Democracy Has Prevailed.

March 1, 2021

Countdown To March 4 (A QAnon Story)

Hey, you know what's gonna happen on March 4?

Most likely nothing out of the ordinary (however "ordinary" is defined these days). I can't say "nothing" because something will happen on March 4 - but it'll be our usual crappy post-Trump stuff. More than likely it'll be the same sort of stuff that'll happen on March 3 or March 5.

The important question here, however, is: What do the Q-Trumpers think will happen on March 4?

This:

After more than three years of Donald Trump not taking down satanic pedophiles and the "deep state" working against him, losing the election, then failing to order mass executions at Joe Biden's inauguration, followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are now claiming March 4 as the next significant date for the movement.

Supporters of the radical conspiracy now believe that March 4 will be the day that Trump will still somehow be sworn in as president, seemingly undeterred by the January 20 ceremony, after which Biden entered the White House, and all their other predictions since late 2017 having failed.

And

These QAnon followers, lifting beliefs from the sovereign citizen movement, now think the U.S. was secretly turned into a corporation in 1871 and all other presidents after Ulysses S. Grant have been illegitimate. They claim Trump will become the 19th president when he is reinstated on March 4.

March 4 was the date of presidential inaugurations until the 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933, moving future ceremonies to January 20 to shorten the lame-duck period. The year 1933 is also when sovereign citizens believe the U.S. went bankrupt after the nation was taken off the gold standard.

If this were true, I wonder if these Uber-patriots understand that Ronald Reagan would then be an illegitimate president. For that matter, so would George W Bush. 

I wonder if these Uber-patriots ever question why Sen Barry Goldwater failed to make this case when he told the Republican National Convention in 1964 "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" The convention had just nominated him to be their (illegitimate?) presidential candidate.

So if everything that happened post-1871 is illegitimate, then the 20th Amendment is also illegitimate.

We'll have to wait and see what happens on the 4, I suppose.

What will the Q-Trumpers say on March 5, when Joe Biden is still president?

February 23, 2021

500,000

Yesterday, The White House acknowledged 500,000 Covid-19 deaths in this country with this moment of silence:

Last August, the previous President acknowledged Covid-19 deaths with this moment of cruelty:

February 22, 2021

Donald Trump Is Guilty of Pandemicide

Good Morning, y'all!

This
may or may not have hit your eyeballs in the past few days. It's from Laurie Garrett, a Polk and Pulitzer prize winning science journalist out of New York City.

Read the piece. Then read it again.

It begins with this:

At long last, we see glimmers of hope. The COVID-19 epidemic in the United States has fallen below the numbers of daily new cases tallied on the eve of the presidential election, the point at which this viral nightmare soared. Using the New York Timescoronavirus data tracker, on Nov. 1, 2020, there were 74,195 new cases counted in the country; by Feb. 16, new case reports came in at 64,376.

But in between those dates, a national horror unfolded, peaking on Jan. 8 with 300,619 new cases reported in just 24 hours. This staggering wave, one full year into the pandemic, was completely unnecessary for the world’s richest country. Achieving any sense of closure will require holding Donald Trump accountable for the failure.

There is vast evidence of Trump’s negligence during the pandemic’s third wave.

Garrett focuses solely on Trump's actions during the election and then leading up to President Biden's inauguration:

So, I level the charge of pandemicide against Trump for his failure to say or do anything to halt the soaring burden of infection and death across the United States from Election Day to his departure from office. During a period when experts inside his government warned that holiday travel and interactions over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s could lead to massive spread of the virus, and states clamored for aid to disseminate vaccines, Trump was mum.

And ends with this:

But let history record that no sitting U.S. president—since April 30, 1789, when George Washington took the first oath on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City—has willfully allowed such preventable carnage to unfold on the American people.

Let history record that Donald Trump is guilty of the crime of pandemicide.

Happy Monday!

February 19, 2021

Meanwhile, Outside...

They say "open with a joke" so here's one:

Yes, I know it's freezing in Texas (but I hear it's lovely in Cancun) but that's local weather. And it's localized in the American midwest. For the global climate there's a different story to tell.

From the scientists at NOAA:

The January 2021 global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.80°C (1.44°F) above the 20th century average and ranked as the seventh warmest January in the 142-year global records. January 2021 also marked the 45th consecutive January and the 433rd consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average.
Here's a chart:


The y-axis is temperature and the x-axis is time. We're now tucked in at the very right hand column on that chart. Notice the upward trend of the maroon bars. Know what that means?

The planet's warming up. Has been for decades. The science says so.

The message finally has a found a place in the Oval Office. As can be seen in the two desperately different responses from two desperately different Presidents.

From the current President:

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.  We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents.  Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action.  Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment.

And from the former:

Trump traveled to Northern California to be briefed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state and federal officials. At one point, state Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot urged the president to “recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests.”

“If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians,” Crowfoot added.

Trump responded, “It will start getting cooler, just you watch.”

Crowfoot politely pushed back that he wished the science agreed with the president. Trump countered, “I don’t think science knows, actually.”

Trump is wrong. The planet is warming up. Has been for decades. The science says so.

February 18, 2021

Rush Limbaugh, In His Own Words

On Marriage Equality:

They seek to impose their perverted views, their depraved views on family and marriage. Nobody’s denying anybody the right to get married. Marriage? There’s a definition of it, for it. It means something. Marriage is a union of a man and woman. It’s always been that. If you want to get married and you’re a man, marry a woman. Nobody’s stopping you. 

On Women and Contraception:

What does it say about the college co-ed Susan [sic] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. Okay, so she's not a slut. She's `round-heeled.' I take it back.

On President Obama's Birth Certificate:

Despite ample evidence to the contrary, the country’s most popular talk radio host, Rush Limbaugh, told his listeners on Tuesday that Mr. Obama “has yet to have to prove that he’s a citizen.”

