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'What say you?' Chuck Todd and Pete Buttigieg spar over how to reduce the national debt

While the United States House of Representatives was voting to approve a rule to pass an increase to the Treasury Department's borrowing cap on Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd hosted a conversation with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the American economy's relationship with the perpetually growing $31.47 trillion national debt.

"Let's talk about the accumulated debt because we've been telling people for so long that accumulating this debt is gonna become a — you've had former chairman of the joint chiefs saying it was a national security issue. That was in 2011 with Mike Mullen. We've been talking about, 'oh my God, this is going to become a problem at some point,' and yet our economy keeps growing. Our ability to hold more debt continues to grow. Do we have a debt problem in this country or not?" Todd asked. "What say you?"

Buttigieg's response delved into the complexities behind what drives the national debt.

READ MORE: Kevin McCarthy pledges to explore 'uncomfortable' cuts to Medicare and Social Security

"Well, one thing I'll say is that we have been working to reduce the deficit, which is the first step in reducing the debt. You know..." Buttigieg began.

"Right. But the debt does keep growing. We've yet to re — we haven't reduced it. We've just slow, we've slowed the, we've slowed the rate of growth a bit," Todd noted.

Buttigied pressed on, digging deeper into the US borrows so much money:

Yeah. I mean, again, the, the first thing you gotta do if you wanna see that debt come down is to get a handle on the deficit. The president's budget — by the president's budget as submitted, but, but also, uh, the, the deal that has been struck acts to, to reduce the deficit. We've been clear on how we think you get there, making sure that the wealthiest in corporations pay their fair share. That it can be done while being reasonable in holding the line on spending, but not inflicting self-defeating cuts. And that's one thing I want to emphasize, and your question kind of got to that, you know, part of what makes it possible for us to sustain our fiscal path is the continued strong growth of the American economy. And I would point to infrastructure as exhibit A of where you can be penny-wise and pound-foolish. If, if you think that, you know, every expenditure that isn't defense needs to be cut in the name of. Doing something about the debt, you might actually be hamstringing the very economic growth that you need. So I think most Americans appreciate that we need to reduce the deficit, that we don't want to just continue seeing the debt escalate without believing that as to lead to these, these kinds of savage cuts, especially if Congress hasn't been willing to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share, which is why — and we point to things like the enforcement provisions that help make sure you have fewer tax cheats — which is something that adds to the debt without creating any economic value.

Todd then pointed out the circular impasse that stymies progress on reducing the debt.

READ MORE: House Republican calls low-income housing 'a more dangerous program than food stamps'

"But it is interesting to me. It does feel as if each party has come to the, has come to this uncomfortable, 'well, look, uh, we're not raising taxes,' is what Republicans say, and Democrats are like, 'we're not gonna really, we don't wanna reduce spending here, we think spending creates economic growth, they think tax cuts creates economic growth,' aren't we doomed to never lower the debt?" Todd wondered.

"Well look, the, again, the first step in lowering the debt is lowering the deficit. Last president blew up the deficit. This president's cutting it down," Buttigieg recalled of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, respectively, adding, "That's what it looks like to begin making progress on this issue, and that's what we'll continue to pursue."

Buttigieg's assessments are true, based on data provided by Deficit Tracker.

Watch the exchange below or at this link.

READ MORE: The debt ceiling deal reflects a permanent feature of American democracy

'I don’t want reality': Senate GOPer prefers 'Jesus loves me' taught instead of history of race

U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) exploded in a committee hearing on child care on Wednesday after he introduced a book designed to help children understand race, and declared he opposes socialism and wants schools to teach about Jesus Christ instead.

Sen. Mullin, a former U.S. Congressman who once told a House Democrat to “shut up,”began by explaining how expensive it is for private companies to set up child care – the topic of the hearing – but quickly transformed the hearing into one on race, socialism, and religion.

He wove a web that started with his concerns over “federalizing” education, which he declared is socialism. He then attacked the committee chairman, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who heads the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), for being a “self-declared democratic socialist.” That led to his claim that the book he opposes, “Our Skin: A First Conversation on Race,” would be taught nationwide.

Sen. Mullin said he opposes the book because it teaches young children that the concept of race, especially the white race, was created by white people to place themselves above other people with different skin – which has been documented in numerous studies, reports, articles, and books.

READ MORE: DeSantis Kicks Off Presidential Campaign Tour With Claim Teachers Are ‘Forcing’ Students to Pick Pronouns

Senator Mullin, who supports a federal vigilante “Don’t Say Gay” bill, tried to get members of the panel to support his desire for schools to teach about Jesus instead.

“I have a book here in here in front of me called ‘Our Skin,'” Mullin told the committee, “and I’m going to read exactly what this book says. You guys might find it interesting. ‘A long time ago, way before you were born, a group of white people made up an idea called race. They sorted people by skin color and said that white people were better, smarter, prettier, and they deserved more than everybody else.’ This would be taught if we socialized our pre-K system, this would be taught.”

“How about we teach Jesus Loves Me?” Mullin demanded. “How about how about this? And teaching ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children.’ The lyrics go, ‘Red and yellow, black and white. They’re all precious in our sight.’ Now, which one would you think would be better? I’ll ask everybody on the panel, which is better to teach? This, that is a story that was made up to teach kids, three year olds who have no idea what race is.”

“Now all of a sudden being taught that white people said this as a truth, someone pointed me that this being a truth, that white people developed race, that white people develop that. That all of a sudden that was our word that we developed. By the way, I’m Cherokee, Native American. I think we have experienced a little bit of racism before in my life,” Mullen said.

READ MORE: ‘Will Make a Great Trial Witness’: Experts Thrilled Jack Smith Is Investigating Trump’s Firing of Election Security Expert

“So I ask everybody on the panel, which one is better to teach? This,” referring to the book he had brought, “or the ‘Jesus Loves Me’ lyrics? Ma’am. I’ll start on here.”

“I think it’s important to teach that all children are seen and valued for who they are,” one panelist told Sen. Mullin. He was not pleased.

Another panelist who appeared to agree with Sen. Mullin on teaching Jesus responded, “It is important that we teach Jesus. Jesus is what we teach. But the reality is –” she said before being interrupted by Mullin.

“I don’t want reality,” Mullin proclaimed, which evoked immediate laughter.

“Got it on tape,” one person announced.

