News & Politics

'Verbally violent' Trump supporters have been swarming Palm Beach — and locals are worried

Former President Donald Trump has taken up residence in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and it's become something of a Mecca for his supporters.

Palm Beach County Democratic Party Secretary Sophia Nelson tells TMZ that she's worried about the effect that Trump will have on local politics.

"Nelson says she and others have already seen changes in town, especially near Trump properties, where upwards of 100 supporters have been gathering daily to show their love since Trump's arrival last week," reports TMZ. "She calls them 'verbally violent.'"

Nelson also worries that Trump-loving radicals will feel emboldened to challenge local elected Republicans in primary fights, which will make governing much more difficult than it has traditionally been.

Just one week after his departure from the White House, there are already signs that residents of Palm Beach County are tired of his presence. Residents at the condominium complex formerly known as Trump Plaza, for instance, openly celebrated after the condo board unanimously voted to change its name.

Former White House chief of staff waves off Capitol riot with ridiculous argument

The former White House Chief of Staff for the Trump administration is now speaking out to dismiss the severity of the U.S. Capitol riots.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Mark Meadows made an appearance on "Fox & Friends" where he offered a partisan perspective on the Biden administration's first full week in the White House, scrutinizing President Joe Biden's executive orders that canceled out many of former President Donald Trump's most controversial actions.

Mark Meadows: Biden putting 'America last' with executive orders www.youtube.com

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade also asked Meadows for his take on Trump's "Save America" rally, which occurred shortly before an angry mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to hinder the Electoral College certification. Since the rally influenced the U.S. Capitol riot and subsequently led to Trump's second impeachment and the impending Senate trial, Kilmeade asked, "In retrospect, was that rally on January 6th … a good idea?"

Meadows began, "When we start looking at the rally, Brian, we are focused more on that than we are really we need to be focused on today. When we start to look at America, it needs to be about what is important to people on Main Street."

Referencing the Senate vote on Tuesday, Jan. 26, former Chief of Staff suggested that the impeachment trial is "unconstitutional" as he insisted government officials should focus on "what is important to the American people."

"There was a vote yesterday in the Senate that suggested that 45 senators said that it was unconstitutional," Meadows noted. "Let's get on and be focused on what is important to the American people."

Shortly after the segment aired, Meadows was met with backlash on social media from users who argue that the circumstances surrounding the impeachment trial have long-term importance in regard to what should be prioritized for the future of the American people.

Trump's attempted coup has contributed greatly to the fragility of America's democracy, and it could be further jeopardized in the long term if lawmakers simply ignore Trump's actions simply because he is no longer in office. Despite Meadows' arguments, many Twitter users argue that accountability is important to the American people.

Oklahoma attorney general fighting to return $2 million stockpile of Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine

The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office is now seeking to return its $2 million stockpile of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug former President Donald Trump touted as an effective form of treatment for COVID-19.

According to The Frontier, back in April, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) ordered the purchase of 1.2 million hydroxychloroquine pills—equivalent to approximately 100,000 doses—from the California-based, private pharmaceutical wholesale company, FFF Enterprises. On Monday, Jan. 25, Alex Gerszewski, a spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter (R), confirmed the office is in negotiations with Oklahoma State Department of Health "to try to figure out a solution," the publication reports.

At the time, the purchase was criticized due to the limited amount of information regarding the effectiveness of the drug as a COVID-19 treatment. However, the state argued that because the drug could be used to treat a multitude of conditions, "that money will not have gone to waste in any respect."

Now, it appears the state is looking to renege on that stance.

With very little evidence to determine whether or not the drug was effective to treat COVID-19, Trump described it as a drug that had "a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine," according to Forbes.

The former president also took to Twitter on multiple occasions in an effort to strong-arm the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into fast-tracking the drug for emergency use despite public health experts warning against doing so. Multiple studies also deemed the drug ineffective for treating COVID-19.

At the time, Dr. Anthony Fauci also pushed back against Trump's claims. During an appearance on "Good Morning America," Fauci told ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "The overwhelming, prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease."

