Top photo is a screenshot of President Joseph R. Biden taking the oath of office.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now president and vice president of the United States. History has been made. The first woman, the first Black American, the first person of Asian descent, ascends to the second highest office in the land. To sort of quote “The West Wing,” “Whose idea was it to have the Inauguration outside in January?” It used to be in March, but got moved up to lessen the time between administrations. Aren’t we glad that change was made?
“At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.,” Biden said in his speech, in reference to the last 2.5 months of historic division, including a physical attack on our democracy two weeks earlier and the division and hate sowed over the last four-plus years. Biden also told us, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.” Well, I don’t know. In his speech President Biden also suggested not everyone in America would come along. Ya think? Over 70 million people voted for the other guy, suggesting, at least, they are okay with racism, xenophobia, religious discrimination, misogyny, plus inequality of wealth and opportunity. There are also those, in that 70 million-plus, people that have come out of the woodwork, called on by the previous president to make themselves visible, who actively support bigotry of race, religion, gender and sexual identity.
Joe Biden’s speech was filled with hope and determination because he knows faith without works is dead and therefore hope without resolve to make things better is only a day dream. I would like to say that our long national nightmare is over, but 400k have died as a result of the coronavirus and right now there is only hope that Joe and Kamala — along with the First Branch of Government (Congress) — can begin to stop the American carnage that was slammed down on our world, beginning exactly four years ago.
This new administration, along with the Congress, can give us hope, if we are to be guided by President Biden’s address and the poem by Amanda Gorman.
A couple weeks ago I began writing and taking notes:
Saw this circulating on Social Media today (a couple weeks ago): “White privilege allows you to storm the U.S. Capitol with no shots fired.”
And this: “This is a really strange way to find out that cops know how to not use deadly force.”
And this: “They didn’t storm Normandy for this!” (On June 6, 1944 the U.S.-led Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to take Europe away from the Nazi regime of Hitler and Germany. Many, probably most, of the terrorists that attacked the capitol did so spouting white nationalist rhetoric)
And this: “Lindsey Graham’s rejection of Trump tonight has all the integrity of a drug dealer flushing meth down the toilet.” I like that one. Now he’s calling for unity … Why wasn’t he calling for unity on November 7 when the election was called for Joe Biden? Why wasn’t he calling for unity (and trying to work with the Democrats) in the four years of the Trump Administration? Now that the Democrats hold the reins of power he wants unity.
There at the U.S. Capitol, as the combined Congress was certifying the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a mob of criminal insurrectionists — terrorists — incited by a sitting president, at least two sitting senators and over 100 sitting members of the House of Representatives, tore through flimsy temporary barriers, an ill-equipped and manned line of capitol police and then smashed through doors and windows to attack and vandalize the U.S. Capitol. Members of Congress, their staffs and employees were rushed into safe spaces, while the sitting Vice President Mike Pence was rushed to an undisclosed location. We later learned a brave capitol police officer led the mob away from Pence’s location, possibly saving the lives of the vice president and his family, among others.
Capitol police were photographed protecting staffers and capitol workers who were huddled in a gallery overlooking the Senate. Other law enforcement were photographed pointing their guns at doors that were about to be breached by the rioting mob.
One of the results of that moment: One woman was shot and later died. Ashli Babbit, a 14-year veteran of the Air Force and an ardent Trump supporter, was shot in the chest after the protestors broke into the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
At first we were told Babbitt was a resident of my current home city, San Diego, CA. Others in San Diego were quick to make the correction: Babbitt lived in Lakeside, a community outside of San Diego. “There’s a difference,” the meme said. Lakeside has been the home of some extreme right wing, white nationalist groups for a long, long time. If you’d like to see local Nazis, you go to Lakeside.
Here’s this thing. Some of these extreme right wing racist nut bars want to celebrate Babbitt as a hero for getting shot by capitol police. I don’t think so.’If someone joins a violent insurrection and commits acts of violence, we can’t then claim the dead woman is a martyr. It was certainly expected and I would bet President Trump had wanted more of his supporters sacrificed at the altar of his cult.
