Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Small Falls



  1. Another bit of US history not typically included in the grade school history books:
    Th History Guy: The Gaspee Affair [Click]

  2. The Trump campaign has not used its millions-strong email list since the riots at the Capitol, Vice News reports.

    Salesforce, its email provider, says it has taken action to prevent Republicans from using “our services in any way that could lead to violence.”

  3. House Democrats Briefed On 3 Terrifying Plots To Overthrow Government [Click] I find that before armed forces can be used to disperse a riot in the United States, the President must proclaim an order to disperse and go peaceably to their homes within a limited period of time—giving Congress notice of the proclamation.

    1. So, reading the riot act is not practical for the sort of riots we fear.

  4. An Urgent Reckoning for the Trump Brand
    January 11, 2021 at 8:01 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

    “In the span of four days, President Trump’s family business has lost its online store, the buzz from Mr. Trump’s promotional tweets about its luxury resorts and bragging rights as host to one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments,” the New York Times reports.

    “The mob attack on Congress last week by Mr. Trump’s supporters has spurred a reckoning for the Trump Organization by businesses and institutions, at a scale far greater than his previous polarizing actions.”

    “And the Trump brand, premised on gold-plated luxury and a super-affluent clientele, may not fully recover from the fallout of his supporters violently storming and vandalizing the U.S. Capitol, hospitality analysts say and some people close to the business acknowledge.”

    Are others going to join my boycott?

  5. Belichick Rebuffs Trump’s Presidential Medal Offer
    January 11, 2021 at 7:57 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

    “New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has turned down President Trump’s invitation to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the wake of the riots last week at the U.S. Capitol,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

    “Belichick’s pivot is a sharp rebuke of a president who has faced calls from Democratic lawmakers, and some Republicans, to be removed from office.”

    Sounds appropriate, what with him being a Patriot and all. . .

  6. Headlines, mostly:

    Banks Cut Ties with Trump [Click]

    Billionaire Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson has died, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

    The Right-Wing Media Decoupling [Whackadoodle vs. traditional Right]

    Fringe Groups Splinter Online After Twitter Bans

    Trump Warned About Potential Civil Liability [for encouraging riot]

    “Law enforcement authorities, responding to threats of violence before the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, will deploy up to 15,000 National Guard troops to the nation’s capital and set up checkpoints in the city to avoid the botched response that helped rioters overrun the Capitol last week,” the New York Times reports.

    Pelosi Calls Back House to Impeach Trump [9AM Wednesday]

    The GOP isn’t actually putting up an impeachment defense

    Mississippi hoists new state flag without Confederate emblem for first time

    Here are the companies suspending political contributions following the Capitol riots [so far] [Click]

  7. Video games have replaced music as the most important aspect of youth culture [Click] “We’re in the midst of a cultural shift. . . Gaming is replacing music as the lynchpin of emergent social scenes. . . Where music venues were once the places youth movements found their most exciting form – Boomers in rock clubs, Gen Xers in grunge bars, Millennials in DIY warehouses – Gen Z meets up with friends online. It’s unclear to me if my twentysomething brother has ever been to a concert, but every night he does what most kids his age do: he goes online, games and gossips with his friends. It’s easy to forget: video games are designed as social experiences.”

    Interesting thought. The reference to Boomers in rock clubs helps to cement my long-standing opinion that despite the fact that arbiters of such things say I am a Boomer because I was born in 1946, culturally I am a pre-Boomer— too old to qualify as a Hippy, and strongly influenced (although how strongly I didn’t realize at the time) by the Beats. Although it turns out that my low acoustic threshold of pain would probably have made attending a “rock concert” physically intolerable, I don’t recall ever having any interest in attending one. And my politics hark back to the New Deal. Ipso facto, not a Boomer. I think.


  8. Extremists Move to Secret Online Channels
    January 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

    NBC News [Click]: “Right-wing extremists are using encrypted channels to call for violence against government officials on Jan. 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, with some extremists sharing knowledge of how to make, conceal and use homemade guns and bombs.”

    “The messages are being posted in Telegram chatrooms where white supremacist content has been freely shared for months, but chatter on these channels has increased since extremists have been forced off other platforms in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.”

    And just how does it happen that this is known? Obviously because it is being monitored, and that would include monitoring by the FBI and CIA--both of which have far greater capability than NBC News.

    1. There is no security on the electronic highway. Lots of people are collecting money for something they cannot deliver. The internet is the modern agora. Never mind that the electron, which is susceptible to magnetic distortion, is basically unreliable.

