Today, after an eight-week trial and three days of deliberations, a jury of five women and seven men found Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 57, the founder and leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers gang, and Kelly Meggs, 53, who led the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. It found Rhodes guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings, and found Meggs guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging duties, and tampering with documents or proceedings.
This verdict is well timed. With only days to go before Congress recesses, much is left to do. The establishment of a conspiracy breathes life into the Jan. 6 investigation so that even when McCarthy (presumably speaker) tries to eclipse the significance of this finding, he will be hard pressed to justify doing so. May justice be served, may justice prevail.
Are the guilty verdicts for seditious conspiracy keeping bigger fish awake tonight? Will Roger Stone, Mike Flynn and others in their circle face consequences? An equally important question, will those in Congress and working in the Trump administration who played a role in the events of Jan. 6 be held accountable?
I'm in the camp that justice will finally find Trump, both with federal and state crimes. But what about his enablers? All of them must pay a heavy price for the damage they have wrought.
Dr. Richardson, I was really touched by the conclusion on your essay this evening, a harbinger of a political world no longer madly spinning! :
“And,” Pelosi added, “it is hope that we celebrate each holiday season—that through the cold and dark winter, spring will someday come.” Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who defended the Capitol against the Oath Keepers on January 6, heard the jury’s verdict, then watched the tree lighting."
My thoughts about the railroad legislation are complicated. My thoughts about the Marriage bill are not. If you want a personal perspective as to why, yes, this matters:
I am bisexual. It is absolutely hilarious to me how many otherwise open-minded, sensible people still think this is some kind of fringe thing, or personality quirk, or fashionable phase. They can't wrap their brains around it. It's a simple concept: I can be - and am - attracted romantically and otherwise to either a woman or a man, and would be happy pursuing a relationship if reciprocated. Somehow, this breaks many folk's brains. Still! I have come to realize they can accept gay people, because "the poor things, their brains were put in upside down, they can't help it." But BI? Now you are just making things up to be fancy, you greedy gus! I've realized a key thing to explain is that bi means not BOTH, but EITHER; my brain sees gender markers as just another characteristic, so whatever someone has under their shirt affects whether I get a crush on them as much as if they are short or tall or have blue or brown eyes. All are beautiful on the right person. I can control who I am attracted to as much as you can: zero percent. However, if I am dating the right person, I'm about as likely to feel I'm "missing out" on the other gender as I am missing out on blondes/brunettes: also zero percent, because I'm not shallow.
Anyway, almost every bi person I have heard from has this same experience of a delay in realizing our identity relative to others in the LGBT family. Long story short, during those teen years you are already attracted to the opposite sex, and you don't know bi is an option, so you just misattribute the other feelings you have. It took me a while to jump from "If I was a girl, I would date him..." to "I, personally, would date him and enjoy that thought." Often there is a random moment where it just clicks. (Thanks, guy with the swept-back black hair and button-up shirts in statistics class! You saved me a year or two!)
Myself, this initial process was freeing because I had a supportive environment. But you know what came shockingly quickly after that? The sudden realization that, after a life growing up assuming you struck it lucky as a white male, you are now - literally as soon as you open your mouth to admit a part of your personality to anyone anywhere - part of a discriminated group. There is now the knowledge that, even if I was to live a Rockwellian life with a female partner and 2.5 kids, there are vast areas of my own country where people think they should be able to deny me a job or an apartment or a cake or basic politeness because once upon a time I DID have a crush on Kyle from stats class, and subsequently committed the dangerous subversion of being okay with that.
And they would make it the law if they could. Right now. They would make me a second-class citizen not because of any action I took, but because of my personality. They would choose to take my safety and dignity because of thoughts in my head that I expressed to friends.
There is nothing less American.
So while I agree with many others in my LGBT family (and all our allies) that this bill is far, far from the full Equality Act we need and will get once the Senate is filibuster-free, I am beyond grateful for it. It is not only a necessary backstop against the ravages of a wayward Supreme Court, but a confirmation that most Americans are accepting, see love as love, see the bedrock value of freedom of choice as more valuable than imposing a personal prediliction, and we need to MOVE ON TO ACTUAL ISSUES.
Thank you Senator Baldwin, Feinstein, and Schumer. Tonight I sleep a little easier with more options open for my future.
Thank you for writing about these important events. Maybe, justice will be served for the attempt to block the legitimate transfer of power. Now, get the "big guns" who instigated it all!
What is being done by Biden-Pelosi-Schumer regarding the strike is exactly how I would proceed were I in their role, in a situation with no good options.
I am unapologetically pro-union, pro-worker, pro-strike, the works. If ALL the unions were against the deal together my feelings would most likely be different. But it is beyond telling that 2/3 already accepted the government-brokered deal. Allowing only 1/3 of the union chapters of one industry to paralyze the world's largest economy for an indefinite period is flatly unacceptable.
What these workers are being denied boils my blood. But it is not much different than the myriad of similar blood-boiling denials faced by many undervalued American workers in many industries.
The solution is generous paid leave for all Americans, mandated federally. The window for that, if we play our cards right (and we better), blows wide open in two years. To those using words like "betrayal" to characterize the president choosing the health of the nation as a whole rather than just his preferred constituency, kindly step out of the circular firing squad and train your fire at those who deny paid leave, rather than the man who advocated for it for a year straight, and is prepared to do so again.
Oh, my goodness! So much of today’s Letter caused my throat to catch! Everything that Heather wrote tonight is absolute vindication of all the travesty and horror we as a nation have had to endure since the presidential election in 2020. What our country has had to put up with, the vile lies, awful, disgusting behavior of Trump and his toadies, and the efforts to delay, obfuscate and distort the trials of the people responsible for all of that is finally being punished by the laws of our country - laws that these same people have denied being subject to and have sought to not be held responsible for violating. There is justice after all!
Then, the end of the letter spoke eloquently of the beauty of life and our faith in something greater than ourselves and the lives we live here on Earth. That itself was enough for me today and brought tears to my eyes. But to have all the rest happen on top of the Grace we had at the tree lighting restores much of my trust that good will triumph over evil!
Let us indeed live in hope!
What a magnificent start to this holiday season!!!
Thank you, Heather Cox Richardson, for a letter filled with hope. Possibility. Hope that we are seeing and will continue to see some of our government do their jobs: holding insurrectionists accountable with prison sentences for their parts in planning to disrupt the counting of electoral votes and attempts to destroy our Democracy; that a judge ruled against presidential immunity for TFG’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election (what a crazy argument!!!); the Senate passing the Respect for Marriage Act and 12 repubs joined the Democrats to pass it. And to get ahead of SCOTUS who may invalidate marriage equality. And that the rail workers might return to work with a possible plan to add sick leave to their contracts; that we honor the many cultures of our nation, especially the First People, through their stories and customs: the winning essay by Youth Tree Lighter Catuce Micco Tiger, a citizen of Eastern Band of Cherokees, “The trees that stayed awake were rewarded with the ability to keep their leaves yearlong and with special healing powers. It is a story of faith and gratitude—of hope enduring through the dark night.”
So much good news all at once, I can barely take it all in. What a change from the disheartening events of Jan 2021. ￼ My faith in the justice system and the rule of law is redeemed.￼￼ It’s clear the seditionists were fully convinced that they were on the side of right and totally committed destroying democracy. I truly hope they come to see that what they did was treason, not patriotism.
Beautifully tied up dear historian and teacher, Prof Richardson! And the smiling picture of the capitol police at the end of the citations is a special pleasure at the end of another truly historic day. Hope you’re asleep right now!
I’m not celebrating until the jail cell door clangs shut behind Rhodes. Then, hopefully, the same bell ringing behind Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, et al, and finally, triumphantly, behind the seditious conspiracy commander-in-chief himself.
“…and justice for all.”
"Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who defended the Capitol against the Oath Keepers on January 6, heard the jury’s verdict, then watched the tree lighting." God bless these Capitol Police officers, and the DC Law Enforcement (thinking Michael Falcone). These men and women need to be honored. I hope that Pres.Biden does something to acknowledge them.
Small steps!! Important steps!!
Yesterday, 11/29/22, was Giving Tuesday. I’m about to tap on “Give gift” to formally and joyfully thank Heather, patriot extraordinaire, for her daily, priceless gift to us all….. Letters from an American!
Bernie had a detailed comment to Chris Hayes tonight that the vote on health care f or the railroad unions may not die under a Republican filibuster. He seemed quite confident, though he didn't declare it "done."
For those bashing Biden for not supporting the railroad workers, there is a larger issue at stake--with much of the Missippi River unnaviagable because of drought if rail transportation is also halted because of strikes then all that will be left are truckers to move freight. There currently are not enough truckers and they also work under inhumane conditions that compromise their own and others safety for low wages and few benefits.
No movement of goods and the economy does come to a halt and huge number of people will be out of work and inflation will run rampant because of shortages. The country is at an extremely precarious point economically.
The only way this gets fixed for the long term is through legislation to codify worker protections and conditions of employment for ALL workers. Pelosi is putting a bandaid on it for the current crisis with the companion paid leave legislation, while also forcing the Republicans to to show how anti-worker they are.
My fear is that SCOTUS is moving towards gutting the powers of government agencies to make and enforce regulations and McCarthy will gut the funding for the agencies to hamstring them further if he becomes Speaker.