Timeline of Events Triggers Hard Questions on the Coup Attempt on January 6

By Beverly George, ACE Leader

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, a group of Americans took control of the U.S. Capitol Building for several hours, blocking the function of our Congress as it met to certify electoral votes from the November 3, 2020 election.

I suffer from insomnia occasionally, and it came as no surprise when I tossed and turned that night. Did anyone sleep well?

I woke around 2:30 a.m. and read the news and found the daily Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson, professor of history at Boston College. After reading her essay, I read the early morning Washington Post article reviewing the January 6 events with time stamps. The timeline troubled me greatly, even though I had watched the TV coverage all day.

Between the two sources, here’s what I found. NOTE: All times are EST.

11:33 a.m.: President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd and lies about having won by a landslide and that the election was stolen from them. He invites supporters to walk with him to the Capitol. However, he returns to the White House at 12:59 p.m. while they make their way to the Capitol. At some time in the middle of the day, Rudy Giuliani speaks to the crowd and says “Let’s have trial by combat.”
12:05 p.m.: Congress meets in joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Dozens of Republicans are present to object to counting the submitted Electoral College votes from Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and other states.
12:10 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence says he will not intervene to change the election outcome.
12:45 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warns overturning Biden’s election would put our democracy into a “death spiral.”
12:46 p.m.: GOP members object to Arizona’s electoral votes for Biden.
12:49 to 12:54 p.m.: More GOP members object and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urges the Senate to accept the electoral votes, which reflect the voters’ decision.
12:55 p.m.: Republican National Committee headquarters is evacuated over “suspicious package,” according to the Washington Post. Hours later—at 2:58 a.m. on January 7—Heather Cox Richardson reports “police found two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., as well as a truck full of weapons and ammunition, and mobs gathered at statehouses across the country, including in Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota, California, and Georgia.”
1:17 p.m.: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks and defends his challenge to Biden’s win in Arizona.
1:34 p.m.: Trump lashes out at Pence while his supporters breach U.S. Capitol.
1:34 p.m.: House and Senate recess as protesters enter and roam the Capitol.
1:48 p.m.: Washington Post reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 12th District) requests deployment of National Guard troops to Capitol. For two and a half hours, the White House, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security all remain silent, according to Richardson and the Washington Post. During this time, President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the country and urges President Trump to tell his supporters to go home.
4:17 p.m.: Trump issues his video from the Rose Garden, which reiterates his lies about his huge election victory having been stolen and ends with a call to supporters to “go home, we love you, you’re very special.”
5 p.m.: Heather Cox Richardson reports that “by 5 p.m., acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller issued a statement saying he had conferred with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Vice President Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and had fully activated the D.C. National Guard.” Trump was not mentioned in the statement. This was three and a half hours after the Washington Post reported Pelosi had requested help.
5:46 p.m.: Speaker Pelosi calls for Electoral College certification to continue Wednesday night.
Prior to 7:30 p.m.: custodial staff thoroughly scrubs the Capitol chambers.
7:34 p.m.: Senate reopens with message to get back to work.
8:20 p.m.: Speaker Pelosi brings House back into session.
9:17 p.m.: Senate rejects challenge to Arizona’s electoral votes.
10:15 p.m.: House rejects challenge to Arizona’s electoral votes.
11:01 p.m.: Congress resumes counting votes.
11:03 p.m.: Georgia’s electoral votes certified for Biden after Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) withdraws objection.
11:29 p.m.: House and Senate adjourn to debate objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
11:48 p.m.: Senate rejects challenge to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
2:13 a.m.: House rejects challenge to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
2:46 a.m.: Pence officially affirms Biden’s win.

Heather Cox Richardson reported that, at day’s end, four people had died, at least 52 perpetrators had been arrested, and 14 law enforcement officers had been injured.

Prior to yesterday’s events, the following Trump staff purges occurred.

On Nov. 13, 2020, CNN reported the Trump administration had removed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and four senior civil officials and placed loyalists in their place.

On Nov. 18, 2020, CNN reported Trump’s firing Chris Krebs, Homeland Security’s Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, after he reported there was “no evidence” any voting system had been compromised by deleting, losing, or changing votes. Matt Travis, the number 2 official, also resigned.

All of this begs several questions.

The Capitol Police were quickly overwhelmed by the breach. Why was security so weak? Why weren’t the National Guard troops nearby, ready and on stand-by?

Before January 6, who in the government knew the plans, details, and the extent of this coup attempt? Was the FBI following any noise on the internet? Where was Homeland Security? Trump was tweeting and seeking the support of his followers and had invited them to D.C. for the formerly ceremonial event.

To what extent will the 52 arrested coup members be prosecuted?

What future in American politics will Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and new Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) have? Remember their names.

This was the first time in our history the Capitol was breached by American citizens. I feel both anger and sadness and the resolve that this must not happen again.







