Patterico's Pontifications

3/3/2021

National Guard Chief: Waited More Than Three Hours For OK To Send Help On Jan. 6

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:58 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This morning, Maj. Gen. William Walker gave testimony about the lengthy delay before receiving approval to mobilize the National Guard at the Jan. 6 insurrection:

It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump’s Defense Department to approve a request for D.C.’s National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday.

The testimony comes as Congress holds a series of hearings about security preparations for and response to the violence at the Capitol earlier this year.

“At 1:49 p.m. I received a frantic call from then-Chief of U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters,” Maj. Gen. William Walker told the Senate Homeland and Rules committees in a joint hearing.

“Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many Guardsmen as I could muster.”

Walker said he “immediately” alerted Army senior leadership of the request. He was not informed of the required approval from then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller until 5:08 p.m., he said — “3 hours and 19 minutes later.”

“We already had Guardsmen on buses ready to move to the Capitol. Consequently, at 5:20 p.m. (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. We helped to reestablish the security perimeter at the east side of the Capitol to facilitate the resumption of the Joint Session of Congress,” he said.

Walker also said that he would have immediately activated his forces and deployed them to assist the Capitol police if he hadn’t been restricted by the Pentagon:

Walker on Wednesday told lawmakers about a Jan. 5 letter from acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller that restricted his ability to deploy the Quick Reaction Force and seek approval from higher ups before moving his National Guard forces.

Walker called the letter unusual.

“I had restrictions on me I hadn’t had in the past,” he said.

So what I’m taking from this is that, up until the day before the insurrection, Walker had full authority to move in troops where needed. But for some mysterious reason, that authority was restricted on Jan. 5. Who was responsible for adjusting the guidance one day before the melee at the U.S. Capitol? And why?

Anyway, to further illustrate what a difference a violent riot makes, compare and contrast:

Reportedly, the optics of having Guardsmen at the Capitol played a part in the delay:

According to the former chief of Capitol Police and acting chief of DC police and Major General Walker the delay was due in part to concerns about the ‘optics’ of the National Guard, at the Capitol.”

But hey, if we’re talking about optics…

jan. 6

This past weekend, Trump claimed that he had been concerned about the size of the crowd that might attend the “rally,” and expressed that he wanted 10,000 National Guard troops to be at the ready:

Trump told “The Next Revolution With Steve Hilton” that his team alerted the Department of Defense days before the rally that crowds might be larger than anticipated and 10,000 national guardsmen should be ready to deploy. He said that — from what he understands — the warning was passed along to leaders at the Capitol, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and he heard that the request was rejected because these leaders did not like the optics of 10,000 troops at the Capitol.

“So, you know, that was a big mistake,” he said.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave Trump’s claims four Pinocchios. You can read the breakdown here.

As a reminder, back in November, the Trump administration made sweeping changes at the Defense Department:

The flurry of changes, announced by the Department of Defense in a statement roughly 24 hours after President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, has put officials inside the Pentagon on edge and fueled a growing sense of alarm among military and civilian officials, who are concerned about what could come next.

Four senior civilian officials have been fired or have resigned since Monday, including Esper, his chief of staff and the top officials overseeing policy and intelligence. They were replaced by perceived Trump loyalists, including a controversial figure who promoted fringe conspiracy theories and called former President Barack Obama a terrorist.

–Dana

67 Responses to “National Guard Chief: Waited More Than Three Hours For OK To Send Help On Jan. 6”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Incitement is speech likely and intended to cause an imminent breach of the peace.

    The fact that the breech happened as he was speaking addresses the likely and imminent tests.

    This information seems to go to Trump’s intent.

    They should have had hearings and witnesses on this for the impeachment. I doubt anyone in the GOP actually cares but they still should have done it.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  3. They clearly should have done that, yes. They also should have had the trial while he was still in office.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  4. The Senate needs to put Christopher Miller under oath to confirm the delay and to find out if he was directed by his boss on anything National Guard.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  5. … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. Investigating this further is important.

    At this point I’d be looking for a conspirator somewhere inside the White House (not Trump, though.)

    Time123 (daab2f) — 3/3/2021 @ 1:06 pm

    The fact that the breech happened as he was speaking addresses the likely and imminent tests.

    No it doesn’t.

    The fact that somethimg happened does’t mean it was LIKELY to happen. The fact it happened while he was still speaking argues against it being the cause.

    And there’s the very important question: Was Trump’s intention to speak at the second rally at the Capitol, real or not? Who or what cancelled it, and when?

    This information seems to go to Trump’s intent.

    They should have had hearings and witnesses on this for the impeachment. I doubt anyone in the GOP actually cares but they still should have done it.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  7. Hearings like this add further proof that Trump is utterly unfit for office and a danger to the democratic republic. And that the QOP is complicit in his traitorous and treasonous acts.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  8. @7. Hearings like this add further proof that the U.S. government couldn’t stay dry under an army of umbrellas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  9. House scraps work schedule amid security threat

    Top House Democrats are abruptly wrapping up all work on Wednesday and sending members home — a day earlier than planned — as congressional leaders grapple with another potential threat to the Capitol, nearly two months after deadly riots overtook the complex.

    While the extent of the concerns is not yet clear, U.S. Capitol Police have stepped up the security around the Capitol and related office buildings after both federal authorities and the sergeant-at-arms warned of discussions by “militia violent extremists” to seize control of the complex on or around March 4.
    …….
    The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security disseminated a joint intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement on Tuesday night warning of potential violence at the Capitol on March 4. The document, obtained by POLITICO, said the FBI had learned that a militia group was discussing a plan as of late February to persuade “thousands” to travel to Washington on that date and “take control of the US Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers.”

