Rep. Adam Kinzinger brings a bazooka to Josh Hawley’s knife fight

After being one of only 10 House Republicans to vote for Donald Trump’s impeachment, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois announced that he would be retiring from the House in 2022. After cultivating Tea Party support back in 2010, Rep. Kinzinger has fallen out of favor with the fascist base the Tea Party movement has morphed into. Along with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Kinzinger has become the main public target for the MAGA-wing of the Republican Party in the battle for power being waged between the old guard and the monster love child they have created.

Rep. Kinzinger has the conservative qualities we have come to expect from GOP officials: he is willing to say some heavy shit to attack the people he perceives as his enemies. He is also one of the main Republicans on the House select committee to investigate what happened leading up to and around Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. This means the GOP’s loudest, most obnoxious, and likely criminal sector of the Party, have named Kinzinger as their enemy.

On Wednesday, news reports came out that Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri—best known for being a truly abhorrent coward of a man—was “urging the Biden administration to drop any U.S. support for Ukrainian membership in NATO.” To many, this statement shows a very mysterious and frightening bit of similarity with the openly corrupt moves and policies of former President Trump and the associates he was forced to pardon. Rep. Kinzinger made a statement on Twitter that, while lacking nuance, is pretty goddamn amazing.

With a link to an article about Hawley’s position, Kinzinger wrote, “I hate to be so personal, but Hawley is one of the worst human beings, and a self egrandizing [sic] con artist. When Trump goes down I certainly hope this evil will be layed [sic] in the open for all to see, and be ashamed of.” Those are the kinds of phone typos one makes when one is fuming angry.

To be clear, Sen. Hawley’s position on Ukraine isn’t some peacenik, let us deescalate tensions with Russia foreign policy idea. Hawley would like those military members back in our country, protecting a selection of whites from Americans he doesn’t want voting. Up until [checks watch] Donald Trump and Paul Manafort, it was his political party’s position that Ukraine should be a part of NATO.

A reminder, Rep. Kinzinger is still a large part of the problem, but he is fighting to wrestle it away from politicians who are somehow even more detestable than him and Liz Cheney. The fact that former dark lord of the underworld, Dick Cheney’s daughter isn’t evil enough for the current crop of GOP operatives is terrifying.

History will remember that when democracy was at stake Adam Kinzinger voted against voting rights, by proxy. pic.twitter.com/vgvSOrIvvn

— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) January 13, 2022

Sen. Hawley has already said all of the quiet things out loud. He has called Republican Jesus, Ronald Reagan, “ancient history,” and saluted the prospective insurrectionists with what seemed to be a white power sign, the morning of January 6, 2021. And he has always been this way. Since he was 15-years-old, he has defended the indefensible, people like disgraced racist Los Angeles cop Mark Fuhrman, and the Oklahoma City bombers. The state he represents has recently proposed a law that would in essence make murder legal, and more specifically the kind of murder our history books more correctly term “lynching.” 

Rep. Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney are fighting for their political lives at this point in time. They represent the previous GOP establishment that had a little more generational wealth attached to their version of white supremacy. Rep. Kinzinger made the mistake of believing that Trump would leave and that the rest of the GOP would rally around moving forward with their big donor list and the billionaires that support them. Unfortunately, we are living in desperate times and the only way that Cheney and Kinzinger can survive is to do the right thing and bring criminal charges to light about the complicity and the possible conspiracy by Republicans like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and others, to overturn our democratically elected 46th President.

Trump insurgents came within seconds of capturing ‘nuclear football’ on Jan. 6

During Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, video footage of events on Jan. 6 revealed just how close Mike Pence came to falling into the hands of the people who were chanting for his execution. Fourteen minutes after the mob of Trump supporters first breached the Capitol, Secret Service agents led Pence from the Senate chamber and down a flight of stairs. He entered that stairwell just seconds ahead of the arrival of insurgents, some of whom were carrying rope or zip ties. Had those insurgents not been delayed through the actions of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, they could easily have been there to capture Pence and take him to the gallows waiting on the lawn outside.