On Thanksgiving:

“What Bradford and his community found,” and I’m going to use basically his own words, “was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else… [W]hile most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on,” William Bradford decided, “to scrap it permanently,” because it brought out the worst in human nature, it emphasized laziness, it created resentment.

What a great Amurr-i-kun!


February 16, 2021

Calling Rep Guy Reschenthaler on His BS

On February 14, Guy tweeted:

And a few hours later KDKA reported this

Republican leaders from several Pennsylvania counties have voted to censure Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) over his vote to convict President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.

Following his vote to convict, Toomey said in part of the former President that “His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”

KDKA added a few paragraphs later:

Republican leaders from other counties including Lawrence, Washington, York, and Centre County have also voted to censure Toomey.

Did you know that Guy Reschenthaler represents Pennsylvania's 14th Congressional district and that district includes all of Washington County? 

Newsweek has more on the guy running the Trump show in Washington County:

The chair of the Republican Party in Washington County, Pennsylvania has strongly criticized Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) for voting to convict former President Donald Trump.

David Ball told local CBS affiliate KDKA on Monday that state Republicans had sent Toomey to Washington to represent them and argued that he should have toed the party line.

"We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing or whatever he said he was doing," Ball said. "We sent him there to represent us."

Again, this is Guy's district and Guy said the GOP is a big party that encourages differing ideas and promotes robust debate. 

Perhaps someone should tell that to David Ball of the Washington County GOP.

Did you know that the Washington County GOP website has contact info for Mr Ball?

If you're so inclined to point out his (and his party's) BS, feel free to contact him at the email address provided to you by the the Washington County GOP.

Of course, Ryan Deto covered this already:


February 15, 2021

A Few Words About January 6

These words were spoken recently on The Senate floor:

January 6 was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor, they tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President. They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he had lost an election. 

Former President Trump’s actions preceded the riot for a disgraceful — disgraceful dereliction of duty.

And: 

There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated President kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth. 

The issue is not only the President’s intemperate language on January 6, it is not just his endorsement of remarks in which an associate urged "trial by combat." It was also the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe, the increasingly wild myths — myths  about a reverse landslide election that was somehow being stolen, some secret coup by our now-President.

And:

This was an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories, orchestrated by an outgoing President  who seemed determined to either overturn the voters’ decision or else torch our institutions on the way out. The unconscionable behavior did not end when the violence actually began. Whatever our ex-President claims he thought might happen that day, whatever reaction he says he meant to produce by that afternoon, we know he was watching the same live television as the rest of us. A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. 

And:

These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only President Trump could end this. He was the only one who could. Former aides publicly begged him to do so. Loyal  allies frantically called the administration. The President did not act swiftly. He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so Federal law could be faithfully executed and order be restored. No. Instead, according to  public reports, he watched television happily — happily as the chaos unfolded. He kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election. Now even after it was clear to any reasonable  observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger, even as the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters, the President sent a further tweet  attacking his own Vice President. 

So who said all this? A House impeachment manager? Keith Olbermann? AOC???

No. It was Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell after he voted to acquit Donald Trump for all the actions he described.

He said that The Senate had no authority to "disqualify or convict" a former President, when he was the one who delayed the Senate trial until after Biden's inauguration.

Feel free to quote McConnell at any of your MAGA friends/colleagues when they spit the "it was all a hoax" line at you.

February 13, 2021

A Chuck McCullough Update (It's About EFFING Time!!)

Yesterday, as I happily toiled at home (at my lockdown job), I received an email from an astute reader. The subject line to this email read simply:

Chuck McCullough

(Long time readers of this blog will know instantly to whom that refers.)

Intrigued, I opened the email and the message read in its entirety:

Tee-hee.

Whah?  What happened? Hey Davey, what's the story?

There's an update to Chuck McCullough's story!  Take a look at this from Mick Sintelli of the P-G:

The long and winding legal road of former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough ended Thursday when the state Supreme Court denied his appeal, affirming his theft conviction from more than five years ago.

Really, Mick? "The long and winding...road"? A Beatles reference in your first half dozen words? You Can't Do That. Remember Orwell's first rule in writing well:

Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

It's just Something had to be pointed out, Mick, but couldn't you just Let It Be?  I've Got A Feeling that It Won't Be Long for Chuck McCullough to get a Ticket To Ride to some minimum security prison somewhere but In My Life, making light of someone's Misery is a bad idea.

I Want To Tell You that I'm So Tired of seeing cheap Beatles literary references Here, There and Everywhere. It's All Too Much - Help!

In The End, you did what you did and you're gonna Carry That Weight (for a long time), Because it's just Nowhere, Man. 

Back to Chuck. Mick Not-Jagger of the P-G continues:

The denial from the state’s highest court means McCullough, 65, probably will have to serve the 2-1/2 to 5 year prison sentence that has been on hold for years while the case made its way through the appeal process.

"On hold for years" to say the least.

Let's look at some dates:

  • February 9, 2009 - Chuck arrested. That's 12 years and 4 days ago. In other words, this was only 20 days after Barrack Obama's first inauguration. The rest of his two terms as well as all of Trump's hellscape time in the Oval happened between then and now.
  • April 13, 2015 - Chuck's trial begins. That's 5 years, 10 months ago and 6 years, 2 months and 4 days after his arrest.
  • July 31, 2015 - Chuck found guilty. That's 5 years, 6 months and 13 days ago and 6 years 5 months and 6 days after his arrest.
  • December 15, 2015 - Chuck sentenced. That's 5 years, 1 month and 29 days ago and 6 years, 10 months, and 6 days after his arrest.

Considering Chuck's looking at 2 1/2 to 5 years away, the above time spans seem more or less absurd. Here's the thing: had he started doing his time when he was sentenced (and is there anyone who believes he would have had to do the full 5 years?), he'd be out by now, doing whatever it is disgraced former GOP politicians do once they've been released from prison. Fox News? OAN? Newsmax? 

One final Beatle reference. Chuck McCullough is 65. If only he were 64.

