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Government to Stop Sending Stimulus Checks on Friday

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The federal government will stop issuing the second round of coronavirus stimulus checks this week — but there’s recourse for those who haven’t gotten paid yet.

The government began sending out paper checks and prepaid debit cards and issuing direct deposits earlier this month, but legislation passed late last year mandated that the IRS and the Treasury Department make all of the payments by Friday, WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reported.

To meet the requirements of the legislation, the IRS said on its website that it was working diligently to get payments out to as many eligible households as possible even as they prepare for the 2021 filing season.

But those who are eligible but don’t receive a payment by the cutoff date aren’t out of luck — they can claim the payment as a rebate when filing taxes for 2020, the IRS said.

This is the second round of direct payments since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The first direct payment occurred in the spring in the amount of $1,200.

After months of political rancor and negotiations on Capitol Hill over the amount, the government began sending a second batch of checks, with $600 going to individuals who earn up to $75,000 and $1,200 to married couples making $150,000 or less, with an additional $600 for each eligible child.

The payments lessen by $5 for each $100 a person’s income exceeds those amounts. For instance, someone making $75,800 would receive a $560 check.

Individuals making more than $87,000 and married couples earning more than $174,000 are ineligible.

This article first appeared on Washingtoninformer.com

GOP Lawmakers: Let’s Heal, Not Impeach

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by Kevin Seraaj, J.D., M.Div, OrlandoAdvocate

“A second impeachment, only days before President Trump will leave office, is as unnecessary as it is inflammatory,” seven Republicans have said in a letter to Biden.

“We need to heal the nation,” GOP lawmakers now say to anyone who asks if they will vote for impeachment.

I find it interesting that Republican lawmakers now want to “heal the nation”– when they spent the last four years enabling the president as he brought the country to the brink of destruction. Trump’s four years of inflammatory rhetoric and extremely divisive policies were predictors of last week’s terrorist activities.

Trump cannot be given a pass, nor should the nation be asked to turn a blind eye to his role in what happened last week. Despite what Trump says, the terrorist attempt to take over the government happened at his urging– by his supporters. The nation’s capitol was attacked. The Capitol was overtaken by armed insurrectionists. People died.

If Trump is not removed by use of the 25th Amendment or he does not voluntarily resign, impeachment must be pursued– because Trump absolutely cannot be permitted to be above the law.

Different Justice

By Lucius Gantt

      Many people in our communities are expressing similar opinions about what would have happened if thousands of Black Americans stormed the United States Capitol to disrupt the Congress, murder Capitol Police officers and to steal important and or classified public documents right out of government offices.

     They are saying stuff like, “Black folk who participated in insurrection activities would have been arrested on the spot or shot dead in the Washington, D.C. streets!”

     The truth is if African Americans merely stepped toward any government building after writing internet posts about insurrection and government leaders being targeted, the Black men and women never would have made it up the steps. They would never even have been allowed to assemble with firearms, to set up hangman’s platforms and to destroy government property!

      If you don’t know, this is no unsolved mystery. Your heroes have all suggested that there are two types of justice in America, one type for Blacks and one type for whites.

      Ha Ha Ha! Excuse me but I’m laughing out loud because American justice is what the people in power want it to be and the types of justice are different, difficult and wide ranging.

     For instance, you have justice for people that are innocent until proven guilty and you have different justice for people that are innocent until proven broke.

      You have one kind of justice for wealthy families and one type of justice for poor families, and so on. 

      Stop looking at situations and events as being only Black or white.

      Equal protection under the law has always been something to be pursued but it has never ever been attained.

      In these times of white supremacy and white nationalism, African Americans will be hit hardest and hurt the most by domestic terrorism. Black Americans have been bought, sold, whipped, beaten, raped, lynched and denied the Constitutional rights that every other American enjoys from the days the first Africans were unloaded off of slave ships onto American shores.

