2020 II
2019 I 2016 201320102007
2020 I 2018 2015 2012 2009 2006
2019 II 2017 2014 2011 2008 2005




This is very sad. Wealthy and healthy white folks who could very easily wait are jumping into line at neighborhoods they ordinarily would never go into in order to get the vaccine early. Selfish of them because the people who live there need it more urgently than the line-jumpers do.


The United Arab Emirates is now the fifth country to have placed a satellite into orbit. The Deputy Project Director is Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri. Yep, princesses don't just sit around drinking tea all day!


Former President Trump shouldn't be too upset as a big chunk of the Senate voted for a clearly nonsensical theory that doesn't stand up to even a casual examination. This theory is what House impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) calls the "January exception," the idea that in an incumbent's last January in office, he gets a "free throw" (basketball) or "free kick" (soccer). This is, of course, a completely insane theory.

So after the lead Democratic impeachment manager described the completely insane theory of the "January exception," a Republican senator adopts precisely that theory!

Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a conservative Republican, suggested on Tuesday that former President Donald J. Trump be given a "mulligan" for exhorting an angry gathering of supporters to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Very sad to see that Republican senators have made up their minds and that nothing will change them. They want to award Trump his "mulligan" as though he was simply being rude rather than murderous on 6 January.

Blogger makes a very serious, in-depth comparison between the Mahdi Army in Iraq and today's Republican Party.


Senator Rob Portman is very upset with Neera Tanden’s language she’s used to (accurately) describe various Republican senators. Funny, when he was asked about tweets by the former President, gee, it seems somehow he never managed to see them before he was interviewed! Funny how that kept happening!


Yeah, this is an immensely important context
whenever anyone tries to bring up impeaching Trump after he’s left office.

Mitch McConnell just voted (again) that the this trial is unconstitutional, which is rich because he’s the one who stopped the trial from beginning while Trump was still president.


If you ever run across "I'm not a cat!" this is where the phrase comes from. Poor fellow was making a legal brief and his child was using the computer beforehand, so he appeared as a cat! The other people on the Zoom call understood.


Wow, the Trump lawyers get horrible reviews from all across the political spectrum! Everybody hated these guys!


Heh! Uh yeah, the RNC Chairperson who saw the Republican Party engage in an extreme lurch to the right and whose people routinely violated the Hatch Act is now deeply concerned about partisanship on the other side!


We're really not clear as to who was behind the cyber-attack on the Oldsmar water treatment plant in Florida. It wasn't necessarily an organized or directed attack at all. But it is quite serious and deserves a lot of attention.


Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows alleges that the former President Trump offered more National Guard troops to Washington DC during the summer. Why this would be relevant, even if it were true, is far from clear. As the blogger points out, those troops were needed on 6 January and the federal government refused to release them at that time.


I knew a lot of this, but yeah, the comedian Amber Ruffin makes a powerful case that history is not being taught correctly.


A preview of the arguments of various Republican senators. A real problem with disallowing busting someone who’s out of office due to his term having expired. If the off-going President commits impeachable acts during his last few days in office, doesn’t that theory give him a free pass to do whatever he pleases? Sorry, but even if the Founding fathers left that loophole in the law, we should close it!


Ah yes, the 2020's version of Joe $%#@ing Lieberman! Lieberman was a plague on the aughts (2000-2009) Democratic Party. *SIgh!* Looks like Senator Manchin likes that role.


Wow! What the hell is this guy smokin'? Maria Bartolomo is hopelessly gullible, just saying "Wow!" as Navarro spins tall tales.
Now, first off, the idea that Bill Barr's Justice Department slow-walked 30 Executive Orders by Trump is entirely believable. At best, Biden would have had to do some extra paperwork to cancel them all. But the idea that Biden had to clear his EOs through Trump's Justice Department?!?!?! Whaaa?!?! That's where Navarro is clearly doin' lots of reefer!


I absolutely, positively 100% approve of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin's priorities! Her priority is to fix the problem as opposed to stinting on the money!


The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has come up with a really terrible definition of antisemitism that deliberately confuses opposition to the existence of the Jewish people to criticism of the policies of the state of Israel. This is a serious battle that critics of Israel are fighting.


The blogger demolishes the argument that Democrats will look just as bad as Trump does if they dug up videos of Democrats saying awful things about the former president. Hearing the lawyer speak, he brings up an argument that was addressed and settled during Trump’s first impeachment. The argument is that a specific crime needs to have occurred. In lawyer-speak, “The question was asked and answered.” Brookings examines the argument.


Yeah, the problem, as I’ve pointed out concerning Ivanka Trump and others, is that we only have the word of completely unreliable narrators who, as they say, “have a dog in that fight.”


Wow! Seriously? Really? Those are the best arguments against impeachment she can come up with?!?!?!

“No one really wants to see a continued impeachment going on.”
and
“The country really needs to move on from this moment.”

A detailed examination of the complete and utter cluster%$@# known as Operation Warp Speed. Actually, the part where they prodiced the vaccine was well done. It was the "last mile" when they had to get it distributed to people that they completely screwed it up.
Good quote from the story.

Doing good on vaccinations, up to having administered 11.7 doses per 100 people.


D’oh! Lou Dobbs got abruptly canceled when a multi-billion dollar lawsuit threatened Fox Business News. One of the casualties was the former President’s lawyer, who was going to start making a public case for his client.


An iceberg that broke off from Antarctica in 2017 was initially about twice the square mileage of Delaware.


Through the last several US presidential terms, Israel has been flooding their own settlers into the occupied Palestinian territories. The UN has finally declared this to violate international law. The ideas of “Two State Solution” and “peace process” are both dead.


Donald Trump Should Not Receive Intelligence Briefings Because Of His “Erratic Behavior,” Joe Biden Tells CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell
I agree with this. The chances of Trump selling information to the Russians or to do other mischief is very, very high!


Interesting. The 6 January rally was supposed to be just a rally, not a march. By directing people to march to the Capitol, Trump was violating the terms of the Park Service contract.


The economist Larry Summers has written that he fears excess stimulus. This is a silly thing to worry about. The dangers of under-stimulating are quite real and worth worrying about.