February 12, 2021

Blue Lives Matter! (But Not So Much To The Trump-Supporters, It Seems)

If you support Donald Trump or defend the insurgency that took place in the Capitol on January 6, you can no longer claim to be part of any sort of "Blue Lives Matter" movement. It's simple.

Here's why. There's this from The New York Times:

One officer lost the tip of his right index finger. Others were smashed in the head with baseball bats, flag poles and pipes. Another lost consciousness after rioters used a metal barrier to push her into stairs as they tried to reach the Capitol steps during the assault on Jan. 6.

“We don’t have to hurt you — why are you standing in our way?” one rioter told the officer as he helped her to her feet, according to court documents. She tried to regroup, but blacked out while making an arrest hours later. Doctors determined she had a concussion.

And:

The Capitol assault resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At least 138 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured, the departments have said. They ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.
Then there's this from USAToday:

Caroline Edwards suffered a head injury when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Fueled by adrenaline, the Capitol Police officer said she battled armed insurrectionists, white supremacists and other rioters for hours.

And this from a few weeks ago at The Washington Post

The physical toll on officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack by a pro-Trump mob is becoming clearer, with reports by police officials and federal prosecutors indicating that about 140 officers were injured, the head of the Capitol Police officers’ union said.

“I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained head injuries,” Gus Papathanasiou, union chairman, said in a statement Wednesday. “One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake, to name some of the injuries.”

The mob that followed Donald Trump's orders to go the the Capitol to "Stop The Steal" attacked the police guarding that Capitol. It's obvious. You can watch the video yourself. It's undeniable. Trump's mob caused much injury, both physical and mental. That's obvious and undeniable as well.

This attack never would have happened but for Donald Trump. Donald Trump brought about all those injuries on those police officers.

Blue Lives Matter? Not so much to those supporting the twice impeached Trump.

February 11, 2021

Some Thoughts On Yesterday's Trial Proceedings

First, Dan Rather:

Yep. That's about right.

More from Dan Rather:

I firmly believe that the vast majority of American citizens will see this clearly for what it is. But our voices are on the sidelines for now, other than the pressure of conscience we can bring to bear on the 100 senators who will stand in judgement. That these same women and men were also in the crosshairs of the murderous mob and that the trial is taking place at the scene of the crime, makes the events transpiring today on Capitol Hill even more surreal. 

  • For the senators, there can be no hiding from this historic decision... silence or procedural excuses equal complicity.  
  • For the rioters, there can be no leniency... terrorists are inspired by weakness.
  • For the instigators, there can be no immunity... to drum up a mob hellbent on violent injustice is to encourage insurrection. 
  • For those in the right-wing media who aided and abetted the lies, there can be no normalizing... their role in setting the stage for the insurrection is cemented by hours of television and thousands of tweets. 
  • For those who have dabbled in the false equivalence framework so prevalent in Washington, this must be the end of that... there can be no comparison between the actions of the previous president and his enablers, abetters, and cheerleaders, and any "other side." Thankfully, I think many in the press have long ago realized this and have reported accordingly.

Some might argue that this is a rush to judgement, that the president's counsel has a right to present their case. That is indeed true. But you would have to be willfully ignorant, or cynical to the point of malevolence, to not see and hear with clarity the evidence as it stands.

The Senate must convict Donald Trump.

February 9, 2021

The Trial Starts Today

It begins today with this:

In a grievous betrayal of his Oath of Office, President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election.As it stormed the Capitol, the mob yelled out“President Trump Sent Us,” “Hang Mike Pence,” and “Traitor Traitor Traitor.”The insurrectionists assaulted police officers with weapon sand chemical agents. They seized control of the Senate chamber floor, the Office of the Speaker of the House, and major sections of the Capitol complex. Members and their staffs were trapped and terrorized. Many officials (including the Vice President himself) barely escaped the rioters. The line of succession to the Presidency was endangered. Our seat of government was violated, vandalized,and desecrated. Congress’s counting of electoral votes was delayed until nightfall and not completed until 4 AM.Hundreds of people were injured in the assault. Five people—including a Capitol Police officer—died.

And before anyone says it, yes this trial is constitutional. From Uber conservative lawyer Chuck Cooper (as reported in The Hill):

An attorney for former national security adviser John Bolton is arguing that the Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump is solidly grounded in the Constitution and should proceed. 

"The strongest argument against the Senate’s authority to try a former officer relies on Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution," attorney Chuck Cooper wrote in The Wall Street Journal. 

The section of the Constitution Cooper cited dictates the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

"The trial’s opponents argue that because this provision requires removal, and because only incumbent officers can be removed, it follows that only incumbent officers can be impeached and tried," Cooper noted. "But the provision cuts against their interpretation. It simply establishes what is known in criminal law as a 'mandatory minimum' punishment: If an incumbent officeholder is convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, he is removed from office as a matter of law."

However:

"Given that the Constitution permits the Senate to impose the penalty of permanent disqualification only on former officeholders, it defies logic to suggest that the Senate is prohibited from trying and convicting former officeholders," Cooper wrote in the Journal. 
Lock him up.

 

February 6, 2021

Finding A Lurking Rchard Mellon Scaife (1932 – 2014) In The News

Geez, the man's been gone for 6 and a half years and I am still finding him lurking in the background of our diseased political discourse. 

Here's how I found the lurking Scaife.

Reading through this column from Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times, (a column that begins with a reference to disgraced Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene's quiet endorsement of Frazzledrip), I found this:

Contemplating Frazzledrip, it occurred to me that QAnon is the obscene apotheosis of three decades of Clinton demonization. It’s other things as well, including a repurposed version of the old anti-Semitic blood libel, which accused Jews of using the blood of Christian children in their rituals, and a cult lusting for mass public executions. According to the F.B.I., it’s a domestic terror threat.