“I misspoke,” Mullin claimed.

Watch portions of Mullin’s remarks below or at this link.

Kevin McCarthy pledges to explore 'uncomfortable' cuts to Medicare and Social Security

United States Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy (R-California) revealed to Fox News host Harris Faulkner on Wednesday that he will "announce a commission" to explore cuts to "mandatory spending" once the debt ceiling debacle is settled.

"I was elected to help lead this nation. So the first thing we did, opened the House up. The bills, you now get to see 'em before you ever vote on 'em. And now we're cutting. And you know what? I'm gonna make some people uncomfortable by doing that, but I'm not gonna give up on the American people. And this isn't the end. This doesn't solve all the problems. This is the first step," McCarthy said.

"I'm gonna announce a commission coming forward from the speaker from bipartisan on both sides of the aisle. We only got to look at eleven percent of the budget to find these cuts. We have to look at the entire budget. The Congress has done this before," the speaker continued.

READ MORE: 'This scam is a non-starter': Dems blast McCarthy’s latest call for painful cuts

"Why didn't you see the whole budget?" Faulker asked.

"Because the president walled off all the others. The majority driver of, of the budget is, is mandatory spending. It's Medicare, Social Security, and interest on the debt," McCarthy replied.

"He wouldn't let you see?" Faulker reiterated.

"So you only have eleven percent to look at this budget," McCarthy responded. "But we were able to increase our defense to protect us, take care of our veterans, but you know that non-defense with veterans out, we are now gonna spend less than we spent in 2022. That's a major victory."

READ MORE: 'Unconscionable': Republicans demand more Pentagon spending as US teeters toward default

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: The Pentagon's budget from Hell

Lauren Boebert: 'I get kind of sad' when 'positive' constituents call my office

United States Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) told right-wing twice-convicted felon Steven Bannon on Wednesday's edition of his conspiracy theory radio show that she prefers when angry people call her congressional office.

"It's really easy for staff to disregard someone who their member does not represent and they say, 'Well, call your member of Congress.' So be sure you're calling them but tell them to vote 'no,'" Boebert said in reference to the pending legislation to raise the debt ceiling that will be voted upon by the House on Wednesday.

Boebert also revealed that she contacts "other" lawmakers immediately after advising Bannon's listeners against doing that.

READ MORE: 'It has to be done': These House Republicans are open to deposing Kevin McCarthy

"I still call other offices," Boebert continued. "People call mine all day long. Sometimes I answer the phones. Uh, it's actually..."

Bannon interjected that "some of those are positive and maybe some of those are Democrats."

A chuckling Boebert then lamented that "I kind of get sad when it's the positive ones. I was like, man, I was looking forward to a fight here. And uh, you know, I'm like, oh, this is a real one."

Bannon observed, "You, you like fighting. You're from Colorado."

READ MORE: 'Clown car': MAGA Republicans blasted for threatening to 'tank economy to help Trump win'

Watch the banter below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'Nice to see': Lauren Boebert praises man for shouting expletives at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ron DeSantis accuses teachers of 'forcing' students to pick pronouns

Governor Ron DeSantis kicked off his official presidential campaign tour on Tuesday, traveling to Iowa after announcing last week he was launching a White House run. On Wednesday, the Republican bragged to GOP voters that in Florida he recently signed a bill into law banning teachers from forcing children to pick pronouns, insisting it is happening in other states.

“It is wrong for a teacher to tell a student that they may have been born in the wrong body, or that their gender is a choice,” DeSantis announced.

“We don’t allow this in the state of Florida, and we actually just signed legislation protecting students from having teachers force them to pick pronouns, which they are doing in some parts of this country, at [a] very, very young age. We’re not competing in the ‘pronoun sweepstakes.’ We’re going to have school just like school’s been, from time in memoriam [sic], we’re not going to do all this other stuff,” he declared.

READ MORE: ‘Will Make a Great Trial Witness’: Experts Thrilled Jack Smith Is Investigating Trump’s Firing of Election Security Expert

While DeSantis is insistent that teachers are forcing very young students to pick pronouns, NCRM found no news reports supporting that claim.

We did find several news reports of teachers suing for not wanting to use a child’s preferred pronoun, which are issues for the courts.

We did find one report of a teacher who allegedly insisted on calling a 9-year-old girl who identifies as a girl a boy, and the parents are suing.

News12 on Long Island, New York in March reported, “the lawyer representing the girl’s family…says the student was bullied and had suicidal feelings.”

“She says the teacher told the student to ‘try being gay.’ The teacher is also accused of calling the girl a male name.
‘The teacher had some kind of agenda to have these students have alternate sexual preferences or gender identities they may or may not have had,'” the attorney said.

READ MORE: ‘It Has to Be Done’: These Are the House Republicans Open to Firing Kevin McCarthy as Speaker

In April, Colorado’s KRDO reported, “During the last Colorado Springs School District 11’s board meeting, officials tabled a controversial pronoun policy that would prevent educators from asking students their preferred pronouns. While the policy isn’t in effect, some teachers are concerned about how it would hinder them inside the classroom.”

Watch DeSantis below or at this link.

Ex-GOP strategist lays out the fatal flaws in DeSantis and Tim Scott’s campaign launches

In late May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) officially jumped in the 2024 GOP presidential primary. Supporters of both Republicans are touting them as alternatives to frontrunner Donald Trump and insist that they would be better equipped to take on Democratic incumbent President Joe Biden in the general election.

Never Trump conservative and former GOP strategist Tim Miller evaluates their presidential campaign launches in a humorous but edgy video posted by The Bulwark on May 31. Miller argues that Trump's "well-funded opponents" both have messages that, in theory, should appeal to Republican primary voters — but adds that ultimately, they are in weak positions against the former president.

Miller gives Scott an A- from a messaging standpoint, a D for his "vibe with 2024 GOP voters" and an F for his "ability to dunk on Trump."

READ MORE: Tim Scott transforms from 'gentler' Republican to parroting claims the left is the 'enemy' of the people

"In a presidential campaign," the former Republican strategist explains, "people knowing your elevator pitch is really important, and Scott has a clear message that I kinda like: optimism, cheery conservatism, that 'shining city on the hill' s**t…. The problem is, having a good, clear message doesn't matter if it's not the kind of thing voters are lookin' for. Scott's sunny themes might've been a better fit for the compassionate conservative GOP of yesteryear—not the MAGA crowd that will decide this year's campaign."

