Kenneth Tran

Rand Paul ripped for hypocrisy on natural disaster aid after requesting federal funds for Kentucky

After a series of deadly tornadoes hit the midwest, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., requested federal aid for his home state of Kentucky. Twitter users then quickly criticized Paul for his previous opposition to disaster relief.

In a letter to President Biden, Paul wrote., "The Governor of the Commonwealth has requested federal assistance this morning, and certainly further requests will be coming as the situation is assessed. I fully support those requests and ask that you move expeditiously to approve the appropriate resources."

Kentucky's congressional delegation wrote another letter requesting "much-needed assistance." This morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., thanked Biden in a tweet for "the Administration's quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis."

However, users on Twitter uncovered several instances where Paul criticized other politicians for requesting disaster relief and even voting against disaster relief bills.

When former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey requested federal aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Paul criticized Christie for having a "gimme, gimme, gimme," attitude.

In 2017, the Senate passed a disaster relief bill for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, with Paul being one of 17 senators — all Republicans — who voted No. Paul, speaking against the bill, said "People here will say they have great compassion and they want to help the people of Puerto Rico, the people of Texas, and the people of Florida. But notice they have great compassion with somebody else's money."

Aaron Rupar, former journalist at Vox, wrote on Twitter, "Turns out, @RandPaul, that people can't bootstrap their way out of a storm destroying their house."

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., reacting to Paul's letter, wrote, "Glad he is finally realizing states needing federal assistance after a disaster isn't gritty, wasteful or being "compassionate with someone else's money".


Rep. Eric Swawell, D-Calif., echoed similar sentiments, saying "We should do all we can to help our Kentucky neighbors. God be with them — they are hurting. But do not for one second forget that @RandPaul has voted against helping most Americans most times they're in need."

Jemele Hill, contributing writer for The Atlantic, pointed out how Paul's hypocrisy can be used against him, tweeting, "We know @RandPaul is a heartless hypocrite. The people in Kentucky deserve the relief regardless of their buffoonish leadership, but if the Dems don't use this against him and his party in the future, it is a missed opportunity."

Helen Kennedey, former reporter at the New York Daily News, said "Kentuckians might want to have a think about who they choose to represent them."

Rand Paul slammed as a 'heartless hypocrite' for welcoming aid to Kentucky after opposing it for others

After a series of deadly tornadoes hit the midwest, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., requested federal aid for his home state of Kentucky. Twitter users then quickly criticized Paul for his previous opposition to disaster relief.

In a letter to President Biden, Paul wrote, "The Governor of the Commonwealth has requested federal assistance this morning, and certainly further requests will be coming as the situation is assessed. I fully support those requests and ask that you move expeditiously to approve the appropriate resources."

Kentucky's congressional delegation wrote another letter requesting "much-needed assistance." This morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., thanked Biden in a tweet for "the Administration's quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis."

However, users on Twitter uncovered several instances where Paul criticized other politicians for requesting disaster relief and even voting against disaster relief bills.

When former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey requested federal aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Paul criticized Christie for having a "gimme, gimme, gimme," attitude.

In 2017, the Senate passed a disaster relief bill for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, with Paul being one of 17 senators — all Republicans — who voted No. Paul, speaking against the bill, said "People here will say they have great compassion and they want to help the people of Puerto Rico, the people of Texas, and the people of Florida. But notice they have great compassion with somebody else's money."

Aaron Rupar, former journalist at Vox, wrote on Twitter, "Turns out, @RandPaul, that people can't bootstrap their way out of a storm destroying their house."

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., reacting to Paul's letter, wrote, "Glad he is finally realizing states needing federal assistance after a disaster isn't gritty, wasteful or being "compassionate with someone else's money".

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., echoed similar sentiments, saying "We should do all we can to help our Kentucky neighbors. God be with them — they are hurting. But do not for one second forget that @RandPaul has voted against helping most Americans most times they're in need."

Jemele Hill, contributing writer for The Atlantic, pointed out how Paul's hypocrisy can be used against him, tweeting, "We know @RandPaul is a heartless hypocrite. The people in Kentucky deserve the relief regardless of their buffoonish leadership, but if the Dems don't use this against him and his party in the future, it is a missed opportunity."

Helen Kennedy, former reporter at the New York Daily News, said "Kentuckians might want to have a think about who they choose to represent them."

House Republican gets caught speaking out of both sides of her mouth on vaccines

In two different interviews on Sunday, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., was caught flip-flopping on vaccines depending on who she was speaking to. In an interview with Fox, Mace encouraged viewers to get COVID to obtain "natural immunity" rather than get vaccinated. But in an interview with CNN on the same day, Mace said she was a "proponent" of vaccines and masks.