The bigger question is: Why didn’t the capitol police and other law enforcement start shooting sooner and in greater volume? This was a violent mob, or more accurately, a violent domestic terrorist group breaking into the capitol with the expressed purpose of impeding the certification process of the next president and vice president — and as we have since learned, with the intention of capturing and then murdering the sitting vice president and speaker of the house — among others. They would have been happy to kill lesser Democrats and Republicans, as well as their staffers, but you know the vice president and speaker of the house, they are the glorious prizes!
We saw the photos from the Associated Press and others of police pointing their guns at the terrorists as they were trying to break through the capitol doors. Could any of what followed been stopped or slowed down if those police had opened fire? Maybe not. They did shoot the woman from Lakeside and the terrorists kept on going. The capitol police had many opportunities to open fire on the terrorists but they didn’t.
Instead, what we got were pictures of terrorists ransacking offices, stealing the speaker’s podium, spreading their shit and piss on the walls and floors, busting out windows, and fatally injuring a capitol police officer.
Some may be wondering why I appear to be so callous about the taking of human life. I’m not, but as was asked several times since that shameful day, law enforcement was using rubber bullets on Black Lives Matter protestors for a lot less. As retired Capitol policeman Butch Jones told Time Magazine, “If that had been Black Lives Matter, they wouldn’t have gotten even to the steps of the Capitol.”
One bright side to this act of sedition: the terrorists were so confident about what they were doing many of them live streamed it on to social media sights. Or, they walked up to people with phone cameras, reporters in some cases, and admitted their crimes. Like Elizabeth from Knoxville. Part of what she said, into a camera: “We’re storming the capitol! It’s a revolution!” What a moron, what a wimpy, ignorant dipshit. Elizabeth from Knoxville, you are a criminal — a terrorist. You just confessed, to a camera, your participation in an insurrection, complete with the destruction of government property. It’s a very good bet that Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Park Service have seen this video and you will be brought to justice because you were dumb enough to talk to a reporter with a camera.
Then there was the realtor from Texas who chartered a private jet to take part in the crimes. Jenna Ryan was kind enough to document her exploits on social media, tweeting and posting photos and videos of her helping to attack the capitol. In one video she said, “We are front-line patriots fighting for liberty.” Ryan told a local TV station, Fox4 in Dallas, “I was doing my duty, OK? I was doing my duty for my President.”
If this is the level of intelligence involved in, and behind, this act of sedition, it’s doomed to end with many of them, hundreds even, spending time in prison and losing their right to own firearms. Oops … didn’t think of that, did you?
Ryan told a local news outlet she deserves a pardon … [insert laugh track here]
FBI Director Chris Wray gave Vice President Pence a briefing about the attack and said they had leads for arresting hundreds of the terrorists in the insurrection, thanks in large part to their propensity to brag about their crimes on social media, no masks and with big smiles. And the authorities were tipped off by hundreds of thousands of people who were embarrassed, or ashamed they knew the terrorists.
Now, circulating in the news that there were MAGA nuts “touring” the capitol the day before the attacks. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic tours have been canceled. so, for a congresswoman, who had been a Navy helicopter pilot, it seemed out of place to see tours going through the building. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) sent a letter to the acting Sergeant at arms for the House and acting sergeant at arms, and the capitol police citing “suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, the day before the attacks on the Capitol.”
Members of Congress, it is alleged, aided and abetted the terrorists, not just giving them reconnaissance tours, but a few it seems were texting the locations of where they were, and more importantly, where the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was in the capitol. The speaker gave a warning to her colleagues, “If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection — if they aided and abetted the crimes — there may have to be action taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that.”
Who else could be prosecuted for this act of terrorism? Right before the attacks, in an event held by President Trump to stir up his followers — the “Stop the Steal!” rally — Rudy Giuliani and Don. Jr. encouraged the terrorists to take the capitol building.
Then there are the members of Congress that believe the same conspiracy theories as the terrorists, like North Carolina’s Rep. Madison Cawthorn who claimed on a right wing talk show, the “Democratic machine” paid people to infiltrate the Trump mob and cause all the violence to make the Trump Cult look bad. “Call them antifa,” Cawthorn said.
First of all, the Trump Cult doesn’t need any help to look bad. It is who they are. But, that lie has been, and still is, passed around the Trump cult and has now become part of “The Big Lie” that claims the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.