Arizona GOP lawmakers who traveled to DC before Capitol riot refuse to release cell phone records

Two Arizona Republican lawmakers who traveled to Washington, D.C. ahead of former President Donald Trump's "Save America" rally and subsequent riot at the U.S. Capitol are now refusing to release their phone records.

Under the state's public records law, the Arizona Republic requested for the state's House of Representatives to provide any correspondence between Rep. Mark Finchem, (R-Oro Valley), and then-Rep. Anthony Kern, (R-Glendale). However, the private attorney for Finchem and Kern both pushed back against the demand arguing that any phone records on their "personal devices" cannot be categorized as public records, according to Arizona Central.

The attorney's letter also acknowledged the FBI investigation into the U.S. Capitol siege as it argued that even if the two lawmakers did opt to release their records under the public records law, "the threat of criminal prosecution gives rise to certain Constitutional rights that may overcome the duty to disclose otherwise public documents under Arizona's public records law."

Arizona courts have, in the past, ruled otherwise. Although the devices are categorized as "personal," the courts "have ruled that records on a public official's private device can be considered a public record if those records relate to public business and the phone was used for a public purpose," Arizona Central reports.

In fact, House staff issued a warning to lawmakers urging them to be cautious when conducting official business on personal devices as it would lead to records on their personal devices possibly being made public. They were also informed that they would have to disclose the information if requested to.

Constitutional law expert Dan Barr argued that the device type is an irrelevant factor. Despite the Republican lawmakers' arguments, Barr noted that the nature of the communication and capacity are the key points attorneys can argue.

Barr noted, "Look at the nature of the communication. Are you acting in an official capacity?"

So, what was their purpose for traveling to Washington, D.C.? Finchem and Kern expressed support for a "joint resolution" to invalidate Arizona's general election results. Their trip to D.C. appears to have been related to their previous efforts to overturn the election.

In fact, Fincham claims he had a letter to deliver to former Vice President Mike Pence and reportedly had plans to speak at one of the rallies leading up to the Capitol riots.

He also shared a social media post that read, "What happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud."

While Fincham claims to have left the area before violence erupted, a photo of Kern appears to show him standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol the day it was stormed by the angry mob. Kern also argues that by Jan. 6, he had already "completed his active service as a public official at the time of the riots." The lawmaker had run for office again but lost his bid for re-election.

Listen: MyPillow CEO claims Twitter was 'running' his account after suspending him in off-the-rails interview

Mike Lindell, the pro-Trump founder and CEO of My Pillow who falsely claims Trump won re-election got permanently booted off Twitter Tuesday night for spreading lies about the election, but in an off-the-rails interview on WABC radio Wednesday Lindell claimed that Twitter was "running" his account days earlier, the first time he was suspended.

"Well I've been fighting Jack Dorsey and Twitter and Facebook and you wouldn't believe that about two weeks ago, or three weeks ago when I, when they had that new evidence of the [voting] machine fraud, I put that up on Twitter," Lindell told the "Bernie & Sid" show.

(There was no voting machine fraud.)

"Now they took my Twitter down there for about seven or about 12 hours, when it came down I put it up again. And this time, I want everyone to listen to this, they took my Twitter, or they took me off of Twitter, but they left my account up there and they were running it, they, they were, they were running it, was, my friends are going, 'Mike, Are you on, are you still up on Twitter?' I go, 'yeah but I can't control it,' they were liking things and and tagging things that weren't me that's where my friends."

"They would retweet things under my name. And they would retweet things so they wouldn't type things under, but they and then I tried to take stuff down, and I got a letter from Twitter Germany, I said, or was the email, and it said, 'You are not allowed to take this down. Penal Code 601 of the Twitter code,' I said, 'what is going on?"

Less than two weeks ago the internet exploded when Lindell was photographed walking into the White House with notes that appeared to mention "martial law" and the "Insurrection Act."

Listen:


Federal prosecutors and former senior DOJ officials agree: Video evidence is damning against Trump

Online news outlet Just Security, which focuses on 'rigorous analysis of law, rights, and U.S. national security policy,' has created an intense 10-minute compilation splicing together video clips from events leading up to the Capitol insurrection alongside Donald Trump's speech to the mob before they marched to and into the Capitol.