Tomi Lahren doesn't seem to grasp that the world is not the simple place she knew as a kindergartner. Democrats cannot take a simple, straightforward approach to law enforcement because there is police brutality as well as heroes like Officer Sicknick.


Doing a bit better. Daily new cases of Covid are dropping.


It’s instructive to read this piece first and then to watch the second one to note that Representative Jordan stays well away from discussing any of the specifics of the Representative Greene case.

Being unable to defend Representative Greene, Senator Graham turns to "whataboutism" and not by coincidence, against the Black person who's our current Vice President.

Representative Greene says: "I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true." So she then takes no responsibility for her actions and suggests she's just as vulnerable to QAnon lies as she was before.

The good news is that Representative Greene was removed from all of her committees. The bad news is that she's still in Congress. As Joy Reid points out, is that Republicans own her!


As to the "free speech" argument made for Trump's 6 January speech right before the Capitol was attacked, my own legal analysis (I’m not a lawyer) on this assertion is that yelling “fire” in a crowded theater when there’s no fire amounts to what I’d call a “public safety exception” to free speech. When a politician incites violence, that would fall under the same exception.

Asha Rangappa (Who is a lawyer) talks about the legality of Trump's speech immediately prior to the invasion of the Capitol. No, it doesn't fall under "free speech," but under something more like employment law. 


"With clean sweep, Biden's Pentagon chief clears out Trump picks"
Seems the big reason that Trump wanted to place loyalists on Pentagon advisory boards is that such members have access to highly classified information. Biden Administration has said "Nuh-uh!" and has closed down ALL such boards!


Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was honored yesterday by being featured in the Capitol Rotunda.

Update (27 Feb): A suspect has been identified in Sicknick's death. The suspect directed bear spray into Sicknick's face during the 6 January attack on the Capitol. 


Trump generally stayed within five points of a 40% approval rating his entire term and never once broke the 50% mark. Biden’s already up to roughly a 54% approval !

I’m convinced Trump would have lost anyway due to a fundamental lack of competence. He never had a grasp of how to do anything.


Alexey Navalny addressed the court.


NBC claims Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay cabinet member. Megyn Kelly says not so, Richard Grenell was openly gay. Problem is that Grenell was "Acting" DNI. He was neither nominated nor confirmed to be an actual cabinet member.


An analysis from someone who's looked at both of the impeachment briefs. Sounds pretty open-and-shut and that the former president is guilty.


Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is a really tough problem for House Republicans to solve.

Exactly! The defense of "it happened before she was elected" would be compelling if the same types of accusations weren't leveled against Bill Clinton!

Basically, the R Party has to choose between Representatives Liz Cheney and Marjorie Greene. Their tent can't be big enough to house both.

Very sad! The House Minority Leader, by refusing to choose between Cheney and Greene, completely fails!

House Minority Leader McCarthy has decided to keep both Representatives Liz Cheney (evil, but sane) and Marjorie Greene (evil and complete fruitcake). This is a temporary solution as the House will vote later.


President Biden properly and respectfully hears the proposal put forward by Republican senators (Was it a “bipartisan” proposal? No, it didn’t have any input from Democrats or from the rest of the Republican caucus.) and happily, there’s no indication that anyone in the Democratic caucus is prepared to reduce the size of the Covid rescue package.

Got PA Senator Pat Toomey’s newsletter and he whines about

These unilateral, partisan actions to unwind the work of the previous administration create an unpredictable regulatory environment that undermines any economic recovery while dividing us even further.

In other words, Toomey was clearly not part of the Republican “peacemakers.”


Biden Administration has been disappointing on Palestinians/Israel, but the war on Yeman has been a humanitarian catastrophe The US needs to act to end it and it appears they will.

Update (27 Feb): Hoo boy, is this a complex problem!


Republican Party could very well be headed for a break-up. The Dems are already pretty much the only grown-up in the room.


Because the last President just didn't feel like/wasn't in the mood to collect accurate COVID-19 data, we have to depend on volunteers who were going the job for free.


Senator Ted Cruz talks about "Things the Senate should be focusing on instead of Democrats’ impeachment:" and then lists a number of good things. Okay. And what were you guys doing between about April and October of 2020? As I recall, the Republican Party was basically just sitting around and twiddling its thumbs! Democrats passed a really big bill and the GOP didn’t even take it up until half a year later.


Good thread about Meghan McCain having a baby and realizing that the US needs paid maternity leave because it wasn’t really a problem until it happened to her!


It's a rather stupid idea to give Jared Kushner and others a Nobel Peace Prize for “making peace” between Israel and “the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.” Why is it stupid? Because Israel was never at war with any of these countries in the first place!


Yeah.

It's hard to imagine a newsroom surveying the current political landscape and deciding the chairman of the RNC, who has overseen the party's loss of the White House, House, and Senate, as well as a murderous Republican mob that ransacked the U.S. Capitol, as being someone who's riding a real hot streak.

Also, did Ronna McDaniel push back against Trump's lie that he won the election and not Biden? She says she did in private, but there's no evidence she did in public. So WHY is this person being rehabilitated in the press?


Part of a lengthy thread on Trump's organization and the worldwide money laundering scheme by which rich dictators do business with more legitimate people.


"Cops Pepper Spray Nine-Year-Old Girl In Handcuffs"

This is what critics mean when they use the clumsy term "defund the police." What they're really talking about is having mid-level resources to prevent domestic and mental health situations from escalating to the point where they need police intervention.

Another entry in my series "Capitalism isn't completely worthless." Company heads who see employees storming the Capitol are firing those employees.


"Dozens of former Bush officials leave Republican Party, calling it 'Trump cult.'"
I think the former Bush officials are right.


A look at how Nixon's "Imperial Presidency" has morphed into today's behemoth. Senate Majority, now Minority Leader McConnell has aided the rise of shifting even more power to the Executive Branch by making the Senate into a relatively useless and inactive branch.


Lengthy thread exploring just how complicit federal institutions and Republican legislators were in the 6 January attack on the Capitol. Trump apparently decided a year in advance that he couldn’t possibly win a free and fair election.


