Tag Archives: Capitol Building

Domestic terror deserves national attention

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Yes, the headline on this blog is one of those no-brainers.

However, to hear the U.S. attorney general speak so forcefully about the threats posed by domestic terror reminds me of why I support this fellow and the individual who nominated him for the job, President Biden.

AG Merrick Garland continues to give voice to issues that need to be heard.

Just as he spoke the other day about the Justice Department’s commitment to ensuring that all Americans have access to the electoral process, he spoke again today about the existential threat posed by domestic terror.

We all saw that threat play out on Jan. 6 when the mob attacked the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress led by Vice President Mike Pence were certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Congressional Democrats and a handful of their Republican colleagues want a bipartisan commission to explore in detail the cause and effect of that insurrection. We know already what to call it: an act of rebellion against the government, incited by the immediate past president who continues to foment The Big Lie about the election being “stolen” from him.

The men who served as attorney general under the former president’s single term in office did not speak with anything approaching the passion and eloquence about domestic terrorism that AG Merrick Garland has done.

“We will never take our eyes off the risk of another devastating attack by foreign terrorists,” he said in remarks delivered today at the Justice Department. “At the same time, we must respond to domestic terrorism with the same sense of purpose and dedication.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland unveils plan to combat domestic terrorism – CBS News

CBS News reported: Administration officials, in briefing reporters on the strategy, pointed to an increase in politically, ethnically, and racially motivated acts of domestic terrorism in the U.S. over the years, including the congressional baseball shooting that took place four years ago this week, when a shooter opened fire on members of Congress because they were Republican. 

So it must proceed. FBI Director Christopher Wray has called domestic terrorism an even greater threat to Americans than terrorists from abroad. It is time to respond accordingly.

(Crowd) size really must matter

You mean we’re still talking about the size of that inaugural crowd this past January? We’re still arguing over whether it measured up to what the brand new president of the United States called it — the largest gathering of human beings in world history … or something like that?

I guess in Donald J. Trump’s world, size matters.

The National Park Service’s inspector general now says the agency didn’t mess with the crowd size estimates of Trump’s inaugural nor did it leak any information to the media.

The Hill reports on the IG’s findings. Read the story here.

This malarkey about crowd size seemed to get under the president’s skin early this year. Various media published pictures showing the crowd gathered in front of Capitol Building at President Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009 and compared it to the crowd that heard Trump’s speech this past January. Obama’s crowd was, um, quite a bit larger.

Trump didn’t like hearing that. White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s initial press briefing included a serious scolding of the media for failing to report that the president’s inaugural crowd was the largest in history. The pictures, though, tell a different story.

Will this spell the end of this mini-tempest? Probably not, as long as Donald John Trump is president of the United States.

Will these justices stay away from SOTU?


Do you ever hear something from someone and think, “Damn! I wish I’d have thought of that”?

That happened to me today.

One of my Facebook pals wondered out loud if the only mystery surrounding President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union speech would be whether the three most conservative members of the Supreme Court would stay away, as they have done in recent years.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia all have been absent during Obama’s recent speeches before a joint session of Congress.

I’ve long wondered — as have others –whether it is because they detest the president’s politics so much that they’d rather do something else than sit in front of him while he makes policy statement with which they disagree?

Look, gentlemen, this is the last one of these speeches Barack Obama will give as president of the United States. Surely you can find the time — not to mention the courtesy — to attend this speech along with the rest of your colleagues. Chief Justice John Roberts usually attends, and he’s in the conservative camp right along with the three no-show justices.

It might have been a single event that ticked them off. That would be the time that Obama scolded the court for its Citizens United ruling that took the limits off of corporations and enabled them to give unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. Justice Alito was seen mouthing the words “not true” when the president made his critical comments.

That was then. If the scolding is the reason, well, get over it, will you?

The president is entering his final full year in office. The Joint Chiefs of Staff will be there. Most of the Cabinet will be there; custom calls for one of them to stay away in case something catastrophic happens at the nation’s Capitol Building.

I hope all nine justices see fit to make an appearance. They don’t have to applaud. Just be there.