Using videos that were created and uploaded by users of the gutter of right-wing social media dumpster Parler (before the FBI lights came on and users started to scramble), the events of Jan. 6 are becoming clearer. The original video was collected by ProPublica and made available to the public, and Just Security was able to create more context for Donald Trump's speech, using the crowd responses. Set chronologically, the video is a damning piece of evidence that could and should be used in the impeachment trial of the twice-impeached former president. It shows the crowd reacting in real-time to Donald Trump's calls to "fight" for him at the Capitol, as well as whipping the crowd into a white-hot frenzy toward his own vice president.

Just Security reporters Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix interviewed numerous "former senior Justice Department officials and former federal prosecutors" to get their takes on the video compilation and the result is a roadmap into the possible second impeachment of Donald Trump.

The video begins with footage of Donald Trump speaking to the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal crowd, highlighting his claims that "We will never give up. We will never concede. You don't concede when there is theft involved," and "We want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people."

Video of the crowd obtained from Parler shows people yelling and cheering, and responding to Trump's call to action by yelling things like "Storm the Capitol," "Invade the Capitol building," and "Take the Capitol." Calling the "left" of the United States, "ruthless," Trump continuously called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to "do what's right for the Constitution and the country."

Trump hits the war and fighting metaphor again, saying that "Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy," and how the Stop The Steal folks will now march down to the Capitol building and make themselves a herd heard. The video then pivots to the march down to the Capitol building, showing charlatan luminaries like InfoWars' Alex Jones telling the crowd to go to the "other side of the Capitol building," where he claims Trump will be.

Later, the video shows a crowd at the door of the Capitol building chanting "We want Pence," over and over again. It's not a bunch of people calling for Mike Pence to speak—that's something that's never happened in America, frankly. A man inside of the Capitol building is videotaped talking into a landline phone in the building, asking for Speaker Pelosi and Mike Pence, saying "We are coming for you, bitch!"

Other video taped next to scaffolding erected at the Capitol building shows a guy speaking into a megaphone, saying he hopes Mike Pence goes to the "gallows," and that he would like to see him in front of a "firing squad." I wonder why Mike Pence didn't come out to nod paternalistically at the MAGA supporters, like he has for the past four years?

Video inside of the Capitol building hallways shows big bearded faketriots screaming at D.C. and Capitol police, telling them that "You're outnumbered. There's a million of us out there, and we are listening to Donald Trump—your boss."

The chant of "Fight for Trump" continues.

At 4:17 PM that day, after hours of inaction, Trump released his weak sauce Twitter video, once again calling the election "fraudulent," but telling his supporters to go home. This is followed by video of Mr. QAnon Narcissistic Mascot Jacob Chansley saying that Trump told them to go home and that the rioters had "won the day," because it had sent the message they would remove officials from office "one way or another" if they didn't overturn the results of the election—or whatever demands they come up with, I guess?

Finally, they cut in MAGA acolytes like Texas realtor Jenna Ryan, who chartered a private jet to go and storm the Capitol building. After first telling people she hadn't gone in the building, only to have her own footage and a lot of other footage show that she was lying, the video has a local news interview with her saying that she thought she was following Trump's instructions. She was, but that's still a crime.

Former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Elie Honig tells Just Security that "The House impeachment managers should consider rolling this tape as their final exhibit at the trial. It shows, clearly and viscerally, how President Trump's words in fact incited the insurrectionist mob — particularly when taken in combination with Trump's own tweet, after the riot, praising the mob as 'great patriots' who should 'remember this day forever.'"

Former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman disagrees with Honig on strategy, but not on how damning this all is:

From a legal standpoint, a prosecutor in a case charging Trump with seditious conspiracy would play this tape in an opening, and then say, "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the evidence will show that the insurrectionists came to Washington that day because they believed the President had called them there to do their patriotic duty; once there, the President worked them into a demented rage, telling them they had to fight like hell, and that he would be there with them at the Capitol. They went with blood in their eyes screaming 'Fight for Trump!,' threatening the lives of Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence, and proceeded to storm and lay waste to the Capitol, the sanctum of our democracy, all while President Trump viewed the bedlam with delight from his safe perch back at the White House. They were criminals and deserved to be punished; but any fair-minded person will see from this evidence and more that we will bring forward that it was the President who lit the match and threw it on the fire because he wanted – and at a minimum reasonably foresaw – that they would become an out-of-control mob."

