Happy Monday! This weekend threw out a lot of punches and honestly some of it is unbelievable and some of it is deliciously normal. Grab your coffee and stay safe from the snow as we delve into all the top headlines of the last weekend.
On Friday, most notably was that Lloyd Austin was confirmed as secretary of defense. He is the second confirmed cabinet member to be confirmed by the senate with an overwhelming 93-2 vote. It was also announced through the White House press office that President Biden will be having phone calls with both the Canadian Prime Minister and the President of Mexico. Those calls took place on Saturday. The president also had a phone call with the head of the National Guard to thank him and offer both federal assistance and his personal assistance if it is needed. The president and vice president also had a weekly lunch which was an old tradition from when President Obama was in office. They both have stated publicly that they look forward to bringing it back to the White House. Friday’s daily press briefing revealed that it will be awhile before the president undertakes a foreign trip given the current health emergency. Another topic that came up Friday was the president’s plan for church. The press secretary revealed he had not yet picked a new parish in Washington D.C. yet. I personally love that this was the burning questions on reporters mind’s. It’s a nice change. Later in the day, another executive order was signed regarding the economic issues facing the country. It included suspending student loan payments until September and allowing people to receive unemployment money if they’ve declined a job due to their health safety. In other news, the First Lady visited National Guard troops to thank them and to give them cookies as a small way to show appreciation for them. This came after a visit to the Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington which focuses on treating and caring for cancer patients. She was hoping to highlight the additional strain that patients and caregivers have been placed under due to the ongoing pandemic. Finally, the New York Times released an article Friday evening all about the Rolex watch the president was photographed wearing. If this what qualifies as scandalous in this new administration, I’ll take it. Many other people couldn’t help but laugh at the stark change in news cycles so far and they’re also enjoying the refreshing change as well.
Saturday brought more news on the vaccine front. Currently there are two approved COVID vaccines in the U.S.- Pfizer and Moderna. There are more expected to be approved by the end of March. Of the eleven currently in late-stage trials around the world, there are three front runners for the U.S. They are Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax. A potential $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill has yet to be approved by Congress. Many conservatives are on the fence because of the bill that was passed last month which gave Americans $600 in stimulus money. Another roadblock? The democrats have a tight majority and leaders Schumer and McConnell have yet to come to an agreement on how the chamber will run. The issues within Congress have not deterred the president from forging ahead on getting his agenda taken care of. In the first three days of his administration, President Biden signed thirty executive orders rescinding many of the Trump administration’s policies and dealing with issues such as the economy and the pandemic.
More details have been released regarding the impeachment trial of former President Trump. It has been decided that the former President will receive two weeks to prep for the trial. This means that the trial would begin around February 9th but the length is unknown. Many are hoping that the proceedings would take only a couple of days but nothing has been set in stone. In order to convict, at least seventeen republicans will need to join the fifty democrats in voting yes to convict him. It is still unknown if it’ll go the way they want but dozens of influential republicans have been quietly lobbying their colleagues to vote with the democrats.
As if we couldn’t learn anymore about Trump’s disgraceful behavior while in office, more stories have made their way to the surface. We all know that he had a difficult time accepting the results of the election so much so that he made calls to election officials in individual states, pressured Congress members to object to the counting of the electoral college vote, pressured his own Vice President to go against the constitution, and the cherry on top, incited a violent mob to storm the capitol. Turns out he also came up with a plan to oust the acting Georgia Attorney General, Jeffery Rosen as a way to pressure Georgia into changing the election results. This never came to fruition because Trump backed off after Rosen and Jeffery Clark (Trump’s co-conspirator in this plan) presented their cases during a bizarre meeting at the White House where they made their cases like they were on an episode of The Apprentice. Albeit, an episode where a constitutional crisis took place but apparently it was the only way to make Trump understand the potentially detrimental and insanely stupid decision he was going to make.
A busy weekend indeed! It’s been another shock-filled three days but I am going to keep holding out hope that once the impeachment issue has been taken care of a lot of those you-can’t-make-this-up stories will cease to be the first thing we want to talk about in the morning. I’m just happy to be able to fall asleep without worrying what I’m going to wake up to when I look at Twitter. No more 3 am rage threads!
Guess what? You'll get at least two if not three blogs today! I didn't write anything yesterday so this will make up for that and then later this afternoon or evening I'll do a recap of today's events. I also am going to put up a typical post because I know some of you don't like hearing about politics all day everyday and would like a break from it here. With that in mind, yesterday was the first official day of the new Biden-Harris Administration. Here's your play-by-play guide to how the day unfolded!
