Thursday, January 14th, 2021


Ten Spot

"We are all responsible. My colleagues are responsible for not condemning rioters this past year. Others, including myself, are responsible for not speaking out sooner before the president misinformed and inflamed a violent mob who tore down the American flag and brutally beat Capitol Police officers." So said Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington State as he became one of the ten GOP House members to vote to impeach Trump. Ten is the largest number of opposing party members ever to vote for a president's impeachment, and these folks should be lauded for their decision. But, man, 197 is a whole lot of folks voting against impeachment after what Liz Cheney accurately called the greatest "betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution." People died. They themselves were targeted. All the incitement was fully out in the open. And that gets you ten. NYT: These Are the Republicans Who Supported Impeaching Trump.

+ Trump's been impeached again. What's next?

+ "Unlike the insurrectionists, they were polite and proper about it. But the danger they pose to our democracy is much greater than that posed by the members of the mob, who can be identified and caught, and who will face serious legal consequences for their acts." In The Atlantic, Zeynep Tufekci nails it: The most dangerous thing that happened Wednesday occurred after the mob dispersed. "A stunning 139 representatives—66 percent of the House GOP caucus—along with eight GOP senators, promptly voted to overturn the election."

+ Long after Trump is gone, we're going to be dealing with the fact that the ideology was in the house before the mob. "Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman lawmaker from Georgia who's best known for her support of the QAnon conspiracy theory, said on Twitter Wednesday that she would file articles of impeachment against Biden the day after he takes office." And NYT: Rep. Lauren Boebert represents an increasingly clamorous faction of the party that carries Mr. Trump's anti-establishment message and is ready to break all norms in doing so. A Republican Lawmaker for Whom the Spectacle Is the Point.

+ And from WaPo, the most American headline of 2021: As U.S. Capitol attack unfolded, some Hill staffers remembered their school-shooting drills.


Seven Ten Split

"The last seven years have been the seven warmest on record. And the 10 warmest years have now occurred since 2005." WaPo: 2020 rivals hottest year on record, pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold. "Escalating temperatures poise planet to breach 1.5 C for the first time, possibly later this decade." (Way to hustle, everyone.)


Randomized Trial

"Higgs is one of three prisoners the Justice Department plans to execute this week—the final wave of what has been an unparalleled exercise of capital punishment by a modern presidential administration. Before Trump, there hadn't been a single federal execution since 2003 (states have executed hundreds of people in that time, however). Yet in the last six months, the administration has overseen the killing of 10 people—a stunning tally, given that the federal government had only executed 37 people in the century prior." GQ: Death row inmate Dustin Higgs, who is scheduled for execution on Friday, talks about the randomness of the legal process that brought him to this point.


Leap of Faith

"The men call up to Sofiane, telling him that he and his brother have to jump. Guelord shouts that the younger boy needs to go first. Sofiane should throw him down. The 10-year-old hesitates. He looks at the ground. Behind him the smoke has thickened; the balcony is burning even more fiercely." BBC with a very interesting story against a very interesting backdrop: The Catch.


Broke Free

"They were business owners, CEOs, state legislators, police officers, active and retired service members, real-estate brokers, stay-at-home dads, and, I assume, some Proud Boys. The mob that breached the Capitol last week at President Donald Trump's exhortation, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, was full of what you might call "respectable people." They left dozens of Capitol Police officers injured, screamed "Hang Mike Pence!," threatened to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and set up a gallows outside the building. Some were extremists using the crowd as cover, but as federal authorities issue indictments, a striking number of those they name appear to be regular Americans." Adam Serwer in The Atlantic: The Capitol Rioters Weren't ‘Low Class.'

+ The entire national mall will be closed during the inauguration and Biden is forgoing his planned Amtrak trip to Washington over security fears. (I don't think the average American has fully absorbed how sick and sad this all is...)

+ "After the attack on the Capitol, the two police officers posted pictures of themselves inside the building on social media — and sent copies to their colleagues in the police department."

+ The guy who brought the stars and bars into the Capitol has been left with only bars. He's been arrested. Here's the latest from CNN.

+ The FBI is looking for others who incited insurrection. So the Daily Show made them a video.

+ Capitol Police Officers Said They Wouldn't Be Surprised If Members Of Congress Helped Plan The Attack.


Video Game

"Several officials urged Mr. Trump to shoot the video, with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser, enlisting aides and even Vice President Mike Pence to tell him it was the right move. After it was recorded and posted, Mr. Trump still had to be reassured, according to administration officials." NYT: Under Heavy Pressure, Trump Releases Video Condemning Capitol Siege. Forget what was in the video and focus on what wasn't. He never admitted he lost the election. Hence, the Bigly Lie, the root of the insurrection, is intact.


Mob Scene

"In order to hold the trial in a secure and COVID-safe capacity, Italian authorities have built a 1,000-person capacity courtroom in the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme, located in the south of the country. Those who can appear in person will do so in cages built into the courtroom, 2 metres apart. Many, however, will be appearing via video link." Vice: One of the Biggest Mafia Trials Ever Has Begun in a Giant Custom-Built Courtroom. (They should keep the courtroom intact after the trial. America might need to rent it out.)


School Pigeons

"Disease rates in counties where in-person learning is available for school-aged children and adolescents is similar to areas where classes are entirely online, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It concludes schools should be the last to close, and the first to re-open." Bloomberg: Covid-19 Outbreaks Aren't Driven by In-Person Classes. For my kids, in-person learning during Covid has given new meaning to, "I have a test today."


Can’t Don’t Attitude

"Many U.S. Secret Service agents have stood guard in Washington's elite Kalorama neighborhood, home over the years to Cabinet secretaries and former presidents. Those agents have had to worry about death threats, secure perimeters and suspicious strangers. But with the arrival of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they had a new worry: finding a toilet." WaPo: The $3,000-a-month toilet for the Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner Secret Service detail. It's time to flush these royals.


Bottom of the News

"There are a lot of things that come in a can. You can get a loaf of bread, a cheeseburger, a 'whole chicken' (if you can count it as such, because it comes out all butchered and congealed), rattlesnake, and more. There was even a company called GAME that created Christmas Tinner, which is a nine-course holiday meal in a can. Needless to say, that did not take off. One item I can safely say I never thought I'd find is canned cheddar cheese, but here we are. I found a canned cheddar cheese. It's called Cougar Gold Cheddar Cheese. And it's absolutely incredible."

+ And now for some local news: Queens Daily Eagle: Queens Man Impeached - Again.