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  • 1. VIRick  |  January 4, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Lunatic-in-Charge Threatens Sen. Cotton (R-AR) over Electoral College Certification

    On Monday, 4 January 2021, Trump warned Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that Republican voters would "never forget" GOP lawmakers who fail to embrace Trump's baseless effort to contest President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

    “How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG,” Trump tweeted. “You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”

    Cotton, an otherwise staunch Trump ally, announced over the weekend that he would not join nearly a dozen Senate Republicans and more than 100 House members in challenging the Electoral College results on 6 January in a last-ditch attempt at awarding Trump a second term that he did not win. In his statement, Cotton dismissed the gambit, flatly noting that “objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term” and instead will backfire on Republicans.

    “The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress," Cotton said. "They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress."….

    For clarification, Trump's "speech" tonight will be a last-minute nut-job rally in Dalton GA, ostensibly in support of the two Georgia Republican Senators in the run-off election on 5 January, but given the context of this latest threat, it would appear that said rally will be yet one more stream of endless grievances, filled with incoherent blather about how the election was "stolen" from him.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 4, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    "Find Me 11,780 Votes," Re-Mix to "Seasons of Love" from Broadway Musical "Rent"

    Per Gregory Brothers:

    In the re-mix, they have Trump plaintively singing for those tantalizingly elusive 11,780 votes, while Ryan Germany, Raffensperger's counsel, continually repeats the forceful chorus in a dry monotone, "No."

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  January 4, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Rep. Michele Rayner, a St. Petersburg Democrat & the only lesbian serving in the Florida Legislature, seeks to repeal Florida’s same-sex marriage ban

    It has been nearly five years since the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. But Florida still has a ban on same-sex marriage in its statutes.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 4, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Dalton GA Rally, 4 January 2021

    After days of watching Trump toss hand grenades at fellow Republicans, party officials said they were deeply concerned he might veer off script and continue his destructive antics onstage Monday night in Georgia, at a rally on the eve of runoff elections that will decide which party controls the Senate. Needless to say, as anticipated, he veered directly into crazy, as it was all about Trump, as always.

    Aides had encouraged the president to deliver a simple message to Georgia voters that they must turn out to protect his legacy. But Trump had something else in mind. The first words out of his mouth at the rally in Dalton were: “There’s no way we lost Georgia. That was a rigged election.” Trump went on to bash Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, claimed they were not real Republicans, and promised to campaign against both men when they stand for re-election in 2022.

    He also falsely said he had won re-election “in a landslide” and suggested that he expects Vice-President Pence to make it so when he fulfills his constitutional duty to preside over Wednesday’s joint session of Congress, even though the vice-president does not have the power to overturn the results. “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump told the applauding Georgia crowd. “Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.” GOP strategists say Trump’s infatuation with personal grievances and false claims of a “rigged” and “stolen” election in November could depress their party’s turnout Tuesday, dooming Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

    Trump has been uninterested in governing or managing the pandemic, or even burnishing his legacy, and is almost entirely focused on the election, spending considerable time talking about it with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and presidential personnel director Johnny McEntee, officials said. Trump has complained that he does not think he will get credit if Perdue and Loeffler win but will be blamed if they lose.

    Trump’s focus on Georgia has been less about the marquee Senate contests than about rewriting his own history. Though he has been pre-occupied by scheming to reverse the national outcome, advisers said Trump has been singularly fixated on Georgia, a once solidly red state he had assumed he would easily carry. Instead, Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to lose Georgia in three decades, a fact he cannot fathom and a historical distinction he loathes, according to people familiar with his thinking. Trump campaign officials were so convinced they’d win in Georgia that they rejected calls to direct more money and staffing to the state.