Early in the morning, the White House released the schedules of President Biden, Vice President Harris, the First Lady, and the Second Gentleman. This was a complete change from the previous administration who very rarely released the President's schedule for the day and when they did all it said was that the President would work from early in the morning to late into the night and he will have many meetings and take many calls. This schedule included a virtual prayer service, the delivering of the President's Daily Briefing, and different meetings including a press conference with Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Dr. Anthony Fauci. It seems daily health briefings have returned and they only contain truthful facts. Who knew that was a thing! Telling the public the truth and not covering it up with insane half truths or just entirely false information. No one was happier about this change than Dr. Fauci who looked like a kid in a candy store since he was finally able to do his job without any interference.
The first story that broke Thursday morning was that the previous administration had virtually no vaccine rollout and the new administration was essentially working from scratch. Obviously there was some guidance because vaccines had been getting out but in terms of an overall plan, that was not evident to staffers in the West Wing. Throughout the day, President Biden signed multiple executive orders reversing many Trump policies. These included halting the construction of the boarder wall by retracting the national emergency declaration as well as others pertaining to immigration and economic policy. He also signed ten executive orders specifically involving the COVID-19 pandemic and announced his full COVID plan which is available to the public on the official White House website.
The next big news is that Dr. Fauci officially announced that the United States will be rejoining the World Health Organization. Former President Trump had previously started the process of removing the U.S. from WHO last year. By rejoining, this will greatly help us in fighting the pandemic as we can work with other health officials around the world and share data with each other more easily. There were also more committee meetings for cabinet members. Yesterday, Avril Hanes was confirmed as the Director of National Intelligence. It was also announced that the current FBI director Christopher Wray will stay in his post. He had previously been appointed by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired the previous director. President Biden had said he would keep him on if he wasn't fired before he got in office.
Over the last few months, there's been lots of hostility between the GOP and the new administration. Today it was revealed that seventeen freshman GOP senators have sent letters of congratulations to President Biden and have promised to work with him on his agenda. This is a definite step up in some aspects but there's still a long way to go to get back to calmer waters. Last week, former President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. It is officially confirmed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will deliver the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate on Monday, January 25th. A trial would likely take place in mid-February and some top players are saying that it could possibly be a three-day trial making it the shortest impeachment trial to date.
In happier, more positive news, new polls show that the number of Americans wanting to get vaccinated has risen since last fall. This is wonderful news considering that up to 85% of the public needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity and get back to normal.
I hope you enjoyed and learned something new after reading the first breakdown of the new Biden Administration. Remember to come back later today for the breakdown of day two and another old school blog!
Today was the day. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States (and the world took a collective exhale). The day started bright and early with the Trumps departing the White House for the short ride on Marine One to Joint Base Andrews with one final exaggerated show at the expense of the American taxpayers. The president was hoping for a large crowd at his send off so much so that he allowed guests to bring up to five people. That goal fell short when only a measly 200 people showed up. Even his Vice President didn’t show. Instead, Mike Pence attended the inauguration with his wife. Staying on brand, Trump promised that he would be back in one way or another before taking off on Air Force One to the beautiful melody of his campaign playlist which of course included the iconic tune that is YMCA.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, their families, and members of Congress participated in a church service before the days festivities began. While they were in service guests began arriving at the capitol building where just two weeks before a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the building in an attempt to stop the electoral count and potentially harm lawmakers. The guest list included all the living presidents, Bush, Obama, Clinton, and their wives with the exception of the Carters. Due to COVID-19, Jimmy Carter and his wife decided not to travel to Washington. He spoke to the president-elect the night before Inauguration Day. This was the first inauguration the Carters have missed in forty-four years. While this was a presidential inauguration, many called it D.C. fashion week for the outfits worn by all attendees were showstoppers. Particularly by the First Ladies, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga. Even Bernie Sanders was trending for awhile.
The actual inauguration began at about 11:00. Amy Klobachar gave the opening speech along with the chair of the inaugural committee. Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem, J Lo sang America the Beautiful, Garth Brooks sang Amazing Grace (there was some controversy surrounding this performance), and a poem was read by Amanda Gorman. Shortly before the official changeover of power at noon, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took the oath of office. The Trump administration finally comes to a close to the relief of pretty much everyone. Here’s your fun fact of the day. Because Trump left for Florida before noon, a nuclear football had to travel with him to Mar-a-Lago. At noon, that football was deactivated and another in Washington was activated for Joe Biden, meaning there was two nuclear footballs in action yesterday.
