Editordude: Wednesday afternoon, California will have a new US Senator when Alex Padilla is sworn in. Here’s some things to know about Padilla – in the opinion of Ben Christopher at CalMatters.

5 Things to Know About Alex Padilla

By Ben Christopher / CalMatters / Updated Jan. 18, 2021

After Joe Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate in August, the parlor game of choice for California’s most politically plugged-in was: Who will Gov. Gavin Newsom pick to fill her vacant Senate seat?

Alex Padilla — California’s secretary of state, a Democrat from Pacoima, loyal Newsom ally and a Latino in a state that has never had a member of that largest ethnic group serve as senator — was a top pick among the predictions of insiders. The governor announced his choice in late December and made the appointment official today.

But for many Californians — perhaps the majority — Padilla’s appointment is likely to elicit more curiosity than self-congratulation, less “I knew it” and more “who knew?”

If you’re acquainting yourself with Padilla for the first time, here are a few takeaways from his California CV.

California’s #1 turnout booster

Like surfing, Silicon Valley and unaffordable housing, California has made easy access to the ballot box its calling card.

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Ken Stone over at Times of San Diego published a piece Monday that included critiques and opposition to President-Elect Biden’s choice of San Diego Unified schools chief Cindy Marten for a federal education post. Marten was nominated for a Deputy Secretary of Education post.

Locals who are not happy with Biden’s nomination include the NAACP’s San Diego chapter and community activist Tasha Williamson, the former mayor candidate.

Amidst the wide-spread praise for Marten, Stone writes – and he ticks off praise from everybody from Mayor Gloria to Assemblywoman Weber to former mayor Faulconer – he adds that the NAACP and Williamson oppose her nomination:

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By Eugene Robinson / Washington Post / Jan. 19, 2021

On Wednesday, the nation will have a president who would never summon thousands of his followers to Washington, whip them into a frenzy with lies and then aim them at the Capitol.

We will have a president who sees the unimaginable and unacceptable national tragedy in every one of the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from covid-19, rather than lamenting the calamity only as an unfair stain on his precious “brand.”

And we will have a president who, I am confident, won’t seriously inquire about buying Greenland.

The moment Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris are sworn in as president and vice president the world becomes a better and brighter place.

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Editordude: The following column by Thomas Ultican was written before the announcement that President-Elect Biden had chosen Cindy Marten for his education team.

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Jan. 16, 2021

Joe Biden has garnered wide spread praise for his choice of Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education; maybe too wide. The co-founder of Bellwether Education, Andrew Rotherham says Cardona is “a Goldilocks on charter schools.” However, Goldilocks was a fairy tale and Rotherham is a well known neoliberal who campaigns for “school choice.”

At the Democratic convention in 2008, the largest groups of delegates cheering the loudest for their new standard bearers were teachers. They saw in Barack Obama and Joe Biden leaders who would end the destructive nightmare, No Child Left Behind. Linda Darling-Hammond the progressive education scholar advising Obama was viewed as someone who would bring professional sanity to national education policy and end the unjustifiable attacks on public schools and their teachers.

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An unidentified woman is fighting for her life after she was thrown from an electric scooter after it struck a crack in the road in Ocean Beach.

The 27-year-old woman was riding a Bird scooter Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17, on Cape May Avenue heading west towards the beach when the scooter hit a crack in the sidewalk. She was launched over the handlebars and head-first onto the pavement, SDPD said.

Medics transported her to the hospital, where she has remained with life-threatening injuries, including a brain bleed and a fractured skull. It is not known whether she was wearing a helmet.

SDPD’s Traffic division is investigating the incident.

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There are two projects up for review at the Wednesday night meeting of the Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of OB’s Planning Board.

Projects up for review include one at 5064 Lotus Street and 4675 Del Monte Avenue.

The volunteer panel will meet electronically, beginning at 6 pm (see below for registration info and links). Links to documents referenced in the agenda are also listed below.