    His animus toward Kemp is especially pronounced. As one Republican familiar with his transactional thinking explained it, Trump believes that he made Kemp governor by endorsing him in a competitive primary in 2018, and therefore Kemp is his lackey and should do precisely what Trump instructs him to do. Still, reversing the Georgia result would not be enough for Trump to retain the presidency.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 5, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Trump Banned from Scotland

    Trump will not be allowed to golf at his course in Scotland when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on 20 January. Responding to the Scottish newspaper, "Sunday Post," claim that Prestwick Airport was expecting the 19 January arrival of a US military Boeing 757 that has previously transported the US president, Scottish officials said Trump is not welcome to start his life as an ex-president at his Turnberry resort. The reason is due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    “We are not allowing people to come in to Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would certainly apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else,” first minister Nicola Sturgeon reportedly said.

    It’s unclear where Trump, who insists he won the 3 November election despite facts that state otherwise, will be during Biden’s inauguration. Sturgeon says she has no insight into Trump’s travel plans, but is optimistic he will abide to the rules of democracy and leave the office he lost in an election his own security officials have characterized as free and fair. “I hope and expect that the travel plan he immediately has is to exit the White House,” Sturgeon said.

    Sturgeon has previously warned that Trump will face “due accountability” in Scotland if evidence is discovered proving that his Scottish golf courses have been used for money laundering and fraud.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  January 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Cautiously optimistic about the Georgia Senate races. Especially Warnock.

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  January 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    With 98% of votes counted, Warnock & Ossoff are now both considered 95% likely to win their GA Senate races

    Dems will narrowly control both houses of Congress, but "a governing trifecta isn’t that valuable when one Democratic senator (moderate Joe Manchin?) or six Democratic House members can hold your agenda hostage"

    Seeing that Dems have control, Justice Breyer (age 82) will likely retire very soon.

    The next two oldest Justices are Thomas (age 72) and Alito (age 70).

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 5, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Georgia Senate Races Up-Date

    At 1:00 AM on 6 January 2021, with 4,379,585 votes counted (about 98%), Warnock (D) leads Loeffler (R) by 36,000 votes. At the same moment, Perdue (R) still leads Ossoff (D) by a mere 919 votes.

    Of the approximate 100,000 votes still uncounted, CNN reports the following notable vote tallies outstanding:

    20,000 to 25,000 votes left in Fulton County.
    19,000 votes left in DeKalb County.
    Almost 5,000 votes left in Gwinnett County.
    7,000 votes left in deep-red Coffee County in south Georgia.
    3,000 votes in Chatham County (Savannah)

    4 of those 5 counties lean heavily Democratic. As a result, a number of news sources, including the Associated Press, have called the first race for Warnock, as has Warnock himself, while the other remains too-close-to-call.

    Latest Up-Dates

    At about 2:00 AM on 6 January 2021, Warnock, now with a 40,575 vote lead, has been declared the winner by FiveThirtyEight in the one Georgia Senate race. At the same time, in the other race, Ossoff has pulled ahead by 3,560 votes.

    At about 2:20 AM, Warnock's lead expanded to 46,551, pushing him to 50.5% of the vote, while Ossoff's lead increased to 9527 votes, or 50.1% of the total. Ossoff is now also projected to win.

    As of 10 AM on 6 January, Warnock's lead has now become 54,183 votes (50.6%), while Ossoff's lead has increased to 17,025 votes (50.2%). Ossoff has now also declared victory.

    As of noon on 6 January, Warnock's lead stands at 54,595 votes, while Ossoff's lead is at 17,441 votes.

    Per Emma Hurt:

    Outstanding absentee ballots that we know of, the first 6 being D-leaning, with the latter 6 being R-leaning:

    DeKalb: 17,902
    Henry: 9,078
    Cobb: 5896
    Chatham: 5318
    Fulton: 5294
    Gwinnett: 5068
    Thomas: 2078
    Bryan: 1515
    Meriwether: 1325
    Dougherty: 1200
    Fayette: 1139
    Forsyth: 752

    This tallies to 56,565 votes still outstanding, plus the maximum possibility of 14,000 overseas votes, and a relatively small assortment of provisional votes. The latter lean D.

