“This is Not Justice.”

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court, in a powerful dissent to the court allowing the Trump administration to continue its spree of executions:

After seventeen years without a single federal execution, the Government has executed twelve people since July. They are Daniel Lee, Wesley Purkey, Dustin Honken, Lezmond Mitchell, Keith Nelson, William LeCroy Jr., Christopher Vialva, Orlando Hall, Brandon Bernard, Alfred Bourgeois, Lisa Montgomery, and, just last night, Corey Johnson. Today, Dustin Higgs will become the thirteenth. To put that in historical context, the Federal Government will have executed more than three times as many people in the last six months than it had in the previous six decades. […]

Throughout this expedited spree of executions, this Court has consistently rejected inmates’ credible claims for relief. The Court has even intervened to lift stays of execution that lower courts put in place, thereby ensuring those prisoners’ challenges would never receive a meaningful airing. The Court made these weighty decisions in response to emergency applications, with little opportunity for proper briefing and consideration, often in just a few short days or even hours. Very few of these decisions offered any public explanation for their rationale.

This is not justice. After waiting almost two decades to resume federal executions, the Government should have proceeded with some measure of restraint to ensure it did so lawfully. When it did not, this Court should have. It has not. Because the Court continues this pattern today, I dissent.

The Year in Illustration

This is the kind of end-of-year list I can get behind: The New York Times’ art directors pick their favorite illustrations. The whole list is good, including the motion graphics, but some of my favorites:

By Michael Mapes for The Rape Kit’s History.
By Cannaday Chapman
By Hokyoung Kim for What the Fall and Winter of the Pandemic Will Look Like.

I also love the names of these files, such as the final image above: “18interlandi-1-superJumbo-v2.jpg”.

‘Suck It Up, Buttercup’ Lawmaker Hangs Up on As It Happens

I was reminded of this brief 4-year-old clip from Canadian interview program As It Happens between host Carol Off and Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton):

CO: Sorry — just a minute — who are the buttercups that need to suck it up?

BK: Well that would be people that are simply hysterical because an election was lost. That have never understood that life has winners and losers and in their adult life there are going to be times when they have wins and they have losses and there isn’t always going to be someone there to coddle them.

The Pro-Trump Mob was Doing It for the Gram

Elamin Abdelmahmoud at BuzzFeed:

But it was also quickly apparent that this was a very dumb coup. A coup with no plot, no end to achieve, no plan but to pose. Thousands invaded the highest centers of power, and the first thing they did was take selfies and videos. They were making content as spoils to take back to the digital empires where they dwell, where that content is currency.

This is why Facebook, Twitch and other platform bans are important and meaningful to Trump and his followers.

But it’s also important to not get led astray. There were, of course, paramilitary apparently ready to take hostages, IDEs and explosives found and threats to take very seriously. And the costumes are part of the we’re-a-bunch-of-jokers aesthetic. From a Talking Points Memo reader, behind a paywall:

Several of the people in my field (theater and performance studies) have been noting in social media that the capitol coup on Wednesday was costumed like a sports event — the facepaint, the viking hats, the furs — in order to camouflage the event as mere fun, and as part of populist entertainment more generally. It helps create the image of a bunch of amateur jokers, and conceals — and claims to diffuse — the truly dangerous and seditious nature of these events.

Republicans Warned Us Trump Would Lead to This Then They Forgot

Benjy Sarlin for NBC News:

Rick Perry tried to warn voters of the dangers of Donald Trump.

In a speech ahead of the 2016 Republican presidential contest in which both men would compete, the former Texas governor framed Trump as an unchecked demagogue and chose a striking historical image to illustrate his point: A mob attack on Washington.

Republicans knew what Trump was but accepted Trump and Trumpism as the price to pay for packing courts, cutting taxes and stripping regulations, which was done quickly and efficiently.

‘This Apology is Bullshit and I am Lying to You,’ Says GOP Senator to Widespread Media Praise

The Onion:

“Nothing—and I repeat, nothing—I’m saying about the violent attack on Washington is an accurate representation of how I really feel,” said Lindsey Graham in a video lauded by anchors across CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News for being “powerful” and “healing,” before adding that the expressions of anger and sadness that his facial expression implied were also entirely false.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

No words are sufficient to describe the events of yesterday.


The extra-Constitutional violence, seditious words and action by the President and his supporters, and undemocratic coup attempt by members of Congress and white supremacists and fascists, has been aided and abetted by Republicans for years, further exposed the broken systems we’ve failed to repair, and was entirely predictable and predicted.

Many enablers are frantically trying to distance themselves through words and resignation, and to draw lines and make a show of standing up. This is necessary, but not sufficient. They must offer unconditioned rejections of these attempts to unlawfully overturn democratic elections. They must be hold the President accountable, and they must held accountable.