• Georgia man arrested at Capitol insurrection commits suicide

    On Wednesday, January 6th, Christopher Stanton Georgia, of Alpharetta, GA was arrested in Washington, D.C. and charged with unlawful entry of public property and violating the 6:00 PM curfew set earlier that afternoon by the city's mayor. His arrest was one of only a few dozen that happened on the actual day of the attack on the Capitol. He pleaded not guilty the following day and was released on bail.

    Georgia died on Saturday of a self-inflected gunshot wound to the chest. He had been employed at BB&T in Atlanta as an investment banker.

    Georgia's is the second suicide related to last week's attack. On Saturday, Buzzfeed reported on the suicide of Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood. Liebengood was at the Capitol during Wednesday's siege. CBS News investigative producer Michael Kaplan tweeted that other officers present that day have been struggling.

    If you or someone you know have been having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1- 800-273-8255 or text HELP to 741741.

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick declines Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Monday evening, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick became the first person in recent history to decline the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nation's highest civilian honor was scheduled to be presented to Belichick on Thursday.

    In a statement released to the press, Belichick wrote:

    Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients.

    Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom, and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.

    One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality, and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.

    The White House has not commented on Belichick's statement. Last week, medals were awarded to golfers Gary Player and Annika Sörenstam one day after the insurrection at the nation's Capitol.

  • Trump promises orderly transition of power after Congress confirms Electoral College vote

    With his Twitter account in the midst of a twelve hour suspension, Donald Trump released a statement via Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Director of Social Media.

    The statement came after Congress certified the victory of Joe Biden as America's 46th President at 3:40 AM Thursday morning.

  • Rudy Giuliani calls senator to slow down vote count, leaves message on the wrong voice mail

    Earlier tonight, President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani called newly-elected Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville to ask him to slow down the Electoral College vote count that was about to resume after today's insurrection at the Capitol. But the likely architect of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco left the message on the wrong voice mail – one belonging to another unnamed senator who promptly leaked the recording to The Dispatch.

    Senator Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer. I'm calling you because I want to discuss with you how they're trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you. And I know they're reconvening at 8 tonight, but it …  the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow—ideally until the end of tomorrow. 

    Giuliani to Senator: 'Try to Just Slow it Down' (The Dispatch)

  • Air traffic controllers hear 9/11-style threat to Capitol

    CBS News has obtained audio heard by New York air traffic controllers on Monday that contains a threat to the U.S. Capitol building.

    A digitized voice was heard over the secured communications system, threatening to fly a plane into the Capitol building.

    "We are flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged."

    Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. ordered drone strike on January 3rd, 2020.

    Wednesday is when a joint session of Congress will meet to certify the Electoral College votes which will affirm Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Thousands of Trump supporters are expected in DC to protest the results.

  • Mitt Romney's very bad travel day

    After what can best be described as an unfriendly traveling experience, Senator Mitt Romney might want to consider using some of his many millions of dollars on private transportation.

    Mitt's very bad travel day began late Tuesday afternoon at Salt Lake City International Airport as he waited to board a flight to Washington.

    Things only got worse for Mitt onboard the plane. The flight was filled with Trump supporters on their way to the Million MAGA Moron March or whatever Wednesday's rally is being called.

    Mitt's flight wasn't the only one to descend into Trump-cult madness. A flight from Texas to D.C. turned chaotic when Trump supporters began harassing other passengers.

    It's going to be a bumpy Wednesday. Buckle up.

  • Tommy Raskin (1995-2021)

    On December 31st, 2020, Tommy Raskin, the son of Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin died at the age of 25. His cause of death was suicide.

    On Monday evening, Rep. Raskin and his wife published a remarkable tribute to their son. It is both a celebration of a life so very well lived, and a heartbreaking reminder that depression is a cruel, unsparing disease that is robbing this world of too many good souls.

    We have barely been able to scratch the surface here, but you have a sense of our son. Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind. He began to be tortured later in his 20s by a blindingly painful and merciless 'disease called depression,' as Tabitha put it on Facebook over the weekend, a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him, and despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy, this young man of surpassing promise to our broken world.