Miller gives DeSantis an A+ for messaging but a D for his "ability to dunk on Trump."

The Never Trumper isn't a DeSantis fan; he has been a scathing critic of the Florida governor's far-right culture-war politics and the MAGA movement in general. But he argues that having a Trump-like message without being Trump could appeal to GOP primary voters — that is, if Trump himself were not running.

"DeSantis has the best elevator pitch for this primary: Ditch the biggest loser for a winner who got MAGA results," Miller tells viewers. "But can he deliver it?.... Head-to-head with Trump is where it could get really ugly. Trump's ads are crushing Ron, and in his stump speech, Trump is a rabid dog going straight for the jugular, while DeSantis offers this whiny-voiced passive-aggressive pushback."

READ MORE: 'A clown show': Steve Bannon lambastes DeSantis’ 'historic screwup' of a campaign launch

View Tim Miller's full video below or at this link.

Grading Trump's 2024 GOP Challengers | Not My Party with Tim

House Republican parrots Donald Trump’s 'milktoast' insult during live Fox News interview

United States Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas) appeared on Tuesday night's edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle and repeated an insult toward guest host Kayleigh McEnany that originated with former President Donald Trump.

Trump accused McEnany — who served as his final White House press secretary — of misrepresenting his standing among Republican primary voters when compared to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his chief rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

"Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on FoxNews," Trump wrote on his beleaguered Truth Social app. "I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up. While 25 is great, it's not 34. She knew the number was corrected upwards by the group that did the poll. The RINOS & Globalists can have her. FoxNews should only use REAL Stars!!!"

READ MORE: 'It has to be done': These House Republicans are open to deposing Kevin McCarthy

Raw Story noted that "McEnany has sung Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' praises and earlier this year encouraged him to run."

Less than two hours after Trump posted his jab at McEnany, Roy — a right-wing member of the House Rules Committee who has parrotted Trump's opposition to the proposal to raise the debt ceiling that was negotiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and President Joe Biden — fired off his cheap shot when McEnany broached the topic.

"You know, starting with you Congressman Chip Roy, what is the realistic alternative to this? Because I understand we wouldn't formally default. We can pay the interest on our debt, but our debt could be downgraded and that could be catastrophic. So what is the realistic alternative to this deal?" McEnany asked him.

"Well, thanks, Kayleigh," Roy replied. "First of all, you know, the, everything that we're seeing out of the bill that was put forward, this, this deal, this hatched this weekend, is pretty milquetoast, if, uh, if that word might mean something to you."

READ MORE: 'Clown car': MAGA Republicans blasted for threatening to 'tank economy to help Trump win'

Per The Daily Beast, Roy eventually answered McEnany's question:

'The real problem we face is the $4 trillion in debt, and they've pushed this thing up to Jan. 1, 2025 with an uncapped amount which we think will be about $4 trillion. And we didn't sign up to basically free spending for $4 trillion in debt,' he said.

'The alternative is pretty simple: you have about $28 or $29 billion in COVID funds, you have $80 billion in IRS money—all of us agreed it should go away,' he continued. 'The No. 1 thing we campaigned on was getting rid of that IRS money.'

Watch the exchange below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'I doubt them': GOP rep pushes back on Freedom Caucus colleague in squabble over debt ceiling rules

Fox host: FBI 'probably has a picture of' Ron DeSantis 'stacking up Iraqi bodies in a Baghdad prison cell'

Fox News anchor Jesse Watters surmised on Tuesday's edition of The Five that the United States Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and/or the Central Intelligence Agency has secret photographic evidence of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis torturing detainees inside American military prisons.

"I think he would just rip the stitches off Joe Biden in a general. But then the FBI'd probably destroy him along with the CIA. I'm sure the Pentagon probably has a picture of him stacking up Iraqi bodies in a Baghdad prison cell or something like that," Watters said of GOP nominee contender DeSantis.

Watters also conjectured that Democrats would use said clandestine information to sabotage DeSantis' chance at winning the 2024 presidential election, echoing former President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories that his candidacy was ruined by "deep state" actors with a political agenda.

READ MORE: Watch: DeSantis explodes when asked about alleged role in Gitmo force-feeding at Jerusalem press conference

"Either that, or they'll probably tap his phones. It worked in 2016. You don't think they're gonna play dirty with Ron DeSantis? They're gonna get Disney, they're gonna get BlackRock, and they're gonna get these defense contractors and they're gonna burn this man to the ground. Doesn't matter who the nominee is, they're gonna torch the SOB and now no other Republican nominee can be not as bad as Trump," Watters continued.

"Think about it," the right-wing host added. "If Trump is a racist traitor slash rapist slash rebel, can you have the left come out and say, 'Well, he is not as bad as Trump?' I mean, you can't say, 'well, actually that sounds pretty good. He's not as bad.' It has to be absolutely worse."

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'I will never forget his face,' says tortured Gitmo detainee after DeSantis denies encounter

House Republican calls low-income housing 'a more dangerous program than food stamps'

Right-wing Republican members of the United States House of Representatives have drummed up an extensive list of excuses about why they oppose the deal struck by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling.

The latest example came from Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Wisconsin) late Tuesday afternoon when Grothman groused that the bill is too lenient toward economically disadvantaged Americans.

"They left low-income housing untouched. I think as far as discouraging work and discouraging marriage, I think low-income housing is even a more dangerous program than, uh, than the food stamps," Grothman asserted.

READ MORE: Republican whining it’s 'almost 'impossible' for 'white guys' to get Biden appointments has bigoted past

"So I'm including low-income housing in the mix of having work requirements. The amendment is drafted, just includes Section Eight housing, which is an error on my part cuz there are other low-income housings as well. But that's what we have before us," Grothman continued. "I would appreciate if you'd let that to the floor because I don't think our team fought on the low-income housing front at all."

Watch Grothman's remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: All 26 House Oversight Republicans refuse to sign statement denouncing white supremacy

'It’s only 99 pages': Fox News rebuffs House Republican complaining about debt ceiling bill

Far-right House Republican Ralph Norman of South Carolina spent a good portion of Tuesday complaining about the debt ceiling bill, legislation that was brokered by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avert a national and global financial meltdown, but even Fox News isn’t interested in his complaints.

