Saturday, April 17, 2021

101 Days After the Seditionist Attack on the Capitol, The Republic Stands (At Least For Now). We Must Remain Engaged, Vigilant, & United. There Must Be Bold Progress, & Dire Consequences.

Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)

"There is a line from Oklahoma City forward to Jan 6; and there is another line from Oklahoma City all the way back to Reconstruction and Ku Klux Klan crimes against the newly freed slaves." - U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland at his Senate Confirmation Hearings in 2/22/21 

"But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption. We feared it at its inception. We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves." - Amanda Gorman, "The Hill We Climb," Inauguration Day, 1/20/21

"[Garland] called the attack on the Capitol the most "heinous attack on a democratic process" that he's ever seen and said that he will pursue all leads in the investigation. "We begin with the people on the ground and we work our way up to those who are involved and further involved and we will pursue these leads, wherever they take us," he said.  - ABC News, Garland tells senators his first priority will be prosecuting Capitol insurrection, 2/22/21

"So, while once we asked: 'How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?' Now we assert, 'How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?'" - Amanda Gorman, "The Hill We Climb," Inauguration Day, 1/20/21 

I have not posted here since 11/8/20, just a few days after the American people delivered Biden-Harris a decisive victory (both in the popular vote and in the electoral college). Of course, I knew it would be a perilous few months leading up to the inauguration. And, indeed, it was. I have chosen to post here again today. Yes, 101 days after thousands of white supremacists, seditionists, domestic terrorists really, stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the 2020 election and murder the Speaker of the House, the Vice-President and others. (They set up a gallows and hunted their prey.)

In 2018 and again in 2020, the Resistance coalesced, rose up, endured and triumphed. Yes, the Republic stands, at least for now. Yes, we have a viable chance to hold the present and win the future. Nevertheless, the situation is fluid, and still very dangerous. 

The ground is still moving beneath our feet. 

Three existential threats hang over us here and now:

Each threatens not only the republic, but civilization itself.

If we are to have any real hope of overcoming these existential threats, we must consolidate power at the federal level, and hold on to it through the 2022 and 2024 elections.

In pursuit of this goal, three vital imperatives overshadow all else: 

  • Sustain the United Front for Sanity and Decency (yes, Left, Right and Center, from AOC to Chuck Schumer to Stuart Stevens, through 2022 at the very least)
  • Bold Progressive Governance (e.g., American Rescue Plan, American Jobs PlanFor the People Act, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, D.C. Statehood, etc.)
  • Dire Consequences for "Enemies Foreign and Domestic" (e.g., all those high and low who instigated, planned, enabled and/or participated in the 1/6/21 attack, and yes, of course, Trump himself for numerous political and financial crimes)    

Trump is disgraced. Trump has fallen. He lost the popular vote twice. He was impeached twice. He has been banned from Twitter PERMANENTLY. He is not well. He is being probed criminally and pursued civilly, on numerous legal fronts. And yet ... We must not forget that over 74 million Americans apparently voted to give him another four years, and that Democratic control over the Senate rests solely on the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't look down. We are making our way along a very narrow ledge. There is no net below us, and nothing to break our fall ... 

If the Republican Party somehow survives its current crisis, without the purging of those who have enabled Trumpism, without cleansing itself of its racist and sexist toxicity, without renouncing sociopathy as a philosophy of governance, if it is allowed to re-assembly itself under a slicker, smarter, hate-spewing new "Dear Leader" daddy, fueled by the dark-money of foreign and domestic oligarchs, amplified by Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media machine, and given a leg up by new voter suppression laws, everything could go to hell. Again. And fast. 

The Zombie Cult and its Death Eater Overlords cannot be allowed to continue their decades-long battle against the further evolution of the Republic. They are terrified of the vibrant democratic, richly diverse society that is emerging here and now, in this third decade of the 21st Century. And they are terrified of the economic and environmental justice that this vibrant democratic, richly diverse society will demand from a restored and renewed Republic. 

I have no doubt that the clear and present danger of domestic terrorism from the likes of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, etc. is something that U.S. federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies can and will deal with swiftly and efficiently, once empowered and unleashed. 

