They Were Out for Blood
The men who carried zip ties as they stormed the Capitol weren’t clowning around.
I can’t stop thinking about the zip-tie guys.
Amid the photos that flooded social media during Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol—shirtless jokers in horned helmets, dudes pointing at their nuts, dumbasses carrying away souvenirs—the images of the zip-tie guys were quieter, less exuberant, more chilling. And we’d better not forget what they almost managed to do.
It’s easy to think of the siege of the U.S. Capitol as a clown show with accidentally deadly consequences. A bunch of cosplaying self-styled patriots show up, overwhelm the incomprehensibly unprepared Capitol Police, and then throw a frat party in the rotunda. The miscreants smear shit on the walls and steal laptops and smoke weed in conference rooms. Someone gets shot; someone else has a heart attack, possibly under ludicrous circumstances. When they finally get rousted, they cry to the cameras about getting maced.
I know the coup failed because 48 hours later we’re back to “Pelosi went too far”/”Pelosi didn’t go far enough.” But articles of impeachment will be drawn up this weekend and introduced as soon as Monday.
House expected to introduce articles of impeachment next week
The House is planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as early as Monday, several sources familiar with the Democrats’ plans tell Axios.
Why it matters: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been hearing from members across the party who want to move quickly on impeachment to hold President Trump accountable for fueling Wednesday’s siege at the Capitol, especially since it’s unlikely that Vice President Pence and a majority of the Cabinet will invoke the 25th Amendment.
- No president has ever been impeached twice, but Trump is now facing that very real prospect with just 12 days left in his term.
- If Trump is impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be barred from running for the presidency again in 2024, something that has been an attractive part of these discussions.
Editorial: Ron Johnson, Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany should resign or be expelled for siding with Trump against our republic
Fitzgerald and Tiffany were the only members of the House of Representatives from Wisconsin who joined in an insurrection built upon a foundation of ignorance and lies.
Sen. Ron Johnson decided to vote against both baseless challenges to certified votes only after our nation’s Capitol was sacked as Congress gathered to perform its simple constitutional duty to recognize the Electoral College vote.
But Johnson had been shilling for Trump and this moment for days, adding kindling to the megalomaniac’s fire, so his last-minute switch does nothing to absolve his role in stoking this shameful day in American history.
Extremists made little secret of ambitions to ‘occupy’ Capitol in weeks before attackOn Thursday, Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference that there was “no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol.”
A digital flyer made public on Instagram and Facebook in December made little secret of the ambitions of some of the people planning to visit Washington on Jan. 6: “Operation Occupy the Capitol.”
That call to arms is just one of the many warning signs on extremist sites and mainstream social media platforms that extremism experts say were easy to spot but ultimately disregarded by law enforcement in the runup to Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol, which led to the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was reportedly hit with a fire extinguisher during the melee.
Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl A. Racine told MSNBC on Friday that “there were no surprises there” when it came to what extremists prepared to do before Wednesday’s siege.
“Everyone who was a law enforcement officer or a reporter knew exactly what these hate groups were planning,” Racine said. “They were planning to descend on Washington, D.C., ground center was the Capitol, and they were planning to charge and, as Rudy Giuliani indicated, to do combat justice at the Capitol,”
The Man Who Saw Yesterday’s Coup Attempt Coming Is Only Surprised It Wasn’t Much Worse
Arieh Kovler knew. “On January 6, armed Trumpist militias will be rallying in DC, at Trump’s orders,” he wrote on Twitter on December 21st. “It’s highly likely that they’ll try to storm the Capitol after it certifies Joe Biden’s win. I don’t think this has sunk in yet.” It sank in for the rest of us yesterday, when Trumpist militias stormed the capitol. If Arieh Kovler knew, why didn’t everyone else?
