January 2021

In my last post, on New Year’s Day, I said “I’m expecting the first couple of months of 2021 to be pretty rough.” It turns out, the first couple of weeks of 2021 have been pretty rough. So one week ago, we had an angry mob storm the Capitol building, and today, we saw Trump get impeached for the second time, at record speed.

I wanted to write a post about the whole insurrection thing over the weekend, but I just couldn’t get my thoughts together in any coherent way. I still probably can’t, but I feel like I need to get some stuff out of my head, regardless. It might not be that organized or coherent, so I apologize if it isn’t.

It’s been interesting to follow the reaction of some of our local NJ politicians to the Capitol incident. Here are a few links.

  • Andy Kim got some attention for picking up trash in the Capitol building after the incident. Here’s an article from the Post, and here’s one from NJ.com. It’s a small thing, but it was one of the only positive stories to come out of this, and really reflects the kind of values I want to see in my elected representatives.
  • Meanwhile, Bonnie Watson Coleman, another NJ rep, has now tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s an article on that from NJ Spotlight. While of course there’s no way to tell for sure, there’s a good chance she was exposed while locked up in the Capitol building with a bunch of other lawmakers, many of whom refused to put on a mask. So that’s infuriating. Here’s a Post opinion piece she wrote. (She’s not happy.)
  • Mikie Sherrill is alleging that some members of Congress led “reconnaissance” tours of the Capitol a day before the insurrection. If true, that’s… horrible. (But she could be wrong on that.)
  • Jeff Van Drew continues to disappoint, being the only NJ rep to vote against certifying Biden’s win. Here’s a USA Today article on that. A lot of people aren’t happy with Van Drew, but I’m not sure he cares. Here’s an NJ.com article about protests calling for him to resign.
  • Van Drew also, for some reason, decided to wear an extremely weird suit to work today. People have been making fun of him for it on Twitter. Here’s one from Sam Bee. And another from Matt Platkin. Not really a big deal, but I guess it’s yet another example of his generally poor judgement. (And it gave me a laugh today, which I sorely needed.)
  • Chris Smith, meanwhile, is keeping a low profile. Both he and Van Drew are quoted in this NJ.com article about today’s impeachment.
  • My own rep, Tom Malinowski, has been setting a good example. Today, he hosted two online meetings, one on vaccine distribution and one on the insurrection. I watched parts of each. He always comes across as calm, reasonable, and thoughtful in these things. I’m leery about putting too much faith in a politician, but he genuinely seems like a hard worker and good guy.

I’ve definitely been experiencing some information overload over this past week. I feel like I need to keep up with the news, but so much of it is just crazy. I want to talk to somebody about it, but I’ve hardly got anyone to talk to. (Hence this long, rambling, blog post, I guess.)

My Twitter feed often becomes quite surreal these days. I keep stumbling across stuff, and thinking it’s from The Onion, but it’s not. Or thinking that I must have misread something, but… nope. Here are a few examples:

  • Trump really was planning to give the Medal of Freedom to Bill Belichick. That was not an Onion article. (He declined, though I actually did first read about that in The Onion.)
  • Someone Wrote “Trump” on a Florida Manatee, from the NY Times.
  • From NPR: “Joint Chiefs Remind U.S. Forces That They Defend The Constitution” — because apparently that’s something we can’t take for granted anymore?
  • And I could probably add a few more links, related to some of the characters who romped around the Capitol building last week, from the weird guy with the viking hat to the scary guy with the zip ties. I’ll just add one: “Jamiroquai Singer Says Capitol Rioter In The Viking Helmet Isn’t Him.”

I had a few serious, high-level, articles about the insurrection that I wanted to link to, but I’m too tired to do that, and I’m not sure they’re necessarily the best ones to reference. Maybe I’ll revisit that later. For now, just one more link: I Recommend Eating Chips, from the NY Times. This is a pretty dumb article, but it does kinda sum up how I’m feeling lately. I’m trying very hard not to stress-eat, and I’m definitely not eating Doritos, but I’ll admit I had a small bag of potato chips with my lunch on Sunday, and it felt pretty good.