But QAnon is also the terminal stage of the national derangement over Clinton that began as soon as she entered public life. “It’s my belief that QAnon really took off because it was based on Hillary Clinton,” said [Mike Rothschild, whose book about QAnon, “The Storm Is Upon Us,” comes out later this year]. “It was based specifically on something that a lot of 4chan dwellers wanted to see happen, which was Hillary Clinton arrested and sort of dragged away in chains.”

"Frazzledrip" is a particularly crazie bit of QAnon crazie, as explained by Goldberg:

The lurid fantasy of Frazzledrip refers to an imaginary video said to show Hillary Clinton and her former aide, Huma Abedin, assaulting and disfiguring a young girl, and drinking her blood. It holds that several cops saw the video, and Clinton had them killed.
Later, Goldberg writes:

Looking back to the 1990s, it’s easy to see QAnon’s antecedents. In “Clinton Crazy,” a 1997 New York Times Magazine story, Philip Weiss delved into the multipronged subculture devoted to anathematizing the first couple. He described “freelance obsessives, the people for whom the Internet was invented, cerebral hobbyists who have glimpsed in the Clinton scandals a high moral drama that might shake society to its roots.”

And guess what we find in Weiss' story? That's right:

In early 1994, [Ambrose] Evans-Pritchard had made his way to Arkansas along with several other professional journalists. One was Micah Morrison, a Bennington graduate who became an ideological samurai for Midge Decter at the Committee for the Free World, worked for The American Spectator and later signed on with The Wall Street Journal's editorial page; another was Chris Ruddy, a ferociously dogged reporter who says he lost a job at The New York Post partly because he would not let go of the Vince Foster story. Ruddy now works for The Tribune-Review, a right-wing Pittsburgh paper, and his stories are reprinted in newspaper advertisements around the country, paid for by the Western Journalism Center in Sacramento, Calif. Richard M. Scaife, an angel of the far right, owns The Tribune-Review and contributes money to the center.

Christopher Ruddy, Richard Mellon Scaife, and The Western Journalism Center

We've seen these names before haven't we?

I realize there's a lot more to QAnon than the seeds planted by Scaife and the Clinton Crazies all those years ago. But those seeds were planted and they grew into the ideas driving the Trump mob that swarmed over the Capitol exactly a month ago.

Ain't life grand?

February 5, 2021

Representative Guy Reschenthaler's Hypocrisy On "Cancel Culture"

Seems like our guy in the House is finally talking to some local news media - in this case the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And while the bulk of the reporting in this piece in today's P-G is about Reschenthaler’s laughable defense of the twice-impeached Donald Trump, for example:

“I think that history will regard his legacy in a very favorable light, and I think his impact is here to stay,” Mr. Reschenthaler said. “He would be given at least one Nobel Peace Prize had he not been a Republican — I truly believe that.”

Tucked in at the end is this part about so called "Cancel Culture" and how it's all the fault of the Democratic Party:

This week, House Republicans took part in two key votes involving the actions of own members — and Mr. Reschenthaler said he voted to keep the party together.

On Wednesday, Republicans voted to keep Ms. Cheney in her current leadership role after her vote to impeach Mr. Trump. Mr. Reschenthaler, who is on the House GOP leadership committee, said he voted to keep her.  

And:

On Thursday, Mr. Reschenthaler voted against a measure to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., of her standing committee assignments as a result of comments she had made in the past. The House voted, 230-199 with 11 Republican members voting with Democrats, to remove her from her committee assignments.

Mr. Reschenthaler said he did not agree with Ms. Greene’s statements, which included racist and anti-Semitic remarks and called for violence against members of Congress. But he said he decried the move by Democrats as “cancel culture” and something that could spark Republicans to go after certain Democratic members in the future.

Yea, "cancel culture" among the Democrats.

What does this mean, then?


In case you've forgotten, that's a picture of the pro-Trump forces who swarmed the Capitol in order to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden's electoral college win. This was one month ago.

Looks like they wanted to cancel the results of the 2020 election, doesn't it?

And then there was this:

Even after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and forced lawmakers to go into lockdown, 121 House Republicans voted to decertify the Arizona’s electors and 138 House Republicans voted to decertify Pennsylvania’s electors in an effort to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory.

Guy Reschenthaler is on both lists. He voted to decertify the electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Looks like Guy Reschenthaler was looking to cancel the votes of millions of US Citizens, doesn't it?

On the other hand, Guy won't hold accountable the woman (Rep Marjorie Taylor-Greene) who: 

  • questioned the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11
  • wondered (in public!) whether there's a Jewish conspiracy to burn California forests from orbit
  • called for the public execution of leading Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (how's that for "cancel culture"?)

But he will vote to cancel millions of votes from Pennsylvania and Arizona.

So what about this "cancel culture" Congressman?



February 4, 2021

Today's Republican Party

We'll start with this tweet from yesterday:

First, the brave officer:

Congressional leaders paid tribute Wednesday to slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick in the building he died defending, promising his family and fellow officers that they will never forget his sacrifice.

Sicknick died after an insurrectionist mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, interrupting the electoral count after then-President Donald Trump urged them to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Sicknick, who died the next day, was injured “while physically engaging with protesters,” though the cause of his death has not been determined.

And now the standing O:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) apologized for her past controversial remarks and embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory during a heated closed-door House GOP conference meeting — and received a standing ovation at one point from a number of her colleagues.

Greene told her colleagues that she made a mistake by being curious about “Q” and said she told her children she learned a lesson about what to put on social media, according to two sources in the room.

She also denied that she knew what Jewish space lasers were and defended her comments that past school shootings were staged by stating that she had personal experience with a school shooting.

So what was it that she was apologizing for?

QAnon

Followers of "Q" often believe that the world is controlled by elite members of a secretive satanic child sex-trafficking ring.

"Q is a patriot, we know that for sure," Greene said in a video from 2017, in which she recapped some of Q's predictions and why she supports them.

"There's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it," she said, referring to Trump.

I don't think this was just Q-curious.

