…not your regular variety [DOT 18/1/21]

one of these things is not like the others...

…maybe it’s just because it’s monday…or maybe it’s because we’re days away from an inauguration that can’t come soon enough for the scraps of sanity remaining among those of us who haven’t entirely rejected reality at this point…but sometimes it’s hard not to have doubts…like…you know how they say correlation =|= causation?

Trump’s most enduring legacy could be the historic rise in the national debt [WaPo]

Billionaires add $1tn to net worth during pandemic as their workers struggle [Guardian]

To explain the attack on the Capitol, you can’t just turn your focus to Donald Trump and his enablers. You must also look at the individuals and institutions that fanned fears of “voter fraud” to the point of hysteria among conservative voters, long before Trump. Put another way, the difference between a riot seeking to overturn an election and an effort to suppress opposing votes is one of legality, not intent. And it doesn’t take many steps to get from one to the other.

Mainstream Republicans and conservative commentators have been pushing the idea that Democrats can only win through fraud for decades. [NYT]





Why Are There So Few Courageous Senators? [NYT]

Billionaires backed Republicans who sought to reverse US election results [Guardian]

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.


…just sayin’



A QAnon ‘Digital Soldier’ Marches On, Undeterred by Theory’s Unraveling [NYT]

I can’t tell you how many times in my long career covering technology that I have been on the receiving end of the quote by Thomas Edison that entrepreneurs drag out when their start-up has crashed: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Well, in the last two weeks, we have found out the true cost of all those ways that won’t work. Digital hate and misinformation finally jumped out of the screen and into the real world, in the form of a mob that attacked the Capitol after having been incited to violence by the president.

And technology played a major role. Few will now deny that the miraculous tools that Silicon Valley has invented have been badly perverted.

And so, we are in the midst of the most consequential days for tech ever. The biggest companies finally took steps to clean up their platforms. The various moves by Apple, Google, Facebook and, perhaps most especially, Twitter — which finally threw President Trump off its platform for good, after repeated and escalating violations — have been alternately celebrated and decried.

Big Tech Has Helped Trash America [NYT]





24 Warning Signs of an Insurrection That Should Have Been Obvious [WaPo]

When a mob incited by the president ransacked the Capitol, killing one policeman and pummeling others, it also tore down a veil. Suddenly, all but the most fanatical partisans admitted that Trump was exactly who his fiercest critics have always said he was.


To countless scholars, advocates and political actors, the violent mob that stormed the halls of Congress on Jan. 6 was not exactly surprising. To some, it wasn’t a matter of whether a mob inspired by Donald Trump would kick down the doors of the Capitol, but when.


The vast majority of Americans say they oppose the actions of the rioters who stormed and ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, while smaller majorities say President Trump bears responsibility for the attack and that he should be removed from office and disqualified from serving again, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Even as the findings are sharply partisan, over half of Americans — and 1 in 8 Republicans — say Trump should be criminally charged for his role in the attacks.


…so 7 out 8 republicans polled still don’t think this is a situation that calls for criminal charges…what could possibly have a causal connection to that conclusion?

Immediately after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, all corners of the political spectrum repudiated the mob of President Trump’s supporters. Yet within days, prominent Republicans, party officials, conservative media voices and rank-and-file voters began making a rhetorical shift to try to downplay the group’s violent actions.

In one of the ultimate don’t-believe-your-eyes moments of the Trump era, these Republicans have retreated to the ranks of misinformation, claiming it was Black Lives Matter protesters and far-left groups like antifa who stormed the Capitol — in spite of the pro-Trump flags and QAnon symbology in the crowd. Others have argued that the attack was no worse than the rioting and looting in cities during the Black Lives Matter movement, often exaggerating the unrest last summer while minimizing a mob’s attempt to overturn an election.

The shift is revealing about how conspiracy theories, deflection and political incentives play off one another in Mr. Trump’s G.O.P. For a brief time, Republican officials seemed perhaps open to grappling with what their party’s leader had wrought — violence in the name of their Electoral College fight. But any window of reflection now seems to be closing as Republicans try to pass blame and to compare last summer’s lawlessness, which was condemned by Democrats, to an attack on Congress, which was inspired by Mr. Trump.

How Republicans Are Warping Reality Around the Capitol Attack [NYT]

The fiery rallies that preceded the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were organized and promoted by an array of established conservative insiders and activists, documents and videos show.

The Republican Attorneys General Association was involved, as were the activist groups Turning Point Action and Tea Party Patriots. At least six current or former members of the Council for National Policy (CNP), an influential group that for decades has served as a hub for conservative and Christian activists, also played roles in promoting the rallies.

The two days of rallies were staged not by white nationalists and other extremists, but by well-funded nonprofit groups and individuals that figure prominently in the machinery of conservative activism in Washington.


The false conviction that President Trump won the 2020 election by a landslide was the animating force behind the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and continues to gain traction as we count down to Inauguration Day. That this belief can’t be supported by evidence has had no apparent effect on those compelled to “save” the Republic — by violence, if necessary.