But in addition to Pence, they might have captured something else that would have been especially problematic. For most of us, our electronic devices—phones, tablets, and laptops—are regularly trusted with our most confidential information. That’s one of the things that helps to make these devices our constant companions and among the most vital objects that we own. However, there is still information that’s considered too valuable, too sensitive, to be trusted to any electronic device, and one prime example was in the hands of a military aide who was with Mike Pence as he fled from the Senate. 

That aide was carrying a small satchel, and inside that satchel was a book listing the locations of classified military sites, a description of how to activate and use the Emergency Broadcast System, a “black book” of pre-planned military actions, and a small card that contains the codes necessary to authorize a nuclear strike. That aide was with Pence at the top of the stairs in the video that was shown during the Senate trial.

The Jan. 6 insurgents didn’t just almost get Mike Pence. They almost got the backup copy of the president’s Emergency Satchel. Better know as the “nuclear football.”

As Reuters reports, concern over how close the satchel came to being captured by the Trump horde is calling for a review of just how the vital information is carried and secured. Some form of the football goes back to President Dwight Eisenhower, but it was concerns from President John Kennedy that created the system that’s still followed today. Both the president and vice president are closely pursued by aides who have the current information necessary to respond if the nation were to fall under sudden attack. 

Following the events of Jan. 6, in which one of the footballs almost went into the hands of insurgents calling for the overthrow of the elected government, there’s a concern that this 60-year-old program may be due for some review. This wasn’t the only occasion in the last four years in which the vital information came under threat. An aide carrying the information on a trip to China got into what was described as a “tussle” with a Chinese official while Trump was having lunch with Communist Party leader Xi Jinping. That situation apparently required then chief of staff John Kelly to get into a “physical altercation” to secure the satchel.

Neither situation is particularly reassuring.

Exactly what the Trump mob might have done with the satchel had they taken it and opened it isn’t clear. There are procedures for changing the authorizations codes in the case a football is lost or stolen. However, the book of secure sites and the book of military actions—primarily military actions that the U.S. intends to take in case of an attack on the nation—are extremely sensitive and any data released from those sources could cause serious damage to national security. Had that information been captured, it would have been considered compromised even if the military wasn’t aware of any leaks of the contents. 

Just what changes are being considered to better secure the information are not clear. But just as a start, securing the Capitol against future assaults by ravening mobs of Trump supporters out for blood is a good first step.

Pelosi planning a 9/11-style inquiry into the Capitol siege

In a letter to her colleagues Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised the formation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the security failures surrounding it.

In the interest of safeguarding the nation's security, Pelosi said a 9/11-type commission must be established to “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol complex” as well as “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.” Establishing such a commission will likely require legislation in the vein of how the 9/11 Commission was formed. Pelosi also said a supplemental appropriations bill would be necessary to fund increased security measures for the Capitol and congressional members in the near term. 

“It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi wrote. 

Pelosi isn't the only congressional lawmaker who wants to know what the heck happened on Jan. 6 to make the Capitol breach possible. Even the likes of Trump sycophant Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News Sunday, "We need a 9/11 Commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again." Of course, Graham could turn on a dime if Donald Trump is somehow implicated in the security failures—which he surely will be. The only question concerning Trump's (non)involvement in the flagging law enforcement presence is to what extent Trump helped hobble the response.

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who ultimately voted to convict Trump of the impeachment charges, also expressed genuine interest in getting to the bottom of the breach and security failures. 

“Why was there not more law enforcement, National Guard already mobilized, what was known, who knew it, and when they knew it, all that, because that builds the basis so this never happens again in the future,” Cassidy said Sunday on ABC News’ This Week.

Naturally, House Republicans have already established themselves as a part of the problem. The latest conspiracy theory of the tinfoil hat caucus appears to be that Pelosi herself kneecapped the Jan. 6 response. They ask a series of probing questions in their latest letter to Pelosi and then complain that they haven't been adequately consulted on the latest security measures being taken at the Capitol, including the installation of magnetometers at entrances to the House chamber.

Anyway, if the tinfoil hat caucus is really on to something, then Pelosi's independent commission will ultimately be an investigation of ... herself. Genius.