After taking the oath, President Biden delivered his inaugural address. The speech highlighted the divisions within the country and didn’t sugarcoat the work that must be done to rebuild. The speech was well-received and a stark contrast to the one we heard four years ago. Following the inauguration. The President , Vice President, First Lady, Second Gentleman, and the three former Presidents traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After that, the White House was their next destination. A little while after they arrived the new Vice President presided over the reconvened senate and swore in three new democratic senators. This gave democrats the majority. President Biden signed 17 executive orders including a mask mandate on federal property and some methods of public transportation. He also officially put the U.S. back in the Paris Climate Accord. He also revealed that former President Trump left him a “generous” letters. Letters were also left for Vice President Harris, the First Lady, and the White House press team.
Speaking of press, daily White House press briefing have returned. Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave the first briefing in the press room last night at 7:00 pm EST. I think she did a great job and many other people also agreed. They couldn’t help but compare her to former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and it was a welcome change. During the briefing, the first cabinet secretary was confirmed by the senate. Avril Hanes was confirmed as Director of National Intelligence shortly after 7:00 pm EST last night. The night was capped off with an epic prime time concert called Celebrating America. It was probably the funnest thing I’ve ever watched and you need to find clips online if you missed it.
This day was so much fun and I think really just hit the reset button for the whole country. I’m looking forward to covering what happens over these next couple months and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.
Happy inauguration eve! I'm very excited to be here with all of you writing the last political recap of Donald Trump's presidency. There's a little under 20 hours left until the Biden administration officially takes office but that doesn't mean Washington is slowing down. Here's what you need to know as we head into inauguration day tomorrow.
Most pressing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will formally deliver the articles of impeachment to the senate this week. The senate reconvenes today and tomorrow three new senators will be sworn in. The two democratic senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who won the Georgia runoff races as well as Alex Padilla, the senator taking Vice President Kamala Harris's seat as she prepares to be president of the senate in her role as VP. To convict, a two-thirds majority is needed. It will also need to be a bipartisan effort. Seventeen republicans are needed to vote for conviction. Otherwise it will fall through like before. The president's legal team is still unknown but it has been clarified by Rudy Guliani himself that he will not be a part of the team. This is because he spoke at the rally before the capitol insurrection which makes him a witness. However, I don't think either is missing out on much because Rudy is anything but a competent lawyer (remember that press conference in the parking lot of a landscaping company) and Trump refuses to pay his legal fees. I guess you could call this Donald's last stand.
President Trump hasn't been seen in person in seven days. His latest outing being his trip to Alamo, TX to visit the boarder wall. But not to worry. Per the White House, the president will, "work early in the morning until late in the evening. He will take many calls and have many meetings." Over the last two days, Trump has been preparing at least 100 pardons but on the advice of aides he will not pardon himself, his children, or other allies. It was also reported that the president filmed a farewell address last night. The exact time is not yet known but it's expected at some point this afternoon or evening. This is yet another break with tradition as an outgoing president typically addresses the nation live. However, I don't think any of us expected anything different. In fact, I couldn't even tell you the last time Trump delivered a live address. We will get one final look at the president before he leaves for Florida. He will leave early tomorrow to a departure complete with a military band, color guard, red carpet, and possibly even a 21 gun salute. He's been sending out many invites to this grand departure as he loves a big crowd. Apparently he's really desperate because they've been inviting former aides including Anthony Scaramucci. There are reports making the rounds that the crowd won't be very big because many on the invite list are choosing not to attend. This includes Vice President Pence who will be attending the inauguration instead.
Today, Joe Biden left Delaware for Washington with his family. He delivered a very emotional speech before departing and it was refreshing to see someone with feelings and compassion in comparison to what we've had the last four years. The Biden's will be staying the night at Blair House as is customary. What is not customary? The invitation was extended to the Biden's from the State Department not the White House. The family is flying in on a private plane instead of a government plane that is typically offered by the outgoing administration. In the hours left until inauguration, officials are doubling down on security. As of this afternoon, twelve national guard have been removed from their posts within the inauguration security assignment. They were found to have ties to extremist groups but the extent is unknown.
Confirmation hearings for Biden's cabinet nominees began today and he is the only president going into inauguration day with no confirmed cabinet members in a long time. This step is normally quick and easy before official confirmation. I bet you know what I'm going to write next since the words, "normally", "quick", and "easy" were all included in the same sentence. Senators are allowed to object to nominees and it only takes one to stall the process. That one person would be no other than Sen. Josh Hawley. Our favorite fist-pumping Trump die-hard. The objection came upon the nominee for Head of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas. Sen. Hawley raised an objection because he did not feel that Mayorkes did a thorough job explaining how he will enforce federal law and maintain security at the southern boarder given president-elect Biden's plan to roll back security and other enforcement measures put in place by the Trump administration. Because of that, Hawley said that he could not consent to fast-track the confirmation process when there are so many questions left to be answered. Does anyone else remember that supreme court justice who got sworn in faster than light travels after barely answering any questions? Because I do.
