It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.
Among the Insurrectionists (from the New Yorker): “Soon the mob swarmed past the officers, into the understructure of the bleachers, and scrambled through its metal braces, up the building’s granite steps. Toward the top was a temporary security wall with three doors, one of which was instantly breached. Dozens of police stood behind the wall, using shields, nightsticks, and pepper spray to stop people from crossing the threshold.Other officers took up positions on planks above, firing a steady barrage of nonlethal munitions into the solid mass of bodies. As rounds tinked off metal, and caustic chemicals filled the space as if it were a fumigation tent, some of the insurrectionists panicked: “We need to retreat and assault another point!” But most remained resolute. “Hold the line!” they exhorted. “Storm!” Martial bagpipes blared through portable speakers.
“Shoot the politicians!” somebody yelled.
“Fight for Trump!””
How the rioters who stormed the Capitol came dangerously close to Pence (from the Washington Post): “Pence and his family had just ducked into a hideaway less than 100 feet from that landing, according to three people familiar with his whereabouts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. If the pro-Trump mob had arrived seconds earlier, the attackers would have been in eyesight of the vice president as he was rushed across a reception hall into the office.”
Lawmakers who conspired with Capitol attackers in legal peril (from Politico): “Unlike with the president, there’s no Justice Department policy shielding members of Congress from legal accountability while in office.
“I’d say those are potentially viable prosecutions,” added Peter Zeidenberg, another former federal prosecutor in Washington. “I’d say those guys should be worried.””
Missing cat turns up 3 years after California disaster (from the Associated Press): “The Animal Shelter Assistance Program in Santa Barbara County says the calico named Patches was brought in as a stray last month and a microchip scan revealed her identity.
Patches had been missing since Jan. 9, 2018, when a rainstorm on the vast burn scar of the Thomas Fire sent a debris-laden torrent crashing down through hillside neighborhoods of Montecito, northwest of Los Angeles.”
“HURTING PEOPLE AT SCALE”: FACEBOOK’S EMPLOYEES RECKON WITH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK THEY’VE BUILT (from BuzzFeed News): “Messages like those from Wang and Abramov illustrate how Facebook’s handling of the president’s often divisive posts has caused a sea change in its ranks and led to a crisis of confidence in leadership, according to interviews with current and former employees and dozens of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The documents — which include company discussion threads, employee survey results, and recordings of Zuckerberg — reveal that the company was slow to take down ads with white nationalist and Nazi content reported by its own employees. They demonstrate how the company’s public declarations about supporting racial justice causes are at odds with policies forbidding Facebookers from using company resources to support political matters. They show Zuckerberg being publicly accused of misleading his employees. Above all, they portray a fracturing company culture.”
It Was Supposed to Be So Much Worse (from the Atlantic): “But despite all the chatter about storming the Capitol and the general call for violence, most of the insurrectionists did not appear to have a clear blueprint for action—and the ones who seemed to have a plan were driven off by police reinforcements. Rioters killed a police officer, but they failed to follow through on their threats toward political leaders. Part of the reason for this, Simi said, is that most of the people who entered the Capitol were not armed, and many were likely unprepared for how simple their task would be. “I think what happened was [rioters] had no idea it would be that easy to breach the perimeter, so they weren’t prepared for the potential easy opportunity to do a lot of damage,” Simi said.”
“I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation (from BuzzFeed News): “The memo is a damning account of Facebook’s failures. It’s the story of Facebook abdicating responsibility for malign activities on its platform that could affect the political fate of nations outside the United States or Western Europe. It’s also the story of a junior employee wielding extraordinary moderation powers that affected millions of people without any real institutional support, and the personal torment that followed.
“I know that I have blood on my hands by now,” Zhang wrote.”
Records: Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot (from the Associated Press): “A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House.”
‘Traitors Get Shot’: Capitol Rioter Accused of Threatening Children if They Turned Him In (from Newsweek): “According to the affidavit, the son told authorities that Reffitt admitted to being in Washington on January 6 having “stormed the Capitol.” On January 11, Reffitt told the family that he had to delete his Go Pro footage that he filmed on the day of the attack as the FBI were now watching him.
The son said that Reffitt told him that if he went to the police that his father would have no option but to “do what he had to do” for the country.
When the son asked if this was a threat, Reffitt replied, “Don’t put words in my mouth.” The son told the FBI he took Reffitt’s comments to be a threat to his life.”
Before the Capitol Riot, Calls for Cash and Talk of Revolution (from the New York Times): “Yet even in the heat of the event, Mr. Lee paused for some impromptu fund-raising. “If you couldn’t make the trip, give five to 10 bucks,” he told his viewers, seeking donations for the legal costs of two jailed “patriots,” a leader of the far-right Proud Boys and an ally who had clashed with the police during an armed incursion at Oregon’s statehouse.”
The Deadly Four-Year Coup We All Saw Coming (from John Pavlovitz): “But this was not ANTIFA.
It was not Black Lives Matter.
It was not the “Radical Left” descending upon the Capitol to violently overturn a free and fair election by the people.
This was MAGA in all its naked ugliness, what it has always been:
It was the white sycophants of an unhinged despot, doing exactly what he told them to do over and over and over again, what his lawyers and Fox News and Evangelical preachers and Republican leaders have urged and emboldened them to do: take the law into their own hands when it is unpleasant or uncomfortable for them.”
With that, we’ll pause things for the time being. But I’ll be back next week with more news you might find interesting. Until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe, and happy reading!