It is the Zombie Cult formerly known as the Republican Party that will prove more problematic. This lawless delusional aberration must not be allowed to regain power. There is no greater danger. It must either be purged or demolished. 

Speaking to Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word" in February, Evan McMullen, Executive Director of Stand Up, Republic, former GOP policy director and CIA operations office, laid it all out bluntly "Looking at Donald Trump's presidency, the four years of that presidency, and how it all led to January 6th, and then to see that deadly insurrection happen, that threatened our democracy, and then to watch a majority of House Republicans still vote to overturn the results of the election, and then to watch all of this additional evidence come to light, and to learn that Senate Republicans would still vote overwhelmingly to protect [Trump], even though he led a violent insurrection to overturn an election, just so he could stay in power, all of that just describes of course a party that is sick, that is rotten to the core ..."

None of this should surprise you. Noam Chomsky has been sounding the alarm for YEARS (and I have been quoting him to you for YEARS: "Has there ever been an organisation in human history that is dedicated, with such commitment, to the destruction of organised human life on Earth?" (Maya Oppenheimer, "Noam Chomsky: Republican Party is the most dangerous organisation in human history," Independent, 4/27/17)

The 1/6/21 domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol must NEVER be forgotten. There must be serious consequences for all those high and low who participated or enabled it in any way.

Yesterday, 100 days out from the 1/6 attack, our allies at the Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) tweeted out a minute by minute, hour by hour timeline of the horrific event. 

I have cut and pasted the @ProjectLincoln timeline here, with links to their original tweets. 

I have also interspersed images representative of the Great Good that ensued in the weeks and months since the attack was thwarted. 

Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) 1/6/21 Timeline in Tweets:

Today marks 100 days since the events of January 6th and the Capitol Insurrection. Republicans want you to forget about what happened that day. We cannot look away from this moment. 
#TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

9:16AM: Congressman Mo Brooks incites the crowd, demanding that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.

9:45AM: Capitol Police informed that over 30,000 protestors are gathered at Freedom Plaza for the Save America rally hosted by Women for America First. Speakers include multiple far-right propagandists leading up to a Trump headline speech #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

10:26AM: Donald Trump, Jr. proclaims that the Republican Party is Donald Trump's and this is their time to send a message to members of Congress too weak to stop the steal. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

10:43AM: Madison Cawthorn smears his new colleagues in Congress as "cowards" and tells crowd to send them all a message. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

10:53AM: Rudy Giuliani repeats #TheBigLie and says its time for "trial by combat" #Jan6NeverAgain

11:00AM: Save America rally kicks off #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

11:50AM: Multiple sources confirm massive crowd is starting to gather on the east side of the Capitol, majority wearing pro-Trump material. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:00PM: Donald Trump takes the stages at Save America Rally. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:19PM: Trump demands that Congress overturn the fraudulent election and tells crowd they must show strength to take their country back. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

Kai Kahele (@kaikahele): The certificates of election of all 50 states have departed the House. The 2020 election is over. Our constitution is intact. Democracy prevailed. The Capitol is secure.
@JoeBiden will be the 46th President of the United States. Good nite & god bless America.

12:20PM: Federal Protective Services have been alerted that Trump has encouraged protestors to march on the Capitol #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:29PM: Pro-Trump crowd has been spotted moving down Constitution Avenue #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:30PM: Senator Josh Hawley pumps his fist at pro-Trump crowd gathered at the east side of the Capitol before heading into the joint session of Congress. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:49PM: Multiple reports have been received that possible explosive devices have been found outside the RNC and DNC committee buildings #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

12:53PM: Northwest barricades of Capitol have been breached by pro-Trump crowd that has become increasingly violent towards law enforcement.