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Trumpanzees, Hurling Feces At Lawmakers, Physically Invade US House & Senate, Interrupting Electoral College Session Certifying Biden's Victory

    Capitol Hill Police Find Pipe Bomb, Fire Tear Gas

    Woman Shot In Chest, Now In Critical Condition; Dozens Wounded

    Entire D.C. National Guard Deployed To US Capitol; 6 PM Curfew Declared

    Virginia Governor Sends VA's National Guard and 200 Virginia State Troopers

    Maryland Governor Sends MD's National Guard and State Troopers

    Mitt Romney: "This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection"

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Trumpanzees Physically Occupy Kansas Capitol Building

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Ossoff scores victory over Perdue in Senate runoff

    The win clinches control of the chamber for the Democratic Party.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    How Raphael Warnock fused Old and New South to win Georgia

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Trumpanzee Mobs Besiege State Capitols In Georgia, Utah, Oregon, California, Kansas, Texas & Arkansas

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  January 6, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    This is an attempted coup aided and abetted by Donald Trump.Sedition. Time for the 25th amendment and I don't spit out things like that lightly on every turn.

  • 15. Fortguy  |  January 6, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    You're not the only one saying that. During a primetime special report airing on CBS, Margaret Brennan, moderator of CBS News' Sunday program Face the Nation, just said that some members of Trump's cabinet are at the beginning stages of discussing invoking the 25th Amendment. They haven't taken their discussion to Pence yet. There are also rumors of mass resignations among the White House staff could be coming.

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 6, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Ossoff Wins in Georgia

    As of mid-afternoon on 6 January (fairly simultaneously while the trumpanzee mobs were storming the US Capitol in DC and those in various other states) Jon Ossoff had 2,222,133 votes (50.3%) to David Perdue's 2,197,294 votes (49.7%), enough of a spread to have avoided the 0.5% recount percentage as per Georgia election law. In total, that gives Ossoff a 24,859 vote lead, sufficient for him to be declared the winner, thus giving Democrats control of the US Senate.

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 6, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    The DC Condo Has Been Safely Evacuated

    Late last night, my friend in DC began to realize that as the MAGA crowd grew thicker and more surly, that matters could quickly go downhill, and that for residents, a protracted lockdown could make life there rather difficult. So, he quickly packed a bag, closed up the condo, and this morning, hopped onto the Metro heading toward DCA, where he caught the next available flight to Miami.

    The plane was still airborne when the crazies assaulted the US Capitol, so I was not even certain that he was en route here until 3:30 PM, when the flight landed there in Miami. I will be picking him up at the airport here in about 2 1/2 hours.

    We do not expect normalcy to resume until after the crazies have been dispersed, and forced out of DC. In the meantime, with DC totally shut down, they will not be able to find places to stay, nor food to eat, and eventually will be forced to depart. Still, for ordinary residents (along with the lawmakers of every stripe) life will be hideously inconvenienced, complicated by pre-existing restrictions already in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Virginia National Guard, the Maryland National Guard, and the DC National Guard have all been called out, in addition to the US Capitol Police, the FBI, and the US Marshals Service. The US Capitol, and all surrounding property, is federal territory, and thus not under the jurisdiction of the civilian DC Metropolitan police. Right now, the crazies are milling about inside the actual US Senate chamber. The US House chamber is barricaded, with police with guns drawn, holding the crowd at bay.

    Having been witness to several coup attempts in Latin America, I feel that what we are now experiencing at this very moment is an attempted coup in the USA, one that will go down as one of the most infamous and shameful moments in all of US history. Someone from the crowd has already been shot dead inside the US Capitol, while makeshift bombs have also been discovered. The 25th Amendment should have already been invoked some time ago.

    At 8:30 PM on 6 January 2021, the US Senate has been cleared of trumpanzees, and the US Senate has been reconvened.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    RNC communications director calls Capitol violence 'domestic terrorism'

    “What happened today was domestic terrorism. Our soldiers have died carrying the American flag into battle for our freedom. To see that flag used in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it.”