One more sleep until a new president! Who else is happy we've arrived at the end of what twitter so eloquently calls, the Trump Series Finale? I know I am! With that, I'll see you all tomorrow for inauguration day!
One of my favorite standing blog posts is Caroline’s Book Club. Each month, I pick five of my favorite books and share them with all of you. This will be coming in the next couple days but since it’s the new year and recent posts have been geared more towards the real world, namely politics, I thought I would give you every single book I read in 2020 along with my personal recommendation to shake things up a little bit. Enjoy!
In Five Years *****
The Night Olivia Fell ****
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder ***
Truly Devious *****
The Vanishing Stair *****
The Hand on the Wall *****
The Nightingale *****
The Shadow Land *****
Orphan Train *****
Two Can Keep a Secret ***
One of Us is Next ***
Big Summer ****
What Happened That Night ****
The Other Side of Everything ****
Long Road to Mercy *****
The Thief of All Light **
The Secret Language of Sisters *****
The Cellar ***
The Killer Book of Cold Cases ****
The Romanov Ransom *****
Need to Know ***
The Royal We *****
The Heir Affair *****
A Minute to Midnight ***
The Tower of Nero *****
No Second Chance ***
Let Me Lie ****
Social Creature *
Invisible Girl ****
Remember yesterday how I promised this wasn't becoming a political blog? Well...here I am again with another political post. I'm still planning on posting other content but there's something happening literally every minute of every day and it always happens before I can post my usual blogs. So don't worry. They're coming. It's just a matter of time. It's been a crazy day and if you have a twitter or facebook account, you probably know what's coming up. Let's discuss, shall we?
Minutes ago from when I'm originally writing this, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for the second time on a charge of incitement of an insurrection. All house democrats voted for it as expected but not as expected was the votes from the ten house republicans. That may not seem like a lot but it's actually both historic and significant because it is the largest bipartisan effort to date and the last time Trump was impeached (which was only a year ago) not a single republican in the house voted yes to the articles. Now it'll go to the senate for trial but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not be calling for them to convene early meaning the senate will not be in session until next week on the 19th which is the day before the inauguration. A trial would then be pushed into the Biden Administration and by that point the senate will be controlled by the democrats thanks to those two seats lost in the Georgia runoff election. Also to be noted, Mitch McConnell has not spoken out on if he will vote for impeachment or not and sources have reported that McConnell recognizes that Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses and he's apparently pleased with it all. Chuck Schumer, the future majority leader has just released a statement saying that there will indeed be a trial and if it goes his way, Trump will also never be able to hold a public office again. To be convicted in the senate, a 2/3 majority is required which evens out to sixty-seven senators. Seven republicans have already stated that they will vote to convict as of today. If you are wondering, yes, I watched all three hours of coverage of the impeachment as the house was debating just so you wouldn't have to. You're all welcome. I was losing brain cells watching as republicans tried and failed miserably to make the case for the house to vote against impeachment. I think at one point Jim Jordan based his claim off of the fact that the Wright brothers flew the first plane and the U.S. put man on the moon within sixty years of each other. When I tell you they couldn't make a case, they couldn't make a case.
Security around the capitol is very tight following last week's attack. There are now 3x as many troops in the Washington then in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Many national guard personnel are actually sleeping inside the capitol. The whole complex is also blocked off by large fences. New this week, metal detectors are in place outside the house chamber. Many democrats are worried about their GOP colleagues and how involved any of them were in the attack. Yesterday, Chuck Schumer (current minority leader; future majority leader) held a press conference yesterday where he stated that all the people involved last week should be placed on the no-fly list so they cannot get into the capitol ahead of the inauguration. New facts are coming to light that the entire thing had been preplanned leading up to January 6th and a nationwide investigation is underway to identify and capture members of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the capitol. Currently, 150+ people are being searched for and more than 170 domestic terrorism, seditious conspiracy, and insurrection cases opened. It also was released that the pipe bombs outside the RNC and DNC offices, both in close proximity to the capitol building, were real and running on timers.