Here is the official agenda:

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Open Letter to President Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain

January 19, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

An American dies from COVID-19 every 33 seconds.

Repeat. Every 33 seconds an American dies from the COVID-19 virus.

With that in mind, I write this blunt message to you as President Biden’s Chief of Staff-to-be.

There is no time for festivities. No time for press conferences. No time for photographs. Repetitious speeches or platitudes.

This is war; albeit against an invisible enemy. As Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher wrote: “Every battle is won or lost before it is even fought.” Plan, prepare, execute.

And most importantly, “Quickness is the essence of war.”

In order of priorities:

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Ocean Beach in 1978

January 18, 2021 by Source

Here’s a Channel 8 news report about Ocean Beach in 1978 by reporter Cathy Clark – inside.

It’s a great journey down memory lane for some – those of us who lived in OB that year.

But also, it’s a reminder of the problems OB has had over the decades. Check out the complaints by residents, businesses and visitors – do they sound similar?

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OB Planning Board to Prep for Annual Election – Now Is a Good Time for OBceans to Think About Running for All-Volunteer Board

January 5, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its first monthly meeting of the new year on Wednesday, January 6. It will be held virtually via Cisco WebEx – and you can register for the meeting (see below).

The main item on the short agenda is the formation of an election committee to oversee the annual community election to the Board in March. Every year in March, about half the Board seats are open for election. And it’s quite an honor – and responsibility – to sit on the Board and represent your district.

In fact, now is a good time to think about running for the Board. You don’t have to be an engineer, a social scientist, or planner, you just have to be interested in your OB community, its history, and concerned for its future.

Here are some of the Board Member and Candidate Eligibility requirements & Instructions

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January 2021 Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

January 4, 2021 by Source

January Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. January 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th.

January 19th Tuesday 11 am – noon Zero Waste Bathroom Webinar

January 19th Tuesday 7 pm – 8:30 pm How Plant-Based Dieting Combats Climate Change
January 20th Wednesday 12 pm – 2:30 pm San Diego Black Women Entrepreneurs Summit

January 21st Thursday 6 pm – 8 pm Basic Bike Skills

January 23rd. Saturday 7 pm – 10 pm Spacechip Earth (Film Screening)

January 27th Wednesday 5:30 pm – 7 pm State of Green Building

And much, much more – come inside.

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Looking Back to When San Diego Said ‘No’ to Honoring Martin Luther King

January 22, 2013 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Looking Back to When San Diego Said ‘No’ to Honoring Martin Luther King

The year was 1986, and San Diego, like much of the nation, was swept up in a national discussion about a new holiday commemorating MLK’s contribution to US history. Legislation (signed three years earlier) making Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday was going into effect, and many cities around the country were honoring the slain civil rights leader by naming streets and buildings after him.

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Former San Diegan Peter Navarro Exits White House

January 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Older San Diegans who know their local history might get a chuckle – or grimace – over this photo of Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro exiting the West Wing.

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Darrell Issa Needs to Resign Unless He Retracts Support for Trump’s Sedition

January 18, 2021 by Source

By Emily Sinsky and Zachary Searight / Times of San Diego / January 17, 2021

If Rep. Darrell Issa is going to uphold his oath to serve the people of the 50th District, he must stop abetting the destruction of our democracy.

An elected representative cannot condemn the violence of groups such as the insurrectionists at the Capitol or Defend East County and at the same time cast a vote in support of their effort to overturn the election results. By voting against the election results certification, Issa essentially attempted to finish the job started by those who stormed the Capitol just hours after he and other Congress members were forced into protective custody before they were able to cast their votes.

In the past, election results have never been partisan. Before this insurgency, it was possible to agree with Trump politically, align oneself with the policies he aligns with, and openly run as a “Trump Conservative,” as Issa did, without abandoning one’s commitment to the democratic process. Those days are over.

