The big news of the day should have been the against most predictions, both Democrats won the Georgia Senate seat run-off elections: Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are the two newest members of the Senate and that’s huge. That means after Inauguration Day, when Kamala Harris becomes the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans will no longer control the Senate. All the committee chairs that need to hold confirmation hearings for Biden’s political appointees will be Democrats. The Majority Leader who schedules votes on things like confirmation hearings and laws passed by the House that the Republicans have ignored for years will be a Democrat. That is huge! And it should have been everyone’s top headline yesterday. Instead…I thought that I would be spending the day with CSPAN running in the background while I edited a big document for work. I thought it would be the boring ceremonial stuff interrupted by six false objections from the Sedition Caucus forcing the two house to separate and people to read their 5-minute prepared speeches before large majorities voted to reject the objections. I knew the thousands of white supremacist, QAnon-believing, Trump cultists would cause some trouble, but I thought it would be mostly contained in the streets of the city, where the Metropolitan Police force and the D.C. unit of the National Guard were ready for them. I figured it would be like when the Black Lives Matter march happened last summer, and a massive police and National Guard presence would be ready. None of us knew that, for whatever reason, the Capitol Police (a completely separate police force from the city’s Metropolitan Police) would not be expecting demonstrators.
Although I do have to admit that I’m not surprised that some of the Capitol Police actually removed some barriers and waved the lawless thugs through. Nor that some posed to take selfies with the treasonous crowd. Because there has always been a significant number of white supremacists within every U.S. police force.
I was incredibly angry at how the mob behaved when they got inside the Capitol Building. And I’m really angry at those media people who are trying to float the idea that they thought the Capitol was open, and they were just strolling through like on a perfectly legal public tour.
They kicked in windows to get in. They kicked in doors. Many of them proudly posed for cameras with items they stole from inside the building. They knew they were not just strolling through on a public tour.
I get it, white privilege makes them think that there will be no consequences. They don’t see themselves as treasonous, lawless thugs. They think they’re patriots. And so many of them are now outraged that a few of them got pepper-sprayed and the like. They are completely unaware that they were treated far, far, far more gently than Black Lives Matter protesters are and have been treated. Hundreds of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters are routinely arrested for simply being in the street. There should have been mass arrests yesterday, not Capitol Police helping people walk down the Capitol Steps and later occasionally nudging the crowed that was illegally assembled after curfew further from the Capitol.I have other topics that I want to write about. But things like this keep happening, and I feel that being silent while the President and some members of Congress make excuses and continue to egg on the delusions of these lawless, racist, thugs must be called out. This isn’t over. It isn’t going to be over when Trump if finally out of office.
At least some of them are starting to face some consequences: Company Fires Employee Who Stormed Capitol With Badge On.
Maybe a few will even face charges: FBI asks public for help identifying violent rioters in Capitol siege.
Today both houses of Congress meet for a Constitutionally mandated tallying of the Electoral votes. Do not let the media that keeps referring to it as “certifying” the vote fool you. The popular votes have already been certified in each state (and audited in many states and recounted in several). The Electoral college votes have all already been certified by the state governors, as required by the Constitution (most states require their respective Secretary of State’s office to certify state election results first, then electors meet to cast their votes, and then the governor signs it according to the Federal Constitution).
The Congressional process is not a certification, it’s a ceremonial tally. Similarly, the President of the Senate (aka the Vice President of the U.S. unless that office is vacate or the person is unavailable, at which point the duty falls to the Senate Pro Tempore—under current rules and tradition, the seniormost member of the majority party) is authorized by the Constitution to do only two things: call the joint session to order, and open the envelopes containing Electoral votes. He isn’t even the person who counts them. The counting is done by tellers selected from the two houses.
However, because of the members of what many people are now calling the Sedition Caucus are going to object to some of those slates. And if at least one Senator and one Representative object, the two houses retire to their own chambers and debate for not more than 2 hours, then vote on whether to accept the contested Electoral votes. And a majority of both houses have to agree to reject them in order for them not to be counted. So with a Democratic majority in one house, there is no way that any Electoral votes will be rejected.
The Hill has a nice summary to today’s process here: Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges.
So there is going to be a lot of drama, but it’s all just a media circus. There won’t be a change in the election results. Unfortunately the fuckwits out there who have become pro-fascists and distrustful of the democratic process will take this as encouragement to continue their hate crimes, intimidations, and terrorist threats. So it is definitely not harmless.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so: Worse Than Treason – No amount of rationalizing can change the fact that the majority of the Republican Party is advocating for the overthrow of an American election.