January


Thousands of people being arrested in Russia over Navalny's treatment.


Republicans make completely unserious counter-proposal on Covid relief. Total joke. Deserves back-of-the-hand dismissal.

News media is excited by the idea of bipartisanship in the proposal (Democratic plan is $1.9 trillion, Republican plan is $0.6 trillion), but Democrats are completely and utterly uninterested.

Update (1 Feb): Republicans met with Biden and Harris to discuss their proposal. As of 13 Feb, there's no evidence tht Biden made any concessions at all.


Shorter Stephen Miller: "Waaah! Sob! Boo hoo! We lost the election!"


Good! The precedents of 1993 and 2009 are being remembeed and heeded and Biden is resolutely avoiding. Biden knows that we can expect zero cooperation from his political opponents. So he's not even going to try.


People concluding that the Republican Party can no longer be salvaged.


Senator Joe Manchin believes payments to Americans should be targeted so as to save money. As we see in VP Harris’ interview, the Biden Administration doesn’t agree. The fellow at Balloon Juice believes Manchin is a sweet and innocent child who really should know better.


"Trump's impeachment defense team leaves less than two weeks before trial"
Not at all surprising. Low probability of ever getting paid, and client is clearly guilty. Also, “Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud” A few problems with this: 1. Doesn’t justify launching an autogolpe (Spanish for “self-coup”), 2. Five deaths and 140 officers wounded, including 15 who had to be hospitalized, 3. Around 60 court cases failed to provide any evidence of fraud.


What's interesting here is to listen to Tucker Carlson talk about how dangerous Representative AOC is and to then check out the second video (Teabaggers) in this next post where you can hear Rush Limbaugh and some Fox News guy talk about how dangerous Democrats are. There has been no evolution. They're saying exactly the same thing!


Hysterically overstating much? Senator Cruz says Biden, who has signed 25 Executive Orders, has signed more EOs in his first week than the past 15 presidents had during their entire terms. Erm, uh, Trump signed 220 EOs during his one term.


Wow! So remember that wacky, deranged, lunatic Representative who was talking about "Jewish space lasers" and shooting Speaker Pelosi? The former President just gave her a call and is in 100% support!


With the silencing of the Trump/Twitter & Fox News combination, Biden has a rare opportunity to really set the national agenda.


Chief Justice Roberts has ducked out of presiding over the second impeachment of Trump. This is not a legal problem, but it IS one of political “optics.”


Israel controls all borders to Palestinians (West Bank & Gaza) and thereby all access to the outside world. That makes it 100% responsible for seeing to it that they have access to anti-Covid medications.


Again, a Trump policy is swept away like a sandcastle on a beach. President Biden is adopting a new, more effective policy.

Update (13 Feb): Discarding Trump policies seems to be causing a rise in disapproval from a low of 34% to 37.2% today, but his approvals have remaied steady at 53% to 54%. Democrats give him a 98% approval while Republicans give him 85% disapproval.


So, remember when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton posed as though they were victorious super-villains with sheets of freshly-printed bills? Linton's an actress and here's her latest film:


A deepthink thread on impeachment


[snark/] Ah yes, the tremendously powerful and influential Representative AOC is dominating social media! But how about the poor fellows who are producing toxic materials that are speeding up climate change? Why don't they have big social media platforms?


Wow! How urgent do people consider Covid to be? This urgent! Actually, it's a pretty cool story:

Freezer storing vaccines breaks Thursday night in Seattle.
Medical center posts urgent message, sets up 11 p.m.-2 a.m. appointments before doses expire.
Hundreds show up in pajamas and robes to receive vaccine.
All doses administered.


Having never once complained about any of the 220 Executive Orders that the last President signed, many of which were immediately challenged in court, six state attorneys general have now warned President Biden that he may be overreaching his authority by signing so many EOs so quickly.

Heh! Finding employment after having served Trump. Not a happy story!


Proving that the four-year long attempt to destroy the ACA/Obamacare achieved nothing.


We saw back in 2017-18, when Republicans held, the House, the Senate and the Presidency, that the then Senate Majority Leader McConnell, had an extremely limited skill set. He could get bills passed when his caucus was in the majority and agreed with him (tax cut, right-wing judges) and he could block the other side. That was pretty much it. Now that he's facing a complex situation, he's pretty much helpless.


Yeah, never mind that both Fox News and the NY Times are ignoring the fact that the last president allowed the situation to deteriorate so badly for so long that, y'know, urgent executive action might be necessary!

White House Communications Director has a good answer to the NY Times:

As the NYT ed board criticizes President Biden this am for taking swift executive action to reverse the most egregious actions of the Trump Admin, I can’t help but recall that during the primary they encouraged voters to consider what a president could accomplish through exec 1/ ...


A year ago today, Joe Biden put out a prediction concerning the coronoavirus that has stood the test of time.


That’s kinda cool. An ally of Alexei Navalny in Russia is at home. The police show up at her house and rather than sit there and wait, she plays the piano until she’s actually handed the papers.


The collapsed Caliphate story by the NY Times and how only some people paid for that failure.


The US is not directly fighting the war on Yemen, we’re just providing all sorts of support to Saudi Arabia. Ending the war would go a long way to restoring America’s status as a moral and decent world power.


This is so cool! The Biden Administration is just taking Trump policies and procedures and just effectively crumpling them up and tossing them into the trash can! Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!


Kinda frightening just how extremely radical freshman GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene really is!
Bit of a problem with her description of Speaker Pelosi talking to Clinton in tweet #9. Pelosi allegedly advocates more school shootings in order to pass gun safety legislation. But the elementary school kids of the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012 did not lead to gun safety legislation! Why would Pelosi advocate for a solution that very clearly didn't work the first time?
More on her.


Yeah, it is completely and totally unnecessary to quote Trump voters on how they believe the election was stolen. "And he believes the election was stolen" is entirely sufficient. No furthr explanation is called for. 


That's very cool! Climate will be integrated into the National Intelligence Estimate! The reporter Natasha Bertrand earlier reported that the 2020 National Intelligence Estimate was never released!