In lieu of real evidence of fraud, the Trump administration and its surrogates—and those wanting to make some last-minute money off the MAGA crowds—promoted the idea that the entire election of Joe Biden over Donald Trump was rigged. In every form of media, at every opportunity, they told millions of Americans that not only were their suspicions of problematic votes cast, but that in fact, a coordinated effort to overthrow the "landslide" victory of Donald Trump was underway.

You can argue that the people who believe the things that Donald Trump says are being conned. They are. You can say they truly believed that their attempt to force Congress to throw out millions of American votes was just and constitutional. You can say all of those things because Donald Trump, the president of the United States, told them exactly that. Other elected officials, including senators, told them it was true.

The fact of the matter is that Trump's guilt is very easily verified. He purposely misled his supporters and then attempted to have them illegally overthrow our government. The only defense the MAGA insurrectionists being arrested right now have amounts to an insanity plea. They believed the government was out to get them and they needed to violently defend themselves because they believed they were about to be hurt by magic. It's not a worthwhile defense in most of their cases, and hopefully, they can watch from a jail cell's closed-captioned television set as their fearful leader and liar is convicted of crimes against our Constitution and the Executive office of our country.


Georgia Republican actually faces consequence from state general assembly for refusing COVID-19 test

As of the publishing of this story, Georgia has 722,062 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Georgia is passing 12,000 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19, with more than 48,498 Georgians being admitted to the hospital because of the virus. Over 8,000 people have ended up in intensive care units across the Peach State. Like most places throughout the United States, the pandemic is very much not under control. Like many places in the country, the reason for this is bad leadership combined with a federal government response that was terrible from the start. Republican operators promoting bad science and attacking public health and safety measures has also eroded the efficacy of public health departments across the country's advice.

Joe Ripley of 11 Alive News reports that Republican Rep. David Clark of Buford, Georgia, was escorted out of the state Capitol chambers Tuesday morning for refusing to take a COVID-19 test. This is a part of a set of protocols established by house leadership along with advice from the health department. Ripley, in video after being escorted out, said Clark hadn't wanted to make a big deal about everything, and then proceeded to make a big deal about everything: "I even told leadership over two weeks ago, and last night, let's not make it a big deal, can we talk about this, I'm not trying to make it an issue, I'm not trying to make it political." What exactly Clark expected his fellow human beings to do, stuck in a small space with an asshole that frequently doesn't wear a mask and refuses to take a COVID-19 test, is not clear. Republicans with piss-poor health habits have put various lawmakers health in jeopardy time and time again due to similar selfish stances.

Well, radio news anchor Rahul Bali reports that Clark just lost his office space across the street from the state Capitol. This of course, is a temporary measure, and will be remedied if Clark wants to be a big boy and "participate in safety protocols and not put other members and staff in harm's way."

Clark told reporters that his big problem was that, "I check my temperature when I come in, I go in the chambers, I wear my mask, I follow the protocols that they want in the chamber. But two tests a week is wrong, on my conscious, when teachers can't get it and first responders can't get it. We get two tests when nobody else gets the same thing out there. My grandma doesn't get two tests." The idea that Clark's test was taking away from his grandma is idiotic. If his grandma is practicing proper social distancing and public safety protections she will hopefully never need to get a COVID-19 test.

Clark seems to have been protesting a memo sent by Speaker Ralston that outlined the new health and safety protocols for the 2021 legislative session. Sidenote: there's a global pandemic going on.

