden for supposedly never having done so.

    Some Republicans are emphasizing the line in Trump’s speech in which he called for marchers to “peacefully” make their voices heard. But in multiple ad-libs, he used much more confrontational language.

    Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, invoking a common theme of Republican remarks today, says this impeachment “will only serve to further fan the flames of unrest…”

    Republican Rep. Bill Posey criticizes the anti-Trump “resist” movement, says this impeachment reeks of “revenge,” and says of Trump: “While his sins may be different than yours, or mine, they are clearly not treasonous.”

    Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse announces he is voting to impeach Trump even though he thinks the articles are “flawed.” He says there is “no excuse” for Trump’s actions; he says Trump “misinformed and inflamed a violent mob.” Newhouse says he and others should’ve spoken up sooner. [Wow. Correct.]

    Trump claimed yesterday of his pre-insurrection speech: “Everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.” It’s clear that this is false even about Republican members of Congress.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy correctly says: “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that.” He adds, “And conservatives should be the first to say so.”

    Pelosi says the “domestic terrorists” at the Capitol did not emerge out of nowhere: “They were sent here. Sent here by the president.”

    Pelosi, calling Trump “a clear and present danger,” talking about what happened before Jan. 6: “…He has repeatedly lied about the outcome, sowed self-serving doubt about democracy, and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeal reality.”

    [From Matt Fuller: Rep. Bill Huizenga walks through the metal detector. He sets it off and keeps walking.]

    [Photo of black National Guard troops taking a photo of themselves with the statue of Rosa Parks in statuary Hall.]

    Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett: “America, we did stop the steal. We stopped Donald Trump from stealing our democracy and imposing himself as a tyrant.”

    https://twitter.com/ddale8

  165. says

    Newly sworn-in Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) referred to President Trump as the “white supremacist-in-chief” in her remarks on the House floor on Wednesday as the lower chamber prepares to impeach the president for a second time.

    “St. Louis and I rise in support of the article of impeachment against Donald J. Trump,” Bush, born in St. Louis, said at the top of her remarks on Wednesday afternoon. “If we fail to remove a white supremacist president, who incited a white supremacist insurrection, its communities like Missouri’s 1st District that suffer the most.”

    Bush said the new Congress must understand that it has a “mandate to legislate in defense of black lives” and called rooting out white supremacy “the first step in that process … starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.” […]

    Link

  166. says

    Predictable:

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office told Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) staff on Wednesday that the GOP will not agree to reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to allow an impeachment trial while President Trump is still in office.

    A senior Senate Republican aide confirmed that McConnell’s office reached out to Schumer’s office to relay the message that Republicans will not agree to a Friday session to enable House Democrats to present an article of impeachment to the Senate while Trump is in office. […]

    Link

  167. says

    Airbnb to cancel all D.C. reservations during inauguration week

    Airbnb will cancel and block all reservations in the Washington metro area during inauguration week after finding Airbnb accounts for “numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building,” the platform announced Wednesday morning.

    The announcement cited Tuesday reports “regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration” and warnings by the region’s leaders that visitors should refrain from traveling to the District over the next week.

    The company said it will refund guests and reimburse hosts for canceled bookings. Airbnb has also banned from the platform all people associated with hate groups or involved in last week’s abortive insurrection at the Capitol. […]

  168. says

    @SC 252
    I’ve got one person on nextdoor who is complaining about moderation and they also made a statement about not wanting to stop speaking the truth that “democrat is socialism”. I pointed out that if they keep calling a political party a form of government it will get annoying. This is on a general politics board where people take non-local politics. There are parallel conversations about a “media purge” and “censorship” and I’m asking uncomfortable questions about personally hosting incitement to insurrection.

  169. says

    Crow is right. Numerous House Rs have received death threats in the past week, and I know for a fact several members want to impeach but fear casting that vote could get them or their families murdered.

    Not spinning or covering for anyone. Just stating the chilling reality.”

    As I said for the past several years, every single time they ignored or condoned his actions it further empowered him and emboldened his followers. Had he won the election, it wouldn’t just be his cultists but the powers of the state potentially threatening them. The longer they refuse to stand up to it, the more dangerous it will get for them (and everyone else).

  170. says

    It’s official. The vote to impeach Trump is bipartisan. At least 7 Republicans in the House will vote, with the Democrats, for impeachment.

  171. says

    Politico – “Dems demand details of ‘suspicious’ Capitol visitors day before attack”:

    More than 30 House Democrats are demanding information from Capitol security officials about “suspicious” visitors at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 5 — a day before violent insurrectionists swarmed the building — that would only have been permitted entry by a member of Congress or a staffer.

    “Many of the Members who signed this letter … witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), in a letter to the acting House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, as well as the acting head of the Capitol Police.

    The lawmakers, some of who “have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity,” noted that Capitol tours have been prohibited since March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and they said the tours were so unusual that they were reported to security on Jan. 5, ahead of the following day’s violence.

    “The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day,” they wrote. “Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious.”

    They are asking the security officials to reveal whether any logbooks of visitors are available and if they include names of those admitted to the building by lawmakers. They also ask whether any law enforcement agencies have requested similar information and what limits Capitol security officials apply to visitors brought in by members.

    Sherrill first raised alarms Tuesday that some members of Congress may have provided “reconnaissance” tours to would-be insurrectionists.

    Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said he’s aware of “a couple” names of colleagues who are being eyed as potentially giving tours to the would-be insurrectionists. But he said he wouldn’t name them yet.

    “I’m going to wait to make sure we get verification,” Ryan told a reporter at the Capitol Wednesday.

    Ryan said the information was passed to authorities as early as last Wednesday night. He said it involved “handfuls” of people who were escorted through the Capitol. Enough to know that these weren’t “one-on-one” tours or “a small family.”

    “You look back on certain things and you look at it differently,” he added.

    The startling allegation comes as lawmakers are still seeking answers about the extent of planning and coordination behind the Jan. 6 Trump rally that became the violent assault on the Capitol. Federal investigators say they’re pouring enormous resources into unearthing details of a potential “seditious conspiracy” and that some of the undisclosed evidence about what happened inside the Capitol will be “shocking.”…

  172. says

    Ten Republicans voted to impeach Trump. That’s the most members of a president’s party than have ever voted to impeach him.

    Johnson: 0

    Clinton: 5 for three articles, 1 for the fourth article

    Trump (first time): 0, after Rep. Justin Amash left the GOP to become a Libertarian.”

    (The Republicans pushed Amash out, Meijer was elected to his seat, and now Meijer voted to impeach.)

  173. says

    “‘Once people commit wholly to superstition, what is the grounds for the kind of non-violent governance we hope to have?’ Clarifying #WITHpod conversation, recorded Jan. 7, with Ta-Nehisi Coates and @chrislhayes”

    Hayes: “This really is the root of it. Everything we’re seeing is built a deep foundation of lies. Not, like, spin, or ‘contested claims’. Just… lies. An alternate epistemic universe in which Donald Trump really did win by a landslide and it really was stolen from him.”

    This is why I’ve been beating this drum for so many years, linking endlessly to that Allen Wood article. I think one of the most important statements of this moment will turn out to be Romney’s “The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth.”

  174. says

    NEW: Federal investigators are pursuing signs U.S. Capitol riot was planned, a federal law enforcement official tells @evanperez

    Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, the official tells @CNN

    Among the evidence the FBI is examining are indications that some participants at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, outside the White House, left the event early, perhaps to retrieve items to be used for the assault on the Capitol.

    A team of investigators and prosecutors are focused on the command and control aspect of the attack, looking at travel and communications records to determine if they can build a case that is similar to a counterterrorism investigation, the official said.”

    CNN link atl.

  175. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz: “Republicans Accuse Liz Cheney of Reading Constitution”

    Outrage swept through the Republican caucus as members of the House G.O.P. accused Representative Liz Cheney of reading the United States Constitution.

    Leading the charge was the Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who called Cheney’s alleged reading of the 1787 document “treasonous.”

    “Liz Cheney was so brazen about reading the Constitution that she did not even attempt to hide her tracks,” Gaetz said, noting that she had “flagrantly mentioned the Constitution” in her statement explaining her vote to impeach Donald J. Trump.

    For violating the Republicans’ zero-tolerance policy toward Constitution-reading, Gaetz said that Cheney, not Trump, should be immediately impeached.

    “Liz Cheney has committed the high crime of reading the Constitution,” Gaetz said. “As God is my witness, that is something I will never do.”

    New Yorker link

  176. says

    Remember when Trump said, “No other president has accomplished what I have!”

    Right. Impeached twice.

    Incited sedition.

    232-197, the most bipartisan vote for impeachment in US history.

    In eight years, Obama did not manage to be impeached even once!

  177. says

    Leaders of the Proud Boys are asking their followers to stay away from upcoming right-wing demonstrations.

    Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio wrote, “We suggest none of you go to these events.”

    “We won’t sit on our hands for the next four years but we can pick and choose our battles moving forward,” he said.

  178. says

    Supreme Court goes 6-3 in favor of the forced birthers and unneeded rule on abortion by pill

    In its first abortion ruling since Amy Coney Barrett was rushed onto the Supreme Court before the November election, six justices took an unsurprising stance in a ruling Tuesday, proving that reproductive rights will be taking hits as long as the conservative majority dominates the court, which could be a very long time. With the court’s three liberals in opposition, the majority overturned a lower court decision in the case of FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can reinstate its requirement making abortion by pill more difficult than medically necessary by requiring women to obtain the first of the two-pill regime in person from the provider instead of by mail. […]

    Although the FDA regulation has been in effect for two decades, women’s health groups, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) brought a lawsuit in May to force its suspension because of risks from traveling and personal contact posed by the coronavirus pandemic. A U.S. District Court judge’s ruling in their favor is what the Supreme Court overturned.

    […] Said David Chelmow, president of the University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit: “The FDA’s unique restriction on mifepristone prevents clinicians from exercising their medical judgment during this pandemic, limits the ability to provide the optimal medication for miscarriage and abortion care, and needlessly jeopardizes the safety of patients.” […]

    From Sotomayor’s dissent:

    […] What rejoinder does the Government have to the possibility that refusing to suspend the FDA’s in-person requirements for mifepristone during the COVID–19 pandemic will cause some women to miss the 10-week window [in which medication abortion is legal] altogether? No cause for concern, the Government assures this Court, because even if the FDA’s in-person requirements cause women to lose the opportunity for a medication abortion, they can still seek out a surgical abortion. What a callous response.

  179. says

    Ayman Mohyeldin:

    Among those arrested in the Capitol Hill insurrection so far:

    – an Olympic gold medal winner
    – a CEO
    – a sitting State Representative
    – a retired Lt. Col in the military
    – off-duty police officers
    – the son of Judge

  180. says

    Ali Dukakis, ABC:

    #NEW: Pelosi – Statement Announcing Rule Change Mandating Fines for Refusing to Follow New Chamber Security Screening Protocols

    Announces that “when returning to session on January 21, the House will vote on a rule change mandating fines for Members who refuse to follow new screening protocols for House Chamber”

    “On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress…”

    “Sadly, just days later, many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe.”

    “The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections.”

    “The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members’ salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer.“

    “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.”

  181. says

    HuffPo – “Rep. Tim Ryan Says Capitol Police Leadership Not Being Transparent With Lawmakers”:

    Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said Wednesday that he’s “having a hell of a time getting information out of the Capitol Police leadership” in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

    The congressman chairs the House Appropriations legislative branch subcommittee, which funds and has oversight of the Capitol Police. He spoke Wednesday evening during a virtual news conference on the Capitol riot investigation and on the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump a second time.

    “We are having a hell of a time getting information out of the Capitol Police leadership,” Ryan said, adding that he’s had “100 conversations with rank-and-file members, but we’re not getting the kind of information flow from the Capitol Police. It’s an issue we’ve been trying to deal with, and it hasn’t changed much in the last week.”

    The congressman said that there are about 20 open cases related to the Capitol Police, with two officers suspended over accusations of complicity. But he added that it’s been tough trying to get leadership to be open with the subcommittee. Leaders of the Capitol Police have yet to hold a press briefing since the insurrection, despite Ryan telling the interim chief to do so in order to increase transparency and rebuild trust.

    “We fund the Capitol Police,” he continued, referring to Congress. “We, I think, deserve to know what the hell is going on. It’s a black box over there.”

    There has been some concern over whether it would be safe for the Capitol Police to help provide security during Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 given officers’ unpreparedness and alleged complicity during the riots. Ryan said that he has “even more confidence of Capitol Police going into inauguration because the rank-and-file will have the kind of leadership they need,” with the U.S. Secret Service leading security instead that day.

  182. says

    The Verge – “These are the violent threats that made Amazon drop Parler”:

    In a filing on Tuesday, Amazon responded to Parler’s claims that it acted unfairly in taking down the social network — and in the process, gave outsiders a new look at the content that provoked Amazon to suspend Parler’s web services account.