Is capitalism good? Well, the CEO of Goya said some bat$%#@ crazy stuff. The board of the company, fearing for company profits, said something to the effect of: "OMG! Shut the #$@% up!!!" So I'd give it at least one "Hip-hip-hooray" out of three.


Rachel Maddow discussed the state of bipartisanship last night (very bad). It reminded me of this long-ago piece.


Well, That's pretty cool! In 1991, we thought this species of mouse was obliterated by a volcanic eruption. They're doing fine today!


QAnon was just a bad-news group from the very start. Four years of neglecting terrorist threats from in-country led to this!

[QAnon people have now] latched on to Sovereign Citizen movement, the white supremacist and the anti-federal government group who believe that in 1871 the United States became a corporation.


When we talk about the government spending a lot of money, we should avoid doing it like it was some ivory tower, abstract exercise. Failure to spend enough has very real and serious consequences.


76 years ago today (27 January), the worst of the Nazi death camps was liberated. Auschwitz will forever be a symbol.


CNN's Brianna Keilar examines just how completely and utterly useless Dr, Birx was.


Keep in mind as you read this that Minority Leader McConnell has never once demonstrated "comity" nor has he ever run any policy except a "scorched earth" one.

Today, I made clear that if Democrats ever attack the key Senate rules, it would drain the consent and comity out of the institution. A scorched-earth Senate would hardly be able to function. ...


President Biden walked a fine line with Vladimir Putin today as he challenged Putin on the bounties being paid for dead American troops in Afghanistan and the Solar Winds computer breach, neither of which were ever brought up by the last president. Also good to see Biden bringing up Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.


Nikki Haley asks if we haven't beaten up Trump enough over the attack on the Capitol.
Eric Boehlert tweets: "reminder: GOP held 33 Benghazi hearings"


In an interview with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last night, Schumer expressed a strong preference for option #2, to push through an uncompromised bill. The lesson of 2009 was that Democrats made a lot of concessions for nothing as Republicans then refused to vote for the bills that had been weakened in order to get Republican support. Democrats aren't going to play that way this time.


"SCOTUS Lets Trump Get Away With Emoluments"
$%#@!!!
Congress needs to pass laws that specify what "Emoluments" means and what the penalties are. There's an understanding now that emoluments refers to bribery and no one could prove a quid pro quo. A law must specify that proving bribery is not necessary.. The fact that you're profiting off of your official duties should be sufficient all by itself to provoke penalties.


*Sigh!* North Korea says, accurately, that they don't do what the NY Times did! The Times fired a reporter for a personal tweet. 


Interesting premise! The fellow who played Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation, brings glasnost to the Klingon Empire!


The "Arab Spring" started ten years ago today. A look back and some lessons we can apply to our own country.


I think that it helps that the House impeachment was held before the former President left office, but yes, Senator Romney is right. The impeachment trial can take place after the President has left office.
If a president wants to conduct an autogolpe (Spanish for "self-coup"), when else would he or she do it other than in the last month? Are we going to give out a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for autogolpes in the last month? That would guarantee that the next loser would try again!


Nice humanizing detail that no Black or brown person would ever get before a trial for having “stormed the US Capitol.” Why the double standard? 


Well worth reading how violent anti-choicers were part of the attack on the Capitol on 6 January.


As is typical with other former Trump sycophants and yes-men, Dr. Birx is too little and too late with information that the American people should have gotten months ago!

One of the problems with the Dr. Birx interview was that Margaret Brennan failed to ask her about why she described the President as attentive and having a real grasp of the scientific literature. It was very obvious at the time that this simply wasn’t true.


Yep! Regular as clockwork. We get a Democratic President, all of the sudden the "Deficit Hawks" (or "Scolds") come out of the woodwork!


I don't agree with what Senator Rubio said about how Benghazi was handled, but Rubio did in fact say that people who do wrong should be held accountable. He followed this standard for many years after the attack. The question is, why doesn't he follow that same standard now when it comes to the 6 January coup attempt on the Capitol?

Senator Rubio is hopelessly confused as to what he thinks Congress ought to be doing. And no, I don't agree that there are other ways to punish the former President for the 6 January attack on the Capitol.


"Trumps Fired WH Chief Usher On Their Way Out The Door"
The White House usher was fired a half-hour before the Bidens too over, so they had to open the doors themselves.
The sheer pettiness and small-mindedness of the Trump people is just...wow!

The turn-over from one administration to the next was of extremely poor quality.


It is in the enlightened self-interest of wealthy to see to it that less wealthy nations get the COVID-19 vaccine.


The reason the cosplaying, wannabe revolutionaries collapsed so quickly as a military force (no coup attempts on Inauguration Day) is that they suddenly realized that the real, live National Guardspeople weren't messing around and that they stood real chance of dying.


Yeah, I strongly disagree that we're a "50-50 nation." It appears we are in the Senate, but that's because if you're Wyoming or Alabama, you have two senators. If you're Texas or New York or Rhode Island or Ohio, you've all got two senators. The number of Republican senators is wildly disproportionate to the population in those states. Keeping the filibuster alive also gives disproportionate power to the minority. Nah, we liberals outnumber them by a lot.


"Turned off by Biden’s approach, GOP opposition to stimulus relief intensifies"
No, the WaPo's wrong. Biden is failing to get Republican cooperation because Republicans have simply opposed everything Democrats have wanted to do.


Russian police walk calmly through a barrage of snowballs as citizens protest the treatment of Alexei Navalny.


Good thread on Dinesh D'Souza and how he doesn't even come up to the miserably low standard of the 1776 Report.


"Why Are Conservatives So Angry Biden Denounced White Supremacy?"
Problem is, the Proud Boys, QAnon and other white supremacists are not irrelevant and powerless. They are a subsection of the GOP that serves useful purposes for them.


Major, highly influential news guy Larry King, passes away.


Major problem here is that the GOP strategy of "block everything, no matter how much the nation needs action," was successful! It worked to increase Republican majorities in the House and Senate and played a role in getting Trump into the Presidency. Senate Majority Leader McConnell is running the same playbook again.

No, the WaPo's wrong. Biden is failing to get Republican cooperation because Republicans have simply opposed everything Democrats have wanted to do.


