For a year now, the Democrats have skillfully milked the events leading up to and on January 6 last year for political gain. Just in case people are not yet disgusted with the drip-drip-drip of January 6 news, there is a lot more to come.
The Never-Trumpers are planning a year-long campaign starting this week. Speaker Pelosi wants to solemnly mark January 6 as "an observance of reflection, remembrance, and recommitment." President Biden and VP Kamala Harris will both speak on the Capitol steps.
The Democrats intend to establish and preserve the January 6 narrative by holding an "early evening prayer vigil," reminiscent of 9-11 commemorative events. The J6 committee will remain in the spotlight as it cajoles the DOJ to criminally go after top Trump aides, perhaps, even Trump himself. Adam Schiff plans public hearings that his media partners will carry with gavel-to-gavel coverage. And for added convenience, the Democrats want to release a final report just before the November midterms.
But those in Washington and its bubbles forget that the average American is not persuaded that the Republicans are such evil monsters who want to destroy our system of government. How do we know this? Virginia, the northern suburbs of which are intertwined with Washington DC culture like no other state, elected a Republican newcomer to the governor's mansion. One of the bluest states, New Jersey, almost elected a Republican political novice governor and dethroned a veteran Democrat power broker in the state senate.
Any investigation of the January 6 events requires a thorough examination of the political context of what occurred since 2015. The Democrats and the media will not touch this with a ten-foot pole, afraid of what such an exercise may uncover. So, let us do what they will never do.
The list of Trump's detractors began forming within a few months after his famous trip down an escalator in 2015 to announce that he would be a Republican nominee for president. The mainstream media, the Democrat party, Hollywood, comedians, the majority of the federal civilian workforce, academics, hundreds of organizations affiliated with liberal causes, Big Tech, future Never-Trumpers, lobbyists, and corporations that thrive on peddling influence in Washington were all vehemently opposed to Trump.
For anyone running for office, such near-unanimous hostility would have caused them to drop out immediately. But to Trump, the more defiant the "swamp's" objections, the better it was. An unconventional candidate that the world will probably never see again, Trump persevered, holding that only he, as a true Washington outsider and consummate businessman, could "drain the swamp" and return America to its once-great years.
It was a simple and powerful message. Trump defeated 18 Republican opponents on his way to the nomination. The Resistance had badly missed reading the public's mood. Every political polling organization except TIPP (and one other) predicted a Clinton landslide. But on Election Day, 63 million Americans chose Trump over Clinton, despite the non-stop negative drumbeat coverage that he was no different from Hitler.
TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome, set in among Resistance members with vicious zeal. Colleges created private spaces for students to mingle and mourn. The official Washington machine got into full gear, vowing to weaken Trump using the levers of government power that it knows best. The Washington Post published a story, "The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun," on the day Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017. Adam Schiff pushed the Russia collusion hoax for two years. Then, he led the House's first Trump impeachment on a phone call.
During his years in office, the media ignored hundreds of good Trump stories - tax cuts, the economy, illegal immigration coming to a virtual halt, lower regulation, no new wars, the elimination of ISIS, the Abraham accords between Israel and Arab nations, the establishment of the Space Force, and a booming stock market. The media created a caricature of Trump that was so evil that most people declined to mention his name in polite company. Trump was shaken but not stirred.
In the 2020 primaries, the Democrats were in complete disarray. VP Kamala Harris dropped out of the nominating contest before a single vote was cast. Joe Biden lost the first three nominating states. The Resistance was dejectedly resigned to another Trump victory. Until, of course, Covid hit in March 2020.
The Resistance immediately saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rid of Trump. As Covid -related deaths rose, they held him responsible, forcing a prolonged shutdown and hoping that an economic slowdown would doom his re-election chances. The Resistance began an anti-vax movement suggesting that Trump's vaccines would not be safe. Yet, today, the Biden Administration's only solution to Covid is to deploy vaccines developed during the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, the Left cleverly engineered numerous last-minute changes to election processes under the excuse that it would be unsafe for people to go to polling booths during a pandemic. Trump repeatedly warned that such methods would be unverifiable and lead to "a disaster."
The more he complained about election integrity, the more the Deep State got energized, pushing in accommodations that would be unthinkable in earlier years. Simultaneously, the press fawned over Biden, ignoring his negative stories and making him out to be a wise statesman who will save America's soul.
TDS sufferers confidently expected Trump to lose by 10 points and political pollsters, except TIPP, confirmed this margin. But on Election Day, Trump did extraordinarily well for someone so vilified. He won 11 million more votes than his 2016 count, for a total of 74 million. No American president in 180 years had failed to win re-election if he won more votes than the first election. In 2012, Obama handsomely won re-election, although he earned 4 million fewer votes than his 2008 total. National Public Radio, probably the most-liberal media outlet, analyzed how close it was: "Just 44,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin separated Biden and Trump from a tie in the Electoral College."
Trump was justified in believing that the election was fraudulent. Whether or not fraud was involved, we will never know. Nearly every court that dismissed Trump's post-election challenges relied on technical grounds but never examined several vital questions: Did out-of-state residents or illegal immigrants vote? Were signatures on mail-in ballots checked with signatures on voter-registration rolls? Were ballots that arrived at counting centers late checked to see if votes were cast before Election Day? Why were so few absentee ballots rejected despite the massive expansion of mail voting? Each of these questions should have been in the scope of the J6 inquiry. But it is not.