“It’s an insult, to get a 100-page bill, and be asked to decide on it on the spot,” Congressman Norman lied while at the Freedom Caucus’s press conference Tuesday.

“I won’t buy a microwave, unless I get it in writing,” Rep. Norman said, although it was unclear what “it” is.

READ MORE: House Republicans Tied to J6 Admit Goals: Defeat Debt Ceiling Agreement, Kill Economy, Help Trump Win in 2024

That video on social media went viral, with nearly one million views in just six hours.

Congressman Norman previously has claimed children are being aborted after being born while also voting against legislation to protect child sex abuse victims, refused to wear a mask during the hight of COVID because he was “tired” of them, voted for a federal vigilante “Don’t Say Gay” bill, denied the January 6 insurrectionists were Trump supporters, and urged the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Tuesday afternoon he continued his rant about having to vote on the debt ceiling bill while only getting three days to read it, but even Fox News was not putting up with it.

“We were on Memorial Day, and to get a call to come and support a bill, a negotiated bill that we hadn’t even read,” Norman complained.

“It’s like the [Speaker] Pelosi days. You gotta pass it before you can read it,” Norman said. For only one bill, the Affordable Care Act, which is 906 pages, and was written and negotiated over the course of more than a year, did Speaker Pelosi say it could only be read after it had been passed.

“But he is giving you 72 hours to consider it,” Fox News host John Roberts reminded Norman.

READ MORE: McCarthy Says GOP Put Work Requirements in Debt Ceiling Bill for a Child ‘Sitting on the Couch Collecting Welfare’

“Pelosi didn’t do that,” he claimed.

“We ought to have a lot more time,” Norman insisted.

READ MORE: ‘Sure Wasn’t by Drag Queens’: DeSantis Slammed for Ignoring Florida Mass Shooting That Included Children

“It’s only 99 pages,” Roberts also reminded Norman.

Norman, who has signaled he will not be voting for the legislation, insisted it’s “time to negotiate and go back to the table,” which will not happen.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

Matt Gaetz: Kevin McCarthy working with Democrats 'a black letter violation' of 'ascent to speakership'

United States Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) told Newsmax on Tuesday that Representative Kevin McCarthy's (R-California) speakership will be in danger if McCarthy allies with Democrats to pass the proposal that he negotiated with President Joe Biden to increase the Treasury Department's debt ceiling and stave off an unprecedented default.

The right-wing House Freedom Caucus — of which Gaetz is a member — announced its opposition to the legislation earlier in the day.

"What will the Freedom Caucus do if the people who are objecting to this bill get overridden — if the Republicans get overridden by a Republican speaker teaming up with Democrats to pass this bill?" host Chris Salcedo asked Gaetz.

READ MORE: 'I doubt them': GOP rep pushes back on Freedom Caucus colleague in squabble over debt ceiling rules

"Again, I think the operative question there is whether or not the speaker can get to a majority of the majority," Gaetz replied.

If a majority of Republicans are against a piece of legislation and you use Democrats to pass it, that would immediately be a black letter violation of the deal we had with McCarthy to allow his ascent to the speakership and it would likely trigger an immediate motion to vacate," Gaetz continued. "I think Speaker McCarthy knows that. That's why he's working hard to make sure that he gets, you know, a hundred twenty, a hundred fifty, a hundred sixty votes. And that's why those of us who are not supportive of the bill are trying to point out that many of the changes are cosmetic in nature. And Joe Biden's administration is going to be able to waive certain requirements and certain conditions that sound like great talking points, but that don't save the country from the ruin that the Biden administration is bringing us to."

READ MORE: 'Clown car': MAGA Republicans blasted for threatening to 'tank economy to help Trump win'

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Far-right lawmakers float overthrowing Kevin McCarthy over debt ceiling negotiations

'Clown car': MAGA Republicans blasted for threatening to 'tank economy to help Trump win'

Some members of the most far-right group of House Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, admitted Tuesday their goals are to defeat the debt ceiling agreement, thereby killing the economy, which some of them believe would then help Donald Trump win back the White House in 2024.

Many of the House Freedom Caucus members are tied to the January 6, 2021 insurrection, by various methods, including supporting efforts to overturn state elections and spreading false claims about the results of the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) in Tuesday’s Freedom Caucus’s press conference pointed to the portion of the debt ceiling agreement, brokered by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which says the nation’s debt limit will not have to be raised until 2025. Outraged, Congressman Bishop admitted Republicans had wanted to have another debt ceiling fight next year, which would, he claimed, help a Republican presidential candidate win the White House.

Surrounded by far-right Republican Representatives Byron Donalds, Lauren Boebert, Chip Roy, Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry, former Freedom Caucus chair Andy Biggs, and others, Bishop angrily complained, “And what does the device of two years do?”

READ MORE: ‘Sure Wasn’t by Drag Queens’: DeSantis Slammed for Ignoring Florida Mass Shooting That Included Children

“It removes the issue from the national conversation during the presidential election to come. How could you more successfully kneecap any Republican President than to take that issue out of his or her hands?” Bishop asked, fully and freely admitting the GOP is trying to use the levers of government, and the U.S. and even global economy, to put a Republican back in the White House, regardless of cost to the American people.

As he spoke Rep. Boebert’s head was nodding in agreement.

Sirius XM host and journalist Dean Obeidallah blasted the North Carolina Republican: “GOP Dan Bishop says quiet part out loud: MAGA wanted to use debt ceiling in 2024 to tank economy to help Trump win.”

Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry, who the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reportedly saw as “central” to its investigation, also spoke at Tuesday’s press conference.

Rep. Perry tried to spin conspiracy theories, including by claiming that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has not been telling the truth on when America’s cash will run out.

“We’ve asked for Janet Yellen’s figures. And with all due respect, she comes with zero credibility to the discuss,” Perry claimed, falsely. “We don’t believe her figures, we’ve asked to see her figures.”

And he admitted Freedom Caucus members “will be absolutely opposed to the deal and will do everything in our power to stop it.”

Calling it a “bad deal…that we all campaigned to put an end to,” Freedom Caucus member Lauren Boebert also spoke at the press conference, declaring, “There is nothing real in this bill to enforce. In short, tomorrow’s bill is a bunch of fake news and fake talking points.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) called the debt ceiling deal “crap.”