Speaking to Fox News, Mace criticized the CDC and policymakers for not "taking into account what natural immunity does."

"In some studies that I've read, natural immunity gives you 27 times more protection against future COVID infection than a vaccination," said Mace, despite evidence to the contrary.

"Governor DeSantis is seeing the fruit of that labor today," said Mace, attributing Florida's recently low COVID numbers to natural immunity, rather than the state's 61% vaccination rate, higher than the national average of 59%.

However, hours later in an interview with CNN, Mace highly encouraged viewers to get vaccinated and wear masks.

"I've been a proponent of vaccinations and wearing masks when we need to when we had the Delta variant raging in South Carolina, I wrote an op-ed to my community and I've worked with our state department of health," said Mace, as a video of her getting vaccinated played in the background.

"I've run ads encouraging my district to go and get vaccinated and when we have these variants and we have these spikes, to take every precaution from washing our hands to wearing the N95 and K95 masks more than the medical masks, there is a statistically significant number of people protected from COVID when they wear those masks," continued Mace, showing much stronger support for vaccines and masks compared to her interview with Fox.

Mace has shown to flip-flop before in politics. After the January 6th riot where a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Mace was one of nine Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump. Later she was known to be a heavy critic of Trump, at one point saying Trump's "entire legacy was wiped out."

Today however, she has refused to mention Trump by name and has continually promoted common Republican talking points, promoting "natural immunity" and saying Republicans need to "stop fighting with each other in public."

Molly Jong-Fast, writer for The Atlantic and Vogue, reacted to Mace's comments on Fox before she went on CNN, writing on Twitter, "This is so depressing, Nancy Mace can't possibly believe this."

The Texas abortion ban faced tough questions at the Supreme Court — even from Trump-appointed justices

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday on the Texas law that effectively bans most abortions. Questions from two of Trump's appointees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, signal a skepticism of the law's constitutionality.

The Texas law has a novel means of enforcement. The state does not enforce the law, but rather allows private citizens to sue anyone who abets an abortion and for them to collect $10,000 if they win, effectively placing bounties on abortions. The enforcement mechanism allows the bill to dodge judicial review. Anyone who wishes to challenge the constitutionality of the law would usually sue the state, but because private citizens are the enforcers, the law intentionally leaves it a legally gray area. Justice Kavanaugh took issue with that particular provision and pressed Texas on it.

"Can I ask you about the implications of your position for other federal rights?"

Kavanaugh referred to a brief from the Firearms Policy Coalition, which said that the law might have unintended consequences and backfire on conservatives. The firearm rights group said that gun control advocates might be able to copy the language of the abortion law and apply it to Second Amendment rights.

Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone represented Texas and told Kavanaugh that Congress would be able to pass laws bolstering rights to protect them, such as free speech rights and Second Amendment rights. Kavanaugh responded, "Well for some of those examples, I think it would be quite difficult to get legislation through Congress."

Kavanaugh also asked Stone about a hypothetical law that would allow private citizens to sue anyone that sells an AR-15 for $1 million. But Stone dodged his questioning and responded "whether or not federal court review is available does not turn on the nature of the right."

Barrett also took issue with the enforcement mechanism. The law leaves in the air whether or not citizens can bring new lawsuits against abortion providers.

"You cannot get global relief," Barrett said to Stone. She then asked him if the law was "on an individual by individual basis." Stone said Barrett was correct and that there was no limit to how many private citizens can sue.

Meanwhile, Barrett showed sympathy to the abortion providers' arguments, asking Marc Hearron, who represented the abortion providers, if the law allows a "full airing" of the providers' constitutional rights. The law forbids providers from using the right to an abortion as a defense until they have been sued.

In September, the Supreme Court denied an injunction filed by abortion providers to stop the Texas law from going into effect, which anti-abortion activists cheered. But Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, told The New York Times that because the court agreed to listen to arguments, "someone who was not on the fence is probably back on the fence."

Arizona’s COVID death rate now as high as New York's after Republicans push anti-mask policies

As Arizona Republicans fight vaccine and mask mandates, the state has caught up to New York in total deaths per capita — even as deaths from COVID-19 are falling nationwide, deaths in Arizona are going up.

According to The Washington Post, deaths have risen 138% in the seven-day average per 100,000 people last week.

In March, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., lifted all pandemic restrictions, including prohibiting government mask mandates, citing vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 numbers. The move faced criticism from Democrats and health experts. In a statement from the Health System Alliance of Arizona, a group representing Arizona's hospital chains said at the time, "A downward trend is not synonymous with the elimination of the virus," and "COVID-19 mitigation strategies work."