    2. Hurrah for the unreliable electron and shaky security.

      Gee, that's practically a case for intelligent design. ;-)

    3. I have no problem with Intelligent Design. I know exactly what, or who, caused the Big Bang. Difference is, I happen to believe the Divine Artificer, as Dickens called Him, gave Homo Sapiens a brain for a reason; namely, to use it. Theology is the study of God; Science is the study of God's creation. If He didn't want us to investigate the universe around us, he wouldn't have designed a universe in which its inhabitants were able to investigate it. In other words, to my way of thinking, there is no conflict - in a way no dichotomy - between Faith and Science. Both the rabid religionists and the rabid atheists are wrong. It is not necessary to deny the validity of Faith in order to affirm that of Science and, contrarywise, it is not necessary to deny the validity of science to affirm that of faith.

    4. Yeah, I wasn't meaning so much Intelligent Design as intelligent design.

      That said, my Chemistry teacher in high school was one of the best scientists I've ever met AND he taught catechism classes. I have no problem with faith and science. I have a problem with people who manipulate either one for their own warped purposes.

  9. Kevin Williamson in the National Review:

    “Like its financial counterpart, moral bankruptcy happens two ways: gradually, then suddenly. In 2016, I wrote that the likely outcome of a Trump presidency would be the end of the Republican Party as we had known it. And so it ends for the Grand Old Party: From abolition to anarchy, from republicans to rabble, a bloody-minded, homicidal gang in thrall to the very democracy John Adams warned us about. A dog in this condition would be put to sleep. It would be a piece of mercy.”

  10. James Fallows in The Atlantic: Time for Consequences [Click] “President-elect Joe Biden must look forward—but the rest of us must contend with the past.” A long read, but worthwhile IMO.


  11. Also from The Atlantic, also a long read, also worthwhile. Marks out the parallels with the post-Reconstruction period:
    Adam Serwer: The Capitol Rioters Weren’t ‘Low Class’ [Click] “The business owners, real-estate brokers, and service members who rioted acted not out of economic desperation, but out of their belief in their inviolable right to rule.”

  12. Why so many people are getting swept to sea along California's coast [Click] There is no need to fear the ocean, but one must treat it with great respect. This from a person who grew up on California’s north coast. In the decade we lived there, there were flatlanders who got themselves drowned every year; aside from the infrequent deaths among commercial fishermen (an occupational hazard) there was only one local who drowned—a damned fool teenager showing off on an inner tube in a dangerous place.

  13. So, I stopped by today because I just discovered that "the revolution will not be televised" is not something Joe Trippi invented. Rather, it was a line from Scott-Heron, an antecedent of rap. https://youtu.be/vwSRqaZGsPw

    1. I'm not surprised. Trippi wasn't as creative as he's sometimes given credit for. I think he was ultimately not kindred with Howard.

  14. Also, given that congress can disburse trillions that have not been first collected by the tax man, corporations have to ask why they are being asked to pony up funds to select and hire Congress critters when the whole thing could be funded from the public purse.
    What corporations might consider that they have been "played" (extorted is an unpleasant word) by legislators whose sole interest is keeping themselves in office.
    It seems ironic that the Liar in Chief has exposed so much mendacity.

    1. If I had my way, we'd have no parties but many candidates. Each would be given the exact same amount of $$ and 6 months to make their case to the American people. Then we'd vote, with ranked choice voting, and be done with it.

  15. From Auntie Beeb [Click]
    Call on rioters to turn themselves in
    The FBI is appealing for those involved in the Capitol riots to hand themselves into law enforcement.
    “Even if you left DC, agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door,” the assistant director in charge of the FBI's DC office warned offenders at Tuesday's briefing.
    Michael Sherwin, the acting US Attorney for District of Washington, said some of the misdemeanor charges filed so far are "just the beginning" with officials looking at "significant felony cases" tied to sedition and conspiracy - with prison terms of up to 20 years.

    FBI tells reporters 170 individuals identified, 70 charged so far, number will rise to 100s
    The Department of Justice and the FBI are giving an update on the violence at the US Capitol last week.
    Steven D'Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington DC office, says that they have received some 100,000 pieces of digital evidence from the public to work through.
    He and the US Attorney for District of Washington, Michael Sherwin, say they have opened more than 160 case files and have charged 70 people so far.
    D'Antuono described this as the "tip of the iceberg" with the number of investigations and charges expected to go into the hundreds.
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging federal authorities to put "anybody who was inside the Capitol" building last Wednesday to be added to a national no-fly list.
    "We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage," said the New York Democrat.
    Calling on the FBI, TSA, the Department of Homeland Security to act "immediately", he called those involved in the riots "a threat to the homeland as defined by the law".
    Schumer - who will become Majority Leader of the US Senate in eight days - is the highest-ranking government official so far to call for a no-fly list.
    Social media has been abuzz in recent days, with several videos of those allegedly involved in the Capitol invasion being ejected from flights and banned by airlines.
    There have also been multiple reports of unruly passengers physically and verbally abusing crew members and others aboard their flights.
    Over the weekend, the Federal Aviation Administration threatened severe fines for misbehaviour.

