Walter Einenkel

Rep. Gohmert: 'If you're a Republican, you can't even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent'

On Friday, a federal grand jury indicted Peter Navarro for his failure to cooperate with a congressional subpoena issued to him by the Jan. 6 committee back in February. Navarro was disgraced former President Trump’s trade adviser, and while he made some money shilling for his memoir—in which he boasted about all of the conspiratorial work he did in service of thwarting our country’s democracy—he did not want to have to go on the record, so to speak.

Navarro faces two charges stemming from his refusal to both provide the records asked for by the committee as well as his refusal to appear in front of the committee to answer some questions. Fellow suspected conspirator Rep. Louie Gohmert, best known for being even less intelligent than toothpaste found at the bottom of a trash bag filled with used kitty litter, went on one of the right-wing propaganda networks to promote everything from doing nothing to protect children from gun violence and to lament how the Trump administration isn’t being allowed to break the law.

That’s 100% what he did.

After talking about how everybody was being mean to the GOP, who have repeatedly thwarted the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans, to work to end gun violence, Rep. Gohmert explained that there is a “two-tier justice system.” One tier seems to be not sending Hillary Clinton to jail for making Donald Trump’s entire administration involve itself with dubious Russian contacts and foreign banks, and the other justice system seems to want to force Republicans to obey the laws of the land. This is not an exaggeration. Here is the full quote, followed by a video of him saying the quote. Asked about the indictment of Navarro, Gohmert responded—verbatim:

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT: It actually puts an exclamation point on the fact that we have a two-tier justice system. If you're a Republican, you can't even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent or they're coming after you. Or they’re going to bury you. They’re gonna put you in the D.C. jail and terrorize and torture you, and not live up to the Constitution there.

Gohmert goes on to say that the fact that William Barr appointed, Trump-attack dog Special counsel John Durham’s farce of an investigation—that wasted around $40 million in taxpayer dollars—and ended in the acquittal of Michael Sussman was the result of the jury being filled with “Hillary Clinton lovers.”

Let’s put this together: The Trump administration very obviously makes an attempt to use the U.S. Attorney General’s office to run legal interference and discredit an investigation into his administration’s corruption and possible treasonous and corrupt foreign influence, that farce is investigated for years, and the weak-ass case they come up with is basically laughed out of court. Republicans unwilling to tell the truth, under oath, which is the law of the land, is an affront to … justice?

If you want to watch even more of the interview, just to see how fully in context this story is you can watch below. The question and its answer begin around the 6:30 mark. Warning: It’s even more time spent with Rep. Louie Gohmert talking, which may result in lowered IQ for viewers.

Trump’s former White House doc turned GOP rep. spent campaign funds on country club membership: report

Earlier in April news came out that the former White house doctor for Donald Trump—the guy who said Trump had “good genes”—Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) was under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Why? It still isn’t clear. What is clear is that the new congressman who has spread lies like In 2022, illegal immigrants will have MORE FREEDOMS and easier access to healthcare and ballot boxes than most Americans,” is likely being investigated for the kinds of things that racist, dubious, opportunist, craven doctors-turned-politicians can be investigated for: Anything and everything.

On Monday, Roll Call reports that Jackson seems to have spent “more than $2,300 in costs associated with membership at a private social club in Texas.” The campaign money Jackson spent was at the Amarillo Club in Texas. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Jackson seems to have broken the Federal Election Commission Act (FECA). That’s illegal, as in against the law. Here are a couple of things you aren’t allowed to spend campaign funds on:

  • “Country club memberships”
  • “Dues and fees for health clubs or recreational facilities”

You need only a third-grade reading level to understand that Jackson’s FEC filings seem to reek.

The Representative from the 13th District of Texas, best known as “Candy Man” for his willingness as a doctor to sign off prescriptions on anything and saying that Donald Trump was in amazing health, joins other fiscally irresponsible GOP candidates like North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn in his willingness to spend other people’s money on his good time. A Jackson spokesperson told Roll Call that the membership costs to the this Texan country club “are strictly associated with campaign and fundraising events.” Of course, this is only legal if the costs were incurred during an event for fundraising. Having a year-round membership, unless all of your fundraising is done at this country club year-round, is not legal.

When charges solely listed as being for food and drink are included, the congressman's main campaign campaign committee, Texans for Ronny Jackson, reported spending more than over $6,400 at the Amarillo Club since 2020

Here’s the FEC’s explanation of fees that they consider “Automatic personal use.”

Campaign funds may not be used to pay for dues to country clubs, health clubs, recreational facilities or other nonpolitical organizations unless the payments are made in connection with a specific fundraising event that takes place on the organization’s premises.

The looseness with which MAGA monsters like Jackson are willing to dip into their campaign tills to pay for their own recreation and entertainment is pretty astonishing. Even more so when you consider that such a large part of the GOP platform is stifling any and all legislation that would help their constituents by arguing for “fiscal responsibility.”

In the scheme of things, $2,300 isn’t a lot of money for a campaign powered by GOP hate and Trumpian butt-kissing, but it does show how cavalier the Republican Party’s candidates have become with run-of-the-mill corruption.

All of this comes just a few days after revelations that Oath Keeper insurrectionists were exchanging private texts about Jackson’s need for militia protections during the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol building by people like the Oath Keepers. Jackson denies knowing any of the faktriots who were burning up their text threads worrying about him on Jan. 6, 2021.

'I regret going' says convoy supporter who gave away his $13,000 life savings

The so-called “Freedom Convoy” or “People’s Convoy” is the American version of the astroturfed Canadian version that took place a few weeks ago. The Canadian version is the one that Tucker Carlson wanted to invade our country via caravan. The initial trucker convoy was based on protesting Canadian government mandates that required truckers to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to cross back and forth over the border. The American convoy has a sort of amorphous anti-federal government smell, but very little in the way of meaningful policy demands. It is one of the reasons organizers are having to remind media outlets that riding around, wasting money, oil, air quality, road quality, and time demanding … something … isn’t “a waste.”

But the Canadian and American trucker convoys shares a similar misplaced dissatisfaction with government. There are many people who want to join up with a group of people who claim to fighting against tyranny and government overreach into their lives. One such person is Martin Joseph Anglehart of Fort Mackay in Alberta, Canada. Anglehart is living out of his SUV these days after he says he gave his life savings to supporting the Canadian trucker protests.

Speaking to Canada’s CBC, Anglehart said that while he didn’t have particularly strong feelings about mandates, he had been moved to donate to online fundraisers for the truckers after a friend of his died in Montreal. According to Anglehart, restrictions that prohibited him from visiting his friend as he suffered in the ICU with COVID-19 prompted his position supporting the truckers.

After spending around $13,000 on gas and food for the truckers, Martin tells the CBC, "I regret going.” He spoke to the the news outlet from his SUV, claiming he was kicked out of his current living situation after his landlord realized his “point of view” in regard to the small and mostly foreign-funded Canadian trucker protests.

Anglehart also tells the news outlet that he does not have access to his account now that the Canadian government has frozen it, but this is hard to square with his assertion that he has no money in that account anyway. Nevertheless, Anglehart has been able to provide bank statements to the CBC supporting his claim. He also provided screengrabs to the news outlet purporting to show text exchanges he had with convoy organizers. They screenshots showed he was unable to get much of his money back from the organizers, even though he was clearly promised repayment from their fundraising coffers.

University of Ottawa law professor Joao Velloso, who has researched the Canadian trucker situation up close, told CBC, "Not all of the people that were there received the money that some organizers received. We have no idea if there was dark money to that in the sense that other sources of funding that we don't know."

The Toronto Star reported that at least $1 million of the money that was crowd-funded in the first couple of weeks of the protest was “accessed” and withdrawn before GoFundMe cut ties with the truckers and promised to refund what was left of the donations. The total crowdfunding estimates for the Canadian trucker convoy are north of $8 million, with just over half the initial $8 million coming from Canadians like Anglehart. But Anglehart doesn’t have the protection of GoFundMe in this case, as his money was going directly to the truckers and organizers.

As it is, Canadians and others who donated by way of GoFundMe are still out at least the $1 million that had been released before the fundraising site cut ties with the anti-vaxx protests. The location of that $1 million seems to have “evaded” authorities thus far. According to Anglehart, he was arrested in Ottawa on Feb. 11 while transporting fuel to the truckers. The trailer he was using was impounded. He says that while he could not afford to get that trailer back, he was released on the condition that he leave Ottawa.

After years of being poisoned by the selfish rhetoric of big business and parroted into a faux-patriotic battle cry by conservative politicians, millions of working-class citizens of two countries find themselves protesting against their own and their fellow country folk’s best interests. All to end up with a smaller cut of the pie.

Ammon Bundy says he’s leaving Republican Party — in order to take over Republican Party

The Bundy family is best known for being one of the most (in)famous illegal welfare recipients in recent history. They’re also suspected to have been bankrolled by fossil fuel money, used as the “y’all”-talking foot soldiers for big business’ interests in trying to privatize public lands. In May of last year, Ammon Bundy announced his intentions to run for governor of Idaho, filing paperwork to run for the Republican primary. In June, the Idaho Republican Party issued a statement saying that Bundy was not welcome.

Since that time, Bundy has been successfully expanding his “People’s Network” of right-wing extremists, and somehow Republican Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin—the other Republican running—isn’t far right enough. On Thursday, a new plot twist! After social media reports that Bundy had cut some kind of endorsement deal with McGeachin, Bundy went to his Twitter account and posted a big, hilarious statement saying this was all false. Oh, and he is going to run as an independent.

In a post that was pulled down and then put back up, Bundy stated that he was pulling out of the Republican primary because “the Republican establishment in Idaho is full of filth and corruption and they refuse to put forth the party platform.” Saying that the news story that he and McGeachin had made a mutual endorsement deal with one another was “lazy” and “tabloid journalism,” Bundy proceeded to describe the current GOP political establishment being in a “corrupt and wicked state.”

He then went on to slam Idaho Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Parker for “wearing a wig and masturbating in public.” He hit out at Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and former Republican Gov. Butch Otter’s arrests for DUI, and state Rep. Greg Cheney and his history of domestic violence. Bundy then pointed to investigations of state Sen. Fred Martin and whether or not he illegally entered a high school girls’ bathroom on two separate occasions.

Bundy then threw some shade at the surprise early retirement of Ada County Sheriff Steve Bartlett, alleging he traded “promotion to his deputies for sexual favors.” Bundy rounded it all off by going back to a classic Republican moment of moral hypocrisy: When then-Sen. Larry Craig was busted soliciting sex in an airport bathroom. Bundy then announced his intentions to take back the Republican Party by running as an independent candidate.

The sources of the story that Bundy is calling fake news all reportedly came from inside the Bundy campaign.

KBOI Radio's Nate Shelman first broke the news Wednesday evening that Bundy would drop out of the primary. Multiple sources from inside Bundy's campaign told Shelman that Bundy would endorse McGeachin in the primary and that in turn, McGeachin would back Bundy in the general election if she lost in the primary. KTVB independently confirmed that with a source in Bundy's campaign.

Ammon’s filing for the Republican primary came just weeks before his trial for being arrested twice in one day for violating an Aug. 26, 2020 order that barred Bundy from the Capitol for a year. He would be found guilty of those charges. Keep up! In December 2021, Bundy tried to argue that his gubernatorial campaign stops where he urged Idahoans to register to vote should count towards the 1,621 hours of community service he owes the courts.

Ted Cruz offers up a reverse racism Supreme Court hot take — and gets hammered in response

Sen. Ted Cruz has a YouTube channel called The Verdict with Ted Cruz. Without doing much research, one can imagine what kinds of “verdicts” Cruz pontificates on during his show. The essence of anything Cruz says into a microphone and on a camera can be reduced to one statement: “Please, vote for me. I hate you all but I want to be in control of everyone to fill this painful hole in my soul.” On Saturday, Cruz went on his channel to discuss the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer would be retiring. It is a given that Cruz would, and will, lambast any nominee President Joe Biden might put forward in the coming hours or days or weeks (with the possible exception of President Joe Biden nominating Cruz for the position, in which case, welcome to the play No Exit).

