As the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump came to an end, with a 57-43 vote failing the two-thirds majority required to convict, the former president’s defense attorney appeared to “pocket” Senate coasters, which are not souvenirs.
“When it was over, there were no handshakes or any apparent interaction between the two panels of lawyers,” The Washington Post reported. “Van der Veen did return to the lectern, where he appeared to pocket Senate coasters.”
Trump's impeachment lawyer steals coasters from the Senate chamber pic.twitter.com/JAbXjKBxBf
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) February 15, 2021
That would be Michael van der Veen, who “is best known for his law firm’s ubiquitous ads on local news radio station KYW-AM, which are reminiscent of East Coast electronics chain Crazy Eddie’s high-octane TV pitches from the 1980s,” an earlier Washington Post article revealed.
He was quickly mocked on social media.
‘Van der Veen did return to the lectern, where he appeared to pocket Senate coasters.’
— Ian Bray (@IanABray) February 15, 2021
Did anyone else notice that Michael van der Veen took three Senate logo coasters from the table by the lectern when they were leaving the Senate chamber at the end of the proceedings? Do you think they’ll help him get more dog bite cases?@BWilliams
— Greg Smith (@ohdeafone) February 13, 2021
— Denise (@DeeBeeRei) February 13, 2021
how fitting… an attorney for the #GrifterinChief is grifting from the Senate chamber. Of course, with Donald Trump’s history of not paying his bills, those coasters may be the only compensation Van der Veen gets.
— Bubba Jack (@BubbaJack16) February 14, 2021
Just another example of how very unfamiliar they were with all things federal. They wanted souvenirs just like tourists. Hopefully these coasters were just the pressed paper kind instead of ceramic. This guy will probably sell them on the internet.
— Catherine Bryant (@CathyFuquay) February 15, 2021
Seriously? Van der Veen stole Senate coasters!!! Holy 💩!
— HorseplayGirl MBA (@HorseplayGirl) February 15, 2021
That’s a real classy move. 😬
— Susan Medici 🇺🇸 (@MediciSusan) February 15, 2021
He knows he’s a tourist. He knows he won’t ever be back.
He has no mature, experienced friends or mentors to remind him, “Act like you belong there.”
2 things: he has no friends; he doesn’t belong there.
— James Stone (@JamesSt68560053) February 15, 2021
Tacky AF. Right on brand for Trumpworld
— Sistermoon50 (@sistermoon50) February 15, 2021
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‘Jan. 6 Wasn’t a Fantasy’: Top Missouri Paper Says It’s ‘Long Past Time’ for Senate to Investigate Josh Hawley
On Sunday, the editorial board of the St Louis Post-Dispatch called on the U.S. Senate Ethics Panel to investigate Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) over any possible involvement he may have had in the Jan 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Hawley, whose political future will be haunted by a photo of him giving a raised fist to insurrectionists as they stormed the halls of Congress has been excoriated by the paper’s editors multiple times, but Sunday’s call for an investigation ramps up their attacks on the home state senator.
According to the board, “Ten months after a group of Senate Democrats lodged ethics complaints into the conduct of Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas regarding their roles in sparking the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Senate Ethics Committee has shown no sign of movement.,” with the editors saying it is “long past time” to take a hard look at both Republican senators.
“Jan. 6 wasn’t a fantasy; it was real, and the culpability of these two senators must be determined,” they wrote. “Hawley and Cruz were the only two senators to object to certification of Joe Biden’s clear victory in the 2020 election results, citing (with zero evidence) supposed concerns about the election’s integrity. That was the same baseless, toxic nonsense then-President Donald Trump had been spewing since before the election. Such talk whipped up the mob of Trump loyalists to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Adding, “Even after the violence, he persisted in voting with just five other senators to continue promoting Trump’s big lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate,” the editors wrote, “If he had an ounce of honor, he’d have heeded our Jan. 7 call for his resignation (we certainly weren’t alone on that). But at this point, why even talk about honor?”