    The bulletin explained that some domestic violent extremists “motivated by the QAnon conspiracy theory” could be mobilized to action because they believe that Trump will be inaugurated on March 4 or will return to power on May 20 with the help of the U.S. military.

    “Continued [domestic violent extremist] perceptions of election fraud and other conspiracy theories associated with the presidential transition may contribute to DVEs mobilizing to violence with little or no warning,” the document warned. Many Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 were directly motivated by Trump’s repeated claims of a stolen election, and the bulletin said extremists might feel “emboldened” by the successful breach of the building that day.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. ‘Top House Democrats are abruptly wrapping up all work on Wednesday and sending members home — a day earlier than planned — as congressional leaders grapple with another potential threat to the Capitol, nearly two months after deadly riots overtook the complex.

    While the extent of the concerns is not yet clear, U.S. Capitol Police have stepped up the security around the Capitol and related office buildings after both federal authorities and the sergeant-at-arms warned of discussions by “militia violent extremists” to seize control of the complex on or around March 4.’

    “Courage.” – Dan Rather, CBS News, September, 1986

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. Further evidence in a treason trial.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    Trump did both.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. They also should have had the trial while he was still in office.

    1) Why? Do you think that Senators who were looking for excuses would not have found something else?

    2) The Senate was already in recess and could not come back into session before Jan 20th without unanimous consent.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. At this point I’d be looking for a conspirator somewhere inside the White House (not Trump, though.)

    Why not Trump? He did not have to actually speak the words for things to happen by his will. This is the “If Only Trump Knew” defense.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. IIRC, the rationale given was that the Guard’s actions earlier in the year against [anti-Trump] protestors made it necessary to impose controls on Jan 6th.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Does anyone remember the Tea Party envelopment of the Capitol and Mall back in 2010 when they were passing Obamacare? There were perhaps 10 times as many unhappy citizens and not only did they respect the rules but they cleaned up after themselves. A bourgeois uprising. I wonder if we will ever see that allowed again.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. >The Senate was already in recess and could not come back into session before Jan 20th without unanimous consent.

    because McConnell orchestrated the recess that way when they closed business on the 6th. That was a mistake.

    > Why? Do you think that Senators who were looking for excuses would not have found something else?

    because Trump remained a clear and present danger until he was removed, and any way to mitigate that danger short of impeachment depended on the government ignoring the President, which is *also* a big danger to the Republic.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  17. This will be used as an exhibit in the Democrats’ push for DC statehood…

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  18. Does anyone remember the Tea Party envelopment of the Capitol and Mall back in 2010 when they were passing Obamacare? There were perhaps 10 times as many unhappy citizens and not only did they respect the rules but they cleaned up after themselves. A bourgeois uprising. I wonder if we will ever see that allowed again.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/3/2021 @ 4:07 pm

    Does anyone remember Democratic extremists bombing the Senate? I wasn’t alive, but I remember. I guess it gives me hope that the horned dude might end up being a learned professor helping young Republicans launching their political career.

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  19. ‘Top House Democrats are abruptly wrapping up all work on Wednesday and sending members home — a day earlier than planned — as congressional leaders grapple with another potential threat to the Capitol, nearly two months after deadly riots overtook the complex.

    While the extent of the concerns is not yet clear, U.S. Capitol Police have stepped up the security around the Capitol and related office buildings after both federal authorities and the sergeant-at-arms warned of discussions by “militia violent extremists” to seize control of the complex on or around March 4.’

    “Courage.” – Dan Rather, CBS News, September, 1986
    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/3/2021 @ 3:38 pm

    They have walls, razor wire, fences, and thousands of guardsmen surrounding the Capitol. But they are closing up shop because some militia guys might try to take the Capitol?

    I don’t buy it. Maybe a nice day off to glad-hand with some donors, though…

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  20. Oh, this is fun–apparently the designer of the “CPAC Nazi rune” stage is a Biden voter, and most of her supporters are liberals:

    “1. I know Design Foundry because they handle design for many events in DC for companies like MSNBC & Target.

    They oversaw the design for the Biden Cancer Summit in 2018.

    The owner, Annie, is very liberal and was so excited for Biden’s victory.

    Great work conspiracy theorists.

    2. Also worth noting that many of her employees are liberal

    So many of you decided to go after something without any reporting or knowledge about who was responsible for the design

    And before you ding her for working for CPAC, you try having an events business during a pandemic.”

    So basically, this woman is now losing business that she desperately needs to keep her livelihood because a bunch of obsessed lunatics projected their neuroses on to a stage design.

    If you know what a dog whistle sounds like and get excited when you think you hear one, that means you’re a dog.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  21. One of the stupidest things going on right now is this cancellation of tomorrow’s sessions of Congress. I buy it. They’re that stupid. Not wanting to make the same mistake again, the FBI issued all kinds of warnings for March 4.

    This is because, when you get right down to it, six to eight weeks ago maybe, some of the same people involved in the Jan 6 events, or associated with them, talked about doing something on March 4.

    why March 4? In reality because these kinds of things take six to eights to plan, but supposedly because that used to be the date a president was inaugurated through 1933, until the date was changed by the 20th amendment.

    It;s a non sequitor, and no you can’t make that make any sense in any way. But some QAnon people said Donald Trump would be restored on March 4 because of some legal mumbo jumbo.

    All this ignores the fact that, before January 6, there were numerous people travelling to Washington and trip arrangements were openly discussed. What was a surprise was not that some members of extremist groups would be there, but what they would do. They were expected to fight with counter-demonstrators.

    Who’s coming to Washington now?

    They’re taking precautions against ghosts.

    Doesn’t anybody have any common sense?

    Now maybe you need only a few people to plant a bomb, but in that case it might not take place on any date that’s been mentioned by anybody.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  22. SF: At this point I’d be looking for a conspirator somewhere inside the White House (not Trump, though.)