While the R Party talks about unifying the country, the D Party "Walks the walk" and actually acts to unify the country.

The last President talked about "Endless Wars" in the Middle East and how he wanted to end them. Our new President appears to actually want to do something that would really end them.

Update (4 Feb): The brutal Saudi Arabian war on Yemen is first up to be ended.

“We are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” Biden said, after describing the suffering that Yemenis have endured throughout a civil war that began in 2014.


"How Trump Left The Country With No Real Vaccine Distribution Plan"
Think the real problem here is at least partially the allergy of the Republican Party to big government. This is a 50-state problem and it requires national coordination. This is not at all consistent with he libertarian notion that we don't need any authority higher than the county sheriff. Democrats, on the other hand, are perfectly comfortable with national solutions.


*Sigh!* People just desperate to criticize the new President for something!


I understand that the former Director of the CDC and former Vice-President Pence's coronavirus task force feel angry and defensive about people describing their vaccine planning as a worthless piece 'o dung, but their performance is just completely indefensible.


There's a new crew in town! They're going to take a close and careful look at the Census so far and will deploy whatever they need to make sure it's accurate!


Ah, okay. Trump loyalist Michael Ellis was placed in a job where he would oversee the highly-classified server where the documents for the former President's call to Ukraine were stored.
Ellis has been placed on administrative leave until lawyers can sift through the laws concerning appointments to see whether Ellis is really authorized to be where he is.


"Democrats aren't playing McConnell's game on filibuster"
This is very good news! The filibuster was romanticized in the 1939 movie "Mr Smith goes to Washington," but really, it was primarily used to defend slavery and was used by the current Senate Minority Leader to obstruct Obama's agenda, full stop. It hasn't been used for any really useful purpose for the entire time it's existed.


A friend of mine sent this to me last night. Very good. Please watch it all the way to the end. It's well worth it to do so.


In the attack on 6 January, the former President achieved strategic surprise. No one was expecting a physical assault on the Capitol. but on Inauguration Day, in biological terms, they had "provoked an immune response." All their tin-pot, play-soldier groups couldn't hope to topple National Guards people that were ready for them.


Looks like Alexey Navalny intends to become the next Nelson Mandela. Let’s hope he gets into power much sooner.


Ah, the competence! The sheer attention to detail and dedication to mission and organization!


Effects of the now-discontinued Muslim ban:

Trump’s Muslim visa ban wrought enormous harm to innocent Americans. It kept grandchildren from visiting their grandparents. Some died alone and far away. It separated not only families but close friends. It separated colleagues. It broke up research teams. It ruined careers and businesses.


And you know what’s insane? Those are partisan positions!

Can’t believe that instead of uniting America, Biden is taking partisan positions like “The Pandemic is Real” and “Let’s Listen to the Scientists”


This is pretty cool! The next Mars rover, due to land there in mid-February, will have microphones so as to capture what Mars sounds like.


Entirely expected, but still very good news!

Joe Biden signs executive action to rejoin Paris Climate Accord "as of today."

List of Executive Orders signed today by our President.


A young Black woman talks about race during Biden's inaugural and a Fox News person criticizes her and her poem. If talking about racism is divisive, I don't understand what it is that liberals are supposed to do about that. Are we just supposed to ignore it? Are we supposed to simply shut our eyes to the prevalence of white supremacy? I don't understand what our solution is supposed to be.

Our National Youth Poet Laureate and more on the inauguration


Ah, with he iauguration of President Biden, Rush Limbaugh weeps salty, bitter tears! Delicious!


The off-going President talked about ending “forever wars,” but those ambitions were never anything more than idle chatter. If Biden really wants to turn Iran away from adventuring in the Middle East, bring Iran into economic integration first. Give them something they don’t want to lose.


Wow! The first time we’ve had any national mourning for lives lost to Covid! The night before Biden takes charge.


Hmm. Yeah, I agree. Trump’s presidency will be studied hundreds of years from now. Not in the way Fox News host Sean Hannity thinks, but yes, it will be studied!


How was the departing President as “The Peace President?”

He didn’t end wars—not even one.
He escalated wars while bragging about no new wars.


US makes a really good, awesome, positive declaration about the Uighurs, but it's completely meaningless as we aren't part of the ICC. And again, I'm not really sure what this "as we're going out the door" policymaking is inteneded to accomplish. It's not like we didn't know about the Uighurs being abused by the Chinese. The US has known since at least June 2020 that serious human rights violations were being committed.

But Trump has also been very open about the fact that he held off on such sanctions while he was negotiating a trade deal with China. According to former national security adviser John Bolton’s memoir, Trump even told Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2019 that building concentration camps for the Uighurs was “exactly the right thing to do.”


Conservatives have put out a document titled "1776 Project." It lists "progressivism" between "fascism" and "slavery" as a "Challenge to America's principles."

This is essentially a right-wing response to the 1619 Project. As per usual on anything involved with the current, off-going President, it's sloppy as hell. They didn't even use any professional historians. The problem will only arise if schools actually start using it.

Update (27 Jan): "President Biden abolished former President Trump’s 1776 Commission on 'patriotic education' Tuesday, calling it 'offensive' and 'counterfactual.'"


Former long-time-ago Speaker Newt Gingrich says some true stuff here, but Digby's right. Gingrich has contributed far too much hatred to the world to ever be credible when he speaks for peace.

Yeah, unfortunately, that's how a lot of the people and companies view MLK Day.


The off-going First Lady usually give the oncoming First Lady a tour of the living quarters. Melania Trump follows her husband by snubbing Jill Biden.


"Panic Buttons Were Torn Out Of Ayanna Pressley’s Office BEFORE The Riot"
This is very disturbing because it was clearly an inside job.


The blogger has written a book about how the soon-to-be-ex President is running a "Post-Policy Presidency." The piece also shows why it is that absolutely no one wants to hire someone who's worked for this administration. These people knew months ago that distributing the vaccine would be a critically important test of how organized and together they were. They've failed that test, very badly.


Ben Smith is indeed correct! He says everybody blames everybody else for Trump and they all refuse to take responsibility for their own complicity. Very true! The NY Times is deeply complicit in having supported Trump and Fox News over the last four years.