We all could have, says Kovler, a political consultant with a background in government relations in the U.K. who studies extremist Trump message boards. In his telling, it wasn’t all that difficult to see the writing on the wall. (In fact, many people went beyond Kovler, and went as far as to email DC police warning them of an incoming siege.) A single Trump tweet had the power to provoke his base into organizing yesterday’s events. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Trump wrote. “Once Trump said be there,” Kovler said on a phone call Thursday morning, “they interpreted that as a call to action, as their marching orders.” As one Trump supporter on Reddit interpreted it: “DADDY SAYS BE IN DC ON JAN. 6TH.”
Scarier still is how much worse Wednesday could have gone. Kovler wondered if one way the protesters might swing the election in Trump’s favor was by “forcing Congress to certify him as the winner at gunpoint,” he wrote in the original Twitter thread from December. This wasn’t baseless theorizing, either—it, too, came from online posting visible to anyone who bothered to look. “They imagined that this was the day there were going to be mass executions of Congressmen,” Kovler said. So while DC police assert there was “no intelligence that suggests that there would be a breach of the US Capitol,” Kovler is just surprised it wasn’t much worse.
Op-Ed: For right-wing extremists, this was a victory
The successful attack on Capitol Hill will fuel years of recruitment and mythologizing for post-Trump extremists
Terrorism is spectacle. As attacks grow more shocking and dramatic, the size of their audience increases accordingly. While most observers are terrified and outraged by such violence, a small minority become inspired enough to plan attacks of their own. This is how extremist movements grow. This is how they seek to bend the world to their will.
Social media has dramatically increased the effectiveness of spectacular acts of terror. In 2014, ISIS militants used the viral executions of two American hostages to declare war on the United States. They were rewarded with an exponential increase in Western media coverage and tens of thousands of recruits from more than 100 countries. In 2019, a New Zealand-based white supremacist livestreamed his murder of 51 Muslim congregants in the city of Christchurch. His actions prompted numerous copycat attacks and a global resurgence of white ethno-nationalism.
Yet the media impact and symbolic power of these attacks are dwarfed by the events of January 6, 2021, during which far-right extremists stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol at the encouragement of President Trump.
POLITICO-Harvard poll: Public strongly backs Biden’s demand for Covid aid
The vast majority of Americans are eager for sweeping legislation that could end the pandemic and rescue the ailing economy.
The poll finds strong backing for Biden’s vision of an expansive government effort to combat Covid-19, nearly a year into a pandemic that has killed more than 360,000 in the United States and left millions without jobs. A disappointing labor report on Friday, which showed that the country shed jobs for the first time since the spring, may add new urgency for the vaccination effort and additional stimulus.
“They are overwhelmed with wanting to get Covid under control and wanting to get their economic lives back together,” said Robert Blendon, a health policy and political analysis professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who designed the poll.
Nearly 90 percent of poll respondents ranked passing aid for businesses and individuals hurt by the pandemic’s economic effects as “extremely important.” More than eight in 10 expressed the same enthusiasm for federal action expanding access to food stamps and bolstering support for testing and vaccination efforts.
Olivia Nuzzi/New York:
Senior Trump Official: We Were Wrong, He’s a ‘Fascist’
Advisers have expressed concern and anger over Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, whose actions have been perceived as an effort to secure employment with Trump in his post-presidency, perhaps at the Trump Organization. “Jared has been telling people, ‘Don’t even deal with him anymore,’” one adviser said. “Mark’s responsible for bringing kook after crazy after conniver after Rudy into the West Wing.” A former senior White House official said, “Morale plummeted under him, huge mistakes were made — and now he’s scrambling to stick around after. He’s a dishonest asshole who pretends to be this religious Southern gentleman. Fuck that.”
The senior administration official put it this way: “The only way it gets to this point are a thousand really bad small decisions. The first time Sidney Powell calls the White House switchboard and is allowed to speak to the president, the next thing you know she and others are in the West Wing — these are areas where the chief of staff has unilateral authority to do what he wants to do.” Instead, the official said, Meadows tells Trump what he wants to hear, and often calls whomever Trump has directed him to call, repeats what Trump told him to say, and then apologizes, explaining that he just needs to be able to tell the boss that he followed his orders.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.