National Guard Members With ‘Questionable’ Behavior Removed From Inauguration Duty

The FBI did not say what fringe group the Guard members belonged to

A dozen U.S. Army National Guard members have been removed from security detail for Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration after questionable behavior was discovered by authorities ranging from ties to fringe right-group militias and questionable social media posts, a U.S. Army official confirmed.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it would be vetting all 25,000 National Guard troops who were stationed in Washington, D.C. this week after the violent insurrection in the Capitol was found to have insider military ties.

“I’m not concerned as a large part of our organization, if you look at 25,000, we’ve had 12 identified and some of those they are just looking into, it may be unrelated to this, but we want to make sure out of an abundance of caution as I stated earlier that we do the right thing until that gets cleared up,” Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson told reporters.

”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press.

No plot against Biden has been found.

McCarthy also noted that he and other military leaders went through a three-hour security drill in preparation for Biden’s inauguration, and that Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential threats coming from inside their detail. According to McCarthy, service members from across the military were at the rally which led to the insurrection, but it’s not clear yet how many participated in it.

The vetting itself consists, in part, of running names through databases and watchlists maintained by the FBI to see if anything about their background comes up including involvement in prior investigations or terrorism-related activities. The bulk of the Guard members will be armed during the inauguration event.

The National Guard Bureau referred questions to the U.S. Secret Service when speaking to the AP, and said, “Due to operational security, we do not discuss the process nor the outcome of the vetting process for military members supporting the inauguration.”

This isn’t the first time a Guard member has been removed over safety concerns. Over the summer, an Ohio National Guard member was removed from a mission in Washington, D.C., after the FBI found they’d expressed white supremacist ideology on the internet. The vetting for the inauguration, however, remains top of mind given the recent events at the Capitol.

“This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,” said McCarthy. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.”

With just 24 hours until Inauguration Day, the troops are present to protect the building and those inside of it but we also must ensure they aren’t taking part in any violent acts themselves.

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Mom Shares Heartbreaking, Yet Relatable Picture Her Son Drew Of Her Working

Their exchange will feel familiar to too many of us

Mom and Flexable CEO Priya Amin is like most moms trying to work from home with kids at home. She shared a heartbreaking and relatable picture her son drew after an exchange one day, and it’s received a ton of attention because, it seems, we’re all very much feeling the same way.

Amin shared the picture and explanation on LinkedIn in December of a drawing her 6-year-old son, Kirin, made for her. It was a drawing of a parent at work and a child looking on. The child says, “Mommy are you done?” and the mother replies, “No,” without looking back. It’s what had actually happened between the two of them ten minutes before he gave his mom the photo.

Priya Amin

“At first, without looking at it, I was like ‘ohh that’s so cute!'” Amin tells Scary Mommy. “But when I actually looked at it, I realized he had gone back to his room and drawn out our interaction from before — and it broke my heart.”

The mom-of-two said she shared the image with colleagues who encouraged her to write a blog post. “I chose to share the blog originally via a LinkedIn post because I knew this was something universally felt by parents everywhere right now, and we’re all feeling like we’re shouldering this alone.”

The picture resonated with thousands, and it eventually went viral. Amin says she didn’t expect that sort of reaction when she shared it but understands it’s an exchange that happens dozens of times a day in one form or another as parents attempt to balance work and home full-time.

Priya Amin

“I started my company Flexable four years ago because I was personally struggling with the issue of childcare falling through for myself and now childcare support is even harder to find because of COVID,” she explains. “Parents everywhere are struggling to juggle home and work obligations and it’s causing massive burnout.”

Amin explains how she started Flexable and how it’s helping parents — especially during the pandemic.

Working with other companies and moms gives Amin a unique position to offer advice we all so desperately need right now.

“In terms of tips for other parents going through this right now, I’d say please be open and honest with your employer and lean on your team and your organization as much as you can to support you,” she recommends. “Right now, we can’t lean on friends and family, or our daycares and schools or other local support structures like we used to. The more we all reach out to our organizations with a cohesive rallying cry that, ‘this is too hard to try to figure out alone — I need your help and support,’ the more organizations will be willing to listen.”

Priya Amin

She’s right. The days of women pretending we have it all together (or pretending we don’t have a life outside of work at all) are over. We need help and the more this conversation happens, the more employers and colleagues can understand the severity of what is happening — especially to women — and what they can do to offload some of the burden and stress consuming us.

