Finneran's Wake - Ep. #1
ITEM #1: CAPITOL BUILDING BESIEGED
The first item to which we turn today, about which, for weeks to come, and with a renewed sense of unsteadiness and disquiet, our wearied nation will likely be talking, is the apparent siege of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
In the afternoon of The sixth of January, following a speech by president Donald J. Trump, a segment of the attendees to whom the president’s words were addressed proceed down the mile and a half corridor at whose end, like a grand, Athenian edifice amidst a city of dross, the Capitol Building sits.
These bustling rally-goers, eager to shed the civility in which they were so uncomfortably dressed, and adopt a lighter raiment, quickly transformed into protestors, and finally into invaders. Undaunted by the low temperatures and the gloominess of the day, they amassed outside the home of our Legislative Branch, a building in which, at that very moment, our members of Congress were busy certifying November’s Electoral College votes.
These votes, of course, have been the subject of much litigation and—short of that—heated political contention and debate, especially for those disinclined or unwilling to accept the pain of a recent defeat to which, despite every effort, there seems not to be any legitimate recourse.
It appears to have been the protestors’ aim first to demonstrate, then to intimidate, then perhaps, albeit brazenly, to interrupt and forcibly suspend the counting of said votes. Undeterred by local law enforcement officers, whose small numbers proved no impediment to their swelling zeal, the protestors penetrated the “people’s house”.
As uninvited guests, dressed, very fittingly, as horn-crowned barbarians and pelt-laden goths, they proceeded to damage property en route to their destination: the Senate floor. The legislators inside, suddenly fearful for their lives, were encouraged if not immediately to evacuate, then swiftly to seek cover beneath the protective cover of their desks.
Shots were fired. One person, an Air Force veteran and small-business-owner from California, yielded to her wounds. It’s unclear if she was the party by whom the exchange was provoked, or if she was killed accidentally in a cloud of cross-fire. Regarding the number detained by the police, to whose depleted ranks, much-needed reinforcements eventually did arrive, fifty-two people are known to have been arrested.
The final count of the vote, while delayed, was undeterred. It restarted hours later, when the threat was removed and the Capitol cleared of those by whom it was so disgracefully tarnished.
It was declared that Joseph R. Biden, former Vice President and Senator from the state of Delaware, had secured votes sufficient to grant him the privilege of being called, now formally, “successor to the 45th president of the United States”. Vice President Mike Pence, a man on whom, rather desperately, some people had hinged their final hopes for President Trump’s future success, made the announcement in the evening.
ITEM #2 - GEORGIA ELECTION RESULTS
After witnessing what can only be described as the most unusual and, given the fraught circumstances, consequential election by which the future of the congress will be determined, the state of Georgia, so much the object of our recent attention, will be sending to Washington two Democrat Senators.
Both Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff, well-funded challengers to the Republican candidates by whom, till that point, the peach state was led, defeated, respectively, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Loeffler and Perdue, as it increasingly became apparent, were the rather less-inspiring incumbents against whom they ran.
Both the races were closely contested, that of Ossoff more so than that of Warnock. The former, at last count, seems to have defeated the more established Perdue by over 40,000 votes. The latter, Warnock, vanquished his opponent with greater alacrity and ease, his victory having been declared far sooner in the day. He defeated Senator Loeffler by 80,000 votes.
The repercussions of these dual victories can’t be overstated. The senate is now perfectly divided by a “50-50” split, a tenuous equilibrium on which Kamala Harris, as the incoming Vice President, will have the peculiar opportunity to exert her weight. The balance of power, in a word, is primed to shift.
ITEM #3 - NO CHARGES AGAINST OFFICERS INVOLVED IN KENOSHA MAN'S SHOOTING
Prosecutors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a small mid-Western town in which one hundred thousand souls reside, declined to press charges on the police officers by whom Jacob Blake was shot.
Blake, a Black man twenty-seven years of age, paid a visit this summer to his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, a young, hitherto anonymous figure from whom he was estranged.
Their history is a troubled one: on multiple occasions, without her consent, he invited himself into her home, interrupted her day, and, heedless of her pleas, refused to depart. In need of transportation, he repeatedly availed himself of her car, of which, again without her consent, she was quite rudely dispossessed. And, if that weren’t sufficiently unsavory for your taste, he decided one morning to penetrate her generative organ with his fingers and, retreating from that most sensitive area with an accusatory tone, declared she’d been with other men. This, he did, while she lay in the very same bed in which their poor child slept.
Clearly, Blake and his ex-girlfriend were not on amicable terms. Indeed, she’d sought means by which their interactions might be reduced or prevented altogether. Unfortunately, her determination to do so lapsed. She permitted him to visit her house, if only briefly, and wish their child a “Happy Birthday”. As appears to be his custom, he refused to leave. She called the police, who soon arrived.
They attempted to detain him, but Blake resisted with remarkable strength. The tasers deployed on him were, to say the least, inefficacious, and he succumbed to them not. Impatient of his pursuers, he attempted to enter his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle, in which three children sat, on whose floorboard, a conveniently-placed knife awaited his reach.
He was repeatedly encouraged to stop resisting arrest. He did not. He was repeatedly urged to submit to more peaceable means of submission. He refused. He was sternly commanded to drop the weapon around which, fatefully, he decided to wrap his hand. This, he ignored, and was shot in the back and the flank for his rather stubborn demeanor and his unwillingness to relent.
Both parties, the police officers and Blake, have been relieved of all suspicion and are free, at least for the moment, from prosecution.