On the Jewish space lasers, while she didn't actually use the term "Jewish space lasers" she did get achingly close:

Rep. Greene is a proponent of the Camp Fire laser beam conspiracy theory. She wrote a November 17, 2018, Facebook post -- which is no longer available online -- in which she said that she was speculating “because there are too many coincidences to ignore” regarding the fire, including that then-California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) wanted to build the high-speed rail project and “oddly there are all these people who have said they saw what looked like lasers or blue beams of light causing the fires.” She also speculated that a vice chairman at “Rothschild Inc, international investment banking firm” was somehow involved, and suggested the fire was caused by a beam from “space solar generators.” 

Greene added: “If they are beaming the suns energy back to Earth, I’m sure they wouldn’t ever miss a transmitter receiving station right??!! I mean mistakes are never made when anything new is invented. What would that look like anyway? A laser beam or light beam coming down to Earth I guess. Could that cause a fire? Hmmm, I don’t know. I hope not! That wouldn’t look so good for PG&E, Rothschild Inc, Solaren or Jerry Brown who sure does seem fond of PG&E.”

For those who don't see it, whenever a right-winger talks "Rothchild" they're going full on on an old-school anti-Semitic conspiracy theory:

The Rothschild family is arguably the most famous European banking dynasty in modern history. In the late 18th century, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the family patriarch, founded his first banking house in the German town of Frankfurt. His sons expanded the bank into a multinational enterprise, and, with their newfound wealth, the Rothschilds were able to influence their local economies. One Rothschild loan paid off French war indemnities in the 1870s, while another allowed the British government to become the powerful Suez Canal Company’s primary shareholder. However, the Rothschild family’s rapid accumulation of wealth and power was met with one odious reaction: rampant anti-Semitism. As a Jewish family, the Rothschilds have been targeted by conspiracy theorists as a prime example of Jews allegedly using their money to control global financial institutions.

On the school shootings

In a previously unreported interaction, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) agreed with a 2018 Facebook comment that the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was actually a “false flag” planned event. 

In a separate Facebook post in 2018, Greene also claimed: “I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control.” 

Yea, her "experience" (whatever it was) certainly invalidates the above.

By the way, she's also done this:


And all it took was a simple "apology" for her to get a standing ovation from some of her GOP colleagues.

This is the new GOP.

February 3, 2021

The House Trial Brief

Read it.

And excerpt:

In a grievous betrayal of his Oath of Office, President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election.As it stormed the Capitol, the mob yelled out“President Trump Sent Us,” “Hang Mike Pence,” and “Traitor Traitor Traitor.”The insurrectionists assaulted police officers with weapon sand chemical agents. They seized control of the Senate chamber floor, the Office of the Speaker of the House, and major sections of the Capitol complex. Members and their staffs were trapped and terrorized. Many officials (including the Vice President himself) barely escaped the rioters. The line of succession to the Presidency was endangered. Our seat of government was violated, vandalized,and desecrated. Congress’s counting of electoral votes was delayed until nightfall and not completed until 4 AM.Hundreds of people were injured in the assault. Five people—including a Capitol Police officer—died.

Trump's mob attacked the Capitol to stop the Congress from confirming Joe Biden as president.

It's that simple.

If that's not treason then there is no treason.



February 2, 2021

Representative Guy Reschenthaler Is Being Dishonest With His FB Memes.

Today, Representative Guy Reschenthaler posted this on this Facebook page:

His text reads:

Two weeks in and Joe Biden has already killed 1.5 million jobs. His promises to help our economy recover are empty thanks to his all-out war on blue-collar workers. [Emphasis added.]

 Already? Wow - what are his sources for this devastating information?

Look down in the lower right hand corner it reads:

Source: The Heritage Foundation, TC Energy and API

Hmm. I wonder if they say what Guy says they say. Don't you?

Heritage Foundation on the 400,000 jobs lost by rejoining the Paris Accords:

Based on regulations and emissions reduction targets set by the Obama administration, Heritage economists estimate that by 2035 there will be: an annual average loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, a total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four, and an aggregate GDP loss of over $2.5 trillion – all for a few tenths of a degree Celsius in abated warming,” says report author Nick Loris. [Emphasis added.]

You'll note that this is an update of an article from 2016 - so it's not new. However look at the text. It says that the Heritage Foundation economists estimate that by 2035 there'll be an annual yearly loss of 400,000 jobs., meaning that by that point (which is 15 years from now) the average annual job loss would be 400,000

But didn't Guy say that Biden has already killed that number of jobs in only two weeks?

Yes, yes he did.

Lie #1 from Guy Reschenthaler.

TC Energy on the 11,000 jobs lost by Biden stopping the Keystone Pipeline:

The pipeline company TC Energy told AFP in an email that the lost jobs are below any of the cited figures.

“This is to confirm that 1,000 unionized jobs will be lost with the presidential permit being revoked for Keystone XL,” said Terry Cunha, a spokesman for the Calgary-based firm. 

“Jobs will be lost in Canada and the US,” he added later, referring to the 1,000 positions.

Didn't Guy say that TC Energy said that 11,000 jobs? But didn't TC Energy say that it's 1,000 American and Canadian jobs?

Yes, and yes.

Lie #2 from Guy Reschenthaler.

The API (that's the American Petroleum Institute, of course) on the 1,000,000 jobs lost due to Biden's pause on new oil leases on Federal land:

Nearly one million jobs would be lost by 2022, with top production-states suffering significant losses.

As with the Heritage Foundation "research" this is not new. The report is from last September.

Didn't Guy say that these jobs were already killed in the past two weeks by President Biden's actions?

Yes he did.

Lie #3 from Guy Reschenthaler.

Guy should show his constituents more respect and not lie to them so often.

January 29, 2021

Wendy Bell Sows Doubt About The Vaccine (Oh And Seasons It With A Little Racism)

Today on her Facebook Page, Wendy Bell posted this:


We'll get to the Trumpian racism in a minute, no worries.

