Thursday, February 25, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special M-End Edition): A Month-End Celebration

We welcome all to the final week here in the Daily Outsider.

We present  compilations of thoughts as a celebration as our team will be on assignment all week although our live broadcast POD will be available and our Twitter Corner will be available Daily.

Onward to March....


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): @POTUS & @VP Lead America Remembers the #COVID19 Fallen

Over 500,000 Americans have passed away due to COVID 19.   President Biden and Vice President Harris--joined by First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentlemen Douglas Emholff-led a moment of silence as the President of the United States ordered flags to be flown at flag staff for five days to honor the fallen.

We here at the Daily Outsider pray for the soul of the fallen as we pray that the Almighty grant all their loved ones solace to overcome the immense grief.    We will remember.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): On the Week That Was (Updated)

On the Week That Was: 

New From CBO

    Estimated Budget Effects of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

    As Posted on the Website of the House Committee on Rules on February 19, 2021


    Monday, February 15, 2021

    Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Week-End that Was In America

    Former President Trump was acquitted by the US Senate by a vote of 57-43.    Our team compiled a discourse of the reactions throughout the weekend:

    We close out with this bit of an uplifting note as our team will continue to assess it all week:


    The United States dipped below 100,000 average daily new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a number that hasn't been achieved since early November.

    Read the full story here.

    Saturday, February 13, 2021

    Notations From the Grid (Week-End Edition): Out & About in America


    Both the Defense and the Prosecution on the trial of Former US President Trump rested their case yesterday.   The US Political Cartoonists shared some thoughts throughout the week:

    We close out with some #RandomThoughts on the week as we note that the US Senate on an unanimous basis passed a law to honor Officer Eugene Goodman:  

    The federal government's 2021 deficit, at $2.3 trillion, will be the second-largest annual deficit since World War II, the Congressional Budget Office projected Thursday.

    Read the full story here.


    'Substantively Pathetic': Trump's Defense Team Falls Flat for Some Lawyers

    By Nate Robson | Jacqueline Thomsen

    Some lawyers said Friday's arguments went better for Trump's attorneys than opening statements, but they still missed... Read More

    The Coop Scoop 2/11: The Don't Believe Your Lyin' Eyes Edition

    Trump ignited it. Only he could stop it. Repubs Don't Care

    By Marc Cooper

    Feb 11-12, 2020

    Issue #62

    The prosecution in the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump has rested after presenting two days of blistering, incontrovertible evidence about the gross criminality of his followers on January 6th and the former president’s clear-cut responsibility in laying the groundwork for the assault on the Capitol, its execution and its bloody aftermath.

    The prosecution arguments, absolutely brilliantly presented, and led by the mensch named Jamie Raskin, were so devastating that if this were a trial in the real world as opposed to one in the alternative universe of the US Senate, this is the moment when the defense would stand down and would huddle with the prosecution and the judge to craft a plea deal.

    They would do so to contain the damage wrought, knowing that a conviction and a lot of hard time were coming their way.

    Unfortunately, the odds for conviction remain as long as Pinocchio’s nose because this Senate “trial” comes packed with a jury that not only includes some targets of the Capitol assault, but more importantly, many of Trump’s dead-end loyalists who are also his long-time enablers and co-conspirators.  To admit that Trump is guilty in the incitement of the Capitol insurrection would attest to their own guilt for being his faithful lackeys for these past four long years.

    These Republican Senators, just like the rest of us, learned a lot more about this siege than we have previously known thanks to the House managers. No wonder so many of them like Cruz and Rubio pretended to ignore the videos, while Sen. Josh Hawley retired to the second floor gallery and put his feet up on the rails, probably painting his fingernails.

    We learned that Trump critic and Utah Senator Mitt Romney had been unknowingly walking toward the mob when his bodyguards quickly turned him around and got him into a safer room.

    Never seen before footage revealed then Vice-President Mike Pence also narrowly escaping the out-of-control mob after Trump singled him out in a tweet, an hour after the assault started. The Trumpanzees were actually hunting for him as they were for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

    Dozens of congress members, we learned, were a mere 50 feet and one door away from the surging mob when they were evacuated out a back entrance.  We saw Chuck Schumer hurrying down one basement hall with his security detail, only to have to do a U-turn to not run right into the mob who was searching for him.  But, ironically, Mike Pence, loyal poodle to Trump for four years, had suddenly become Public Enemy Number One to the rioters.

    David Corn writes in Mother Jones:

    As Trump’s terrorists assaulted police officers and ran amok through the halls of Congress, some directed their rage at Pence and were searching for him. Some chanted, “Hang Pence!” On the grounds of the Capitol, others built a gallows. As Castro noted, at 2:24 p.m. ET, about 30 minutes into the mayhem, Trump zapped out a tweet. It did not condemn the rioters. (Trump would not do so at any time on January 6.) The tweet did not ask his followers to end the violence and withdraw. Instead, Trump blasted his own vice president: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and out Constitution…USA demands the truth!"