    Amazon Web Services suspended service to Parler on January 9th, effectively shutting down the social network. It’s failed to secure a replacement web host, and it argued in court that Amazon was exercising unfair monopoly power in taking down the site.

    Amazon’s decision to suspend Parler’s service has provoked ongoing debate about AWS’s power as a hosting provider and whether such suspensions pose a threat to free speech. But while many had seen the suspension as a knee-jerk response to the mob attack on the US Capitol, Amazon’s response makes clear that the service had lodged complaints with Parler long before the raid.

    “AWS reported to Parler, over many weeks, dozens of examples of content that encouraged violence,” the company argues in the filing, “including calls to hang public officials, kill Black and Jewish people, and shoot police officers in the head,”

    To drive home this point, the complaint includes 15 examples of such posts, which include graphic calls to violence against tech CEOs, school teachers, and professional athletes. In some cases, the comments also refer to specific dates and targets for violence, encouraging users to form militia groups and “acquire targets.”

    Amazon says it submitted more than 100 such comments to Parler in the weeks leading up to the suspension.

    Content warning: these threats are graphic, violent, and racist; use discretion.

    [examples at the link]

    “It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service,” the company said in a statement on January 9th. “We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”

    In the filing, Amazon emphasized that it had suspended service rather than terminating it entirely and was open to restoring service to Parler if the company began moderating content in compliance with AWS’s terms of service….

  183. says

    The Hill – “FBI tells police chiefs nationwide to be on high alert”:

    The FBI is warning police chiefs nationwide to be on high alert and to continue sharing intelligence leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

    The warning comes from a 45-minute phone call that acting FBI Director Christopher Wray and acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli [?] held with police chiefs, The New York Times reported, citing participants.

    The officials reportedly expressed concerns about potential for extremist violence, and called on law enforcement across the country to watch for any sign of trouble.

    Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina told the newspaper in an interview that Wray told them to “overshare intelligence,” adding “they don’t want for us to assume anything that they already know — anything that we come across to please forward it.”

    Another unidentified police chief told the newspaper that officials seemed to be concerned about attacks on state capitol buildings, federal buildings and the homes of members of Congress.

    The FBI confirmed to The Hill that the call took place Wednesday afternoon, but did not provide any further details….

  184. says

    Rep. Sherrill describes how her military training taught her to ‘look for things that were out of place, look for things that were odd, and look at them with an eye toward security’, and how that led her to raise questions about visitors to the Capitol the day before the attack….”

    Video atl.

  185. says

    Unceasing corruption and abuse of power:

    NEW: Sources confirm that the decision to move Space Command to Alabama was an override by President Trump and is linked to his current impeachment.

    The source told us Trump wants Alabama’s Sens/Reps on his side after the US Capitol riot.

    @GovofCO said that report is “deeply concerning” and said the decision cost Colorado jobs.

    STORY: [link atl]

    Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, who has been an ardent supporter of the push for Space Command, is calling on the USAF to release “full details,” including publicizing “the role President Trump played in this decision.”

    The mayor and Co Springs Chamber CEO Dirk Draper say the next step is coordinating with state/federal leaders to ask Biden’s administration “to at least suspend” the Space Command decision.

    The mayor says the city will FOIA request documents to explain the process. He repeated his call for knowing the president’s role in the decision.

    He also said based on what sources are saying, he “absolutely” believes the motive is a personal one for the president.

    REMINDER: Space Command isn’t the same thing as Space Force. @BartKRDO did a nice comparison to point out the differences here:…

  186. says

    Shannon Watts:

    How does the New York Times write an article about Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert without mentioning her four arrests and court no-shows? Without mentioning her husband’s arrests for exposing himself and domestic abuse?

    [NYT link atl]

    Where her restaurant Shooters Grill is mentioned, the reporters point out that the servers can be armed – but they fail to note that Boebert is accused of allowing minors at her establishment to be armed. If charged, it would be a felony. Why gloss over her sordid, relevant past?

    One wonders whether a profile of a Black or brown freshman Congress member would be so forgiving. This piece is about Boebert’s radical behavior and agenda – particularly as it pertains to guns. Her history casts doubt on her claims of being a responsible, law abiding gun owner.

    Is it any surprise that someone who broke the law in Colorado would break the law in DC? That someone charged with resisting arrest is fighting with Capitol police over screening? That someone who espoused support for QAnon would support – and maybe even abet – the Capitol riot?

    Big media failed to warn the nation about Boebert because she was running in a sleepy mountain district. Colorado media failed to unearth public records about her husband’s past. More coverage means more people might have paid more intention to this red race in a blue state….

  187. blf says

    Trump ‘refusing to pay’ Rudy Giuliani’s legal fees after falling out:

    […]
    According to the Washington Post, relations between Trump and Giuliani have dramatically cooled. Trump has instructed his aides not to pay Giuliani’s outstanding fees. The president [sic] is reportedly offended by Giuliani’s demand for $20,000 a day — a figure the lawyer denies, but which is apparently in writing. White House officials have even been told not to put through any of Giuliani’s calls.

    Commenting on the report, Ken Frydman, who worked as Giuliani’s press secretary in the 1990s, said: “Lay down with dogs. Wake up with fleas and without $20,000 a day”.

    Gratuitous insult to fleas. And dogs.

    […]
    Trump is reportedly unhappy that members of his inner circle have failed to defend him following last week’s deadly attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters. Many have been silent following Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives to impeach Trump for a second time.

    Those who have reportedly failed to step up include Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, responsible for indulging Trump’s belief that the election was rigged.

    […]

    Trump is reportedly more isolated than ever. The White House is sparsely staffed, and those who do go to work there deliberately avoid the Oval Office, the Post reported.

    […]

    I can’t even be bothered to find a nanoparticle-sized violin, which which still be several million orders of magnitude larger and louder than warranted.

  188. blf says

    White House liaison sought derogatory info on E Jean Carroll from DoJ official :

    […]
    The White House liaison to the Department of Justice (DoJ), Heidi Stirrup, sought out derogatory information late last year from a senior justice department official regarding a woman [E Jean Carroll] who alleges she was raped by Donald Trump, according to the person from whom Stirrup directly sought the information.

    […]

    Stirrup asked if the department had uncovered any derogatory information about Carroll that they might share with her or the president’s [sic] private counsel. Stirrup also suggested that she could serve as a conduit between the department and individuals close to the president [sic] or his private legal team.

    Stirrup also asked the official whether the justice department had any information that Carroll or anyone on her legal team had links with the Democratic party or partisan activists, who might have put her up to falsely accusing the president [sic].

    […]

    The official from whom Stirrup sought information admonished Stirrup, telling her that her request was inappropriate.

    The official recalled “conveying to her in the strongest possible terms” that it was wrong in the first place to seek out such information, and instructed her not to do so in the future.

    When it was learned Stirrup had later sought out non-public information from other justice department officials about other ongoing investigations, including around election fraud, and non-public information in regards to matters of interest to the White House, Stirrup was told she was unwelcome at the justice department and banned from the building.

    On 3 December the Associated Press, citing three sources, reported Stirrup’s banning “after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House”. It has not been previously reported, however, that one of the issues that led to Stirrup’s banning was her seeking out information about the Carroll case.

    [… M]any see it as unlikely that Stirrup was making her inquiry entirely independently. Stirrup served as the liaison to the justice department during a period when the White House was removing its liaisons to virtually every major federal agency who they believed might be disloyal — while informing their replacements that they would no longer reporting to the agencies they were assigned to but rather directly to the White House.

    […]

  189. blf says

    From the Grauniad’s current attempted insurrection live blog:

    Pro-impeachment Republican: ‘Our expectation is that somebody may try to kill us’
    Peter Meijer, a Republican congressman who voted in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, said some of his colleagues are hiring armed escorts and acquiring body armor out of fear for their safety.

    “When it comes to my family’s safety, that’s something that we’ve been planning for, preparing for, taking appropriate measures,” Meijer, a Republican of Michigan, told MSNBC.

    […]

    “I have colleagues who are now traveling with armed escorts, out of the fear for their safety. Many of us are altering our routines, working to get body armor.”

    Meijer noted that body armor is a reimbursable expense for members of Congress. He added, “It’s sad that we have to get to that point, but our expectation is that somebody may try to kill us.”

    […]

    “This wasn’t a landslide re-election for Donald Trump. This wasn’t a stolen election,” Meijer said. “None of those claims played out in court, and it’s time we settle that once and for all.”

    I would not have said “…settle that once and for all” — that sort of language can provoke the Shooty McShootface fondlers — but instead something like “…recognize and acknowledge the election was free and fair; and that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won”.

  190. says

    “Delta Bans Trump Fans Who Hounded Graham And Romney At Airports”:

    Delta Air Lines has put passengers who heckled Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on its no-fly list, TPM has confirmed.

    Ed Bastian, the airline’s CEO, first told Reuters about the ban.

    Delta spokesperson Morgan Durrant confirmed the move to TPM, adding that “we have no other comment or detail” on the matter….

    Trump brought up the harassment of Romney at the putsch warm-up rally on the 6th, sneering sadistically “I wonder if he enjoyed his flight in last night.”

  191. blf says

    From the Grauniad’s current attempted insurrection live blog:

    […]
    Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, announced she is filing a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department over its treatment of protesters during last year’s demonstrations in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

    James said the NYPD violated protesters’ rights as part of a “longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force” by the department’s officers.

    “There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal, and unlawful force against peaceful protesters,” James said in a statement.

    “Over the past few months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, inflicting significant physical and psychological harm and leading to great distrust in law enforcement. With today’s lawsuit, this longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force ends. No one is above the law — not even the individuals charged with enforcing it.”

    In the statement, James’ office outlined several specific offenses allegedly committed by the NYPD […]

  192. tomh says

    Michigan Health Director Charged with Nine Counts of Manslaughter in Flint Water Crisis
    AARON KELLER Jan 14th, 2021

    Former Michigan Director of Health and Human Services Nick Lyon has been charged with nine felony counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with his alleged role in a water crisis in the City of Flint…

    Under Michigan law, involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a $7,500 fine…

    Flint officials, acting during a financial crisis, decided to use water from the Flint River to service the city’s water system while a pipeline was under construction to bring cleaner water to the city from Lake Huron. The water released lead contained in plumbing systems and also led to at least 90 cases of Legionnaires’ disease. At least twelve people died…

    Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was also arraigned Thursday on two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. His personal bond was set at $10,000, and he is not allowed to leave the state while the case winds through the system…

  193. says

    SC @313, imagine a Trump follower watching all of those news clips (and more!), not as a Daily Show compilation, but when they aired. Rightwing media was pumping that sludge into their brains day after day. None of that was subtle. It was all a call to fight. It was all a mixture of warmongering with scare tactics.

  194. says

    South Dakota’s Mike Rounds acknowledged that Trump lied about the integrity of the election. Other Republicans can and should do the same thing.

    A variety of Senate Republicans have stepped up of late to criticize Donald Trump, with some even calling for his resignation. As a rule, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who’s voted with the Republican White House about 90% of the time, has not been among Trump’s notable detractors.

    It’s why his comments yesterday to the Forum News Service in South Dakota came as a bit of a surprise.

    Rounds cited Section 2383 of Title 18 of the U.S. code, “Rebellion or insurrection,” as the law that prosecutors could use against Trump. “If there are (impeachment) proceedings brought against him (Trump),” said Rounds, “and even if the article of impeachment is not followed through in the Senate, if the article of impeachment to incitement of a riot or incitement of an insurrection are followed through in a criminal proceeding, that by itself would … stop him (Trump) for running for election to a public office again.”

    There aren’t many GOP officials speaking openly about Trump’s possible criminal liability, especially those in states Trump won by 26 points.

    But just as importantly, if not more so, was Rounds’ willingness to call out Trump’s election lies.

    “When the story of this last 90 days is told, they will clearly lay out that the president of the United States misled very, very good, honest, patriotic Americans by telling them time and again that the election was stolen,” Rounds said. “I believe that history will hold him accountable.”

    For now, let’s put aside the fact that “misled” is an extremely charitable verb given the circumstances. Let’s also temporarily put aside the senator’s willingness to push off accountability to future scholars, instead of contemporary officials. Let’s also sidestep the fact that the misinformation campaign lasted a lot longer than 90 days.

    What struck me as notable was Rounds’ willingness to touch on the issue at the heart of the ongoing crisis: Trump lied to a whole lot of people who made the mistake of believing him. […] Trump convinced millions that the election was stolen, despite the reality that it was not.

    Were it not for those lies, the deadly riot would not have occurred. Were it not for Trump’s deliberate misinformation campaign, the capital of the United States would not currently be filled with tens of thousands of troops hoping to prevent an attack by the sitting president’s well-armed followers.

    When pushing back against impeachment this week, more than a few Republicans brought up a convenient buzzword: “unity.” I can think of an easy step GOP officials could take that would go along way toward unification: do as Mike Rounds did and acknowledge that Trump lied about the integrity of the election.

    Link

  195. says

    Josh Hawley tries (and fails) to defend his anti-election efforts

    Josh Hawley seems eager to mount some kind of defense of his anti-election efforts. It’s really not going well.

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) seems aware of the fact that he has a political problem. In the wake of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol […] the young senator has become a political “pariah” on Capitol Hill; he’s been denounced by former allies; and Hawley faces multiple calls that he resign in disgrace.

    Hallmark, one of the most prominent companies in Hawley’s home state, this week asked that the GOP senator give back the money Hallmark’s political action committee contributed, saying his recent anti-election actions “do not reflect our company’s values.”

    Apparently eager to turn things around, Hawley appeared on Fox News this week, though it didn’t help. Yesterday, the far-right senator tried again, writing an op-ed for the Southeast Missourian newspaper, explaining why he objected to Joe Biden’s electoral votes last week, even after the insurrectionist mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.

    Many, many citizens in Missouri have deep concerns about election integrity. For months, I heard from these Missourians — writing, calling my office, stopping me to talk. They want Congress to take action to see that our elections at every level are free, fair, and secure. They have a right to be heard in Congress. And as their representative, it is my duty to speak on their behalf. That is just what I did last week.

    Why didn’t you just tell those citizens in Missouri that they had been fed a pack of lies?

    This has become the most common argument among anti-election Republicans: a whole lot of Republican voters have “deep concerns about election integrity.” What Hawley and his cohorts consistently fail to acknowledge is that these “deep concerns” exist because these voters have been lied to repeatedly by GOP officials who know better, but who see political utility in disseminating misinformation.As to my specific objection: I objected with regard to Pennsylvania because the state failed to follow its own constitution. The Pennsylvania constitution has been interpreted by the state’s courts for over a century to prohibit mail-in voting, except in clearly stated circumstances.

    Recent changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws were approved with near-unanimous support from Pennsylvania Republicans — a point Hawley consistently and conveniently chooses to ignore.

    I also objected to point out the unprecedented interference of the Big Tech corporations in this election in favor of the Biden campaign, not just in Pennsylvania but everywhere. Their interference in our democratic process has only accelerated in recent days.

    I have plenty of concerns about powerful tech companies, but a senator objecting to election results because he believes Big Tech was involved in some kind of nefarious partisan conspiracy is silly.

    Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol. The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents.

    This is so hopelessly bonkers, I’m a little surprised Hawley included it in his op-ed. The argument, in a nutshell, is that Hawley announced plans to object to the electoral-vote count, then a lawless mob attacked the Capitol in opposition to the electoral-vote count, and the senator followed through on his plans by doing exactly what the mob wanted him to do.

    The Missouri Republican seems eager to characterize this as some kind of bold defiance of violent criminals. What he neglects to mention is that Hawley and the mob shared a common goal: interfering with the certification of the winner of the 2020 presidential election, as chosen by a majority of the American people.

    If this is the best the GOP senator can come up with, it’s increasingly obvious why so many are eager to see him step down.

    Josh Hawley’s background includes an Ivy League education. It looks like a University education was wasted on him.

  196. says

    From David Corn:

    […] most of the House GOP caucus is still living on Planet Trump. This is not a big surprise. Nearly two-thirds of them did support Trump’s scheme to block the electoral vote count. But even in the aftermath of the horrific attack and the failure of Trump’s coup-like campaign to remain in power, they were whole-heartedly and enthusiastically sticking with Trump. No retreat. No surrender. No shame. They defended his (and their) assault on the election. They showed little concern that his (and their) post-election disinformation crusade had resulted in death and destruction—and that a threat from violent pro-Trump seditionists still remained. For them, Trumpism—despite its lies, its disregard for laws, rules, and decency—still triumphed.

    It was remarkable to hear one Republican House member, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), say during the debate, “Truth has no shadows where darkness can hide…I’m choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear.” The idea of championing truth—that seemed radical, amid a cavalcade of distraction and deception. She was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment.

    Amid this (mostly) all-out celebration of Trump on the Republican side, McCarthy, who has long been a loyal Trump henchman, did offer his party a path forward other than unyielding and total allegiance to Trump and the dark forces of Trumpism. By and large, the rank-and-file Republicans said, “No thanks.” This indicates the party could be in for a rough internal squabble ahead—and that many of its key members believe its future resides in Trumpism, even possibly without Trump. In the Trump years, the GOP became a cult of personality devoted to a TV performer-turned-demagogue and adopted an extreme operating principle: The only reality is Trump’s reality. In the final days of Trump’s dangerous presidency—when much of the nation has finally come to realize that his deceit and authoritarian desires are a true threat—these Republicans will stay as Trump’s suckerfish, remaining attached to his wounded body, as he heads into new waters.

    Link

  197. says

    Long Before the Capitol Riot, Anti-Abortion Extremists Showed Us the Dangers of Inflammatory Propaganda

    Several “pro-life” activists were in DC last week.

    A week after the violent insurrection at the Capitol, we’re learning more and more about the people who charged the building. […] there were quite a few anti-abortion extremists at the pro-Trump rally […] the overlap of these universes cannot simply be boiled down to the fact that Trump supporters are more likely to strongly oppose abortion.

    The violence we saw at the Capitol—and the inflammatory rhetoric and disinformation that led up to it—in fact mirrors what’s been plaguing the debate around abortion for several years.

    Anti-abortion crusaders at the Capitol included Taylor Hansen and Jason Storms. Hansen is a white anti-abortion activist whose claim to fame is that he has appropriated the Black Lives Matter movement by painting the words “Babies’ Lives Matter” outside of Planned Parenthood clinics in places like Washington, DC, and Salt Lake City. He was reportedly filming inside the Capitol when Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed. Meanwhile, Storms, the assistant director of Operation Rescue, posted a video to Facebook that he filmed while perched on scaffolding at the Capitol. The West Virginia politician who was recently elected and already resigned, Derrick Evans, was also there; Evans has spent years harassing people at the state’s lone abortion clinic to such a degree that a restraining order was eventually filed against him in 2019.

    Other notable activists were at the “Save America” rally beforehand: Abby Johnson, the Planned-Parenthood-employee-turned-anti-abortion-luminary, who has made quite a name for herself, spoke at the gathering that morning in defense of the “most pro-life president to ever hold office.” Mark Lee Dickson, a Texas man who travels around the state to convince local governments to pass (unconstitutional) city ordinances banning abortion, also attended, according to photos posted to his Facebook page. The text accompanying the photo includes the tired (false) claim that there was an “Antifa plant” there stirring up trouble, and “a handful of people there that were anti-police and intent at causing destruction.” In a now-deleted post, Johnson made similar claims, writing, “I KNOW Antifa was there because I was almost knocked down the stairs of the Capitol when a fight broke out between some Trump supporters and some Antifa activists. It was discovered that some of the people in the crowd were actually with Antifa, but were posing as Trump supporters.” […] [Bullshit. Lies]

    as we can now see clearly, to pretend there is no connection between violence and rhetoric is naive. The “pro-life” movement has consistently peddled inflammatory disinformation that has been tied back to acts of violence. At one point, Operation Rescue worked under the motto: “If you believe abortion is murder, act like it’s murder.” Of course, someone did. When Dr. George Tiller was murdered in Witchita, Kansas, in 2009, the killer said he had donated “thousands” of dollars to Operation Rescue, and the phone number for the group’s senior policy adviser, Cheryl Sullenger, was found on his car dashboard. […] Operation Rescue released a statement denouncing the murder, but had spent the years before calling Tiller a “baby killer,” and accusing him of “botched abortions” and Tiller’s clinic of “uncleanliness.”

    Fast forward to 2015, when a man who killed three people and wounded nine at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado reportedly said “no more baby parts” upon his arrest. He was referring to the disinformation campaign led by David Daleiden, an activist who had pushed false claims that Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue for profit. (Planned Parenthood was never charged with any wrongdoing.)

    What we saw last week was a similar real-world manifestation of extreme and violent rhetoric […]

    Unfortunately, as warnings about more political violence proliferate, experts worry abortion-related violence may also get worse before it gets better. As Rewire News reports, we are entering a new era of disinformation in anti-abortion campaigns that could prove to be more dangerous than ever before. QAnon, which began as a conspiracy theory that Trump is facing down a secret cabal of pedophilic high-profile liberals, has given fresh oxygen to Daleiden’s macabre allegations in the past couple of years. Specifically, within the past several months, the Q community has amplified the misconception that the coronavirus vaccine is chock-full of fetal tissue (at the behest of Bill Gates, naturally). What once was considered to be a fringe belief system has once again spread to the masses.

    It’s easy to find disinformation on social media, and anti-abortion disinformation is particularly incendiary given that its purpose is to support the belief that abortion is murder. It thrives on horrifying imagery. And that’s just the point: to spur people to action.

  198. says

    Secret Service renting $3K a month apartment because Ivanka and Jared won’t let them use their bathrooms

    Secret Service agents assigned to Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner, a top White House advisor, have been renting a $3,000 per month studio apartment at taxpayer’s expense for the purpose of having a reliable bathroom, The Washington Post reports.

    After being instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the Kalorama home […] the Secret Service detail tried multiple solutions, including using the bathroom at the not-so-close home of Vice President Pence and a porta-potty.

    In 2017, the detail began renting a neighbor’s basement studio apartment to solve the problem, the Post reports. With a rent of $3,000 a month, the detail has spent upwards of $100,000 on the toilet solution. […]

    The White House claims this is a “false narrative.”

    […] Arrangements that allow the people under protection to retain some privacy are not unusual. What makes this situation unique is the unusual measures the detail had to take to remedy the problem, the Post notes. Typically there is some sort of guest house restroom at the agents’ disposal. […]

  199. blf says

    From the Grauniad’s current attempt insurrection live blog, another rat (who already jumped ship) jumps ship again (essentially quoted in full):

    Rosenstein now regrets family separations at the border
    For the first time, a senior Trump administration official who helped implement family separation has condemned the hardline immigration policy which made it possible for the government to take more than 3,000 children, including infants, from their parents at the US-Mexico border in 2018.

    In response to a damning report published today by the US Justice department’s internal watchdog on the zero tolerance policy which made family separation possible, former deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, said the policy “should have never been proposed or implemented.”

    The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) long-awaited report said department leadership knew the zero tolerance policy would result in children being separated from their families and that the former US attorney general Jeff Sessions “demonstrated a deficient understanding of the legal requirements related to the care and custody of separated children.”

    “We concluded that the Department’s single-minded focus on increasing immigration prosecutions came at the expense of careful and appropriate consideration of the impact of family unit prosecutions and child separations,” the report said.

    The OIG said Justice department leadership “did not effectively coordinate” with the relevant agencies before implementing zero tolerance, despite being aware of the challenges created by increasing prosecutions of adult asylum-seekers under zero tolerance.

    In a conference call in May 2018, Sessions told prosecutors We need to take away children, according to notes taken by people on the call and provided to the OIG.

    Rosenstein, who publicly denounced the policy for the first time today, told the OIG he knew the zero tolerance policy would result in family separations.

    In July 2020, the Guardian reported that Rosenstein had made comments in a conference call with US attorneys charged with implementing the policy that in effect meant that no child was too young to be separated from their parents.

    In a statement provide to the Guardian on Thursday Rosenstein said he and his colleagues at the Justice department “faced unprecedented challenges” compared to work he had done as a US attorney under previous presidential administrations.

    “Since leaving the Department, I have often asked myself what we should have done differently, and no issue has dominated my thinking more than the zero tolerance immigration policy,” Rosenstein said. “It was a failed policy that never should have been proposed or implemented. I wish we all had done better.”

    I decided not to typeset some of Rosenstein’s comment in eejit quotes because — whilst I’m highly dubious of the intent behind those comments (as exemplified by their timing (after the report is out)) — I cannot rule out the possibility he is more-than-less telling the truth.

  200. says

    From Wonkette: “Peter Navarro And Maria Bartiromo Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Telling Trump’s Fascist Big Lie”

    We don’t say this often, haha yes we do, but this appearance by batshit White House trade idiot Peter Navarro on the Fox Business show “Is Maria Bartiromo Judge Boxwine’s Stunt Double Or Is She A Different Person Entirely?” is atrocious. […]

    Navarro, who is bad at literally everything, has been pushing Trump’s fascist Big Lie about how he actually won the election he lost, and HARD. He’s been releasing his own surely very scientific dispatches called The Art of the Steal, where he says he PROVES the election was stolen from his Dear Leader. On January 5, the day before the terrorist attack on the Capitol, Navarro tweeted what he said was a “detailed account” of the “Democrat Party [sic] Grand ‘Stuff The Ballot Box’ Strategy” to steal the election. Trump Nazi Sebastian Gorka tweeted out Navarro’s report the same day.