By simply asking the question "Do you feel the vaccines...are safe?" She's sowing doubt - doubt that's going to get more people sick.

Why?

Because there's more than enough evidence already to show that the vaccines are safe. The question is not up for debate. Someone's feelings don't matter in judging the safety of the vaccines.

From the CDC:

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different races, ethnicities, and ages, including adults over the age of 65, participated in the clinical trials. There were no serious safety concerns. The most common side effects were pain at the injection site and signs and symptoms like fever and chills. After a review of all the available information, ACIP and CDC agreed the lifesaving benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for LTCF residents outweigh the risks of possible side effects.

And here's a description of the trial phases for vaccine testing: 

In the U.S., the FDA meticulously review the data from each clinical trial phase before approval or, in the case of public health emergencies, before granting emergency use authorization.

And:

A phase 1 trial focuses on the safety of the vaccine candidate. Escalating doses of the vaccine are given to healthy volunteers to determine side effects and tolerability.

Phase 2 trials expand their recruitment and may include participants with health conditions such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes. There is also active recruitment for participants of various demographics. The trial continues to test the safety of the vaccine and looks at the drug’s initial efficacy and how it affects the immune system.

Phase 3 trials recruit thousands of participants to measure the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing disease.

All this has already been done. The vaccines are safe.

If the Angel of Death were really interested in the health and safety of her audience, she would have asked the question something like this:

Even though the scientific evidence shows that the vaccines are safe, are you be reluctant to get one? And if so, why?

This could then trigger a discussion about phase trials, safety measures and so on. I suspect, however, Wendy Bell is more interested in a discussion that runs along the lines of this comment:

All the Wendy tropes are there; herd immunity, mistrust of the Guv'ment, no scientific data.

Yea, that's where St Barnabas' Angel of Death is going with this.

Perhaps Wendy should get her husband (he's a Doctor, doncha know) on the record about the safety of the vaccines.

Then there's Wendy's racism

“Ultimately, diseases are about biology, not geography,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, who help lead the U.S. response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa. Descriptions of coronavirus that are winning praise in some GOP circles are racist, potentially undermine efforts to prevent spread of the disease and and threaten to harm relationships with China, health advocates say.

Specifically, this from NBC:

Republican lawmakers have persisted in using "Wuhan virus" or "Chinese coronavirus," despite remarks by Democrats and the director of the CDC that such phrases are inaccurate and even racist.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., used the term "Wuhan virus" on Thursday in announcing that his Washington office was closing because of the illness. His comments came two days after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, agreed when questioned at a House hearing that it was "absolutely wrong and inappropriate" to use such labels.

That was last March and Wendy Bell's still pushing the racism.

It must be so comforting for the powers-that-be at St Barnabas Health Care to be connected to such a warm and loving human being as the twice fired Wendy Bell.

January 28, 2021

Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism (Let's Call It What It Is)

Hey, everyone!  Do you remember this report from 2009? It included such bits as:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

And:

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

Remember, this was 2009. Twelve years ago.

What happened to that report? Do you remember? Here's an explanation:

Eight years ago, I warned of a singular threat — the resurgence of right-wing extremist activity and associated violence in the United States as a result of the 2008 presidential election, the financial crisis and the stock market crash. My intelligence report, meant only for law enforcement, was leaked by conservative media.

A political backlash ensued because of an objection to the label “right-wing extremism.” The report also rightly pointed out that returning military veterans may be targeted for recruitment by extremists. Republican lawmakers demanded then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano rescind my report. The American Legion formally requested an apology to veterans. Some in Congress called for me to be fired. Amid the turmoil, my warning went unheeded by Republicans and Democrats. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security caved to the political pressure: Work related to violent right-wing extremism was halted. Law enforcement training also stopped. My unit was disbanded. And, one-by-one, my team of analysts left for other employment. By 2010, there were no intelligence analysts at DHS working domestic terrorism threats.

This is from 2017. Four years ago.

Why does this matter? Take a look at this from NPR:

As a violent mob descended on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, lawmakers and aides hid wherever they could, waiting for the military and police to arrive. But many of those who stormed the Capitol were military veterans themselves, who had once sworn to protect the Constitution. In fact, an NPR analysis has found that nearly 1 in 5 people charged over their alleged involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol appear to have a military history.

That was published last week

And now there's this:

The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration. Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.

False narratives like "The election was stolen!" and any of it's corollaries.

Let's call it what it is. Right-wing domestic terrorism. The right wing terrorists swarmed over the Capitol three weeks ago and 5 people died, including one police officer.

Blue lives matter!!



January 27, 2021

THIS - This Is Why Wendy Bell Is The Angel Of Death

From her Facebook Page this morning


Hmm. Let's see. Dr Fauci:

  • MD - Graduated 1st in his class from Cornell in 1966 (Note: this would be a few years before Wendy Bell was born)
  • Joined the NIH in 1968
  • Appointed director of NIAID in 1984

That's a position he still holds. About his position at NIAID:

[Dr. Fauci] oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. The NIAID budget for fiscal year 2021 is an estimated $6.1 billion.

And Wendy Bell?

  • Fired from WTAE for a racist Facebook post
  • Fired from KDKA Radio for calling for statue protestors to be shot on sight

Which one is an expert in communicable diseases? And which one is an ignorant voice on American talk radio? 

But here's more about Dr Fauci:

Dr. Fauci also is the longtime chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. He has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated and infectious diseases. He helped pioneer the field of human immunoregulation by making important basic scientific observations that underpin the current understanding of the regulation of the human immune response. In addition, Dr. Fauci is widely recognized for delineating the precise ways that immunosuppressive agents modulate the human immune response. He developed effective therapies for formerly fatal inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener's granulomatosis), and lymphomatoid granulomatosis. A 1985 Stanford University Arthritis Center Survey of the American Rheumatism Association membership ranked Dr. Fauci’s work on the treatment of polyarteritis nodosa and granulomatosis with polyangiitis among the most important advances in patient management in rheumatology over the previous 20 years.
And Wendy Bell?