    At this point, Trump was certainly aware of the mayhem being caused by his supporters in the citadel of American democracy. Minutes earlier, Pence and his family had been evacuated from the House floor for their safety. And there is good indication that Trump had been informed of this prior to his tweet. Yet with violent extremists roaming the Capitol and on the hunt for Pence (and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), Trump further fueled their rage and placed Pence in even greater danger. Castro played video showing a Trump rioter using a bullhorn to read Trump’s tweet condemning Pence to the crowd on Capitol Hill. The message was clear: Pence was a traitor. As the riot was intensifying, Trump had explicitly directed its wrath against Pence. This is incitement.

    During her presentation, impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) noted another way in which Trump encouraged the violence that happened at the Capitol. In October, a pickup truck caravan of Trump supporters surrounded a Biden campaign bus on a Texas highway and nearly drove it off the road. Afterward, as Plaskett noted, Trump tweeted: “These patriots did nothing wrong.” Keith Lee, the Trump loyalist who was one of the organizers of that caravan, she said, was at the Capitol on January 6. He reportedly had cased entrances to the Capitol that morning, and when the mob arrived he used a bullhorn to encourage rioters to break into the building. Two months earlier, Trump had given his blessing to Lee and his extremist methods.

    We also saw that this was a much more savage, much more violent, much more dangerous attack than we previously had thought.  The new footage from inside the Capitol, from police body cams and Capitol surveillance cameras, revealed the mob as more or less crazed. I don’t think there’s a better word for it.

    A violent mass that would pick up any chant at any moment and who were determined to get onto the congressional floor and stall, disrupt, or terminate the certification of the November 3 election that was taking place that day in a joint session of Congress.  On video, these insurrectionists looked like the mutant spawn of The Walking Dead and Planet of the Apes.

    No doubt that some if not many of those who waltzed into the Capitol that horrible day are not affiliated with any fascist groups like the Proud Boys, but they were effectively led by them and other hardened elements who had planned this attack for weeks if not months.

    The Senators from what they like to call the Law and Order Party were treated to one video after another clearly showing members of their “base” spitting on, beating, clubbing and jabbing the Capitol Police and DC Metro cops.  And that’s not to speak of the officer who was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher, and the two others driven to suicide after the fiasco that day, or the near 150 law enforcement officers that were injured in the melee.

    The impeachment managers also did a terrific job in laying out a timeline that shows Trump endorsing violence on several public occasions going back to his original 2016 campaign when he encouraged his rally-goers to “knock the crap” out of any protesters who might show up.

    Add to that the Fayetteville Nazi march that he declared was full of good people and his endorsement recently of a Texas caravan of his supporters trying to run a Biden campaign bus off the road.

    More importantly, Trump paved the way for this insurrection by declaring the 2020 election rigged before it even took place – a sure indicator he knew he was going to get stomped. The propagation of this Big Lie, which he continues to stoke even today, is the underlying cause of this revolt and Trump played it for all its worth.

    He had to be fully aware that a coalition of neo-fascist and militia groups had months in advance declared January 6 to be D-Day, and this coming confrontation was amply circulated for weeks on conservative social media.  

    No accident that Trump spent a whopping $50 million in advertising for his own January 6 rally in Washington D.C. He knew damn well with Congress meeting that day to rubber stamp the electoral college results, this was going to be his last chance to disrupt or overturn the election he lost.  Everything else he had tried had failed and while trying to physically obstruct the certification was a hare-brained strategy he nevertheless went along with it.

    Two other quick points: what did Trump intend when he tweeted out the invitation to his January 6 rally promising that he would be “wild?”

    And even more crucial, the permit that was secured for his rally on the Ellipse expressly prohibited any march.  When he launched the march on the Capitol, Trump was in direct violation of the rally permit he had secured. 

    My view is that he is probably not engaged enough in anything to have sat down with the Proud Boys to figure out in detail what exactly was planned or what would happen when his hooligans reached the Capitol.

    Trump was probably satisfied enough knowing that with so many loyal crazies out in front they would stir up something sufficiently ugly even if he was not sure what it would be or what it would lead to.  It’s as if he just decided to roll a five ton bowling ball down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol and let the walls tumble as they may.

    It’s really a disservice to reality to extend much more legal argument about this incident.  In his closing remarks Thursday, Jamie Raskin summed it up perfectly saying this whole issue is a matter of “common sense.”

    Trump stoked the idea of a rigged election for most of the past year and into the pot-election period.  He never has conceded his defeat.  He was fully aware of the volatility of the crowd he assembled on January 6.  He was perfectly comfortable that it was peppered with fascists.  He unleashed the crowd, and as it broke into the Capitol, beating up the cops in their path, he did nothing to stop it.

    On the contrary, an hour into it is when he fingered Pence in a tweet and a minute later the mob inside the Capitol started chanting “Hang Mike Pence!.”