As you know, yesterday President Trump traveled to the boarder town of Alamo, TX to see the progress of the boarder wall that was the key point of his campaign. He made a speech that the major networks didn't even carry and the city of Alamo released a statement online that the White House never officially contacted them in relation to the president's visit. As the president leaves the mess he's created in D.C., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is staying put. He was originally set to make one last visit to Europe but canceled after Luxembourg officials reportedly phoned his offices to say they refused to meet with him. Anyone else notice how the current political landscape resembles a high school more and more every day or is it just me? Honestly, everyone is just dissing this administration. I feel like "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift should just be playing on a loop until the new administration gets in the White House. Even banks that Trump has done business with for years are done with him. Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank have now closed all accounts Trump had with them. Can we just take a moment to imagine how many fruit baskets Joe Biden is going to have to send out to foreign dignitaries as a way to apologize for four years of the U.S. government being run into the ground by a peach-faced psycho with an atrocious haircut. You know what? It shouldn't be fruit baskets. They put up with four years of Donald Trump. Give them all PS5's.
In the seven days since the attack on the capitol, a flurry of resignations have come. The full list includes the secretary of transportation, the secretary of education, the acting secretary of homeland security, chief of the council of economic advisors, chief of staff to the first lady, white house social secretary, deputy national security advisor, special envoy for Northern Ireland, chief of the capitol police, sergeant at arms of the senate, and sergeant at arms of the house of representatives.
In closing, twitter deactivated the president's account so he, for the first time in probably four years, had to release statements. Actual statements, not just tweets. Earlier today, an official statement came from the press secretary's account and a little while ago, a video about five minutes in length came from another account that was again, filmed prior to its release and scripted. Many are saying it's too little too late and are wondering how long it'll be before he says that he regrets filming it. The last video the president posted came with that same sentiment less than twenty-four hours after it was released so we'll see how long it takes this time. Whatever he hoped to accomplish probably won't come to fruition with how low he's sunk in the last couple months but honestly, is anyone surprised?
This day has been a long one and I would just like to remind you that we are exactly seven days from the Trump administration coming to an end and the Biden administration takes its place. Let's focus on the fact that the light is now visible because we all need some good news right now.
I promise this is not becoming a political blog. There will be more of the usual content coming up but you guys had a great (definitely unexpected) reaction to my posts last week so I thought I would keep these daily updates going plus politics is a big interest of mine so I’m really enjoying putting these together. I took the weekend off which will probably keep happening because I think all of us need breaks at some point but don’t worry because I kept track of all the major news coming out of Washington all weekend and am back with all you need to know!
Up first, earlier this morning the president appeared in public for the first time since last week’s attack on the capitol. He has been increasingly isolating himself in the days following the attack, only surrounding himself with people who will support his delusions. Today he heads to Alamo, TX to the US/Mexico boarder but before he left, he approached reporters gathered at the air field. The president didn’t take any questions instead going off on another delusional tangent where he claimed that analysis of his speech declared that it was, “totally appropriate”. For those who don’t know, the speech in question was the one that the president gave at the so-called rally last Wednesday where he incited the attack on the capitol. I don’t know who analyzed the speech on his side (maybe it was Fox News) but if you listen to respected experts, the ones with brains that are not filled with an insane bias, this speech was anything but appropriate. Speaking of speeches, the First Lady released a statement via her official @FLOTUS twitter account where she condemned the violence but didn’t acknowledge her husband’s role in it. She even put in there how she was hurt that people were attacking her. I mean, I really don’t know why anyone would do that. It’s not like she wasn’t in the middle of a furniture photo shoot as the capitol was under attack at the hand of her husband and she refused to do anything about it. As soon as the statement was released, many reporters felt that they had heard it before and they actually had. Parts of this statement were exact excerpts from her speech last summer at the Republican National Convention.
Yesterday, Articles of Impeachment were introduced by the House and it will be voted on tomorrow. After that, it can move on to the senate. If this goes according to plan, President Trump will become the only president in US history to be impeached twice. This is one of the fastest impeachment proceedings to date. Also introduced yesterday was a bill demanding Vice President Pence invoke the 25th amendment. A republican objected so now that will go to a full House vote and the results of that should come out later today. Meanwhile, many republicans are still spreading lies and conspiracy theories in respective interviews and their various social media platforms. They’re not a political party at the moment. It’s like a circus show and a cult all rolled into one.