Writing that, “Just because there’s a mechanism in place allowing senators to object to election results doesn’t mean it’s OK for Hawley to abuse that process for crass political gain,” the editorial concluded, “Hawley and Cruz have the right to defend themselves from the allegations — but so far, they haven’t even had to. The Ethics Committee should stop sitting on this.”
You can read the whole piece here.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Demonstrating ‘The Depth of Power She Has Over Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter
Appearing on CNN on Saturday morning, Politico’s Rachael Bade explained that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s overwhelming desire to become the leader of a Republican Party-dominated House has put him at the mercy of the demands and whims of extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
As the plans for the 2022 midterm elections ramp up, and political prognosticators are saying a GOP House takeover is highly likely, McCarthy’s path to staying leader is not certain with the far-right wing of the party balking at just handing the California Republican the gavel.
As Bade explained to CNN’s Christi Paul, Taylor Green is just now starting to feel her power over McCarthy grow.
“What is the takeaway for Kevin McCarthy?” Paul asked. “Particularly, I have to point out that after last night, Marjorie Taylor Greene said she tweeted that she got off a good call with him. spent time talking about problems not only for the country. ‘I like what he has planned ahead.’ Two different — two different points of view from her and in a 24 to 48-hour period. What do you make of that?”
“Look, I think Kevin McCarthy has a really long year ahead of him,” Bade suggested. “You’re right, the midterms are far away. That vote for him to become speaker is a long way off, but Marjorie Taylor Greene is just starting to realize the depth of power she actually has over Kevin McCarthy.”
“This is a man who has wanted to be Speaker for a decade,” she continued. “He needs her vote, he needs her support in order to get the gavel. I think what you’ll be seeing for the next few months, for a year, anytime Kevin McCarthy does anything to infuriate Marjorie Taylor Greene or infuriates [Donald] Trump — they’re going to be lording it over his head.”
“He’s got this real bind right now, he’s going to be in this pickle for a very long time,” she later added.
Fauci Warns: ‘It’s Not Going to Be Possible to Keep’ Omicron ‘Out of the Country’
The World Health Organization addressed the new COVID-19 “variant of concern” Friday night, naming it “Omicron” and issuing an ominous warning about the future.
“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” the statement said. “Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant.”
Omicron was initially referred to as B.1.1.529.
Earlier on Friday, the European Commission issued a similar warning and proposed that its member countries activate the “emergency brake” on travel from countries in southern Africa and other affected countries to limit the spread of the variant, The New York Times reported.
Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, said Omicron has 10 mutations and many more entry points than the highly contagious Delta variant.
“All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clear understanding about the danger posed by this new variant,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, said in a statement. “And travelers returning from this region should respect strict quarantine rules.”
In addition to the U.S. and Canada, the following governments have halted or restricted flights from South Africa to try to curb the spread of Omicron: Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the travel restrictions would “buy us some time” and that “it’s not going to be possible to keep this infection out of the country. The question is: Can you slow it down?”
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met today to review what is known about the #COVID19 variant B.1.1.529.
They advised WHO that it should be designated a Variant of Concern.
WHO has named it Omicron, in line with naming protocols https://t.co/bSbVas9yds pic.twitter.com/Gev1zIt1Ek
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 26, 2021
The @WHO has identified a new COVID variant which is spreading through Southern Africa. As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 26, 2021
— ZeroDivided (@ZeroDivided1) November 26, 2021
COVID-19 UPDATE:@UKHSA is investigating a new variant. More data is needed but we're taking precautions now.
From noon tomorrow six African countries will be added to the red list, flights will be temporarily banned, and UK travellers must quarantine.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) November 25, 2021
#COVID19 variant B.1.1.529 is a variant under investigation (VuI).
Whilst no cases have been identified in the UK, precautionary measures are being taken to protect public health: https://t.co/ZXla0EMwMV
UKHSA CEO Jenny Harries said: pic.twitter.com/gRUpnUTvfh
— UK Health Security Agency (@UKHSA) November 26, 2021
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