It is also a given that literally anything Cruz has to say on the matter of the Supreme Court will be abject hypocrisy of the highest order. Of the many craven politicians we have all seen in our lifetimes, Cruz holds a unique place in this bottom-dweller ring of hell for his special combination of both being revolting and insufferable at the same time, combined with a shamelessness only seen in Charles Dickens’ character, Uriah Heep. This is the same man who stood in front of the Supreme Court, in front of cameras and microphones, and literally said: "You didn't see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. You didn't see us try to pack the court." That quote is from April 2021.

After saying that every choice for Supreme Court justices since Bill Clinton has gotten more and more left-wing radical, Cruz zeros in on race. But because Cruz has that special ability to dig below the bottom of the barrel, he is able to pack in worlds of hypocrisy, bigotry, lies, and ignorance in just over one minute. Cruz begins by saying, “The fact that he's willing to make a promise at the outset that it must be a Black woman, I gotta say that's offensive.” When Cruz—or any Republican, at this point—says something is “offensive,” there’s a good chance that they’re actively being offensive and plan on continuing to be offensive.

“Black women are what, 6% of the U.S. population?” Well done, Teddy. Considering that the courts, as well as the Supreme Court, have been packed by GOP operatives doing the bidding of the Federalist Society, Cruz’s big reverse-racism push here is such sophomoric rhetoric that it’s depressing to hear it coming out of the mouths of people who are not playing characters in a lazily written 1970s after-school special. Cruz continues to show how bad he is at his own racist math: “He's saying to 94 of Americans ‘I don't give a damn about you, you are ineligible.’”

It’s a lot less than that. I mean, there are less than 1,000 federal judges. That means that something like .00025% of the U.S. population is actually being “considered” for the Supreme Court at this moment. When you take away how many of those judges are deceitful dunderheads like Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, that percentage drops even lower. But never fear: Cruz, who hasn’t had an original idea since he was a teenager on a high school debate team, is going to continue down this road. “It's actually an insult to Black women.” Something blah blah blah.

Then he tacks on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, the one that Sen. Mitch McConnell, Cruz, and the Republican Party unconstitutionally blocked: Merrick Garland. “How much does it suck to be Merrick Garland? He's literally got to sit here and be told at the outset he is ineligible. Because sorry, wrong skin pigment and a wrong Y chromosome.”

It’s easy to respond to Cruz saying anything about anything because he’s so full of BS all of the time. So let’s enjoy some of the responses!

More numbers.

And some science.

And then this one really hit my funny bone.

And finally a message for Cruz that’s rated PG.

The clip in question begins at the eight-minute mark. You can watch it, but warning: Cruz’s face.

Only Black Women Need Apply | Ep. 107

'Orwellian': Tennessee school board just banned a Pulitzer Prize graphic novel from Holocaust curriculum

The McMinn County School board in Tennessee just voted 10-0 to ban the use of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel MAUS by Art Spiegelman, from the school’s 8th grade curriculum. The graphic novel is considered by some to be one of the most important pieces of art about the Holocaust. First reported on by TN Holler, the outlet reports that the board told them this didn’t have to do with the book being about the Holocaust.

But it does. Not unlike the Tennessee school board that voted to fire Sullivan County school teacher and baseball coach Matthew Hawn for assigning an opinion piece on white privilege by Ta-Nehisi Coates back in June, this latest move has to do with the discomfort some (white) parents feel in educators using the truth to talk about difficult aspects of human history. The Director of Schools, Mr. Lee Parkinson began the meeting by explaining that some of the folks on the board come to him with worries about “some rough, objectionable language in this book.” This led to some of the book’s text, a nude drawing in the book of a woman, and being redacted. But this wasn’t good enough.

The minutes of the discussion are well logged and while educators gave very well-reasoned defenses for the book, in the end the school board hid behind bad words to make their decision.

Reading the minutes you can see Steven Brady, an assistant principal in the McMinn County school system, and Julie Goodin trying to walk the school board through how social studies and history is taught in middle school and high school and why MAUS is used as a foundational part of the introduction to the Holocaust. Brady tries to mollify the board by saying that they can have the bad words like “Bitch” whited out the way television will bleep out a bad word from time to time.

Board member Tony Allman is having a difficult time wrapping his mind around it all, first thinking that the book is for 8th graders reading on a 3rd grade reading level. Brady explains that the book is a middle school book “Not just because of the words but because of the content and the deeper meaning to what is going on in the book.” Allman says he understands how redacting words the way he sees folks doing it on the television set but “being in the schools, educators and stuff we don’t need to enable or somewhat promote this stuff. It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids, why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy.”

Julie Goodin pops in here to tell the board how she was a history teacher and so, she has actually taught history, “and there is nothing pretty about the Holocaust and for me this was a great way to depict a horrific time in history. Mr. Spiegelman did his very best to depict his mother passing away and we are almost 80 years away. It’s hard for this generation, these kids don’t even know 9/11, they were not even born. For me this was his way to convey the message. Are the words objectionable? Yes, there is no one that thinks they aren’t but by taking away the first part, it’s not changing the meaning of what he is trying to portray and copyright.”

Allman still doesn’t get it though he continues to start sentences off by saying “I understand.” He argues that these words would get a student in trouble in the hallway and so this book is teaching against the disciplinary policy of the school. That sound you hear is my brain screaming. Mrs. Melasawn Knight, a educational supervisor for the county hopes she can help out the board by reminding them that there are big kid pants that big kids have to wear when they are being big kids. “I think any time you are teaching something from history, people did hang from trees, people did commit suicide and people were killed, over six million were murdered. I think the author is portraying that because it is a true story about his father that lived through that. He is trying to portray that the best he can with the language that he chooses that would relate to that time, maybe to help people who haven’t been in that aspect in time to actually relate to the horrors of it. Is the language objectionable? Sure. I think that is how he uses that language to portray that.”

Allman says he ain’t denying the Holocaust sounds wicked terrible and all of that but, “may be wrong, but this guy that created the artwork used to do the graphics for Playboy. You can look at his history, and we’re letting him do graphics in books for students in elementary school. If I had a child in the eighth grade, this ain’t happening. If I had to move him out and homeschool him or put him somewhere else, this is not happening.” Oh. So Mr. Allman was sort of full of BS about that language thing. Now he’s onto some thing about Art Spiegelman drawing stuff for Playboy magazine? Does he know that Donald Trump was on the March 1990 issue of Playboy? We should probably ex- Trump out of all the history books. Just saying.

Allman then attempts to say what in the world will happen if a student reads some of these words out loud in the “cafeteria?” It’s drivel.

Steven Brady then comes up and gives a presentation on how things are taught in modules and subjects are built out so that children have a larger understanding to bring to more complex readings and subjects as the school year progresses.

The curriculum that we use is called EL, what does that stand for? I see some teachers here, what does that stand for? Expeditionary Learning. So, the whole idea is that students go on these expeditions, and they will spend two months or so on these different expeditions, and that’s their modules. In eighth grade that is four things. We do Latin America, we learn about food, The Holocaust and JapaneseInternment.
The task that students do at the end of this module, after they spend a couple months talking about the Holocaust, studying this project that they do that shows they understand what went on, they will write their own narrative and pretend that they have interviewed a Holocaust upstander. They are going to create graphic novel panels to visually represent a section of their narrative and they will present that to their peers. You have all these standards that we saw earlier are addressed through this project. Last part, how do we get there? Well, here’s out text. So, our anchor text is Maus, and we have all these supplemental things that we look at throughout this module that build to that anchor text.

Brady goes on to explain how there are interviews with Holocaust survivors they will read and watch and “excerpts from other books,” but that there is no replacing MAUS without changing the entire module of teaching. CTE Director Jonathan Pierce says he just can’t in good conscience let 8th graders read a graphic novel about the Holocaust, in part it seems, because he himself has such a loathsome history of dirtbaggery that … I don’t know what he’s trying to say honestly.

JONATHAN PIERCE: My objection, and I apologize to everyone sitting here, is that my standard no matter, and I am probably the biggest sinner and crudest person in this room, can I lay that in front of a child and say read it, or this is part of your reading assignment. I’ve got enough faith from the Director of Schools down to the newest hire in this building, that you can take that module and rewrite it and make it do the same thing.

Pierce goes on to spin some more poorly written Matlock-inspired dialogue before saying “I’m going to bring this to a head,” and asks for the removal of the book “and challenge our instructional staff to come with an alternative method of teaching the Holocaust.” Then former college baseball player and PTO co-president at both City Park School and Athens City Middle School,” Rob Shamblin says this: “we kind of jumped into the 7th, 8th, now the 9th inning on this and I appreciate the presentation, Mr. Brady, on the background of how the curriculum is set. But, we are here because some people objected to the words and the graphics used in the book. My bigger concern is that this is probably the tip of the iceberg of what is out there.”

You see where this is going? Shamblin wants to know how we weed out more of these Pulitzer Prize winning pieces of art that are considered by many to be the only way to really talk about a historic event where millions and millions of men, women, and children were singled out and murdered. Shamblin goes on to straight up lie and say that he has “read the background on this author and the series, talked to some educators, and it is a highly critically acclaimed and a well reviewed series and book context. It’s banned many places in Europe because of how critical it is against the heinous acts that were done.” There’s one place that has banned MAUS. Russia. According to Russia it isn’t banned “because of how critical it is against the heinous acts that were done,” but because the cover has a swastika on it.

But think about what he is lying about to excuse banning the book? That it has been banned because it is too critical of the Nazis?

The back and forth goes on and in the end Denise Cunningham, Bill Irvin, Quinten Howard, Sharon Brown, Mike Cochran, Mike Lowry, Donna Casteel, Jonathan Pierce, Tony Allman, and Rob Shamblin voted to remove MAUS from the teaching of the Holocaust.

As for the fact that the whole Holocaust module is anchored by the book? I leave you with this small interchange right before the vote:

Rob Shamblin: At that point if it’s been removed, it could be added back if there is no better alternative, I assume? I don’t know what it’s going to take to find an alternative.
Sharon Brown: It would probably mean we would have to move on to another module, they would
know better than I on that.

And just like that, those kids’ education about World War II and the Holocaust just became less honest and far less intelligent.

RFK Jr.’s wife calls his Anne Frank anti-mask analogy 'reprehensible and insensitive'

On Sunday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dragged his family name through the garbage bin once again, appearing at an anti-vaccine, anti-mandate rally in Washington, D.C. The silver-spooned child of well-regarded political leaders, Kennedy Jr. told the crowd that today’s mandates, along with technological advances in surveillance, had rendered anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers more persecuted than Anne Frank.

His exact quote was: “Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did. I visited in 1962 East Germany with my father, and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped. So it was possible. Many died [inaudible], but it was possible.” One of those people who died was Anne Frank. Anne Frank was 13 years old when she and her family went into hiding in an attic. Twenty-five months later, at the age of 15, after spending all of her time in an attic, she was captured and sent to a concentration camp. She died a year later. RFK Jr. is making money because his grandfather was a super wealthy, politically well-connected guy. He’s able to go anywhere in the world, not wear a mask at the Capitol of our country, and spew a bunch of bad science takes without fear of imprisonment.

Kennedy Jr., who is suing Daily Kos over a community post detailing his appearance at a similar rally in Germany that was attended by neo-Nazis, pissed off just about everyone with this truly offensive analogy. Frank is one of the world’s most well-known symbols of the profound tragedies of the Holocaust. She is a reminder of what was lost when humanity failed to stop the rise of Nazi fascism.

An entire day of responses to RFK Jr.’s terrible speech included this very personal one from his sister.

Early on Tuesday, RFK Jr. released a statement on Twitter saying, “I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.”

About 20 minutes later, RFK Jr.’s wife, actor Cheryl Hines—who has a recent history of throwing house parties that expect visitors to have proof of vaccination and other sensible COVID-19 public health precautions—tweeted out: “My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in D.C. was reprehensible and insensitive. The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything. His opinions are not a reflection of my own.”