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    'Heads will roll' for failure to secure Capitol building from Trumpanzee mob

    “Everybody knew that there would be a disturbance, everybody knew that there would be people who were interested in doing nothing but creating havoc in the Capitol, and very frankly it was the responsibility of the law enforcement and the Capitol Hill Police to secure the Capitol," Panetta said.

    Conservative commentator Norm Ornstein called the Capitol Police “an embarrassment to the nation,” and National Review Editor Rich Lowry said “it’s hard to understand how the mob was allowed to breach the building in the first place.”

    The rally in downtown Washington had been planned for weeks, and President Trump himself encouraged his supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 for what he framed as the last, best chance to overturn Biden’s election. Trump repeatedly told his supporters, falsely, that the election had been stolen and the results were fraudulent.

    “I wouldn’t have bet a million dollars that would have been so easily done,” former Capitol Police Chief Terry Gainer told NPR of the breach, adding that the security apparatus had failed.

    Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, which funds the Capitol Police, said heads would roll.

    “I think it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a number of people who are going to be without employment very, very soon because this is an embarrassment,” he said, adding that the breach was the result of “enormous strategic and planning failures by the Capitol Police, by the Sergeant at Arms and anybody else who was a part of coordinating this effort."

    Ryan said he’d had conversations with security as recently as the night before, and had been assured that nobody would be allowed near the Capitol, and that the national guard, D.C. metro police and SWAT teams were to be engaged.

    “There was a strategic breakdown for sure, and you can bet your ass we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Ryan said.

    A photo of an officer posing for a selfie with a rioter went viral, as did a video that appeared to show officers opening a gate for oncoming protesters, though some commentators noted that they could have been legitimate deescalation tactics for an overwhelming situation.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 6, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Official Request from House to Invoke 25th Amendment

    The 17 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Vice-President Pence on Wednesday evening, 6 January 2021, imploring him to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.

    Initiated by David Cicilline (RI), the letter was signed by Reps. Cori Bush (MO), Steve Cohen (TN), Madeleine Dean (PA), Ted Deutch (FL), Veronica Escobar (TX), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA), Sylvia Garcia (TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Hank Johnson (GA), Mondaire Jones (NY), Ted Lieu (CA), Lucy McBath (GA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Joe Neguse (CO) and Jamie Raskin (MD).

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    The 25th Amendment process is untested and legally complex; it would immediately be bogged down in legal challenges. After Biden's inauguration, these cases would all be dismissed as moot. Given the impending eviction, actually using the 25th here would be wildly impractical.

  • 22. bayareajohn  |  January 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    There is value in the symbolism of engaging in a futile attempt to preserve the dignity of the presidency. To shrug yet again and say it will be over soon is to accept this behavior as blameless.

    How many times was marriage equality dismissed as an impractical goal, ultimately undercutting and delaying our freedom?

    The increasing calls for 25th amendment action is already incentivizing cabinet members to resign rather than be forced to vote for OR against Trump.

    If you stand up for nothing, you will fall for anything.

  • 23. Fortguy  |  January 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    I agree with the value of symbolism. Furthermore, I think that removal of the Very Stable Genius from the White House should be pursued both through the 25th Amendment and through impeachment. The 25th Amendment process potentially could be quicker, but it requires Pence to be on board. It would also be a lot messier and more problematic. Trump could always fire cabinet officials he suspects are plotting against him. Another wrinkle is that an inordinate number of Cabinet members are serving as "active" heads having never received Senate confirmation. Do their votes count? I wish confirmed secretaries would stop cowardly resigning before dealing with this.

    Impeachment still should go forward. Even if Inauguration Day comes and goes before the Senate could act, the point wouldn't be moot. Besides having the power to remove a president from office, the Senate also holds the Constitutional remedy to impose the "disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" (Article I, Section 3, Clause 7). This is important not only to prohibit Trump from running in 2024, but also to cut the feet off of his money-raising machine even if he's not intending to run again.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Impeachment is perfectly capable of both generating symbolism and assigning blame, and it also doesn't come with any of the ginormous technical difficulties looming in the 25th Amendment method.