She knows all about the coronavirus. She said this to her audience: 

We understand what happens with coronavirus. People get sick. But people need to be exposed. We need to all become immune to this thing. Stop saying (she uses air quotes here) we need a vaccine, OK? We have a flu vaccine and only half the people get it. So everyone's going to rush out and get this vaccine? C'mon.

This is why she's the Angel of Death. The more people listen to and believe her, the more people will die. I just don't know how she sleeps at night,

I'd post this in a comment at Wendy's Facebook page and at WJAS' Facebook page, but for some reason I am blocked from doing so at both.

If some brave soul in MY audience were to post this at either place, they'd probably get blocked, too.

January 26, 2021

Meanwhile, Outside...

Now that grownups are now running the show and science has been elevated to a cabinet level position, I thought it a good idea to return to my monthly NOAA based blogging.

From the scientists at NOAA:

The global land and ocean surface temperature for December 2020 was 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average and the eighth highest departure from average for December in the 1880–2020 record. Compared to recent months, this value was the smallest monthly temperature departure during 2020 and the smallest monthly temperature departure since February 2018.

There's even some art:

See the red (-ish) columns on the right? That's the global land and ocean temperatures. It's bad and it's going to get worse.

So not only is the country dangerously polarized (something made much worse by the Trump Administration), it's fighting a deadly pandemic (also made much worse by the Trump Administration), it's still facing a global climate crisis (which was, of course, very bad in 2016 but made much much worse by the Trump Administration).

Oh yea, and there's systemic racism strangling the country - Trump had a hand in making that worse, too!

January 23, 2021

Wendy Bell/Radio Karen Has Returned To The Airwaves! Vetted And Approved By St Barnabas!!

This past Wednesday, Wendy Bell posted this on her Facebook page:

This was followed the next morning by this reporting from Eric Heyl at Patch:

Controversial talk show host Wendy Bell has announced she is returning to local radio next week following her abrupt departure from KDKA-AM last fall. Bell stated on social media that she will join conservative talk station WJAS-AM beginning Jan. 25.

Perhaps he's just being diplomatic but Heyl is too kind to the Angel of Death. She's not "controversial" as much as she's putting the public health in grave danger. (Is there another kind of danger?)

A few hours later, the story was reported by Julia Felton of the Trib:

JD Turco, senior vice president at St. Barnabas Broadcasting, which bought WJAS in November, confirmed Thursday that Bell will be joining the station.

“She’s going to be a conservative talk show host, in keeping with the lineup we have right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of conservative talk there. We believe she fits well into that lineup.”

And then a little after that Joshua Axelrod of the P-G:

“We were able to have the have a conversation with Wendy, and we feel it’s mutually beneficial to put her on,” said J.D. Turco, senior vice president of St. Barnabas Health System, which owns WJAS. “We have high hopes for Wendy and for WJAS.”

And:

Mr. Turco, who is also the chief financial officer of St. Barnabas Broadcasting, said Ms. Bell will fit in well with the station’s conservative talk-show format and that she was hired after “considerable thought” regarding her past behavior.

“We can’t predict the future, but we do think we’ve done ample due diligence, and hopefully it’ll all work out,” he said.

Before we go any further, let me point out that while the P-G is more than happy to post what amounts to free advertising for Radio Karen's latest media presence, they passed on reporting about Wendy's recent indefensible doxxing of a private citizen. This is what I wrote about what Wendy did:

To summarize: a woman called a sponsor of Wendy Bell's, Sierra Experts (who can be reached at 412 378-8333) and left an anonymous voice mail complaining about Wendy Bell. Sierra Experts' IT folks then hacked through the woman's "block caller" and sent Wendy Bell her phone number. By the way, Sierra Experts advertise a number of IT services and evidently violating a person's privacy is one of them. Once they had the woman's number Wendy Bell and her "research team" reversed searched it and doxxed the woman, exposing her name, image and contact info to her audience so that her audience could harass the woman who complained about Wendy Bell to Sierra Experts.

Was this included in St Barnabas' "due diligence"? And if it was, why are they going ahead with rewarding Wendy Bell with a 7 kilowatt platform? If not, can it really be called "due diligence"?

Are you like me and wondering what else was part of this "due diligence"? Let's focus with the virus since, y'know, St Barnabas Broadcasting is headquartered in the same building in Gibsonia as St Barnabas Health Care.

September 2, 2020 Wendy Bell lies to her audience with this:

...the CDC says that 94% of people who we think died of COVID did not die from COVID but died and happened to have it at the same time.

This is, of course, a lie - a QAnon inspired lie, to boot! From Factcheck:

He noted that the 6% figure includes cases where COVID-19 was listed as the only cause of death. “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of Covid didn’t die of Covid-19. They did,” Fauci said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

And Wendy has reiterated this lie as recently as 3 weeks ago

Was this part of St Barnabas' "due diligence"? Seems kind of important, lying to the public about CDC statements on Covid-19 fatality. If they knew about it and yet STILL want her on their airwaves, then what does that say about St Barnabas Broadcasting?

June 27, 2020 Wendy Bell pushes so-called "herd immunity" onto her adoring public with this mini-rant to Governor Wolf:

Stop trying to circumvent the law. Stop trying to supersede our individual freedoms. Stop trying to rule with an iron fist and stop trying to scare us about this virus.

We understand what happens with coronavirus. People get sick. But people need to be exposed. We need to all become immune to this thing. Stop saying (she uses air quotes here) we need a vaccine, OK? We have a flu vaccine and only half the people get it. So everyone's going to rush out and get this vaccine? C'mon.

As I wrote back then, she's talking herd immunity without the need for a vaccine. Something she reiterated a few weeks later on July 12. She's talking about the news of 15,000 people testing postive for Covid-19 in Florida when she says:

I think, isn't it the third most populous state in the United States of America? Don't we want this virus to work its way through the people so that we can be immune? So that we can develop some semblance of herd immunity? As we anxiously await the arrival of a vaccine?