As Media Matters reporter Eric Hananoki pointed out, this isn’t the first time RFK Jr. has had to apologize for mixing and matching the extermination of millions and millions of European Jews with public health programs in the United States. Back in 2015, Junior said that the U.S. vaccine program had created a “holocaust” in deleterious health effects. He had to ask for forgiveness for that at the time, saying, “I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe the autism epidemic. I employed the term during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism, which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families. I am acutely aware of the profound power attached to that word, and I will find other terms to describe the autism crisis in the future.”

There is zero connection between autism and early childhood vaccines. This has been proven time and time again, even by studies funded by anti-vaxxers.

And because of Cheryl Hines’ connection to Larry David’s show Curb Your Enthusiasm, a reminder on how to take a strong position against fascism and anti-science.

Neil Young pens open letter to Spotify: 'They can have Rogan or Young. Not both'

On Monday, famous rock ‘n’ roll musician Neil Young reportedly posted an open letter (now deleted) to his management team and record label demanding that his music be removed from music streaming juggernaut Spotify. Rolling Stone reports the letter highlights Young’s dissatisfaction with the streaming service’s support of podcaster Joe Rogan’s show The Joe Rogan Experience.

“They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” This statement by Young comes less than two weeks after 270 doctors, scientists, and health professionals signed a letter to Spotify demanding the company “establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform,” in regards to public health and COVID-19.

Young’s letter focused in how much damage Rogan and his (frequently) right-wing and science-skeptic guests, coupled with the generally unmitigated bullshit being spewed about health could cause in regards to misinforming the public. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

Rogan signed a $100 million deal with Spotify in May of 2020. For many years now, Rogan’s intellectual curiosity has been very narrow in its breadth—pushing a generally unsophisticated libertarian view of the world (is there a sophisticated version Libertarianism?), that includes all of the anti-vaccine wishy-washiness that people afraid of things pretend is courage.

According to Billboard Magazine, Young tangled with Spotify and pulled most of his music from the service back in 2015. At the time he was protesting the sound quality offered up by the service. Young later relented.

Fox News’ Lara Logan dumped by agent after comparing Fauci to Nazi doctor

Former CBS war correspondent Lara Logan continues her descent into MAGAness. Recently, Logan has been creating a “documentary” series for Fox News’ streaming service Fox Nation, called “Lara Logan Has No Agenda.” She has also been appearing on Fox News over the past couple of months, promoting the show’s agenda (while lacking any sense of the inherent irony) to make sure that everyone knows Lara Logan can stick her foot in her mouth at will.

On Tuesday, Mediaite reported that Logan was dropped by the entertainment agency UTA. In fact, UTA seems to have released Logan “several weeks ago,” according to their chief communications officer Seth Oster. This has led most internet sleuths to speculate that Lara Logan’s assertion On Fox News back in November 2021—that Dr. Anthony Fauci “represents Joseph Mengele,” the infamous Nazi torturer—may mark the starting date for the end of UTA’s relationship with the former journalist.

Of course, maybe UTA stuck with Logan for the 48 hours following this abhorrent comparison, where she first blocked the Auschwitz Museum, tweeted out a conspiracy theory that HIV didn’t cause AIDS, and reiterated that people around the world believe Dr. Fauci is comparable to “Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps.”

The ‘HIV does not lead to AIDS’ conspiracy theory is one that began a long time ago and, like similar anti-vaxxer misinformation, concludes that the drugs that were first used to treat HIV in patients is really what killed everybody who had HIV.

READ: Former top FBI official: 'Concerning' Ginni Thomas signed letter saying Jan. 6 participants 'have done nothing wrong'

Which was accompanied by this:

Why are we only hearing about this now? Probably because UTA, having weathered Logan’s bad-faith “reporting” for at least a year already, didn’t want anyone to know they ever had a working relationship with her.

Logan’s fall from grace began after CBS’s 60 Minutes first suspended her and subsequently parted ways with the reporter over a false investigative story concerning the failures of the U.S. government regarding the incident in Benghazi. Having been proven to actually be one of those reporters promoting “fake news,” the ultra-right wing of the country has now welcomed Logan into their arms as a “no-agenda” journo, telling it like it is.

As Variety points out, Logan did an interview in 2019 where she claimed the world news media was mostly liberal, while also preemptively saying, “This interview is professional suicide for me.” Of course it wasn’t, and in less than a year, Logan was on Fox News telling the frightened audiences about how China, Iran, and maybe even Russia were funding the antifa protesters that were coming for white people’s suburban homes.

Sadly, saying Dr. Fauci is the same as Nazi Josef Mengele, filing false investigative reports, and promoting easily debunked and well-documented lies will not end her career as a pretend legitimate right-wing “news” source. Fox News has yet to respond to news outlets’ queries over the matter, and no disciplinary action has been taken to date.

READ: 'Very ominous development': Legal experts explain why Matt Gaetz ex-girlfriend’s deal could mean a lot of trouble

Christian conservative reporter humiliated on social media after attacking BLM on Twitter

If you don’t know who David Brody is, God bless you. He’s a longtime TV personality from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), whose hits include promoting the idea that Donald Trump has been blessed by God to own a private golf course. (True story.) In Brody and CBN’s defense, the conservative Christian God that they pray to is a shitty misogynist. Brody and his employer lost a lot of access to the White House after Donald Trump was trounced by Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Brody has made sure to allow sentient bile tank Trump to promote the Big Lie and whatever other grotesquery the far right doggedly proposes.

On Monday, Brody went to his Twitter account where he traditionally posts all kinds of bad takes to send what appeared to be a screen shot of his phone’s camera (yes, he messed up taking a straight photo), seemingly showing a very snowy road, purportedly in Washington, D.C., from inside of a car he was driving. He wrote: “Today in DC. They knew a snowstorm was coming for days. Apparently ‘black lives matter’ but the lives of people driving in a snowstorm don’t.” It is hard to impart how absolute the incoherence of this attempted political opinion is without crossing one’s eyes. The levels of what was wrong with the image and the tweet and the contents and the logic of everything was more blinding than a whiteout snowstorm. The internet responded to help.

First, a visualization to help us understand the twisted logic of the right-wing fanatic.

There was even some advice.

An offer to spitball a few more Newt Gingrich-level ideas.

An analysis.

Here’s a card that can be used forever.

Let’s call this tweet “Brody’s Dilemma.”

Some practical safety advice.

And some practical life advice for Brody.

Christian conservative reporter humiliated after attacking BLM on Twitter

If you don’t know who David Brody is, God bless you. He’s a longtime TV personality from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), whose hits include promoting the idea that Donald Trump has been blessed by God to own a private golf course. (True story.) In Brody and CBN’s defense, the conservative Christian God that they pray to is a shitty misogynist. Brody and his employer lost a lot of access to the White House after Donald Trump was trounced by Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Brody has made sure to allow sentient bile tank Trump to promote the Big Lie and whatever other grotesquery the far right doggedly proposes.

On Monday, Brody went to his Twitter account where he traditionally posts all kinds of bad takes to send what appeared to be a screen shot of his phone’s camera (yes, he messed up taking a straight photo), seemingly showing a very snowy road, purportedly in Washington, D.C., from inside of a car he was driving. He wrote: “Today in DC. They knew a snowstorm was coming for days. Apparently ‘black lives matter’ but the lives of people driving in a snowstorm don’t.” It is hard to impart how absolute the incoherence of this attempted political opinion is without crossing one’s eyes. The levels of what was wrong with the image and the tweet and the contents and the logic of everything was more blinding than a whiteout snowstorm. The internet responded to help.

First, a visualization to help us understand the twisted logic of the right-wing fanatic.

There was even some advice.

An offer to spitball a few more Newt Gingrich-level ideas.

An analysis.

Here’s a card that can be used forever.

Let’s call this tweet “Brody’s Dilemma.”

Some practical safety advice.

And some practical life advice for Brody.

Please feel free to add some of your favorite responses in the comments.

Jimmy Carter once risked his life to help save Ottawa by lowering himself into a melting nuclear reactor

President Jimmy Carter is arguably the most beloved former president in recent memory. His reputation has only grown since he left office because of his relentless humanitarian work and the clear decency of his character. He is the oldest living president in the history of our country, having just celebrated his 97th birthday this past October. He is an icon and a singular example of what public servants could and should be.

But President Carter has always had the kind of integrity that usually keeps people away from public office these days. Back in 1952, Carter, a young Naval officer, was in the early stages of a most formative moment in his life and career. He had recently been sent to work under Captain Hyman Rickover at the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C. Carter worked closely on the nuclear propulsion system for the Sea Wolf submarine. As such, he told CNN back in 2011, "I was one of the few people in the world who had clearance to go into a nuclear power plant.”

On Dec. 12, 1952, a 28-year-old Carter was called into action after an accident occurred on a new experimental nuclear reactor at Chalk River, Canada. Nuclear energy and containment was new, and the Atomic Energy of Canada Chalk River Laboratories were dealing with a partial meltdown. Canada needed help and Carter was one of a very few people with active knowledge of the subject.

On Thursday, the story of how then-Lt. Carter led a group of 23 people on a mission to save the capital city of Ottawa went viral.

Some have questioned whether or not this story, which sounded like something out of an old Captain America comic book, was real. It is. As Carter explained in his memoir, "The reactor core was below ground level and surrounded by intense radioactivity. Even with protective clothing, each of us would absorb the maximum permissible dose with just ninety seconds of exposure, so we had to make optimum use of this limited time. The limit on radiation absorption in the early 1950s was approximately one thousand times higher than it is sixty years later."

Carter and his team were a part of the group of people who needed to clean and fully shut down the reactor. The short amount of time Carter and his team could spend at any stretch meant they needed to be precise. They first created an exact replica of the reactor in a parking lot nearby to practice cleaning and repairing it.

”And finally when we went down into the reactor itself, which was extremely radioactive, then we would dash in there as quickly as we could and take off as many bolts as we could, the same bolts we had just been practicing on. Each time our men managed to remove a bolt or fitting from the core, the equivalent piece was removed on the mock-up."

His urine reportedly had traces of radiation in it for six months after the experience. It’s hard to overstate how great Jimmy Carter is. Every new story about him, or old story you had not heard before, only adds to one’s respect and admiration for the man.

Former Houston cop indicted for allegedly driving man off the road over an election conspiracy

On Tuesday, former Houston police captain Mark Aguirre was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for his 2020 attack on and air conditioning technician he believed was secretly transporting 750,000 “harvested ballots.” In the middle of the day, the 64-year-old Aguirre reportedly slammed his SUV into the technician’s work truck and then rushed upon him and pressed a gun to his head.

Aguirre was arrested in December 2020 after his attempts to prove a fictional voter fraud scheme. Oh, and he was pretty gung-ho about it all because, according to prosecutors, he would be paid $250,000 by a group called "Liberty Center for God & Country" to find this proof. Aguirre faces 20 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told reporters that they are still looking for another suspect, which is in part why it took a year for an indictment to come down. "We've been investigating the other individuals involved with former Captain Aguirre. There was at least one other person on the scene who fled. Aguirre has not cooperated. So there’s been a review of many different types of records to determine who the other individuals are."

When law enforcement responded to the incident of Aguirre slamming his car into the innocent air conditioning technician’s truck and subsequently running at him and pointing a gun to his head, Aguirre did what all contrite folks who have made a terrible mistake do: He tried to get a cover-up going. He also mentioned he thought the guy he was driving off the road and pointing a gun at had 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck. Like literally every single mass voter fraud claim from conservatives in the past 50 years, this one was false, too.

This isn’t Aguirre’s first time being something of an abusive POS, according to

This is the second time Aguirre has been indicted for his work as an investigator. In 2002, while working as a captain for HPD, he ordered the arrests of nearly 300 people who were in a Kmart parking lot on Westheimer Road at the same time that a group was street racing. It turned out that many of those arrested were either passersby or store customers and not involved, but Aguirre still ordered their arrest. The city ended up paying close to $1 million in civil settlements and attorneys' fees due to the captain's orders.

