Let’s just Zoom this shit, please.
We are two days away from the end of Donald Trump's presidency. Now we just need to make sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stay alive. According to the Associated Press, US defense officials are concerned that MAGA goons might've infiltrated Biden's inauguration. Yes, they're actually worried about an “insider attack" against the president-elect from servicemembers assigned to secure the event. The FBI is in the process of vetting all 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington. That doesn't seem like a lot of time. Sarah Palin had a lengthier vetting process and we saw how that turned out.
This does not look like a party or a peaceful transition. It stands out as more than just petty now that the outgoing president won't attend his successor's inauguration for the first time since 1869. Trump's just been impeached for raising a lynch mob against Congress and his own vice president. Leaving Washington DC early Wednesday morning seems to draw a big honking target on the event, which should really be virtual for the safety of all involved. The situation calls for a nice, comfy bunny slippers inauguration from secure locations.
It only takes one Trump true believer to make a tragedy.
Can't wait for this to be an abnormal thing again.
In January of 897 C.E., Pope Stephen VI had the corpse of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, dug up and put on trial. Because the corpse could not speak, Pope Steve sat him on a throne but had a deacon stand behind him, throw his voice and admit to doing all of the crimes and to not even really being a legit pope. As punishment, Pope Formosus's blessing fingers were chopped off and he was thrown into the Tiber, which probably didn't bother him much given that he had been dead for seven months.
There was once a time when we could look at stories like this from the past and go "Wow, that is totally bonkers, can you believe something like that actually happened?"
No more! Not really. Because a freaking pillow salesmen was photographed yesterday walking into the White House to share his plan on how to go about enacting martial law.
The banality of ... treason?
This past Saturday, Jacob Anthony Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, aka the QAnon Shaman, was taken into police custody and charged with "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds." Since then, he briefly went on a hunger strike demanding to be fed organic food, which his mother claims he will be physically ill without — though it has not been specified if this is a religious or physical requirement. Despite reports to the contrary, Chansley has not, in fact, been granted an "organic diet."
Chansley's lawyer, Albert Watkins, is now pushing the line that either the charges against him should be dropped or that Trump should pardon him, because of how he was just following orders.
Capitol riot suspect Jacob Chansley, known as the "Qanon shaman," is asking for a pardon from President Trump, sayi… https://t.co/VIDKVI18Dp— Cuomo Prime Time (@Cuomo Prime Time)1610679170.0
In an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN last night, Watkins explained that Chansley basically worshiped Trump and listened to everything he said and therefore, when Trump told them to go down to the Capitol, he thought doing that was totally fine.
Because that's about where we are now.
How many deadly invasions of the US Capitol does it take to get Washington officials to take the threat of rightwing terrorism seriously? Just the one, apparently, because the security arrangements for Joe Biden's inauguration next Wednesday will include deployment of more than 20,000 National Guard members to the DC area, including the perfectly normal sight of Guard troops sacked out on rest breaks on the floors of the Capitol itself, while the House of Representatives voted yesterday to impeach Donald Trump a second time.
Rep Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) called attention to the weird irony during the hearing:
Rep. Moulton, who was decorated for his service in the Iraq War, could probably identify with the Guard troops resting in the Capitol, like any soldiers might when on a mission to protect an endangered US ally. Particularly since Politico and other outlets are reporting that the National Guard members sent to DC received briefings telling them to watch out for improvised explosive devices that might be used by Trumpers in the nation's capital.
Also, we should add that the Guard isn't actual doing a Bel Bivouac Devoe in the Capitol, as the Washington Post helpfully explains:
The guardsmen were resting between shifts, D.C. Guard officials said in a statement, stressing that they were not sleeping on the floor because of a lack of sleeping arrangements. Local hotels are accommodating the service members, officials said.
We suppose the brass decided something had to be done to politely let people know they can stop offering to send cots and yoga mats to the Capitol. Also, coverage of the Guard in DC has been careful to note that virtually all the soldiers are careful to wear masks, which is more than we can say for roughly half the legislators they're supposed to be protecting.