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Members of Trump’s 2020 Re-election Campaign Helped Organize Rally that Ignited Capitol Insurrection

January 18, 2021 by Source

by: Associated Press / Jan 17, 2021

Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters.

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.

Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally.

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Is Impeaching the President an Act of Bravery?

January 18, 2021 by Ernie McCray

Is Impeaching the President an Act of Bravery?

by Ernie McCray

Bravery,
like beauty,
seems to be
in the eyes of the beholder,
bearing in mind that
those republicans
choosing impeachment
for the president
regarding his role
when tyrants
struck at our democracy’s
very soul
weren’t being “brave,”

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The Last Speech of Martin Luther King: ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ – The Full Text

January 18, 2021 by Source

The day before Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, he gave his final speech, known as ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech. Here’s the full text.

By The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., MEMPHIS, Tenn.,/ April 3, 1968

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.

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Capitol Police Search for Rioters

January 15, 2021 by Staff

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San Diego’s Right-Wing Extremist Roots, from KKK to QAnon

January 15, 2021 by Source

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis / KCRW / Jan. 14, 2021

The death of military veteran Ashli Babbitt at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 is shining a light on far-right extremism in San Diego County. Family and friends say the Ocean Beach resident was fervent in her beliefs on social media, amplifying QAnon conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant sentiment.

“Our region’s history of reactionary fascism goes back several decades,” says Joel Day, a research fellow at the USC Center for Public Diplomacy who specializes in combating violent extremism and homeland security.

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Gov. Newsom Deploys National Guard to Protect State Capitol

January 15, 2021 by Source

From 13CBS-Sacramento
Gov. Gavin Newsom has deployed the California National Guard in Sacramento to protect the State Capitol ahead of the presidential inauguration. In the week since the attacks on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI has warned capital cities around the nation of potentially armed protests as inauguration day nears.

On Thursday, Newsom announced a series of actions the state is taking to “bolster security.” The governor said California’s State Operations Center is working with federal, state and law enforcement to assess threats and share intelligence “to ensure those disgraceful actions are not repeated here.”

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Santee City Councilmember Should Resign as Backer of D.C. Insurrectionists

January 15, 2021 by Source

Dustin Trotter of Defend East County, was just elected to the Santee City Council (by just 5 votes)

By Matt Jenkins / Times of San Diego / Jan. 15, 2021

In the wake of insurrection at the nation’s Capitol, the reality of who engaged in these acts of domestic terrorism, and how they affect us at home, is something that must be addressed.

We know that local vigilante group Defend East County were posted up on the Capitol steps, less than 100 feet away from the doors that were breached in this insurrection. The group’s Justin Haskins was live-feeding as the MAGA Mob beat law enforcement with flag poles, hockey sticks, crutches and whatever else they had on them.

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Michael Moore: ‘Know This: Fascism Loses. Racism Loses. Right-Wing Crazy Loses.’

January 15, 2021 by Source

By Michael Moore / Michael Moore’s Facebook Page – Reader-Supported-News / January 15, 2021

C’mon, MAGA Nation!

Losing sucks. Give up!

Just meet us half-way!

The reason our side ultimately wins is because we’re on the side of love, peace, science, hip-hop, healthy food, libraries, quilts, gardens, every kid gets a trophy — and we’re the ones working to see that you’ll never pay a doctor bill again, and we’re gonna instantly see that your wage gets DOUBLED at your crappy minimum wage job, and we’re gonna get you that vaccine NOW and fucking kick Covid’s ass for you.

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San Diego Law Enforcement Warn Trump Supporters About Any Violent Protests of Biden Inauguration

January 14, 2021 by Staff

San Diego County’s top state and federal prosecutors warned Trump supporters on Wednesday that any violence within the county related to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration would result in prosecution.

