…give me a break [DOT 24/1/21]

it's supposedly a day of rest...

…honestly, it’s all been a little hard to take for so long that just getting an actual administration in place of an alleged one felt pretty good



Abraham Lincoln assumed the presidency with the country on the verge of civil war. But no president in history has inherited the array of challenges facing President Biden: a raging pandemic made so much worse by Trump’s malevolent mismanagement; an economy reeling from the consequences of the disease; a country riven by racial tensions; the threat of insurrection; and the reality that a significant subset of the country, inflamed by disinformation, does not consider him the legitimately elected president.

All to be handled even as Biden juggles conflicting pressures within his own party and governs with the slimmest of congressional majorities — so slim the evenly divided Senate cannot even agree on how to organize itself. And, oh yes, at least for a few weeks of his infant presidency, he must proceed amid the second impeachment trial of his predecessor.


…damn if it doesn’t seem like we’re back to the hard to take thing in a hurry


The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.

The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.

Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General [NYT]


Former President Trump’s campaign had paid out more than $2.7 million to several individuals and firms behind the Jan. 6 rally in Washington that devolved into a violent insurrection at the Capitol, the Center for Responsive Politics reported on Friday.

Several organizers listed on the event permit granted by the National Parks Service (NPS) and posted online by the Center for Responsive Politics previously held positions within the Trump campaign or had ties to those who did.


Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump are set to begin the week of 8 February, with the former president facing charges of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol.

The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, announced the schedule late Friday after reaching an agreement with Republicans.

Under the timeline, the House will transmit the impeachment article against Trump late on Monday, with initial proceedings Tuesday. From there, Trump’s legal team will have time to prepare the case before opening arguments begin in February.

Schumer said he and the Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, will iron out details about the timing and duration of the trial.


…& I get that the claim on the part of the GOP that it would be somehow impossible for the senate to do anything but drag out the impeachment thing while denying the new administration the opportunity to do necessary shit like get candidates confirmed in posts might be a meaningful threat to people who actually have a slate of qualified candiates who need to be in post so they can…you know…actually do the work that needs doing

Up to 100 sites run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could begin offering coronavirus vaccine within the next month, part of a strategy that would dramatically expand the federal government’s role in the effort to corral the pandemic.
Enlisting FEMA, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is among the clearest signals that Biden intends to involve the federal government more directly in the administration of vaccines, instead of leaving the final step of the massive effort to state and local authorities.


Senior Democrats drafting plan to give parents at least $3,000 per child in Biden stimulus [WaPo]

…& sure

In the race to the bottom for the title of worst American president, the same few sorry names appear at the end of almost every list, jockeying for last place. There’s Andrew Johnson, whose abysmal behavior during Reconstruction led to the first presidential impeachment. There’s Warren G. Harding, responsible for the Teapot Dome scandal. There’s hapless, hated Franklin G. Pierce; doomed, dead-after-32-days William Henry Harrison; and inevitably, James Buchanan, often considered worst of all because of how badly he bungled the lead-up to the Civil War.

But as historians consider the legacy of Donald J. Trump, it appears that even the woefully inadequate Buchanan has some serious competition for the spot at the bottom.

The Trump Presidency Is Now History. So How Will It Rank? [NYT]

…a lot of this is about dealing with fallout on all kinds of fronts from shit that happened on a watch it felt like nobody was standing

Education Dept. staff recommends dropping embattled for-profit college accreditor backed by DeVos [WaPo]

Biden to reverse Trump orders seen as hostile to federal workers [WaPo]


…so frankly it’s a mystery why so many of these people are still walking around pulling the same bullshit

Republicans love to say that Democrats were out to get Donald Trump from the start because one of their members, Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), first filed impeachment articles 11 months after Trump took office. Now we have H. Res. 57, “Impeaching Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States, for abuse of power…” — filed on Biden’s first full day in office.


…& not…not to put too fine a point on it…locked the fuck up..which some might say would still be getting off lightly


…& some seem to think they literally shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences of their actions, even

The woman who documented herself flying via private plane to Washington and entering the Capitol with a mob of Donald Trump supporters is now soliciting donations for her legal defense. [WaPo]

…or so much as behave appropriately going forward

The U.S. Capitol Police department has launched an investigation after Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) set off a magnetometer near the House chamber while carrying a concealed gun Thursday afternoon, according to a Hill staffer with knowledge of the incident.