Human Rights Watch says Israel must provide vaccinations to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. As those two territories are under siege, they have no independent means of getting vaccine by themselves. Vaccine has to come through Israeli border controls.


Nikki Haley:

Biden’s plan to double the federal minimum wage would kill between 1.3 & 3.7 million jobs...

Raising the minimum wage does have a bad effect on marginal workers and those who are first starting out. But that effect normally just lasts a year or so before the extra consumer demand makes it necessary to hire those workers again. If raising the minimum wage had permanently bad effects, we’d have stopped raising it a long time ago.


Good! The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was rendered toothless by the Trump Administration. Biden wants to return it to its former function.


Theory does not equal reality. "Let him grieve" was obviously a poor strategy.


Incoming Biden Administration is confident they can vaccinate 100 million people before too long. I believe them because they're working as a team and they understand how government works.


Ah, Chef José Andrés, our hero!


Good Lord! The off-going, one-term President wants to collect $2 BILLION (With a “B”) for a Presidential library? Grift city!

Obama wanted half of that for his library and he served two terms!

I’ve toured the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. That was finished in 1971 and cost $18 million to build.


Why on Earth does the Secretary of State want to designate the Houthis of Yemen a terrorist group at the very last minute like this!?!?!?! He wants this designation to take place one day before Trump leaves office!


Was the flash a supernova? No, it actually occurs every 115 days. It's a star circling a black hole and transferring major amounts of energy on every pass.


Vice President Mike Pence telephoned Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday to congratulate her and offer his assistance ahead of next week's swearing-in...

Nice thing to do. Very last week of a 2 1/2 month transition, but uh, yeah, okay.


Still more evidence that the attack on the Capitol was not a "riot," but rather more like a military-style attack.


Really excellent summary of the off-going President’s only term.

Inside the building, Trump has been weathering a second impeachment and growing isolation from his onetime allies in sullen desolation. He has grown more and more worried about what legal or financial calamities may await him when he is no longer president, people who have spoken to him said, fueled by warnings from lawyers and advisers.


This is very good news!

Team Biden is going to make a forceful defense of Keynesian counter-cyclical spending and won't be cowed by the bad faith deficit scolds.


No grand victory tour on his last lap as Secretary of State. Pompeo closes down shop as a Secretary with little or no legacy. He’ll be remembered as the fellow who failed to support people like Marie Yovanovitch.

The tweets are short on diplomatic accomplishments measured in the traditional fashion—there are few mentions of any agreements reached, no statistical measures of progress, nothing.

The off-going Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's legacy. Nothing to cheer. Leaves behind a bitter, angry world.


Good!

From a WH source: “without twitter as an outlet no one left here is safe from his tantrums.”

Better his minions suffer than that the rest of us should have to bear his rage-tweeting, etc.

Yeah, the off-going President's final days do have a feeling of Nixon departing to them. He's certainly going out on a very low note and not on any feeling of triumph or accomplishment.

Carl Bernstein compares the final days of Nixon and Trump.


"Ex-MI Gov. Rick Snyder And Others To Be Charged In Flint Water Crisis"
Wow! Long overdue! Many, many years overdue! Very good, but very late!

Yeah, Rachel Maddow covered this at the top of her hour last night. The real problem was the appointment of "managers" who could override the democratic decisions of cities and towns.


Very interesting that the people who invaded the Capitol on the 6th apparently got tours of the Capital on the 5th. Tours had not taken place for many months, so this immediately struck many people as suspicious. An investigation has been initiated.


Woo hoo! Impeached for the second time! Let's see if we can get a Senate conviction this time!


Ever since the election, Sean Hannity's show, which once appeared invincible, has been squeezed from the right by Newsmax and OAN and from the left by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Chris Cuomo of CNN.


The invasion and occupation of the Capitol was planned. It wasn’t a sudden, spontaneous inspiration.

And, as usual, nothing is ever the President’s fault.

Very interesting. 50 armed DHS agents sat around twiddling their thumbs during the siege of the Capitol.

The off-going, one-term President was fully aware of what was happening in the Capitol. He just didn't care.


Concerning the attack on the Capitol, let's have a look at what State Representatives in Michigan and elsewhere had to put up with just a few months ago.


Never saw Liz Cheney as stupid. Evil yes, but never stupid. She proves that she isn’t going down that insane rabbit hole that other Republicans are going into.

Update (1 Feb): Minority Leader McConnell backs her but Represnative Gaeta hates her. She "does not speak for Wyoming."


Good grief, what a pair of complete and utter snowflakes! Neither Secretary of State Pompeo nor VOA Director Reilly had the fortitude to be able to answer critical questions.


This is pretty cool! Three stars share one planet! At about 1,800 light years away (our galactic disk is about 1,000 light years thick and roughly 200k light years in diameter) it's a reasonably close galactic neighbor of ours.


Tapper is correct. "Over 50 million Americans think this election was stolen" because Republicans like Representative Jordan keep tossing gasoline onto the flames.

Very happy to see some good, strong Democratic pushback against Representative Jordan's lies.


On 12 January, there still had not been any press conferences by anyone other than the DC Mayor and Police!


Problem with the Julian Assange case is that it's not just one of freedom of the press. It combines the actions of state actors working in their own purposes as well as journalism.


*Sigh!* A post of exasperating stupidity, starting with:

"Well look, they gave us a taste of this pre-election when they suppressed the Hunter Biden story."

Jeanine Pirro was referring to when Twitter limited the circulation of an error-laden New York Post story linked to a Russian disinformation campaign ahead of the 2020 election.
Hunter Biden was a complete non-issue from the get-go.


One of the heroes of the siege.


Not over. Nowhere near over.

Update: No further actions by insurrectionists. Far too many National Guards people on duty. "Pentagon authorizes 25,000 National Guard members for inauguration"


President pens a lengthy letter to Speaker Pelosi. In the first paragraph, he calls his second impeachment "unconstitutional." Uh, no. It was made clear during his first impeachment that the House can impeach a president as many times as they please. President made what he considers an awesome case. I'm not very impressed.