      You don’t have to believe me. You tell me, what legal rights and protections do we have to protect us from domestic terrorists that bomb churches, drag Blacks tied to pickup trucks in the streets or shoot unarmed teenagers on their way home from the corner store?

     No Constitutional rights exists that permits ANY form of racial discrimination against Black Americans by private individuals.

     Do white property owners have the right to exclude Blacks from their property but allow access to all other races and ethnic groups? Do you see where I’m coming from?

     Don’t tell me about Fourteenth Amendments and Civil Rights Acts because they are limited to governmental discriminatory activities.

     Y’all got it twisted. The judges and the courts that you run to when things go down don’t have a clue or real understanding about racism, or racism’s influence on the thoughts, conduct and decisions made in America’s judicial systems.

     Oh well, all of what I’ve written about has been said before by me and others. Book after book has been written about race and justice and those publications are in your library and can be found by search. They are not on Facebook and Twitter posts.

     My advice to you is to try and stay out of trouble, “good trouble” or bad trouble. You will not get equal treatment in a court of law. You won’t even get equal treatment by a Democratic or Republican controlled federal government.

     Devils and beasts can try insurrections and storm the Congress but you cannot!

COVID Conspiracy Theories Abound

by Kevin Seraaj, J.D., M.Div., OrlandoAdvocate

Americans are dying at an alarming rate. With COVID-19 deaths in America rapidly approaching 380,000, one would think that the numbers are sobering enough for everyone in the country to embrace the need to keep the number of infections down, since statistically speaking, the greater the number of people infected, the greater the number of people who die.

Wearing a mask, washing one’s hands, and staying 6 feet away from other people are not too much to ask given the current situation. But many people still refuse to embrace the need for these social protocols. Many refuse to wear face masks unless required to do so to enter a business establishment. Why?

Conspiracy theories abound, and there are those who still say the coronavirus threat is a hoax, and that the reported deaths are both over reported and contrived by “the government”– notions fueled at least in part by dubious news reporting.

One media outlet reported as late as October 12 of this year that “[a] Centers for Disease Control report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them.” 

We read the report. If true, we needed to make sure our readers were also made aware. However, after reading through the report, we did not see this “finding.” It became clear that the statement “masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19” was a whole lot more conclusion than fact.

For example, the article says the study “found that when they compared 154 ‘case-patients,’ who tested positive for COVID-19, to a control group of 160 participants from health care facilities who were symptomatic but tested negative, over 70 percent of the case-patients were contaminated with the virus and fell ill despite ‘always’ wearing a mask. (emphasis added)”  

First, nowhere does the study say case-patients “always wore masks.” In fact, the report makes it clear that “case-patients were more likely to report dining at a restaurant or going to a bar/coffee shop than were control-participants.” It doesn’t take a leap of logic to understand that people eating in restaurants or drinking in bars are not also wearing masks.

So, despite what the news article suggests, case-patients were in fact people whose behavior made them more likely to become infected– not people who always wore masks. And this is perhaps the reason that on page 1260 of the study, the report reads:

“To help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, precautions should be implemented to stay home once exposed to someone with COVID-19,** in addition to adhering to recommendations to wash hands often, wear masks, and social distance.” (emphasis added).

Whether intentional or not this type reporting feeds the conspiracy theories that gives those who see a boogey man hiding behind every government door an excuse to see themselves as protectors of the nation and American freedom by not wearing masks and ignoring other safety protocols. In this way the millions of people who embrace such ideas potentially become spreaders of the virus.

Back in April, it seemed that everyone connected with was said to be part of some conspiratorial plan to make President Trump look bad.

Dr. Annie Bukacek added to the hysteria by posting a YouTube presentation in April explaining that COVID-19 death certificates were being manipulated by doctors, coroners and medical examiners to push governments to make “massive changes that affect our constitutional rights.”

Her views were adopted by a number of conspiracy theorists who point to her medical credentials as evidence of her objectivity and credibility. But Bukacek is anything but objective– she is staunchly opposed to even testing for the virus.