Aguirre was indicted on charges of “official oppression,” but was found not guilty during a later trial. Maybe this time, sans the active badge, Aguirre will finally receive the justice he seems to deserve.

Evangelical anti-vaxx 'rebel' reveals father ended up in ER after whole family contracts COVID-19

The evangelical right in our country is not populated by people promoting long-term thinking. While most Christians believe that vaccinations are miraculous ways in which science has been able to help humanity fend off disease and death, evangelicals continue to promote an end-of-times eschatological Judeo-Christian view of the world that has been wrong about the coming apocalypse for about 2,100 years now. Never fear, at some point they’ll get it right. Comedy is just tragedy plus timing and all of that.

Eric Metaxas is one of the Christian right-wingers who has been around peddling pretty abhorrent drivel pretending American Christians have been persecuted in our country for decades. His reading of American history includes the belief that the millions of Native Americans who died as a result of European war and disease were simply the trinkets of Christian deliverance in the New World. Unsurpringly, Metaxas has been an anti-vaxxer in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic—being anti-vaccine is where the money is made these days for libertarians and right-wingers. Guess who got COVID-19? I’ll give you four guesses.

If you said Eric Metaxas, his wife Susan, and both of his parents, ding ding ding! Metaxas spoke on his show after an absence. In the clip below, he explains that he’s been dealing with a lot of COVID-19 in his life.

ERIC METAXAS: I got COVID. Suzanne got COVID. I don't know if she gave it to me, or I gave it to her. But then she went to visit my parents and gave it to them. And my mother got it. And my father got it. And my current daughter—I won’t use her name on the air—let’s just say Hortense, went to nurse my parents.
So this has been the craziest time in the Metaxas family, folks. If you've been wondering where I've been, I have no idea where I've been. I've been in a perspiring haze for days and days and days. Obviously I'm mostly out of it. The fact that I can be functional and talk here for the first time in two weeks. But the fact that my parents were ill was very upsetting to me. My dad had to go to the emergency room, again, so it's been a really crazy time … and obviously when your dad’s 94 and he has COVID, and other health issues, it’s just been very stressful I have to say.

No idea what “current daughter” means in any context. Metaxas could simply be exhausted and historically he speaks in a strange way with phraseologies that even make me wonder. The Metaxas’ family revelations come after months of Metaxas giving his expert opinion on Steve Bannon’s show, where he explained that not taking a vaccine was a way to rebel against … something.

“The bottom line is, questions come up about the vaccine. People say, ‘I’m not going, this is experimental. I’ve watched this pandemic roll out and I’m not afraid of getting it, my kids are not afraid of getting it. This is not a big deal for us, I’m not going to put some experimental thing in my system, when we literally don’t know what could happen.’” Metaxas went on to juxtapose people afraid of the vaccine with “some other people” saying that “you must do it,” and that the “government is telling you you must do it.”

His convoluted point being that … take a breath … ”Americans need to understand that if the government, or everybody, is telling you you have to do something, we don’t have dissent, no dissent, you need to understand that’s not the American way, folks. And if only to be a rebel, you need to say, ‘I’m not going to do that.’” This isn’t the only time Metaxas spent trying to get some of that right-wing anti-vaxx traction.

A couple of days before Halloween, just over a month ago, Metaxas, who was probably trying to scare your children, gave one of those classic analogies to the Holocaust that is so bananas offensive that either someone is a rabid antisemite or they have very little brain function, or both. On right-wing clown Dave Rubin’s Rubin Report, he explained that the COVID-19 vaccine has opened his eyes to what he says has been happening every time he’s been put on shows for the past decade or so. Comparing anti-vaxxers’ “demonization” and “marginalization” to Jews under the Nazis, he reveals: “The vaccine idea, the idea that you can tell people, ‘Listen, yes this was made because of aborted fetuses; but you know, what if it was made with the bodies of Jews we murdered in the concentration camps who cares we're telling you, you need to get it whether you have an objection to murdering Jewish children, we don't care. We're going to tell you what to do.”

I hope he and his family recover at God’s pace.

Tucker Carlson asked Hunter Biden to help him get his son into college

During the run-up to the November election between President Joe Biden and the former guy, Fox News and other conservative propaganda machines went back to the only playbook the Republican party has used for decades—scandal mud-slinging. Having not spent the last 30-plus years building a boogieman out of Joe Biden (as they had with Hilary Clinton), the Hail-Mary attempt at tilting public opinion away from President Biden was to push a scandal surrounding the reported finding of the soon-to-be President’s son. Hunter Biden, who has had a long and well documented history of addiction issues and a complicated divorce, gave the right wing rags the promise of just enough seediness to mix with the implication of some vague whiff of impropriety on the part of Joe Biden during his tenure as Vice President next to Barack Obama.

It was all hot garbage, and most of what was leaked showed a man with a lot of problems and messiness, guilt and shame, recovery and stumbling. One of the most vociferous sounds to rise out of the ultra-conservative cacophony machine was Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. It wasn’t a surprise as Carlson has shown himself to be willing to do and say anything in the service of libertarian and right-wing nihilism, as long as he maintains power and financial support.

Guess what? Weird story. According to Vice and the Daily Mail, wacky former Trump conspiracy theorist, Lin Wood—who has been attacking everybody and everything not named Lin Wood of late—claims to have access to and has posted all kinds of screen grabs. Those screengrabs purport to be correspondence between Hunter Biden and Tucker Carlson. If real, and they have not yet been verified, they show a very close buddy buddy-type relationship between two pretty wealthy guys. In fact, Tucker seems to have asked Hunter to write a college recommendation letter for his son, Buckley.*

*Every time—barf.

The correspondence seems to cover a period of their friendship between 2014 and 2016. Here’s the exchange where Tucker “can't thank you enough for writing that letter to Georgetown on Buckley's behalf. So nice of you. I know it'll help. Hope you're great and we can all get dinner soon.” Buckley ended up going to another college and graduating about a year before Tucker made the baseless claim that Hunter Biden had ‘kiddie porn’ on his computer? No good deed and all.

Another email exchange seems to be connected to the sad period during the dissolution of Hunter Biden’s marriage. At one point the DailyMail itself wrote up in its most scandalous prose, about the possibility that Hunter Biden was involved in an extra-marital affair. Real tabloid dirtbag stuff. Biden contacted Tucker. Tucker seems to have attempted to intervene on Biden’s behalf, writing “This whole thing is disgusting and awful and it breaks my heart that you all have to go through it. I'm really sorry. Let me know if there's anything [Carlson's wife] Susie and I can do to help.”

Whether or not these leaked screenshots are real remains to be verified. However, Tucker himself, as well as his wife, admitted to having a relationship with the Bidens that was intimate enough for Carlson to say he would not involve Hunter in his attacks. That, of course, seems to have changed.
In the final days before the election, Tucker Carlson teased out a long-awaited explosive interview, where he would produce all kinds of proofs revealed through the Hunter Biden laptop showing that Joe Biden had used his office as Vice President in an inappropriate manner. Then Carlson shockingly (not shockingly) claimed his treasure trove of Hunter Biden secrets had mysteriously disappeared. Maybe it was the deep state? Maybe he read the fine print and saw that the treasure trove of secrets he was sitting on were mostly about how close a buddy he was the man whom he now smeared in the name of Donald Trump.

'QAnon shaman' lawyer unloads​ a string of profanity when asked what he'd say to Trump about Jan. 6

On Wednesday, Jacob Chansley, the QAnon mascot, was sentenced to 41 months in jail. Chansley, sans painted face and buffalo headdress, told the courtroom that he was sorry for his actions: "I am not an insurrectionist. I am certainly not a domestic terrorist. I am a good man who broke the law." U.S. District Senior Judge Royce Lamberth told Chansley during the steep sentencing: "What you did was terrible. You made yourself the epitome of the riot."

Chansley's lawyer, Albert Watkins, argued throughout the proceedings that people like his client were easily fooled by Donald Trump. Watkins position was that Chansley's ridiculous look was proof that he could not be taken seriously and therefore couldn't be convicted of "leading" anything on Jan. 6. After the sentencing, Watkins spoke to the press outside of the courthouse, and boy did he have some things to say.

I will preface this by saying that Watkins is a colorful speaker who likes to wear colorful ties. He has a style of talking that reminds me of New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s. Watkins was asked by one reporter what might be a proper level of "accountability for former president Donald Trump"? Watkins began by saying his "opinion is meaningless," but that he would want to sit down "over a beer" with the disgraced president, at which point, "I'd tell him, you know what? You've got a few fucking things to do."

Just in case you hadn't gotten the exclamation point on that first sentence, Watkins went on: "Including clearing this fucking mess up." Got it yet? "And take care of a lot of the jackasses that you fucked up because of January 6." Watkins ended by saying he might try to continue forward in a conversation with Trump about some of the "things I agree with him on, but my opinion doesn't mean shit."

I couldn't have cursed it better myself.


Trump gave $100M for COVID-19 supply chains — $99M was left unspent as the pandemic raged

The Trump administration was a swampy con job. The Trump organization is a swampy con. The only saving grace of the Trump administration and Trump as a person and brand is that he and it is and are incompetent. The fruit is so low-hanging, the participants are usually rich kids who have never had to really work hard for anything, and the laziness of thought and execution is apparent. This incompetence is also attached to a cruelty and sociopathy that has been destructive to millions of people around the world, and ultimately helped lead to a poorly managed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBC News has a report about one such example. One of the agencies run by a college buddy of Jared Kushner reportedly received $100 million in federal funds to help ameliorate issues facing our supply chain due to the pandemic. That by itself would not be news. What is news is that in the year since receiving that money, the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has "so far failed to invest a single dime" towards its directive. In opposite land, one might say they were shocked by this news.

The DFC was led by former Jared Kushner roommate Adam Boehler from 2019 until the end of Trump's reign of terror. This position afforded him all kinds of fun times, bopping around the globe fixing all of the world's and America's problems with Trump's son-in-law. Remember how Jared solved the Israel/Palestine problem? Remember how the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly had Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered, and then we helped cover it up? Boehler got to be on most of those plane flights and in those meeting rooms with Kushner.

The Trump administration tasked Boehler's DFC, through an executive order that expanded the DFC's purview, with re-shoring the manufacturing of personal protective equipment and other pandemic necessitates in the hopes of relieving the stresses on the world's supply chains. However, Trump's move to earmark the money for the DFC was an attempt to alleviate the crunch felt domestically as the U.S. scrambled to find gloves and masks for front-line workers.

The $100 million given to the DFC was reportedly there to be potentially "leveraged" into many billions of dollars in loans. One of the promises being made to the American public was that in creating this international loan program that would help keep supplies like pharmaceuticals coming into the United States, it would bring jobs into the country by leveraging these loans to give the U.S. supply chain manufacturing footholds that have disappeared over the decades with China's dominance as the world's manufacturing hub.

At the time, Boehler told Reuters that an attractive $12 billion Taiwanese semiconductor plant could end up in Arizona with this money. "We provide loan and investment financing, so could we be relevant there? Absolutely. We're talking tens of billions of dollars in potential here, so that's a possibility, I wouldn't exclude that."

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) points out that none of this seems to have happened. Not that the promises made didn't happen, just that the $100 million that was taken from the CARES Act didn't go anywhere. The author of the GAO report, Chelsea Kenney, told NBC News that the DFC sat on the money for two years, looking at 175 loan applications and getting them down to eight. After two years and being floated $100 million, the DFC has next to nothing to show for it.

The DFC says that even though it was tasked with this job, there are other agencies that are tasked with jobs too, and there are a lot of reviews that must happen before money is handed out, and it is unfair that the DFC has only just begun handling this money and is being judged harshly. Kenney told NBC that that's the job of the GAO, to figure out how well or not well a government agency is working. "Here we are two years in and without an evaluation we can't really understand if this is a tool to address these needs in a national emergency."