"QAnon Congresswoman Faces Calls For Arrest For Tweeting Speaker Pelosi's Location To Rioters"
Oh, my God! Throw the book at this woman! She needs to be placed in federal custody immediately! She needs to go to prison and to never, ever come out!

Representative Lauren Boebert came up with an extremely unpersuasive reason as to why she tweeted out the location of the Speaker of the House during an attack on the Capitol.
Back in the Navy, we called that a "Security Violation." I repeat, she needs to go to prison for a very long time.


Cool! In the comic and in the first version of the TV show, Batwoman was a white woman. They'e going to try having a Black woman play her part this time. Should be interesting to see how this version works out.


DC Police and Mayor have held briefings, but yes, no one above them has. Quite suspicious.


Maggie Haberman is an NY Times reporter with lots of "inside sources" in the Trump Administration. So how truly useful were those sources? At a time when an inside source would really have been useful in examining questions such as, what role did Secretary of Defense play during the invasion and occupation of the Capitol, her sources turn out to be utterly useless.


Senator Ted Cruz bemoans the “deep national division” that he himself has done a great deal to deepen.


Excellent video from Schwarzenegger! Also, good piece on pardons.


"Lindsey Graham Urges Biden to Stop 2nd Trump Impeachment Push by Democratic Lawmakers"
I kept reading this and listened to Graham's interview and kept wondering "In exchange for what?!?!?!" Okay, the President promises to behave, but this wasn't just something that happened on his watch, it happened with his actively inciting a mob. No, a simple apology (Which the President hasn't offered) won't do. There must be consequences for that attack on our nation's Capitol!


Hmm. I dunno about this. Not a lawyer myself, of course, but an example of permissibly compromising the 1st Amendment was given as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Seems to me that inciting a riot would fall under the very same public safety exception. As the off-going President sent out a message in advance ("It'll be wild!"), I wouldn't bet any money on the President's defense.


When people write the history of this era, they're going to find that pretty much everything we "know" about Ivanka and concerning Ivanka comes directly from Ivanka or close associates of hers.

Update (1 Feb): Why is Ronna McDaniel, head of the RNC, being treated as though she's on some sort of hot, winning streak? Her party lost the House in 2018, the Presidency in 2020, the Senate in 2021 and then launched an autogolpe, a violent take-over, of the Capitol. But the WaPo treats her to a fawning puff piece in their Style section!


The Covid is really just getting bad everywhere.


Tucker Carlson tries desperately to push back against CNN’s Brianna Keilar's very good and accurate piece that tore him apart.


No, I really can’t be bothered to think about how Trump supporters will react in response to anything. Not my problem.


Trump’s true base was never poor people, but wealthy and crazy white guys.


Earth may have gotten lots of water from metorites, specifically from the carbonaceous chondrites variety.


Because the off-going President incited the attack on the Capitol that left five people dead and all kinds of damage, Trump is the real victim because he's lost access to Twitter!


There's non-public intelligence, information that nation-states ferret out using all the tools and techniques seen in James Bond movies. Then there's what we call "Open Source Intelligence," firms that just go through what's publicly available to figure out what nations or movements are up to. It was obvious for many such firms that an attack on the Capitol was likely.


The off-going President is absolutely convinced, Convinced, I tell you!, that America's image around the world has improved due to his leadership. Yeah....erm...uh, no. Not really. And now the US has taken another major hit due to the violent occupation of the Capitol.


One reason Trump people may be leaving early is that they realize that the Trump stink is going to be awfully hard to wash off in any event and they want to get an early head start.


Heh!

Ivanka decided that perhaps shutting the fuck up and deleting the tweet was the best option.


What happened in just four years that made Democrats able to flip the House, the Presidency and then the Senate?


The thoughts of the former First Lady on the events of the past few days.


What would be the consequence of “Looking forwards, not backwards,” that is, of not prosecuting Trump and his enablers? The lesson of history is that the consequences would be very bad.

Democrats wanted to “Look forwards, not backwards” until the Capitol was occupied by thugs.


I normally don't have much use for Meghan McCain, but she's right here. We need to invoke the 25th Amendment and to remove the President now!


Video of the penetration of the fence. Very sad. Far too few people at the fence. Far too little back up. The cops there were hugely outnumbered by the attackers. When I went to my first anti-Iraq War demonstration in Philadelphia, there were way more police, drawn up into rows, ready and waiting for any disorder.


Rudy Giuliani makes a really pathetic statement here. Where is the evidence that Antifa was even involved in the first place?


As of 4:00am this morning (7 Jan), the off-going President finally agreed to "an orderly transition."


Hmm. A commercial company, Twitter, sanctions the off-going President (Cancels his account) in a way that Congress couldn't.

Update: Good! The off-going President's Twitter account is suspended indefinitely.


The blogger strongly recommends immediate impeachment and removal.


Senator Josh Hawley (R-MS) does a “BothSides” to violence against law enforcement. More on Hawley's views.


"Dark Matter" has been used as an explanation for gravitational effects that don't appear explainable in any other way. But it might not exist after all.


Extensive commentary on the attack on the Capitol. I consider it an autogolpe, Spanish for "self-coup," it was a very deliberate, directed attack with a clear strategic purpose, to overthrow our democratic and Constitutional republic and to install Trump as a dictator.

"McConnell Blasts Trump's 'Conspiracy Theories' as He Shuts Down Coup Attempt"
Which is nice, but it's far too little and far too late. I noted that when McConnell announced that Joe Biden was indeed the President-Elect, it was about a month and a half after the fact and just a few hours after Vladimir Putin announced the same thing!

Of course President-Elect Biden will address the chaos in the Capitol. It's not like we have an actual, sitting President who was be able to take charge or anything.

Summary of what the off-going, one term President said. "Basically, great job but now go home."
Off-going President “calls off” his people. “We can’t play into the hands of these people,” Trump said. “So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”


Pretty sad when we have to congratulate the sitting Vice President for, y'know, following the law, but there you have it. Pence will not attempt to overturn the election!


Just saw a piece on how Vitamin D is helpful in preventing COVID-19. Salmon's been a favorite of mine since I was stationed in Italy. Egg yolks, yep. I eat the whole egg cooked up into omelets. Oatmeal? Every day!