Being opposed to mandatory testing is one thing. Being opposed to mass testing is another. Should not all doctors be in favor of testing for the possible presence of a contagious disease? Mass testing, as opposed to mandatory testing, is elective, so why would a doctor oppose providing all Americans the right– and the mechanism– to be tested? I wonder if she is also opposed to testing for HIV/AIDS?

I asked a conspiracy theorist if he believed the healthcare industry was involved in a plot to intentionally kill Covid-positive patients? He said yes. The reason? To inflate the numbers of deaths for the purpose of scaring people into taking “the Operation Warp Speed vaccine.” Why would anyone do that, I asked? Because, he said, the vaccine contains a non-human genome that will help reduce the earth’s population and turn survivors into a sub-human slave race based on economic status.

How could he possibly know this, I asked? It’s on the internet, he responded. Example of the claims can be seen here and here and here.

Most of these genetically modifying vaccine claims come from a YouTube video of Dr Andrew Kaufman, a “natural healing consultant,” in an interview with Spiro Skouras, an “independent researcher” with a popular YouTube channel. The video has since been deleted, but conspiracy theorists still spout its content. 

The problem with “research” on the internet is that there is no pre-publishing fact-checking; no editorial bodies to review and correct inaccuracies. Anyone can post anything they like and call it “scientific.” It then becomes the burden of the truly qualified to set the records straight.

It is one thing to distrust the U.S. government’s Covid death statistics, but to suggest that the entire world is lying about Covid-related deaths taking place in other nations, seems laughingly farfetched. But then a conspiracy is a conspiracy is a conspiracy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), despite the claims of CTs, vaccines don’t work in the way they would have to in order to modify DNA. And Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science group, told Reuters that no vaccine can genetically modify human DNA.

“That’s just a myth, one often spread intentionally by anti-vaccination activists to deliberately generate confusion and mistrust,” he said. “Genetic modification would involve the deliberate insertion of foreign DNA into the nucleus of a human cell, and vaccines simply don’t do that.”

Injecting foreign DNA into the nucleus of a human cell is a lot more involved– and complicated– procedure than simply giving someone an innoculation.

The truth of the matter is that DNA vaccines inject part of the virus’ DNA/RNA into tissue to do what all vaccines do: stimulate an immune response in the body.

Despite this scientific explanation, however, conspiracy theorists say the COVID-19 vaccine contains nano-bots– microscopic robots– capable of taking the DNA vaccine into the cell nucleus and making genetic modification possible.

I was told to look at the list of ingredients being used. That, my conspiracy theory friend told me, proves Big Pharma (and President Trump since he commissioned the Operation Warp Speed vaccine) are up to no good. Quoting some obscure twitter post, he mentioned hydrogel, transfection, luciferase and mRNA.

The Pointer Institute researched each of these terms in turn and their applicability to Covid vaccines. Read the fact-checking article here. Of the four items mentioned by my conspiracy theorist friend, Poynter notes that “the use of mRNA vaccines does have complications that scientists are still researching. But most importantly, it is simply not true that mRNA vaccines alter human DNA in any way.”

So who are these people who buy into and spread these conspiracy theories?

Gregg Prescott, Founder and Editor of In5D.com, says conspiracy theorists are actually “critical thinkers.”

“People, such as myself, get labeled as being part of the ‘fringe element’ when in fact, those who are most powerful have the most to lose and thus, create the ‘outrageous’ stories that they expect us to believe.”

Thinking people, Prescott argues are those who “question everything because the truth is rarely shown in our texts and by the mainstream media.”

John M. Grohol, Psy.D., in an article written for PsychCentral (the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health online resource) and medically reviewed by Scientific Advisory Board, calls it the “Conspiracy Theory Disorder.”