    6. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/3/2021 @ 4:02 pm

    Why not Trump?

    Because this didn’t help Trump in any way, and he couldn’t have been stupid enough to believe that it would, and there was no follow-on that might have been part of a plan, and Trump had other plans for the day.

    He did not have to actually speak the words for things to happen by his will.

    if he wanted it, his words on the Ellipse had almost nothing to do with it.

    He was used to draw a crowd into Washington.

    This is the “If Only Trump Knew” defense.

    It’s not quite that, but people do get manipulated. This has the feel of Trump being recruited into other people’s plans. It just makes a whole lot more sense that way. And, a priori, is more probable.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  23. If you know what a dog whistle sounds like and get excited when you think you hear one, that means you’re a dog.
    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7) — 3/3/2021 @ 5:37 pm

    Yup. Just like the old poker saying…

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  24. Hoi Polloi (b28058) — 3/3/2021 @ 5:34 pm

    But they are closing up shop because some militia guys might try to take the Capitol?

    There;s none of them anywhere around.

    It could have been something to look out for back on January 21, but no plans have been made! THEY CAN BE SURE OF THAT.

    Hundreds of people, or even dozens, if there are still any people willing to try, don’t come to Washington in secret.

    What’s the news about these people? You’ve got some local chapters of the Proud Boys very angry at their national leadership.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/us/extremism-capitol-riot.html

    The chapters breaking away accused Mr. Tarrio of leading the group astray with high-profile clashes with far-left demonstrators and by storming the Capitol.

    “The Proud Boys were founded to provide brotherhood to men on the right, not to yell slogans at the sky” and “get arrested,” the St. Louis chapter said in its announcement.

    So now, come on.

    If there was any serious attempt to recruit people for an encore, you wouldn’t have plenty of informers?

    Congress is going to recess for a day because the FBI issued vague warnings without sharing the raw intelligence it is based on.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  25. @20, except it looks like an exact match. Given how cozy the GOP has become with the alt right it seemed like more then a coincidence. It was a coincidence, which is a shame for her.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  26. he couldn’t have been stupid enough to believe that it would

    Show your work. By all accounts he thought it was great and didn’t understand why everyone around him disagreed.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. Sammy, you sound like Rose Mary Woods explaining how that tape got erased.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. I don’t think Donald Trump thought the assault on the Capitol was great, although he did try to use it to his advantage in an argument with Kevin McCarthy.

    We don;t have a blow by blow account of what he did between 1 om and 6 pm that day.

    It;s said there are two sides to every story. Actually there are least three. One side, the other side, and the truth, which often doesn’t have a representative.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  29. @19. No kidding.

    Hell, they close the place down for an inch of snow.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. House Democrats Pass Voting-Rights Bill Opposed by GOP

    House Democrats passed legislation to expand voter participation and curb the role of big campaign donors over the objections of Republicans, who claimed the measure would weaken safeguards and spur mistrust in elections.

    The legislation passed along party lines, 220-210, without any Republican support. The bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-democrats-republicans-clash-over-voting-rights-bill-11614780715?mod=latest_headlines

    While we continue to argue amongst ourselves, this is what we are really up against. This is the type of propaganda being emailed to readers from a supposedly Republican news site. It’s pure press that doesn’t say anything other than GOP is against voting rights. Not that they don’t want to strengthen the laws to permit valid votes.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  31. House Democrats Pass…

    We will see a lot of this. Very little will become law. At least until after 2022, when the GOP will lose 12 seats because they insist on running “Trump” well past his sell-by date.

    Then comes the deluge.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. The Republicans don’t want to strengthen laws to permit valid votes. They quite openly want to make voting more difficult and less accessible because they believe this benefits them politically in elections. This on top of the existing Republican bias of the Electoral College and gerrymandering. The Republicans in various state legislatures are currently intent on insuring they never lose another election like 2020 again through various means of pruning the electorate. If there was ever an issue that deserved ending the filibuster (another mechanism giving the minority a veto) it’s this one.

    Victor (4959fb)

  33. An addition to my prior comment. Here are the provisions of the Election reform bill. Tell me which ones you think are intolerable:

    It would:

    Establish automatic voter registration at an array of state agencies;

    Establish same-day voter registration;

    Allow online voter registration;

    Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they’ll be on the rolls when they turn 18;

    Allow state colleges and universities to serve as registration agencies;

    Ban states from purging eligible voters’ registration simply for infrequent voting;

    Establish two weeks of in-person early voting, including availability on Sundays and outside of normal business hours;

    Standardize hours within states for opening and closing polling places on Election Day, with exceptions to let cities set longer hours in municipal races;

    Require paper ballots filled by hand or machines that use them as official records and let voters verify their choices;

    Grant funds to states to upgrade their election security infrastructure;

    Provide prepaid postage on mail ballots;

    Allow voters to turn in their mail ballot in person if they choose;

    Allow voters to track their absentee mail ballots;

    Require states to establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions for congressional redistricting (possibly not until the 2030s round of redistricting);

    Establish nonpartisan redistricting criteria such as a partisan fairness provision that courts can enforce starting immediately no matter what institution is drawing the maps;

    End prison gerrymandering by counting prisoners at their last address (rather than where they’re incarcerated) for the purposes of redistricting;

    End felony disenfranchisement for those on parole, probation, or post-sentence, and require such citizens to be supplied with registration forms and informed their voting rights have been restored;

    Provide public financing for House campaigns in the form of matching small donations at a six-for-one rate;

    Expand campaign finance disclosure requirements to mitigate Citizens United;

    Ban corporations from spending for campaign purposes unless the corporation has established a process for determining the political will of its shareholders;
    and
    Make it a crime to mislead voters with the intention of preventing them from voting.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/3/3/2019203/-House-Democrats-just-passed-the-most-important-democracy-reforms-since-the-1965-Voting-Rights-Act

    Victor (4959fb)

  34. if everything is covered with plywood and razor wire…what exactly did you morons win again?