Cases have also been rising in Arizona, up 10% in the last 14 days according to The New York Times. Ducey has encouraged vaccines, but vaccination rates have stalled in Arizona — only a little more than half of the state's population is vaccinated, at 53%.

Will Humble, executive director of Arizona's Public Health Association, told the Post, "we've hit a brick wall when it comes to vaccinating vaccine-resistant seniors." Only around 21% of Arizonans under 20 are vaccinated as well, which is causing them to transmit to COVID-19 to unvaccinated adults and seniors.

"It's not like the kids are ending up in the hospitals, but they are starting chains of transmission [to] vaccine-resistant adults and seniors who do end up in the hospitals," Humble told the Post.

As public health officials and health workers worry about the rise of cases and deaths and the stalling of vaccinations, Gov. Ducey and his colleagues have led a fight against COVID mandates. Arizona was the first state to sue the Biden administration over it's vaccine requirements for federal employees and private-sector workers. Most recently, Arizona's Attorney General, Mark Brnovich filed a request for a restraining order to block the vaccine requirements.

In a news release, Brnovich said "The COVID-19 vaccine mandate is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberty … by any administration in our country's history."

Vaccine mandates have long been a part of American history. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts in 1905, the Supreme Court ruled a Massachusetts law that mandated smallpox vaccines as constitutional, saying a city or town may mandate vaccines if "it is necessary for the public health or safety."

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow explains origins of how McConnell earned his 'Moscow Mitch' moniker

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow explained on Tuesday why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been labeled "Moscow Mitch" by critics.

In January 2019, she began, the Senate voted on measures to enforce sanctions against a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who is known to be an influential and powerful ally to the Kremlin. In 2018, the Department of the Treasury established sanctions against Deripaska along with other Russian oligarchs for taking part "in a range of malign activity around the globe." Bloomberg later reported that Deripaska was evading those sanctions.

Democrats moved to enforce the sanctions against Deripaska but were defeated by the McConnell-led Republican majority. The sanctions had majority support in both the House and the Senate, but the measures needed 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans followed former President Trump's warmer attitudes toward Russia and successfully blocked the sanctions in a 57-42 vote. Maddow said this is "how Senator McConnell got the nickname 'Moscow Mitch.'"

At the same time as McConnell blocked the sanctions, there were negotiations between a Deripaska-owned company, Rusal, and an American entrepreneur with plans to build an aluminum factory in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell's home state.

"Deripaska's company had dangled to Mitch McConnell that they might build a big new factory in Mitch McConnell's home state." Maddow continued. "And then McConnell took those otherwise unthinkable steps to protect Deripaska and ease the sanctions on him."

McConnell told reporters that his vote and efforts to lift the sanctions were "completely unrelated to anything that might happen in my home state," Politico reported. Politico also found that ex-McConnell staffers were also lobbying on the development of the same aluminium factory in Kentucky.

Maddow's reminder comes as the FBI recently raided homes linked to Deripaska, both in New York and in D.C. The FBI told "The New York Times" that agents were "conducting a law enforcement operation pursuant to a law enforcement investigation." According to the Times, people familiar with the matter say the raids are related to the sanctions that Deripaska evaded.

Watch below via MSNBC:


Daughter blames Fox News' Tucker Carlson for unvaccinated father's death

On Monday, two children who lost their father to COVID-19 appeared on CNN to urge others to get vaccinated and blamed Fox News for his death.

Katie Lane said Fox News' Tucker Carlson "played a role" in her father's death.

"There's multiple reasons, I think. One of which was some of the media he ingested," Lane said. "He watched some Tucker Carlson videos on Youtube. And some of those videos involved some misinformation about vaccines and I believed that played a role."

Patrick Lane died from COVID-19 and was unvaccinated and prior to his illness, was hesitant about getting vaccinated. Before he died, Katie said her father's final words in a last call to her stepmom were that "he wished he was vaccinated."

Evan Lane, Patrick Lane's son, stressed he wasn't "anti-vaccine. He was just hesitant." He said that if he was still alive by the time Pfizer's vaccine was fully approved by the FDA, he most likely would have got vaccinated.

At one point, before he got sick, Evans' father didn't want to hug Patrick Lane because he didn't want to risk getting his son sick. Evan said "I didn't even get to hug him before he left. And then before I knew it, he was gone."

Daughter says media misinformation contributed to dad's Covid-19 deathwww.youtube.com

Patrick Lane is one of many who have fallen victim to the vaccine misinformation spread by Carlson, who is the host of the most watched cable news shows, broadcasting to at least 3 million viewers. Carlson has repeatedly questioned the vaccine's effectiveness, at one point suggesting the vaccine is deadly and that there is a cover-up behind the vaccine's side-effects.

There is no evidence that the vaccine is deadly, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the vaccine is safe and effective.

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