According to Grohol, people who have more narcissistic traits tend to believe more: “Narcissism is positively associated with paranoid thinking, as narcissists are perceiving the actions of others intentionally targeted against themselves. [… Also,] conspiracies are appealing to people who lack confidence and excess self-promotional characteristics, such as self-esteem. . . . People who don’t feel like they belong to any one group — a trait psychologists refer to as belongingness — are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories (van Prooijen, 2016).”

A great many Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible (if at all) for the killing of President John F. Kennedy, so they do not believe that people in authority do not lie. They do not, however, consider themselves conspiracy theorists.

What is clear is that convincing a conspiracy theorist/”critical thinker” that there is no conspiracy is extremely difficult. Once they’ve arrived at belief, it is difficult for a conspiracy theorist to admit the possibility he or she might be wrong, leaving the only logical thing for a conspiracy theorist to do is to try to convince other people of the conspiracy.

Florida man charged in connection with assault on US Capitol

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Central Florida man was one of those arrested Wednesday in the aftermath of theupporters breached the U.S. Capitol in what police called “criminal riotous behavior.”

Michael Curzio, of Summerfield, was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on a charge of unlawful entry.

It is not clear at this time what Curzio did while inside the Capitol, but some observers are wondering aloud when more serious federal charges will be leveled against the terrorists involved.

According to online records, Curzio served eight years in prison on a charge of attempted first-degree murder and was released in February 2019.

Other Florida residents identified thus far as having been involved in the terrorist attack include Adam Christian Johnson, of Parrish, who was photographed carrying a House lectern through the Capitol rotunda. Andrew Williams, a Sanford firefighter, who was also photographed at the assault. John Anderson, of St. Augustine, and Matthew Council, of Riverview, Florida were arrested by Capitol Police.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund on Thursday defended his department’s response to the violent breach at the Capitol, saying in a statement that officers “acted valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions.”

To that point Chief Sund is absolutely correct, but there remains the issue of disparate treatment.

When Black Lives Matter protesters came to Washington, DC, the police presence that greeted them was massive. But in the case of pro-Trump rioters, Federal officials responsible for protecting Capitol Hill seemed to give the terrorists free reign. Sund– or someone else in the chain of command– refused the offers of both the FBI and the National Guard to assist. The governor of Maryland spent 90 minutes trying to get approval to send in the Maryland National Guard. (DC’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, has no authority to send DC police onto federal property without authorization. Her request to the Secretary of the Army to send troops went ignored.)

Sund said rioters “actively attacked” Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers with metal pipes. Fifty or more officers were injured. During the assault rioters can be seen passing a heavy ladder up a human chain. The ladder appears to be too heavy to have been carried to the Capitol by one person. Once inside, the rioters could be seen discharging chemical sprays they had brought with them to the assault– all of this being further evidence that the terrorists had a common plan to do more than protest peacefully once they arrived.

Sund agrees:

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake, these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”

Sund did not address the taking of selfies with the terrorists by at least one of those officers.

Five people died during the terrorist assault, including a member of the Capitol Police.

Democratic Reps pushing for Trump Ouster– Impeachment or Unfitness

Lawmakers attempting to hide from rioters who broke into the Capitol Building yesterday. Some of the insurrectionists were armed. The FBI seized at least two packages left by rioters that were believed to be explosives.

Orlando, Fla. — More than a dozen members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, including Florida congressman Ted Deutch, will announce articles of impeachment for President Trump.

A letter was sent to Vice President Mike Pence signed by 19 House committee members.

“The world watched aghast as as insurrectionists, who had been egged on by the President, threated the safety of elected officials and staff and destroyed public property as they stormed and occupied both the House and Senate chambers bringing our democracy to a halt,” the letter reads.

In addition, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun floating the idea of asking VP Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment– a procedure by which 2/3 of the Cabinet determines the president to be unfit to lead. Trump’s Cabinet, however, is jumping ship, as letters of resignation have begun pouring in. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was the first to resign, followed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Other resignations will likely follow.

