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Violence broke out as dead-end Trumpers marched in Washington today and stormed the nation’s capitol. I expect Sen. Tom Cotton to call any minute now for federal troops to take no quarter to stop the rioting.

Hundreds stormed barricades around the nation’s Capitol and reached the steps,  where Congress was debating the effort by Trumpers to force Congress to reject the Electoral College votes. It won’t happen in the end, but it will take hours before the stunt by foes of democracy is over. Mike Pence issued a public statement beforehand that he was obligated to accept the votes. About 1:15 p.m., Secret Service ushered Pence out of the session as security assessed the situation given the storming of the Capitol.

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Members of the House and Senate are apparently sheltering as the Capitol is locked down. The rioters apparently reached a balcony on a level with windows to the Senate. Some have entered the Capitol. This led to police ushering House and Senate leaders to a protected location.

Meanwhile, Little Rock was one of several state capitals where diehard Trump losers mounted vigils. Many wore military gear and face masks and toted military-style weapons. Nobody seemed to pay them much mind. For a time, a squad of armed men posted themselves around the monument to Confederate soldiers, but it stood unguarded the last time we drove by. There is a certain similarity between present-day and Civil War losers, beginning with their whiteness.

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Don’t forget to blame Donald Trump for inciting this third-world style riot during a speech preceding the meeting of Congress.  Lock him up. And expel politicians like Reps. Rick Crawford and Bruce Westerman and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge who endorsed anarchy in America.

Even Mitch McConnell, soon to lose his position as Senate majority leader, decried the revolutionaries.

STANDING GUARD: For what wasn’t exactly clear, but plenty of armed men in military garb patrolled outside the Arkansas Capitol today.

This is crazy. We’ve become a Banana Republic.

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Question: Were police underprepared because they thought this group was on their side?

UPDATE: Trump, belatedly, has sent a message for the rioters to stand down. Too little, too late.

Stunning tin ear from the cowardly Rep. French Hill. He put out this tripe on Twitter, essentially enabling those who believe without evidence that they should have no confidence in the election, while Congress was in lockdown and were being told to prepare to put on gas masks if tear gas was used on rioters in the Capitol building.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. has declared a 6 p.m. curfew and the National Guard has been called to clear protesters. One of them is on the dais in Congress screaming that Trump won the election.