As you all know, Trump was banned from twitter Friday after he released a slew of tweets that they deemed could further acts of violence. Over the weekend he tried to find a loophole in the form of the official @POTUS account. Twitter, not one to be outsmarted, immediately took those down as well. If anything, Trump not being able to tweet does in fact, make America great again. I imagine his face turning red and smoke coming out of his ears and that image brings me so much joy. But twitter’s not all. Many sites have been banning Trump from their platforms including Shopify and Pinterest. To be clear, that means he can no longer sell merch or create mood boards. I honestly want to know how one gets banned from Pinterest. Like you gotta be extra-psycho with a side of delusional for them to do that. You also may have heard about a platform called Parler in recent days. This is a platform where many Trump supporters have been gathering since the capitol attack. Google and Apple pulled it from their stores and Amazon also pulled away from it so the app is currently inactive. They are also in the midst of suing Amazon. I want to know who thought that this was a smart idea. You’ll sue a hundred bajillion dollar company for a couple hundred million in hopes that your app where actual acts of terror against the United States are being discussed? Sure. The distancing from Trump and other republicans isn’t just happening online, it’s happening in business too. Many of America’s biggest companies are suspending donations to the GOP and Trump. The PGA announced that the 2022 championship will not be held at Trump’s golf course in New Jersey. Forbes also warned major news organizations against hiring Trump staffers, saying that they would lose credibility .
The inauguration is next week and law enforcement is warning of more attacks. Chatter was picked up about plans for more sieges in the capitols of all 50 states and again at the US capitol on January 17th and other armed protests taking place before and on January 20th. There’s also serious threats against President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name a few. Washington D.C. mayor asked President Trump to declare a state of emergency in the lead-up to the inauguration... and he actually agreed. There is national guard personnel coming in from 11 states and the NYPD is also assisting. The Washington Monument is also closed until the 24th and the capitol is being prepared with more protection. Many are wondering if the ceremony should be moved inside the White House but president-elect Biden is still going forward with the original plan of taking the oath of office on the steps of the United States Capitol.
More details are coming out about the nature of the attack and the information obtained points to a much darker, violent plan. Rioters can be heard shouting, “Hang Mike Pence”, and, “Where’s Nancy?” There is also concern that they were wanting to take members of Congress hostage. More arrests have been made, including major lawmakers and more than 17 people are facing federal charges. The president himself could face charges in relation. In fact, discussions are already taking place in the D.C. Attorney General’s office. It has also come to light that the outgoing Capitol Police Chief asked for help from the national guard 6 different times. The investigation is a nationwide effort and more information is expected to be released in the coming days and weeks.
In other odds and ends, it was discovered over the weekend that the president made a call to a Georgia election investigator, telling the investigator to, “find the fraud.” People have been comparing Trump to a mob boss lately but let’s all be real here. A good mob boss would never come straight out with what he wanted because he knows that there will most definitely be a tape made of this call. Like, my god, when will he learn? I feel like every other day there’s phone calls being released and honestly it’s getting exhausting because They’re. All. The. Same. Thing. It’s also been learned that Trump regrets making the video where he called for a peaceful transition but let’s not act surprised because the word, “peaceful” does not exist in this president’s vocabulary. I was shocked that he said it without cringing or skirting over the it entirely. President-elect Biden also announced his pick for CIA director which was the last position in his cabinet needed to be filled. He chose William Burns as his nominee, a man with over 33 years in foreign service including ambassador to Russia and Jordan.
That was a lot but I wasn’t lying when I said that politics wasn’t a slow game. There’s more happening as I’m typing this but it’d literally be impossible to keep up with everything and if I kept going, this would never end. But I’ll be back to cover it all tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do a live marathon post on Inauguration Day. That might be fun.
This will not be super long, I promise. There are just a few updates that I need to let you all in on. Up first, twitter has finally banned President Trump’s account permanently. Yes, you read that right. The president’s main form of communication is now gone for good. The platform released a statement that reads, “After a close review of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them- specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter- we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Next up, the man who notoriously took a picture in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has been arrested. And finally, more details are coming out about what was happening in the White House as the attack against US Capitol by his own supporters was unfolding. Apparently, the president was trying to reach a specific senator to tell him to do whatever he could to stop the certification of the electoral college. The call came in at about 2:26 pm ET, mere minutes after the initial siege. First of all, he called the wrong senator so he had to pass his phone to the correct one. Second of all, the capitol is under attack, these senators are huddled in an underground, secure room and the president had no concern for the real issue at hand. Instead, he only seems to be focused on his political career which is seemingly going up in flames as the minutes pass.
New information also has come through that the Vice President has reached out to the family of the capitol police officer who lost his life in the riots. The president-elect has also relayed his condolences in his live broadcast earlier today. The president has not reached out at all. After his death was confirmed, Speaker Pelosi order all the flags at the capitol complex to be lowered to half mast while flags at the White House remain in their places with no plans to move them.
I wasn’t planning on another post this soon but you all actually are enjoying my blogs on all this and politics is not a slow game. It’s barely after 10:00 am when I’m writing this and there’s already major updates coming from Washington. This is what you need to know.