    Take a few minutes of your day to read about this truly wonderful young man. Reach out to the people you love who might be struggling. And if you are struggling, I'm begging you to not go through it alone. I wrote last year about being in a dark place where I thought no light would ever be found. And while I sometimes still struggle to find it, I know that it exists, and know that it exists for you as well. This world is a better place with you in it. You can text 741741 to reach the incredible folks at the Crisis Text Line. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    Rest in peace, Tommy.

  • Inflatable Christmas tree costume may be cause of COVID outbreak

    On December 25th, an employee of Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center entered the hospital's emergency room wearing an air-powered Christmas tree costume in an effort to boost the morale of patients being treated on Christmas Day. That employee is now suspected of inadvertently causing an outbreak that has infected 44 staff members and left one staff member dead.

    According to a spokesperson, the hospital is investigating if the fan on the costume may have spread droplets through the emergency departments.
    "Any exposure, if it occurred, would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental, as the individual had no COVID symptoms and only sought to lift the spirits of those around them during what is a very stressful time."

    The hospital confirmed late Sunday evening that one employee has died.

  • 500 doses of COVID vaccine intentionally destroyed by health worker in Wisconsin

    When 57 vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were found outside of a pharmacy refrigerator at Wisconsin's Aurora Medical Center-Grafton, hospital administrators first believed human error was to blame. A further investigation revealed the nearly 500 doses were left unrefrigerated intentionally.

    The Moderna vaccines must be stored at temperatures between 36°and 42° Fahrenheit. Investigators have not released the name of the former employee nor have they speculated on a possible motive. More information is expected to come later today.

    Wisconsin isn't the only state to run into temperature problems with the vaccine, though in Texas' case the reasons are far less nefarious. Three shipments of the Moderna vaccine were found to have not maintained a stable cooling temperature throughout the transit route. The affected doses were destroyed and replaced by the government, leading to a distribution delay of nearly a week.

  • Louisiana congressman-elect dies from COVID-19 at age 41

    Congressman-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA), who won a special election to represent Louisiana's 5th District just three weeks ago, died on Tuesday evening from COVID-19 complications. He was 41-years-old.

    Letlow was being treated for COVID-19 at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport when, according to LSU Health Shreveport physician Dr. G.E. Ghali, he "suffered a cardiac event this evening that was refractory to all resuscitation efforts."

    Letlow was active on Twitter, posting photos from campaign events across Louisiana's 5th District. In the majority of photos, he is not wearing a mask. His last tweets were sent on December 21st.

    Letlow was to be sworn into office on January 3rd. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

  • Los Angeles hospitals forced to use gift shops to treat COVID patients

    Los Angeles County hospitals have hit their breaking point amid the COVID-19 surge, resulting in ambulances being turned away and gift shops being turned into makeshift treatment rooms.

    On Sunday, five areas hospitals were forced to declare "internal disasters" after they were unable to provide adequate oxygen supplies into patients' rooms. Nearly 7000 people are currently hospitalized for COVID in LA County, with 20% of those patients in intensive care. The problems with the oxygen supply aren't so much an inventory problem (though that is also becoming an issue) as it is an infrastructure problem. COVID patients require high pressure oxygen delivery which is causing the pipes in older hospitals to freeze and reducing the flow. Hospital staff have begun moving patients to lower floors, turning gift shops and conference rooms into patient rooms and reducing the amount of travel time for the oxygen.

    With a post-holiday increase in cases expected, LA County will soon reach the grim milestone of 10,000 COVID deaths. On Sunday, 94% of hospitals in LA County were on divert, forcing EMS to search for other places to bring patients to. LA County health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly warned of brutal days ahead.

    "But soon there won't be any places for the ambulances to go. If every hospital is on diversion, no hospital is on diversion."

    L.A. County hospitals turn away ambulances, put patients in gift shop: 'I've never seen anything like this' (LA Times)

  • Trump remains silent on Nashville suicide bombing

    Three days ago, a suicide bomber loaded an RV with explosives and parked it in downtown Nashville. After broadcasting an evacuation warning for several minutes, 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner detonated the bomb, killing himself instantly and destroying several buildings, including an AT&T transmission center. Authorities say three people were injured.