“Washington is doing it again,” Rep. Donalds declared, apparently attacking his own party since Republicans have the majority of the House seats.

READ MORE: McCarthy Says GOP Put Work Requirements in Debt Ceiling Bill for a Child ‘Sitting on the Couch Collecting Welfare’

“While you were celebrating Memorial Day, all of our men and women who gave their lives for this great nation, and you were spending time with your family and your friends, this town was cutting another crap deal that’s going to put you more in debt with no real changes whatsoever.”

“Washington is lying, again,” said Donalds.

Republican turned Democrat, attorney Ron Filipkowski mocked the extremist GOP lawmakers.

“The Freedom Caucus members just climbed out of their clown car, and are upset that their cult leader won’t be able to run for president on a crashed economy,” he tweeted.

“Wait,” tweeted Seth Kaplan, the managing editor for Fox affiliate stations in the Twin Cities. “He wants to help ensure a catastrophic economic situation just so it can be a talking point during the 2024 election? Please tell me I’m misinterpreting.”

Earlier this month journalist Jay Bookman observed, “So basically, the debt ceiling crisis is just another version of the Jan. 6 insurrection: Give us what we want, or we’re going to tear the whole damn thing down.”

Reps. Scott Perry, Dan Bishop, Byron Donalds, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, and other Freedom Caucus members earned a “very poor” grade by the Republican Accountability Project, which has been tracking Republicans in the wake of the 2021 insurrection.

Among the criteria for earning a “very poor” grade include signing the Supreme Court amicus brief “that sought to nullify votes cast in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia,” (Boebert and Donalds were not in Congress at the time to sign to that brief.)

Also, objecting “to the certification of Electoral College votes from at least one state,” making “public statements that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election,” voting “to hold Trump accountable via impeachment or conviction,” voting “to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection,” and voting “to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

'I can’t take this anymore!' Right-wing podcaster 'willing to take up arms' against the ACLU

Right-wing conspiracist Michael Savage honored fallen veterans on Memorial Day by calling President Joe Biden a "terrorist" and railing against social progress during an angry interview on Monday's edition of Newsmax's Eric Bolling: The Balance.

Guest anchor Caril Higbie introduced Savage, who after thanking Higbie for being a Navy Seal launched into a diatribe against tolerance in the United States Armed Forces LGBTQIA+ rights, and the Americans for Civil Liberties Union, which he proclaimed is "destroying" civilization.


Your outrage is correct, but it's so deep. It's hard for people to understand that it's not about woke this, woke that. These are suicidal individuals who are trying to make the rest of us commit suicide along with them. And let me remind all of you out there who are listening - Rome did not pass away — I'm a student of history — Rome was assassinated from within and by the invasion of the barbarians. Those two elements are occurring in America today. And for Memorial Day, I've studied what they have done to the military. We all know — Carl, this will strike a chord with you — we all know the recruitment goals are in the toilet. Why would a young man enlist in the military other than to prove himself, to prove he's tougher than the other guy, that he can beat the other guy, that could beat the enemy, that he wants to protect America, he wants to protect our women and children. That's what a man goes into the military for.

Well, now let's look at what's going on, Carl. Fitness standards. After finding that women were not scoring as highly as men and under tremendous pressure from advocacy groups, the Army has thrown out all fitness tests. And so, now any soldier can meet any fitness requirement for combat specialties without a test. Number two. January 2021, the terrorist Biden signs an executive order, opens military service to all transgender individuals. We hear that's a good thing because all the transgenders, as you well know, are the best warriors on the battlefield. And then it gets worse. Biden decrees that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to get free sex change surgeries, Carl, and all related expensive hormones, Carl, and all expensive drugs, Carl, at our expense. That's what they went in the military, for free sex change surgery.

Carl, you've got time for a few more or do you want to get sick or you want to stay healthy today?

READ MORE: 'Homophobia always will be' a key part of 'MAGA populism': journalist


Oh, keep going, keep going.


I'll give you two more. Alright, I did some research for you. The Biden administration, which is a terrorist administration tearing the country apart, ends its support for long-standing signed policies prohibiting individuals who are HIV-positive from serving in combat zones. That was based on sound science. It was tied to the need for HIV medications, which are very costly, and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood in a foxhole. Thrown out the door. Gets worse. The Biden's chief of naval operations, so-called Admiral Michael Gilday — I don't know who the hell he is — decided to add a book how to be an antichrist, one of the leading source books on so-called critical race theory, which is an anti-white hatefest. And, in the book given to our naval men and women now, are reading saying, 'capitalism is, essentially, racist and that to be truly anti-racist, you also have to be fully anti-capitalist.'

One more piece of information for those of you out there who want to know why I say Rome did not pass away, it was assassinated, and we are committing suicide because of the LGBTQ and other far-left maniacs. They're looking at readings that are required at West Point right now. There are now slides labeled 'white power' at West Point, Carl. Can you believe this? Now, if this goes on, I predicted twenty years ago in a not-so-joking way, like a Jonathan Swift, that if we don't stop these psychopathic haters, they will snap the crosses off the graves of our war memorials. How far away are we from someone saying, 'all those crosses make me uncomfortable, and I want them snapped off the graves of dead soldiers.' Who's gonna stop them, Carl?


Me. I'll stop them, Mike. And that's the issue. You've got a lot of people just like me.


I'll stop them. Know this, Carl. I've had enough. I've had enough. I'm an old man. But I'll tell you something, I'm willing to pick up arms. I can't take it anymore. I can't take this anymore!


Well, I, I, I see your frustration. I mean, look, you want to mess with, with the headstones of Arlington National Cemetery, we're gonna have a big problem, But on that, it's like all these people, they do this stuff in schools. Oh, we're going to trans your kids without yourself — what, just hear me out, Michael. What happens if I just started going, or we started going around as conservatives — baptizing people in elementary school without parental consent? The libs would lose their mind.

