Friday, January 15, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 7:05 AM

When Kim Dine took over as the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in 2012, he knew he had a serious problem.

Since 2001, hundreds of Black officers had sued the department for racial discrimination. They alleged that white officers called Black colleagues slurs like the N-word and that one officer found a hangman’s noose on his locker. White officers were called “huk lovers” or “FOGs” — short for “friends of gangsters” — if they were friendly with their Black colleagues. Black officers faced “unprovoked traffic stops” from fellow Capitol Police officers. One Black officer claimed he heard a colleague say, “Obama monkey, go back to Africa.”

In case after case, agency lawyers denied wrongdoing. But in an interview, Dine said it was clear he had to address the department’s charged racial climate. He said he promoted a Black officer to assistant chief, a first for the agency, and tried to increase diversity by changing the force’s hiring practices. He also said he hired a Black woman to lead a diversity office and created a new disciplinary body within the department, promoting a Black woman to lead it.

“There is a problem with racism in this country, in pretty much every establishment that exists,” said Dine, who left the agency in 2016. “You can always do more in retrospect.”

Whether the Capitol Police managed to root out racist officers will be one of many issues raised as Congress investigates the agency’s failure to prevent a mob of Trump supporters from attacking the Capitol while lawmakers inside voted to formalize the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden.



Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge HECTOR ACUÑA
Hector Acuña
Even though Democrat Joe Biden's inauguration is just a week away on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-197 today
to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time following his incitement of a mob that overran the U.S. Capitol last week.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed in the resulting rampage.

Ten Republicans, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, joined the all of the House Democrats in voting for impeachment.

The impeachment resolution states that Trump "engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States."

It notes that while a joint session of Congress was in the process of counting the electoral votes affirming Biden's win, Trump addressed a crowd of supporters and "reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.' He
also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.' Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed … unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts."

The resolution also points to other efforts by Trump to subvert the election, such as his January phone to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to rig the election in his favor. A recording of the call was released to the media.

Trump "has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law," the resolution reads.

All five Democrats in the Arizona delegation—Reps. Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O'Halleran, Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton—voted in favor of impeachment. All four Republicans—Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert—voted against it.

Grijalva said Trump remains a "clear and present danger to this country and must face responsibility for his actions."

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 1:35 PM

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva: "President Trump is a clear and present danger to this country and must face consequences for his actions."
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva: "President Trump is a clear and present danger to this country and must face consequences for his actions."
Congressman Raul Grijalva has announced he'll vote in favor of impeaching President  Donald Trump for a second time. Grijalva's statement:

Impeachment is reserved for the extreme situations when a President betrays their oath of office, abuses their power, and loses the trust of the American people. President Trump did exactly that as he urged deranged individuals to march on the Capitol and threaten lawmakers to overturn the results of the election and illegally install him in power. As mobs overpowered Capitol police, he refused to forcefully condemn them. He has since showed no remorse for his actions and bears responsibility for this horrific attack.

President Trump is a clear and present danger to this country and must face consequences for his actions. I will vote to impeach Trump for a second time because calls of ‘unity’ will not stop the treacherous situations Trump continues to encourage. Trump and his congressional enablers must be held accountable for the carnage and terror they released on our nation last week, and for their continued willingness to spread lies and support violence to undermine our democracy.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 11:16 AM

click to enlarge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: "The - only way to overcome the division is for Republicans to finally recognize and - call out the MAGA cause for what it is: a movement entrenched in white - supremacy, in entitlement, and in loyalty to one man, rather than country." - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy Photo
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: "Theonly way to overcome the division is for Republicans to finally recognize andcall out the MAGA cause for what it is: a movement entrenched in whitesupremacy, in entitlement, and in loyalty to one man, rather than country."

Just one week ago, members of the 117th Congress took the oath of office. Raising our right hands, we swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I took this oath two years ago, as well, and cited it when I voted to impeach the president the first time, following the Mueller report. This week, I’ll vote to impeach the president a second time, following the rampage he organized.

This past November, we held a free and fair election. Due to record turnout, President-Elect Biden won by a significant margin. Rather than concede with grace, President Trump began spreading propaganda—baseless lies—that the election was rigged, that votes were stolen, and that he won by a landslide. This movement was either actively supported, or at best ignored, by Republicans who were elected on the same ballot.