    A suicide bombing in an American city on Christmas morning is designed to draw attention. Attention to what is still uncertain as investigators continue trying to determine Warner's motive. But there's one person whose attention Warner failed to attract – the President of the United States.

    Since Christmas morning, Donald Trump has tweeted 43 times (including retweets). They're all typical Trump tweets – North Koreanesque propaganda videos, he won the election by a landslide, people are out to destroy him, Democrats are evil, fashion magazines are evil, etc. He has not, however, said one single word about the Nashville bombing. Not one word.

    It's been a rough year for the Music City. In March, a series of tornadoes left 25 people dead and entire neighborhoods destroyed. In May, a derecho passed through the city, causing widespread damage and extensive power outages. And, of course, there is the pandemic which has claimed the lives of more than 400 Nashvillians and left many of the city's legendary music venues on life support. The Christmas morning bombing that further rattled an already shaken city would have been at the forefront of any other American President's mind. But as we've seen time and time again, unless there's a way for him to personally benefit, Trump simply doesn't care. After all, there's golf to be played and another super-spreader rally to promote.

  • MSNBC's Brian Williams is very bad at math

    On Thursday night's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, Brian and his guest, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, discussed the vast amount of money Michael Bloomberg spent in the Democratic primary. Maybe they were exhausted. It's been a long week, after all. But this is just BAD.

    Granted, Mara Gay was the one who brought it up first. But Williams was so certain, he had his staff prepare a graphic for it. The author of the tweet, writer Mekita Rivas, has since made her Twitter account private.

    Somewhere, Andrew Yang is smiling.

    (Photo: Tumisu/Needpix)

  • Anderson Cooper isn't a fan of Rod Blagojevich

    Anderson Cooper hasn't been this pissed off since Hurricane Katrina.

    On Friday, Cooper interviewed newly-sprung Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois who had a 14-year prison sentence commuted by Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump. In 2011, Blago was found guilty of federal corruption charges related to then-President Obama's vacant senate seat.

    During his time in prison, Blago got woke. Comparing himself to fellow "political prisoner" Nelson Mandela, he railed against criminal injustice and the thousands of Americans waiting for clemency.

    Cooper was NOT having it.

    Oh, and here's proof that we're living in the worst timeline. One of these people is now the leader of the free world and the other is the new Mandela.

    Image by United States Marshals Service – http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/politics/rod-blagojevich, Public Domain, Link

  • Michael Bloomberg wins "First in the Nation" primary in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

    For 60 years, the itty-bitty town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire has cast some of the very first ballots of the presidential primary election at The Balsams resort. The town's five registered voters cast their ballots at midnight and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the surprise winner with 3 write-in ballots; 2 from Democrats and 1 from a Republican. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigeig each received 1 vote.

    Two other teeny towns, Hart's Location and Millsfield, also voted at midnight. In Hart's Location, Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in first with 6 votes, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 4, Andrew Yang with 3, Sanders with 2, and former VP Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, and Tulsi Gabbard with 1 each. Impeached President Donald Trump received 15 votes on the Republican side, and former MA governor Bill Weld and Concord resident Mary Maxwell each received 1.

    Klobuchar won again in Millsfield, capturing 2 votes and Buttigieg, Biden, and Sanders each receiving 1 vote. Trump also won Millsfield with 15 votes.

    That put Amy Klobuchar in first place in New Hampshire, followed by a tie for second place between Warren and Sanders. The rest of the state will vote today and most polls will close at 7:00 PM.

    If you're looking to kill some time before results start coming in, I highly recommend the podcast "Stranglehold" from New Hampshire Public Radio. It's a deep dive into how New Hampshire became the first state in the nation to vote and if it deserves to keep that distinction. It's been a controversial show in New Hampshire, with the host, Lauren Chooljian revealing she's lost friends over it.

    First results of 2020 New Hampshire Primary are in. Amy Klobuchar, Donald Trump lead (WMUR) (Photo: Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons)

  • Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl, Trump congratulates "great state of Kansas"

    The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV Sunday night and impeached President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter to congratulate the team.

    Former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill responded on behalf of the American people.

    It's going to be a long week.

    Trump shares then deletes tweet praising Chiefs for representing 'Great State of Kansas' (The Hill)