With only 12 days left before Joe Biden is sworn in, the likelihood of an impeachment proceeding– if started– going through to completion is probably nil. But until Trump is actually out of office, his seemingly unstable frame of mind leaves the entire nation vulnerable. He is still Commander-in-chief of the Armed Services and the man with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. Sobering thoughts.

Meanwhile, we have learned that the terrorists who took over the Capitol building left weapons behind, including two pipe bombs described as “ready to go.” Over 50 police officers were wounded during the terrorist attack, and one– 42-year-old Brian Sicknick– was killed.

We applaud his effort to defend the capitol from the insurrectionists, and we extend sincere condolences to his family in this dark time.

Pro-Trump Protesters Storm U.S. Capitol, Clash with Police

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WASHINGTON INFORMER — Carrying Trump banners and American flags and chanting “Stop the Steal,” the protesters blasted their way into the hallowed halls, breaking windows and shoving Capitol police aside as they sought to push the mob back by unleashing pepper spray.

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Building Locked Down as Lawmakers Flee Chambers; D.C. Mayor Orders Curfew

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Thousands of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Electoral College vote.

Carrying Trump banners and American flags and chanting “Stop the Steal,” the protesters blasted their way into the hallowed halls, breaking windows and shoving Capitol police aside as they sought to push the mob back by unleashing pepper spray.

The protesters responded with force, successfully breached the building at several locations.

Once the protesters were inside, security hustled Pence away and members of Congress barricaded themselves in various offices.

Gunshots also rang out in the hallway near the chambers and more windows were shattered throughout the building. An unidentified woman inside was shot in the neck and later died.

The National Guard joined the Secret Service, FBI, Capitol Police and D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department at the scene.

Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, ordering all but essential workers off the streets.

Nearby agencies from Virginia and Maryland were also called to assist in quelling the melee.

Del. Jazz Lewis, senior adviser to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), worked from home Wednesday and didn’t have to travel to the District.

“Unfortunately, my colleagues are all barricaded in the office … for their safety,” said Lewis, who represents Prince George’s County’s 24th District. “I am texting back and forth with them to make sure they are fine. They are good. They are shaking up and scared. No one could have anticipated something like this.”

Lewis said late Reps. John Lewis and Elijah Cummings “would be crying right now. This is absolutely ridiculous.”

Although Lewis supports law enforcement in protecting the city and Capitol building, he said the protests by Trump’s supporters reflect a double standard in America.

“I do believe if this was Black Lives Matter, then people would have been harmed. It’s not fair,” he said. “We need to start taking these groups [like] The Proud Boys and these white supremacist groups and treating them like domestic terrorists. You have no idea how they could escalate a situation.”

Meanwhile, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan posted a notice on Twitter and ordered the state police to assist the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Park Police to help with crowd control.

“All Americans should be outraged by this attack on our nation’s Capitol,” Hogan said. “This is a heinous and violent assault on the heart of our democracy. I will not stand for this and neither should any American.”

Prince George’s County police also sent officers on standby to assist D.C. police, said media relations officer Antonia Washington.

“If activated by MPD, we will aid in securing the area for which we were called to assist,” she said.

The protesters were heard frequently chanting, “We took the Capitol.”

Photos and videos of the surreal takeover flooded the internet. A bloodied and critically injured woman was wheeled out of the building, SWAT officers with automatic weapons traversed the halls and authorities reportedly discovered a bomb.

While Trump continued to tweet, President-elect Joe Biden took to television and addressed the nation, condemning the violence and urging Trump to “act like a man.”

“At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said, adding that what unfolded was, “an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.”

The Democrat added that the uprising was tantamount to sedition.

“The scenes of chaos at the capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are,” Biden demanded.

“I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward,” Biden said. “At their best, the words of a president can inspire; at their worst, they can incite.”

He then called on Trump to “go on national television now” to “demand an end to this siege.”