    And then the murders began. Literally! The next day!

    Now, eight days after terrorists breached the Capitol, possibly with the help of actual congressmen (that story is about to blow up, we think), even after Donald Trump was impeached a second time for inciting that attack, Peter Navarro is still on TV spreading Trump’s fascist Big Lie. And Maria Bartiromo is more than OK with that! In fact she’d like to spread the Big Lie some more herself! […]

    NAVARRO: I would be remiss by not saying to you, Maria, that what happened yesterday, um, was a travesty.

    He means Democrats and 10 Republicans including Liz Cheney impeaching Donald Trump, who, in Cheney’s words, “summoned his mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” She added, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Indeed there has not. Holding him accountable for inciting that attack, as the grand climax of his Big Lie campaign, is what Navarro thinks is a “travesty.”

    So about that Big Lie!

    NAVARRO: The Democrat [sic] party did violence to this country by attacking a president who I believe was legally elected on November 3.

    It doesn’t matter what Peter Navarro fucking believes! Peter Navarro is an absolute mental clown, a black belt in “dimwit,” whose opinions and beliefs should be irrelevant to every sentient American!

    NAVARRO: If the election were held today, he’d be elected again, and if he runs in 2024, he will be elected then. And I think that’s what the Democrats fear.

    Trump’s approval rating never hit 50 percent, he is loathed by not only a gigantic majority of Americans but also of the entire world population, and his name will be remembered as America’s most humiliated loser, the most hated failed president in all of American history. His current approval rating is 34 percent, which means after inciting that attack, he’s basically left just with his frothing base […]

    NAVARRO: And I’ve never been more pissed off in my life at this place. […]

    NAVARRO: And I think there’s 74 million Americans out there who voted for Trump who feel exactly the same way.

    […] But what do you think those 74 million Americans should do, Peter? What are you saying they should do with this Big Lie?

    Maria Bartiromo decided it was time to chime in.

    BARTIROMO: Well we know that there were irregularities in this election.

    No we don’t, that’s part of Trump’s Hitler-ian Big Lie. All credible people who have looked at it, including (now former) Trump administration officials and the 60 some-odd judges who shat all over every Trump court filing that ever did whine about Trump losing the election, agree the election was free and fair.

    BARTIROMO: We know that 70 percent of Trump voters have said “we’re not buyin’ this election, we think it was rigged.”

    They say that because Trump, GOP members of Congress, Fox News hosts and fucking Peter Navarro have been shooting the fascist Big Lie up their asses, which they then spew back out their mouth-holes, at which point Trump, GOP members of Congress, Fox News hosts and fucking Peter Navarro use it as “evidence” that there must be something to it, if all these people are saying it!

    BARTIROMO: But get this, you cannot say that on social media. You will get banned if you say there were irregularities, if you say there was fraud, it’s absolutely outrageous. This feels more like Chinese Communist, like Communist China than it does America […] that they have the ability to stomp out free speech.

    Twitter is not part of anyone’s First Amendment rights, you goddamned moron.

    This was aired on television this morning. Feds tasked with investigating who incited future attacks might want to start with this clip, as it appears to feature two proud arsonists.

    They might also want to look at Navarro’s Twitter feed, assuming Twitter doesn’t take care of that little problem by the end of the day. Navarro tweeted this just this morning, the new episode of his hallucination daydream about “illegal votes” in the 2020 election. You know, in case you weren’t sure he was committed to the Big Lie. […]

    Link

  201. blf says

    More from the Grauniad’s current failed insurrection live blog:

    Donald Trump has cloistered himself in the White House in “self-pity mode” since the House impeached him for an unprecedented second time, according to reports.

    […]

    “He’s been holed up in the residence, that’s never a good thing,” a person close to the White House told CNN.

    “He’s by himself, not a lot of people to bounce ideas off of, whenever that happens he goes to his worst instincts.”

    “He’s in self-pity mode,” a White House advisor also told CNN, adding that “everybody’s angry at everyone” at the White House right now.

    […]

    On Tuesday, when he could have, for example, visited a vaccination center or a field hospital where front line health care workers are battling the raging pandemic, he took a trip to Texas on the US-Mexico border to look at bits of the barrier he’s had constructed at taxpayers’ expense.

    From earlier: “Here’s what is in the diary for today. The president [sic] has got no official public engagements listed, although, as they have done virtually every single day in January, the White House has asserted that, and I quote, Donald Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.

  202. says

    From The Washington Post: “Trump brought leadership turmoil to security agencies in run-up to Capitol riot”

    The three top federal agencies responsible for protecting the nation — the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security — are all being run by acting officials, as the United States endures one of its most sensitive national security crises.

    The leadership vacuum is the product of […] Trump’s tempestuous relationships with his Cabinet secretaries and tendency to replace them for long periods of time with acting officials who lack Senate confirmation — a pattern that has led to turmoil atop critical federal agencies for much of his presidency.

    Never has the absence of confirmed leaders seemed more pronounced than now. All three agencies were being led by acting officials in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, where extremist Trump supporters who embrace the president’s false claims of election fraud stormed the building to demand that lawmakers dispute President-elect Joe Biden’s victory during a pro forma certification of the electoral college vote.

    The events left five people dead, prompted the second impeachment of Trump in just over a year and raised serious questions about how the federal government failed to prepare for threats that in many cases were broadcast openly online. Now the agencies are playing critical roles in high-stakes preparations for the Jan. 20 inauguration in an environment of increased security threats.

    […] “One of the central roles of a Cabinet secretary is to provide the president with advice that he needs to hear but doesn’t want to hear, but if they are all walking on inch-thin ice, they are all afraid to do that,” said Jeh Johnson, who served as President Barack Obama’s second homeland security secretary. “Especially now, with only a few days left in the Trump administration, everyone has been distracted. No one was looking at the emerging crisis right in their midst.”

    The makeshift leadership at the three agencies comes as Biden risks starting his presidency without any of his Cabinet nominees confirmed. In the recent past, the Senate has tried to confirm at least a few critical nominees immediately, so the president has some officials in place in the event of a crisis. […]

    Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is poised to take over as majority leader on Jan. 20, said the riot demonstrated that the Biden administration will need Senate-confirmed officials in key national security Cabinet posts on Day One.

    The Biden transition team said in a statement Wednesday that the confirmation hearing for Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s choice to run the Department of Homeland Security, had been moved up in the aftermath of the riot. The Biden team called for “swift hearings and confirmations” and said it is “focused on laying the groundwork for a smooth handoff in power.” […]

    The reasons for the absence of leaders confirmed to their positions atop the Pentagon, the Justice Department and DHS ahead of the riot are varied — but they all trace back to Trump’s habit of dismissing Cabinet secretaries, often when he has felt they were not supporting his political agenda.

    […] DHS, which oversees the Secret Service, the main agency leading security preparations for Biden’s inauguration, has been in leadership turmoil for months. The department has not had a Senate-confirmed chief since Trump ousted Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019.

    […] “One of the things the federal government does well is after there has been a failure, they overcorrect,” Johnson said. “My guess is there are going to be massive levels of security at the inauguration. It is probably going to be the case that a chipmunk will not be able to penetrate the U.S. Capitol grounds without going through a metal detector.”

    Link

  203. says

    From Jennifer Rubin, writing for The Washington Post:

    News reports, including direct accounts from Democratic colleagues, suggest some Republicans voted against impeachment because they were afraid for their lives. Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) in a recent MSNBC interview said: “The majority of them are paralyzed with fear. I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues last night, and a couple of them broke down in tears — saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment.”

    He is not the only one. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who voted for impeachment, told Reason: “I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should’ve voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families,” he said. He added, “They felt that that vote would put their families in danger.”

    Let’s unpack that. First, anyone who knows of a member of Congress who feared for his or her life has an obligation to contact law enforcement. Meijer is essentially saying that members were successfully extorted. If those fears were well-founded, those threatening them are a menace to members of Congress and possibly other critics of President Trump.

    […] Crying because your side attracts kooks is no justification for violating your oath. Fear of mean emails or simply losing your seat should not be grounds for capitulation.

    Second, why in the world would Republicans knuckle under? If you leave Trump in power, Republicans will have rewarded and empowered violent and dangerous people, allowing Trump to remain in power because of criminal conduct. What Republicans seem to be describing is a sort of political mafia where the threat of violence keeps them in line. Is that the Republican Party — a batch of extortionists and the extorted?

    Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an expert on right-wing extremism, recently told BuzzFeed, “I do expect foreign far-right groups will feel emboldened by Jan. 6.”

    […] if Republicans are afraid, why do they not show the same concern for state election officials who have also been threatened? Surely they knew that the Big Lie perpetrated by many Republicans — that the election was stolen — was putting local and state officials in the crosshairs. Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said this was the case. You would think lawmakers who enjoy the protection of Capitol Police would come down hard on defenseless victims who fear, say, intimidation by white militia groups. Yet I’ve heard no condemnation from House Republicans when Trump allies started making excuses for murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse. Nor have I heard any condemnation of Trump from these Republicans when he declined during the campaign to denounce right-wing militias and white supremacists.

    These Republicans’ concern for their own physical safety is not matched by any concern for the menace the mob poses to others. They will protect themselves, just not their fellow Americans. Indeed, they would protect themselves by voting with the mob at the risk of leaving others more endangered by a white-supremacist movement willing to kill, kidnap and overthrow the government. […]

    Link

  204. says

    Rep. Brian Mast is a craven, repulsive liar, but we can still answer his question

    Trump loyalist Florida Rep. Brian Mast is now a traitor to his country, but more to the point he is also dishonest, politically craven, and a garbage human being. So let’s dispense with this quickly.

    During the impeachment vote, Mast was one of many House Republicans attempting to straddle the thin line of claiming to be outraged by last week’s armed insurrection against Congress while still insisting that Donald Trump’s role in inciting attempted murders was not impeachable because reasons. The argument was insincere, lie-based, and about what you would expect from one of the traitors who himself egged on violence with hoax claims of election flaws that did not exist.

    Indeed, Mast was one of those lawmakers to rise in challenge to the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6 immediately before a mob entered the building with the intent of capturing or murdering those who would not sign on to the same Trump-promoted false claims. There is a direct line between Mast’s lies and multiple deaths, and between Mast’s lies and the now-broken chain of “peaceful transition of power” that lasted from the Civil War until the time Brian Mast was elected to Congress. He is a seditionist, and was before the violence began.

    One of Mast’s pillars of argument was that you could not pin the armed insurrection on Trump because there was no evidence Trump did the thing everyone in the nation saw him doing: “Has any one of those individuals who brought violence to this Capitol been brought here to answer if they did that because of our president?” He said this very smugly, like a stupid person believing themselves to be the first in history to notice that the sun and moon looked to be approximately the same size, and waited for a response that he knew would not come because speeches on the floor of Congress do not generally follow a call-and-response format.

    Here ya go, sport. Video of the insurrectionists asserting that they were “invited” into the building by Donald Trump. [Video is available at the link.]
    […]

  205. says

    blf @ #316, they’re really unbelievable. Completely incapable of any sort of introspection or responsibility. Pathologically, compulsively selfish and aggrieved. And if the suspension of Qcultist and neo-Nazi accounts caused me to lose thousands of followers, I sure as hell wouldn’t be publicly whine-bragging about it.

  206. says

    “MORE DOD CHANGES:

    -Acting policy chief Anthony Tata is out this week.

    -Acting DoD comptroller Thomas Harker [becomes] acting Navy Sec

    -Air Force comptroller John Roth [becomes] acting AF Sec

    -DASD for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper [becomes] acting head of international security affairs”

    Cooper was a witness in the first impeachment.

  207. blf says

    From the Grauniad’s current failed insurrection live blog:

    […]
    Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is facing court fines for a maskless New Year’s Eve party held at the Florida club in contravention of Covid-19 regulations.

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday that county officials issued “a stern warning” to the Palm Beach resort over the party and potential superspreader event, which Trump himself skipped out on when he cut short his winter holiday and returned to the White House to concentrate on efforts to overturn his election defeat.

    “There was a breakdown in enforcement of the mask orders that led to almost the entire room of guests being without masks during the later evening activities,” Palm Beach administrators Todd Bonlarron and Patrick Rutter wrote to Mar-a-Lago managing director Bernd Lembcke.

    An accompanying letter from the county’s department of planning, zoning and building warns that fines of up to $15,000 per violation can be imposed for failure to adhere to facial covering and social distancing requirements.

    Under an emergency county order, businesses are required to ensure visitors wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.

    […]

  208. says

    Kim Zetter:

    Last moonth, tight-wing figures and websites, including VDARE, the Daily Stormer and Nick Fuentes, received generous donations from a bitcoin account that appears to be linked to a computer programmer based in France who may have bequeathed the money before committing suicide.