During the 2021 Session, Georgia Tech will be operating a testing site for General Assembly Members and Capitol Staff. The test that Georgia Tech will be using is a saliva-based PCR test (no nasal swab required) and is intended for asymptomatic individuals only. (In the event that a Member or House staff is symptomatic, they should not report to the Capitol to be tested, but rather should seek out a test off-site. If a Member or House staff has difficulty finding a testing site with availability, they should contact the Office of the Speaker for assistance.) [...]
All Members and House staff will be required to be tested twice weekly during the 2021 Session. House staff must begin testing the week prior to session. All Members shall be tested prior the beginning of the 2021 Session at the testing location of their choosing. In the event that a Member wishes to be tested at the Capitol prior to Session beginning, they should make plans to be at the Capitol between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM on either Tuesday, January 5, or Thursday, January 7.

Speaker Ralston released a statement saying that "the member in question had been advised numerous times about the requirements and had refused to be tested at any point during this session." It's not about Clark's feelings it's "about preventing the spread of a disease that has killed more than 12,000 Georgians."

Gov. Brian Kemp was asked during a press conference today about Clark's removal from the state House, and tried to walk a circular tightrope of logic in the hopes of not offending the indefensible position of Clark. "I don't really know a whole lot about that but I know that Speaker Ralston and the House leadership has worked with their members and worked with Dr. Tumi's team to set up protocols to be able to keep this building safe during this session." He went on to say that his office also had a testing protocol and everyone should follow the "best practices," and test protocols set up. This is rich coming from a governor who has very directly helped exacerbate the pandemic in his state, for similar choices of political whimsy over good policy.

Gov. Kemp and his new tune.


Gov. Kemp responds to Georgia legislator removed from House for refusing COVID-19 test youtu.be

'You stole a Supreme Court seat': Critics slam McConnell threat to sabotage Senate if Dems target filibuster

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened Tuesday to grind the workings of the notoriously sluggish upper chamber to a complete halt if the Democratic majority attempts to scrap the legislative filibuster, a warning that was met with immediate derision given the Kentucky Republican's elimination of the 60-vote rule for Supreme Court nominees less than four years ago.

In a speech on the Senate floor just hours after he dropped his demand that Democrats commit to leaving the legislative filibuster intact as part of a must-pass organizing resolution, McConnell cautioned that "destroying the filibuster would drain comity and consent from this body to a degree that would be unparalleled in living memory."

"Taking that plunge would not be some progressive dream. It would be a nightmare. I guarantee it," added McConnell, who said Republicans could obstruct Senate business by denying a quorum, the number of senators required to be present for the chamber to operate.

As Daily Kos political director David Nir pointed out, "if Republican senators refuse to show up for a quorum call, Democrats can direct the Senate's sergeant at arms to arrest them and compel their attendance."

"That's how radical a threat withholding quorum is—you can be arrested for doing so," Nir noted.

The minority leader echoed the message of his floor speech in a tweet Tuesday evening, declaring that nuking the filibuster "would drain the consent and comity out of the institution" and leave the Senate unable to function.

Democratic lawmakers and commentators responded by pointing to McConnell's refusal to allow a vote on former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee and subsequent elimination of the judicial filibuster to confirm right-wing Justice Neil Gorsuch in April of 2017—and clear the way for later confirmation of two additional Trump high court nominees.

"You lost all credibility when you stole a Supreme Court seat," tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). "The filibuster is a Jim Crow relic. It represents everything wrong with Washington. Abolish it."

"By the way," the Minnesota Democrat added, "Senate Democrats represent 41.5 million more Americans than Mitch and his caucus. Blocking needed relief for Americans has nothing to do with 'consent and comity' and everything to do with destroying democracy."

Ari Berman of Mother Jones said it is "truly maddening to hear Mitch McConnell warn of 'nightmare' if Dems abolish filibuster when he already killed it to put three Trump justices on the Supreme Court and confirmed Amy Coney Barrett eight days before an election."


McConnell's threat to gum up the works of the Senate even more than he already has came as the chamber's new Democratic majority began taking steps to advance President Joe Biden's proposed coronavirus relief package through the special budget reconciliation process, a move made necessary by vocal Republican opposition to the new aid measure.

The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that "Democratic leaders in both chambers are tentatively planning to introduce a budget resolution on Monday that could come to a vote later in the week."