READ MORE: Iowa GOP Governor passes bill 'loosening child labor laws' after banning LGBTQ+ books from schools


Why not do it? You know, the real problem here are the lawyers. Let's not forget it's the lawyers, the lawyers, the lawyers. Shakespeare had it right. But it's the ACLU. People don't understand. I've been onto these people for twenty-five years. The anti-Christian libertines union are run by the most — the sickest people with law degrees imaginable, and they're rolling in big money. The ACLU is the head of the snake, as I declared the year 2002. It's the ACLU that stands behind all of this insanity and any administration that comes along that has the power should arrest all of them and try them for sedition and deport them if possible. Those are big words. I'm nothing but a podcast host, but I have a way of putting things in concrete form. It's the ACLU that's the head of the snake that's destroying America. It's the lawyers, the lawyers, the lawyers. They're killing the country. I could go on and on and on. As you know, I don't want to write a book here as a guest — fill in guy here — but Carl, it's Memorial Day. I look at those graves and I know I wouldn't be here if it were not for them. I wouldn't be here if it were not for them.

Higbie — a forty-year-old Millennial — then concluded the conversation:

Unfortunately, Michael, we have an entire generation that just is not appreciative of a lot of the things that are going on.

Watch below via Media Matters for America or at this link.

READ MORE: How small towns weaponize Memorial Day

'Such a caricature': Joe Scarborough rips Josh Hawley for 'childish trolling' of conservative writer

In a late May New York Times column, conservative opinion writer David French argued that MAGA Republicans have a distorted view of masculinity. Liberals and progressives have often made similar arguments, but in this case, the argument was coming from the right.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, a MAGA Republican, took offense at the column and trolled French on Twitter — posting, "David French takes a break from promoting drag queens to talk about masculinity." And French, in response, posted, "I write a piece about how the allegedly 'manly' right is committed to petty trolling, and Hawley responds to the piece with petty trolling."

Never Trump conservative Joe Scarborough slammed Hawley's trolling during the May 30 broadcast of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Scarborough, a scathing critic of Hawley and others in the MAGA movement, argued that Hawley's over-the-top antics only illustrate the points French made in his column.

READ MORE: MAGA's ‘King of Toxic Masculinity’ faces police raid in Romania in human trafficking investigation

Scarborough told co-host Mika Brzezinski and panelist Willie Geist, "It's about gesturing with people like Sen. Hawley. It's all about shocking. You just saw it right there…. It's heartbreaking that (Hawley) is feeding lies to young men who actually do need examples of strength, do need examples in Washington."

The MSNBC host added that French's "childish trolling and gesturing to the far, far right" hardly makes him a positive role model for young men.

"It's such a caricature," Scarborough said of Hawley. "It's such a joke…. Real men don't sit around whining about a war on manhood. They get up, they go to work. They work hard and try to do their job.

READ MORE: MAGA lame duck Madison Cawthorn reemerges with bizarre, rambling speech against 'soft meterosexuals'

Watch the video below or at this link.

McCarthy: GOP put work requirements in debt ceiling bill for child 'sitting on the couch collecting welfare'

Extremist House Republicans are furious how President Joe Biden was able to craft a debt ceiling deal without giving up much, but according to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, GOP lawmakers were able to put work requirements into the legislation that will require families using government assistance to put their “able bodied” children to work in order to continue receiving benefits.

We also did something different,” McCarthy, trying to sell GOP voters on the bill, told Fox News Tuesday morning. “In this family we may have a child, able-bodied, not married, no kids, but he’s sitting on the couch collecting welfare.”

“We’re gonna put work requirements on that individual, so he’s going to have work requirements, he’s gonna get a job, and he’s gonna make the life easier,” McCarthy said (video below).

Fox News’ Chad Pergram also published McCarthy’s remarks via Twitter.

Last week McCarthy appeared to be trying to get the general public to accept GOP work requirements, telling reporters they would be “only for people who are able-bodied with no dependents.”

READ MORE: ‘Republicans Got Outsmarted by a President Who Can’t Find His Pants’: GOP Congresswoman Throws Debt Ceiling Tantrum

“I don’t think it’s right that we borrow money from China to pay somebody that has no dependents, able-bodied, to sit on a couch.”

HuffPost last week explained the GOP’s “work requirements contribute a tiny amount to the overall spending reduction Republicans have proposed, but McCarthy has highlighted them as a top priority. And now the couch surfer is a symbol of that priority.”

“The changes would apply to Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the much smaller Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The new rules would deny benefits to some childless adults without disabilities unless they work, volunteer or enroll in training for at least 20 hours per week. (SNAP and TANF already have work requirements along those lines, but Republicans would make them stricter.)”

Last week The Lever reported McCarthy “borrowed his punishing work requirement proposal from [a] conservative think tank pushing to loosen child labor laws.”

“McCarthy’s work requirement proposal and his gripes about dependency come straight from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a conservative think tank that recently made headlines for helping secretly draft several state bills to roll back child labor laws,” The Lever reported.

Watch McCarthy’s remarks from Tuesday below or at this link.

McCarthy takes aim at FBI director with threat to charge him with contempt over Biden family probe

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is now threatening to charge Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Christopher Wray with contempt of Congress if he does not make more of an effort to comply with the investigation into President Joe Biden's family.

McCarthy's remarks came during his Tuesday, May 30 during appearance on "Fox & Friends." Although McCarthy was supposed to be discussing lawmakers' heated negotiations regarding the debt ceiling, at one point the discussion shifted to House Oversight Chairman James Comer's scheduled meeting with Wray.

According to Mediaite, the upcoming meeting comes after "Comer accused the FBI of refusing to comply with a subpoena demanding that the agency produce internal documents related to the Biden family’s business dealings with foreign entities."

READ MORE: 'Melt children’s bones': Kevin McCarthy sparks confusion after misquoting the White House

Comer has warned of the possibility of Wray being held in contempt of Congress. During the interview on "Fox & Friends," McCarthy echoed similar sentiments.

"Today is the deadline," McCarthy said. "So let me not just tell you, let me tell Director Christopher Wray right here, right now. If he misses the deadline today, I’m prepared to move contempt charges in Congress against him. We have jurisdiction over this. He can send us that document."

He added, "We have the right to look at that, Republicans and Democrats alike in that committee, and if he does not follow through with the law, we will move contempt charges against Christopher Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law."

McCarthy and Comer's threats come as Comer continues to face obstacles with building a substantial case to support allegations of wrongdoing by the Biden family.

READ MORE: Kevin McCarthy demands work requirements for 'all the programs' to avoid looming debt default

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'You should pull out': Kevin McCarthy affirms support for Ukraine to Russian reporter

'He will probably lose': Former Trump White House official predicts rollercoaster campaign

A former Trump White House official is weighing in with his take on the upcoming 2024 presidential election and how he sees the political battle panning out.