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Trump To Armed Rioters Storming The Capitol: ‘We Love You, You Are Very Special’

Trump continued to spread falsehoods about the stolen election

Donald Trump finally responded to armed rioters storming the Capitol building after hours of watching the violence unfold and his supporters actively break into a national institution on the day the Electoral College votes were to confirm Joe Biden as the next President. In it, he told the rioters, “We love you.”

Trump released a video via social media rather than addressing the nation live like Biden did earlier today. In it, as almost every one of his supporters on Capitol Hill begged him to do, he told people to go home. That wasn’t his very first message, however.  He started off by telling people, “I know you’re hurting. We’ve had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it.”

He continued: “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order,” then said, “Go home in peace.” He continued to repeat falsehoods that November’s election was stolen, fanning the fire where one woman, who appeared to be a Trump supporter, was shot in the neck.

Earlier in the day, Trump addressed this same crowd at a “Save America” rally down the road, including members of far-right groups. In his speech, he told his supporters, “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough and we will not take it any more.” According to Bloomberg, he then encouraged protesters to go to the Capitol and support Congress members who planned to object to Electoral College votes in key states he lost.

In the video, Trump did not condemn protesters for entering the Capitol building. In a tweet earlier today, Trump had asked them to refrain from violence but did not tell them specifically to leave the building.

A short walk from the rally, hundreds of supporters overturned barricades and fought their way past armed police, broke windows, and flooded into the Capitol building where Congress was meeting. They replaced American flags with Trump flags, took selfies in the chamber, and walked into senator’s offices, snapping pictures of paperwork and going through belongings, according to Washington Post. A 6pm curfew has been put in place in DC until 6am tomorrow.

Twitter, for its part, put what looks to be a new warning on his video shortly after it was posted, making it unsharable, unlikeable, and for anyone to comment on it.

Twitter

“This was a fraudulent election,” Trump continued in his video. “But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”

What an absolute piece of shit.

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The Rock’s Post About Playing With Your Kids On Christmas Day Is Too Real

The Rock shared a photo of his daughter demanding he play with her and her new Christmas toys in painfully relatable post

Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is just like the rest of us — I mean besides being smoking hot, a millionaire, and with the ability to bench press a small SUV. Johnson, aka Dwanta (Dwayne + Santa = Dwanta), shared an adorable picture on Christmas playing with his daughter Tia and the new Barbie she got for Christmas. And by play he means holding onto Barbie while his daughter ignores him.

The Rock can be seen with a “#DeathGripOnBarbie” in the adorable Instagram post while his daughter sits at his feet playing with everything other than Barbie. “Post Christmas, ‘Daddy come play Barbie with me,’ which in reality means..Daddy holds this Barbie for a solid 45min straight while baby Tia does whatever she wants and completely ignores Barbie the whole time,” Johnson captioned the photo.

He also uttered the phrase most parents did on Christmas, which was, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere right?” with a drinks emoji.

Johnson is always sharing cute moments with his kids with fans and we are glad he does. He seems like a very hands-on parent and his kids look like they adore him. I mean, how can you not?

On Saturday, the actor shared another photo of him sitting in front of the television with Tia, Dwanta hat tipped to one side with a caption that read: “Dwanta spends months carefully planning for Christmas and this lil’ independent boss opens just one gift and decides she’ll open the rest later, but first we’re watching LION KING…for the 987th time.”

It’s funny because it’s true. Parents build up Christmas morning and more times than not, little ones find one toy out of the pile to play with in lieu of opening the other 500 or get bored and move onto something else entirely. The “something else” often being a movie they’ve watched a million times already.

When he’s not spending time with his family, Dwanta’s been busy making other people’s Christmas dreams come true. He shared a video of one father who was selling some of his things on eBay so he could give his kids a Christmas they would remember. The Rock purchased all of the items and plans to fly him out to visit the DC Universe exhibit once it’s safe to make the trip.

We love The Rock for his honesty and ability to keep it real. It reminds us we aren’t in this alone — a sentiment we most definitely needed this year.

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Jennifer Aniston Commemorates 2020 With An Ornament And People Freak Out

Fans are upset with one of Jennifer Aniston’s Christmas ornaments, saying it comes across as tone deaf

Jennifer Aniston is in hot water with some of her fans after sharing an Instagram story on Friday with a Christmas ornament that’s engraved with: “Our first pandemic 2020.”

The Friends star didn’t caption the photo so it’s not clear if it’s her ornament. Most believed it was and berated the actress for not having a bit more sensitivity around the subject. Others defended Aniston, saying she’s used her platform more than most to promote mask wearing and small businesses that have been impacted as a result.

