Thursday, July 21, 2022

Last Call For Hearing Aides For America, Con't

Day 8 of the January 6th terrorist insurrection hearings by the House laid out in prime time why Donald Trump should be prosecuted for crimes against the country: as Rep. Adam Kinzinger put it, Trump didn't fail to act to stop the attack, he chose not to do so.

The committee used Thursday's hearing to show how former President Donald Trump not only failed to act, but chose not to as he watched the violent assault on the US Capitol unfold.

Several witnesses with first-hand knowledge of what was happening inside the White House on January 6 told the committee that Trump did not place a single call to any of his law enforcement or national security officials as the Capitol attack was unfolding, according to previously unseen video testimony played during Thursday's hearing. 
The panel said it "confirmed in numerous interviews with senior law enforcement and military leaders, Vice President Mike Pence's staff, and DC government officials: None of them -- not one -- heard from President Trump that day," Luria said. 
The committee used that testimony to make the case that Trump's refusal to intervene amounted to a dereliction of duty. 
Former officials who were with Trump as he watched the riot unfold on television, including then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's body man Nick Luna, told the committee they had no knowledge of the former President making a single call to the heads of various agencies who could have responded to the violence, including the secretary of defense or attorney general. 
Keith Kellogg, Pence's national security adviser who was also with Trump that day, testified that he never heard the former President ask for the National Guard or a law enforcement response. 
Kellogg also reaffirmed that he would have been aware if Trump had made such an ask. 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley told the House select committee that he was astonished by the fact that he never heard from Trump as the Capitol attack was unfolding -- suggesting his failure to act amounted to an abdication of his duties as Commander in Chief, according to previously unseen video from his close-door deposition. 
"You know, you're the Commander in Chief. You've got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America and there's nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?" he said in the clip. 

On top of that, the missing US Secret Service texts from that day are now being treated as a criminal investigation.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General has launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the destruction of Secret Service text messages that may have been relevant to inquiries about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The results of the investigation could be referred to federal prosecutors, the sources said, depending on the results.

The DHS Inspector General informed the Secret Service on Wednesday evening that the investigation is now criminal and that it should halt all internal investigations on the missing text messages, according to a letter detailed to NBC News.

“To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above,” DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray on Wednesday evening. “This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.”


The information the Committee does have, and that it revealed tonight, was shocking. Former VP Mike Pence's detail left calls for their family to say goodbye, because they didn't believe they would survive the day.

Former Vice President Mike Pence's security detail was so concerned for safety inside the Capitol as rioters broke into the building, that they "were starting to fear for their own lives," one committee witness said.

The moments were so tense, "there were calls to say goodbye to family members," an unidentified national security professional told the committee in a recorded interview played on Thursday.

He said it appeared that the agents were realizing they were running out of options and may have considered using lethal force.

"Is the VP compromised? Like, I don't know. We didn't have visibility, but if they're screaming and saying things, like, say goodbye to family....this is going to a whole other level soon," the national security official said. The committee shielded the identity of the official and obscured his voice.

Mike Pence was a target. If he couldn't fulfill his duty to count the electoral votes, Trump would have muddied the waters with Pence's blood and almost certainly triggered a Constitutional emergency.

We came that close to losing the country.

Trump has to be held accountable or we will lose it in the very near future.

The White House Goes Viral, Con't

President Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and will isolate with "mild symptoms".

President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, underscoring the persistence of the highly contagious virus as new variants challenge the nation’s efforts to resume normalcy after two and a half years of pandemic disruptions.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” and has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug designed to reduce the severity of the disease.

She said Biden “will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time. He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”

Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated, after getting two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose March 30.

Up to this point, Biden’s ability to avoid the virus seemed to defy the odds, even with the testing procedures in place for those expected to be in close contact with him. Prior waves of the virus swept through Washington’s political class, infecting Vice President Kamala Harris, Cabinet members, White House staffers and lawmakers. Biden has increasingly stepped up his travel schedule and resumed holding large indoor events where not everyone is tested.

Top White House officials in recent months have been matter-of-fact about the likelihood of the president getting COVID, a measure of how engrained the virus has become in society — and of its diminished threat for those who are up to date on their vaccinations and with access to treatments.

When administered within five days of symptoms appearing, Paxlovid, produced by drugmaker Pfizer, has been proven to bring about a 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.

In an April 30 speech to more than 2,600 attendees at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, Biden acknowledged the risks of attending large events, but said it was worthwhile to attend.

“I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID,” he said. “Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic.”


We're getting through the pandemic. 

You know, except for the 3,000 people dying per week still on top of the million who have died so far.

But this is where we are now, a preventable disease that only a fraction of us are still trying to prevent, killing 500 per day, probably another 100K plus will die through the rest of the year as this latest rise in cases will mean more deaths as we head into flu season and orders of magnitude more still suffering mental and physical disabilities from long COVID...

But we're getting through!

Welcome to the new normal, I guess.

That's The Sound Of The Police, Con't

To make it extremely and unequivocally clear that "defund the police" has zero place in the Biden administration, and that Biden actually does care about community police alternatives and mental health programs to prevent violence, the White House says  "Why not throw the kitchen sink at it?" with a $37 billion crime bill proposal unveiled today.

President Joe Biden is proposing to spend roughly $37 billion for fighting and preventing crime, including $13 billion to help communities hire and train 100,000 police officers over five years.

Biden will outline his anti-crime program on Thursday during a visit to Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The Democratic president will request the money from Congress as part of his latest budget proposal, according to senior administration officials who previewed the plan on the condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement.

Republicans are trying to gain leverage in November’s midterm elections by portraying Democrats as unwilling to confront crime problems.

As part of Biden’s plans, $3 billion would be geared toward clearing court backlogs and resolving cases involving murders and guns. The president also wants to use $15 billion to create a grant program that would fund ideas for preventing violent crime or creating a public health response to nonviolence incidents, aimed at reducing the burden on law enforcement.

The remaining $5 billion would support programs intended to stop violence before it occurs
So, a holistic response to helping communities that need policing and helping communities that need mental health programs too, gosh that sounds like a reasonable, measured response that addresses both issues.

Not thrilled about 100,000 more cops in the country but we're always going to need police, they just need drastic reform from the ground up including intense federal oversight is all.

Now, if we purged all the Punisher sticker, Thin Blue Line, violent racist asshole cops and then retrained the rest and then added properly trained non-asshole cops, great.

My expectations are that we only get the cops and none of the other programs however.
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