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 6, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    DC Public Emergency Extended Until After Biden Inauguration

    Washington DC will remain on public emergency notice through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the city’s mayor announced late Wednesday, 6 January 2021, amid unrest caused by the deadly pro-Trump assault on the US Capitol.

    Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement she would extend the public emergency order she issued in the afternoon for another 15 days, making it span just past Biden’s 20 January inauguration.

    So, as suspected, lockdown in DC will remain in place until Trump is removed from office. Ordinary residents will bear the brunt of the total closure of the city, but it is the only way to assure that all the crazy trumpanzees clear out and go home (if not otherwise arrested in the interval), tired, dirty, cold, exhausted, and hungry,– and do not re-group and return prior to Trump's removal.

    My friend's flight from Miami actually arrived here 45 minutes early. He will not be returning to DC until 20 January.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Ironic anti-BLM hate speech tweet from the white woman who died after being shot by police as she attempted to climb through a just-broken window into a US legislative chamber:

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  January 7, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Trump's Banana Republicans: Eight GOP senators and 139 House members – including Ted Cruz and Kevin McCarthy – are branded the 'Treason Caucus' and face calls for expulsion for objecting to Biden victory after Capitol riot

    The eight senators who objected were Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, freshman Tommy Tuberville, Roger Marshall, John Kennedy and Cynthia Lummis and Cindy Hyde-Smith

    Among those congressmen and women who joined the effort include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representatives Matt Gaetz; Louie Gohmert; Paul Gosar; Jim Jordan; and just sworn-in Representatives Ronny Jackson, the former White House doctor to Trump; and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon conspiracy theorist. A full list is published below.

  • 28. VIRick  |  January 7, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    In the Senate, the vote to accept the Arizona certification, before the chaos ensued, was 93-6. That for Pennsylvania, once the Senate reconvened, was 92-7. At the last minute, Lummis apparently changed her mind. For both votes?

    Still, my question is this: Who, after the attempted coup was thwarted, but who ostensibly voted to accept the Arizona certification, then voted against the Pennsylvania certification?

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  January 7, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Both of those votes actually took place after the Trumpanzee insurrection. See

    The Arizona vote was held January 6, 2021, at 09:58 PM. Cruz (R-TX), Hawley (R-MO), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Kennedy (R-LA), Marshall (R-KS) and Tuberville (R-AL) opposed Arizona certification. Vote was 93-6. Lummis (R-WY) and Scott (R-FL) voted to accept Arizona certification.

    The Pennsylvania vote was held January 7, 2021, at 12:30 AM. Cruz (R-TX), Hawley (R-MO), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Lummis (R-WY), Marshall (R-KS), Scott (R-FL) and Tuberville (R-AL) opposed Pennsylvania certification. Vote was 92-7. Kennedy (R-LA) voted to accept Pennsylvania certification.

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 7, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Ian, thank you very much for that needed clarification.

    On a slightly different angle, "Trump's Banana Republicans," although a clever twist on words, is actually a slur against both bananas and banana republics. Here is why. In all of Latin America, only one nation, and one that happens to be a major banana exporter, has never suffered from an actual coup, or even from an attempted coup, let alone from a major revolt or revolution or civil war. That nation is Costa Rica, in modern times, one of the world's more foremost banana exporters.

    As a "banana republic," and utilized now in the usual pejorative sense, what with its Civil War and attempted coup, the USA presently leads Costa Rica, 2-0, in the "banana republic" category. Ever since independence, "continuismo" has plagued many Latin nations. Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua are all current examples, and as a result, are so dysfunctional that they could not export bananas if they even tried. Quite recently, Bolivia under Evo Morales barely dodged the bullet on this same issue of a president who illegally attempted to extend their time in office, one of the main features of "continuismo." Trump, by also illegally attempting to extend his time in office, plotted, schemed, and maneuvered to achieve this same type of "continuismo." Thus, most of Latin America truly sympathizes, as many have been through the same ordeal multiple times. Still, the USA is not "better than," and should not blindly assume that it is.