Harris set off the magnetometer — installed in the aftermath of the deadly Jan. 6 riot — as he was on his way to the chamber, leading security to pat him down, said the staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the incident.
It’s unclear why Harris had the gun on him Thursday, just over two weeks after a violent mob stormed past Capitol Police officers and into the building, injuring dozens and leading to the death of a police officer and four civilians.

A HuffPost congressional reporter who witnessed part of the incident, Matt Fuller, reported that Harris lingered near the elevators after security turned him away. He then tried to ask another lawmaker, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) to take the gun for him.
House Democrats hope to pass an amended rule in February that would fine lawmakers $5,000 if they refuse to cooperate with a metal detector screening. A second offense could lead to a $10,000 fine.


…& there’s no prizes for guessing why these kinds of performative antics are what passes for standard operating procedure for one side of the aisle

The 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment are already facing a fleet of primary challengers, censures and other rebukes from their hometown Republican Party organizations, an indication that the battle over Mr. Trump will play a defining role in shaping the direction of the party during the next two years.
Nearly all of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump have either already been formally censured by local branches of the G.O.P., face upcoming censure votes or have been publicly scolded by local party leaders. Efforts across the country to punish these lawmakers offer vivid illustrations of the divisions cleaving a party that has been shut out of power.
In fact, Republicans have long battled one another over perceived purity tests, and in recent years the most powerful litmus test in the eyes of primary voters has centered on fealty to Mr. Trump.


[…brief aside…I know the NYT has its share of problems with how it chooses to cover any number of things but I’d just like to take a moment & acknowledge that strategic use of “mr.” when convention might have taken them a different way…sometimes it’s the little things you have to take comfort in?]

Sen. Josh Hawley has a problem. The Missouri Republican thought he had cleverly spied an opening: He grabbed an early role as lead promoter of our former president’s scheme to get his allies to overturn the election by objecting to President Biden’s electors when they were counted in Congress on Jan. 6.

At first it seemed to work. Hawley beat out poor Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who scrambled to assume his own role in this scheme, driven by a desire to outflank his Missouri colleague. Both were intoxicated by tantalizing visions of themselves inheriting the Trumpist mantle in advance of the 2024 GOP presidential primaries.

But then a mob stormed the Capitol to accomplish the same end — overturning the election by blocking the counting of Biden’s electors — and Hawley has been struggling to explain himself (as has Cruz) ever since.
It’s hard to capture how ludicrous this argument truly is. First, there is no meaningful sense in which Hawley’s efforts constituted “representing” his “constituents” or “giving voice” to them.
By purporting to object on their behalf, Hawley’s actual impact was to keep them trapped in the delusion that their beliefs were grounded — and could still change the election’s outcome.


…I’m sure there’s a saying about why it’s a dumb idea to grab a tiger by the tail

Detention sought for U.S. Capitol breach defendants allegedly armed with guns, crowbars, metal bats, hockey sticks, Taser [WaPo]

…& a currently popular one about why voting for the leopards-eating-people’s-faces party is an even worse idea than cutting of your nose to spite your face


Domestic far-right extremism is poised to become a more diverse phenomenon in 2021, bringing together white supremacists marching in crowds alongside conspiracy theorists, militias and other extremists motivated by gun culture and a deep hatred of government. With Mr. Trump no longer in office, a portion of his supporters are vulnerable to recruitment into more extreme networks and, potentially, white-supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. These groups are energized and confident in their ability to co-opt militant Trumpists.


A Texas man who participated in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January has been charged with threatening to “assassinate” the New York Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


Terrorism in the United States is overwhelmingly domestic and motivated by far-right ideologies, often racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. In the past decade — indeed, in just about every year since 1990, other than 2001 — acts of right-wing domestic terrorism have been far more numerous and more lethal than acts of terrorism inspired or influenced by groups or movements overseas, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a research center at the University of Maryland. Far-right plots are also less likely to be disrupted by law enforcement; in the past decade about two-thirds of right-wing domestic terrorist plans have ended in “success,” according to the center, compared with 22 percent of terrorist plans hatched by international and affiliated actors.