On January 6, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters went to Washington D.C. to protest Congress certifying Biden as the president-elect. Trump encouraged them to march but asked them to do so peacefully. A small minority stormed the Capitol, and the tragic, ensuing violence killed five people*, including a police officer.
As a matter of academic record, Trump did not urge the mob to storm Capitol Hill. Here's a transcript of the entire speech. The words "violence" or "attack" or even "act" or "action" don't appear in the text at all. The word Capitol appears four times. In one, he says, "We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."
Besides, an FBI report said that the attack had been planned two days before Trump's speech, neutralizing arguments that Trump incited the mob. And for those who charge that Trump "subtly" incited the rioters, the law is on his side. In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court held that the government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
But, the House impeached him a second time, charging that he incited the insurrection. The Senate voted not to convict him, mindful that the Constitution stipulates that only sitting presidents can be removed from office, not private citizens who have already left office.
The Left wanted to ensure that the broad and deep purge of 75 million voices of Trump supporters was complete. Today, anyone caught wearing a MAGA hat will likely be canceled. Twitter has already imposed a lifetime ban on Trump from reaching his 89 million followers, as have Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
But all of these efforts have not helped the Democrats much. Recent polls show that voters would pick Trump over Biden if the 2024 election were held today. The Democrats are in a hurry to reverse this trend, using the J6 panel to do the heavy lifting. Because, unless something dramatic happens, the Democrats will likely lose both the House and the Senate in the upcoming November midterms.
(*) Correction, 1/6/21: A small minority stormed the Capitol resulting in five deaths. One protester died when a police officer shot her. One died of an amphetamine overdose during the riot. Three others died of natural causes.
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Local media reports that Russia will host talks with Ukraine, Germany, and France this week amid concerns over the buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border.
Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of the Russian presidential administration, will host the talks, the first to occur under the Normandy format since 2019.
The Normandy format received its name after representatives of all four nations, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France, met in Normandy, France on July 6 2014, for the first time following the eruption of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will travel to Washington this Wednesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They will discuss the conflict between Russian and Ukraine, among other topics of trans-Atlantic interest.
Raisi demands Trump be 'prosecuted and killed.'
Yemen's Houthi rebels seized a ship in the Red Sea, armed drones targeted Baghdad's international airport, and hackers hit a major Israeli newspaper on Monday — a string of assaults that showed the reach of Iran-allied militias on the anniversary of America's killing of a top Iranian general.
All three coincided with a massive memorial in Tehran for General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2020 in Iraq.
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi demanded former U.S. President Donald Trump be "prosecuted and killed." "
"Saudi state television alleged the Houthis transferred the weapons onto the ship.
Meanwhile, two armed drones were shot down at the Baghdad airport on Monday, a U.S.-led coalition official said.
The world's five leading nuclear powers -- all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- have issued a pledge to stop the spread of atomic weapons and do all they can to ensure a nuclear war never occurs.
In a rare joint statement issued on January 3, France, the United States, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom said they were determined to prevent nuclear war and avoid a nuclear arms race.
"We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged," the statement said.
Meanwhile, the rise of China under President Xi Jinping has also raised concerns that tensions with Washington could lead to conflict, notably over Taiwan.
The NPT recognizes China, France, Russia, the U.K., and United States as nuclear weapons powers.
Ticket sales are yet to be announced, as China faces a rise in cases
With just one month until the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the resurgence of coronavirus infections in China threatens the country's ability to allow fans at the games while maintaining a goal of "zero COVID."Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed that the country is fully "prepared" for the Olympics, but Beijing has yet to disclose how many spectators will be allowed if any.
The games, slated to kick off February 4, will feature 109 events, the most for a Winter Olympics, with about 2,900 athletes taking part.
The Paralympics will be held March 4-13 with roughly 600 athletes.
"The organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee said that spectators will be limited to those living in China in late September.
But details such as the number of attendees, how the tickets will be sold, and the conditions for entry, such as vaccination, have yet to be announced.
Hong Kong online news portal Citizen News will cease operations on Tuesday making it the latest pro-democracy media outlet to fold as Beijing continues its efforts to crack down on dissent in the former British colony.
In an online statement Sunday, Citizen News said that its closure after five years in operation is to ensure the safety and well-being of its staff amid a "deteriorating media environment."
In official news reports, the announcement was presented on social media as a major victory for Chinese women.
As revised, the law would offer the most comprehensive legal definition of sexual harassment, including behaviors such as sending unwanted sexually explicit images or pressuring someone into a relationship in exchange for benefits.
Some provisions would go beyond those in other countries. In particular, the draft bans the use of "superstition" or other "emotional control" against women. While the draft does not offer further details, state media reports have said those bans cover pickup artistry.
Feng Yuan, the founder of Equality, a Beijing-based advocacy group, welcomed the move for its potential to impose "moral responsibility and pressure" on institutions. But she noted that the draft does not specify clear punishments for the violations it outlines.
World's most indebted developer gives no reason for suspension
Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer, is struggling to repay more than $300 billion in liabilities, including nearly $20 billion of international market bonds that were deemed to be in cross-default by rating firms last month after it missed payments.
The property developer missed new coupon payments worth $255 million due last Tuesday, though both have a 30-day grace period.
Local media reported over the weekend a city government in the Chinese resort island of Hainan had ordered Evergrande on December 30 to demolish its 39 residential buildings within ten days due to illegal construction.
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