The president later released a video asking protesters to go home, but still tossed gasoline into the fire.

“I know how you feel, the election was stolen,” Trump said in the video.

His predecessor, Barack Obama, condemned the unrest and excoriated Trump and the Congress members who perpetuated the claims of election fraud.

“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” Obama said in an issued stated. “But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.

“Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy,” he said. “They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America.”

The later it became, the more protesters appeared to arrive.

One estimate placed the crowd at about 10,000, while others estimated anywhere between 5,000 and 20,000.

Even after police convinced some of the Trump loyalists to leave the Capitol, a large remnant of the crowd remained hours after the rally, prompting leaders from both sides of the aisle to describe the rioting as an unprecedented attack against American democracy.

“Today’s violence will never change the results of the presidential election, lead to a second term for President Donald Trump, or interfere with the transfer of power to the Biden administration,” officials at the National Task Force on Election Crises wrote in a statement late Wednesday.

“Protest is a fundamental right, violence and mob activity is not — particularly when the goal is to hinder the working of our democratic institutions.”

The situation unfolded during what historically had been a peaceful transfer of power in which the Electoral College votes are certified in a joint session of Congress.

However, just before the joint session, Trump led a rally nearby speaking for well over an hour. At its conclusion, he urged his supporters to express their discontent at the Capitol.

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, called for “a trial by combat” against lawmakers who were certifying the Electoral College votes.

“I could never have imagined a day like this,” said Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama and one-time mayor of Chicago.

“Never could you have imagined seeing the security of the U.S. Congress not only being breached but the lives of members of Congress being threatened like this,” Emanuel remarked during a live interview on ABC News.

After watching African Americans protest the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and scores of others, many Black communities called law enforcement’s initial response tepid at best.

“So, imagine Black folk was in this mix,” Public Enemy frontman Chuck D remarked.

The “Don’t Believe the Hype” superstar then posted a video of the Capitol’s unrest.

He questioned: “Would they drop a bomb on ’em like Wilson Goode did?”

“As a part of both Million Man Marches in D.C., we aired differences to the world knowing that we were watched,” Chuck D continued.

“A brother didn’t even take a piss on a tree. Yet, all the Nation of Islam and Minister Louis Farrakhan have gotten was grief and misinformation from many factions here in the U.S.A.,” he said.

Tracy Fredericks, one of Chuck’s followers, noted: “We [Black people] would never have made it inside the Capitol Building.”

Morgan Cherry, a District-based political activist, agreed.

“These Trump supporters, who are about 99.9 percent white, have gone where no Black demonstrators could have gone – and ambushed the Capitol Building,” Cherry said.

Dr. Ebony Hilton, a prolific physician at the University of Virginia, asked why there had been no arrests.

“Where are the handcuffs? Where are the arrests? Where is the tear gas?” Dr. Hilton demanded. “Did we use up all of the rubber bullets at the peaceful Black Lives Matter rallies because our Capitol Building is under siege? When are law and order going to show up?”

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) called on officials to bring in the National Guard to secure the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eventually did just that.

“I’ve never seen anyone be able to breach the Capitol like this,” Bass said. “The president of the United States incited this riot and someone needs to go over to Pennsylvania Avenue and arrest him.”

Staff writers William J. Ford and Dorothy Rowley contributed to this story.

Domestic Terrorism in DC: Attempted Coup Averted

After a two-hour wind-up by President Donald J. Trump Wednesday, thousands of Trump followers, including Proud Boys and QAnon sycophants, marched to Capitol Hill and stormed the Capitol building while lawmakers were debating whether or not to certify Electoral College results.

Capitol Police were easily overwhelmed by the huge crowd that broke into and surged though the one of the nation’s most revered buildings breaking window, kicking down doors, and destroying property. Members of Congress were wisked away to their offices when by Capitol Police when it became apparent rioters could not be held back. They described the scene as chaotic and frightening.