On Tuesday, May 29, Mick Mulvaney — who previously served as director of the Trump a\Administration's Office of Management and Budget and as acting Trump White House Chief of Staff — appeared for an interview with Sky News Australia.

During the discussion, Mulvaney was asked about Trump's third presidential run as he attempts to reclaim the White House.

READ MORE: 'This Is Hilarious!': MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Bursts Out Laughing at Report of Trump Appointee Trashing the President's Personality

Mulvaney predicts that the former president will likely win the Republican primary but he isn't convinced he will take back the White House.

“The Republican primary will be about Donald Trump and he will probably win,” Mulvaney said. “And then the general election will be about Donald Trump and he will probably lose.”

According to the former White House official, Trump is a “turnout machine" where voting is concerned. However, he also explained why this is a double-edged sword for the former president. Per the news outlet, Trump's motivation for voters "drives people to vote both for and against him."

Mulvaney noted that the race “will be about him: ‘Do you love him or do you hate him? Which is pretty much a repeat of 2020.”

READ MORE: 'Can’t' even commit financial fraud anymore': Jon Stewart questions rule of law when it comes to Trump

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: Why the possibility of Trump paying for his crimes while George W. Bush 'walks free' is 'obscene': columnist

Fox’s Peter Doocy asks Biden about future presidents pardoning Trump — here’s his response

Fox's White House correspondent Peter Doocy is known for causing a multitude of responses from President Joe Biden with questions.

In Jan. 2023, the two clashed after classified documents were found in Biden's garage. Doocy implied that his case was the same as Donald Trump, however, Biden ensured documents were immediately returned to the National Archives or other government agencies. Trump refused to turn his over until a subpoena was enforced by a search warrant.

In another incident, Biden was caught on a hot microphone trashing Doocy for "stupid" questions.

On Monday, Doocy probed Biden about his thoughts over presidents pardoning former President Trump.

All Biden could do is laugh, give a slight wave and walk away. That is because Trump hasn't been indicted or charged with anything, much less convicted.

At the same time, Trump maintains his innocence over the document scandal and the 2020 election scandals. A presidential pardon would require Trump to admit his guilt. It's a problem that disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio faced when he got his pardon from Trump. Arpaio went to court to fight the demand to admit his guilt. The court refused to erase the conviction as well.

Biden likely is looking to win 2024, so he isn't going to acknowledge that any other candidate could take over the White House in 2025.

See the video of Biden below or at the link here.

'Ethics-free zone': Senate Judiciary member says Congress 'absolutely can' impose reforms on SCOTUS

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who sits on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday told NBC’s Meet the Press that Congress “absolutely can” impose ethics laws on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), the Guardian reports.

Speaking with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Whitehouse refuted the claim that “it’s pretty established” that Congress would be unable to impose such laws on Court.

“No, it absolutely can,” Whitehouse said.

When Todd replied that Congress doing so so “doesn’t mean it’s constitutional,” Whitehouse fired back:

Yes, it does. It means it’s constitutional because the laws that we’re talking about right now are actually laws passed by Congress. The ethics reporting law that is at the heart of the Clarence Thomas ethics reporting scandal is a law passed by Congress.

Whitehouse’s remarks come after billionaire Harlan Crow last week refused to comply with a Senate Judiciary Committee request to detail gifts he bestowed on SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas. According to ProPublica, Thomas, for over 20 years, has "been treated to luxury vacations” from Crow, among other benefits.

In a letter from his attorneys to the Judiciary Committee, Crow refused to comply with the request and argued “Congress does not have the constitutional power to impose ethics rules and standards on the Supreme Court.”

“Doing so would … violate basic separation of powers principles,” Crow’s lawyers claimed.

Todd repeated that claim to Whitehouse on Sunday, prompting the senator to a argue that the legislative branch does, indeed, play a role “in terms of administering how the internal ethics of the judicial branch are done.”

“Heck, the judicial conference which does that is a creation of Congress,” Whitehouse reminded Todd.

Whitehouse admitted “it’s not going to be easy” to implement ethics reforms on SCOTUS.

“So I think that the first step is going to be for the judicial conference, the other judges, to put some constraints around the Supreme Court’s behavior and treat the Supreme Court the way all other federal judges are treated,” he offered.

Whitehouse also lamented that the Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, has become a “fact-free zone as well as an ethics-free zone” and described the Federalist Society’s influence on SCOTUS similar to “railroad barons.”

You can watch the full interview below or at this link.

Ron DeSantis vows to 'destroy leftism' and 'woke ideology' if elected president

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis vowed during a Monday interview with Fox & Friends to "destroy leftism" if he defeats President Joe Biden in next year's presidential election. DeSantis launched his White House campaign last week and is widely viewed as former President Donald Trump's top competitor for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

"Most of the people that support you probably voted for President Trump twice. And the first comment I hear over and over again is, "Why doesn't Ron DeSantis wait for President Trump's second term and then run?' And what is your best answer to that? Why is right now the time for Ron DeSantis to run for president?" host Will Cain asked.

"Because" DeSantis boasted, "everyone knows if I'm the nominee, I will beat Biden, uh, and I will serve two terms and I will be able to, uh, destroy leftism in this country and leave woke ideology on the dustbin of history."

READ MORE: How Ron DeSantis is 'trying to out-Trump Trump' on climate: report

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Why DeSantis’ 'out of touch and unserious' failure to launch should be the least of his worries: columnist

Deepfake democracy: How AI is bamboozling Congress and threatening the 2024 election

WASHINGTON — America’s in the midst of its first AI-fueled election. Duping voters in 2024 — a year where “deepfakes” are expected to supplant our current meme-driven political unreality — will be easier than ever.

Bogus but hyper-realistic videos of Donald Trump secretly plotting with Russian President Vladimir Putin or President Joe Biden in a secret White House confab with antifa activists? Entirely fake speeches delivered by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) or Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)?

All possible now. Just watch the wouldn’t-have-been-possible-in-2020 deepfake video starring a computer generated Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s depicted as desperately trying to convince his colleagues in “The Office” that he’s not wearing women’s clothes. Donald Trump Jr. is among the people who've shared it on social media in recent days.

Among the most unprepared for AI-infused election shenanigans: members of Congress themselves.

“I haven't heard it talked about here,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Raw Story when asked about deepfakes and AI impacting Election 2024.