The grifter-in-chief continues to think that threatening and cajoling people will make them ignore the law and let him remain in power: ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor. The entire hour-long recording is available online, and if you hear it Trump sounds like a cartoonish parody of a crime boss. I saw more than one former prosecutor on line say that real crime bosses are more subtle than he was in that call. So besides being an incompetent businessman, an incompetent casino owner, and an incompetent President, but he is only a wanna be mob boss!
Meanwhile, it’s looking likely that Moscow Mitch will cease to be the Senate Majority soon, which is just as important as getting the grifter-in-chief out of the Oval Office: Warnock win puts Democrats on the brink of Senate control – The other Georgia race, which remains uncalled, will determine the Senate majority.
That gives me hope.
I’m not going to make any predictions about how bad the street violence of the Proud Boys in D.C. is going to be. Videos that were shared Tuesday evening indicate they weren’t prepared for being treated like normal protestors by the police. Proud Boys Brawl With D.C. Cops Ahead of Pro-Trump March.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Edited to Add: Georgia Election Official: Trump Is To Blame For Both Senate Losses In Georgia. If they’re saying both Republican candidates have lost, I guess that means both Warnock and Ossoff have won.
ETA 2: Democrats retake the Senate with Georgia sweep. Everyone’s calling it. Good job, Georgia!
I’ve got some posts started, but I figure since so much of the Weekend Update was about one story where there have been major new developments, I should comment on that:
So we know who the bomber is and we know he died in the explosion. If it was just a suicide it was a rather elaborate one. Particularly the part where he appears to have set up the camera that filmed the explosion and also uploaded it to the newly created twitter account. At least it’s consistent with the neighbor’s recollection of the “the world is never going to forget me” comment he made about a week before Christmas.
The internet is rife with theories about his motive. And just as I said Saturday, I don’t think we have enough information to deduce anything other that, he wanted his death to send a message, but not yet what that message was.
Meanwhile…How Trump caved on the coronavirus relief bill. “Getting a cranky, stubborn President Trump to belatedly sign the COVID relief bill, after unemployment benefits had already lapsed, was like being a hostage negotiator, or defusing a bomb.”
This was just so stupid. The bills he was refusing to sign had been negotiated by his administration. Refusing to sign it and making strange demands that he could have made while negotiations were in progress show he isn’t and hasn’t been paying attention to anything but the headlines that he rage-tweets about day and night. We already knew that, but he continues to find new lows to sink to.
And he’s still making threats about the election, of course. One of his latests gripes is being angry at the Michigan Attorney General for pursuing sanctions on some of the fuckwit lawyers that have filed the 59+ losing court cases to try to overturn the election. The Attorney General had a good comback: Michigan AG returns fire on Trump: ‘You’re not our type’ – President Trump takes to Twitter to criticize Michigan AG Dana Nessel.
Many of us are looking forward to January 20th not just because the grifter will out, but also because various states that are already investigating his shady business deals and charity fraud can start prosecuting. Remember, even if he pardons himself and courts hold up the self-pardon, presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes. They will have no effect on any state charges. Also, they have no effect on international courts: Trump Shouldn’t Be Tried For Tax Fraud, He Should Be Tried For Mass Murder – Trump deserves to be taken to the The Hague and tried before the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity.
We can dream…
The state criminal cases are proceeding regardless of what Biden or his Department of Justice decide to do. It infuriates me that we got four years of Bengazhi hearings that never turned up any wrongdoing, but people argue that Congress should just ignore the violations of the emolluments clause of the Constitution, the bribery and corruption, the multiple violations of the Federal Anti-Nepotism Act, the multiple violations of the Hatch Act, ignoring when Russia put bounties on our own soldiers (and then lying and trying to cover up when it was uncovered), withholding medical supplies from states whose governors he was angry with, illegally sending troops into cities whose local government policies annoyed him, the crimes against humanity including children being left to die in cages…
I think at the very least Biden should call for the appointment of an independent counsel to look into some subset of the many treasonous things Trump and his cronies did.
You can’t let such blatant disregard for the law go.
I’m still spending most of my energy on NaNoWriMo, so you get another news link post:
‘I have never seen this before’: Legal expert stunned by argument in latest Trump voter fraud lawsuit. And not because it’s brilliant.