    And yet, to date, Costa Rica alone has never had to face this issue.

  • 31. Randolph_Finder  |  January 9, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    The Costa Rica civil war of 1948 seems to fit into both Civil War and Coup given the Junta which ruled immediately afterwards.

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 9, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Randolph, there are three "happy endings" to this matter, as this attempt at "continuismo" was not successful, the military was dissolved as a direct result, and the duly elected party did actually govern.

    In Latin America, we also have to remember that we sometimes have to deal with such phenomena as the revision/restoration of the proper legal procedure/order. Bolivia just completed its own restoration to legality. In the case of the coup/civil war in Costa Rica in 1948, the governing party in power at the time had lost the election, but attempted to pull a Trump by ignoring the election results. A military junta blocked them, and eventually relinquished power to the party that had actually won the election, after which the military was dissolved, and there have been peaceful transfers of power ever since.

    So, you are correct in that Costa Rica did face its own crisis of "continuismo," but it did so successfully. Within Costa Rica, the entire affair is not regarded as a coup/civil war, but rather as an intervention, in effect, a counter-coup, to ensure a continuation of legality.

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2021 at 8:51 am

    So as with the Trumpanzee insurrection, Costa Rica had an "attempted coup". And Costa Rica also had a "civil war" (as historians describe it). Thus Costa Rica did in fact "face this issue".

    However, the American Civil War also qualified as a civil war in the United States, the purpose of which was to assume political control of the country. Hence that would also qualify as an "attempted coup".

    So decades before the feces-hurling Trumpanzees arrived, the US and Costa Rica were already democracies which had historically suffered certain major dysfunctions.

    Within the Americas, Canada (having only acquired full sovereignty in 1982) stands alone as having never had to face these issues.

    Prior to achieving full sovereignty, proto-Canada did have a very minor quasi-"armed conflict" known as the "Red River Rebellion". This happened immediately after the 1870 enactment of the Manitoba Act which incorporated the new province of Manitoba into the British-controlled (but mostly self-governed) Dominion of Canada. The residents of the Red River Colony decided that they would prefer not to become Dominion-Canadians, and Dominion-Canadian Colonel Garnet Wolseley then brought over 1,000 soldiers to the Colony to explain that their Dominion-Canadian citizenship was not optional. No actual fighting took place; the protesters simply "abandoned Fort Garry, resulting in a bloodless victory for Wolseley."

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  January 7, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    President whipped MAGA rally into a frenzy, told them to march on the Hill – then retreated to White House to watch pandemonium on cable – and refused to condemn it

    * Trump claimed at his rally on Wednesday he would march with his supporters to Capitol
    * But then slipped away to White House to watch on television after whipping crowd into a frenzy
    * Insiders say Trump was disinterested in the chaos and focused on fuming at Mike Pence
    * President cocooned himself in a private dining room with TV and shunned most of his aides, sources say
    * Aides pressed Trump to intervene as his mob stormed and looted the Capitol building
    * Trump finally issued a tepid video statement after one of his loyalists was fatally shot by police
    * He spent much of the evening raging that Twitter had blocked his ability to send tweets

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  January 7, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Trump mulling self-pardon, sources say

    Advisers say Trump could face legal jeopardy for encouraging Wednesday's riots.

  • 36. VIRick  |  January 7, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Nevada Supreme Court: State Must Retroactively Recognize Marriage of Same-Sex Couple

    On 23 December 2020, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state must honor marriages of same-sex couples performed before the state legalized marriage equality in 2014. The case involves two women, Mary Elizabeth LaFrance and Gail Cline, who obtained a civil union in 2000 in Vermont and then married in Canada in 2003, but who are now going through a divorce. By the time their state recognized same-sex couples’ marriages, they were already separated.