"The resolution would instruct committees to write legislation codifying Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan," the Post reported. "Under special rules governing the budget resolution, the resolution could pass the Senate with a simple majority vote, and the subsequent Covid-19 relief bill could also pass with a simple majority—even without eliminating the filibuster."

While a coronavirus relief package could clear the Senate with the filibuster intact, former Senate staffer Adam Jentleson said in an interview with The.Ink Tuesday that Democrats "will never be able to use reconciliation to pass things like civil rights, democracy reforms, statehood, gun control, or many climate change solutions" due to rules restricting the kind of legislation that can be passed through the expedited budget process—meaning the urgency of abolishing the archaic 60-vote rule remains.

"Pulling our punches now will mean that we fail to reform our democracy and get climate change under control, for starters," Jentleson said. "Then, when McConnell is back in power, he will chuckle and nuke the filibuster himself the first time it serves his interests."

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Jentleson argued that the minority leader's threat to defend the filibuster by plunging the Senate into chaos "is the worst he can come up with and it's vastly preferable to letting McConnell block Biden's agenda."

"Unintentionally," Jentleson added, "McConnell is revealing how his power relies heavily on the filibuster."

New trove of explosive and disturbing comments from QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are exposed

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has repeatedly shown support for the execution of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with FBI agents, and several prominent Democrats including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Maxine Waters, according to a lengthy examination of her Facebook account by CNN's K-File.

"In one post, from January 2019, Greene liked a comment that said 'a bullet to the head would be quicker' to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In other posts, Greene liked comments about executing FBI agents who, in her eyes, were part of the 'deep state' working against Trump," CNN's Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski report.

Greene is a freshman member of Congress who has shown support for the dangerous and debunked far right conspiracy theory known as QAnon. The New York Times calls Greene "an avowed QAnon supporter," and describes the cult as "a sprawling set of internet conspiracy theories that allege, falsely, that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring."

QAnon cultists "also believe that, in addition to molesting children, members of this group kill and eat their [child] victims in order to extract a life-extending chemical from their blood."

Greene has also "suggested Pelosi could be executed for treason," CNN notes.

"She's a traitor to our country, she's guilty of treason," Greene said in a Facebook video. "She took an oath to protect American citizens and uphold our laws. And she gives aid and comfort to our enemies who illegally invade our land. That's what treason is. And by our law representatives and senators can be kicked out and no longer serve in our government. And it's, uh, it's a crime punishable by death is what treason is. Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason."

CNN adds that Greene did not push back against a Facebook commenter who asked, "Now do we get to hang them ?? Meaning H & O ???" They were referring to President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Stage is being set," Greene responded. "Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off."

In a separate video Greene said Speaker Pelosi will "suffer death or she'll be in prison" for "treason," and suggested Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was "just as guilty of treason as Nancy Pelosi."

The word "treason" is used in the CNN report ten times.

Greene posted a strange response to CNN's report via Twitter,

Read the full report here.

How Chuck Schumer sent McConnell a 'calculated reminder' — and proved he has the upper hand

Some liberals said after the 2016 election that Nancy Pelosi was the worst person to lead the resistance to Donald Trump's authoritarian reign. Turns out, they were wrong. Pelosi was exactly the leader America needed. She handed his ass to him every time they negotiated. She led two historic impeachments against him. She held her caucus together through thick and thin. The doubters were once loud. Now, they're quiet.

The same thing can't yet be said of Chuck Schumer. I suspect liberals doubt the new Senate majority leader more than they ever did the House speaker. Monday, for instance, saw an intense debate over how to organize the Senate that rose to a feverish pitch until it broke all of a sudden. The outcome suggests Schumer is on the same trajectory as Pelosi once was. The doubters are loud, but they may soon be quieted.

The outcome of last night's stand-off suggests Schumer is on the same trajectory as Nancy Pelosi once was.

With twin victories in Georgia, the Democrats control the Senate. Control depends, however, on the Senate president breaking ties. Kamala Harris, as the vice president, has other duties. (She can't be running from the White House to the Senate to settle every dispute.) So Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, have to establish rules and procedures to determine who does what, etc. Until last night, the Senate was at a stand-still. The leaders could not agree. Meanwhile, the old rules still applied. Despite everything, the Senate Republicans remained functionally in charge.