Oppressed Oppressors: Supporters of Prez Super-spreader feeling the pain of his reckless, moronic decisions
It wasn’t long after the news that the pussy-grabber-in-chief had tested positive for COVID-19 that I saw the messages praying for his swift recovery, et cetera. All of which that passed through my social media streams I carefully avoiding replying to, lest I say something wrong. I did retweet a person wishing that the almighty show trump exactly the same compassion and grace that Trump has ever expended to others. I made a similar comment myself as a follow-up. But at no point did I say I was glad he was sick or express any hope for a bad outcome.
And honestly, I haven’t seen much of that at all. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about why they are having trouble mustering any sympathy. And I’ve been one of the people explaining why I have virtually no sympathy in this case. I’ve even seen people explain how much they don’t want him to die precisely because they want him to live long enough to face criminal prosecution for at least some of his crimes.
But this has not stopped his supporters from wailing and screaming at all of us “evil libs” for not showing the compassion and respect they think he observes.
Here’s why I’m barely restraining myself for tracking them down to laugh in their faces: just last week they were cheering and metaphorically dancing in the streets over the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That’s only one of the reasons, though. Just to list a few more:
- President Super-spreader put thousands of children in cages at the border, and has let diseases run rampant through the camps,
- his minions are asking the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare even while he himself is getting treated in a government hospital, every penny of his care paid for by the U.S. taxpayer,
- the Russian president put out and has paid several bounties to terrorists for killing U.S. soldiers, and Prez Super-spreader has refused to even broach the topic, let alone express any sympathy to the families of assassinated soldiers,
- when, at a white supremacist rally, one of the Prez’s supporters drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors and killed a young woman, the Prez was too busy trying to say that there were many fine people among those white supremacists to ever express sympathy to the family of the slain woman,
- also while arguing with reporters about those same rallies, he kept using the word “us” while referring to the white supremacists,
- over 214,000 Americans have died in this pandemic, most of those deaths could have been prevented if the Prez hadn’t decided that the disease was only killing people in Blue States so it didn’t matter,
- over 214,000 Americans have died, and just two weeks ago the Prez was saying that the disease hurts virtually nobody.
- he knew he was positive for the virus before the Presidential Debate, but he didn’t warn anyone who was at the debate, he attended a fundraiser and a rally afterward during which he refused to wear a mask, and even when his symptoms became bad enough to scare him, it never occurred to him to call his opponent in that debate and inform him (you know, the thing that any decent human being would do),
- et cetera
- et cetera
- et cetera
I could keep going and going.
The simple fact is that the man responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and counting (and that’s only Americans who have died of the pandemic, he’s responsible for a lot more) does not deserve one fucking iota of pity for getting a disease which he allowed to run rampant across the country. A disease he pretended didn’t matter. A disease he claimed could be cured if people drank bleach. A disease he insisted would magically disappear any second now.
And I’m not the only one who feels that way: The ‘Fuck Your Feelings’ Crowd Wants a Pity Party for Trump.
The other thing that’s driving me to distraction on this is the reaction of the professional pundit class. As soon as they learned about Prez Super-spreader’s diagnosis, suddenly all of the non-Fox news outlets had dire warnings about a constitutional crisis if the Prez is incapacitated—because there are a bunch of gaps in the process laid out in the 25th amendment for dealing with the incapacity of a president. One of the biggies being that there is no process for what could happen if the Veep gets seriously ill, too.
And I’ve listened to one podcast where some experts are dismayed that all the non-trump-cultists aren’t reacting to their dire warnings of a constitutional crisis.
You know why? Because we’ve been in the middle of a constitutional crisis for nearly four years now. We, the ordinary people on progressive side of the political spectrum have been screaming at the news media, our congressional representatives, and anyone else we thought might help—some for only the last few months, some of us for years.
Day one he refused to obey the Emoluments Clause of the constitution as well as the The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute. He repeatedly suggested that he should be able to serve an extra long term because people were supposedly mean to him the first couple of years in office. He then switched to suggested that the coming election results can’t be trusted. He has repeatedly claimed that he would not be bound to accept a loss at the ballot box if he decided the process wasn’t fair. He has repeatedly (and in official communications) threatened to illegally send troops into cities and states where he believed officials and citizens oppose his policies. He has illegally sent troops into at least one such city. He was repeatedly refused to say that there would be a peaceful transition if he loses the election.
All of those were constitutional crises that should have been engendering dire headlines long, long ago.
The only people who care about his blatant violation of the very foundations of our form of government at all have been worrying about this for years while the pundits have been acting as if it’s all some kind of game or horse race.
Catch up, guys. The rest of us have been dreading and bracing for the chaos.