The joint statement from San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer was issued in connection with an FBI warning that armed protests were being planned at state capitols across the country in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The prosecutors also condemned last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said:

“We are issuing the strongest warning possible to anyone who is planning violence in connection with the inauguration. If you repeat the despicable behavior we saw at the Capitol last week, and if you disrespect our great democracy by bringing harm to people or property in a display of hatred and rage, the consequences will be swift and strong. You will be found, and you will be charged. Don’t let that become part of your story.”

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Where Are We With Ideals of Liberty and Justice for All?

January 14, 2021 by Ernie McCray

Where Are We With Ideals of Liberty and Justice for All?

by Ernie McCray

I could only shake my head
as I took in the
storming rampage
of rage
that took place
at “The People’s House,”
the U.S. Capitol Building,
in D.C.,
the other day:

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How San Diego Can Address its Long Standing Problem with Violent Extremism

January 14, 2021 by Source

By Joel Day / San Diego Union-Tribune / January 14, 2021

San Diego is home to extremists who participated in a violent insurrection on Jan. 6. Our city and county must grapple with our region’s violent extremism problem and take local measures to address the problem.

Our region has long been a bastion of reactionary fascism, from the Ku Klux Klan’s roots in East County to anti-immigrant militias, and now to a whole new radicalized cadre whose membership falls in three overlapping categories: political seditionists such as QAnon and Combat 18, right-wing paramilitary militias such as the Three Percenters, and hate and supremacy groups such as RAM and Proud Boys. Each of these categories use violence against civilians to support a political agenda, the definition of terrorism, and are attempting to radicalize our neighbors before our very eyes.

We know that “reopen,” counter-Black Lives Matters and pro-Donald Trump protests in recent years have proven staging grounds for recruiting angry, disaffected Americans.

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Serial Killer of Homeless Men – Including OBcean – Sentenced to 4 Life Sentences

January 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the serial killer of homeless men, Jon David Guerrero, was sentenced to four life sentences without parole, plus an additional 143 years to life in prison. One of those homeless men was an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley.

Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2020 to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

Guerrero is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he had been treated at Patton State Hospital, then returned to court where he was recently pronounced mentally competent in order to stand trial. He has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings.

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‘Tomcat’ – OB Blues Musician From the Seventies – Dies of COVID

January 13, 2021 by Source

This will hit die-hard OB blues fans hard. One of OB’s favorite blues musicians from the 1970’s, Tom “Tomcat” Courtney, has just passed after a battle with COVID-19. He was 91.

Here’s the report from NBC7:

Friends, loved ones and local music fans are mourning the death of Tom “Tomcat” Courtney, a Texas transplant and San Diego Music Award winner who was the longtime anchor of San Diego’s blues scene.

Courtney, who died Monday afternoon, was 91. He is survived by his longtime partner, Jojo Riegel, and a large extended family. Riegel told NBC 7 that his death followed a battle with the coronavirus that began in December.

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House Impeaches Trump for Second Time

January 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

10 Republicans Vote to Impeach

Today, Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 4:30 pm ET or there about, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for the second time.

By a bi-partisan vote of 232 to 197, the House impeached Trump. 221 Democrats and 10 House Republicans voted to uphold the resolution.

Never before in American history, has a president ever been impeached twice.

Trump was impeached for insurrection – on charges that grew out of his assault on the Capitol and insurrection against our government.

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San Diego Police Sided With Pro-Trump Supporters During Clash in Pacific Beach on Saturday

January 12, 2021 by Source

Some observers questions whether police showed bias in the way they responded to Trump supporters versus counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist

By David Hernandez / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 11, 2021

When San Diego police declared an unlawful assembly during dueling protests in Pacific Beach on Saturday, Trump supporters stood on one side of a line of officers. Counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist, stood on the other side of the police formation.

The Union-Tribune reported that both sides had skirmished quite a bit that day.

But it turns out the order to disperse applied only to one side — the group of counterprotesters, some of whom threw bottles, rocks and eggs at officers, a police spokesman said Monday.