ACE Leader Beverly George also is a member of Indivisible, the Naperville League of Women Voters, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. She also volunteers with her parish PADS group. A former chemist, George worked in clinical chemistry and hematology research at the Centers for Disease Control for six years and taught chemistry and freshman science at Naperville North High School for 20 years.

Assault Continues on Affordable Care Act

By Beverly George, ACE Leader


In late September, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) survived yet another repeal attempt by the U.S. Senate. However, every time this happens, there is a tendency for supporters of the ACA to take a deep breath, celebrate the moment of victory, and then place that win on the back burner of our collective memory and attention. We do this primarily because there is a continuing assault of Category 5 storms to weaken or destroy federal agencies, the social order, the world order, and the democratic system of government that we have come to know and cherish over the past 240 years.

So let me be crystal clear—the assault on the ACA continues daily in D.C., and each health care battle is only a handful of confetti in the ticker tape parade that Trump imagines in his reality TV show, “The President.”

Here are the most recent items, as reported in the Washington Post .

  1. Conservative Iowa sought permission from Health and Human Services (HHS) to revitalize their health insurance market. Insiders reported that Trump instructed the director of HHS to tell Iowa No in an effort to undermine the ACA, even if it means hampering state efforts to keep premiums low.
  2. HHS is trying hard to suppress the number to enroll in the upcoming open enrollment period, November 1–December 15, 2017. It has cut the enrollment time in half and reduced the advertising budget from $100M spent last year to $10M. Scratching my head as I type, I can say I have seen absolutely no TV ads on the open enrollment this year. HHS also has told regional administrators not to even meet with on-the-ground, grassroots organizations about enrollment.
  3. On October 6, Trump directed a long-awaited revision to the ACA requirement that most employers cover birth control as preventive care for women. Under Obama, this applied to all FDA-approved methods, and most women no longer had to pay for contraception. However, Trump repealed this requirement, effective immediately, to allow employers to opt out of the mandate to their health plans, by claiming “religious or moral objections.”
  4. On October 12, the Trump administration announced it will end subsidies to health insurance companies designed to help low-income people with premium costs and out-of-pocket medical costs.
  5. Also on October 12, HHS approved sales of cheaper plans that provide fewer benefits and weaker protections, aimed at younger, healthier consumers. This will explode the cost of stronger plans necessary for those who need better, ongoing coverage.

Trump, Pence, and administration officials continue to beat their drum loudly that the ACA is failing, while not even sub rosa, they continue to do an “Et tu, Brute?” attack on it. In addition, the proposed tax plan/tax cuts to the wealthy will precipitate further cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and even Social Security with the argument that they need to “cut these expenses” in the federal budget. Eventually more than the ACA will be shredded.

Americans’ health care and their health will disintegrate from these tactics, and the members of Congress who stand silent are complicit in the fallout from the actions of Trump & Co.

At the same time, the voices for single payer, Medicare-for-all grow stronger, louder.

It seems the chasm between the Right and Left of our country continues to widen.

Stay tuned.


“An ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law.”

“AP Fact Check: Trump’s empty boasts on legislation, economy.”

“Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance.” 

“Trump to Scrap Critical Health Care Subsidies, Hitting Obamacare Again.” 

ACE Leader Beverly George also is a member of Indivisible, the Naperville League of Women Voters, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. She also volunteers with her parish PADS group. A former chemist, George worked in clinical chemistry and hematology research at the Centers for Disease Control for six years and taught chemistry and freshman science at Naperville North High School for 20 years.



Trump Shows His True Colors and It Isn’t Pretty


By Karen Berner, ACE Communications Team Leader

The horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday have ripped open the scab that once rested atop the wound of racism in our country. And who poured rubbing alcohol into that wound to make it sting even more?

The president, the very person who is supposed to bring our nation together to heal.

A leader does not come out for a contentious press conference and put more blame on human rights protesters than on white supremacists and neo-Nazis, one of whom plowed into a crowd of people with his car, killing one and injuring dozens.

A leader does not equate Robert E. Lee with George Washington. One is the father of our country. The other? The military leader of the Confederacy who sought to destroy the Union that Washington, Jefferson, and the other founders created. Some parts of history should be left in books and museums where future generations can study them so they’re not repeated, not on pedestals to be venerated.

A leader does not yell, “Fake news,” to shout down members of the press who are competently doing their jobs, jobs that are protected by the Constitution. Journalists work hard to maintain a high position of responsibility in our democracy, namely to illuminate those in power to keep our government transparent and honest.


‘We must keep resisting, my friends. Trump’s America is not our America.’


We must keep resisting, my friends. Trump’s America is not our America. Our country and its allies already defeated Nazism in World War II. Slavery and the Jim Crow system of civil laws have been abolished. The job of a president is to take the country forward, not backward.

There are only two sides to this — either you believe everyone deserves to be treated equally or you don’t.

It’s that simple.

Those who don’t believe everyone deserves basic human rights should be called what they are — racist bigots.

And that includes the president.



ACE Communications Team Leader Karen Berner has been a professional writer/editor for more than 30 years. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women’s Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women’s fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association.