Thick fog covering the just-turning-dark this Wednesday here in California’s Central Valley — a depressing look to say the way-minimum, but that’s the current motif seemingly embedded in our psyche nowadays.
All looney tunes with the despondency, too, which makes it shit worse.
Another piece of weird for this already weird new year — lightning bolts are increasing at the North Pole (CNN this afternoon):
As extreme weather wreaked havoc across the globe in 2021, a stunning change was happening in the far northern Arctic, largely out of sight but detectable by a network of sensors.
Lightning increased significantly in the region around the North Pole, which scientists say is a clear sign of how the climate crisis is altering global weather.
Vaisala, an environmental monitoring company that tracks lightning around the world, reported 7,278 lightning strokes occurred last year north of 80 degrees latitude, nearly twice as many as the previous nine years combined.
Jose Martinez-Claros, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, who is not involved with the report, said the findings were “concerning.”
“It seems to suggest in the drying and warming climate, these types of storms now reach latitudes that are very much higher than they used to be and closer to the Arctic,” he said.
Some science non-fiction to mix in with the non-fiction gravy-train of political, domestic, pure-crazed, half-baked America events, and the insanity of Jan. 6 — turning a year old tomorrow and now a part of history. Republicans are trying to act nonchalant, T-Rump canceled a press conference/whatever/blubber fest planned for tomorrow at Mar-a-Lago (citing a whine of victimhood) and Merrick Garland gave a speech but really didn’t say anything new, despite a shitload of recent evidence of an obviously attempted coup a year ago tomorrow involving a shitload of assholes.
In the morning to mark the event, Joe Biden (along with Kamala Harris) will give remarks at the Capitol, supposedly Joe will call an insurrection a coup — from The Washington Post this evening:
“President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol, the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
She added that Biden “has been clear-eyed about the threat the former president represents to our democracy and how the former president constantly works to undermine basic American values and rule of law.”
Biden has criticized Trump by name on only a few occasions during his first year in office, and aides have made it clear he is reluctant to stir partisan fires or elevate Trump’s falsehoods.
But some Democrats argue that Biden urgently needs to take on Trump more directly as the leader of a movement that is challenging America’s democracy.
Paski signaled that Biden will take a different approach Thursday.
“He sees January 6th as a tragic culmination of what those four years under President Trump did to our country,” Psaki said.
“He will, of course, speak to the moment, to the importance in history of the peaceful transfer of power,” Psaki added. “But he will also reflect on the role his predecessor had.”
She also said that Biden will “forcibly” push back “on the lies spread by the former president in an attempt to mislead the American people and his own supporters as well as distract from his role in what happened.”
For all that, it remains unclear if Biden will call out Trump explicitly by name.
He has done so before, but at other times he has referred to his predecessor indirectly, on one much-noted occasion calling him “the former guy.”
Joe needs to call out the shitheel by name — this particular time in our history calling out the criminals is seriously important due to the danger:
My colleagues @anneapplebaum and @bartongellman are both brilliant, and deeply knowledgeable about the grave situation we're in and how to avoid a worst-case scenario. Here's a transcript of my recent conversation with them about Jan. 6, highly recommend: https://t.co/ibgl3fudHC
— Adrienne LaFrance (@AdrienneLaF) January 5, 2022
One of the best single-nut observations on Republican hardcore-horor, anti-democracy scamming based on a set of lies comes from Anne Applebaum in an interview at The Atlantic, also this afternoon:
I am continually surprised by what’s happening inside the Republican Party, even though I have myself written about it and analyzed it and tried to explain it. I’ve written about the phenomenon of complicity, why people go along with things they know to be wrong, which is not unique to the United States or to world history; in fact, it’s very common.
And I’m still surprised by the extent to which the Republican Party is seeking to whitewash the history of January 6 so that the perpetrators are heroes and the victims are villains.
I am surprised by the extent to which they are building on this mythology.
This is something that has lots of precedent. The election was stolen, and therefore we deserve to break the rules in order to win the next one.
And by the way, I do think it could be 2022 as well as 2024.
You can look at the 1930s. The myth of something stolen from us that gives us the right to cheat is something we’ve seen in autocratic regimes in the past. Bart’s story is really important because it lays out the path which is being followed: the use of these low-level electoral positions in the states, the way in which the Republican Party is trying to put proponents of the Big Lie into positions where they’ll be able to manipulate election results, the work that’s being done inside state legislatures to convince them to change election results.
What worries me more is the mood of the party, the mood of the country, and the degree to which the past has been whitewashed — the present is being seen through a filter that’s dishonest.
And the number of people who are going along with that false vision of history is the piece of this story that’s most dangerous.
These aren’t people who think they’re breaking the law or bending the electoral rules—although they are.
Somehow, they’ve been convinced that they’re the true patriots and that they’re acting in the interests of America. And that’s, I think, the most frightening piece of it, because changing that is actually harder than changing the institutions.
Another call to go-read-the-whole-piece — a deep dive panel-discussion into our current shitty situation, participants which included not only Atlantic staff writers Applebaum and Barton Gellman but also Atlantic executive editor Adrienne LaFrance, and although is depressing, and anxiety-inducing, a must-read for the background knowledge.
As per this:
Not great https://t.co/1FBNTf38R3
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 5, 2022
Finally, a sad, but a seemingly normal episode of MAGA hatters, but in this case it’s Sandra Garza, the longtime partner of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after Jan. 6 of a heart attack brought on by the riot. Their story reveals the shit-weirdness of T-Rumpism.
Nutshell at Salon this morning:
In another interview ahead of the one-year anniversary of the riot and Sicknick’s death, Garza said that she and Sicknick had both supported Trump and initially had doubts about the results of the 2020 election. But she told “PBS NewsHour” that her opinion of the former president had changed after the riot, calling him a “horrible person.”
“I hold Donald Trump 100 percent responsible for what happened on Jan. 6 and all of the people that have enabled him, enabled him that day, and continue to enable him now,” said Garza, who was with Sicknick for 11 years.
“Personally, for me, I think he needs to be in prison,” she added. “That is what I think.”
The House committee investigating the riot recently released evidence that Trump continued to watch the attack unfold on television even as various of his allies pleaded for him to intervene.
“He stood by for hours and watched what was going on at the Capitol during this insurrection, watching everything unfold like it was an action movie,” Garza said in an interview with MSNBC, arguing that Trump “instigated this entire event.”
Garza also discussed her late partner’s support for Trump, telling CBS News that Sicknick even had a photo of Trump’s personal plane as his background image on Twitter.
She said she now believes his opinion would have changed had he survived, adding that Trump still has not contacted her about her partner’s death nearly one year later.
“I think, sadly, Brian did not live long enough to see the evidence that has come forth to show what kind of man Donald Trump really is,” she told PBS.
“I think Brian would be horrified. I think he would have viewed Donald Trump in a very different light.”
Why in the living shit couldn’t she and Sicknick see T-Rump in reality before? WTF!
Dangerous morons, sad and terrible, but still dangerous:
Once again. here we are…
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Seated Pierrot,’ found here).