As you all know from my last update, President Trump was given back his twitter account late last night after a 12-hour lock was placed on it. The first thing he did was release a pre-taped, scripted video in which we were given what was as close to a concession speech as I think we’re going to get. However, don’t take this video at face value. Top aides had to convince the president to release the video because he had no plans to do anything like this himself. Now today, we’ve gotten our first set of actual tweets from the president’s personal account and as I said in my closing last night, he did not surprise anyone in anyway. The first tweet mentions the 75,000,000 “American patriots” who voted for him and how they will have a “giant voice long into the future”. He also states that, “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” That was a direct quote in case you’re wondering why that sentence ended in three exclamation points. I told my dad the other day that Trump must think if he uses enough adjectives and punctuation that he would be seen in a better light. I personally don’t think it’s working if that is, in fact the strategy.
For weeks, we’ve all been wondering if President Trump would be in attendance of the inauguration of his successor, Joe Biden. Lucky for us, Trump decided to clear it all up in a simple tweet released earlier this morning. It reads, “To all those who’ve asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” As a side note, I don’t recall any president or other political figure who used twitter as an official way of communication as much as this one does. You’d think he or his press officers would at least write it first on an official form and release that instead of informal posts that only allow for 140 characters. I guess by now it doesn’t matter but I thought I’d point it out anyway. This is a major break with tradition as every outgoing president has attended the inauguration of their successor going all the way back to the transition from George Washington to John Adams in 1797. 224 years of peaceful transition and respect has gone out the window. While his action is against tradition it might be a good thing in retrospect. I mean, look what happened on Wednesday. It has also been reported that the president and First Lady may not even be in Washington on Inauguration Day, instead leaving for their Florida resort Mar-a-Lago on the 19th. Apparently, they would leave early in order to use Air Force One without having to ask for Biden’s permission, which is, again, normally tradition. This means that Vice President Pence would be the only representative of the outgoing administration present on the 20th. In other attendance news, former presidents Obama, Clinton, Bush, and their spouses will be present at the inauguration. In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on the capitol, the venue for the inauguration, some have raised concerns about security. Current officials and former secret service agents are reassuring the public that security is their top concern and are working overtime to make it as safe and secure as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still a major threat and the US is continuing to hit bleak milestones with each passing day. Many are rightly concerned about these numbers, especially considering that there are still millions of vaccines waiting to get into the arms of the American people. The Trump administration said that they planned to have 20 million Americans vaccinated by the end of last year. By that point, there had only been about 3 million people vaccinated. Today it was reported that president-elect Biden plans to release every vaccine once he takes office. This breaks with the prior administration’s plan to hold back vaccines for the second round of shots. Biden feels the ball has been dropped in terms of vaccine rollout and wants to do all he can to get it into the hands of Americans ASAP especially with the numbers climbing and intensive care units on the brink.
The invoking of the 25th amendment and the impeachment of the president is still very much on the forefront on everyone’s mind. The cabinet is informally discussing the 25th amendment. Today, House Speaker Pelosi and members of the House today had a phone call with the democratic caucuses discussing impeachment. During this call, the call for impeachment was made and agreed upon by more democrats than before. Now it seems likely that Articles of Impeachment will be drafted and that vote could come as early as next week. However, the Senate is still under republican control headed up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell so conviction may be unlikely given the previous trial. It is also out of session until January 19th and they may not be jumping at the chance to convene early for this event. Two more republicans have said that they would vote to impeach if the charges were valid. Nancy Pelosi also sent a letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss revoking the president’s access to the nuclear codes and the ability to launch nuclear attacks and other acts of war. This was done following a few days of reports that the president’s mental state has deteriorated and that he has become even less rational than before this week’s events.
Repercussions from the capitol attack are still unfolding and the latest is perhaps one of the most severe so far. Following the death of a capitol officer on Wednesday, US attorneys are opening a federal death investigation. Law enforcement agencies are also doubling down on charging anyone involved with the capitol attacks which means that the president could potentially face criminal charges connected to the attack if law enforcement officers deem it necessary and valid. Speaking of criminal charges, reports have been spreading for weeks that President Trump plans to pardon those who are in his inner circle, including his adult children, son-in-law, attorney, and even himself. Apparently we could start seeing those pardons role out on January 19th. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen.
Over the last day, we’ve seen a number of resignations from the White House. The First Lady’s chief of staff, the deputy national security advisor, the special envoy to Northern Ireland, the secretary of transportation, the secretary of education, the capitol police chief, and the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate. Today, key White House counsel, Pat Cipollone is thinking of resigning as is Hope Hicks. Her resignation comes as a shock given that she is one of the president’s most trusted allies.