    According to "Gay City News," the issue was how to divide up assets they acquired since they got married. Since Nevada is a community property state, everything that either of them earned since they were married should belong to both of them, according to state law. Which raises the question as to when they got married. Cline argued that they should be considered married since they got their civil union in 2000 and all property they acquired since then should be split between them, while LaFrance said that the state never recognized their marriage when they were together so each woman’s assets acquired prior to the start of marriage equality in 2014 should be considered each individual’s property.

    Clark County District Court Judge Mathew Harter agreed with Cline that their marriage started in 2000. LaFrance appealed to the state supreme court, which decided that their marriage actually started in 2003, when they got married in Canada.

    The court ruled that since "Obergefell v. Hodges," the 2015 decision that legalized marriage equality in all 50 states, was based on the 14th Amendment, that means that states should have recognized marriage equality since the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868. The court, though, found that "Obergefell" only applied to marriage, not to civil unions.

    “Nevada must credit the parties’ marriage as having taken place in 2003 and apply the same terms and conditions as accorded to opposite-sex spouses,” wrote Chief Justice Kristina Pickering. “These conditions include a presumption that any property acquired during the marriage is community property and an opportunity for spouses to rebut this presumption by showing by clear and certain proof that specific property is separate.”

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 7, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Merrick Garland Nominated as Attorney-General

    On Thursday, 7 January 2921, Biden formally announced that Merrick Garland, who became a liberal martyr after Senate Republicans refused to allow him to go through the confirmation process in 2016 for a seat on the US Supreme Court, would be his choice for Attorney-General. Other names for A-G that were in contention were Sally Yates and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

    Other names for other positions announced on Thursday were Obama alums Lisa Monaco as Deputy Attorney-General and Vanita Gupta as Associate Attorney-General. Kristen Clarke, former head of the Civil Rights bureau of the New York Department of Law, was named as Assistant Attorney-General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

  • 38. ianbirmingham  |  January 7, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Dejected Trump supporters leave Washington, create new theories for Capitol violence

    A Trump supporter cried in the lobby of the Capitol Hill Hotel on Thursday as she poured herself a cup of coffee and told her friend that her son had disowned her for joining in Wednesday's chaos at the U.S. Capitol. But minutes later, when the driver of a car yelled at a group of haggard Trump supporters to "get the f— out of our city," she joined a chorus of others to respond with their own expletives.

    While supporters of President Donald Trump checked out of their hotels in Washington on Thursday morning, sharing feelings of sadness, anger, defensiveness and paranoia with one another, residents of the nation's capital said they were glad to see them leave after a day of terror.

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 2:46 am

    India is poised for a gruelling battle for marriage equality. This inspiring couple are spearheading the fight

    India’s laws against homosexuality are a hangover of the British colonial era, which imposed laws against “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” in 1861. Prior to being colonised by the British, same-sex relationships and gender fluidity feature prominently in ancient Indian texts and sculptures.

  • 40. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    MAGA mob rioters smeared their own feces throughout the Capitol and 'tracked brown footprints' in several hallways during violent siege

    Trumpanzees hurling feces at lawmakers leaves a certain scent in the Capitol.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Trump-supporting Capitol cop 'hit over the head with a fire extinguisher' & killed by rampaging Trumpanzees; Feds launch murder probe

    Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died in the hospital on Thursday night, a day after the mob riot.

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Republicans consider supporting impeachment

    Multiple Republican lawmakers on the Hill have told CNN they are done with Trump and hope he will leave office before the end of his term, either by his resignation, his removal via the 25th Amendment or by conviction in an impeachment trial. On Friday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican in Congress to call on Trump to resign, telling the Anchorage Daily News, "I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage."

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Trump Could Pardon Capitol Rioters: Pardon Power Extends to Local Cases in DC

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  January 8, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Senior Trump Official: We Were Wrong, He’s a ‘Fascist’

    “This is confirmation of so much that everyone has said for years now — things that a lot of us thought were hyperbolic. We’d say, ‘Trump’s not a fascist,’ or ‘He’s not a wannabe dictator.’ Now, it’s like, ‘Well, what do you even say in response to that now?’”