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. if everything is covered with plywood and razor wire…what exactly did you morons win again?

    And that, my fellow Americans, encapsulates the Trump mindset. Donnie did not manage to burn down the kitchen, and mommy took away the cookie jar, but he made daddy childproof the kitchen sink cabinet so “nyah, nyah, nyah!”.

    nk (1d9030)

  36. if everything is covered with plywood and razor wire…what exactly did you morons win again?

    mg (8cbc69) — 3/4/2021 @ 2:53 am

    We managed to keep Trump supporters from lynching Mike Pence. I’ll put that in the win column.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  37. Victor (4959fb) — 3/4/2021 @ 1:35 am

    Establish automatic voter registration at an array of state agencies;

    Could register people against their will at a location they do not want. Should require confirmation.

    Establish same-day voter registration;

    Destroys the purpose of voter pre-registration. Acceptable if limited in numbers, and some extra layer of proof required. Voter rolls must be computerized and instant;y accessible for this to work. You can register now on election day at the polls, for future elections. May be an idea for doing this during early voting for another day.

    Allow online voter registration;

    Impersonation possible. Could be done unknown to the voter. Acceptable if a confirming bank transaction is made. OK as a way to start the process.

    Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they’ll be on the rolls when they turn 18;

    This is OK, but must avoid confusing people. There should also be a way to check registration.

    Allow state colleges and universities to serve as registration agencies;

    This is something for Democrats. Republicans don’t like people voting in college towns. Does not work well with voter ID. You have the possibility of double registration in two different states or counties.

    Ban states from purging eligible voters’ registration simply for infrequent voting;

    Causes a lot of people to be on the rolls who are not there. But people should get warnings. Whatever the rule is, it should be known. At one time peple had to re-register every year.

    Establish two weeks of in-person early voting, including availability on Sundays and outside of normal business hours;

    Creates lots of employment opportunities. Early oting places shold not have lines. Difficult to project how any places are needed. Sme people cannot use it because easily because of distance. People may vote too early.

    Standardize hours within states for opening and closing polling places on Election Day, with exceptions to let cities set longer hours in municipal races;

    Why should you do that? In most states voting hours are standardized. You want to reduce hours? Are you talking about closing the polls at the same time nationwide?

    Require paper ballots filled by hand or machines that use them as official records and let voters verify their choices;

    This works. Machines are better. Maybe use some other material than paper.

    Grant funds to states to upgrade their election security infrastructure;

    They cold make it worse, too, you know.

    Provide prepaid postage on mail ballots;

    This should go without saying. What places now require you to use a stamp?

    Allow voters to turn in their mail ballot in person if they choose;

    Very, very, good idea. Should state on the ballot and/or instructions. I think that’s possible now, in most places.

    Allow voters to track their absentee mail ballots;

    Well, OK.
    But voter needs to be able to do something about it if ballot is not arriving.

    Require states to establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions for congressional redistricting (possibly not until the 2030s round of redistricting);

    What is nonpartisan? Details are extremely important.

    Establish nonpartisan redistricting criteria such as a partisan fairness provision that courts can enforce starting immediately no matter what institution is drawing the maps;

    Can incumbents be protected? What about incumbents who are persons of color?

    End prison gerrymandering by counting prisoners at their last address (rather than where they’re incarcerated) for the purposes of redistricting;

    New York did change that in the last redistricting I think. Of course, the alternative doesn’t work so well either.

    End felony disenfranchisement for those on parole, probation, or post-sentence, and require such citizens to be supplied with registration forms and informed their voting rights have been restored;

    Whatever the rule is, everyone should know. Maybe exceptions for certain crimes?

    Provide public financing for House campaigns in the form of matching small donations at a six-for-one rate;

    Garbage rule that protects incumbents.

    A better prposal: Dollar for dollar tax rebates for political contributions, or maybe better even, political contribtor gets reimbursed – quickly – 120%. Can limit amount. Maybe must be registerewd and only applies to person they can vote for.

    Expand campaign finance disclosure requirements to mitigate Citizens United;

    No, no no. You want people to be boycotted or harssed because of their political contributions?

    Ban corporations from spending for campaign purposes unless the corporation has established a process for determining the political will of its shareholders;

    Well, you could do this. Also for unions and any nonprfit grouups.

    and Make it a crime to mislead voters with the intention of preventing them from voting.

    You could do that. Need some allowance for genuine mistakes.

    Now two things that should be in there:

    1) Give in person voting priority over absentee, so up till the close of polls, absentee ballot can be replaced by in person ballot. No irreversible vote banking.

    2) Allow banks and others to offer outsourcing of all campaign finance compliance, just like they do payroll.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  38. I thought all these precautions were a little like some of the coronavirus precautions – it turns out the Cdc thought of something even more ridiculous.

    https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/zombie/index.htm

    It started out as a joke.

    https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/:

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  39. 2. Time123:

    They should have had hearings and witnesses on this for the impeachment. I doubt anyone in the GOP actually cares but they still should have done it.

    Yes, of course.

    Nobody wanted witnesses. Even when the Senate voted to hear a witness, the House managers found a way out and substituted a statement/stipulation about what a House Republican said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said about his conversation with Trump during the insurrection (for want of a better word.) Trump’s defense team didn’t want any either, and threatened to ask for very many. I think to prove the point about using the word “fight.”

    Neither side was interested in getting to the truth.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  40. The thing that is supposed to indicate that the March 4 threat is real is that the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. raised its rates, as it often does when it expects more business.

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2021/02/25/trump-hotel-rates-are-over-1300-on-march-4-the-date-in-a-wild-qanon-theory

    While conspiracy theories are unfavorable for the business of democracy, they may be good for the business of the Trump Hotel. Room rates at the former president’s namesake hotel nearly triple from March 3 to 4—aligning with the latest QAnon lore that March 4 will mark the second inauguration of Donald Trump.

    The hotel’s nightly rates in March range, on average, from $476 to $596. But on Trump’s imagined inauguration weekend, rooms leap to $1,331.

    So now we get this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/03/us/politics/capitol-riot-qanon-trump.html

    Two federal law enforcement officials said broad concerns about potential violence were warranted, given the online chatter around the QAnon conspiracy and talk of an attack. But they said they had not seen or been briefed on any specific, credible threat of an attack on politicians, the Capitol or other symbols of government.

    While they felt it was unlikely that an organized militia group would be able to execute the kind of attack on the Capitol described in the Capitol Police bulletin, particularly given the fortifications around Washington, they did not rule out the possibility that “lone wolf” attackers could try to wreak havoc.

    This is like some warnings of terrorist attacks.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  41. “The use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues Brothers Trumpkins has been approved.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. I read that only the House abandoned its workplace for today, not the Senate.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/03/973310942/capitol-police-warns-of-another-possible-right-wing-attack-on-congress

    The House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session after the U.S. Capitol Police said it is aware of a threat by an identified militia group to breach the Capitol complex that day.

    The Senate plans to remain in session on Thursday to debate amendments to the COVID-19 relief bill.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  43. I have no problem with making it a little bit hard to vote, or at least register to vote. When I moved to New Mexico, registering to vote the first time involved by birth certificate, previously obtaining a state ID and another proof of residence, mailed to a state agency well before any election I wished to vote in. I didn’t have a problem as it gave me confidence that the state viewed voting as something to be restricted to citizens and residents of the state.

    Since then, the Left has taken over the state completely and is dead set on removing all these “barriers” to voting. Or state IDs for that matter. They joined the execrable “Popular Vote Compact” as their first order of business, even though NM (5 electoral votes) would lose 40% of its electoral power under such an arrangement. They put the interests of their national party over the interests of the stat3e and its residents. And not for the last time, either.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. @33: It is amazing what Leftists like Victor think voting is about. He would let preschoolers vote if he thought it would help his side.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. @44, I don’t like everything in the house bill. But voting should be made as easy as possible for legitimate voters while balancing the need to minimize fraud. Making it easier for eligible voters to register is a good thing.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  46. Hoi Polloi @18-

    Does anyone remember Democratic extremists bombing the Senate?

    There is no record of Democratic extremists bombing the Senate. However, in 1983 radical terrorists did bomb the Senate.

    Following a five-year investigation, federal agents arrested six members of the so-called Resistance Conspiracy in May 1988 and charged them with bombings of the Capitol, Ft. McNair, and the Washington Navy Yard. In 1990, a federal judge sentenced Marilyn Buck, Laura Whitehorn, and Linda Evans to lengthy prison terms for conspiracy and malicious destruction of government property. The court dropped charges against three co-defendants, already serving extended prison sentences for related crimes.

    Apparently there was no association with the Democratic Party, though you seem to equate the two.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. What was broken about the way we’ve been voting since the Civil Rights Act up to circa 2016, other than that sometimes Democrats lost and people have to get out of bed to perform a civic duty?

    JF (3efb60)

  48. Apparently there was no association with the Democratic Party, though you seem to equate the two.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/4/2021 @ 9:34 am

    Actually, there is a relationship:

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/02/28/when-the-left-attacked-the-capitol-471270

    One of those involved, a co-founder of Weather Underground, is a big player in Democrat Party politics. Has been for some time. Mentored Barack Obama.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  49. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/4/2021 @ 8:58 am

    He would let preschoolers vote if he thought it would help his side.

    It also needs to have a semi-plausible argument. So you don’t see anybody poroposing that 4 years old, but we do see a proposal for 16 year olds.

    https://vote16usa.org/reasons-for-lowing-voting-age-16

    REASON #4: LOWERING THE VOTING AGE TO 16 WILL STRENGTHEN CIVICS EDUCATION

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-defeats-effort-to-expand-voting-to-16-year-olds-11614798907

    ..By Siobhan Hughes
    March 3, 2021 2:15 pm ET

    ….The measure from Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), one of the most progressive members of the House, drew 125 in favor to 302 against. No Republicans supported the measure, which was part of a larger, sweeping voting-rights package set to be voted on later in the day. Currently, citizens 18 years and older have the right to vote.

    Progressives argued that young people were working and politically engaged and had earned the right to help shape the country’s future, and noted that many work and have their driver’s license at 16. Republicans noted that the law treats people younger than 18 as juveniles in the criminal courts, which Democrats haven’t proposed changing….

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/major-american-city-may-soon-allow-16-year-olds-vote-n1239955

    “I really think that Vote 16 will help youth of color in San Francisco establish the habit of voting at an earlier age and really provide them with the support and the resources that they need to continue building on that habit as they grow older,” said Crystal Chan, 18, an organizer for Vote 16 SF who fought to get the measure on the ballot.

    If the proposition passes, San Francisco would become the first major American city to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in municipal elections….

    Sammy Finkelman (7509c5)

  50. What was broken about the way we’ve been voting since the Civil Rights Act up to circa 2016, other than that sometimes Democrats lost and people have to get out of bed to perform a civic duty?

