News & Politics

Biden has been welcomed by Pope Francis — but shunned by right-wing US Catholics: report

President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, has been welcomed by Pope Francis. But reporter Kathryn Joyce, in an article published by Mother Jones on November 26, stresses that while Biden is on friendly terms with the Pope, some right-wing bishops in the United States remain openly hostile to him.

“Once Biden won, many right-wing Catholics shifted their focus and became players in various efforts to overturn the election results,” Joyce explains. “One Texas bishop, Joseph Strickland, refused to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect and addressed a December rally in Washington, D.C., that was widely seen as a precursor to the violence on January 6. Another bishop tweeted a call for all Christians to pray ‘in conjunction with the filing of election-related documents at the Supreme Court.’”

Joyce continues, “More esoterically, beginning in November, a Colorado priest in Denver led a months-long series of prayers to ‘bind’ evil spirits that were attempting to steal the election. And on January 6, another priest traveled from Nebraska to perform an exorcism on the U.S. Capitol after watching YouTube videos from a popular Catholic Right author who charged that a demonic spirit was trying to ‘dissolve’ the United States and remake it into something new.”

One of the major factors in this anti-Biden animosity among some Catholics is the abortion issue. Biden has made it clear that he opposes overturning Roe v. Wade. Nonetheless, Biden’s history on abortion could be described as “pro-choice but anti-abortion.” Biden, essentially, has echoed President Bill Clinton’s declaration that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”

READ: Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

Lauren Boebert apologizes for comparing Ilhan Omar to a suicide bomber in bigoted rant

Controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) on Friday apologized after she likened Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to a suicide bomber.

"So I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers," Boebert said. "He and I, we're leaving the Capitol, we're going back to my office and we get an elevator and I see a Capitol police officer running, hurriedly, to the elevator. I see fret all over his face, and he's reaching, and the door's shutting, like I can't open it, like what's happening. I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar."

"And I said, 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine."

Boebert claimed she told Omar, "Oh look, the jihad squad decided show up for work today."

Omar said Boebert made the whole thing up.

"Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout. Anti-Muslim bigotry isn't funny & shouldn't be normalized. Congress can't be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.," she wrote.

On Friday, Boebert apologized to the Muslim community.

"I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction," Boebert wrote.

Anti-vaxxers are pushing unscientific and 'potentially dangerous' ways to de-vaccinate' Americans: report

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for U.S.-based adults of all ages, anti-vaxxers continue to spread lies and misinformation about the effectiveness of vaccines. And some of those anti-vaxxers, according to Business Insider’s Tom Porter, are promoting fake and dangerous ways for people who have received COVID-19 vaccines and now regret it to “de-vaccinate themselves.”

Americans who have already been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and received the Moderna or Pfizer booster shots are getting them because they want more protection from COVID-19, not less. Anti-vaxxers, however, are making the false claim that vaccines are harmful and that their “cures” can counter those harmful effects. But as Porter points out, it is physically impossible to “de-vaccinate” someone who has already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Porter explains, “It is impossible to undo vaccination, a process which works by teaching the body to fight infection itself, and which doesn't rely on substances that can be isolated or removed. But with millions of people now vaccinated against COVID-19, some anti-vaccination advocates are pivoting to a new narrative aimed at those who took vaccines and regret it. They claim it is indeed possible to ‘de-vaccinate’ people, recommending a host of methods which range from quaint to potentially dangerous.”

Porter notes how wacky some of the fake “cures” for COVID-19 vaccines are.

READ: Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

The reporter observes, “In a video hosted on Bitchute, a platform known for its extremist content, a man applies electrodes, a strong magnet and ‘55% Montana whiskey’ in the hope of removing a COVID-19 vaccine from a US military veteran. In another, a gory variant of the ‘cupping’ technique to draw blood from an injection site, a man makes extra incisions with a razor to extract a significant amount…. Neither method had any hope of working.”

But as nutty and totally unscientific as these COVID-19 vaccine “cures” are, Porter reports, the “de-vaccination movement” has been “spreading in Telegram groups with thousands of members, as well as other fringe platforms used by extremists.”

According to Porter, “Advocates have also established a presence on mainstream platforms that purport to restrict such activity, such as Facebook and TikTok, experts told Insider. In response to Insider flagging their presence, Facebook removed a de-vaccination group and several pages from its site for violating its COVID misinformation policies.”