12:57PM: Capitol Police are reporting that barricades on west side of the Capitol building have been breached and urge members of Congress to take safety precautions #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:12PM: Republicans, led by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), have objected to certifying Arizona’s electoral college votes. #Jan6NeverAgain

1:13PM: Trump has told the crowd to march down Pennsylvania Ave and on the Capitol #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:15PM: Crowd outside west side of Capitol has become extremely violent with Capitol Police, multiple barricades have been breached. #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:26PM: Capitol Police have now ordered evacuations of Library of Congress, Madison Building and Cannon House Office Buildings #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:30PM: Trump supporters have been spotted marching down Constitution Ave towards the Capitol building. #Jan6NeverAgain

1:34PM: DC Mayor Bowser has requested troops to support Capitol Police and local law enforcement #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:35PM: In Senate deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warns that refusing to certify the results of the presidential election under false pretenses would push American democracy into a "death spiral" #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

1:40: DC Mayor Bowser has officially ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 6pm #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:46PM: Rep Elaine Luria tweets "Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sound like multiple gunshots" #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

USA Today (1/20/21): Democrats officially take control of Senate after Harris
swears in Ossoff, Warnock and Padilla. Photo Credit: AP 

1:48PM: Ted Cruz is speaking on his own objections to election certification #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:49PM: Capitol Police Chief Sund requests immediate assistance from District of Columbia National Guard Commander Major General William J. Walker. #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

1:57PM: Multiple rioters have hijacked scaffolding and are banging on second floor windows near McConnell's office. #RelivingJan6 #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

1:59PM: Chief Sund receives the first reports that rioters had reached the Capitol's doors and windows and were trying to break in. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:03PM: Trump rioters have entered the Senate chambers. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:05PM: Kevin Greeson has been declared dead after suffering a heart attack outdoors on Capitol grounds #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:11PM: Rioter Dominic Pezzola breaks a window on the northwest side of the Capitol with a plastic shield #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:12/2:13PM: Officer Goodman turns Senator Mitt Romney around and has him evacuate away from the Trump rioters entering the Capitol building. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:14PM: Officer Eugene Goodman is chased by pro-Trump rioters up stairs as he leads them away from the Senate chambers #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:16PM: Federal Protective Service officers reporting that the House and Senate are being locked down. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:16PM: Trump rioters have flooded into the Capitol #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:17PM: Congresswoman Boebert just tweeted that members are locked down in the House Chamber #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:18PM: Congresswoman Boebert tweeted that "The Speaker has been removed from the chambers" #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP): Earlier today, I swore in our first Cabinet member, Avril Haines, after her confirmation by the Senate last night. As the Director of National Intelligence, Director Haines will be dedicated to keeping the American people safe.

2:20PM: The joint session has adjourned and reports state lawmakers are attempting to evacuate the Capitol #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:22PM: Reports say Vice President Pence has been evacuated from the Senate chamber to an undisclosed location #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:24PM: Trump targets VP Pence in tweet #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:28PM: Capitol Police Chief Sund reasserts his request for National Guard support to help secure the perimeter of the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain 
2:39PM: Trump rioters have broken through the Capitol doors and are flooding into the building. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

2:40PM: Members of Congress are escorted out of the chamber as reports confirm the rioters are getting closer. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 2:44PM: Reports of shots fired coming from the House chamber #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Tara Copp (@TaraCopp)Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrives at the Pentagon,
greeted by 
@thejointstaff Gen. Mark Milley

Jan 6, 2:49PM: Capitol Police are attempting to hold off crowd of Trump rioters from inside the House chamber. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 2:53PM: Rep. Mooney tweets he has been safely moved from the House chamber. He says he and others were given an escape hood, a respiratory hood and mask for protection in fires or chemical accidents #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 2:55PM: Rep Burchett has texted that shots have been fired inside the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 2:55PM: The Department of Defense has REJECTED a DC request to deploy the National Guard to defend the Capitol building. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:04PM: Secretary Miller has approved the full activation of 1,100 DCNG troops for Capitol support #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:15PM: House Speaker Pelosi calls Virginia Governor Northam to detail dire situation at Capitol. Gov Northam confirms that all assets of the State of Virginia including the National Guard are being sent to aid the U.S. Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:34PM: CBS reports Ashli Babbitt is in critical condition after being shot in the neck inside the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:37PM: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan orders mobilization of Maryland National Guard forces in anticipation of a request for support of the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:39PM: Senator Schumer implores Pentagon officials, “Tell POTUS to tweet everyone should leave.” #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 3:51PM: DC National Guard fully mobilized to support overwhelmed local law enforcement as they struggle to contain pro-Trump rioters across the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, @USAmbUN: I am honored, and beyond humbled, to have been sworn in today by @VP Kamala Harris as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Diplomacy is back. Multilateralism is back. America is back. Photo Credit: U.S. Mission to the UN

