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I bought these.

And a time not so long ago, when the world was filled with joy and the internet itself was magic…

If you missed it, Siegfried Fischbacher passed away last week. His partner, Roy Horn, died last year.

One of my best friends ever first took me to see the Siegfried and Roy show at the Mirage in Las Vegas. It was cheesy and great, and seeing how much my friend was into it made it even more satisfying. He had an “in” with the producer, so we had really good seats. Just a few feet from tigers — with no cages — I never felt menace.

We were co-workers also, and we did some great work together. One story we did, however, led to me getting death threats in the mail. It was about the penny stock industry. Anybody who’s watched season two of The Sopranos knows it was pretty mobbed up in the day. But I was young, so I was thrilled. …

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Final vote on second impeachment, for “inciting an insurrection on January 6th”

Then what?

Are Trump’s supporters any more prone to accept reality once President elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20? Since this is all really about holding onto power anyway, even if you lose, are they any less inclined to seek lawless ways to achieve this end? Is there any combination of deeds and acts on the part of the new President that will help them accept reality when someone’s just spent the last 4 years pounding it into their heads that they don’t have to?

The New York Times headlines Trump’s second impeachment as “10 Republicans Break With President”, since 10 Republican House members joined in voting to impeach him for “inciting a violent insurrection against the U.S. government”. …

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Click on the graphic above to read Twitter’s explanation of why it instituted the permanent suspension


Trump triggered an attack on the United States, and explicitly threatened the life of his own Vice-President. Yet a few days later, while most in Congress agree the violence last week was a bad thing, many Republicans, upon reflection, seem to have come around to a position where they do not seem inclined to hold the main instigator responsible, nor willing to work to do anything to stop him from wreaking any more havoc before his time runs out. Saying things like: “I oppose the Democrats very political push to impeach the President”. Or “Those calling for impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment in response to President Trump’s rhetoric this week are themselves engaging in intemperate and inflammatory language and calling for action that is equally irresponsible and could well incite further violence.” …

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Vice-President Mike Pence closes joint session of Congress to count electoral votes, formalizing President-elect Biden’s win

The aim of this week’s insurrection at the Capitol wasn’t just to have a big riot.

It was to disrupt a joint session of Congress as it was happening, called as necessitated by the Constitution to count the Electoral College votes, which had been already certified by all 50 states.

And it was to disrupt it in a way that would force a switch to Trump as the winner, even though he didn’t win. Not even close. And with that, overturn the U.S. government itself. To that end, the F.B.I. appears to be very seriously investigating whether some of those who stormed the Capitol intended to “kill or capture lawmakers or their staffers”.

Because a lot of people by the end of this very same week — especially Republicans — are “forgetting” that. Maybe because it helps them feel less guilty for fomenting what happened by at least tacitly supporting Trump’s endless lies about voter fraud for months. How many times did we hear Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley or any of the majority of House Republicans who still in the end voted to throw out electoral votes in certain states, talk about “unprecedented” allegations of voter fraud, or election irregularities? Yes. It was unprecedented. …

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Perhaps it doesn’t after, either. But at least we’ve got a chance…

Trump’s put out a little video saying he’s now “outraged” about the violence on Capitol Hill he and his minions personally triggered, and then egged on. Which made no one happy. Not those for whom it was too little, too late. And neither those for whom it was a betrayal, since they felt they were only doing Trump’s bidding in the first place.

What is extraordinarily clear is what Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post summed up in one extraordinary sentence:

[Trump’s] presidency has been a harrowing survey of the things that are possible if nobody stops you.”

And yes, the next two weeks will be extraordinarily perilous, because since when has Trump not changed his mind a million times? It’s why he lost the presidency: a lot of people actually like his policies. They like that he makes it OK to be dark and angry and even racist, while at the same time giving you the ability to say you are the “least” of those of anybody, and anyone who says differently is judging you unfairly. But having him in charge every single damn day was just too much crazy. …

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He should be removed. Now.

I have nothing more to say today, because I could never say enough right now. You all know what happened at the Capitol following on to Trump egging a crowd on at a midday rally. In fact, he said he’d walk to the Capitol building with them. He didn’t. And if you don’t know, you can read about it here. Or here. (Although I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say tomorrow.)

So for now, I will share some of the words of a few select others:

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis:

Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump, His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice. Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”

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Because even though they’re not explicitly favoring Trump over the Constitution, none of them is exactly saying Trump is wrong, or a liar. And all are saying this is far from over.

Yes, as far as this week goes? They are so far doing the right thing. And as most of them explain, that’s going by what the Constitution says, because otherwise there might not ever be a fair election in this country again.

We’ll quote South Carolina Republican Tim Scott at length (if you want even more, his full statement is here):

The President’s legal team exercised its right to access the courts by initiating suits in state and federal courts in numerous states. Some of these lawsuits have even been presided over and adjudicated by conservative judges nominated by President Trump. …

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Nor are there “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud”

Unless you count the President saying it over and over and over and over and over again.

And on a recorded phone call this weekend with the Georgia Secretary of State that was distributed by the Washington Post, Trump’s “evidence” of fraud first and foremost is the comparative size of the crowd at his rallies. Which of course is proof of nothing. And he keeps returning to that. As evidence. Really. Read it; listen to it if you don’t believe me (I’ve just given you a link): it’s where he starts, and he keeps coming back to it. …

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And a few other notes as we head into 2021…

If you believe Trump’s endless allegations that Democrats stole the election out from under him, but there’s no explicit smoking gun proof because they did it in such a coordinated way, across many states each with different voting rules, and they did it seamlessly and invisibly, turning around a dire situation for themselves literally overnight, can we at least agree those should be the people in charge of distributing Coronavirus vaccines?

Even though the word “fraud” keeps coming out of Trump’s mouth, and appearing in his Tweets, if you look at the substance of what he’s saying and Tweeting — if you can call it that — every “huge” revelation is based on some ridiculous, tortuous stab at “statistical analysis”, and never on any findings of actual widespread fraud in fact. …

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Georgia has more counties than any other state except Texas. (Source: Georgia DOT)

Even though he wouldn’t stop Tweeting about it for weeks.

But since he didn’t get the results he wanted, or in fact promised, we almost felt obligated to catch you up on a couple of things. Because they should not be allowed to fall through the cracks:

Remember how Trump demanded recounts in Georgia because he’d “win easily” there if that happened because massive fraud of many types would inevitably be revealed if only the state’s Republican leadership had the “courage” to do it? And they did. In fact, their audit of election night votes — which was not required — involved recounting every single vote by hand. And guess what? Biden still won. And then Trump, as he was entitled to do, requested another recount, this time by machine. …


Eric J Scholl

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report"

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