Instagram/Jennifer Aniston

In the photo, she is seen holding a simple round wooden ornament engraved with the words “Our first pandemic 2020” on it. “Just because u like a celebrity, doesn’t mean u should not hold them accountable,” one Twitter user wrote. “I’m sorry but that’s so insensitive to put an ornament saying ‘pandemic 2020.’ Innocent lives were lost because of this pandemic. We’re not going to celebrate this shit. Do better Jennifer Aniston.”

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 1.76 million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus and nearly 332,000 have died. December marked the deadliest month in our country since the pandemic began, with more than 63,000 COVID-19 deaths recorded so far.

COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have started making their rounds to states in the past week, marking a positive turn in the pandemic that’s taken so many lives and livelihoods away from people all over the world.

Of course, there are two sides to every story. Many fans were quick to come to Aniston’s defense:

“Jen aniston was one of the few celebrities that used her platform to ask people to support small businesses all around the US during christmas eve (while others were busy posting their fancy dinners) and she really got hate over ONE ornament? what??” one fan wrote.

Others commenting on the story admitted that they also bought similarly themed ornaments this year. There have been many showing piles of toilet paper, dumpster fires with 2020 on them, and similar items. All of these make light of the situation we’ve found ourselves in and all can be interpreted as offensive given what so many have lost, though I can’t imagine they were bought with malice.

Aniston has been vocal about masks since the pandemic began, writing in June on social media, “I understand masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable. But don’t you feel that it’s worse that businesses are shutting down… jobs are being lost… health care workers are hitting absolute exhaustion. And so many lives have been taken by this virus because we aren’t doing enough.”

Seeing as Aniston shared the image of her Instagram Stories, it has now expired. She has not responded to the “controversy.”

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The Trailer For Joanna Gaines’ New Cooking Show Is Here And Say No More

Magnolia Table will premiere on Discovery+ on January 4, 2020

Fixer Upper fans, rejoice! Joanna Gaines has a new cooking show dropping in January and a couple of her kids even make cameos in the recently released trailer for Magnolia Table.

Before Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new television network — Magnolia Network — officially launches in 2021, Gaines is premiering her new show Magnolia Table on Discovery+ on January 4. “After lots of bloopers and LOTS of butter, we finally have ourselves a cooking show folks!” Gaines wrote in the caption of her social media post where she premiered the trailer for her new show. “I think if your kitchen is not messy, you’re not having fun.”

The best-selling cookbook author, TV star, and mother-of-five looks as adorable as ever in the trailer. The preview is filled with delicious-looking food, from colorful veggie salads to cobblers to mouthwatering biscuits. “If you’re looking to learn how to cut things, this is not the show for you,” Gaines says in the trailer with a laugh.

Also in the show? The Gaines kids. Ella Rose, her eldest daughter, is seen helping mom out in the kitchen, plus little Crew makes an appearance as well. In the video, he’s there picking herbs outside with his mom and perched on the counter watching her intently. “You want to help mama cook today?” Gaines asks her youngest.

“The fact that I get to cook in this kitchen feels like a dream come true,” she said in December when she and husband Chip released a sneak peek of their forthcoming Magnolia Network. The new channel will feature a number of new shows including Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, a reboot of Chip and Joanna’s hit HGTV series Fixer Upper. 

As for the new cooking show, Gaines will share one of her grandfather’s special recipes and will dedicate an entire episode to biscuits which we love her forever for. The two-time cookbook author first announced plans for the cooking show during a November 8, 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show.

“You’re talking to the executives of the Magnolia Network, and when Jimmy Fallon says Jo should do a cooking show, I vote that Jo does a cooking show,” Chip joked before admitting they were well into production. “It’s a lot of work, but we’re knee-deep in it right now, and I think what we love is just the idea of just finding amazing stories, people who are passionate about what they do, whether it’s cooking, design, business. We’re excited. This is a lot of fun and a lot of work.”

It will be fun to see Gaines in a new element surrounded by family and good food.

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Demi Lovato Covers Stretch Marks In Glitter To Celebrate Eating Disorder Recovery

Demi Lovato posted a series of photos celebrating her stretch marks

Demi Lovato has always been candid about her past eating disorder and struggle to accept her body. But her most recent post was about celebrating the body she has now — stretch marks and all.

The “Still Have Me” singer took to social media to share a series of gorgeous photos in a black bathing suit celebrating her stretch marks and talking about her recovery from an eating disorder. It was a message of hope for how far she’s come and a nod to others that may be going through something similar that, “You can do it.”