The days in this administration are dwindling down and the next twelve days will definitely be ones to watch. Whether he is impeached or the 25th amendment is invoked is not known at the present but something happening to remove him does seem likely as the hours pass.
I posted an article a couple of hours ago about what was happening in Washington over the last day and a half. I’m back again with more updates for those who are following along. Here’s what’s happened so far.
First and foremost, there have been five confirmed deaths after the siege of the US capitol building. The latest being a capitol police officer. There have also been 80 arrests as of late and the FBI is asking for the help from the public in finding more involved in yesterday’s mobs. Many have been quick to note the lack of response initially from police as well as the lack of severity against the people who were attacking the capitol. Some videos show police allowing people into the building and even some taking selfies with them. In the aftermath, a large wall has been erected around the capitol complex and it will remain for the next 30 days. The security has been increased around the capitol and it includes both members of the DC national guard and capitol police with additional assistance from the DC metropolitan police. The team assembled by the DC mayor is also receiving help from neighboring states. In the midst of this there has been a flurry of resignations from the White House. The latest in that long line is the capitol police chief Steven Sund, effective January 16th. His successor has yet to be named. It was also announced that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVois would also be resigning from her post, making her the second cabinet secretary to do so. Since the dust has settled, three pipe bombs were reported to be found within the capitol grounds, the RNC offices, and the DNC offices. A car close to one pipe bomb was found to contain a rifle and molotov cocktails. An individual was arrested in relation to this. A cooler of Molotov cocktails was found in another location. In total, 6-8 firearms were confiscated by police as DC has no law allowing for individuals to carry firearms openly.
Over the last 36 hours rumors of impeachment and the invoking of the 25th amendment have been making the rounds to every corner of the federal government. Here’s where that stands. Last night, calls for the president’s impeachment or removal via the 25th amendment came from major leaders and today they just got stronger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement this afternoon that she will be discussing with members of Congress the impeachment of the president if Vice President Pence doesn’t take steps necessary to invoke the 25th amendment. With thirteen days left in this administration, many are doubtful that either of those actions would happen in the timeframe but we’ll see what happens in the following days. The Wall Street Journal released another op-ed (see last weekend’s bombshell report of the President’s call with Georgia’s Secretary of State where he implored them to “find 11,780 votes”) telling the president to resign instead of facing another impeachment trial. You’ll recall that last January that President Trump went through an impeachment trial. He was convicted in the House but the Senate, who was then controlled by republicans, voted to acquit and because both chambers have to agree on conviction or acquittal, all charges were dropped against the president.
In social media news, President Trump has been banned indefinitely from facebook and instagram. Twitter reactivated his personal account after a 12-hour lock. His return was marked by the release of a video where the president can be seen reading from a teleprompter and acknowledging that a new administration will be taking over on January 20th. He doesn’t mention Joe Biden by name but that might be asking too much at this point so I say let’s take what we can get. Some key takeaways from this video? As I mentioned above, this speech was done using a teleprompter, was pre filmed, and released more than 30 hours after the initial attacks. In contrast, president-elect Joe Biden has addressed the nation twice on live television. Once a short time after the attacks began and again earlier this afternoon. President Trump also tells a lie when he says he immediately deployed the Washington D.C. national guard. It was actually hours before they arrived and the president had to be convinced by aides to even send them in the first place because he was actually enthusiastic about the whole thing. I guess if you’re telling the president to deploy the national guard to a deadly event taking place at his insistence, that is the expected reaction. In fact, the Vice President was the one coordinating with the national guard telling them to get there faster. While he was under a lockdown. In a secure location within the capitol complex. Due to a situation Trump instigated.
It has also been determined that the President and the Vice President have not actually spoken or been in the same room since yesterday before the Joint Session of Congress where Pence promised to uphold his constitutional duty even if it causes his boss to have a toddler-like temper tantrum. President Trump is currently holed up in the West Wing and he has isolated himself from anyone who is of importance or could persuade him to act properly in his power as commander-in-chief.
In other news, Merrick Garland was announced as president-elect Biden’s pick for Attorney General. This is one of the last major cabinet position needed to be filled. We are still waiting on a nomination for director of the CIA.
The last few hours have been packed with new facts and shocking moments. There is only thirteen days until the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris. Over the next few days it’ll be interesting to see if the 25th amendment will be invoked or if impeachment will be pursued. The president also has access to his twitter account which is of course his favorite mean of mass communication. We shall see if he follows what he said in his video statement or if he resorts back to spreading conspiracy theories and lies which is what led to this disaster in the first place. Somehow I doubt he’ll surprise us.
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!