    He refused to ever authorize the National Guard to assist the police who were vastly outnumbered (it was Pence who finally put out the call).  It was only after 2 hours into the rampage that he issued a weak tea tweet telling the protesters to go home.  Not only did he never condemn any of them (true up through today) his final tweet to the Trumpanzees four hours after the breach, was to thank them, call them very “special people” who he loved and told them that this had been a day so glorious that they should remember it forever.

    We’ll get to how the Senate is going to vote in a moment.  But let’s pause to give credit to the House managers for doing a great, much-needed public service in further exposing Trump’s criminality and the rank hypocrisy of his enablers and defenders. There were some who were worried that this trial would get in the way of Biden acting immediately on his agenda, but that was very short-sighted. Those who were worried that the impeachment would get in the way of Biden’s agenda were dead wrong. Further exposing the criminality of Trump and his more rabid followers are necessary steps in cleaning up the political landscape. As E.J. Dionne writes in the Washington Post:

    The “stab in the back” myth that falsely blamed the political left for Germany’s loss in World War I paved the way for Hitler. In our history, another outright lie — that the Civil War was about “states’ rights” and not slavery — strengthened the forces of white supremacy for generations.

    This is why we will owe a debt to the House impeachment managers for many years to come. They have created an indisputable record. They catalogued lie after lie about the election’s outcome. They laid out Trump’s long history of promoting political violence, including his praise, shortly before the attack on the Capitol, for Rudolph W. Giuliani, right after his lawyer had called for “trial by combat.”

    The punditry says that fewer than 10 Republican Senators are likely to vote for Trump’s conviction. This will be an outrage, a sign that a once great party has surrendered to craven opportunism or, worse, brutal authoritarianism. But thanks to the work of the impeachment managers, the country will know how spineless the party has become.

    Probably the same as you, I have run out of words to describe the vast majority of Republican senators who will undoubtedly vote to acquit (if they don’t we will have an entirely different political landscape before us). All of this turmoil comes down to one very simple proposition that has nothing to do with the legal arguments back and forth.  Simply put, do Senate Republicans want to take advantage of this moment to fully rid themselves of the radioactive albatross that is Donald J. Trump or do they want to continue to abide and concede.

    Mostly, they are scared stiff of their enraged base that has been steadily radicalized since Reagan and turbo-charged with hatred and fear by Trump.  They have every reason to be afraid as something like 70% of Republicans polled after the first day of the trial still wanted Trump acquitted. And an amazing 40% of them said political violence was just fine in certain circumstances.

    On Friday, Trump’s Abbot & Costello defense team will come up with a half dozen or so bogus excuses to acquit Trump, none of which will be based on the facts of the case.  Who knows what lines of distraction and BS they will come up with?  Indeed, if they were honest about their task, the defense lawyers would bring in a crew of highway engineers as the only real challenge in front of them is to manufacture enough “off-ramps” to allow the Quisling Senators to vote “their conscience” (after they Google that word to see what it means) and acquit.

    Again E.J. Dionne:

    The House impeachment managers moved efficiently on Wednesday to close off the escape hatches and back doors for Senate Republicans. Quietly but passionately, they put the lie to the sham alibis that weak and cowardly members of the GOP are likely to invoke if they decide to do Donald Trump’s bidding one more time.

    Those who vote to acquit the former president will now own it all: The incendiary speech that made the nation’s capital a killing ground but also the months of incitement and lying that built up to the violence.   They will own the threats against elected officials who refused to cheat on Trump’s behalf, the attacks on Black voters in big cities, and the savage mendacity of his all-caps tweets. Voting to acquit will mean joining in Trump’s rejection of the democratic obligation to accept the outcome of a free election and in his declarations even before the voting began that this was a “rigged” and “stolen” contest.

    One last thought.  Let’s make sure to take down the names of every worthless consumer of oxygen in the Senate who votes to acquit.  They should be forever reviled, rebuked, ostracized and marked as cowards and, yes, traitors.  When you give license to a President to unleash a mob on Congress the day they are certifying the election he lost, treason is not too strong a word. And damn Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer if they stoop to negotiating anything at all with these cowardly and dysfunctional bags of hammers that occupy the Republican side of the aisle.  They should be considered to be dead already.  No concessions to them, please!

    I am fully prepared for the senate to acquit. And I won’t care much because I have always known this.  What is satisfying is my conviction that what we have seen this week is only the beginning of Trump wallowing in a sand trap of legal woes for years to come. It’s already started and once the Senate trial is over, it will accelerate.

    Drowned out by the saturation coverage of the trial, a few days ago the District Attorney in Atlanta has announced a criminal investigation into interference with the November election and that means an investigation of Trump’s recorded phone call to the Secretary of State cajoling him to “find” another 11,780 votes so the results in Georgia would be reversed. 

    If he is indicted in Georgia or anywhere else, which seems likely, and if he goes to trial, there won’t be any pathetic Republican Senators on those criminal juries and he will be held accountable.