“I used to genuinely believe recovery from an eating disorder wasn’t real,” Lovato began her Instagram post on Christmas Eve. “That everyone was faking or secretly relapsing behind closed doors. ‘Surely she throws up here and there,’ ‘she can’t POSSIBLY accept her cellulite.’ Those were just a few of the things that I used to tell myself growing up.”

She went on to explain that as she’s grown older and further along in her recovery, she’s “so grateful that I can honestly say for the first time in my life — my dietitian looked at me and said, ‘This is what eating disorder recovery looks like.’”

The 28-year-old singer/songwriter said she finally started celebrating the parts of her body she used to loathe. One of those parts is her stretch marks. “In honor of my gratitude for the place I’m in today, this was a lil shoot I did by myself in quarantine this summer when I wanted to celebrate my stretch marks instead of being ashamed of them,” she wrote. “I started wearing actual glitter paint on my stretch marks to celebrate my body and all of it’s features.”

Lovato said her stretch marks “aren’t going away” so she “might as well throw a lil glitter on em’ amiright?”

Lovato, an outspoken mental health advocate, opened up to Ashley Graham on her Pretty Big Deal podcast last year and talked about the road to recovery and how it wasn’t an easy one for her. “I honestly think that’s kind of what led to everything happening over the past years, just like me thinking I found recovery when I didn’t and then living this kind of lie trying to tell the world I was happy with myself when I wasn’t.”

Now that she feels like she’s in a good place on her journey, Lovato assured fans that recovering from an eating disorder is possible. “Let this be a reminder to anyone who doesn’t think it’s possible: IT ACTUALLY IS. YOU CAN DO IT. I BELIEVE IN YOU,” she wrote.

“This year was tough.. be gentle on yourself if you slip up and remember to get right back on track because you’re WORTH THE MIRACLE OF RECOVERY. I LOVE YOU.”

And these glitter stretch mark photos? Stunning.

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Dolly Parton’s Sister Takes Glorious Aim At Politicians & Televangelists On Twitter

Parton’s sister has zero time for politicians who don’t contribute

Dolly Parton’s little sister does not mince words. She took to Twitter over the weekend to blast “old moldy politicians” who are stepping up in droves to receive the first COVID vaccinations ahead of frontline workers without contributing a dime to its research.

“If a little Hillbilly singer like my big sister Dolly can invest in the vaccine then why the hell can’t some of you old moldy politicians pitch in a few million yourselves?” Stella Parton wrote on Twitter. “I noticed you started getting vaccinated right away while people are starving and dying you Aholes.”

The American country singer and songwriter was referring to her old sister’s contribution of $1 million towards the Moderna trial through her Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund. Parton has also funded research into COVID-19 treatments, including a convalescent plasma at Vanderbilt University. She’s also been credited in a number of research papers about the virus, because their studies were conducted partially with money from her donations since the pandemic began.

JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty

She’s not wrong. Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) — who left office in 2017 after pleading guilty to ethics violations relating to an extramarital affair he had with a political advisor — tweeted a photo of himself getting a Covid vaccine on Friday. He now works as a dermatologist.

Additionally, politicians like Lindsay Graham, Vice President Mike Pence, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all received the vaccine last week. Pence, who led the White House Task Force on COVID, regularly echoed Trump’s claims that the virus would just “disappear” and continued to downplay its seriousness while almost 18 million Americans contracted the virus and nearly 315,000 have died so far in the US alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Stella continued to put others on blast for not stepping up and helping when the world needed it. “I haven’t heard of one Televangelist donating one damn cent to the research fund,” she wrote in a separate tweet, “but they sure can fleece the flock and try to cast out demons when they are possessed themselves!” You do not want to get on Stella Parton’s bad side.

She even brought some receipts when it came to trashing those televangelists who have done nothing to help, calling out the likes of Jerry Falwell Jr., Kenneth Copeland, and Paula White.

When Parton isn’t funding research for a lifesaving vaccine, she’s casually saving lives of another kind on the side. While on the set of Christmas on the Square, Parton saved child actress, Talia Hill, from getting hit by a car after crossing the street for some hot chocolate while on set. Because Dolly Parton is probably eligible for sainthood.

Add to that, Parton released her first Christmas album in 30 years, launched an entire Christmas apparel line and Christmas baking collection, and released a new Christmas movie.