So one of the most striking passages in President Biden’s Inaugural Address on Wednesday was also one of the most straightforward: He named the enemy. “Political extremism, white supremacy” and “domestic terrorism,” he said, are dangers “that we must confront and we will defeat.”
The primary reason that right-wing political violence persists in the United States is that it has rarely been prioritized by law enforcement, and the primary reason it has rarely been prioritized is political reluctance to do so. In the past decade, the lethal attacks kept coming — at a Black church in Charleston, S.C.; at a synagogue in Pittsburgh; at a Walmart in El Paso; at a protest against a racist rally in Charlottesville, Va., — but under Donald Trump and even under Barack Obama, security officials continued to shower resources on addressing foreign threats rather than those closer to home.

The government’s lapse has now become obvious. In the months leading up to the Capitol riot, right-wing assailants hardly attempted to hide their intentions. Many promised in public that they were planning to attack the government. They photographed themselves preparing to attack the government. They posted the routes they planned to take on their way to attack the government. Some even practiced attacking the federal government by attacking state governments. Undoing their plot was not a matter of finding a needle in a haystack; this was more like searching for a porcupine in a haystack, unmissable by anyone who cared to take minimal notice.

Finally, a President Acknowledges White Supremacists [NYT]

…still…& least not everything on the horizon is stuff that sucks for all of us because of some trump-ed up bullshit…we also get to look forward to a bunch of stuff finally sucking for trump because of the endless cavalcade of bullshit he’s pulled finally (if there’s any justice) fucking his shit up but good


…I don’t know about you but aside from the part where it’s taken too damn long

Biden administration weighs turning over Trump tax returns to House Democrats [WaPo]

…I’m finding I feel pretty good about that part…& this, for that matter

…& fake though it might be…this was surprisingly satisfying to listen to, too

…anyway…it’s sunday…that counts for something, right?



  1. Fuck Alex Jones forever for what he’s done to the Sandy Hook families. 
    Also, fun fact, Jones and I are about the same age and he looks terrible. Hate makes one ugly inside and out. See also: Stephen Miller

  2. I think the Times’s use of honorifics is pretty standard practice. You give the full title upon introduction (“first use”) and then you get to the point so as not to beat the reader of the head with it. So today we might see something like, “President Joe Biden announced today…” “Mr. Biden added that….” “And aide to Mr. Biden clarified that….”
    Back when the Times covered New York they used to run stories about events in the other boroughs where none of the reporters lived, which often led to really funny results, which I used to collect. I vividly remember one. A young woman was killed at a rooftop party. No one saw anything, of course, and the police described them as being “extremely uncooperative.” The woman was a little bit of a mystery so she was known as Shorty Two Forty, because she was short and always showed up with two 40-oz. bottles of beer for her personal consumption. The story went something like, “Little is known about the victim, who acquaintances called Shorty Two Forty. Ms. Two Forty is thought to have arrived at the party alone at approximately 2:00 AM according to security camera footage. A man was seen arriving at the same party shortly thereafter, and police are investigating any connection he might have had with Ms. Two Forty’s death.”

    • …aside from that being a great story I think you’re right about the honorific thing…it was more by way of an excuse to note that I don’t think “individual #1” deserves to get referred to by the title he likewise never seemed to show signs of deserving…if he wants people to call him something other than mr. my vote goes for “the defendant”?

      • A few months before his death, so in 2020, I was introduced to David Dinkins. I knew what to do. “Mayor Dinkins, it’s an honor to meet you.” Dinkins lost re-election (to Rudy Giuliani) in 1993. Those titles will stay with you forever. It’s why Hillary Clinton will be called Secretary Clinton for the rest of her life,  but not Senator Clinton, because being Senator came first.  
        Sometimes a politician will get themselves into legal trouble and either resign or not be re-elected, but not actually serve prison time. Hostile pundits are perfectly free to use the honorific “unindicted co-conspirator,” if that’s what they were. If they have done prison time, like loathsome Jared Kushner’s loathsome father Charles, pardoned by Trump of course, you can refer to him as “BP [Bureau of Prisons] Number 123456789,” or whatever number he was really assigned while in lockup. 
        The best honorific for Trump is one of the oldest, bestowed upon him by a young Graydon Carter in the pages of Spy Magazine: short-fingered vulgarian.

  3. If cheeto was indeed a ‘smart business man stable genius’ this plot might have succeeded.
    What really frustrates me is the people who lined up the pros and cons and still chose cheeto, hmmm, he’s a racist corrupt moron, hates women, minorities, and the disabled, but the supreme court is conservative and we got a tax cut, I’ll vote for him! The inability to look at the country as a whole instead of your own little piece is astounding.
    The silver lining is lots of people became more politically active, not only the cray cray.

    • That’s the scary bit, all the warnings that the stage is set for a competent group of hatemongers to actually succeed where Cheetolini and his cabinet of rejects doddered. What if this is indeed the Munich Putsch to proceed actual Nazi fascist uprooting?
      A guest on a show or podcast a week ago [sorry, I don’t recall exactly who] said it well: if racism and misogyny aren’t dealbreakers for you, at this point you just have to own that you are also racist and misogynist. No more tagalong bystanders at this point.

    • I can only assume that the charges are being drafted and the more thorough, ironclad, and damning they are, the more consequential they will be. I’m willing to give this time, subject to any statute of limitations restrictions.
      If it’s any comfort, members of the NY Bar are calling for Mayor 9/11’s expulsion, and as far as I know he’s only passed the NY Bar, so there goes that. I suppose the wing nuts will be willing to pay speaking fees but he’s growing less relevant by the day and probably has a very short half-life. He’s also 76 years old and looking pretty rough, so who knows what toll the last six or eight months have taken on him. 

      • I think that’s it. Basically I keep seeing variations on “this is a complex case with an ongoing investigation and we will continue to follow the facts and the law,” which is more or less the statement from the DOJ. 
        Another issue, I think, is that arrests are being made among the insurgents themselves, which further builds the case against Trump, Rudy, and Donj. The more people that say “THEY TOLD US TO DO IT,” the stronger the eventual case against the three becomes. It’s hard to say “I didn’t mean do that” when 80 people testify that they believed that’s EXACTLY what they meant.
        Also, with the impeachment going on, the DOJ may not want to muddy the waters right now. I have no doubt that Trump would throw Rudy and Donj to the wolves in a second if he thought he could pin this mess on them and walk away. 
        Finally, I’m sure the DOJ was waiting to for Trump to lose the pardon power, and see exactly who he pardoned before he did. No point in filing charges, tipping off the Trump Cartel, and having them get Trump to issue pardons. 

    • They’re exceptionally stupid men who are also convinced they’re above the law and super duper smart.

      I’m assuming part of what is happening is giving them some time to incriminate themselves further. 

    • …well, damn…hope it stays well away from your neck of the woods…but I guess I didn’t think of amsterdam as a riot-prone kind of a place…probably because I associate it with people being either stoned or just too polite

      …although I think I remember reading something recently about them talking about changing the coffee shop rules so tourists could use them anymore…which sounded like it might blow back on them if the tourists keep coming & it goes back to a buy-on-the-street kind of thing

      …I don’t know…the thing I read was pretty light on detail & analysis but if there’s riots in the streets I can’t help but think less people too stoned to trash the joint might not be the way I’d be pushing?

      • tbh….normally its just protests where nothing much happens….always protesting something over here
        but since the rona its been turning into riots often as not…maybe not quite full scale riots…but lotsa little ones.. seems the idiots are bored and angry and acting out over here…they decided to burn down a rona testing street over in urk…lol
        and yeah i heard about amsterdam wanting to stop selling weed to tourists…not sure why tho…or exactly how they’d enforce it…anyways far as i know its only amsterdam considering it…so it will just move tourists elsewhere

    • WTF, Netherlands? You’re supposed to be so frank and reasonable. [At least, according to my incredibly broad index of EU countries and their people.]

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