The only problem with herd immunity without a vaccine is this from Johns Hopkins Medical School

To reach herd immunity for COVID-19, likely 70% or more of the population would need to be immune. Without a vaccine, over 200 million Americans would have to get infected before we reach this threshold. Put another way, even if the current pace of the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States, we won’t reach herd immunity in 2021. If current daily death rates continue, over half a million Americans would be dead from COVID-19 by that time.

Was this part of St Barnabas' "due diligence"?  Wendy saying "people need to be exposed" so that we can all reach herd immunity (disregarding the massive loss of life that would occur as a result)? Why give someone who believes this any sort of platform at all?

Finally,

April 8, 2020 Wendy Bell is on a fence. And by "fence" she's talking about an ethical quandary. This one:

[B]ut dollars and cents boil down to, "are you going to bankrupt America and the future for less than one percent of our population, many of whom are already ill? Or aged?"
As I wrote at the time:
Wendy Bell is having trouble deciding between her two options: "bankrupting" America or saving hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of American lives - people who are old and frail.

And so now I wonder if this was part of St Barnabas' "due diligence" don't you? I mean, she's questioning whether not protecting the economy is worth protecting the people actually living at the St Barnabas nursing home. Did that come up in conversation during their "due diligence" at all? I was all over the news. They had to have seen it, right?

Then there's this wrinkle in the story, this fly in the ointment, this monkey in the wrench:

The data revealed for the first time that the second-worst outbreak at a nursing home in the region in terms of deaths is at one of the best known in the area: St. Barnabas Nursing Home in Richland, which has recorded 31 deaths, the 13th most of any facility in the state.

With 62 positive COVID-19 cases among the 92 residents living in the 152-bed facility — according to online data — the ritzy nonprofit nursing home, known for its two golf courses and ubiquitous television ads featuring former Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey in his golfing attire, has a fatality rate higher even than Brighton. St. Barnabas has also had 14 cases among its staff.

That was May 20, 2020.

Yippee Ki Yay, St Barnabas. You need to explain how diligent your "due diligence" was of Wendy Bell. By putting her on your airwaves, you're giving her the opportunity to spread a lot of lies. 

I think we're entitled to the truth.

January 21, 2021

Democracy Has Prevailed

President Biden, yesterday

This is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day.

A day of history and hope.

Of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.

Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.

The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

We have learned again that democracy is precious.

Democracy is fragile.

And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.

As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.

I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took — an oath first sworn by George Washington.

But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.

On “We the People” who seek a more perfect Union.

This is a great nation and we are a good people.

Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.

We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.

Much to repair.

Much to restore.

Much to heal.

Much to build.

And much to gain.

Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.

A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.

It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.

Millions of jobs have been lost.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.

A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.

And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.

It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:

Unity.

Unity.

In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”

My whole soul is in it.

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.

Uniting our people.

And uniting our nation.

I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the common foes we face:

Anger, resentment, hatred.

Extremism, lawlessness, violence.

Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things. Important things.

We can right wrongs.

We can put people to work in good jobs.

We can teach our children in safe schools.

We can overcome this deadly virus.

We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.

We can deliver racial justice.

We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy.

I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.

But I also know they are not new.

Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial.

Victory is never assured.

Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our “better angels” have always prevailed.

In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.

And, we can do so now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.

We can treat each other with dignity and respect.

We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

No progress, only exhausting outrage.

No nation, only a state of chaos.

This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.

And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.

We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.

And so today, at this time and in this place, let us start afresh.

All of us.

Let us listen to one another.

Hear one another.
See one another.

Show respect to one another.

Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.

Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.

And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.

America has to be better than this.

And, I believe America is better than this.

Just look around.

Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.

Yet we endured and we prevailed.

Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from marching for the right to vote.

Today, we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office – Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change.

Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.

That did not happen.

It will never happen.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

Not ever.

To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us.

To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

And if you still disagree, so be it.

That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our Republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.

Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.

And I pledge this to you: I will be a President for all Americans.

I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.

What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans?

I think I know.

Opportunity.

Security.

Liberty.

Dignity.

Respect.

Honor.

And, yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.

There is truth and there are lies.

Lies told for power and for profit.

And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation — to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation.

I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next.

I get it.

But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.

We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

If we show a little tolerance and humility.

If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.
Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.

There are some days when we need a hand.

There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.

That is how we must be with one another.

And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.

We will need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter.

We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.

We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.

I promise you this: as the Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.

We will get through this, together

The world is watching today.

So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it.

We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.

Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.

We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.

We have been through so much in this nation.

And, in my first act as President, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those we lost this past year to the pandemic.

To those 400,000 fellow Americans – mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

We will honor them by becoming the people and nation we know we can and should be.

Let us say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those they left behind, and for our country.

Amen.

This is a time of testing.

We face an attack on democracy and on truth.

A raging virus.

Growing inequity.

The sting of systemic racism.

A climate in crisis.

America’s role in the world.

Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways.

But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities.

Now we must step up.

All of us.

It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.

And, this is certain.

We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.

Will we rise to the occasion?

Will we master this rare and difficult hour?

Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?

I believe we must and I believe we will.

And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.

It’s a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me.

It’s called “American Anthem” and there is one verse stands out for me:

“The work and prayers
of centuries have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?…
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America
America
I gave my best to you.”

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our nation.

If we do this then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best.

They did their duty.

They healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath.

Before God and all of you I give you my word.

I will always level with you.

I will defend the Constitution.

I will defend our democracy.

I will defend America.

I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.

Not of personal interest, but of the public good.

And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.

Of unity, not division.

Of light, not darkness.

An American story of decency and dignity.

Of love and of healing.

Of greatness and of goodness.

May this be the story that guides us.

The story that inspires us.

The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.

We met the moment.

That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.

That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.

That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So, with purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time.

Sustained by faith.

Driven by conviction.

And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.

May God bless America and may God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.