But hey, let’s watch more politicians line up to be vaccinated who never believed the virus was real in the first place. That sounds fun, too.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

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SGN Returns With A Holiday Episode Featuring The Rock

John Krasinski is back with some big celebs and good news stories that will make your day

John Krasinski’s Some Good News is back, baby. Its eight-episode run during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year was so popular that he ended up selling it to CBS, much to fans’ dismay. Well, it looks like Krasinkski knew we needed a little end-of-year boost, and delivered one final time with a holiday special fans will flip over.

The latest episode of his YouTube show highlighted feel-good stories involving puppies, babies, new houses, and graduating from college, but not before Krasinski took the piss out of himself with some hilarious fan-drawn portraits of him.

Krasinski also highlighted a story of a woman fighting cancer who recently got engaged. When her nurses caught wind of the situation, they threw her a wedding to remember. And let’s not forget the Dairy Queen in Duluth, MN. One person decided to pay for the person behind him in line and that kicked off a 900-person good deed to pay it forward to the driver behind them that spanned over two days.

Of course, if we’re talking good news, we have to mention the coronavirus vaccine that made its way to the US via Fed Ex last week and began distribution to frontline workers who were literally dancing in the streets to receive it.

He also included a “Parents That Rock” segment dedicated to parents who went above and beyond to get their kids through the hell that was 2020. It’s been a rough year and kids have suffered a lot by not being in schools and seeing friends and sometimes just being there for them is enough.

Krasinski also had help from his pal George Clooney to deliver the weather report because why wouldn’t George Clooney deliver the weather. We also got a brief message from Justin Timberlake who is waiting in the wings in case Krasinski decides to retire, and the main segment featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to spread some holiday cheer for one family.

Krasinski interviewed a father of two named Jay, who decided to listed some of his favorite collector’s items on eBay to raise money to buy his children’s Christmas gifts. The past couple of Christmases have been tough after losing their mom and having some financial troubles. After laughing about Krasinski trying to buy some of his items and being told basically “we don’t trust you” via eBay, Dwanta Claus, aka The Rock, wound up crashing their call. The reason? He wanted to inform Jay that he’d purchased every single item on his eBay page. What’s more, he’s going to fly him out to visit the DC Universe exhibit once it’s safe to make the trip.

Please, please bring this show back and play it every single day for all of 2021. Maybe then we will all be able to heal from this hellscape year.

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Google’s 2020 ‘Year In Search’ Will Make You Feel Things

This year’s biggest search question was, “Why”

Every year, Google puts out an annual look back called the “Year in Search,” and as you can imagine, 2020 was quite different than in years past.

The global campaign is a three-minute film translated into more than 50 languages and seeks to “highlight the people, events, and moments that resonated and then reverberated around the world.” One question broke all language barriers this year: “Why.”

“The most human trait is to want to know why,” said narrator Kofi Lost, a Ghanaian-American poet and musician based in Boston. Questions like, “Why can’t I sleep?,” “Why is the NBA postponed?,” and “Why is it called COVID-19?” all topped the list. Unsurprisingly, the global pandemic took center stage, topping Google’s searches and taking up a great deal of time in the film.

The video shows people trying to stay entertained during quarantine, talking to family and working on Zoom, and searching where to find toilet paper. They also mention the staggering statistic that as of today, almost one-and-a-half million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide.

The film also touched on the NBA bubble, the deaths of Kobe Bryant, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chadwick Boseman, and John Lewis, and the protests following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The Australian wildfires and the explosion in Beirut were also remembered.

“So, why do we still have strength to continue?” Lost asked. The film then shows moments of celebration and people and communities coming together to face the challenges this year has created. The long-overdue outcry and importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, understanding what systemic racism is and how to call it out, and violence to Black people at the hands of police. It also showed firefighters traveling to help fight fires in other locations, COVID vaccinations beginning to be distributed, and frontline workers helping where they can.

The search results also revealed some lighter moments. Tom Hanks was the most searched-for actor, Parasite was the most popular movie, WAP had the most searched-for lyrics, and Tiger King was, of course, the most searched show. President-elect Joe Biden gained the most searches for the top person category.

Grammy-winning producer Peter Cottontale and musical collaborators Cynthia Erivo and Chance the Rapper came together to do the music for the film. The song, “Together,” will be released on Friday.

The film closes with a message of hope for the future, our continued curiosity, and to remind us all to dream big with the phrase: “Search on.” This year, unlike any other, needs a message of hope so we can go into next year ready to deal with whatever it hands us.

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