It’s not that the the Capitol isn’t buzzing with AI regulatory chatter since OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before lawmakerslast Tuesday — including telling Hawley that even he is “nervous” about large language learning platforms, such as his company’s ChatGPT, being used to manipulate voters. The problem: this was news to many at the Capitol.

That’s why experts are nervous, too, especially since AI technology is evolving at warp speed.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman: "If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong."

“Congress should have been proactive yesterday — decades ago,” Woodrow Hartzog, professor of Law at Boston University, told Raw Story.

Congress has a ton of catching up to do, mainly because U.S. policymakers — at the behest of Silicon Valley’steams of Washington lobbyists — have dithered for years in writing rules for the digital road, more or less allowing tech companies to police themselves.

“At the very least, it needs to think about the fact that this is not just a technology and deepfakes problem, that the problem of deepfakes in our democracy is rooted in significantly broader structural concerns around tech accountability, generally, mixed with our laws surrounding privacy, surveillance, free expression, copyright law, equality and anti-discrimination,” Hartzog continued. “All of those seemingly disparate areas — and the cracks that have been growing in our protections around them — are part of this story.”

How dangerous, really?

Artificial intelligence offers great promise of taking humanity to new technological heights.

But the ability to create increasingly realistic fake media is getting easier by the nanosecond, too. What formerly required specialized expertise — not to mention days and weeks worth of time; thus dedication — only to concoct clunky deepfakes is now available to all. The democratization of fakes has many experts freaked out.

It’s easy to see how AI-based deceptions, propaganda and scams could damage an election’s status as truly free and fair, even if just a small fraction of voters are affected.

Consider that the 2016 election was decided by some 80,000 votes across three states. Countless bots and Russian intelligence officers involved themselves (if Senate Republicans are to be believed). Campaign operatives — domestic and foreign, and as bad as they can be — have nothing on AI’s powers (if its creators are to be believed). Especially when combined with today’s always-improving deepfake technology, the ability to dupe is almost easy.

“Think about this as nuclear technology,” Siwei Lyu, a SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo, told Raw Story. “Right now, instead of just the U.S. government and a few governments in the world knowing the techniques for making atomic bombs, like everybody now can have a toolkit off of Amazon to make their own atomic bombs. How dangerous that could be, right?”

Lyu continued: “Of course, somebody may use that as a generator to power up my house and then I don't need to be on the electricity grid anymore, but there are people for sure who will misuse it — and those are the things we have very little control over. So that's really where the problem is.”

The fear for Election 2024 isn’t, necessarily, one big, earth-altering digital atomic explosion; the fear is dozens, hundreds or even thousands of personal smart bombs — polished, powered and propelled by generative AI — being quietly dropped on susceptible-to-vulnerable populations in swing states.

They might originate from domestic sources: say, unscrupulous super PACs or lone-wolf political agitators unconcerned about the nation’s largely antiquated election laws and regulations that, in some cases, haven’t been updated since the dawn of the World Wide Web. If that.

Worse, they could come from foreign actors — think Russia, or perhaps Iran and North Korea — who’ve already demonstrated an insatiable appetite for sowing chaos in U.S. elections.

“The makers of deepfakes will create those fake media to reinforce, strengthen your belief, and then the recommendation algorithm will actually push that to you as a user so you will start to see more of this stuff,” Lyu said.

This will all be guided by the private data of millions of Americans, which Silicon Valley firms already have access to because of congressional inaction. When fed into generative AI platforms like ChatGPT the algorithmic loop of fear-drenched, truthy sounding falsehoods and fakes could prove infinite.

'Got to move fast'

Back on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is now a part of bipartisan negotiations – along with Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Todd Young (R-IN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) – focused on legislating artificial intelligence.

“We can’t move so fast that we do flawed legislation, but there is no time for waste, or delay, or sitting back,” Schumer told his colleagues on the Senate floor after Altman testified. “We've got to move fast."

There’s only a short window to act, because generative AI is becoming more ubiquitous – more than 100 million people have already signed up for ChatGPT alone.

“And so while it is important for Congress to act, I hope that they realize that they can't just pass one anti-deepfake law of 2023 and dust their hands and call it a day, because this problem is one that is significantly larger than just a few algorithmic tools,” Hartzog, the BU law professor and co-author of Breached: Why Data Security Law Fails and How to Improve It, told Raw Story. “It's fundamental to our whole sort of media information distribution networks and free expression and consumer protection laws.”

Other lawmakers don’t feel the same pressure. Many assume America’s safer than other nations when it comes to AI-powered deepfakes.

“I think in a more advanced ecosystem, like our new system, it's probably easier for campaigns to jump on it pretty quickly and knock it down. I think in the developing world it could start riots and civil wars,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently told Raw Story.

Others in Congress – including party leaders – think the government is largely helpless when it comes to preventing the deepfake-ification of American elections.

“All we can do is tell the truth and appeal to the public not to believe everything they hear and see,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate majority whip, told Raw Story.

While 2020 was the "alternative fact” election, 2024 is primed to be the alternative reality election. “Fake news” isn’t just a bumper sticker anymore; it’s now reality.

“We’re in it,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told Raw Story, “and AI is making it exponentially easier to create a false narrative, to project that false narrative worldwide, to make the false narrative believable by creating much more detailed and thorough content and it will be very hard to take something that’s disseminated worldwide and knock it down as false.”

Gillibrand has been calling for the creation of a new federal Data Protection Agency for years now, arguing the Federal Trade Commission is toothless when it comes to regulating big tech. The Federal Election Commission, meanwhile, often takes years to reach any agreement on even the most modest updates to its political advertising regulations.

“I think we have to keep focusing on the truth and making sure we have levers of government and a legal system to create accountability and oversight to make sure the truth is protected,” Gillibrand said.

Legislating "truth" in a post-truth political universe may prove impossible, but we really won’t know until the dust settles after Election 2024. That’s why many lawmakers, experts and privacy advocates are bracing for an election like no other in U.S. history.

“Every anti-democratic trick in the book will be played in 2024. No doubt,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) – a Trump impeachment manager and member of the select Jan. 6 committee – recently told Raw Story. “The guy dines with racists and anti-Semites, Trump seems determined to prove that he can do anything he wants, including shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, and his cult following will not budge. So this is where we are in the 21st century.”

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