Not a sealed-up, done deal yet, but it’s looking really good for both of the Democratic Georgia candidates!

Woo hoo! Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Warnock clinches it!

Reverend Raphael Warnock, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Ebenezer Baptist Church.


I blame the off-going President for this. Anti-maskers demonstrate in grocery store.


The demonstration that the off-going, one-term President is calling for doesn't start until tomorrow, but demonstrators are getting in some violence early.

"What's the harm in letting this play out?" We're seeing the harm play out in real time!

Police weighing in on the story.


Propagandists gonna propagandize. Of course Senator Hawley hysterically exaggerates what the candel-light protesters in front of his house did. The protesers, because they aren't idiots, documented everything.


The off-going President is correct, the world IS watching but what they see horrifies them.


Just how liberals feel about Trump supporters?


Omsk, Siberia has their own version of Boston's L Street Brownies.


Trump Administration person tries desperately to justify their getting immunization shots into a tenth of what they promised.


This is interesting. Rest of the post is a detailed run-down on the phone call the President made to the Georgia Secretary of State. Love this line: “the president of the united states asking if maybe we could get some shit to fall off the back of a truck”


A detailed look Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who wishes to carry a firearm in Washington DC. Granted, like the blogger, I’m a reasonably capable-looking kinda guy and was back when I spent four years in Washington DC (1978-1982). Neither of us think the city was or is anywhere near as dangerous as she claims it is.


Woo hoo! "The Squad" expands!
Note: All of the original members won their re-elections.


Good! I wholeheartedly endorse this!

More than 170 prominent business leaders — including the CEOs of Deloitte, Pfizer and Lyft — signed a letter urging Congress to accept the Electoral College results.


I agree! Impeaching this President (again) is the correct response here! If we permit this blatant attempt to interfere with democratic elections to go unpunished, we're guaranteeing it'll happen every four years!


Representative Louie Gohmert is certainly a clownish, bumbling figure. Question is, is he also the future of the Republican Party?


“Covering politics as an amoral sport” should always have been repellent! Politics affects people’s lives! It’s only a relatively few highly privileged people who have the luxury of viewing politics as a sport!


Someone in the Pentagon is very deeply worried about what recent Trump appointees are up to.

About that letter that all 10 living Defense Secretaries signed onto, this appears to suggest that Trump is up to something really bad!


Whooo-weee!!! This site reproduces 4 1/2 minutes of the off-going, one-term President trying to convince the Georgia Secretary of State that "some guy he knows" is more credible than the people whose job it is to verify the election!


Response to a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer today.


Good summary of where we’re at right now.

There are millions of doses of vaccine sitting in storage right now. There is no plan to get them to people. ...

Looks like Ukraine is producing some pretty cool science fiction films.


Fox & Friends:

"Operation Warp Speed getting a lot of blame but really the states are where the slowdown is occurring."

Right, but that was entirely predictable when the Trump Administration decided to delegate much of the distribution of the vaccine to the states. The federal government has taken on far too little of the role they needed to take on.


Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX):

“By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”

I guess that's true, if you look at Cruz's precise wording. The allegations are astounding. The proof? Ehh, not so much. After about 60 cases brought by Giuliani, Powell and others, nota single case of voter fraud has been proven.

Update: Senator Ted Cruz wants everyone to calm down about the wild, hysterical, baseless accusations of voter fraud having gotten everyone all riled up and distrustful of our democracy. But he's one of the people who has been riling people up! There have been 60 court cases that have collectively found zippo that supports any accusation of cheating.

Critis of Cruz were not amused.


Jeanine Pirro is correct and Peter Navarro (an advisor to the President) is absolutely, 100% wrong. The transition date for the off-going President to vacate the White House is firmly set in the Constitution and cannot be changed short of passing a Constitutional Amendment.


From the hashtag #GOPSeditiousTraitors:

Four deaths in Benghazi - 16 investigations
350k deaths of Covid - no investigations


Good! Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Pat Toomey puts out a good statement on the Hawley, Cruz, et al statement justifying their proposed challenge to the 2020 election. Rah! Rah!


The off-going Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has been putting out a series tweets glorifying his tenure. Nah, the descriptions "swagger" and "professionalism" do not belong together. You do one or the other. Can't do both at the same time.

Mehdi Hasan is right and Secretary of State Pompeo is wrong. The US DID side with Saudi Arabia when they decided to murder an American resident who was also a reporter for an American newspaper.


With Palestinians under siege, that means Israel controls all of their interactions with the outside world. That means if Israel decides "No vaccines for you!" there's nothing Palestinians can do about it.


Robots do some pretty good dancing here!


Representative Louie Gohmert argues that the Vice-President has the unlimited power to accept or reject Elector ballots. That means, of course, that Al Gore should have been able to declare himself President in 2001.


Heh! This fellow reads tweets that oppose the $2k check for everyone, then checks on what their houses look like. Yep, just what you'd expect. If you oppose the $2k check, there's about a 100% chance that you live in a mansion.


Yeah, I remember Y2K. And yes, I agree with the fellow here. It's not that it was never a problem, it's that lots of people spent lots of time and money to make sure that the Y2K Bug was eradicated before the dreaded date hit.


New Senator Madison Cawthorn says there are "thousands" of recent examples of voter fraud. Funny, because in around 60 cases that the Rudy Giuliani-led legal team initiated after the 2020 election, they couldn't identify a single such case.

What Representative Rutherford's statement makes clear is that he's raising unsubstantiated allegations to the level of proven fact. He presents absolutely no facts to back up his claims.


Historians agree that 2020 was the sixth worst year ever.


New Senator Madison Cawthorn says there are "thousands" of recent examples of voter fraud. Funny, because in around 60 cases that the Rudy Giuliani-led legal team initiated after the 2020 election, they couldn't identify a single such case.


As Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are fully aware of how badly their public images have deteriorated, they've recruited the NY Times to try and rescue them.


Is there anything Dolly Parton doesn't do well and with flair and class? She's deserving of special notice this year as she was an early contributor to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.


There was a 7% drop in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, but that wasn't the result of deliberate policy. We need to do better.