    An apparent suicide note posted by the programmer appears to bequeath the money to “certain causes and people” in light of what he described “the decline of Western civilization.” The researchers were unable to confirm that the programmer is in fact dead and won’t name him.

    Nick Fuentes, a popular right-wing commentator suspended from YouTube for violating its policies on hate speech, received the largest chunk of the funding on Dec. 8 — about $250,000 in bitcoin. The Daily Stormer and the anti-immigration website VDARE also received funding.

    (This reminds me – I don’t get why all of these FBI types keep going on TV and talking about how it’s so hard to address the fascists because it’s domestic terrorism as opposed to international terrorism. Almost all of these organizations have links to and communicate with other groups in France, Austria, Ukraine, Russia, etc. Some even go to other countries to train. It’s not a purely domestic movement.)

  209. says

    Yahoo! article about #340 – “Exclusive: Large bitcoin payments to right-wing activists a month before Capitol riot linked to foreign account”:

    …According to one source familiar with the matter, the suspicious Dec. 8 transaction, along with a number of other pieces of intelligence, has prompted law enforcement and intelligence agencies in recent days to actively investigate the sources of funding for the individuals who participated in the Capitol insurrection, as well as their networks. The government is hoping to prevent future attacks but also to uncover potential foreign involvement in or support of right-wing activities, the source said….

  210. says

    JFC:

    ARRESTED: Christine Priola, a school therapist who stormed the Capitol & got to @VP’s chair. She quit her job the day after the riot saying: I will be switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking & pedophilia, including in our govt & children’s services agencies

    [photos of her in the Senate chamber atl]

    She also said: I will not be taking the coronavirus vaccine in order to return to in-person learning

    And

    I do not agree with my union dues, which help fund people and groups that support the killing of unborn children.

    Prosecutors say she had “Trump” written on her leg and a sign which read “the children cry out for justice”

  211. says

    TPM – “Fourth Dem Rep. Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Sheltering During Capitol Riots”:

    Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) announced on Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19, following the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week that forced lawmakers to take shelter with several mask-less Republicans.

    Espaillat is the fourth Democratic lawmaker to announce their COVID-19 diagnosis in the past week. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Brad Schneider also announced their diagnoses this week.

    In a series of tweets on Thursday, Espaillat said that he is quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19 and will continue working remotely until he gets clearance from his doctor….

  212. blf says

    France24 is reporting that all of France will be under a 6pm–6am curfew due to the pandemic, Covid-19: France to introduce 6pm curfew, offer vaccines to all those at high risk, starting Saturday (16-January). Most of France is currently under a 9pm–6am curfew, with some areas (incluiding where I am) already under the 6pm–6am curfew. There are also some more tweaks to the (badly botched) vaccine rollout, and supposedly French are becoming more accepting of Covid-19 vaccines, says PM. France has the highest level of vaccine hesitancy in the developed world. There is supposed to be national site for vaccination appointments, but that is currently unavailable. Whilst the track-and-trace app (TousAntiCovid, the current revised version, not the initially botched version) is now also reporting on vaccine uptake, there’s no(? obvious) information on “how to get vaccinated” (last I checked).

  213. says

    SC @342, another person brainwashed by QAnon. She is no longer a properly functioning adult human being. I’m glad she won’t be involved in “in-person learning” with children.

    As an side, you would think that a trained therapist would notice the telltale signs of brainwashing.

  214. says

    Akira @344. Funny.

    blf @345, so far, there’s no clear information in my community that tells me where I can get vaccinated. It looks like some states (or cities) will do a better a job of vaccination in the USA, and the the rest of us will just be left out. My hope is that the Biden administration creates broad-based and efficient access to vaccine.

  215. says

    Trump put out another hostage video today. Noticeably absent was any mention of Joe Biden, of the fact that Biden won the election fair and square, or of the fact that Trump has been lying about election fraud.

    What the video did focus on was text apparently written by lawyers, with the goal of pretending that Trump did not incite violence and insurrection. Trump seems to be aiming the video at whatever judge he has to face in the future; or he is aiming it at Republicans in the Senate that may still vote against Trump’s impeachment.

    Trump also spent some time complaining about cancel culture and about tech companies interfering in his free speech rights.

  216. says

    From the Washington Post article that AC mentioned earlier:

    Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington for pro-Trump events Jan. 6, a day that ended in a chaotic crime rampage when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to people familiar with evidence gathered in the FBI’s investigation.

    The majority of the watch-listed individuals in Washington that day are suspected white supremacists whose past conduct so alarmed investigators that their names had been previously entered into the national Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, a massive set of names flagged as potential security risks, these people said. The watch list is larger and separate from the “no-fly” list the government maintains to prevent terrorism suspects from boarding airplanes, and those listed are not automatically barred from any public or commercial spaces, current and former officials said.

    The presence of so many watch-listed individuals in one place — without more robust security measures to protect the public — is another example of the intelligence failures preceding last week’s fatal assault that sent lawmakers running for their lives, some current and former law enforcement officials argued. The revelation follows a Washington Post report earlier this week detailing the FBI’s failure to act aggressively on an internal intelligence report of Internet discussions about plans to attack Congress, smash windows, break down doors and “get violent . . . go there ready for war.”

    Other current and former officials said the presence of those individuals is an unsurprising consequence of having thousands of fervent Trump supporters gathered for what was billed as a final chance to voice opposition to Joe Biden’s certification as the next president. Still, the revelation underscores the limitations of such watch lists. Although they are meant to improve information gathering and sharing among investigative agencies, they are far from a foolproof means of detecting threats ahead of time.

    Since its creation, the terrorist watch list, which is maintained by the FBI, has grown to include hundreds of thousands of names. Placing someone’s name on the watch list does not mean they will be watched all of the time, or even much of the time, for reasons of both practicality and fairness, but it can alert different parts of the government, such as border agents or state police, to look more closely at certain individuals they encounter.

    It’s unclear whether any of the dozens of individuals already arrested for alleged crimes at the Capitol are on the terrorist watch list.

    “The U.S. Government is committed to protecting the United States from terrorist threats and attacks and seeks to do this in a manner that protects the freedoms, privacy and civil rights and liberties of U.S. persons and other individuals with rights under U.S. law,” a U.S. official said, adding that because of security concerns, the government has a policy of neither confirming nor denying a person’s watch list status. […]

    Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot

  217. says

    Latest arrest is Peter Stager, of Arkansas, accused of beating an MPD officer with an American flag. Claims he thought the cop was ‘antifa’. FBI says it’s hard to believe.

    On a personal note, I believe this man is the last person I heard speak while leaving the Capitol last Wednesday. He said something very similar to what’s quoted here: ‘Everyone in that building is a traitor, and death is the only remedy’. Stuck with me.”

    See the video @ #319 above. He specifically calls the Capitol cops traitors.

  218. says

    Ed O’Keefe, CBS:

    TONIGHT: @JoeBiden set to announce a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” designed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and provide direct relief to millions of struggling Americans.

    THE DEAL INCLUDES…
    – $400 billion for COVID response
    – $1+ trillion for direct relief to families/individuals
    – $440 billion for communities & small businesses
    – formalizes @JoeBiden’s support for a $15/hr minimum wage.

    There’s also…
    – An additional $1,400 in stimulus checks for Americans, on top of the $600 that’s already been approved.
    – Expansion of unemployment insurance by $100 bringing the weekly total to $400.
    – Increase in child tax credit to $3,000 per child for eligible families.

  219. tomh says

    Re: #352 Biden’s plans

    The first thing the new Senate has to do is get rid of the filibuster for legislation. Getting 60 votes will be tough for a lot of that.

  220. says

    SCOOP: Trump has repeatedly spoken by phone with Steve Bannon in recent weeks to seek advice on his campaign to overturn his re-election defeat, reconciling with his once-estranged ex White House strategist, sources tell me. Story out soon.

    NEWS: Trump and Bannon have been talking regularly, multiple sources tell me. They’ve been in communication FOR WEEKS now, patching up earlier rift as Trump sought advice from anyone willing to help him fight his election defeat….”

    Great reporting; not surprising in the least. Bloomberg link atl. Bannon’s another one with international ties…

  221. says

    SC @354, I would not put it past Trump and Melania to steal everything they can get their hands on. And some of that theft might be accomplished by handing items off to other people for removal.

  222. says

    Follow-up to comment 348.

    From The New York Times:

    Under heavy pressure from his advisers, President Trump on Wednesday released a five-minute video recorded in the Oval Office condemning last week’s mob violence at the Capitol and urging his supporters to stand down from further rioting next week.

    Yeah, he said the words “I condemn violence,” and he did that after 4+ years of encouraging violence. He ramped up his calls for violence, for “fighting hard,” etc. after he lost the election.

    Trump really looks like at the hostage of a terrorist organization which has forced a captive to read a prepared script. The delivery is flat. There’s almost nothing in his own words. Only the background tells us that this is the President of the USA.

    Also, after having watched Trump carefully for so long, I think we can see him lying in these videos, while he simultaneously cringes inside because he is being made to look weak.

    Surely, Trump’s most rabid followers will not believe that “stand down” order.

  223. says

    From NBC News:

    As if catastrophic wildfires, a record-breaking hurricane season and a pandemic that brought the world to its knees weren’t enough, 2020 nearly became the hottest year in recorded history […]

  224. says

    From Matt Shuham, writing for Talking Points Memo:

    We can only hope that […] Donald Trump will be out of the White House by this time next week.

    There’s a chance he won’t. As my colleagues and I have reported both prior to and since last week’s mob attack on the Capitol — for which Trump recruited participants and then issued marching orders — danger remains of future insurrectionary activity in defiance of the Constitution and the will of the voters.

    […] for all of the democracy-eroding violence and intimidation on display this month, it’s important to put the moment in context. I’m speaking about the Department of Homeland Security.

    DHS, as TPM reported this morning, did not issue a threat assessment for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” demonstration in D.C. As one former DHS official explained, “such a report would be very poorly received by the MAGA folks within DHS.”

    Typically, such improper political considerations would be subject to the United States’ robust checks-and-balances system: Congressional accountability. But DHS, like others in the Trump administration, has ignored such trivialities. Not only did the now-former acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf defy a congressional subpoena in September — he also wasn’t even legally serving as acting secretary, several judges and watchdog groups found in recent months.

    […] The result of this constitutionally indifferent arrangement, by now, is clear: A domestic security agency that was accountable to no-one, operating without a Senate-confirmed leader for nearly two years and catering to the President’s ever-changing whims, has now failed to protect the most sacred American institution — the peaceful transfer of power.

    Chad Wolf resigned Monday with just 10 days left in the President’s term. He cited the ongoing legal challenges to his status, mentioned above, but he failed to mention that the President, on Jan. 6, had withdrawn Wolf’s Senate nomination to become the official DHS secretary just minutes after Wolf urged Trump to condemn the Capitol siege.

    In his final days, nonetheless, Wolf sought to continue the bureaucratic charade that marked his tenure: In a memo flagged by BuzzFeed News, the former acting secretary said that he’d drafted a new order of succession — just like his predecessors before him — such that FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor would take over as acting DHS secretary the minute Wolf resigned, which was 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday.

    What followed was the kabuki theater to which we’ve become accustomed, because Wolf has done it twice already (see “Schrödinger’s DHS Secretary,” part I and part II): Gaynor, per Wolf, “delegated to me the authority to approve regulatory actions.” And Wolf, with “full and complete knowledge” of… his own actions over the past year, promptly confirmed that all of the Trumpy policies he’d enacted — limiting asylum, speeding up the deportation machine, and so on — were, in fact, totally cool and legal.

    Cherry on top: Wolf signed and dated the memo “1/13/2020.”

    There’s little comfort to be found in watching Trump appointees, following the Presidents’ lead, tossing around untested legal conjecture like a nerf football.

    But as the Trump administration draws to a close, Wolf’s actions as the door shuts serve as a reminder: The Capitol only fell because the government behind it was already rubble. […]

    Link

  225. Ichthyic says

    It looks like America is finally starting to wake up to who the REAL terrorists were all along. Ignorant, gullible, right wing authoritarians.

    as they always have been… and always will be.

    I’m sad to see it took even this much to finally shake things up, but hopefully in the end it will be a nucleus for positive change.

    frankly, I had given up hope of seeing such change in america over 15 years ago. It’s why I left.

  226. blf says

    Lynna@347, Here in France — which has a national healthcare system — the vaccine rollout was completely botched. Over the first three or so days, only about 300 people (total, nationwide), were vaccinated. President Macron was furious.