Jan 6, 4:05PM: Reports confirm that congressional leaders have been evacuated from the Capitol building #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 4:05PM: President-elect Biden gives televised speech demanding that Trump call off the deadly siege at the Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 4:17PM: President Trump releases video after pressure: "I know your pain, I know you're hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now." #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie

Jan 6, 4:26PM: Rosanne Boyland is trampled to death by rioters at a Capitol tunnel entrance while Capitol Police are attacked with flag poles and shields carried by other rioters, as shown in bodycam video. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 4:32PM: Secretary Miller authorizes DCNG to conduct perimeter and clearance operations against any remaining pro-Trump rioters in support of the U.S. Capitol Police

Jan 6, 5:02PM: 154 members of the D.C. National Guard depart the D.C. Armory for the US Capitol. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:05PM: The Capitol building is engulfed in smoke and tear gas as Capitol Police deploy measures to counter massive crowd and push back rioters from entrances around the building. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:20PM: The first 115 National Guard troops arrive wearing full riot gear to propel crowds from Capitol grounds #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:21PM: "I never thought I'd see a day like this in America. All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation's Capitol." Hogan gives orders to mobilize 200 Maryland State Police troopers and 500 National Guard troops. #RelivingJan6 #Jan6NeverAgain #TheBigLie

Abby Zimet, Common Dreams (3/11/21): On his first day as Attorney General, the honorable, long maltreated Merrick Garland was movingly welcomed by an applauding crowd of jubilant DOJ employees and survivors of the last regime visibly relieved to witness the return of competence and normalcy ... 

Jan 6, 5:40PM: National Guard and Capitol Police conduct sweep of Capitol grounds to evacuate any remaining staff and search for any rioters still on federal property. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:45PM: Capitol Police announce that Ashli Babbitt, the rioter shot inside the Capitol, has died. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:46PM: Capitol Police riot squads push Trump rioters back from the west side of the Capitol building to establish perimeter. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 5:53PM: Rioters are pushed further back as police secure the U.S. Capitol and lawn out front shortly before 6 pm curfew #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 6:00PM: DC Curfew in full effect as National Guard troops arrive in the Capitol to help flush out remaining rioters and shut down the city #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 6:01PM: Trump makes false election claims and list excuses for his supporters while asking them to leave federal property. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLe #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 6:09PM: Rosanne Boyland is pronounced dead at a local DC hospital, after being trampled to death by people rushing to breach a tunnel entrance on the west side of the Capitol building hours before. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 6:30PM: Sund briefs VP Pence and senior members of congressional leadership on the new Capitol security situation, advising that both chambers are able to reconvene by 7:30. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 7:00PM: Facebook removes Trump's posts. "We removed from FB and IG the recent video of President Trump speaking about the protests. We made the decision that on balance these posts contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence" #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie

Jan 6, 7:02PM: Twitter removes Trump’s tweets and shuts down his account for 12 hours for “repeated and severe violations of [its] Civic Integrity policy.” #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Vice-President Kamala Harris (@VP): We must create a future that lifts up all communities. @SecDebHaaland has committed her life to ensuring justice, equality, and fairness for all. Today, as she makes history, I am proud to swear her in as our Secretary of Interior.

Jan 6, 7:30: Officials have declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 8:00PM: Congress reconvenes to resume counting Electoral College votes #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 8:06PM: VP Pence reconvenes the Senate to continue debating the objection to the Arizona electoral count and return to joint session in order to certify election results. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 8:36PM: Facebook blocks Trump’s page for 24 hours because of policy violations, preventing any posts for that duration. This ban would remain in effect for the foreseeable future. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 10:15PM: The Senate votes 93–6 against the objection raised by a handful of Republican senators against the counting of Arizona's electoral votes. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Jan 6, 11:30PM: The House votes 303–121 to reject the Republican objection to the counting of Arizona's electoral votes. #RelivingJan6 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Until the infection that brought insurrection to our Capitol is removed, it's always January 6th, 2021 #TheBigLie #Jan6NeverAgain

Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg): Three Thursdays in America.