Three days before thousands of rioters converged on the U.S. Capitol, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned of a violent scenario in which “Congress itself” could be the target of angry supporters of President Trump on Jan. 6, laying out a stark alert that deepens questions about the security failures that day.

In a 12-page report on Jan. 3, the intelligence unit of the congressional police force described how thousands of enraged protesters, egged on by Trump and flanked by white supremacists and extreme militia groups, were likely to stream into Washington armed for battle.

This time, the focus of their ire would be members of Congress, the report said.


Internal investigators for the departments of Justice, Defense, the Interior and Homeland Security will investigate how security officials prepared for and responded to last week’s pro-Trump rally in Washington that descended into a riot at the U.S. Capitol, officials announced Friday. [WaPo]

…so I’m sure there couldn’t be any kind of dubious motive behind a move like this, right?


…or whatever the fuck is going on in the space in josh hawley’s head that would usually contain a brain

What does Josh Hawley think he’s doing? [WaPo]

…or…well…this kind of bullshit

As President Trump prepares to leave office in days, a lucrative market for pardons is coming to a head, with some of his allies collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency, according to documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and lawyers.

Prospect of Pardons in Final Days Fuels Market to Buy Access to Trump [NYT]


…but we’re not supposed to think support for thankfully-soon-to-be-ex-president=criminal complicity &/or insanity?

How battered D.C. police made a stand against the Capitol mob [WaPo]


This was the “Blue Lives Matter” crowd, the same folks who hoisted those black and gray flags with a bold blue stripe as a defiant response to the summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
The chief in charge when all this went down, Steven Sund, stepped down, after taking plenty of fire for the way the riot was anticipated and handled.

Sund later told The Washington Post that well before Jan. 6, he asked for permission to get the National Guard on standby. But he said House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, whose authority overrules the Capitol Police, told him the “optics” of formally declaring an emergency ahead of the demonstration weren’t good and denied his request.

[…]the dynamic is problematic and […] congressional leadership will be answering — for months, and maybe for years — for the decisions made that day, the choice to prepare for thousands of angry rioters without the help of military support or even a full staff.

Despite the untenable odds and nightmare attacks, there were moments of real patriotism. “You’ll be hearing those stories,” Gainer said.

Like Officer Eugene Goodman, the Black war veteran who lured a mob of angry White rioters away from senators in a move captured on video.

Or the dozens of officers who were beaten, dragged, sprayed and pummeled, but kept working.


But in a statement to The Washington Post, St. Louis attorney Albert S. Watkins said he had been retained as Chansley’s lawyer and called for President Trump to pardon him.

Watkins claimed that Chansley acted in a “peaceful and compliant fashion” toward law enforcement and was cooperating with their investigation. Besides, he argued, the Arizona man only went to the Capitol because he was following Trump’s invitation.

“He took seriously the countless messages of President Trump. He believed in President Trump,” Watkins said. “Like tens of millions of other Americans, Chansley felt — for the first time in his life — as though his voice was being heard.”
Chansley, who called the FBI himself to acknowledge that he was in the riot, told investigators that “he came as a part of a group effort, with other ‘patriots’ from Arizona, at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”


…to be honest even if it wasn’t monday I’m not sure I’d necessarily suggest watching this would be advisable


…but if you would have but…paywall…then you might have the stomach for this


…honestly though…just reading about this kind of thing is enough to make me want to…as the saying goes…irish up this coffee


Near U.S. Capitol, man arrested for carrying gun, ammunition; woman arrested for impersonating police [WaPo]


…so this doesn’t exactly seem surprising

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/01/15/ahead-inauguration-much-dc-closed-off-like-never-before [no paywall on that one, by the way]

…all that said…it is worth noting that however much it might seem like all this adds up to the sort of picture we associate with war zones…one of these things really is not like the others

U.S. pundits keep comparing Washington to a war zone. People who know war disagree. [WaPo]

…still…as if that wasn’t enough to make for a really lousy start to the week…there’s also this


…& this


…but sure…we don’t get to jump from the correlation between those things & the causative nature of the actions of this can’t-be-over-soon-enough travesty of an administration…because that…wouldn’t be civil..or something…& to be fair…much as I might not want to be…they aren’t the only ones who seem to be dropping the ball when they could have made some solid points instead


…not that we’re as worse off as some are hopefully fixing to be

…but this wouldn’t be federal…& the civil stuff is still to come…so…that’s nice to think about?

…meanwhile…at least you can take comfort in the fact that either you’re one of the lucky few who actually like &/or enjoy your job…or you have a lot of company


…I think we all know the fact that’s a thread really ought to go without saying

…yeah…fixing to be a long-ass week…good luck out there



    • …ouch…that seems…excessive?