    Most commentators have put the failure down to pandering to the exceptionally high level of vaccine hesitancy — polls suggest only c.40% of the people plan to be vaccinated. What apparently what has happening that first week, to get a vaccination, was — albeit this is from memory, I am not making this up! — Make an appointment with your doctor. They explain to you why the vaccine is a good idea. Make an appointment to get vaccinated (which apparently had(?) to be at least two(?) days after the doctor’s appointment). I cannot recall, but it may have been the doctor who had to make the appointment for you? The vaccine could only be administrated by a doctor, or by a nurse directly supervised by a doctor (who was only allowed to supervise one nurse).

    Geesh! That’s very well designed to increase vaccination-hesitant people’s fears, the opposite of what was intended (and extremely exasperating to people who aren’t hesitant). It did nothing at all to convince or cajole people into getting vaccinated.

    It is — and this (speculating) may be its origin — similar to one technique known to work to convince or cajole people into not applying for an exemption on beliefstooopidity grounds. The best technique is to not have such exemptions, but when they are possible, make them hard to get: Vaccinations are easy to get. Make an appointment, done. To get an exemption, however, do more-or-less that plan: Appointment with your doctor (or, perhaps better, local public health office) for a discussion, etc., about vaccination. Obtain a form. Fill it out. Hand it in to your doctor or whoever. Eventually an exemption arrives (which must be collected in person (and, ideally, needs renewing every so often)).

    That method of obtaining belief exemptions is very very similar to the initial vaccine rollout, but inverted: An “exemption” was trivial (don’t do anything), vaccination required jumping through hoops. Absolutely fecking backwards.

    I am uncertain of all the “tweaks” which have been done. I understand one doctor can now supervise up to ten nurses, and plans are afoot to allow pharmacies to vaccinate, and to set-up vaccination stations. I do not know if that initial doctor’s appointment is now(? will still be?) required, albeit one of the articles I linked to did mention needing a doctor’s prescription, which amounts to about the same thing (however, that may not apply to all people?). It’s fairly clear, such as with the fiasco with the vaccination site, there was a failure of planning and advanced preparation.

    To the best of my knowledge, the vaccination itself is free.

    (And now the app has started crashing consistently !)

  227. says

    Michael Beschloss: “That Lincoln bust being carried away had better not belong to the permanent White House collection:…”

    Uh…:

    This bronze bust of President Abraham Lincoln was created by American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, formally known as John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, in 1908. The large bust is installed atop a tall, white, stone pillar and has historically been displayed in a niche in the East Garden Room, visible to public visitors and guests as they enter the White House through the East Wing. Borglum was also famous for his work on Stone Mountain and Mount Rushmore.

    Same one? There’s no picture at that link. Totally possible this is a copy, or that there’s some other explanation. But unless this is something Trump owns, there’s no viable explanation for why it would be transported like this.

  228. says

    Humor/satire from Andy Borowitz:

    In yet another rebuke to the disgraced President, the nation’s major manufacturers of spray tan have cut ties with Donald J. Trump.

    In a statement by the National Association of Spray Tan Manufacturers, the corporations that have reliably supplied Trump with his unique orange coating said that they would no longer do so.

    With this move, the color of Trump’s head once he leaves office faces an uncertain future, experts say.

    The statement by the spray-tan corporations was stark in its repudiation of their most loyal customer.

    “Since the election, Donald J. Trump’s face has emitted a series of dangerous and malevolent lies,” the statement read. “We no longer want our product sprayed on the surface of that face.”

    Link

  229. says

    blf @364:

    An “exemption” was trivial (don’t do anything), vaccination required jumping through hoops. Absolutely fecking backwards.

    Good summary of that particular fucked up mess. Sorry to hear that the vaccination program in France is not going well. No wonder Macron is furious.

    SC @365, thanks for the additional information. I’m looking for more information as this story develops.

  230. says

    In a direct contrast to the trumpian snafus, here are some more details regarding Biden’s plans:

    President-elect Joe Biden will unveil a $415 billion plan to fight the coronavirus Thursday, including $20 billion for vaccines, drawing a sharp contrast to the fragmented approach from the Trump administration.

    […] The plan comes as Biden has criticized the Trump administration for the slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines, and falling far short of its ambitious goal of getting shots in the arms of 20 million people by the end of 2020. [Falling far short!]

    In contrast to Trump, Biden’s plan emphasizes a bolstered federal response, rather than leaving key details to the states.

    “The states are scrambling. There was really no plan to get needles in arms. And there’s been very little coordination, so we’re going to do just the opposite,” a senior transition official said.

    “I think it’s clear that what we’re inheriting from the Trump administration is much worse than we could have imagined. There’s no existing infrastructure for vaccinations,” the official added.

    Biden’s plan will include launching community vaccination centers around the country, and deploying mobile vaccination units in rural, hard-to-reach areas.

    “In short, we don’t have enough places for people to get vaccinated, we don’t have enough people performing vaccinations, and we’re not getting enough needles in arms,” an official told reporters Thursday in advance of Biden’s address.

    States have warned for months that they lack the necessary funding to carry out the type of mass vaccination campaign necessary to achieve herd immunity against the virus. […]

    Link

  231. says

    Justin Hendrix:

    In remarks today, @GovernorVA Northam made clear another devastating cost to Donald Trump’s violent insurrection- VA National Guard troops needed to help in the pandemic fight and to set up for the massive vaccination effort are instead defending the Capitol from other Americans….

    I wrote last month that in January- one of the worst months since the start of the pandemic- we might see a President who abrogated his responsibility to protect Americans instead sparking violence on January 6th in a desperate attempt to cling to power….

    Video and screenshot atl.

  232. blf says

    @364, The app has started working again (no idea why, or why it started crashing). Anyways, one of its nice “extra” features is a summary of the numbers for both France and a (as in one) selected area (normally your own locale). Recently they added vaccinations — albeit it’s unclear if that is jabs or people (remember, two jabs a person) — which is now, a bit over two weeks later, just over 318,000. In the first week alone, Germany vaccinated about 265,000 (cannot find a more current value) and apparently is now running out of (first?) doses.

  233. says

    Chris Hayes:

    I’ve covered *a lot* of very tense standoffs with cops in riot gear. And I can honestly say I have *never* seen somone use pepper spray *against the cops*.Usually what happens is someone gets pissed and chucks a filled plastic water bottle and then cops charge and spray tear gas….

    Video atl.

  234. says

    CNN – “Biden names Jaime Harrison as his pick for DNC chair”:

    President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday named Jaime Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair and 2020 Senate candidate, as his pick for the next chair of the Democratic National Committee.

    Harrison has long been seen as the only candidate for the job. He will still be required to face an election by DNC members, but a win is almost a forgone conclusion with the support of the incoming president. DNC members will vote during a virtual meeting on January 21 — the day after Biden’s inauguration.

    Biden also announced Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as his nominee to be the DNC’s vice chair of civic engagement and voter protection, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas as vice chairs. Bottoms, Whitmer and Duckworth were all under consideration to be Biden’s running mate.

    Jason Rae, who’s a member of the DNC Executive and Rules & Bylaws Committee, was nominated to serve as secretary; Virginia McGregor, who serves as deputy national finance chair of the DNC and national co-chair of the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, was nominated for treasurer, and Chris Korge, the national finance chairman for the DNC since 2019, was nominated again for national finance chair.

    “This group of individuals represent the very best of the Democratic Party. Their stories and long histories of activism and work reflects our party’s values and the diversity that make us so strong,” Biden said in a statement….

  235. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “honk nose” Just saw Biden’s speech; so nice to hear rationality. I also liked VP Harris sharing the stage. I think I’ll sleep well tonight.

  236. blf says

    SC@382, France24 ‘Pompeo’ wine made legally, Israeli settler says:

    [… T]he winery is located in Palestinian territory illegally seized by the Jewish settlers.

    Pompeo went to the winery on Thursday, becoming the first top American diplomat to visit a West Bank settlement on a tour that has outraged the Palestinians.

    [… Israeli winemaker Yaakov] Berg exports his products to Europe and has waged an unsuccessful legal campaign against guidelines on labelling products identifying their origin as territories occupied by Israel.

    […]

    For Berg, the #madeinlegality label affixed to his Pompeo blend is not a branding gimmick but a statement about morality.

    We are not thieves. We didn’t (steal) this land, he told AFP, categorically rejecting the notion that his winery is on land where Israelis do not belong.

    According to the Israeli anti-occupation organisation Peace Now, the Psagot Winery is on “stolen land”, taken incrementally from the Palestinians who owned it.

    “A significant portion of the grapes from which the wine is made come from plundered soil,” Peace Now said.

    It called Pompeo’s visit “a last pathetic attempt to undermine the prospects for peace by normalising the settlements”.

    President-elect Joe Biden has said his administration will restore US opposition to settlements.

    Berg, like Pompeo, was not prepared to acknowledge Trump’s election defeat.

    […]

  237. John Morales says

    Slightly out of topic, but… how times have changed!

    (maybe too little too late, but still)

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-15/peter-salmon-last-indigenous-thiinma-language-speaker/12962750

    Peter Salmon, from the Gascoyne region of remote Western Australia, is 87 years old and the last speaker of the Thiinma language.

    Thiinma is classed by UNESCO as a critically endangered language, as there are no known speakers — other than Mr Salmon — living today

  238. tomh says

    Democrats Introduce Resolution to Permanently Ban Trump from Stepping Foot on U.S. Capitol Grounds
    COLIN KALMBACHER Jan 14th, 2021

    A Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Thursday permanently banning President Donald Trump from entering the U.S. Capitol Complex after he leaves office.

    The text of the resolution is as follows:

    Directing the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, and the United States Capitol Police to prohibit President Donald John Trump from entering the United States Capitol at any time after the expiration of his term as President.

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), SECTION 1. Prohibiting President Trump from entering United States Capitol.

    The Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, and the United States Capitol Police shall take such actions as may be necessary to prohibit President Donald John Trump from entering the United States Capitol at any time after the expiration of his term as President.

    The bill’s author is Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.), the freshman congresswoman who recently replaced Civil Rights icon John Lewis in the lower chamber. The chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, Williams is considered to have helped deliver big political dividends for Peach State Democrats—and the party nationally—after Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both beat incumbent GOP senators in the high-profile and high-stakes runoff elections there in early January.

  239. says

    CNN – “Seth Rich conspiracy theorists retract and apologize for false statements as they settle lawsuit”:

    A businessman and a fringe internet activist who each played key roles in the conspiracy theory about Seth Rich, the slain Democratic National Committee staffer whose death was used by right-wing activists as a vehicle to help exonerate Russia from its 2016 election meddling, retracted and apologized for their statements this week.

    “I take full responsibility for my comments and I apologize for any pain I have caused,” the businessman, Ed Butowsky, said in a statement retracting his previous comments. “I sincerely hope the Rich family is able to find out who murdered their son and bring this tragic chapter in their lives to a close.”

    “Today we retract and disavow our statements and we offer our apology to Mr. Rich and his family,” said the fringe internet activist, Matt Couch, in a separate video posted online. “I take full responsibility for my actions … and would like to apologize to Mr. Rich and his family.”

    The retractions came as part of a settlement Aaron Rich, Seth Rich’s brother, reached with Butowsky and Couch over a lawsuit he filed against them in March 2018. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The Washington Times, a conservative news outlet that was also sued, also retracted its claims and settled with Aaron Rich in October 2018.

    In a statement, Aaron Rich said he was “gratified” at the fact the two have “taken responsibility for the statements they have made.”

    “In the more than four years since we lost Seth, the accusations made against our family have only served to prolong our grief without bringing us any closer to finding Seth’s murderer,” Aaron Rich added. “Although we will never be at peace until we obtain justice for Seth’s murder, I hope that these events may encourage others to pause and consider the impact of accusing strangers of wrongdoing, give law enforcement space to do their jobs, and let us remember Seth in peace and with privacy.”

    In November of last year Fox News settled a separate lawsuit with the parents of Seth Rich, who had sued the network for developing what the suit called a “sham” story about their son’s death that caused them “mental anguish and emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and any other physical and mental injuries.”…

  240. says

    Tulsa World – “Sen. James Lankford apologizes to Black Tulsans for questioning presidential election results”:

    U.S. Sen. James Lankford apologized to Black Tulsans on Thursday for not recognizing that his involvement in questioning presidential election results would offend them.

    In a letter addressed to “My friends in North Tulsa,” Lankford acknowledges that his actions “caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot.”

    Arguably, Lankford has been more involved with Black Tulsans, and particularly the historic Greenwood District, than any statewide Republican officeholder in decades.

    His decision to raise issues about the presidential election in several key states — most of them with large African American populations — hurt and angered many Tulsans, however, with some leaders saying he should resign or be removed from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

    In his letter, though, Lankford asks for another chance.

    “What I did not realize was all of the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit,” he wrote.

    “After decades of fighting for voting rights, many Black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote, for their vote to matter, and even a belief that their votes made an election in our country illegitimate.

    “I can assure you,” he said, “my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American.

    “I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” he said. “I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.”