Three counterprotesters were arrested: two adults who police said failed to disperse and a juvenile accused of assaulting an officer.

The police response to the two demonstrations raised questions among some observers about whether police showed bias based on race and/or ideology.

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Seriously Disturbed by Assault on Capitol Building

January 12, 2021 by Source

Boom!

By K-B Gressitt

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!! Voices raucous and demanding roiled up the hill. Smoke invaded the air.

“They’re rioting on Main Street!” I yelled, leaping from my desk, out the door, and into a combat crouch, armed and ready to defend my town from Trump’s insurrectionists, returned from D.C.

The young man raking live oak leaves from my patio looked at me and said, “It’s just the church.”

I stood, my unloaded Daisy Red Ryder BB gun dangling across my forearm, like Barbara Stanwick’s rifle in The Big Valley, and I realized just how disturbed I was by last Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.

Seriously disturbed.

Sure, like anyone with even one tiptoe in the social media tulips, I pretty much knew Trump was fomenting a violent disruption of the electoral vote count. Yet I too watched in shock and rage as Trump’s deadly troops breached the building’s impotent perimeters, assaulted its protectors and smeared its walls with the well-digested lies the president and his henchfolk fed them.

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Info on the Recall of Jen Campbell

January 12, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Until now, I didn’t know what was really happening with the recall of Councilmember Jennifer Campbell. I got a phone call from Bridger Langfur who kindly filled me in. Here’s what I learned.

The core of the movement is a large group of District 2 community members who, having witnessed Jennifer Campbell’s “governing style” over the last two years, now agree that her removal from office is the only way forward.

Campbell’s tenure has been characterized by reversals of promises she made during her campaign. Two notable examples are short term vacation rentals and the preservation of the 30 foot Coastal Height Limit Law.

During her campaign, she vowed to advocate for enforcement of the existing municipal code ordinances which prohibit short term rentals in residential zones. She’s now pushing an ordinance that not only would legalize short term rentals, but also earmarks thousands of San Diego housing units to be used as tourist lodging, in perpetuity, by billion dollar multinational corporations such as Airbnb and Expedia.

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The ‘Worst’ and ‘Best’ of 2020

January 12, 2021 by John M. Williams

by JM Williams

The worst of the year: The Murder of George Floyd

Last year, I watched phone video of the death of an American citizen as filmed by a bystander on a street in Minneapolis. No other event overshadows it. Not recently, not in memory.

How shocking beyond the ability to comprehend it is to watch a cop kill a citizen and smile for the camera. It remains unimaginable, yet I’ve seen it. As the trainer kneeled on the neck of the citizen, two trainees did crowd control while a third held the citizen’s ankles.

It’s not systemic? It’s not institutional? Really? How do you define those terms?

Even so, there’s no sense in defunding the police. Anarchy would not be fun unless you happen to sell the tools of the trade. Reform of how the police are overseen is necessary.

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OB Pier Damaged for Third Time in 5 Years

January 11, 2021 by Staff

For the fourth time over the last 5 years, the OB Pier has been damaged by big waves.

High surf and a high tide combined on Monday, Jan. 11, to raise the 10- 12-foot waves up enough to skin at least 100 feet of railing boards off the south side of the pier, a witness told NBC 7.

The Pier was damaged in 2016 2018, and in 2019. Lifeguards stated in a tweet that they anticipate the pier will remained closed until Tuesday, the 11th.

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The Trump Insurrection Is Not Over Yet

January 11, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

If you thought the siege at the Capitol was a one-time event, you need to rethink that. The Trump seditious insurrection is not over yet.

Encouraged and spurred on by their “success” on January 6, White supremacists and armed militias are planning further violent attacks against the Capitol – and state capitols around the country. They have plans for January 17th, the 19th, and January 20th – the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

These plans have been seen on the platforms that the extremists use. Just Monday, an internal FBI bulletin reported they are warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. The FBI bulletin warned that, as of Sunday, the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

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