That pissed off a lot of liberals. Some said Stacey Abrams had not moved heaven and earth to turn Georgia blue and flip the United States Senate just so Schumer could act squishy. But he wasn't. His first priority, naturally, is getting his caucus members set up with their respective committees. That couldn't happen until McConnell agreed to proceed. McConnell refused until Schumer guaranteed the Democrats would not kill the filibuster, the rule giving the minority veto power. Schumer said no dice. Killing it is totally on the table. That's where things stood until McConnell caved last night.

Why did he cave? It's hard to say for sure. It might be because two conservative Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, said they opposed killing the filibuster. (McConnell cited their remarks Monday in claiming a "win.") But it might be as Amee Vanderpool argued today—that McConnell caved as a result of Schumer sending a message of some kind during an interview with Rachel Maddow. "We have ways to deal with him," Schumer said. Even before the interview finished airing last night, McConnell folded. "It is apparent," Vanderpool said, "that the final blow was executed by Majority Leader Schumer in his calculated reminder, that appeared to be directly aimed at and done for the benefit of Mitch McConnell."

You could say McConnell didn't cave. He won. He got two Democrats to kneecap their own caucus, clearing the way for McConnell to sabotage Joe Biden's agenda just like he did Barack Obama's. This appears to be true, but appearances can be deceiving. First, assurances mean little. Schumer runs the floor, not Manchin and Sinema. Two, assurances can be reversed. Three, they probably will be when the GOP inevitably abuses the filibuster. While McConnell might appear to have won, in truth, he played the only hand he had. His only hope for success is two Democrats standing against a Democratic president's popular agenda in order to protect an obscure Senate rule. Are Manchin and Sinema going to oppose $2,000 in covid relief to defend the filibuster?

Vanderpool speculated what Schumer's "calculated reminder" might be. "He could have inside information about McConnell's plan to have Democrats convict Trump in the Senate for him, so that he continues to keep his hands clean. Or, Democrats might be planning to pass legislation curtailing campaign finance that would limit the GOP and McConnell substantially. Maybe there is some incriminating evidence against McConnell, that we still don't know about, that could greatly implicate him in something big, from which he can't easily escape." (Read her newsletter here.)

Whatever it was, it was wily, it worked, and it's a reminder of another kind. Schumer labored under Pelosi's shadow for four years. He labored under McConnell's. Either he seemed weak one way or he seemed weak another. That wasn't fair. (Schumer deserved more credit than he got.) But that was his cross to bear. As the new majority leader, he must find ways to instill trust in liberals—and he is. Last night, he told Maddow the Democrats would no longer trust the Republicans to act in good faith! (He said his party will not repeat the mistakes they made during the Obama years.) And last night, the man most responsible for that bad faith surrendered. It's time to trust Chuck.

Capitol Police chief apologizes to Congress — admits department's failure amid deadly riot

The acting U.S. Capitol Police chief is addressing the deadly riot that took place on Jan. 6, admitting the law enforcement agency does bear responsibility for failing to contain the angry mob of Trump supporters that breached Capitol security.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman delivered his testimony before lawmakers during the House Appropriations Committee, according to The Hill.

"On Jan. 6, in the face of a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists determined to stop the certification of Electoral College votes, the department failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours," Pittman said.

Pittman's remarks come nearly three weeks after the civil unrest which led to the deaths of five people. In the days leading up to the U.S. Capitol riot, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released an intelligence warning of violence on the day of the Electoral College certification. However, based on how violence erupted at the Capitol, the warnings were not taken as seriously as they should have been.

In the statement, Pittman went on to admit that the law enforcement agency could have done more to combat the violence that ensued. "We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target," Pittman said. "The department prepared in order to meet these challenges, but we did not do enough."

Since Jan. 6, the FBI has arrested more than 100 individuals in connection with the riots, including more than 20 state and local Republican lawmakers and several police officers from law enforcement agencies across the United States. With the investigation still underway, more arrested are expected in the coming days and weeks.

Former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is also set to begin in the coming weeks. On Jan. 13, the disgraced president was impeached for a second time for inciting an insurrection.