  241. KG says

    Trump lied to a whole lot of people who made the mistake of believing him. […] Trump convinced millions that the election was stolen, despite the reality that it was not.

    When pushing back against impeachment this week, more than a few Republicans brought up a convenient buzzword: “unity.” I can think of an easy step GOP officials could take that would go along way toward unification: do as Mike Rounds did and acknowledge that Trump lied about the integrity of the election. – Steve Benen,, quoted by Lynna, OM@321

    The second paragrpah is spot-on. No Republican politician who has not said, explicitly and publicly, that Biden won the election fairly, that Trump and his henchpersons lied about it, and that they themselves, by failing to call out these lies (excepting the very few who did), bear responsibility for the invasion of the Capitol and the resulting deaths, ahould be treated with anything other than contempt.

    About the first paragraph, I’m much less sure. I think many, probably a majority, or those who “believed” Trump, knew damn well Biden won fairly and that Trump was and is lying about it. What they actually believe, correctly, is that if only white votes were counted, Trump would have won.

  242. says

    AP – “U.S. says Capitol rioters meant to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials – filing”:

    Federal prosecutors offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Thursday, saying in a court filing that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials.”

    Prosecutors offered that view in a filing asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was famously photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of Vice President Mike Pence in the chamber of the U.S. Senate.

    The detention memo, written by Justice Department lawyers in Arizona, goes into greater detail about the FBI’s investigation into Chansley, revealing that he left a note for Pence warning that “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

    “Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,” prosecutors wrote.

    A public defender representing Chansley could not be immediately reached for comment. Chansley is due to appear in federal court on Friday.

    The prosecutors’ assessment comes as prosecutors and federal agents have begun bringing more serious charges tied to violence at the Capitol, including revealing cases Thursday against one man, retired firefighter Robert Sanford, on charges that he hurled a fire extinguisher at the head of one police officer and another, Peter Stager, of beating a different officer with a pole bearing an American flag.

    In Chansley’s case, prosecutors said the charges “involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government,” and warned that “the insurrection is still in progress” as law enforcement prepares for more demonstrations in Washington and state capitals.

    They also suggested he suffers from drug abuse and mental illness, and told the judge he poses a serious flight risk.

    “Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,” they wrote.

    The Justice Department has brought more than 80 criminal cases in connection with the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol last week, in which Trump’s supporters stormed the building, ransacked offices and in some cases, attacked police….

  243. says

    (Sorry – #391 was Reuters, not AP.)

    “Biden taps Lisa Monaco as homeland security adviser to inauguration amid rising threats”:

    President-elect Joe Biden has asked Lisa Monaco, his deputy attorney general nominee, to temporarily step away from those duties and serve as a homeland security adviser to his inauguration team, a Biden transition official said, a sign that the rising security concerns demand high-level coordination.

    This is a temporary position, which will continue only until Inauguration Day, when Monaco will go back to preparing for confirmation hearings as the No. 2 official at the Department of Justice.

    “The President-elect has asked Lisa Monaco to serve as a temporary advisor to the transition on homeland security around the Inauguration, ensuring there is coordination across the incoming team and working with current officials in the days leading up to and on Inauguration Day to help ensure a safe and seamless handoff on homeland security issues,” a Biden transition official said in a statement Thursday evening.

    Monaco, the statement said, “will assist the President-elect and work with the incoming National Security Advisor, the incoming Homeland Security Advisor, and current security and law enforcement officials, including with the United States Secret Service on their plans for the Inauguration. Given the existing threats, Ms. Monaco’s temporary role will be focused solely on the period leading up to the inauguration.”

    The shift comes alongside concerns from authorities about more extremist violence in the coming days after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol last week in a deadly riot that left five people dead.

    Federal law enforcement agencies have issued an urgent call for assistance in securing the nation’s capital as the inauguration nears, CNN has reported, warning that domestic extremists are likely more emboldened to carry out attacks on Biden’s inauguration and throughout 2021 after seeing the success of the Capitol siege.

    As a result, more than 20,000 National Guard troops could be in Washington to help secure Biden’s inauguration, DC Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said Wednesday, and sources told CNN that officials are considering raising the terrorism threat level, though one source cautioned no changes are expected as of now….

  244. quotetheunquote says

    @SC #390.
    Thank you for linking to that video, it was very powerful. As others have pointed out (further down on the thread), there is an exquite bit of irony – exquisite in truly terrible way – in that, it the real-time video of the officer being assaulted by the terrorist mob, somebody else in said mob is waving the “Blue lives matter” flag, practically right over top of him. Christ, what assholes.

  245. says

    Why the disagreement between Reps. Boebert and Maloney matters

    Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) this week said she saw a fellow member of Congress giving a “reconnaissance” tour of the U.S. Capitol the day before last week’s deadly insurrectionist attack. In an interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) said he’d spoken to a colleague — not Sherrill — who described a member “showing people around” ahead of the attack.

    He went on to explain his fears about some of his fellow lawmakers.

    “Some of our new colleagues, the same ones, of course, who believe in conspiracy theories and who want to carry guns into the House Chamber, who today — today — have been yelling at Capitol Police,” Maloney said Wednesday, “shoving Capitol Police — who a week ago right now were risking their lives to save ours. This conduct is beyond the pale and extends to some of this interaction with the very people who attacked the Capitol.”

    Yesterday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) issued a press statement denouncing the allegations and sent Maloney a letter demanding a retraction.

    “Yesterday, on national television, Congressman Sean Maloney made false and baseless conspiracy claims about me that led to death threats and hundreds of vile phone calls and emails. His comments were extremely offensive, shameful and dangerous. There was not an ounce of truth to anything he claimed about me.”

    There was, however, a relevant detail: Maloney never referenced Boebert directly. It’s a detail the New York Democrat emphasized on Twitter last night, in a response to the Colorado Republican.

    “Um, I’ve never said your name in public, [Rep. Boebert],” Maloney wrote. “Never. Not once.”

    To which the GOP lawmaker responded, “A thousand apologies, [Rep. Maloney]. I’m glad you clarified you were not making any remarks about me whatsoever.”

    Not to be picky, but Maloney denied directly referencing Boebert, which isn’t quite in line with her response.

    Nevertheless, I’ve long been fascinated by instances of political figures denying allegations that were never specifically directed at them.

    Twelve years ago, for example, the Department of Homeland Security released reports about domestic ideological extremists, alerting law enforcement officials to potentially violent groups and organizations. […] At the time, Republicans and conservative activists were furious — even though the report was commissioned by the Bush administration — because much of the right feared that concerns about dangerous radicals might apply to them directly.

    In effect, the right heard officials’ concerns about potentially violent militants, and responded, “Hey, they might be talking about us.”

    This has happened several times throughout Donald Trump’s term, including an incident in which Barack Obama issued a statement in the wake of mass shootings, in which the former president denounced leaders who “feed a climate of fear and hatred” or “normalize racist sentiments.”

    Trump assumed the description applied to him, though Obama never referenced his successor directly.

    Link

    Conclusion, Lauren Boebert all but confessed to showing insurgents around the Capitol. If the description fits…

  246. says

    Good news for almost everyone, bad news for Trump: A new Pew Research poll, released this morning, found Trump’s approval rating collapsing to 29%. That’s the lowest point of his term in this survey.

  247. says

    […] [Trump] recorded a video from the Oval Office in which he went considerably further. Reading from a prepared script, Trump said, “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement…. Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

    The Republican added, “If you do any of these things you are not supporting our movement. You are attacking it and you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it.” […]

    As Politico noted:

    […] At the root of these extremists’ continued fervor is a key observation: Trump still has not acknowledged that the election was legitimate and admitted his defeat to Biden. In his video on Wednesday, the president did not acknowledge he had lost the November election. And by not doing so, the outgoing president is seen as giving tacit approval to his followers’ plans to wage war against the political establishment.

    Commentary from Steve Benen:

    […] pro-Trump extremists have come to believe the video was merely a ruse to fool the American mainstream, “while urging his followers to keep preparing for potential violent clashes.”

    […] his radicalized followers perceive a wink and a nod: Trump may have said he’s against violence, but so long as he refuses to concede the race and acknowledge the legitimacy of Biden’s election victory, extremists’ fervor will continue. […]

    Link

  248. says

    Follow-up to SC’s comment 355.

    […] Bannon was indicted over the summer as part of an alleged border-wall-fundraising scheme, in which prosecutors accused him and his associates of having “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors.” Soon after, Bannon pleaded not guilty and was released on a $5 million bond.

    In the fall, after Bannon called for the beheadings of two federal officials, his criminal defense lawyers announced that they were withdrawing from the case.

    Maybe Bannon is once again in frequent communication with Trump because they’re political and ideological allies. Or maybe Bannon is looking for a pardon before his former boss exits the White House?

  249. says

    From Bloomberg Law:

    Allies of the outgoing president have been canvassing Washington’s legal landscape looking for representation but so far are coming up short. Lawyers who defended him in the previous impeachment trial, including Jay Sekulow and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, have said no this time, according to people familiar with the matter. Other lawyers who have defended Trump at times, including former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, Eric Herschmann, Pat Philbin and Marc Kasowitz aren’t interested in joining a team this time, the people said.

    From commentary posted by Steve Benen:

    […] some of the lawyers who aren’t interested in joining the Republican’s team “have privately said what Trump did was indefensible.”

    Princeton’s Keith Whittington told Bloomberg Law, “I think it’s reflective of where Trump’s own status is these days in which he has relatively little to offer and people don’t want to be associated with him generally. The fact is he’s not going to get the A team.”

    […] the familiarity of the circumstances.

    Just two years into his term, as the Russia scandal intensified, Trump boasted that “many lawyers and top law firms” were eager to represent him. That wasn’t true: many of the top-tier lawyers who’d ordinarily be considered for such a role steered clear of the case.

    Last year, during his first impeachment trial, Trump struggled again to assemble a credible team of attorneys. George Conway noted in an op-ed last January, “This is what happens when you don’t pay your legal bills.”

    It was a funny line, but it wasn’t necessarily a joke. There are a variety of factors contributing to Trump’s difficulties in finding good legal representation — his apparent guilt, the severity of his misdeeds, his erratic unpredictability, his willingness to occasionally blurt out confessions, etc. — but his reputation for refusing to pay his bills almost certainly doesn’t help.

    […] multiple reports noted that Trump has directed his aides not to pay Rudy Giuliani’s legal fees. That may seem understandable given the former mayor’s on-the-job performance, but for attorneys weighing whether to take on Trump as a client, it’s one more reason to hang up the phone when the West Wing calls.

    Link

  250. says

    Report: Trump Aides Putting Together Goodbye Crowd For Outgoing POTUS On Inauguration Day

    […] Trump’s aides are putting together plans for him to enjoy the adoration of his supporters one last time before he leaves office on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to CNN.

    Trump reportedly expects a big spectacle with a crowd of his fans when he finally exits the White House for good, which he plans to do on the morning of Biden’s swearing-in on January 20. The President wants the sendoff to be held military-style, according to CNN.

    The Trump team has reportedly not decided whether that sendoff would be at the White House or at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, where the President plans to go that day. According to CNN, Trump is unhappy with the idea of having to ask Biden for permission to use Air Force One for his departure. […]

    One last super spreader event?

  251. says

    For first time, federal prosecutors label Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection,’ and ‘armed revolution’

    It’s not hard to spot Jacob Chansley in any image of the insurgent takeover of the Capitol building on Jan. 6. He’s the shirtless jackass wearing a horned helmet. The jackass who calls himself “Q Shaman.” The jackass who carried a spear into the Capitol. The jackass who wrote a note saying, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming,” before leaving it on Mike Pence’s desk in the Senate.

    Chansley has become iconic for just how ridiculous the crowd pouring into the Capitol was on that day of insurrection. Not only has he succeeded in getting prison officials to feed him only organic food following his arrest, he has also secured St. Louis “super attorney” Albert Watkins to conduct his defense—that would be the same attorney who defended the gun-toting McCloskeys after they waved weapons at peaceful protesters walking through their tony neighborhood. Watkins is already making it clear what he wants for his client: a presidential pardon. After all, he argues, Chansley was only doing what Donald Trump asked of him. But Chansley […] may actually be about to receive something that could be visited on a whole host of those who were with him that day: a felony charge of sedition.

    As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, Watkins is singing the same kind of aggrieved song for Chansley that he did for the McCloskeys. His client, he says, was “invited” to come to Washington, D.C., and was only doing what Trump asked of him. “He invited his faithful,” said Watkins, “those who had been longstanding supporters of him and his cause, those who felt for the first time in their lives that their political voices were being heard.”

    If that sounds like Watkins is throwing the blame on Trump, the conservative attorney also made it clear that Trump is absolutely free to call for an insurrection any time he wants. “He’s the president. He can go wherever he wants with those that he invites.”