The DFC, however, responded and said that while it did not disburse any of the $100 million towards its stated goals, it had spent about $1 million going through the loan applications. The GAO also found that the "DFC has not tracked how much money it spent on the Covid supply-chain program."

The silverish lining in all of this is that while tens of millions of dollars were irresponsibly frittered away by the Trump administration during the pandemic, the DFC seems to have mostly just been a waste of time and resources, wrapped inside of a PR stunt facade:

In July 2020 the agency announced a $765 million commitment to work with Kodak to make generic drug ingredients needed in the pandemic. Kodak's stocks soared by 570 percent and the company said it was planning to expand existing facilities in Rochester, New York, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
The deal came under immediate scrutiny and never went through.

The fact of the matter is that from the very beginning of the pandemic, the Trump administration did what it did in regards to every single move it made even before the pandemic: Trump and his hangers-on looked to find out how it could make money, meaning siphon off taxpayer dollars to Trump and his allies.

Newsmax host Eric Bolling wants audience to know Kermit is the original communist

Newsmax host Eric Bolling has found a home on the bleeding edge of right-wing reality television. Bolling left Fox News in disgrace after an investigation revealed he was sending unsolicited graphic photos of male genitalia and text messages to female employees. Good times! Since then, Bolling has joined fellow unhinged right-wing personality Grant Stinchfield in berating everyone not conservative enough to drink the fascist Kool-Aid Trump and the GOP are pushing these days.

What is the "bleeding edge" of conservatism these days? Big Bird from Sesame Street is a communist and Big Bird is trying to trick your kids into getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Sen. Ted Cruz has been on the frontlines of this new "culture war" and Eric Bolling used his Tuesday show to point out that he has always known that the Muppets and other Jim Henson creations were secret commies. Don't believe an adult man would say that on video while not performing on a comedy sketch show?

Check it out.

Bolling first went through the Sesame Street campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccinations for kids, including an "interview" appearance on CNN. Bolling was boiling!* Kapow! He began by showing the vaccine promotion clip, saying "Big Bird from Sesame Street, indoctrinating our 5-year-olds..."

Coming back from the clip, where Bolling fumed over the use of a teddy bear as a comfort tool for a child getting a shot, he proceeded to seethe, explaining that "then the giant pigeon took to Twitter to announce to everyone how it felt getting the shot." But lest you believe this is a new thing for the educational show's puppets, Eric Bolling is here to remind you that Sesame Street has always been a bastion of feel-good commie sentiment.

ERIC BOLLING: Not the first time these little felt communists tried to infect the minds of our youngest and most vulnerable children, a decade ago, way back in 2011, I called out Kermit, that cute little green monster commie.

That's verbatim. How did he call out Kermit the Frog? It seems that the 2011 Muppet film starring Academy Award winner Chris Cooper as Tex Richman, the villain of the piece, really freaked Bolling out. Bolling believed that Kermit and his friends should have been happy and impressed by the sociopathic fictional oil man trying to displace the Muppets so he can get at the oil under their studios. Instead, they treated him like a villain, proving once and for all that the message being sent to kids is that rich people are bad. Bolling's view is that any person who has become rich is an important and impressive person who has worked harder than everybody else.

Don't believe me? Bolling explains his problem with the Muppets: "Well here's what happened, the Muppets were blaming [an] oil baron for closing down the studio. That's cute, you little oppressive Muppets! They didn't even try to hide their disdain for success by naming the guy Tex Richman. Eh? But I took them to task."

And boy did he. He proceeded to show an appearance on Fox News' The Five, where he took a Kermit puppet and demanded he debate him about the Muppets' "anti-capitalist" leanings. He then continued his decade-long battle with the Muppets, showing a clip of Miss Piggy holding a press conference talking about how silly Bolling was—in 2011.

Back to 2021 and Eric Bolling: "Guess what? The invite's still open Ms. Piggy, if you or your emasculated frog boyfriend, Kermit, ever wanted to join this desk, it's free. So yeah, at first I thought they were mere ideologues and now I think they're just stuck on stupid."

I don't have the words.

Mitch McConnell’s daughter tweeted about the need to pass the Voting Rights Act

The Washington Post has published a quasi-profile of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It is a halfhearted attempt at pretending that the man who led the Republican Party to do nothing except deregulate and lower taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations while fostering the rabid bigotry of a disenfranchisement-fearing white voter base (which led to electing Donald Trump) is somehow in a weird place now. He's the head of the minority party but the GOP's base dislikes him now more than ever, in no small part because Donald Trump likes using him as a punching bag.

The story hinges on this concept: "Yet in the months since the Jan. 6 attack, a different portrait of McConnell has taken shape. At 79, safely reelected last year to a seventh term and in his 16th year as the Senate's top Republican, McConnell is nonetheless increasingly playing the role of a conflicted and compromised booster of Trump's interests — not a leader with his own vision." What is this grand McConnell vision? According to the Post, it was his abilities at "leveraging chamber rules to thwart much of President Barack Obama's agenda and to block judicial nominees, including a key Supreme Court seat." Funny. That's not a "vision," that's just an individual's power grab using the most nihilistic machinations to achieve … what, exactly?

Buried in this strange profile is one interesting nugget of information. It points to McConnell's greatest failure through the years: his 180-degree turnaround on the Voting Rights Act.

McConnell has reportedly rewritten his ideological history. During an anniversary celebration for the Voting Rights Act in 2008, instead of speaking about how he had voted for Lyndon Johnson and had supposedly been frustrated by anti-civil rights political operatives in the late 1960s, he told the audience that what he had learned from Lyndon B. Johnson was how to "amass power and how to use it." At least he has rewritten it to reflect that craven person he has become.

But probably the most telling tidbit about Mitch McConnell is the social media back-and-forth within his own family. His youngest daughter, Porter McConnell, a liberal-leaning, campaign director for Take on Wall Street, had this to say about the For the People Act (H.R. 1) in February.

"We need to pass #HR1 & fight like hell against these bills. Because if they win, we can kiss democracy goodbye for another generation."

Two weeks later McConnell gave his response: "This is the worst bill I've observed in my time in the Senate."

Since that time, McConnell has done his best to try and take apart any meaningful voting rights legislation. Besides his normal fundraising schedule and frequent calls to Sen. Joe Manchin, McConnell's biggest public statements in the past few months have attacked any attempts at coming to a nonpartisan agreement … on voting. The only end game here is oligarchical rule.

The story points out how McConnell, who may or may not have been very angry about being the target of the MAGA mobs trying to take over the government on Jan. 6, 2021, received nothing in return for protecting Donald Trump. In fact, Trump described McConnell like this: "He's a stupid person. I don't think he's smart enough." Trump was reportedly talking about McConnell's refusal to completely end the filibuster during his administration. Is Mitch McConnell not "smart enough"?

No, Mitch McConnell is just smart enough. But what the Post misses is that Mitch McConnell's greatest blindspot, in his craven crawl to the top of his party, is that he has never had any true vision for anything more than his power. Because to have true vision as a leader, one must be able to see a world in which one no longer exists.

In creating a world that demands individuals look out only for themselves with no regard for anyone or anything else, Mitch has helped to create a base of voters who don't care about anyone but themselves. In fostering a fear-mongering and anger-baiting platform of completely impotent policies, Mitch has just created a voting base that will blindly follow whoever tells them it's not their fault, and will attack whomever that false idol points at. McConnell is just reaping what he's sown.

QAnon MAGA cult refuses to leave Dallas after JFK Jr. no-show

On Nov. 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Many people believe that Lee Harvey Oswald, who was arrested and charged with Kennedy's murder, was not the only person involved in the assassination. Since that time there have been myriad conspiracy theories that run the gamut from a belief that director of the CIA Allen Dulles colluded with organized crime and Lyndon B. Johnson to get rid of Kennedy to the idea that JFK faked his own assassination in order to better fight against some shadowy New World Order from below the radar of the public eye.

The one consistent touchstone in most, if not all, JFK conspiracy theories is that Kennedy himself (and his brother Robert) were creating giant upheavals in the established order of the U.S. government. It is the belief that the Kennedys represented a light in the dark and shadowy world of true power and elitism that drives the conspiracy theory's staying power. At the beginning of November, QAnon Trumpists descended on Dallas and Dealey Plaza under the impression that one of the many Q-conspiracy theories would be realized: the resurrection of John F. Kennedy, or at the very least the resurrection of his son, John K. Kennedy Jr., who died in 1999 in a plane crash off of Martha's Vineyard. The MAGA-conspiracists went down to Dealey Plaza on Nov. 2 with the assumption that something big was going to be revealed. It wasn't.

They don't care. They're staying.

Reporter Steven Monacelli and VICE reporter David Gilbert have been following this QAnon crew in Dallas, and found that they've been led by an antisemitic QAnon activist, Michael Brian Protzman, to the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas for a reappearance of one of the deceased Kennedys. And while nothing happened to support the wild conservative Christian eschatological theories on JFK and/or JFK Jr. anointing Donald Trump the "king of kings," their belief in Protzman has not wavered.

But unlike most influencers, Protzman has effectively built a cult within the QAnon movement, where his followers refer to him as a godlike figure, are willing to travel across the country to see JFK resurrected, and most of all, continue to praise Protzman even when the miracle fails to materialize.
His rise within the QAnon world has been rapid. Back in March, his Negative48 Telegram channel had around 1,700 members; today, it has over 105,000 members. But aside from the number of followers Protzman has, what makes him stand out from other QAnon influencers is the loyalty and worship he has engendered in those people.

According to VICE, Protzman has promoted content to his audience like the film Europa: The Last Battle, which purports to explain how Jews created communism and orchestrated both World War I and its sequel, World War II, in order to get Israel created at the expense of the Nazis. True story. Anyways, this asshat has also been able to take advantage of the fact that President Joe Biden recently delayed the public release and declassification of thousands of remaining government documents related to the JFK assassination, which has not helped. Of course, the fact that Donald Trump first delayed the release of these documents in 2017 does not seem to have registered with this MAGA-adjacent QAnon crowd.

The motivations for the assassination in all of these conspiracy theories lead to the same the thing: the protection of a secret world power establishment. In these theories, whether Kennedy's death allows the escalation of war into Vietnam and Cambodia or it is simply the outgrowth of a sexual jealousy between Kennedy and organized crime boss Santos Trafficante is immaterial in the end. The important thing to understand is that in the end, the government and other secret establishment officials covered up the "truth" about the Kennedy assassination in order to protect their world order.

This unbelievably general and truly unsophisticated view of global power dynamics is at the center of these cult-level conspiracy theories. Are you ready for this? Hold on to your socks!

And after JFK Jr. didn't appear at the site of his father's assassination, QAnoners moved their goal post to the Rolling Stones concert that was In town. The irony that these QAnon folks are heading to see a rock and roll group that openly hates Donald Trump is lost on them, of course. In fact, it almost wouldn't be a story about QAnon if the logic wasn't so truly wrong-headed.

Guess what? They totally saw all kinds of people you thought were dead, including Michael Jackson, Prince, and Aaliyah. Plus, these QAnon music fans saw the original not dead musician, Elvis!

Sounds like a truly amazing concert. The most important thing to realize here is that while this sect of QAnon seems to be a bit more acutely delusional in their views of reality than maybe other QAnon conspiracists who are a little more shrewd in how openly ridiculous their theories are in practice, the results are the same: The concert these QAnon folks went to was a lot more exciting than the concert that the rest of the people enjoying the Rolling Stones saw.

And that's the point.

A second voting tech company is suing OAN over election fraud claims

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Smartmatic, a voting technology company, has followed in the footsteps of Dominion Voting Systems and filed a lawsuit against One America News (OAN). The details of the lawsuit have not yet been posted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's docket, but they contain allegations of libel and slander.

In February, Smartmatic sued "Fox News, its parent Fox Corp (FOXA.O) and several Fox hosts in a New York state court, alleging they falsely accused the company of helping rig the U.S. presidential election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden," according to Reuters. That defamation lawsuit, like Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit, is looking for billions in recompense. Smartmatic has also, like Dominion Voting Systems, sued Trump attorneys, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani.

