Category Archives: Trump

GPT3Chat is a Coward

Posted in AI, Trump | Leave a comment

The Case of the Capitol Police and the January 6 Near-Putsch

Cop Jan 6

Capitol Police officer on Jan 6, 2021
© 2021 lvert Barnes via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

At Press Watch my brother drops the results of an intensive investigation into the Jan. 6 committee documents and more in The story no one wants to touch: Why the Capitol Police enabled 1/6:

The news media’s continuing failure to explore why the U.S. Capitol was so scantily defended against an angry horde of white Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, has now been compounded by the House select committee’s refusal to connect the most obvious dots or ask the most vital questions.

It’s true that there were countless law enforcement failures that day — indeed, far too many to be a coincidence.

But the singular point of failure — the one thing that could have prevented all of it from happening — was that Capitol Police leaders brushed off ample warnings that an armed mob was headed their way.

They lied to everyone about their level of preparedness beforehand. Then they sent a less-than-full contingent of hapless, unarmored officers out to defend a perimeter defined by bike racks, without less-than-lethal weaponry and without a semblance of a plan.

Even the insurrectionists who actively intended to stop the vote could never have expected that breaching the Capitol would be so easy.

[…]

An examination of the committee reports, the accompanying depositions and supporting documents leads to the following conclusion:

  • The failure was not due to lack of intelligence. There was plenty. “I don’t think it was a failure of intelligence. I think it was a failure to operationalize the intelligence,” Julie Farnam, assistant director of the Capitol Police intelligence unit, told committee investigators. “They should have been ready for war, and they weren’t.”
  • The lag in mobilization of the National Guard is a red herring. No one at the Capitol requested their presence until after police lines had been breached. To the extent that it was discussed beforehand, it was in order to have the Guard help direct traffic on surrounding streets.
  • The Capitol Police were vastly unprepared. Despite Sund’s insistence that he was getting “all hands on deck,” he didn’t even cancel officers’ days off.
  • The perimeter was defined with bike racks, which are good only for protests where most people are law-abiding. They do nothing to stop a horde. In fact, they get turned into weapons to use against the police.
  • The Capitol Police had no backup plan in case multiple protesters posed a threat. Even as police lines had already collapsed, clueless police leaders were trying to deploy more bike racks.
  • Incredibly, chief Sund ordered the removal of some bike racks late on Jan. 5, for reasons that some of his colleagues considered suspect.
  • Actual calls for help were only made after it was too late. Justice Department officials said that even after they saw TV footage of insurrectionists parading through the Capitol Rotunda, Capitol Police officials told them they had things under control.
  • Police leadership simply could not conceive of white Trump supporters as the enemy. Time and again, law enforcement leaders were presented with intelligence showing that desperate Trump supporters were targeting the Capitol, but didn’t take it seriously.
  • Anti-scale fencing — the kind erected around the White House during the Black Lives Matter protests — would have stopped any of this from happening. It was never even considered.

There’s lots more where that came from.  IMHO, this deserves wide attention.

Posted in 1/6, Dan Froomkin | 2 Comments

HUUUUGER Than Watergate

Nixon had the eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap in the White House tapes. Nixon was a piker. Trump has a SEVEN+  HOUR gap in his phone logs that just happens to fall during the Jan 6 insurrection. There’s almost no conceivable explanation that doesn’t make Trump look awful.

I’m actually quite depressed about this, as I fear that it vastly increases the odds that Governor Evil will become the Republican nominee, and perhaps even the next President.

Posted in The Scandals | Leave a comment

Five Random Mysteries

  1. A constitutional question. Why do people who think Donald Trump won the 2020 election think he’s eligible to run again in 2024, when the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution says, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”? (Gary Trudeau wonders this too.)
  2. An ID theft ‘prevention’ question. What is the point of (for pay post-website-breach) so-called ID-theft-prevention services sending me notices that my email has been found on some (unspecified) hacker site and I should change my (unspecified) password? I have few emails and many passwords, all unique except the worthless ones. How am I supposed to figure out what to do? Why not send me the password if it’s compromised anyway so I could search my password manager and password spreadsheet and change it?
  3. A basketball question. Why does the NBA penalize teams for taking good shots that miss when it doesn’t penalize bad shots? The NBA uses a shot clock to force teams to move quickly to score. Ordinarily a team has 24 seconds from getting possession to attempt a shot on pain of losing the ball. If they miss but hit the rim and rebound, the clock is reset to 14 seconds. That makes sense if the offense took the shot with fewer than 14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, and matches how the clock is reset if the other teams fouls or kicks the ball when there are fewer than 14 seconds left on the shot clock. But unlike fouls and kicks, where taking the ball out on the side never costs a team shot-clock seconds but only adds to them if the shot clock is running down, when a team shoots with more than 14 seconds on the clock, misses but hits the rim, then the short clock is shortened to 14 seconds. This just penalizes a team for quick offense. The absurdity of it is even clearer when you consider what happens to a team that attempts a shot when there are more than 14 seconds on the shot clock, but the shot is so bad that it doesn’t hit the rim — that wild shot has no effect on the shot clock at all! The incentives are all wrong: the NBA should reward good shots more than very bad ones rather than the other way around.
  4. A religion in the public sphere question. How come more evangelicals don’t entertain the idea that COVID was a plague sent to punish us for electing Trump?. Goodness knows they’ve claimed all sorts of earlier natural disasters were chastisement for progressive policies.
  5. A shopping question. You have to figure Gatorade is suspicious given the origin story with U. Florida…but this bad? Maybe it’s a good thing G2 is missing from stores? And is lemon-lime G2 cancelled? It does seem to have gone missing from the G2 website.
Posted in Basketball, ID Cards and Identification, Law: Constitutional Law, Shopping, Trump | Leave a comment

Accountability, Just Maybe

65 project logoOne more item like this and I’m going to declare a trend.

According to Axios, a bunch of Democrats are planning to play ethics offense against lawyers who signed complaints or phony electoral returns in the meritless attempt to overturn the last election.  They’ve created the “65 project“, so named because the courts kicked all 65 lawsuits filed on Trump’s behalf unceremoniously to the curb.

The 65 Project is targeting 111 attorneys in 26 states who were involved to some degree in efforts to challenge or reverse 2020 election results. They include lawyers at large national law firms with many partners and clients and lawyers at smaller, regional firms.

  • It will air ads in battleground states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
  • It also will push the ABA and every state bar association to codify rules barring certain election challenges and adopt model language stating that “fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results violate the ethical duties lawyers must abide by.”
  • It plans to spend about $2.5 million in its first year and will operate through an existing nonprofit called Law Works.

[David] Brock [, founder of Media Matters for America] told Axios in an interview that the idea is to “not only bring the grievances in the bar complaints, but shame them and make them toxic in their communities and in their firms.”

And, indeed, the 65 project filled its first wave of ethics complaint yesterday, against Jenna Ellis, Joseph doGenova and seven others.

Posted in 1/6, Law: Practice | Leave a comment

Accountability, Perhaps

Accountability has rarely been a key feature of US politics (see, e.g. Kissinger, Henry), at least not in a sensible way (see, e.g. “Who Lost China?”).

But Priorities USA is trying to gin up some accountability with this pair of new videos:

There’s Off the Hook:

And there’s the even more blunt Chosen a Side :

Posted in 2022 Election, Trump, Ukraine | Leave a comment