      …although to be honest a 05:30 start seems plenty harsh to begin with…best of luck getting through to the end of today, either way

  1. Well that’s too bad about Katie Porter. I wonder if it’s because she’s a whip-smart, energetic Member and not a piece of ineffectual, grandstanding deadwood. Also, at 47, maybe she’s considered far too young to be taken seriously by the leadership. 

    • …it’s a head-scratcher for me, to be honest…from what I understand she was granted a waiver to allow her to sit on the committee previously but despite clearly being an asset to it the waiver hasn’t been granted this time

      …don’t really know who makes that determination but it seems like they made a bad call for no discernible reason…despite there being a precedent to calling it the other way with a considerable amount of supporting evidence to suggest it was an exception worth making…likewise I don’t know who takes her place but I seriously doubt it to be someone who is going to be of greater value there than she was?

        • I think a money and power tradeoff is short of evidence — it seems like a typical Pelosi deal where she folds before the cards are even played.
          If she wanted the upper hand and a boatload of money she’d stack the committee with the most hardcore anti-finance industry team she could muster, and then talk from a position of strength.
          I think the best explanation for a lot of her moves is that she just doesn’t care. It’s not out of some Francis of Assisi determined rejection of worldly temptations deal, it’s just not wanting to be bothered,

        • YUP!!!
          and if it *wasn’t* Mr Dimon, it WAS likely multiple folks who would be appearing before her, over the *next* couple years.😒😒😒

  2. Lucky for me I am upping my coffee game this week with a cuisinart coffee grinder. Freshly ground coffee, french press, giant fucking mug – that should get me through the week.
    Hang in there friends.

  3. I have to admit, I was unaware there was a market for selling pardons. I assumed it was illegal but apparently it’s not, as long as Trump isn’t collecting the cash. Hopefully the new DOJ will be watching these parasites that are selling Trump pardons to see if they give any money back to Trump. According to the NYT, Bill Clinton apparently did it too, although his pardons went to people who had gone through Justice Department review. 
    I guess we’ll just have to watch all the other charges against Trump unfold, though if recent history is any guide, the buffoons Trump surrounds himself with will manage to incriminate both him and themselves. 

  4. Biden killing the Keystone Pipeline permit on day one is a big deal. Four years ago Paul Ryan’s number one priority, the first bill passed, was the Keystone Pipeline. Not taxes, or killing net neutrality, or privatizing schools,or a thousand other things on the GOP wishlist, but Keystone.
    It has always been a nightmarish boondoggle for the environment, native rights, even supposed libertarian priorities like property rights. But the Kochs were poised to make a killing, and the GOP knew who paid the piper.
    Koch is supposedly trying to make a laughable attempt to greenwash it and power the oil flow through the pipeline with solar energy. But the Canadian oil extraction process was of dubious economic value in the first place, the oil demand isn’t strong on top of that, and with any luck we’ll finally be done with propping up this moronic multibillionaire scheme to turn the US into a pathway for shipping Canadian oil to overseas markets.

  5. This was actually from yesterday but can be filed under somethings never change or we could have ended up like these people…

    Today, 128 years ago, a group of lawless, white, mostly American sugar planters, with the same kind of mindset as those who stormed the US Capitol 11 days ago, engaged in an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power, which led to a conditional surrender by the Hawaiian Kingdom’s executive monarch, Her Majesty Queen Lili’uokalani. This group of terrorists was support by US troops, who invaded the Hawaiian Kingdom without just cause. “Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.”(Statement from Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1893, after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarch)
    This white supremacist coup dʻetat initiated a widespread patriotic resistance among Native Hawaiians and other royalist supporters known today as the Aloha ʻĀina movement.

    • oh…i caught that thing about there being concerns about an inside threat on the radio at work
      spent most of the day thinking sooo… you’re worried some of the enlisted may go rogue
      so you invite 25 thousand of them to go be armed security
      thats almost asking for it really…
      anyways….i hope wednesday will be a slow news day

  6. So why did we make Steven Sund step down again? Everything I’ve read makes it sound like he was pretty aware of what was about to happen, and vocal too. Or is it just the “optics” of needing a top head to roll?

    • …it sure seems like that optics thing from where I’m sitting…that & the fact that it’s that much harder to get the relevant people to answer what would seem to be the relevant questions if the first port of call gets to say “that individual no longer works here” & the individual gets to say “I no longer have access to the relevant records but to the best of my recollection…”

      …not sure that version necessarily goes for sund…but one or two others who ceased to be at the top of their chains of command over the last week or so seem like prime candidates?

    • He is doing a lot of damage control and while he is not the only one at fault — Pelosi and McConnell have never wanted to deal with problems in the Capitol Police — he absolutely bears a lot of the blame. It’s similar to the way the Bush White House tried to blame Iraq on Tenet and the CIA for endorsing their fabricated view on WMD, and then pulling up random CYA statements they made along the way as cover. They all were in it together.

      • Thx for the context. As a Midwesterner, I must admit I’m not that familiar with the Capitol police. I surely would not be surprised that they’re just as corrupt/inefficient as *checks notes* all the other police in the country.

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