How much the Florida-based Smartmatic will be looking for in damages from the San Diego-based OAN is not precisely known. However, since the allegations are almost identical to the ones being made by Dominion in its case against the right-wing propaganda machine, that number is believed to be in the billions. That's billions with a "B." If OAN's case rests on the "experts" they pranced in front of their cameras to make false election fraud claims, they might be in big trouble. (Fingers crossed!)

Giuliani and Powell have also been sued by Dominion, specifically in regards to their baseless claims that Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer was some kind of mastermind in flipping tens if not hundreds of thousands (and maybe millions) of votes from Donald Trump to Joseph Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Coomer's defamation lawsuit against two of the worst lawyers in America makes a clear case for just how spurious that dynamic duo's claims of election fraud really are. So far, Giuliani and Powell have been unable to lawyer themselves out of a paper bag, let alone get the case dismissed.

The only bad news in this report is that MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has not been sued by Smartmatic. He is facing the same defamation lawsuit from Dominion that Giuliani and Powell are involved in.

Capitol Police officer resigns after getting accused of helping a MAGA rioter

In the middle of October, reports came out detailing the arrest and obstruction of justice charges against U.S. Capitol Police officer Michael A. Riley. Officer Riley allegedly befriended a man online and shortly after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C., began advising him to delete incriminating evidence of his participation in potential crimes. That's against the law—no matter who you are.

On Friday, POLITICO reports that Michael Riley is handing in his resignation and ending his 26-year career as a law enforcement officer. Riley has been on administrative leave since being indicted, while the Capitol Police Department conducted their own internal investigation. Riley's defense team told POLITICO that their client pleads not guilty: "[T]he evidence will show that it is not a felony for one person to suggest to another that they take down ill-conceived Facebook posts."

Of course, that's not exactly what the evidence presented so far seems to show.

According to the indictment, former officer Riley reportedly befriended a man [Person 1] online, after only tangentially knowing one another through a Facebook group dedicated to fishing. Less than a week later that man attended and trespassed, and allegedly got wicked high, all while videotaping his activities, at the January 6, Stop the Steal insurrection at the State Capitol in D.C. A day after those events, Riley direct messaged the man:

"Hey [Person I], im [sic] a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance. Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the buildings going to [sic] charged. Just looking out!"

"Ill-conceived?" For sure. But this isn't you telling your buddy that their post ranting away at something is probably not something they want their grandparents or cousins to have to read in between your pictures of your new grill. Later on, Riley offered up some pro bono legal advice:

"The only thing I can see is if you went in the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had nowhere to go, but thats for the court."

While the two men continued to chat about things, including the ongoing arrests and investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection, Riley even offered up his place for the man and his daughter to stay:

"Next time you want to come to DC just call me, you can stay at my house on the shore for free and bring your daughter to the museums. If you want to see the capitol building, lets do it legally next time...I know a guy who can get you a Its behind you now...lesson learned! Just ask your attorney whats next."

Almost comically, after it became clear that the FBI was not only investigating Person 1 but that they were mostly interested in his new relationship with Officer Riley, Riley tried to delete all of his messages and then send a Dear John message to Person 1. It reads very much like an attempt at a future defense:

Hey [Person 1], another mutual friend was talking about you last night. I tried to defend you but then he showed me a video of you in the Capitol smoking weed and acting like a moron. I have to say, i was shocked and dumbfounded, since your story of getting pushed in the building with no other choice now seems not only false but is a complete lie. I feel like a moron for believing you... I was so mad last night I deleted all your post, but i wanted to text you this morning and let you know that I will no longer be conversing with you.

Of course, as the FBI chronicled, this "video" he says he was "shown" that has opened his eyes to this new friend's flaws, is something he acknowledged seeing almost two weeks prior—long before offering his new friend tours of D.C. and free stays at his lakeside property.

Manchin and Sinema face backlash after posting grotesque tweets congratulating themselves

On Thursday, after weeks and weeks of goalpost-moving, constant compromising on what was already a compromise, incoherent messaging, and consternation, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema finally agreed to something. That 'something' mimics the many campaign promises President Joe Biden (and most of the Democratic Party) made to voters this past election cycle. The Build Back Better (BBB) plan that was supposed to include lots of climate change initiatives, paid family leave, expanded Medicare coverage for vision and dental, and government negotiation on prescription drugs, will now have some climate change stuff. Better than nothing? Eh.

That's the clear hope of people like Manchin and Sinema, who have allowed their corruption and cynicism (and possibly pathological narcissism) to torpedo their own chances at having a meaningful legacy of service to the American people. While Manchin's one driving force is his own corruption and that of his corrupt family, Sinema's motivations have been hard to pin down. Either way, both senators have let down the American people and have greatly hurt other Democratic candidates and incumbents' chances in the coming months. What will happen next remains a mystery as House Democrats, who agreed to the original compromise of $3.5 trillion spent over 10 years to be coupled with a reconciliation package, are now in a place where the White House is desperate to get something passed and Sens. Manchin and Sinema have shown they are not trustworthy people—at all.

On Thursday, as the White House announced it had a "framework" agreed on to some mysterious degree by the two senators most likely to be found staring at themselves in on their phones, those two decided to release statements lauding themselves. The responses to these two statements were intense.

Kyrsten Sinema wrote, "After months of productive, good-faith negotiations with@POTUS and the White House, we have made significant progress on the proposed budget reconciliation package. I look forward to getting this done, expanding economic opportunities and helping everyday families get ahead." Joe Manchin's tweet was equally gross: "President Biden's framework is the product of months of negotiations and input from all members of the Democratic Party who share a common goal to deliver for the American people."

Whether this cynical move will be enough for voters to forget what these two have actually done to hurt the American people remains to be seen for someone like Sinema, who seems to believe she just needs big corporate donors to float her into a cushy Senate gig until she is ready to run for president. Joe Manchin is a corrupt scumbag in a state that is hellbent on voting bankrupt human beings like Joe Manchin into office.

It's a tale of two politicians with very unpopular, anti-American attitudes and actions:

Make some calls.

Maybe the most to-the-point for Sinema:

Joe Manchin is much more transparent. I mean, he's painfully transparent in his dirtbaggery.

A very nice reminder of Sinema's Halloween playdate with fellow tool Mitt Romney.

And something most of us will never forget.

'I want you gone. Dead': Fox News host who told audience to get COVID vaccine gets extreme hate mail

On Oct. 20, Fox News host Neil Cavuto released a statement saying that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Cavuto made it very clear in his statement that his was a breakthrough case, as he had been vaccinated against COVID-19. The fact that an on-air Fox News TV personality was vaccinated against COVID-19 was not news, as the company has some of the strictest COVID-19 vaccination policies in the private business sphere. What was news was that he went one step further and told his audience that the vaccine was a lifesaver because Cavuto himself has underlying health conditions, and credited the vaccine with saving his life.

Writing, "I hope anyone and everyone gets that message loud and clear. Get vaccinated, for yourself and everyone around you. Everyone wins," Cavuto went very hard against the prominent anti-vaxx mythology that because breakthrough COVID-19 cases exist, this means the vaccine is somehow not effective at all. Predictably, Fox News tried very hard to be the single media outlet NOT TO COVER its own host's statement, and when finally acknowledging Cavuto had tested positive, didn't report on his statement at all.

Well, Neil Cavuto has heard back from Fox News viewers and it turns out they heard about his statement—and would have preferred that he die rather than promote the vaccine.

On Monday, Cavuto appeared on a segment with one of the other dark-haired, more somber-looking, likely less popular Fox News host's shows. Once again he made a plea to viewers to set aside their partisan politics and do the right thing in the name of public health. Saying he understood that people had strong feelings about being mandated to do anything, Cavuto implored the Fox News audience to think of all the people like Neil Cavuto, who are immunocompromised (Cavuto has been very public about his decades-old multiple sclerosis diagnosis). He rightfully pointed out that while he is open about his medical conditions at his workplace, there are many people who you work around that have conditions that you are likely not aware of, and getting vaccinated can help protect them as well as you and your family.

Cavuto returned to his show on Tuesday, though he broadcasted remotely from his home, and before launching into attacking the infrastructure bill for being a "tax and spending" bill, he brought on someone to go over the reactions he's received via email for his statement on public health. Those reactions were … not shocking at all.

An important reminder here: The Fox News audience has been told in no uncertain terms that besides being "experimental" the vaccine might be poison, and might symbolize some New World Order communist plot to feed your grandchildren to Muslims that live in Jewish globalist cages inside of China and want to replace white people with atheists who believe in a Black Jesus.

One viewer who went by the name "TJ" wrote: "It's clear you've lost some weight with all this stuff. Good for you. But I'm not happy with less of you. I want 'none' of you. I want you gone. Dead. Caput. Fini. Get it? Now, take your two-bit advice, deep-six it, and you!"

A fellow named Vince Langman wrote: [sic]

Hey guys I bought a new car after being told it was the best
Then it blew up after I left the car lot
So now I'm begging everyone to please buy the same car
Sorry I'm just pretending to be Neil Cavuto

It's sort of reads like the world's worst attempt at a joke, an opinion, and a haiku, maybe? Then someone going by the moniker "Ignis, Aspiring to Aspire," wrote that:

Cavuto is the Tigger of talking heads: a head full of fluff, just not cool like Tigger.

Besides that not being the defining characteristic of Tigger, it is hard to honestly understand how this Fox News slam was supposed to work. Finally, SoylentGreenIsPeople writes that "When the asses gather, they call Cavuto boss..."

Ummm. Okaaaaaaaaaaay?

Well, in Cavuto's case, he and his colleagues have worked very hard to cultivate this warped angry reality-television viewership. So in one way, they've earned it.

Cavuto fans have an interesting way of showing support

Judge releases Jan. 6 insurgent into parents’ custody — says no more Fox News at home

Thomas Sibick is accused of ripping off DC Metro Police Officer Michael Fanone's badge and radio during the melee that left Officer Fanone unconscious. The Buffalo, New York, resident tried to lie his way out of an arrest, after video evidence—including images of Sibick showing off a stolen riot shield after the attack—was shared with the FBI online. Sibick faces up to 15 years in prison for his part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and insurrection, with charges that include the assault and robbery of Officer Fanone.

On Tuesday, after being denied bond since his arrest in March, including a second denial from the same judge less than a month ago, U.S. District Judge Amy B. Jackson ordered that the 35-year-old Sibick be released into the custody of his parents, in upstate New York, on conditions. One of those conditions is that Sibick is prohibited from watching any political television shows. But there is more.

When Sibick finally turned himself in to authorities, it came after first lying about his participation in the assault on Officer Fanone, then lying about the badge and radio he took from the fallen law enforcement officer. According to one of the complaints filed by investigators, Sibick first claimed he hadn't taken anything off of the officer, then claimed he had dropped both the radio and badge immediately after grabbing them from Fanone. Then, he claims, he dropped the items into a trash bin somewhere in Washington, D.C. Sibick later told investigators that he dumped the items in a trash bin somewhere in Buffalo, New York. And finally, the government was able to produce Officer Fanone's stolen badge after Sibick told them he had buried it in the backyard of his home.

The violent nature of the charges against Sibick had all but guaranteed he would remain in jail until his hearing. His lawyer, Stephen Brennwald, has argued that Sibick is a helpful person, as attested to by jail officials. Sibick's lawyer has also argued that his client was actually trying to pull Officer Fanone to safety—not attempting to steal his badge. This argument, which was posited earlier in October in hopes of securing a release for Sibick, was denied by Judge Jackson at the time, who said: "He took his own unique, independent, purposeful action. The video clearly shows moving his left hand in and then his right hand in. Not at the same time, moving in with both hands to pull up."

According to Law & Crime, there are a few reasons Judge Jackson decided to take a chance on releasing Sibick into his parents' custody: mental health; deteriorating conditions in the jail where the January 6, dunderheads are housed (particularly for someone in a possible mental health crisis); and right-wing propaganda's heightened rhetoric and misinformation as a trigger for someone with unmanaged mental health considerations.