Rioters forced their way into the Senate Chamber where one of them sat down in Vice President Pence’s chair and took a few selfies. For them it was a jubilant and triumphant time. For the rest of the nation it was terrorism on display. At some point during the scuffle with Capitol Police one woman was shot. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died.

In the history of America there has only one other time when such an attack took place, and that was during the War of 1812. The instigator at that time was King George of England. The instigator this time was King Donald of Trump land.

Millions of Americans watched as the assault on the Capitol unfolded with a curiously tempered response by federal authorities. This attempted attempted coup, ordered by a President unwilling to give up control of the government after a clear loss, received demonstrably less push-back by law enforcement officials than any protest in recent memory that did not have Trump’s support.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC sent officers to attempt to restore order, but the Capitol Building, like the White House, is a federal property, on federal land, under federal jurisdiction, and supposedly protected by federal law. But when the coup is being carried out by armed insurrectionists acting at the behest of the commander-in-chief, who else has the authority to call federal forces into play?

Vice President Mike Pence– who does NOT have the authority– finally decided after consulting with other members of Congress that enough was enough and called in the National Guard.

Many unanswered questions remain, like why more law enforcement personnel were not mobilized between the time Trump sent his minions to disrupt the vote on certifying the electoral college results and the time rioters arrived at the Capitol steps. More importantly, though is the President’s inciting his followers to commit federal crimes: breaking and entering federal property, destruction of federal property, entering into a federal building with weapons, and the worst of all, engaging in a federal crime that results in death. The only thing worse than this traitorous behavior would be failing to prosecute all those who took part. And the president should not be immune.

Since Trump will not be prosecuted for inciting the people to riot– “presidential immunity” and all– he should at the very least be forced to resign. Immediately. And failing his resignation, the 25th Aendment should be invoked to have him removed from office. Immediately.

Enemies of the state are not entitled to favored treatment of any kind. Prosecute everyone who can be identified through the footage shot by news cameras and individual cell phones, just as any terrorist would be prosecuted under federal law.

Operation Warp Speed – Florida. Not even close.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is leading a last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to delay the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College by Congress, urging an Electoral Commission to examine evidence of potential election fraud in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.

In a joint statement issued on Jan. 2, Senators Cruz, Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) all say there has not been a sufficient investigation of widespread allegations of election fraud.

Per the statement, “The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities. Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”

Without an adequate investigation, tens of millions Americans believe the election was stolen in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden, with the Senators pointing to polling showing 39 percent of Americans the election was “rigged: “And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).”

Meaning, the American people lack confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election, undermining the consent of the governed and the peaceful transfer of power — something Congress can remedy, by appointing a commission to investigate before Jan. 20, the date for presidential inauguration.

Orange County Health Services Extends Free Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing

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Testing at Barnett Park through January 30, 2021

If you or anyone you know is interested in being tested for Covid-19, Orange County Government’s Health Services will continue to offer its FREE drive-thru COVID- 19 testing at Barnett Park through January 30, 2021. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week. Both rapid and PCR/molecular tests are offered.

 The site will be closed on New Year’s Day on January 1, 2021.

Demand for testing is high. As a result, entrance to the site may have to close prior to 5 p.m. in order to accommodate all cars in line by closing time. To ensure you are seen before closing, plan to be in the vehicle waiting line before noon. Family members being tested are asked not to drive separate vehicles. Being in the same vehicle will help speed up the testing process for all persons wishing to be seen.

All Orange County residents ages 12 and up can be tested. For more information, visit ocfl.net/Testing and click on #1 on the map.

TESTING:           

  • No appointments necessary
  • No symptoms and/or criteria is necessary for testing.
  • Upon completion of testing individuals will receive a free packet of facemasks and hand sanitizer.
  • Rapid test results are emailed/texted in less than an hour and PCR/molecular test results take about 48 hours.
  • Para información en español or otro odioma, por favor llame al 407-836-3111.