READ: Aaron Rodgers denies having COVID toe after claiming to have had it

Ilhan Omar fact-checks 'buffoon' Lauren Boebert — and calls her out for promoting 'anti-Muslim bigotry'

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a far-right MAGA Republican and conspiracy theorist with pro-QAnon views, hasn’t been shy about promoting Islamophobia — especially when it comes to progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. And Omar is calling her out, slamming Boebert as both a “bigot” and a “buffoon.”

Boebert has been describing Omar, who is a Muslim and a native of Somalia, as a member of Congress’ “Jihad Squad.” And during a speech in Colorado on Thanksgiving, the QAnon ally told a crowd of supporters that when she recently shared an elevator with Omar inside the U.S. Capitol Building, she told a staffer, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack; we should be fine.’”

Boebert also claimed that inside the Capitol, she told a staffer, “Oh look, the Jihad Squad decided show up for work today.’”

But Boebert’s elevator anecdote, according to Omar, is fiction.

READ: Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

On Thanksgiving, Omar tweeted:

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell also had a hard time believing Boebert, tweeting:

Rev. Chuck Currie, a Protestant minister, called Boebert out as well on Twitter:

Of course, Omar is far from a jihadist. The Minnesota congresswoman holds decidedly feminist views, which are incompatible with far-right jihadist groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria) and Boko Haram. But on the other hand, former Boebert aide Sherronna Bishop has praised the violent, far-right Proud Boys as an example of “everything that makes America great.”

READ: Aaron Rodgers denies having COVID toe after claiming to have had it

Here’s how Trump accidentally helped Pennsylvania’s attorney general destroy his election fraud lies

Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro beat back at least 40 legal challenges to Donald Trump's election loss, and he explained how the twice-impeached one-term president undermined his own case.

The Democratic attorney general told The Daily Beast's "New Abnormal" podcast that his office started making preparations for the challenges as soon as Trump trotted out his "Big Lie" well before the election, and he credits his team's success to that advance work.

"When the former president began talking about how vote by mail was not okay and that the Democrats were going to try and steal the election -- all of his greatest hits -- I immediately put together a team in my office made up of lawyers from both our criminal division and our civil division," Shapiro said. "We basically had three focuses that we were trying to deal with first."

State officials made sure voters had access to the polls and ensured voting was safe, Shapiro said, and they got ready for the challenges that Trump signaled were coming.

"How could we deal with the inevitable legal challenges that would come after the election, trying to deny people's votes from being counted?" Shapiro said.

Shapiro said his efforts were also helped by the fact that the rare cases of voter wrongdoing were actually committed by people attempting to cast ballots for Trump.

"I'm staying in this game, I'm not going to be deterred," he said. "I am unafraid of what they're putting forward."

'Psychological ownership': Expert explains why Black Friday shoppers throw punches over bargains

Colleen P. Kirk, New York Institute of Technology

Black Friday, the most celebrated shopping day of the year, abounds with tales of fistfights over discounted televisions or even stampedes as consumers rush to get that low-priced sweater they saw in an ad.

Many people chalk it up to bad behavior. But marketers like me have a term to describe one feeling that contributes to it: psychological ownership.

Have you ever felt as if another driver stole your parking spot? Or were supremely miffed when someone else nabbed the last red sweater that you had your eye on? And isn’t it irritating when someone else receives credit for your idea? If so, you experienced psychological ownership.

In other words, we often take ownership over a thing or service in our minds before we actually give up the cash that makes it legally ours. And retailers use this psychological technique to get us to buy more of their stuff – or spend more. It also makes us more likely to brag about our purchases, valuable word-of-mouth advertising for those brands.

While the concept itself is well-known, there’s been little research on how people actually react when someone seems to infringe on their psychological ownership. My colleagues Joann Peck and Scott Swain and I conducted several studies to find out.

That feeling that something is yours

Psychological ownership is an important concept in marketing. Sellers are motivated to elicit it because having it makes you want to buy their goods.

An example of this is potato chip maker Lay’s “Do Me a Flavor” contest, which began in 2008 and invited customers to suggest and vote on new chip flavors. By tickling customers’ sense of ownership in the product and the brand, it was a remarkable success in markets around the world.

But it doesn’t have to be a major campaign. A simple ad or invitation to touch can have the same impact.

