U.S. News, Politics & Government
Al Jazeera – After a chaotic day of protest and violence, Congress has certified Democrats Joe Biden as the next president and Kamala Harris as vice president of the United States.
The action finalises the 2020 US electoral process and makes clear that Biden will be inaugurated as president on January 20, President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede notwithstanding.
“The United States Senate will not be intimidated,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who rejected Trump’s claims of election fraud as unfounded and blasted pro-Trump protesters who stormed the US Capitol.
“We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation. We are back at our posts. We will discharge our duty under the constitution,” McConnell said when the Senate reconvened after rioters were removed from the Capitol.
The US Constitution requires Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College submitted by the states. Biden won 306 electors to 232 for Trump.
Pro-Trump politicians objecting to the certification of Biden were unable to present evidence of substantial fraud that would overturn the vote in any state. Courts had repeatedly dismissed dozens of Trump’s legal claims.
But a faction of Republican senators and representatives had intended to object to Wednesday’s count of electors from key states that had given Biden the win – Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The effort was largely symbolic and doomed to fail as majorities of lawmakers in both chambers planned to reject Trump’s false claims of fraud and vote to certify Biden.
But after the invasion of the Capitol, leaders of the effort backed away from plans to use procedural rules to force lengthy debates and votes on certifying the electors of each state Trump is disputing.
Instead, the House and the Senate which reconvened on Wednesday night voted to reject objections to Arizona’s vote. The Senate voted 93-6 to reject the objection to Arizona’s vote. The House voted 303 to 121 to dismiss the objection to Arizona.
A second objection, to Pennsylvania’s vote pushed the process into the early hours of Thursday morning, with only 7 Senators approving it, and 92 voting against. In the House it was rejected 282 to 138, paving the way for the final certification.
The process to certify Biden had just begun on Wednesday afternoon when pro-Trump protesters, waving Trump flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, broke into the US Capitol building and swarmed through the hallways, forcing members in both the House and the Senate to retreat to secure locations.
Breitbart – President Donald Trump said he would participate in an orderly transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden after Congress certified the electoral college votes early Thursday morning.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump wrote in a statement.
The president’s statement was shared by Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino on Twitter.
Twitter suspended the president’s account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he argued on the platform that his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol was a consequence of the presidential election allegedly being stolen.
But Trump recalled he vowed to fight for only the “legal votes” to get counted in the 2020 election and vowed to continue fighting for the United States. He also hinted he would run for a second term as president.
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” he wrote.
Trump issued his statement after a handful of his aides resigned Wednesday in protest to the disruption of the House proceedings on Wednesday.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the joint session of Congress that certified the electoral college vote, despite the president repeatedly urging him to try and overturn the vote.
FBI solicits ‘tips’ on instigators of Capitol violence, gets bombarded with photos of GOP members, calls to probe Antifa & cops
RT – Investigators at the FBI have asked the public for information on the instigators of violence at the US Capitol. If the public replies are any indication, agents will be sifting through hundreds of images of politicians.
Dozens of Trump supporters intruded into the Capitol on Wednesday, causing disruption to the US Congress’ count of the electoral votes cast in the presidential election. The FBI wants to know who sent the crowd through the police barricades, so it asked the public to help by “[submitting] any images, videos, or other multimedia files” related to the disturbance.
The responses came in droves, and most of them probably won’t be helpful for the investigation. Some were simply copies of publicly available footage and images of the chaotic scenes unfolding, with a special focus on the most colorful characters in the protester mob.
For the record, the individual in this photo is not named ‘Via Getty’, contrary to what some people on Twitter may believe.
Other commenters were as political as might be expected in a volatile situation like the one gripping the US. Images of Donald Trump, his cabinet, Republican lawmakers, and Rudy Giuliani were all popular submissions.
The Hill – A woman who was shot on Capitol grounds during Wednesday’s violent pro-Trump riot has died, a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.
NPR reported Wednesday evening that the woman was shot by a senior Capitol Police officer. A law enforcement source told the outlet that the woman was unarmed.
The woman was reportedly shot in the chest and was in critical condition when she was taken away from the Capitol.
WND – Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, charged in a speech on the House floor Tuesday that Democrats knew the U.S. Constitution was violated in the 2020 election but simply don’t care.
A joint session of Congress is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern today to certify the Electoral College votes from each state, and more than 100 House Republicans and a dozen senators plan to object.
“Democrats don’t care. They don’t want to look into it. They’d rather just belittle 60 million of our fellow citizens, call them names, say it’s a conspiracy, make fun of the very people we’re all supposed to represent,” he said.
Jordan promised that the challenges in Congress on Wednesday will present a “chance to hear the truth.”
“During the campaign, Vice President Biden would get 55 people at an event. President Trump got 55,000 at just one rally,” he said. “President Trump increased his vote with African-Americans, increased his vote with Hispanic Americans, won 19 of 20 bellwether counties, won Ohio by eight, Iowa by eight, Florida by three, got 11 million more votes than he got in 2016. And House Republicans won 27 of 27 tossup races. But somehow, somehow, Joe Biden, the guy who barely left his house, won the election?
“Maybe. Maybe. But 80 million Americans, 80 million Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, have their doubts and 60 million Americans think the election was stolen. 60 million people, over one-third of the electorate. But no one in this town seems to care. Democrats don’t care. Media doesn’t care. Eighty million of our fellow citizens have their doubts about the election two months ago. And the media and the Democrats say ‘nothing to see here.’ Of course, this town has been out to get the president since July 31st, 2016, before he was elected the first time. Four years and forty million dollars on the Russia hoax, but we can’t look into an election?”
He said Republicans have tried to uncover the truth.
“Not one investigation, not one hearing in the House of Representatives. We asked for it. We asked Chairwoman Maloney. Mr. Coleman, I asked for it. We asked Chairman Nadler. Nope, not going to do it. We welcomed an inspector general investigation for goodness sake. Over 200 affidavits and declarations of wrongdoing, but no investigation in the Congress. No subpoenas, no depositions, no chance for question, or cross-examination of witnesses. Why? Why won’t they look into it? Why no hearings? Why no investigation? I think it’s because deep down, deep down, they know there were big problems with this past election. They know the Constitution was violated. Article 1, Section 4: ‘Time, place, and manner for holding elections shall be determined in each state by the legislature thereof.’ Article 2, Section 1: ‘Each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature may direct,'” he said.
Jordan outlined election misbehavior by various state officials.
Fox – With just two weeks left before the Trump administration vacates Washington D.C., some staffers are resigning in protest after demonstrations breached the U.S. Capitol Wednesday by protesters following a speech by President Trump.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, East Wing Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham, and Social Secretary Rickie Niceta all submitted their resignations after pro-Trump supporters mobbed the U.S. Capitol building to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes.
Late Thursday morning, a senior administration official told Fox News that Matt Pottinger, deputy national security adviser, resigned Wednesday afternoon as a result of the president’s actions and the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Mick Mulvaney — special envoy to Northern Ireland and President Trump’s former chief of staff — on Thursday also resigned, telling CNBC: “I can’t stay here.”
“I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted. As someone who worked in the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately,” Matthews told Fox News Wednesday night. “Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
Additionally, Ryan Tully, the senior director for European and Russian Affairs at the U.S National Security Council also resigned.
America Finally Fell Apart: GOP Sides With Democrats Against Trump, Capitol Rushed, Trump Supporters Declared Terrorists
This is going to be used as the excuse by the Biden Administration for cracking down on all of us. It will go down in history as “an attempted coup.” It was a completely manufactured event.
Investment Watch Blog – After President Trump delivered a speech in DC to a huge MAGA crowd, he told his people to march to the Capitol. The DC police wanted people to break in, i.e. they only put a dozen of regular cops in front of the capitol, with a stupid aluminum barrier; moreover, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to stand down.
As expected, people broke in, and mass media is now calling Trump supporters insurrectionists and terrorists. Trump’s Twitter account was suspended/locked or whatever, for inciting violence, and the entire legacy media, including Faux News is denouncing Trump supporters as being violent.
Basically, this is Charlottesville 2.0, and an entire narrative was created to push innocent people to deliver a spectacular event, so they can call Trump supporters violent, so the new administration can then crack down on MAGA people.
Just like Charlottesville, they wanted someone to get killed, but unfortunately for them, it was a cop who shot dead an ex-military female Trump supporter. Bad optics, and media is saying nothing about that.
There are going to be mass arrests of people who filmed themselves inside the Capitol. Head to Mexico now.
And Trump created this situation. I don’t know what he thought was going to happen. But wow. Total mess.
Here’s the deal:
Today it became known that blatant and brazen cheating in a presidential election is not only OK, it will be sanctioned at the highest level.
If you believe the Senate Republicans have any problem with the Democrats taking over you are living in fantasy land, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz included. All of this is just a pretext to “restore bipartisan cooperation” after the Bad Orange Man is gone.