On Jan. 6, this propaganda campaign climaxed to an all-out assault on our democracy when the President of the United States instructed a violent mob to attack government buildings and officials. Doors and windows were smashed, lawlessness and chaos took over, and in what felt like an instant, my colleagues and I became victims of domestic terrorism under the dome of what we thought was one of the securest and most symbolic buildings in the world.

But the truth is, it wasn’t an instant. This wasn’t a peaceful protest that happened to spiral out of control. What unfolded was the result of a disturbing trend that had been brewing and growing, without scrutiny and without consequence, for the last few years.

There is no question that the attack on the Capitol was harrowing. To see a place so sacred and meaningful defiled and disrespected is extremely heartbreaking. Yet, what’s even more devastating, and downright disturbing, is the attitude that we should simply gloss over the attempted coup from last week to find unity amidst the wreckage.

We are at an impasse. We simply cannot move forward from here without holding the President and his party accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. The only way to overcome the division is for Republicans to finally recognize and call out the MAGA cause for what it is: a movement entrenched in white supremacy, in entitlement, and in loyalty to one man, rather than country. For too long, Republicans have either been complicit in the face of this President or have dutifully fallen in line with him. So they, too, are responsible for the pillage that occurred.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 9:48 AM

With more than 5,600 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 641,000 as of Wednesday, Jan 13, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 830 new cases today, has seen 85,256 of the state’s 641,729 confirmed cases.

A total of 10,673 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 1,335 deaths in Pima County, according to the Jan. 13 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide continues to soar as the virus has begun to spread more rapidly, putting stress on Arizona’s hospitals and surpassing July peaks. ADHS reported that as of Jan. 12, 5,055 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state, a slight drop from yesterday’s 5,082. The summer peak of 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients was set on July 13; that number hit a subsequent low of 468 on Sept. 27, or less than a tenth of the current count.

A total of 2,082 people visited emergency rooms on Jan. 12 with COVID symptoms, down from the record high of 2,341 set on Tuesday, Dec. 29. That number had previously peaked at 2,008 on July 7; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28.

A total of 1,158 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Jan. 12. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22.



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 2:12 PM

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click to enlarge Rep. Tom O'Halleran: “With American blood on his hands, Donald Trump should not remain in the highest seat of power in the free world.” - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
Rep. Tom O'Halleran: “With American blood on his hands, Donald Trump should not remain in the highest seat of power in the free world.”

Following the Trump-incited riots last week in Washington, House Democrats are pushing to impeach the president for a second time. Politico reports today:

The House will take its first formal step toward removing President Donald Trump Tuesday, with Democrats warning he presents a grave and immediate threat to the nation despite having just a week left in office.

Democrats’ push to force Trump out — first with a vote later Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to take unilateral action and then an impeachment vote Wednesday — is barreling to the floor at unprecedented speed.

“This is a solemn day,” House Rules Chair Jim McGovern said as his panel moved quickly to tee up the resolution intended to pressure Pence. The Massachusetts Democrat, who was steps away from the doors as rioters attempted to pound their way into the chamber last Wednesday, rebuked Trump for urging his supporters to march on the Capitol where their insurrection temporarily halted certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“He called together an angry mob, he filled them with falsehoods and false hope. And then he sent them to the U.S. Capitol,” McGovern said. “It is past time for the vice president to do the right thing here.”

Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran joined the four other Democrats in the House delegation—Reps. Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego—in announcing he would support impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence and the president's cabinet did not take action to remove Trump via the 25th Amendment.

“Today, it’s clear to me that the Vice President and President Trump’s Cabinet have no intention of taking action," O'Halleran said over the weekend. "Moreover, we’ve seen just how quickly things can escalate; with American blood on his hands, Donald Trump should not remain in the highest seat of power in the free world for even the next 11 days. I am joining my colleagues on a resolution to draw up Articles of Impeachment to remove Donald Trump from office, preventing him from becoming a further threat to our national security."

O'Halleran cited his past career as a cop in announcing his decision.

"As a former law enforcement officer and criminal investigator, I spent my career gathering facts and evidence to pursue truth and justice," O'Halleran said in a prepared statement. "Today, I am using the facts at hand to inform my decision to act to remove a threat to our nation: Donald Trump refused to concede in a free and fair election and incited insurrection by domestic terrorists who scaled walls and strode armed through our Capitol, threatening lives and desecrating the building that represents our very democracy. In our democracy, we hold elected officials accountable when they break the public trust and put their own interests before the good of our country.”

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM