There were worse offenders than Trump. Gosar incited violence more than other Congress members. Operations Chaos and Occupy the Capitol were real campaigns. Leaders used code words to avoid legal prosecution. BLM protests played a role.

To most Americans, the January 6 attack either set off a continuing crisis that has yet to be addressed, or was not as bad as many think. There seems to be little middle ground, little ways that show a path forward from a seeming abyss.

Since that day, I have been consumed by what occurred. Not because of how shocking it was, since if…


In early 2020, Trump revived Operation Chaos, a scheme hatched by Limbaugh in 2008 to subvert the Democratic primaries. When it didn’t work, Trump ratcheted that operation up a few notches, with help from allies.

All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.
Steve Bannon, former Trump White House adviser, on his “War Room” podcast, Jan. 5, 2021

This story was updated on March 14, 2021.

After Donald Trump urged thousands of his cult to march to the U.S. Capitol and fight harder for him on January 6, 2021, after his supporters fought police and killed one and injured…


The riot and MAGA protest march provided cover and diversion for the military-style operation. Trump, Bannon, Stone, Flynn likely helped plan the attempted coup, not just incite it.

This article was updated on January 26, 2021.

As the crowd wearing patriotic paraphernalia and MAGA gear — business owners, lawyers, realtors, office types, construction workers, QAnon cultists, police officers, firefighters — that Donald Trump incited to march to the U.S. Capitol on January 6 neared its destination, some noticed a curious development.

A large group was already on the west side of the Capitol, one that looked different from the usual…


Boogaloo Bois and others join both BLM and pro-Trump actions to further goal of societal collapse

This story was updated on Jan. 15, 2021.

Violence at political protests has long been inflamed by provocateurs, including by those who seek to infiltrate the demonstrations and cause violence to make the cause look bad. That happened in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s, and the anti-nuclear protests of the 1980s, among others.

In the present case, Donald Trump claimed the leftist-anarchist network Antifa was behind the initial burning of buildings and other violence…


The Storm was to culminate on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., when leading Democrats supposedly would be imprisoned or even executed, according to QAnon. The Storm did end in death — for five Trump supporters and three police officers. Still, this could be the mere start of The Storm, believers say.

This article was updated on Jan. 24, 2021.

As Donald Trump’s White House gig wound down, messages on various social-media platforms became more fervent, even darker. …


Most can file a complaint online. If enough people do this, the utilities have to respond.

Many people have seen insult added to burdens during the pandemic by unreasonably high utility bills. Some bills in Texas were astronomical to the point of being criminal after its recent electricity flap. Several utility companies declared bankruptcy during the scandal, and the state’s embattled attorney general announced that more than $29 million in overcharges would be forgiven.

But the situation is not confined to Texas. Most consumers across the country have likely seen their bills rise in recent months. In Maryland, my natural…


Conservatives’ favorite scapegoat not only kept far-right groups busy, diverting focus from Democrats’ actions. It failed to show on January 6, spoiling Trump’s plans for martial law.

For years, conservatives have painted Antifa as Public Enemy Number One. Needing a scapegoat on which to blame most problems, right-wingers latched onto the left-leaning, anarchistic network, which was easy to target since it has no real spokesperson or leader or someone to go on Fox News and defend it.

That campaign intensified about a year ago. When Black Lives Matter protests erupted soon after the killing of George Floyd on May 25…


First substantive book on Trump coup attempt and January 6 attack among best-selling books in political campaigns and corruption

The first fully-sourced, detailed book on how the January 6 Capitol riot occurred cracked several Amazon Best-Seller lists on March 24.

Operation Chaos: The Trump Coup Attempt and the Campaign to Erode Democracy reached 61st on Amazon’s Best-Seller list for books on political campaigns and elections. It was 70th for books on political corruption and misconduct and 87th for media studies. The top book in campaigns and corruption on March 24 was a false voter-fraud narrative by Donald Trump backer and…


The plotters of a coup attempt against Gorbachev were immediately arrested. Most remained in jail for more than two years. Plotters of a coup attempt against then-U.S. President-elect Biden in 2021 remain free.

This story was updated on March 14, 2021.

After Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the former Soviet Union Communist Party in 1985, he began implementing reforms that party hardliners feared would lead to the empire’s collapse.

Among those changes was to meet with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and sign arms control treaties. As Gorbachev lobbied for a plan to decentralize power in favor of more independent…


Poverty, unemployment, uninsured adults, attacks on media, erosion of national parks, among conditions that worsened under Don the Con.

Nov. 8, 2016, seems much longer than slightly more than four years ago. I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as networks called the election for Donald Trump.

Little did I — or most anyone else — know how bad it would get. More than 400,000 American deaths from COVID-19, many of them preventable if Trump had devised a coordinated plan to attack the disease as leaders did in Canada, Australia, Germany, and most other wealthier nations…

Kevin Shay

Written for 45+ newspapers/mags. Written some books — see https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-J.-Shay/e/B004BCQRTG. Visited 48 states, 30+ countries.

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