    Watkins went on to claim that Chansley didn’t do anything violent, or even harm any property.

    “He just walked in with the whole crowd that was walking in on the peaceful side of things.” That would be the peaceful side of things where the crowd had just gained access to the Capitol building by dragging police down the steps, beating them with iron pipes, then smashing their way into the building with a chunk of bike railing. That peaceful side.

    As police tell their horror stories of being battered, kicked, hit with bear spray, and beaten with everything from flag poles to fire extinguishers, Watkins insists that many of the Capitol Police were “supportive of the protesters.” And that Chansley put up no fuss when reinforcements arrived to drive him from the Capitol.

    “Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr. Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president’s invitation with honorable intentions,” said Watkins. Somehow, peaceful, compliant, and honorable were not the words that came to mind when watching events on Jan. 6.

    Frighteningly, Trump could issue a pardon, not just for Chansley, but for everyone who carried his banner into the Capitol, tore down American flags, and smeared the walls with both blood and excrement as they went hunting members of Congress. On the other hand, federal prosecutors appear to have something else in mind. […]

    Far from being a harmless goof, prosecutors describe Chansley as “an active participant in” and “the most prominent symbol of” this violent insurrection. They also make clear that Chansley intended to return to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to disrupt Joe Biden’s inauguration.

    “At this juncture in our Nation’s history,” wrote prosecutors, “it is hard to imagine a greater risk to our democracy and community than the armed revolution of which Chansley has made himself the symbol.”

    The language used by prosecutors, and especially the use of the terms “violent insurrection” and “armed revolution,” makes it increasingly likely that the “Q Shaman” and others will face not just charges of unlawful entry or curfew violations, but a felony charge of sedition—punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.

    Which doesn’t mean that Trump could not still pardon Chansley and others on his way out the door. After all, Trump has long made it clear that he regards personal loyalty to himself as far more important than loyalty to the nation. What better way to underscore that than by handing out passes to traitors?

  252. says

    We saw this coming: Russia withdraws from Open Skies Treaty after U.S. departure, […] Trump declared Washington’s intention to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty in May.

    Russia said Friday it will withdraw from an international treaty allowing observation flights over military facilities following the U.S. exit from the pact.

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty last year “significantly upended the balance of interests of signatory states,” adding that Moscow’s proposals to keep the treaty alive after the U.S. exit have been cold-shouldered by Washington’s allies.

    The treaty was intended to build trust between Russia and the West by allowing the accord’s more than three dozen signatories to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories to collect information about military forces and activities.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow is now launching the relevant procedural moves to withdraw from the pact. […]

    Sounds like a move cooked up between Trump and Putin.

  253. says

    “I think this is a wake-up call”: Seeing a familiar face in the Capitol riot

    Some are grappling with the prevalence of extremism in America, after seeing co-workers and fellow churchgoers in the Capitol riot.

    […] Most of these agitators — many of whom broadcasted the riot live from their phones or uploaded selfies on Facebook — made no effort to mask their identity. For those watching the insurrection in horror from their homes, this had a chilling effect: As they scrolled through their social feeds and watched the chaos on the news, many caught glimpses of familiar faces.

    It’s tempting to dismiss the insurrectionists as uneducated or representative of the ultra-fringe parts of society. But reports have surfaced of typical middle class or sometimes elite Americans at the riots — police officers, elected officials, real estate agents, and CEOS. There’s plenty of historical precedence for this, including radical white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, which included many “respectable” professions such as lawyers, merchants, and ministers.

    “I think this is a wake-up call,” says Donald Haider-Markel, a professor at the University of Kansas who studies hardline political movements. “For people to say, ‘These are everyday people, people I know, who are clearly getting involved in political extremism.’” Today’s pro-Trump movement is particularly large — Haider-Markel told me that the only precedent for this level of radicalization in American society was the anti-communist mania of the 1950s.

    This sobering realization only reiterates that the insurrection was the doing of everyday Americans; the brothers, sisters, co-workers, and neighbors that make up the individual pieces of our lives. “It was crazy to see someone that I’ve been around at the riot,” said Stephanie, who recognized a roommate of her best friend at the riots. “This shouldn’t be a mainstream part of our politics. But it’s good for us to understand how widespread this radicalization has become.” […]

    It’s someone I went to church with growing up. He was very active in the church and was very friendly, charismatic, and popular in the congregation. Always the funny guy. As a kid, I was very fond of him. But later I discovered that he was extremely radical. He posts constant Trump stuff on Facebook.

    Sure enough, when I was watching the riots last week, I thought, “He was probably there.” I was right. He was posting a lot of videos from the Capitol. I’m from Indiana, and I’m openly gay, and today I wouldn’t feel safe in the room with him. That’s what’s hard to see. I’m also still religious and it’s tough to see people in the leadership of my old church engage with his posts saying, “Thanks for saving the country, and defending the president.”

    It’s gotten so cult-like. I’m from small-town Indiana, I have conservative family members, and people I’ve grown up with who voted for Trump. It makes me feel vulnerable that they’re willing to go along with someone with such corrupt morals. That’s the thing I think Democrats need to understand after the insurrection. So many different people voted for this guy. Rich people, poor people, Black people, white people, Hispanic people. There’s a stereotype, but I think their boldness has helped us see the full landscape. […]

  254. tomh says

    Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies
    Dan Primack

    Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

    Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend…

    Greg Baer, president and CEO of the Bank Policy Institute:

    “The rule lacks both logic and legal basis, it ignores basic facts about how banking works, and it will undermine the safety and soundness of the banks to which it applies. Its substantive problems are outweighed only by the egregious procedural failings of the rulemaking process, and for these reasons it is unlikely to withstand scrutiny.”

    The Trump administration is rushing to finalize a rash of rulemaking before next Wednesday’s transition of power…

  255. says

    Here’s a link to the January 15 Guardian coronavirus world liveblog.

    From there:

    Global Covid-related deaths pass 2m

    The number of people who have lost their life after having Covid now exceeds two million as yet another grim pandemic milestone was passed.

    John Hopkins University data shows that the US remains the worst affected country by the virus – followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and the UK – across the world in which more than 7.5 billion people reside.

    “What was never on the horizon is that so many of the deaths would be in the richest countries in the world,” said Dr Bharat Pankhania, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Exeter, UK. “That the world’s richest countries would mismanage so badly is just shocking.”

    It comes just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The number of dead is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna.

    In 2019, there were more than 55 million deaths worldwide, often from heart disease, stroke, COPD and lower respiratory disease, according to the latest World Health Organization statistics. However, death rates in many countries rose last year due to the pandemic.

    While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and the many fatalities that were inaccurately attributed to other causes, especially early in the outbreak, the Associated Press reported.

    It took eight months to hit 1 million dead. It took less than four months after that to reach the next million.

    “Behind this terrible number are names and faces — the smile that will now only be a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” said UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. He said the toll “has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort.”
    “Science has succeeded, but solidarity has failed,” he said.

    There are fears that an uneven distribution of the vaccine rollout could hinder global efforts to stifle the virus.

    In wealthy countries including the United States, Britain, Israel, Canada and Germany, millions of citizens have already been given some measure of protection with at least one dose of vaccine developed with revolutionary speed and quickly authorised for use.

    But elsewhere, immunisation drives have barely got going. Many experts are predicting another year of loss and hardship in places like Iran, India, Mexico and Brazil, which together account for about a quarter of the world’s deaths.

    The majority of the world’s COVID-19 vaccine doses have already been snapped up by wealthy countries. COVAX, a UN-backed project to supply shots to developing parts of the world, has found itself short of vaccine, money and logistical help, AP reported.

    As a result, the WHO’s chief scientist warned it is highly unlikely that herd immunity — which would require at least 70% of the globe to be vaccinated — would be achieved this year.

    Meanwhile, in Wuhan, where the scourge was discovered in late 2019, a global team of researchers led by WHO arrived on Thursday to investigate the origins of the virus, which is believed to have spread to humans from wild animals.

    The Chinese city of 11 million people is bustling again, with few signs it was once the epicentre of the catastrophe, locked down for 76 days, with over 3,800 dead.

    “We are not fearful or worried as we were in the past,” said Qin Qiong, a noodle shop owner. “We now live a normal life. I take the subway every day to come to work in the shop. … Except for our customers, who have to wear masks, everything else is the same.”

  256. says

    From Wonkette:

    A week after the election, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered a reward of One Million Dollars to anyone who could provide evidence of vote fraud. As you may recall, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov John Fetterman immediately stepped right up to say he’d like to solve the puzzle Pat collect the reward, since he had a case of a guy who tried to vote twice.

    Patrick still hasn’t shelled out a cent […] to pay Fetterman, but the alleged vote frauder, Ralph Thurman, had a preliminary hearing in state court this week, at which his attorney insisted that if there was any fraud anywhere, it was the entire case against their client, an innocent lamb of a fellow who they said was tricked in a devious plot by Democrats into voting twice. And besides, Thurman’s attorney also said, Thurman’s son had given permission to vote on his behalf, which made it okay.

    […] The hearing, overseen by District Judge Thomas Tartaglio, who will at least have a great story to tell other judges at judge parties, didn’t go so great for Thurman. Tartaglio ordered Thurman be tried in Common Pleas Court on felony charges of repeat voting, plus a smattering of misdemeanor charges: forgery, identity theft, and false swearing to a public official. Tartaglio did at least throw out one charge for “forging and destroying ballots,” so that was nice.

    But Thurman’s attorney sure tried to cast doubt on whether a crime took place at all. He claimed, without bothering to provide any evidence, that a poll worker, Eric Frank, was part of a tricksy plot to ensnare Thurman, a Republican, because Eric Frank’s father, David Frank, was the precinct judge of elections, and what’s more, Eric Frank’s mom, Lani Frank, is a Democrat.

    Just to make things sillier, attorney Joseph Vaughan claimed that Eric Frank was trying to collect a “bounty” for reporting voter fraud, not that any such reward existed before the Texas lieutenant governor came out with his. “We believe that Mr. Thurman was set up,” Vaughan said while questioning Frank. But without any proof to back up the claims, Tartaglio ruled in favor of the prosecutors’ objections to the defense questions.

    For his part, Frank said he was just doing his job as a poll worker, handing ballots to voters after another worker signed them in and announced their names. He’d never seen Thurman before Election Day, for that matter.

    […] The facts are fairly straightforward […] Mr. Thurman, 71, came to vote around 7:20 a.m., and Eric Frank said he overheard Thurman ask the other poll worker whether he needed ID to vote. Not in Pennsylvania, as long as it’s not his first time voting. Then Thurman wondered aloud if it would be OK to vote for his son, asking Frank, “So I can come back and sign in again?”

    Frank told him, no, sir, “That would be illegal,” and Thurman replied “How would you know?”

    Thurman left, but returned about three hours later. Frank said that when he heard the name “Thurman” called again, he looked up and saw Thurman was back, but — and this is why you should support local journalism, kids — “this time wearing sunglasses.” [LOL]

    Frank handed him a ballot anyway (he explained under questioning that it wasn’t his job to judge whether voters were entitled to vote) and went to alert his dad, but by the time David Frank was available, Thurman was just putting his second ballot in the scanner and heading out the door.

    “I said, ‘Sir, can you please come back in here, so we can straighten this out?'” David Frank said. “He said, ‘I don’t know. I can’t do that. I have to go. My wife is in the car.'”

    A third poll worker, Nancy Harkins of West Chester, said she was substituting for the poll book worker when Thurman arrived the second time. She said she distinctly heard him identify himself as Kyle Thurman and signed the poll book under that name.

    Vaughan tried to poke holes in the narrative, kind of, asking Harkins if Thurman had said anything to her about voting for his son (he hadn’t) and asking Frank if he knew Thurman was hard of hearing and may not have heard Frank say voting twice is illegal. (Which would make his reply, “how would you know?” a remarkable bit of psychic magic.)

    The very best part of the story is the question Vaughan asked David Frank, though:

    He asked whether the elections official was aware that when Thurman voted for his son, he cast a ballot for Biden, not Trump. “If the votes cancel each other out, isn’t it true that you’re not technically voting twice?” He asked. [Assistant District Attorney Daniel ] Hollander, however, objected, calling the notion “absolutely preposterous.” Tartaglio agreed.

    Another member of the prosecution team, West Chester County attorney Sam Stretton, pointed out, just in case anyone were unclear on the matter, that even if Thurman’s son had given “permission,” that didn’t make voting twice legal: “It is totally illegal. You vote for yourself. There is no such thing as proxy voting. If we did that, it would create absolute chaos.”

    […] Vaughan closed with a stirring defense of his client’s character, and then, summoning his internal Al Pacino, declared the whole court was out of order:

    “It is implausible to think that he would knowingly commit a crime,” Vaughan said. “The crime here is to bring charges.” Repeating his claims of a