Friday, January 29, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): Out & About in America This Week (Courtesy @KALTOONS & Economist of London)

 As we went to Press, the US Senate was busy finalizing President Biden's nominees as the President was busy with numerous Executive Actions to advance his agenda.   This is as the trial of Former President Trump looms with 45 Senators already on board voting against accepting the charges.

The challenge faced by President Biden was depicted earlier by the Economist of London This Week as @KalToons released a sense of the MAGA Movement as a contribution to Counterpoint as the Republicans continued their internal civil war:

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): Public Service Advisory

Please be advised of this Public Service Advisory:

A blue banner displaying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal with the text National Terrorism Advisory System - Bulletin -

Date Issued:  Wednesday, January 27, 2021 11:00 am ET
View as PDF:  National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 27, 2021 (pdf, 1 page, 292.01KB)


The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration.  Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.


Issued:  January 27, 2021 11:00 am
Expires:  April 30, 2021 01:00 pm


  • Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity.  DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities. 
  • Long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration—has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
  • DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.
  • DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.
  • Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.  
  • DHS, as well as other Federal agencies and law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States.
  • DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views.
  • DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.

How You Can Help

  • We ask the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity,  to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.
  • Your choice can make a difference. Choose non-violent ways to make your voice heard and support friends and family in doing the same.
  • Communities are strongest when they are not divided:  Strengthen your community by standing together against violence.

Be Prepared

  • Avoiding large crowds, including protests, is safest due to ongoing pandemic conditions. However, if taking part in protests do so peacefully, safely, and wear masks.
  • Be responsible for your personal safety. Make note of your surroundings and security personnel. Carry emergency contact as well as medical and other needs information with you.
  • Connect, Plan, Train, and Report to prepare businesses & employees.

Stay Informed

  • Local, state and federal agencies will provide specific information about emerging threats as additional information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local law enforcement and public safety officials.
  • Last year, DHS released a Homeland Threat Assessment  to the public examining the threat environment through 2021.
  • The DHS Lexicon on terrorism includes terminology for DVEs and HVEs.

Types of Advisories


Describes current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism.

Elevated Alert

Warns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.

Imminent Alert

Warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States

If You See Something, Say Something™. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or call 911.

The National Terrorism Advisory System provides Americans with alert information on homeland security threats. It is distributed by the Department of Homeland Security. More information is available at: To receive mobile updates:

If You See Something Say Something™ used with permission of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

REMEMBERING 2020 - A Musical Journey

Notations on Our World (Mid-Week Edition): Out & About in America....

Please enjoy our curation of the latest on the Transition, #BernieMemes &  Dr Fauci:

Transition Playbook


Presented by

With help from Allie Bice

Welcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your guide to the first 100 days of the Biden administration.

The most important meeting in JOE BIDEN’s White House each day doesn’t even happen in person. The senior staff meeting each morning around 7:30 or 8 a.m. happens on video call, according to people familiar with the meeting. (It’s unclear if the call is actually being conducted via Zoom or another video service.)

And being invited onto it has become an early status symbol in the Biden administration, according to Biden allies. Some of the invitees are unsurprising, like chief of staff RON KLAIN or other senior aides from the campaign such as MIKE DONILON, STEVE RICCHETTI, ANITA DUNN, BRUCE REEDCEDRIC RICHMOND and KATE BEDINGFIELD.

But the list of regular participants gives us a glimpse at who has juice in the West Wing in the early going.

That includes the head of the Office of Presidential Personnel, CATHY RUSSELL; White House Counsel DANA REMUS; White House Cabinet Secretary EVAN RYAN; Covid-19 czar JEFF ZIENTS; press secretary JEN PSAKI; national security adviser JAKE SULLIVAN; and deputy chief of staff JEN O’MALLEY DILLON.

The White House declined to comment.

The important early morning call began during the transition and also included TONY BLINKEN, who is now set to be secretary of state and is not as regular a participant, YOHANNES ABRAHAM, the transition’s executive director who is now at the NSC under Sullivan, and BOB BAUER, the campaign’s lead lawyer, who did not join the administration.

Back then, the early morning senior staff call was followed by a much bigger call with dozens of people around 8:30 to 9 a.m.

Being included in the call is essentially being invited into the (virtual) room where it happens.

Veterans of the Obama administration noted that the director of presidential personnel was normally not in the senior staff meetings and always reported to the deputy chiefs of staff. But Russell, who worked on Biden’s 1988 campaign and is married to longtime Biden aide TOM DONILON , has higher standing in Biden’s world than past people in that position.