    This adviser, who spoke to Trump on Wednesday amid the siege, said Trump watched the events on television intently. CNN reported that he was so excited by the action, it “freaked out” some staffers around him. The adviser told me that Trump expressed disgust on aesthetic grounds over how “low class” his supporters looked. “He doesn’t like low class things,” the adviser said, explaining that Trump had a similar reaction over the summer to a video of Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager, shirtless and drinking a beer in his driveway during a mental health emergency in which police tackled him and seized his weapons. “He kept mentioning, ‘Oh, did you see him in his beer shirt?’ He was annoyed. To him, it’s just low class, in other words.”

  • 45. VIRick  |  January 9, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Federal Judge Blocks Trump "Death to Asylum" Rule

    On Friday, 8 January 2021, the US District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide order blocking, in its entirety, a Trump administration rule that would have made it virtually impossible for all refugees, including those who are LGBTQ or living with HIV, to secure asylum in the United States. The rule was set to go into effect on Monday, 11 January.

    In his ruling, District Judge James Donato wrote:

    “In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into a gate, hoping that someday it might break through … But our system has no room for re-litigating the same facts and law in successive district court cases ad infinitum … Plaintiffs provide legal services and other assistance to those seeking asylum and similar protections from persecution or violence in their home countries. They have provided ample evidence that if enacted, the Rule would harm this mission … A nationwide injunction is warranted.”

    The rule, promulgated by the Department of Justice and  the Department of Homeland Security, is especially dire for people who are LGBTQ or living with HIV, who have no other recourse but to flee the unimaginable violence they experience in their countries of origin. In over 70 countries, it is a crime or fundamentally unsafe to be LGBTQ or HIV-positive. The suit challenges multiple sections of the rule for creating numerous reasons why immigration judges should deny claims of refugees who otherwise qualify for asylum.

    “Today’s ruling halts the most sweeping illegal, anti-refugee volley of the Trump administration,” said Bridget Crawford, legal director for Immigration Equality. “Asylum is an international human right. LGBTQ and HIV-positive refugees fleeing persecution will always be welcomed in the USA.”

    The Order in "Pangea Legal Services and Immigration Equality v. Dept. of Homeland Security," per Lambda Legal, is here:

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Arnold Schwartzenegger: This Was America's Kristallnacht

    I grew up in Austria. I'm very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.

    Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol: they shattered the ideas we took for granted.

    They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.

    I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy.

    I was born in 1947, two years after the Second World War. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.

    Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along step-by-step down the road. They were the people next door.

    It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance. So being from Europe I've seen first hand how things can spin out of control.

    President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election and of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies.

    My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies. I know where such lies lead.

    President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is, he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.

    But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and his treachery?

    I would remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said: 'Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.'

    John F. Kennedy wrote a book called Profiles in Courage. A number of members of my own party, because of their own spinelessness, would never see their names in such a book, I guarantee you.

    They're complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol.

    But it did not work. Our democracy stood firm. Within hours the Senate and the House of Representatives were doing the people's business, and certifying the election of President-elect Biden.

    What a great display of democracy!

    We need reforms of course, so that this never, ever happens again. We need to hold accountable the people that brought us to this unforgivable point.

    Now to begin this process, no matter what your political affiliation is, I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden: 'President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our president. If you succeed, our nation succeeds. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together.'

    And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win.

    President-elect Biden, we stand with you today, tomorrow and forever in defense of our democracy from those who would threaten it.

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  January 11, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    House Democrats file impeachment charge accusing Trump of "incitement of insurrection"

    The impeachment resolution, spearheaded by Democratic Representatives David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu, has the backing of at least 210 Democrats. The bill says the president "engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States."

    The resolution cites Mr. Trump's speech to supporters on January 6 near the White House, before the crowd moved to the Capitol.

    "Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts," the article says.

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