    1. Y'know, I'm kind of surprised that the FBI and CIA are "on it" regarding finding the insurrectionists and preparing for the inauguration. I would expect that to be possible after Biden/Harris are sworn in and their people are in place. But to see it while DT is still messing with the reins is impressive.

    2. Not the CIA, which is not allows to investigate Americans. I think Alan meant the NSA.

    3. Yes, you're right, Bill.

  16. VT cases: 9247-9078=169
    3021 active cases
    158 deaths(+2)
    Recovered 6226(67.3%)
    Hospital: 51(+4) ICU:10(0)
    Tests 280,173 (+161)

  17. Anyone else notice that posting is taking l o n g today?

    Be sure to take a moment to wave Hi πŸ– to our FBI folks monitoring blogs.
    (I am not being sarcastic.)

    Thank you! πŸ––

    1. Not taking a long time here today; and I always wave (figuratively) to the gubmint watchers.

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  19. Replies
    1. Re Horns Guy: If he could make a reasonable claim of religious dietary restrictions, the authorities would have to make a good faith effort to fulfill his needs, wouldn't they, despite his being a murderous insurrectionist? But just having his mama say so doesn't cut it.

  20. Mother Jones: Prosecutions of “Sedition” Are Rare. That Doesn’t Mean Trump Rioters Are Off the Hook. [Click] The mob engaged in actions that “could fairly be characterized as unlawful and seditious conduct.”

  21. For the People Act of 2019 [Click] Reintroduction said to be among the Dems’ first orders of business in the new Congress; by and large sounds pretty good to me.

  22. Gee, the stuff just keeps coming in--and not all bad, at that:

    Leahy Wants Hawley, Cruz Off Judiciary Committee [Click] Seems reasonable to me.

    Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to impose a $1,000 fine on members who refuse to wear masks while in the U.S. Capitol complex, the Washington Post reports.

    House GOP Won’t Lobby Against Trump’s Impeachment [Click] Wow—Kevin McCarthy won’t lean on anyone to vote against it!

    “Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15,” the AP reports.

    Biden May Have No Confirmed Cabinet Members on Day One [Click] I expect that will be taken care of very quickly.

    Trump Pick for U.S. Attorney In Georgia Dismisses Trump Electoral Fraud Cases [Click]

    Trumpist Masculinity Reaches Its High Water Mark [Click] An excellent read!

    McConnell Thinks Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses
    Justice Department Probes Sedition Charges
    January 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 264 Comments

    “The Justice Department and FBI have created a sedition and conspiracy task force to pursue charges against participants in the storming of the U.S. Capitol and are investigating any links to domestic or foreign instigators,” the Washington Post reports.
    “The investigation, one of the largest ever undertaken by the department, includes counterterrorism and counterterrorism facets and has charged 70 individuals and identified 170 suspects to date.”
    Said U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin, citing video footage not yet public: “The gamut of cases is mind-blowing… People are going to be shocked with egregious activity in the Capitol.”

    Thomas Friedman: Leave Trump with the ability to finish blowing apart the GOP [Click]

    Pence opts for second impeachment of Trump [Click]

    1. I don't just want Hawley and Cruz off Judiciary.
      I want them thrown out of Congress and gone from DC altogether.

  23. OHIO; COVID cases 792,938 and 9,802 deaths.

  24. These Lawmakers Saw Extremist Mobs Storm Their Capitols Months Ago. The Damage Lasts. [Click] I can testify to that; I was robbed at knifepoint once orty-odd years ago, and I take precautions to this day.

    A New, But Partial, Gun Ban In MI Legislature Means ‘Capitol Is Not Safe,’ AG Says [Click]

    BREAKING: DC Grand Jury Indicts Alleged Capitol Rioter For ‘Civil Disorder’ [and six other crimes] [Click]

    On Facebook, Secret Service Officer Cheered On Trump’s Attempt To Steal Election [Click] So Mr. Biden’s staff was right to be concerned about members of his security detail being loyal to Trump.

    The President Deliberately Withheld Aid to Combat the Insurrection [Click] I sure hope this comes out in either the House or the Senate proceedings.

    Pentagon to Arm National Guard Troops Deploying to Capitol for Inauguration [Click] About 15,000 Guard troops are expected to be deployed in the city. “At the very least” those around the Capitol building will carry weapons.