All of this is to say, can we get an invite? Call us, maybe?

CHANNEL CHANGE: Biden White House sources tell us that when they came into the West Wing on Inauguration Day, the TVs were mostly tuned to Fox News and Fox Business. Occasionally, Trump folks would flip on Newsmax. But since they gained control of the remotes, there’s been a lot more CNN and MSNBC on in the West Wing, we’re told.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Out & About in America with the First 100 Hours of @POTUS @JoeBiden


We Present a discourse of the First 100 Hours of the Presidency of Joe Biden in America courtesy the Washington Examiner, Fortune and Jacobin: 

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris appear in a White House press conference.

President Biden was only in office for a few hours before he struck down one of former President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies: the travel ban affecting seven majority-Muslim countries labeled as terror risks by the previous administration.

Read the full story here.

Donald Trump gives a speech.

Confirmation votes for Biden administration nominees and wrangling over COVID-19 aid legislation will occupy senators' time over the next two weeks rather than the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Read the full story here.

It's been a rough week for the Proud Boys and followers of QAnon, pro-Trump conspiracy theorists who had anticipated a day of reckoning during President Biden's inauguration, only to have their dreams dashed when it didn't materialize.

Read the full story here.

Data Sheet

January 21, 2021

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were officially sworn into office on Wednesday, setting into motion another transfer of power: the handover of the official Twitter handles.

Biden’s administration now controls the Twitter handles @POTUS@VP@FLOTUS@WhiteHouse, and @PressSec, along with two new accounts @WHCOS for the White House chief of staff and @WHCommsDir for the administration’s communications director. Twitter also created a brand-new handle for the nation’s first-ever Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who can be found at @SecondGentleman

But anyone who previously followed the official Twitter accounts under Donald Trump’s administration will have to refollow the accounts to get updates from Biden’s administration. Trump’s @POTUS account has been archived as @POTUS45 and will be maintained by the National Archives Records Administration. 

The passing of the handles represents far more than it ever has in the past. The accounts have the potential to reach millions of followers and other world leaders as well as rile up or calm the masses.

Barack Obama’s administration was the first to run the official presidential and White House Twitter accounts. But it was Trump who changed the social media game, at times wielding the power of Twitter to attack his opponents, make inflammatory statements, and boost misinformation from other sources. Granted, he mostly did this from his personal account @RealDonaldTrump, which has been permanently defunct since Jan. 8. 

So what should we expect from Biden’s Twitter presence as the new commander in chief? 

If Biden’s track record on social media tells us anything, it should be pretty tame comparatively. But if the team who ran his social media accounts during his campaign has anything to do with his official accounts (fingers crossed), we may be in store for some memes and light trolling. (Remember when the campaign poked fun at the fly that landed on former Vice President Mike Pence’s head during his debate with Harris last year?)

Twitter has become an effective tool for several politicians, beyond Trump. For example, Republican Rep. Ted Cruz and Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez regularly use the service to reach their followers, promote their agendas, and yes, attack their opponents. That has helped them rally support for specific pieces of legislation or raise awareness of their biggest concerns. 

If I had to bet, Biden will likely try to steer clear of any pointed attacks. After all, during his inauguration his main message, should he stick to it, was “unity,” which subsequently is one of his biggest challenges. But if the last four years has taught us anything, it’s that social media has played an increasingly important role in politics. And regardless of who is president, that likely won’t change any time soon. 

So here’s to the next chapter of politics on social media. May it be truthful; may it be informative; and in the best case, may it be mildly entertaining. 

Danielle Abril

Get ready to fight Joe Biden.
Now that Trump has vacated the Oval Office, the Left should resist the temptation to position ourselves as a pressure group within a permanent coalition with centrists. If we see our role as “pushing Biden to the left” inside the mainstream Democratic fold rather than offering a robust alternative, we risk ceasing to exist as a distinct political current.

We can’t deny the obvious reality of Republican obstruction, but instead of fixating on it, we should emphasize what the new administration could do if it wanted to.

To achieve the reforms we need, we must focus our energy not on lobbying centrists to be more social democratic but on building a Left that can beat them in the near future — and govern in our own name. If that goal is our lodestar, our task is clear...
Read more

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): On #InaugurationDay2021 in America

 President Biden and Vice President Harris have taken office.  We present a sampling of #InaugurationDay2021 as we look forward to featuring the daily White House Press Briefing which was launched on January 20 by the White House Press Secretary: