We don't need a commission on the Capitol incursion. Plus: GOP jumps on $$ bandwagon

By Gary Abernathy

We don’t need a commission on the Capitol incursion

The New York Times reports that Senate Republicans appear poised to derail congressional efforts to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the origins of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that occurred in the wake of a rally in support of then-President Donald Trump.

“Given that three of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in February of inciting the mob have doubts about the House bill, the odds of Senate approval appear slim,” the newspaper reports.

That’s good. It’s tempting to suspect that the reason some Democrats (who gained 35 GOP votes in the House when they passed the bill) want the commission is to keep the subject in the news on an ongoing cycle for the next few months (leading up to the 2022 midterms) and put an official congressional stamp of condemnation on Trump supporters.

Certainly, everyone who participated in the actual riot should be condemned, but not the thousands who attended the rally but remained peaceful and respectful but often get lumped in with the violent offenders. And the members of the extremist groups who were involved do not represent the vast majority of Trump supporters across the nation, which is an impression some Trump foes often seem to try to impart.

Between official probes and media investigations, there’s little mystery left about how the riot came to be and who was involved. And as the Times noted, courtesy of GOP Sen. Richard Burr (NC):

Burr noted the Justice Department is conducting one of the largest criminal investigations in history and congressional committees are conducting multiple investigations. “I don’t believe establishing a new commission is necessary or wise,” Burr said.

As the story reports, Burr is hardly a Trump defender. He voted to convict Trump during the impeachment trial earlier this year.

What has been determined is that the riot was a combination of planning by some extremist groups coupled with spontaneous participation by people caught up in the moment, along with a failure by those in charge of security to properly prepare and prevent the violence that many had anticipated as a possibility. As GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell (Ky) said, “The facts have come out, and they will continue to come out.”  

The Capitol incursion was one of the most shameful days in American history. Trump’s role in riling up his base with false claims that the election was stolen from him, and his incendiary remarks to thousands of emotional supporters on Jan. 6, should disqualify him in the minds of all Americans from leading the Republican Party or ever winning office again.

After a passing mention of protesting “peacefully,” Trump said, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

The crowd then marched to the Capitol where a constitutionally-mandated ceremony was taking place to certify the Electoral College votes – a process led by Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence, who was among those who had to flee for their lives.

Hundreds of participants are being prosecuted, as they should. The Justice Department continues to investigate. This is nothing like the circumstances of 9/11, where there were more unknowns than knowns and so much planning from outside this country. We do not need a showboating new commission on top of what we know and what law enforcement will determine.

Republicans jump on spending bandwagon

For those who are tempted to point the finger at Democrats for our descent into socialism, consider this story from North Carolina, courtesy of the News & Observer in Raleigh:

Getting off unemployment and back to work might soon earn North Carolinians as much as an extra $1,500, under a proposal Republican lawmakers introduced Thursday to pay people to get a job… It’s common practice for businesses to either raise wages or offer signing bonuses when they can’t find enough workers at the rates they have been paying… There’s less precedent for using taxpayer dollars to subsidize signing bonuses for businesses, as this new proposal would do.

At least some Republicans in the state recognize how tragic it is to pay people to go to work, but they’re still supporting the idea.

“It goes against the grain to me that we got to pay people to go to work,” said Republican state Sen. Tom McInnis. “But we don’t have a choice.”

The reason they feel they don’t have a choice, of course, is because of all the additional unemployment money supplied by the federal government, which, coupled with existing state unemployment money, ended up paying many laid-off workers more than they were making on the job. Even with some states cutting out the federal boost, it’s been difficult changing people’s mindsets and getting them back to work.

Reversing this trend will be a monumental task, if it’s even possible. As I noted more than a year ago, we crossed the Rubicon, and Democrats and Republicans are both to blame. There may be no turning back.

Cicadas: Way too weird to pass up clickbait headlines

When reports emerge that the coming cicada invasion features a particularly fungus-plagued, sex-crazed, zombie-fied brood, well, clickbait headline writers aren’t about to let THAT go to waste.

NPR: A fungus is pushing cicada sex into hyperdrive and leaving them dismembered.

Washington Post: A fungus could turn some cicadas into sex-craved ‘salt shakers of death.’

WLWT: Dismembered and sex-crazed: Get ready for ‘zombie cicadas’ in Cincinnati.

Vice: Sex-crazed cicadas are set to have psychedelic orgies yet again.

The Cut: Fungus could turn some Brood X cicadas into sex zombies.

Be afraid. But have a great weekend!

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