Specifically, Judge Jackson cited a new mental health diagnosis presented by Sibick's defense. The details of that diagnosis are not clear. Judge Jackson told Sibick during the bond hearing that she was "very glad to hear that the defendant thinks with the appropriate diagnosis, he has a handle on it now, on this new approach and new diagnosis."

Telling the court that she did not feel Sibick's ongoing detention has been a mistake, Judge Jackson explained: "His detention was not a disgrace to our country. Mr. Sibick's actions were." But that new evidence was being presented in this case, and that along with the new mental health diagnosis led the judge to make this consideration.

Sibick's lawyer submitted a letter from prison officials that said Sibick was voluntarily asking to be put "in the hole," solitary confinement, in order to stay away from other Jan. 6 insurgents and their cult-like rituals. According to Sibick's lawyer, Sibick's good behavior toward the jail staff and his reluctance to participate in the "so-called Patriot Wing of the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility's" bizarre jingoism—like singing the Star-Spangled Banner at attention every night at 9 p.m.—had led to harassment from fellow MAGAs.

"I think the court may know this but every night at 9:00 p.m., the folks there stand up and sing the Star-Spangled Banner," Brennwald said. "I was on the phone with [Sibick] a month ago and we talked, and in the middle of our talk he said 'I have to put the phone down, I'll be right back. They'll be angry of I don't go over there.'"
"It was literally this herd mentality," Brennwald added. "They're literally singing, most of them off-key, literally singing the song, almost cult-like. It was pretty scary actually."

According to Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press, who has been at the courthouse covering these hearings, Judge Jackson gave the standard warnings about no firearms in the home, and no social media interaction for Sibick. "You must continue your medical or psychiatric treatment. You're barred from possession on a firearm and you're on home incarceration except for medical or legal. You'll submit to location monitoring and pay the cost based on your ability to do so." She said that if a fixed employment opportunity presented itself, Sibick could appeal to the court for consideration and that he could go once a week with his parents to church.

Brennwald told the court that Sibick's mother is left-leaning, while his father is right-leaning. "I'll tell you this, we were finishing up our dinner last night and I asked, 'How do you get along, one a Republican and a Democrat?' And my client's father cited Reagan and Tip O'Neill. He cited Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If you ordered them not to watch TV, he would be fine with that. He would like his son home."

As for the prohibition of "political" media for Sibick, this reportedly came after Judge Jackson inquired about what media or person had helped fuel the fired-up Sibick to believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Brennwald told the judge that after consulting with his client, "I thought it might have been OANN or Newsmax, but it wasn't. It was Fox News… He was literally watching Fox News and in a manic phase that day, over a period of days."

Eugene Sibick, Thomas's father and a former Naval officer, told the judge that he no longer watched political news at home and this would not be an issue. A fundraiser set up under the name "Eugene Sibick," titled "My son is a Political Prisoner," might contradict this assertion. Whether this account belongs to the Sibick family is not verified.

Here is a video of Sibick taking both the badge and radio off of Fanone during the chaos that left Officer Fanone badly hurt.

Capitol riot video appears to show Thomas Sibick taking badge, radio from Officer Michael Fanone

Fox News host has COVID-19, tells America to ‘get vaccinated, for yourself and everyone around you’

Fox News' Neil Cavuto announced that he has tested positive for a break-through case of COVID-19. Cavuto released a statement saying that as he has a series of underlying conditions, including multiple sclerosis, the fact that he was vaccinated probably saved his life. "While I'm somewhat stunned by this news, doctors tell me I'm lucky, as well. Had I not been vaccinated, and with all my medical issues, this would be a far more dire situation. It's not, because I did [get vaccinated], and I'm surviving this because I did."

The fact that a Fox News anchor is vaccinated, considering all of the misinformation the fake news outlet promotes concerning vaccines and public health policies, is unsurprising. A memo of Fox News' on-site vaccine requirements leaked to the press in September, and the conditions were stringent, "requiring all unvaccinated employees to be tested each day—not just once a week—in order to work in company facilities." Fox News' misinformation and viewership have been tied directly to lower vaccination rates in our country.

Cavuto's statement included a plea to the public, something that his statement would likely only be read and reported on in media outlets not called Fox News, saying, "I hope anyone and everyone gets that message loud and clear. Get vaccinated, for yourself and everyone around you. Everyone wins, except maybe my wife, who thought I was back in the city for good for live shows. Maybe not so fast now."

It's funny because it's true.

I mean, who would want to have Neil Cavuto hanging around the house all day? This guy, Cavuto himself? To be fair, Cavuto, unlike most Fox News personalities, has had moments of integrity, even on the rare occasion attacking Donald Trump. Cavuto, like many conservatives, knew (despite the benefits of the tax cuts) Trump's incompetence as a leader was not good for business. Most of the time, Cavuto's job is to run out billionaires in front of his audience who want to tell Americans that food stamps are bad and Donald Trump is the greatest president ever. Before that, Cavuto's job was to attack labor in service of big business interests.

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson has spent the past few weeks and months passing around every grand conspiracy theory ever in service of scaring Fox News viewers from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He's said things like mandates for the vaccine are a way for the Biden administration to identify "sincere Christians in the ranks, the freethinkers, the men with high testosterone levels, and anyone else who does not love Joe Biden, and make them leave immediately. It's a takeover of the U.S. military."

Recently it was reported that Fox News programming almost never goes a single day without trashing the COVID-19 vaccines in some way or another. And in undermining the science behind the vaccines and the purpose of public health policies for the past six months, Fox has helped lead to a completely politicized response to getting life-saving vaccinations.

All that said, good on Cavuto for getting vaccinated and for putting out a statement that says, in no uncertain terms, that the vaccination helped save his life.

Right-wing radio host Dennis Prager claims he caught COVID-19 on purpose

Right-wing radio host Dennis Prager is best known for being relentlessly Islamophobic and misogynistic. When newly elected Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is a practicing Muslim, planned to have his swearing-in take place with his hand on a Quran, Prager was making headlines saying that unless someone was "incapable of taking an oath on [the Bible], don't serve in Congress," connecting Ellison's faith with that of the 9/11 hijackers who drove planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in southern Pennsylvania. Subsequently, Prager penned an op-ed about how feminism was terrible because it made women less domesticated.

In the past year and change, like a good dirtbag conservative, Prager has attacked basic public health guidelines, and in general has been a conservative conspiracy theorist arguing for bad public health policies in the name of "individual choice," something he does not offer up to women when it comes to their own reproductive health. On Monday, Prager told his audience that he had contracted COVID-19. Whether or not he really has it is hard to know, as Prager is a perennial liar and conspiracy theorist, and it is hard to take much of anything people like Prager say at face value. Prager opened his show by saying he wanted his audience to know that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and that it was for the best "It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I have hoped for the entire time," he blathered.

In fact, Prager totally wanted to catch COVID-19. For real. "Hence… I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID. Which is, indeed, as bizarre as it sounded, what I wanted, in the hope I would achieve natural immunity and be taken care of by therapeutics. That is exactly what has happened." Prager then went on to say a whole lot of stuff about how much money he was spending on everything BUT a free vaccine to fight COVID-19.

What kind of statement includes the phrase "constantly hugging them"?

Telling his audience that he was doing his show from home because of his positive test, Prager said he was not vaccinated and that he tested positive for COVID "last week." He also gave the good news that "At no point was I in danger of hospitalization. I have received monoclonal antibodies, that's Regeneron. I have, of course, for years—a year and a half, not years—been taking hydroxychloroquine from the beginning, with zinc. I've taken z-pack, azithromycin, as the Zelenko protocol would have it. I have taken ivermectin. I have done what a person should do if one is not going to get vaccinated."

Before having an alleged doctor call in to talk in one very long run-on and circuitous sentence about something to do with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, Prager does what right-wing radio talk shows do best: self-promotion. He asks his audience "to think about this for a moment, let's say I died of COVID. That would make national headlines: 'Another unvaccinated talk show host dies of COVID,' correct?" He further blurts out that a conservative host that gets COVID and recovers would not be reported on by the "media" because the media's "lies" are also promulgated by way of its "omissions." Prager then turned his mic off and coughed twice before coming back on to speak with some guy who congratulates Prager on getting the "golden ticket" of natural immunity.

The irony that one calls it the "golden ticket," a reference to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where only five tickets are given out to the entire world and this is somehow what people should be attempting to "get" instead of a free vaccine, is lost on right-wing radio audiences for eternity. The "doctor" and Prager then go on to imply there is some vast public health conspiracy going on to stop people from getting the hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin they want, and that secret conspiracist doctors want to prescribe to fight COVID-19.

You can pick up your hydroxychloroquine prescription for anywhere between $13-$300 at a participating Walmart, but you'll need to see how much your insurance covers. As far as ivermectin—it's about $90 for 20 three-milligram tablets. Again, check insurance. Also, according to Prager's show, you have to have your doctor tell the pharmacist it's for a parasitic infection—NOT COVID! How about that Regeneron, those "artificially synthesized copies of the antibodies that people produce naturally when their immune system fights off infection"?

Regeneron costs the U.S. government, also known as the taxpayers in this case, about $2,100 per dose of the "artificially synthesized" antibodies. That doesn't include the costs of being administered the drugs, so you'll have to contact your insurance on that. The vaccines costs about the same as flu vaccines cost the government, or a lot less than $2,100. As to whether or not "natural immunity" is better than what is received by the vaccine, the data at this point goes both ways, with more research arguing that the resulting protections are very similar, if not the same. However, if you have caught COVID-19 and you also have gotten vaccinated you are as immunized as you can be.

Prager handles a few more calls, mostly from people telling their trials and tribulations in trying to secure ivermectin instead of just getting vaccinated. At one point, Prager repeats the debunked and dubious claims that brought ivermectin into our pandemic vocabulary: that the area of Uttar Prudish in India was cured of COVID-19 by widespread ivermectin use. It was not. It is not. There remains no scientifically provable data that shows ivermectin does anything more than get rid of parasites.

Has Dennis Prager actually tested positive for COVID-19? Is Dennis Prager an unvaccinated believer? Has Dennis Prager been taking the regimen of medications he claims he's been taking for the time he's been taking them? Who knows? It's hard to tell what is real and what is political con artist-theater for guys like Prager these days.

Here's Prager doing what he does, and possibly sick with COVID-19.

Dennis Prager Explains What He Is Doing to Combat Covid-19

WI brewery sues school boards for indulging 'Tucker Carlson-watching zombies' and ignoring science

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC announced it would be helping lend financial support to a class-action lawsuit filed against the Waukesha School Board and the superintendent for failing to follow the CDC's guidelines for COVID-19 school protocols. The Super PAC's founder and owner of the Minocqua Brewing Company, Kirk Bangstad—also a former Democratic candidate in the Badger state—has promised that the Super PAC will be funding actions "against every school board in Wisconsin that isn't mandating masks for kids too young to get the vaccine and not following CDC guidelines for students while in school to protect against the deadly Delta variant."

Bangstad says he started the Super PAC to help local businesses weather the ongoing pandemic but then, after watching some of the local school board fallout over mask mandates back in May, Bangstad put out a public statement asking whether or not there were parents dealing with kids who got sick after these mitigation rules were done away with. "I got flooded with parents across Wisconsin who are super upset, scared and felt powerless to protect their children. If they had masks in these schools these kids could actually get an education," he said. Since then, the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC has added the Fall Creek School District to its list of supported lawsuits.

On Oct. 10, Bangstad went on Facebook to give a nice, long rundown of answers to questions his Super PAC has received surrounding these lawsuits. It's worth a gander.

Let's start by saying that Bangstad does not leave anything on the table in this Facebook statement. The first question: Why is a brewery funding these lawsuits?

Our Super PAC should NOT be funding these lawsuits. We always thought that our government, the teacher's union, the ACLU, the hospitals, the nurse's unions, or any other number of progressive groups or "academies of smart people who understand stuff" should be stepping up to block the alt-right, anti-science, and anti-history nonsense that has overcome school boards across our state.
Wisconsin communities have exploded with the Delta variant because many school districts have dropped all forms of Covid mitigation that were in place last year due to the shrieking hordes of Tucker Carlson-watching zombies separated from their cerebrums and driven only by their lizard brains.
Oh, that's the stuff. Keep in mind Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has spent months promoting conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine's efficacy and safety, as well as pushing the big election lies that continue to undermine our democracy. Sen. Johnson reportedly told a town hall last week that the COVID-19 vaccines "are not as safe ... and effective as we all hoped and prayed they would be," and that even though Wisconsin's hospitals were bursting with patients and failing under the stress, this isn't the result of a health crisis. "A bad flu season will put stress, sometimes overwhelm hospitals for certain regions. That happens all the time. Just because it happens with COVID doesn't mean there's some massive crisis in terms of our health care system."
That is just one of the mountains Bangstad's brewery is trying to overcome. Calling Sen. Johnson as well as Rep. Tom Tiffany "traitorous," Bangstad writes that this fight, while aims to protect kids instead of win elections, is not mutually exclusive. "We raised over $50K two weeks ago specifically by asking people to donate to these lawsuits. Because of that, we believe we've been given a mandate to see this project through," he said. He calls on more progressive groups to join the fight to protect these children, as well as the unions directly affected by bad public health policies.
Bangstad lists a series of things people can do, from phone banking to volunteering for other Democratic organizations. But most importantly he hits hard, once again, at the anti-science dunderheads screeching the loudest, telling Wisconsinites to "make some god-damned NOISE at school board meetings—force the media to SEE YOU TOO, not just the slack-jawed domestic terrorists whose minds have been overtaken by conservative AM radio."
As for the lawsuits, attorney Frederick Melms told The Washington Post that "These school districts just have decided to bury their head in the sand without any real sort of rationale behind it. They just are ignoring the guidance from the health department, from the CDC, from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. It's really reckless."

Pro-Trump Virginia candidate believes sea level rise can be fixed with bathtub physics

A Trump-loving Republican candidate for state legislature in Virginia has some interesting thoughts on climate change. Replace the word "interesting" with "painfully ludicrous" and add some sarcastic quotation marks around "thoughts." Scott Pio is running for state rep. against incumbent Democratic Del David Reid in Loudoun County's District 32. On Monday, Pio Tweeted out an image that seemed to represent marine vessels in the waterways and oceans around North America. As you might imagine, there are a few ships at sea at all times.

However, Mr. Pio took things to a new and ridiculous place by thinking these words and then typing them on purpose: "I'm curious, Do you think the sea level would lower, if we just took all the boats out of the water? Just a thought, not a statement." That is quite the not-a-statement, Mr. Pio!

Very quickly, Pio's "thought" experiment began to go viral. People were still trying to parse whether or not this was some kind of performance art humor piece or a serious statement when Mr. Pio took the post down. But the internet lives forever, and Blue Virginia made sure they had a screenshot of it, which they reposted with this important information: "This guy's an actual candidate for the VA House of Delegates. Yes, this is today's Republican Party for ya..."

If you had any question as to whether or not this was a tweeted joke that went sideways on a guy, Scott Pio responded and made sure you could put that all to bed: He's not the brightest bulb in the bottom of the GOP barrel of broken bulbs.

The Tweet:


When the Loudon Democrats twitter account picked up and retweeted that Pio "is dangerously incapable of holding public office," Scott Pio fired back:


When you take things out of bath water, the bath water decreases, does it not?
Got a lot of hate from your group for asking a question about taking things out of the water.
Curious when you stopped believing in pure physics? I guess you don't believe in science experiments?

Oh my. Before we throw up some of the responses to this statement concerning "pure physics," here are some of the positions Mr. Pio has on his official campaign website:

  • He wants everything open again and he wants there to be no mandates on anything.
  • He wants to "Protect Women's Rights and Privacy," but mostly just doesn't want trans Virginians using bathrooms, it seems.
  • "Critical Race Theory Should Disappear." Sadly, this isn't a statement that the bogus wedge issue should be done away with so that we can have a more productive conversation about teaching about our complicated and painful history of white supremacy.
  • The stuff on Critical Race Theory, along with "protecting women" is a big part of his beliefs that "schools are a mess" mostly because of transgender students and schools that "now allow our kids to read books on very explicit sexual things."
  • "Dr. Seuss should be read in schools."
  • He's "pro-life to the core." He believes that there are no cases in which someone should get an abortion. In fact, if you read his positions it almost seems like a person who miscarries fifteen seconds after becoming pregnant might be a criminal in his philosophy.
  • Big on guns, and points out how Loudon County ended people's right to carry guns while walking along park trails.
  • He wants the removal of most taxes and wants them replaced with more sales taxes.

Sound like a real catch for Virginians who want all of the unimpressive ideas of Trump without all of that pomp and circumstance that comes with a rich kid doofus like the Donald. The only thing that differentiates Pio from Alabama Republican Mo Brooks and Mo's belief that seas-levels rising has to do with rocks falling into the water, is Brooks is rich and Pio is not.

Conservative lawyers who once defended Trump now won't touch him with a '1,000-foot pole'

One thing that Donald Trump's continued corrupt experience on this plane of existence has exposed is how many terrible lawyers there are and also, how many craven, scruples-free attorneys can be bought for, at the very least, the promise of publicity. Trump's legal woes were mostly put on hold during his presidency, but he is no longer president (regardless of what his tiny mind tells him), and is now facing many legal challenges from a variety of different avenues.

There are sexual assault civil cases and there are the cases surrounding the possibilities that Donald Trump had a conscious hand in the planning of an attempted coup d'etat of our government. Unlike before, where a corrupted Department of Justice under William Barr could be used, along with taxpayer money, to try and help Donald get over some of the legal hurdles he faced, now Trump must pay out of his own coffers. According to a new report from CNN, there are a lot of attorneys who have already done some legal work for Trump over the past few years that are sitting this one out—and the reason may have to do with Donald Trump's reputation for not paying his debts.

The report says that as Trump is planning a defense against being called to testify by the House Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, most experts believe his legal strategy will attempt to argue that Trump has executive privilege rights that must be upheld. Previous Trump attorneys like Jay Sekulow and Ty Cobb are notably not present on his current super-squad of attorneys, according to CNN. The reason may be two-fold: some may "have been spooked by Trump's reputation for sometimes not paying as a client"; others may be staying away because Trump's a known nightmare of a client; and finally, "others still want themselves and their firms to stay far away from Trump's insistence that the election was stolen."

Trump, the man, when not using the bankruptcy court not to pay his bills or using the American taxpayer to pay his bills, has a long history of … not paying his bills. The list of contractors who haven't received payment in full (or at all) is in the hundreds and goes back decades, along with many filed lawsuits.

But his long history of scammery and dirtbaggery isn't lucrative or potentially lucrative enough for many high-powered attorneys to continue the ruse that Donald Trump deserves more justice than the rest of us. According to CNN, "at least four well-known lawyers were repeatedly approached by Trump's team for help in recent weeks -- and said no, a source familiar with the discussions" told the news outlet. A former senior Justice Department lawyer under George W. Bush told CNN that law firms were distancing themselves from Trump with "a 1,000-foot pole."

One of those lawyers is reportedly William Burck, who has supposedly turned down Trump's advances three separate times since the beginning of the year. You may remember Burck as the attorney for Steve Bannon, Don McGhan, and Reince Priebus, leading to experts being mystified about the clear conflicts of interest involved in representing all three former administration members.

CNN also reports that some of the guys that worked in support, even tangentially, of Trump's Ukraine impeachment—people like Charles Cooper—are a no-show this time around. Cooper told CNN he would be an audience member of any executive privilege battle in a courtroom involving Trump. In fact, he would watch it "from the bleachers."

Trump, for his part, has released a statement saying this is all fake news and "I do pay my lawyers when they do a good job." That last part is important, as it has been Trump's calling card for decades to claim that jobs weren't done well as his legal excuse for not paying out hundreds of contracts for his various real estate properties and interests.

On top of all of this is the reality that any and all lawyers that have been involved in the last super-swampy administration are potentially liable to find themselves giving depositions, and you can see why a powerless Trump isn't finding the same cocky legal support he once enjoyed.

These aren't heroic acts. These aren't lawyers who have finally seen the light. These are (mostly) guys that made the money when it was guaranteed. They agreed to work for someone who would likely stay in office for quite a few years, and have all of the powers one might need to pardon or protect them from the grotesque injustices they were tasked to guide through the courts.

Alex Jones suffers another legal loss as his day of reckoning approaches

Earlier this year, conspiracy purveyor Alex Jones had a setback when the Texas Supreme Court rejected his attempt to have four defamation lawsuits against him tossed. The lawsuits came from parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. The families filed suit after years of harassment, including death threats that spurred on, in no small part, by Jones and his Infowars show's continued false claims that the mass murder of children was a "hoax," and parents seen on television were "crisis actors."

These lawsuits have been going on for years, with Jones playing some seriously vile legal games at the expense of the families who have suffered the greatest tragedy a family can suffer. Last week, Travis County Judge Maya Guerra Gamble put an end to some of the obstructionist games being played by Jones' legal team, granting a default judgment against Jones in the cases of Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner; and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was slain that same day.

On Tuesday, Gamble added a third default judgment to Jones' legal losses list. Neil Heslin's lawsuit joins the other two and will be heard by a jury that will be deciding what damages Jones actually owes these families.

Heslin, who is also a parent of Jesse Lewis, had filed two separate lawsuits against Jones that hadn't been included in the previous decision. Gamble wrote, "In reaching this decision, this court has considered lesser remedies ... and determined they would be inadequate in light of the history of (Jones') conduct in this court." Gamble went on to say that while Jones has been given the chance to not be a complete asshole, "An escalating series of judicial admonishments, monetary penalties, and non-dispositive sanctions have all been ineffective at deterring the abuse." And these cases are just some of the cases Jones is facing for this exact level of public deception and cruelty.

The defamation cases in Texas are separate from two defamation lawsuits filed against Jones and Infowars in Connecticut Superior Court by eight families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre and an FBI agent, where the Judge Barbara Bellis has also threatened default against Jones if he doesn't comply with discovery orders.

One of the attorneys representing the families, Bill Ogden, told reporters: "Alex Jones and Infowars no longer have the ability to make excuses or defend their actions. My clients can finally say 'What you did was wrong. You defamed me. You intentionally inflicted emotional distress on me, and for that, you will be held accountable.'"

The Washington Post reports that in her decision, Gamble wrote, "The Court finds that Defendants' discovery conduct in this case is the result of flagrant bad faith and callous disregard for the responsibilities of discovery under the rules."

In another filing, the families suing Jones asked that a more stringent protective order be put in place on Jones for the next steps in the discovery process, as "the plaintiffs' great concern, there is no real assurance that the Jones defendants will abide by the terms of the existing protective order, especially if they determine that breaching the protective order will serve them in the press or as a litigation tactic." The families are asking for the judge to allow them to hold off handing over personal emails and the like to Jones' attorneys until the judge has handed down a sanctions order for the violations Jones has already participated in. According to Courthouse News, the sanctions hearing is set for Oct. 20. Jones was previously sanctioned by Judge Barbara Bellis in Connecticut for insinuating that child pornography found on his computer was planted by the attorneys for the plaintiff.

Jones has tried to walk back his years of conspiracy theory assertions, saying that he's just entertaining, that his statements were "a form of psychosis" that comes from him just blathering away and frothing himself into a frenzy; and he no longer believes Sandy Hook was a "massive hoax." Coincidentally, much of his "entertainment" seems to involve terrorizing mothers and their children.

Besides the other Sandy Hook defamation lawsuits he faces, Jones is reportedly under investigation for his ties to Roger Stone and the Jan. 6 insurgency by the U.S. Justice Department. Maybe Ancient Aliens can get him out of this?

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