It’s amazing, in a hilarious way, how quickly some of Trump’s greatest enablers have dumped Trump and embraced the new reality. Moscow Mitch McConnell has enabled and encouraged division, political and racial, for over 10 years, as Senate minority and majority leader. And now he decides to say (theoretically) “whoopsies!” Well, it’s nice of him to show some deference to the United States and the Constitution that governs this nation. A bit late, but YAY for Mitch.
On Tuesday, January 19, he speechified his denunciation of Trump. “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like.”
That was true a month ago — two months ago — when Trump and his cult were spreading the Big Lie before and after the Electoral College confirmed the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Why didn’t Moscow Mitch denounce the Big Lie then? Really, you want unity now?
And Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, as you took part in the inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, don’t think we will forget that you led your caucus in the house trying to block the certification of the election.
You, Rep. McCarthy, are part of the criminal conspiracy that sought to over throw our democracy. How galling it was to see you there after the inauguration, presenting a gift to the new vice president. You should resign and turn yourself in as one of the ring leaders of the insurrection.
The brain dead, moronic cult members still believe it today. You can see it on social media. I regularly troll hyper pro-Trump pages on Facebook … just because. there’s no chance I will change any minds but it’s always, well often, interesting to read the replies. Besides the insults and threats there is the absolute conviction that the Big Lie and all the other Trump-related conspiracy theories are true. As one dimwit replied to one of my comments, “Just because the liberal media protecting Biden wouldn’t publish it doesn’t make it lies.”
These were two weeks after the terrorist attack on the capitol. And on the morning of Joe Biden’s inauguration, one of those pages, American Thinker, was forced to print a retraction, written by Dominion, the company that built the voting machines, a retraction of the Big Lie about those machines being manipulated and controlled by a country and former leader who has been dead for nearly eight years. The backlash from the Trump Cult was swift and crazy.
This will be Trump’s enduring legacy: encouraging and leading — from a distance — an insurrection, a coup d’état that failed. One that saw the flag of a defeated enemy displayed in the capitol building. Donald J. Trump, the most treasonous — the only treasonous — president in history. Enjoy whatever time you have left, in Florida, Mr. Trump. The legal system is coming for you.
Almost forgot: Trump and several others, were kicked off all of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and a bunch of others I don’t know. People were up in arms, claiming it was an affront to free speech! It violated the First Amendment!
No it didn’t. First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Fill me in again on where it says private companies are required to provide a platform for hateful and inflammatory speech? Or even how it pertains to private and publicly traded companies. It specifically says, “Congress shall make no law …” I don’t see, anywhere, a requirement that private companies have to accommodate everyone.
Really, no one’s rights are being abridged by Twitter or Facebook. Trump can call a press conference and spew his hateful rhetoric in front of TV cameras and do it live. There would be extreme right wing media there, at least.
Nikki Haley, Trump’s former Ambassador to the U.N. and former Governor of South Carolina, said the banning of Trump and other instigators of the violent insurrection at the capitol, “Is what happens in China.”
That’s bullshit Nikki. In China the government shuts down all consent. That didn’t happen here. The nut bars still have venues and platforms to spew their hateful rhetoric and conspiracy theories, but Twitter is not a government agency. It’s a private company that is not required to provide a platform for people who incite violence. It’s called “FREEDOM” Nikki. A company can deny its services to anyone that doesn’t comply with their terms of service.
Nikki Haley, By-the-by, aided and abetted Trump and his hateful policies up until his (and hers) followers decided to destroy government property, hurt people and even take some hostages, January 6, 2021.
To Senator Cruz and the ones that remain silent: You are a lying, sniveling, evil pieces of shit who stoked fear and hate ever since Donald Trump won the election in 2016. Now you want to talk healing? Resign and turn yourselves in as some of the ringleaders of the treasonous insurrection that took place.
One last note, a PSA of sorts to would-be insurrectionists and terrorists As a result of the people that died of heart attacks and other health issues while committing their crimes at the capitol, I have these words of advice: Just a heads up, if you’re a radical right wing conspiracy nut planning on storming Congress: If you are over weight, especially if your are elderly wth health issues, or you have any serious health problems, best check with your doctor to see if you are healthy enough to engage in armed insurrections, terrorism and other fantasy cosplay.
Congratulations President Biden and Vice President Harris — and by the way, newly minted Senators Alex Padilla, Rev Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof. Please represent us well and start taking care of this nation and planet.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.