    JF (3efb60) — 3/4/2021 @ 9:37 am

    Sounds good, but a lot of GOP state legislatures would fight your proposal tooth and nail.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  51. In Iran the mullahs instituted the 16 year old vote, I assume because they thought (probably wrongly) that it would help their side, because their side is wrong and younger people are thought to be easier to fool)

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2001-06-07-0106070055-story.html

    As the hard-liners try intimidation, Khatami has tried persuasion.

    “The young generation of Iran wants freedom in the framework of justice,” he said last week at a campaign event organized for some of the 7 million young people eligible to vote for the first time in this election…

    Sammy Finkelman (7509c5)

  52. Hoi Polloi (15cfac) — 3/4/2021 @ 9:41 am

    Define “big player” Enjoyed your guilt by association.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  53. But, to Fisk (and note that this list comes from the Netroots at the dailykos)

    An addition to my prior comment. Here are the provisions of the Election reform bill. Tell me which ones you think are intolerable:

    Probably all of them, at a guess. Let’s see.

    Establish automatic voter registration at an array of state agencies;

    Biased towards those who often deal with state agencies. How about we automatically register people who file state income tax returns? Or do you see my point?

    Establish same-day voter registration; Allow online voter registration;

    These are likely (and possibly designed) to remove safeguards against multiple voting and non-citizen voting. Online registration means no one knows if you’re really a dog (New Yorker cartoon reference). Documents — and a voter registration form is a document — should have some actual existence. If there were some crypto method of validating online forms, then maybe, but I bet anything such a requirement is not in the bill.

    Same-day registration creates ballots with little or no provenance, and likely little or no thought, just waiting for the first lawyer to yell “Count every vote!”

    Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they’ll be on the rolls when they turn 18;

    Why? Justify this, please. It seems to be an attempt to politicize people when they are even younger and stupider.

    Allow state colleges and universities to serve as registration agencies;

    Again why? Are college students so inept that they cannot find a way to get a registration form? Those, at least, ought to be requestable on the internet. Most students can work a browser.

    Ban states from purging eligible voters’ registration simply for infrequent voting;

    This is just asinine. The REASON you prune voter forms IS for infrequent voting since it gets rid of registrations for people who moved, died, or don’t give a crap. In my youth in CA, it was for missing two consecutive general elections. The ONLY people who benefit from bloated and out-of-date voting lists are those who wish to generate fraudulent ballots. If you say that never happens, go read LBJ’s biography.

    Establish two weeks of in-person early voting, including availability on Sundays and outside of normal business hours

    Again, why? This just a bad idea. if at all possible people should vote on the same day with the same information. Every election some candidate dies, or is disclosed a bank robber or something, after early voting has started. It distorts the process. But, if you worry about people having to work, etc, then a single three-day period (Friday-Sunday to accommodate all religions) should suffice. There is no earthly reason to vote 2 weeks before an election.

    Standardize hours within states for opening and closing polling places on Election Day, with exceptions to let cities set longer hours in municipal races;

    Neglecting the issues with ordering states to conduct municipal elections in any way they don’t want to (that silly Constitution thing), I have no problem with fixing hours to, say 8AM to 8PM in a national election, or even 6AM to 10PM, although that’s hard on poll workers. Or even, as I suggested above, 8AM – 8PM Friday-Sunday.

    What I have BIG problems with is changing the rules on election day. If there are issues at precincts, I suggest the scheme they use in NM — you have a voter’s document you can take to any ballot-place in your county and be given a ballot to vote, at which point your having voted is recorded. Note that same-day voting breaks this operation rather badly.

    Require paper ballots filled by hand or machines that use them as official records and let voters verify their choices;

    While the Trumpies like this idea, I see no reason for it, really. It proves nothing (an evil ballot machine company could record one thing and print another). A better solution is opens-source code running on generic hardware. This is not a difficult programming problem.

    Grant funds to states to upgrade their election security infrastructure;

    OK. If done without strings. But that’s really the issue, isn’t it. Take the king’s money and play by the king’s rules.

    Provide prepaid postage on mail ballots;

    This could be done by executive order (“Hey, postal service, stamps not needed!”)

    Allow voters to turn in their mail ballot in person if they choose;

    Assuming that the drop boxes are equitably placed, not all in Beverly Hills or Watts, fine. But that was one game they played in CA — the drop boxes were often located in Democrat strongholds, and hard to access from more conservative communities. When the GOP (acting under the state’s existing ballot-harvesting laws) set up additional private drop boxes in these underserved areas, the state government went berserk.

    Allow voters to track their absentee mail ballots;

    Not a problem. We can do that in NM. At least we can look on the same state website where I ordered the ballot, and see that the ballot had been received. It did not tell me where it was between mailing and receipt.

    Require states to establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions for congressional redistricting (possibly not until the 2030s round of redistricting);

    This isn’t really all that useful. They did this in CA for the 2010 cycle and it produced a worse (Democrat) gerrymander than the 2000 cycle. Multiple problems: many “non-affiliated” voters always vote Democrat anyway, or they are inattentive to politics, so the commission is composed of left-leaning and/or naive members. They often start with the current map and just tweak it — it’s easier. And, as happened in CA, they can be gamed by phony “citizen groups” aimed at influencing boundaries for partisan purposes. Especially if the commission members are political innocents, as they were in CA.

    Establish nonpartisan redistricting criteria such as a partisan fairness provision that courts can enforce starting immediately no matter what institution is drawing the maps;

    The devil is in the details. Again in CA, requiring compactness and inclusion of existing community boundaries did not prevent gerrymanders. It just made the computers work a little harder.

    End prison gerrymandering by counting prisoners at their last address (rather than where they’re incarcerated) for the purposes of redistricting;

    This is a new one. Doesn’t seem all that troubling one way or the other. Should we also count people by where they work, not where they live? Lots of people would like to vote in NYC who don’t live there.