The Constitution is officially shredded. Nothing written in the document is applicable.
Daily Mail – Democrats captured control of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday when Jon Ossoff defeated GOP Sen. David Perdue in a Georgia Senate runoff, in a victory that hands a major win to President-elect Joe Biden.
Ossoff, 33, knocked off Republican Sen. David Perdue, who had said he will back President Trump’s effort to overturn the election results.
Not Making Headlines – Trump Supporters Pulled Protesters Away from the Capitol Building When They Started Damaging It – Who Were These People?
Gateway Pundit – Trump Supporters at the Capitol yesterday’s event in Washington DC told people to stop damaging property. For some reason Big Media doesn’t want to report this.
Yesterday after the President spoke in Washington, the million or so followers of the President marched to the Capitol. This is when some individuals in the crowd started damaging the Capitol building. When this occurred, the Trump supporters in the crowd starting yelling at them and telling them to stop. Former New York City Police Chief noted this in a tweet: President @realDonaldTrump supporters pulling Antifa terrorists away from building. There’s plenty of these videos. Why isn’t the #mainstreammedia reporting?
Big Media won’t report on this but it is the truth. They have been trying to align the Trump team with violence and facists since the future President came down the escalator in 2015. This never was true.
Energy & Environment
RT – Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted Thursday morning, forcing some 500 residents to flee amid fears of a larger eruption as seismic activity continued throughout the day.
Smaller eruptions continued throughout Thursday as evacuations continued, sending plumes of hot clouds hundreds of meters into the air above the 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) mountain and small avalanches of volcanic material down its slopes.
“Until now, the potential danger is not more than 5 kilometers (3 miles),” the chief of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, Hanik Humaida, said in a statement.
An estimated 250,000 people live within a 10-kilometer radius of the volcano.
The volcano belched ash and hot gas up to six kilometers in the air in June but no casualties were reported.
Science & Technology
CBS – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have taken down a video in which President Trump addressed his supporters as a mob of pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon. The sites said the video, in which Mr. Trump seemingly sympathized with protesters and repeated false claims about the election, contributed to ongoing violence and violated misinformation policies.
Twitter and Facebook went a step further and temporarily locked the president’s accounts.
Twitter said that if Trump continues to violate Twitter rules after the 12-hour freeze, the @realdonaldtrump account will be permanently suspended.
USA Today – A Florida doctor has died several weeks after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, although it’s not yet clear whether his death Monday was related to the shot he received on Dec. 18.
Dr. Gregory Michael, 56, an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, died after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke apparently resulting from a lack of platelets.
Miami medical examiners are investigating his death,the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.
“The CDC and FDA are responsible for reviewing COVID-19 vaccine safety data and presenting that information for federal recommendations on vaccine administration,” communications director Jason Mahon said in an email. “The state will continue to provide all available information to the CDC as they lead this investigation.”
In a Facebook post, Michael’s wife, Heidi Neckelmann, said he sought emergency care three days after the shot because he had dots on his skin that indicated internal bleeding.
‘Nightmare scenario is out the window’: Moderna CEO says vaccine could offer Covid protection for a ‘couple of years’
RT – The boss of biotech company Moderna has claimed that the “nightmare” worst-case scenario in which a Covid-19 vaccine will only offer protection against illness for a few months is not something we need to worry about anymore.
“The antibody decay generated by the vaccine in humans goes down very slowly… We believe there will be protection potentially for a couple of years,” said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel at an online event on Thursday.
“The nightmare scenario that was described in the media in the spring with a vaccine only working a month or two is, I think, out of the window,” he added.
The Moderna boss continued on to note, however, there may be challenges among the elderly as their immunity is unlikely to last as long as other demographics.
Speaking on Tuesday, Bancel said he was confident that the company’s Covid-19 vaccine was effective against new, more contagious, strains found in the UK and South Africa.
Should it mutate even further, the current vaccine could be quickly redeveloped to encompass other new strains and mixed with the existing jab as a kind of inoculation ‘cocktail’.
The US biotech company received approval for its shot from the EU medicines regulator and the European Commission on Wednesday.
A number of medical professionals have expressed concern that the new variants of the virus will reduce the efficacy of recently-approved vaccines.
In December, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said the scientific community is confident that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will still be effective against the new strain of Covid-19 identified in the UK.
If this wasn’t the case, he added that his company would be able to create a mutation-beating vaccine in just six weeks.