    End felony disenfranchisement for those on parole, probation, or post-sentence, and require such citizens to be supplied with registration forms and informed their voting rights have been restored;

    At such time they have their other rights restored, fine. Like owning a long gun.

    Provide public financing for House campaigns in the form of matching small donations at a six-for-one rate;

    NEVER. But if it must be done, all candidates get the same match, not just the D & Rs. Usually these rules have a floor, locking out all competitors to the ruling parties. Shoot, ballot access rules are bad enough without state-funding campaigns. I suspect these rules would also come with other rules making large donations illegal. See Eugene McCarthy on campaign finance.

    Expand campaign finance disclosure requirements to mitigate Citizens United;

    Ban corporations from spending for campaign purposes unless the corporation has established a process for determining the political will of its shareholders;

    Citizen United, had it gone the other way, would have banned any book, magazine or video from criticizing a candidate for public office 90 days before an election, if it was the product of a corporation (and all are). You are down with that?

    and Make it a crime to mislead voters with the intention of preventing them from voting.

    ALL our political class would be in jail. Starting with anyone who said “Don’t worry, you’re taxes won’t go up, only those people over there!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. How to prevent gerrymanders:

    Stop with single-person first-past-the-post elections and election districts.

    Let’s say your state has 30 state senate seats. Instead of 30 districts, have 10 districts and elect 3 senators from each with each voter getting ONE choice. That last bit is important, as most at-large elections (3 elected, three votes per voter) end up being slate elections. If each voter gets only one vote, they are quite likely to be able to organize to get someone they can put up with elected to one of the seats.

    Currently, if you have 3 R+20 districts, you elect 3 Rs. But in a combined district. you’d get 2Rs and one D most of the time. If there are minority communities that are being shut out, they could may organize to get one of the slots.

    But the most important thing is that it is utterly unpredictable. Even an area like an inner city might surprise you, and no officeholder would have a lock.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Any redistricting scheme that has single-victor districts will be gerrymandered if at all possible.

    The only thing that might prevent that would be a panel of retired judges who will lose their pensions if a court finds they gerrymandered. But you might have trouble finding available judges.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. > How about we automatically register people who file state income tax returns?

    seems like a perfectly fine idea to me.

    > Online registration means no one knows if you’re really a dog

    in CA, before online registration was a thing, you could fill out a form and mail it in. how is an online registration form any more susceptible to this problem than a checkbox paper form? if the second is acceptable, why wouldn’t the first one be?

    > The ONLY people who benefit from bloated and out-of-date voting lists are those who wish to generate fraudulent ballots.

    not true. there are people who don’t bother voting except in really high profile elections, and most of those people have no reason to suspect that their registration was deleted for failure to vote. it’s an unexpected surprise barrier to occasional voters.

    i think there’s a reasonable argument that there are fewer of these than there are fraudulent ballots, but it’s *not* true that the only beneficiaries are fraudulent ballots. and … i used to work as a poll worker. i’ve *talked* to these occasional voters and had to turn them away. i would prefer a system that protected against fraud but still allowed these people to vote.

    > This just a bad idea. if at all possible people should vote on the same day with the same information.

    many jurisdictions don’t provide sufficient polling places that this can be done without standing in line *for hours*. most working people simply don’t have that option, especially if they have a commute.

    > There is no earthly reason to vote 2 weeks before an election.

    what do you do if you’re going to be out of town?

    i mean, overall, a four day voting period from saturday to tuesday could be sufficient as long as you have a different option for those who know in advance that they’ll be out of town at that time. but that fallback option has to be there.

    > Neglecting the issues with ordering states to conduct municipal elections in any way they don’t want to

    Congress only has the power to do this for federal elections (which power is explicitly granted in the constitution). so a municipality could choose not to consolidate its elections with the federal ones and use different rules for those.

    > If there are issues at precincts, I suggest the scheme they use in NM — you have a voter’s document you can take to any ballot-place in your county and be given a ballot to vote, at which point your having voted is recorded.

    CA regularly has issues with last minute changes due to fires closing polling places and/or causing the local electorate to be dispersed and unable to reach their polling place.

    The problem with the NM system is that the voting issues may be different in different parts of the county. So, you could go to that polling place over there, but then you’d be voting in a different congressional district, and you couldn’t vote for city council, etc.

    > and Make it a crime to mislead voters with the intention of preventing them from voting.

    surely we can differentiate out specific things like intentionally directing people to the wrong polling place, or intentionally misleading people about what day election day is (both of which have happened on a sufficiently sizable scale to attract press attention)

    aphrael (4c4719)

  57. Kevin M, at 54: that solution is specifically forbidden by federal law passed in the nineteenth century, at least as applies to congressional seats.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  58. not true. there are people who don’t bother voting except in really high profile elections, and most of those people have no reason to suspect that their registration was deleted for failure to vote. it’s an unexpected surprise barrier to occasional voters.

    I have no sympathy. They should pay more attention.

    what do you do if you’re going to be out of town?

    Um, how about an “absentee” ballot. That is what they were actually made for. But they were the exception, not the rule. That voting is more difficult that getting a cheeseburger is not an issue to me. I do NOT agree that everyone should vote. Some people are just guessing, or voting for who their friends like. Voting should be informed; everything else is noise.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. Kevin M, at 54: that solution is specifically forbidden by federal law passed in the nineteenth century, at least as applies to congressional seats.

    Which is why I did not say “congressional district.” I wonder why they passed such a law — it makes parties weaker, so maybe that’s why.

    I would go further, too. Let the CA State Assembly and State Senate each be elected from a single pool of candidates, with the top 80 and 40 respectively being elected. Everyone get one vote for each house. Parties might run slates, and you’d choose which you liked best. The Sierra Club might endorse one or two people, the NRA the same. The Libertarians might win a seat this way, the Greens several. Disbursed groups (gays, the Hmong, Pentacostals) might find a way to get a representative.

    Maybe committee chairs would have to come from the top vote getters. It would at least be more interesting, not to mention diverse.

    And of course there would be not a chance at a gerrymander.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. Kevin,

    Thank you for taking up the challenge of responding to Victor.

    I agree with many of your points, especially the one about the undesirability of making it easier for unmotivated or uninformed people to vote.

    norcal (01e272)

  61. APphrael:

    Co-sign on

    “overall, a four day voting period from saturday to tuesday could be sufficient”. I always had the standard/test of “how many days to vote should be allowed so that a physician in residency could vote if he/she drew a dreaded 72 hour shift”

    urbanleftbehind (8e4f97)

  62. @20, except it looks like an exact match. Given how cozy the GOP has become with the alt right it seemed like more then a coincidence. It was a coincidence, which is a shame for her.

    Time123 (9f42ee) — 3/3/2021 @ 6:31 pm

    Perhaps the lesson here is that people need to get off of social media, and stop mainlining clickbait that fits their dearly-held preconceptions.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  63. @20, except it looks like an exact match. Given how cozy the GOP has become with the alt right it seemed like more then a coincidence. It was a coincidence, which is a shame for her.

    Time123 (9f42ee) — 3/3/2021 @ 6:31 pm

    Perhaps the lesson here is that people need to get off of social media, and stop mainlining clickbait that fits their dearly-held preconceptions.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7) — 3/4/2021 @ 7:33 pm

    I think this got a reasonable amount of attention. Stage looked like a Nazi symbol. That’s an interesting coincidence if nothing else. In this case because the GOP has cozzied up to the alt right it got more discussion, but after the facts came out it turned out that it was just a coincidence and everyone moves on to more important matters; What gender is a potato?

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  64. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/4/2021 @ 10:39 am

    Let’s say your state has 30 state senate seats. Instead of 30 districts, have 10 districts and elect 3 senators from each with each voter getting ONE choice.

    There was a slightly different system, called cumulative voting, for state House seats in Illinois till 1980. Each Senate district had three members of the House elected. A person could cast three votes for any combination of candidates – he could case one vote each for three or three for one or two and one. Usually one major party ran two candidates and the other major party ran one, and those were often the only candidates on the ballot.

    https://www.lib.niu.edu/1981/ii810310.html

    … In 1980, there were 177 House members elected, three each from 59 districts.

    In 1982, there will be no cumulative voting, that unique experiment in representative elections established in the 1870 Constitution. It was reaffirmed in the ratification of the 1970 Constitution when voters had the choice of changing the system to single-member districts in a separate submission

    For over a century in Illinois, voters in each legislative district have elected three representatives by the method of cumulative or weighted voting. The Cutback Amendment has eliminated the system….

    ….Cumulative voting has also been criticized for making it possible to elect a representative with an extremely low percentage of the votes cast. Assuming the third place finisher in a four-person race with 15 percent or less of the total votes is a weak showing, then nine of the representatives elected to the House in 1980 got in on a pass. But this problem appeared to be limited to the heavily Democratic districts in Chicago, since all nine were from the Chicago area. They included eight Republicans and “independent” Pouncey of the 26th District.

    How safe were House incumbents? About as safe as Senate incumbents. In all, 153 House incumbents sought reelection in 1980. Of these, 145 or 94 percent were reelected. Of the eight incumbents who lost, six were Democrats…. The 94 percent success rate of House incumbents compares almost exactly with the 93 percent success rate for Senate incumbents. Evidently House incumbents were no safer than their Senate counterparts despite the “collusive” intent of cumulative voting.

    Or to put it another way, Senate incumbents were just as safe.

    In New York City, when we had two members of the city council elected at large from eacg borough (eventually ruled in violation of equal protection – and there was a great disparity between the population of Staten Island and the other four boroughs, although even there Brooklyn has almost twice the population of the Bronx) two were elected but a person could vote for only one. In Manhattan a Liberal was often elected and not a member of the Republican Party.

    But the most important thing is that it is utterly unpredictable. Even an area like an inner city might surprise you, and no officeholder would have a lock.

    The politicians would try to parcel out which party got hat seats before the vote. With each voter able to vote for only one, maybe it might be a little bit difficult because it might be hard to avoid wasted votes. There could be competition for third place. It might sometimes be someone from a faction related to one major party and sometimes from the other.

    two clsure winners

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  65. The inauguration has passed, without incident. The impeachment trial is over; nothing bad happened. And now, the alleged March 4th attack never materialized. The obvious question becomes: how much longer are we going to keep the National Guard — currently 4,900 of ’em — and high fences in place, making Washington DC look like the capital of a banana republic?

    The Dana in Kentucky (0562ec)

  66. >I would go further, too. Let the CA State Assembly and State Senate each be elected from a single pool of candidates, with the top 80 and 40 respectively being elected. Everyone get one vote for each house.

    I’d prefer to enlarge both legislatures substantially and then have regional multi-member districts.

    I do not believe it is realistic to expect someone to represent 875,000 people in a meaningful way, as our state Senators do. An 800 person assembly and a 400 person state senate would still be functional, and would provide much better representation than the current ones do.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  67. aphrael wrote:

    I do not believe it is realistic to expect someone to represent 875,000 people in a meaningful way, as our state Senators do.

    Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million souls are represented by 203 stare Representatives, or 1 for 63,054, and some people consider the state House to be too large. But, when I lived there, I actually knew my Representative.

    New Hampshire has 400 state Representatives for 1.36 million people, or 1 for every 3,400 souls.

    The Dana in Kentucky (0562ec)


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