There are three factors that foster psychological ownership:

  1. If you can touch or control something or even imagine doing so. An example is putting something in your shopping cart – whether physical or virtual online.
  2. If you have customized something or invested your efforts in designing it. When the server brings the food to your table and places your dish in front of someone else, you’re quick to say, “That’s mine.”
  3. Intimate knowledge. If you grew up with a product, have always used it or have a special or unique way of using it, the odds are good you feel psychological ownership over it.

Furthermore, you can feel psychological ownership over pretty much anything that doesn’t legally belong to you, from the last chocolate truffle in a display case to the dream home you found on Zillow, and even intangible things like ideas.

Psychological ownership in action

To find out how people react when their psychologically owned property is threatened, my colleagues and I conducted a series of experiments. Each was designed to elicit or manipulate feelings of ownership in consumers and then have other people communicate, or signal, psychological ownership of the same product.

In the first one, 58 college students participated in a simulated dining study in our lab. At one point, they each poured themselves a cup of coffee from a bar and customized it with condiments like sugar, frothed milk and syrup, which helped create strong feelings of ownership of the coffee.

Later, after serving participants a piece of cake at their table, a waiter asked, “Is everything OK?” The waiter also, in half the cases, moved their coffee cup for no apparent reason.

After the “bill” came, we found that participants whose coffee cup was moved tipped the server 25 percent less. In a subsequent survey, these participants reported that they felt the server had infringed on their territory and said they’d be less likely to return to such a restaurant.

A second experiment extended this territorial feeling to something less tangible: an artistic design. As part of volunteer work for a local nonprofit, 162 university students decorated folders for children’s educational materials. They either copied a design onto the folder – which elicits low psychological ownership – or created their own design – leading to high psychological ownership. After they finished, a staff member walked up to half the participants and said, “That looks like my design!”

Later, as the staff member left the room, she “accidentally” dropped a pen, supposedly without noticing. We found that participants who designed their own folder and were told by the worker that it looked like hers were 66 percent less likely to pick up the pen and return it.

A later survey showed that these participants indeed felt that the staff member infringed on what they considered theirs. As a result, they were also less likely to donate to the nonprofit or volunteer again.

Interestingly, they reported they would be more likely to post a selfie with their folder on social media – in other words, they tried to defend their psychological ownership by communicating their own claim to ownership.

Limits of psychological ownership

Other similar experiments showed there are some limits to psychological ownership and who’s more susceptible.

One such experiment, conducted online, involved asking participants to imagine they were queuing to buy a comfy sweater for an upcoming social event and told to close their eyes and picture themselves wearing it. They were then told, at random, to imagine either that another customer reached out and touched the sweater or asked permission to do so. We found that asking first reduced the participant’s feeling of infringement and tendency to respond territorially.

In a separate experiment, we wanted to see if more narcissistic people were more likely to respond territorially when someone infringed on their “property,” in this case a delicious-looking pizza. We elicited psychological ownership of the pizza by asking participants to imagine they had traveled a long distance just to get it.

As they were standing in front of the pizza stand, a stranger came up and said either “I am not familiar with this pizza” or “I know this pizza well. I call this pizza ‘Antonio’” – the latter phrase meant to signal ownership. At the end of the survey, we measured narcissism using a common personality scale.

We found that customers who scored high on narcissism expected others to be more aware of their feelings of ownership. Thus, they were more likely to feel infringed upon and respond territorially to the stranger who signaled ownership.

How to cope

Together, these studies demonstrate we really don’t like it when others show signs of ownership of something we feel is “ours,” particularly if we believe they should know of our prior claim. Furthermore, we might retaliate when given a chance.

Consumer responses when this happens can vary from simply abandoning the location to talking badly about the business or person involved. In other words, companies that play on this feeling of psychological ownership to spur sales should bear in mind that there’s a cost as well, particularly when a product or its low price is scarce, such as on Black Friday.

So as you hunt for bargains in the coming weeks, bear in mind that psychological ownership sets in long before a cashier puts your stuff – or a fellow shopper’s – in a bag. My best advice is be polite. There’s usually enough for everyone.The Conversation

Colleen P. Kirk, Assistant Professor of Marketing, New York Institute of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Anthony Fauci breaks down why a new COVID-19 variant is 'raising some concern'

Medical experts have been fearing that a new COVID-19 variant would emerge that is even more infectious than the Delta variant, and a new mutation that has emerged in South Africa has some doctors expressing concerns. One of them is 80-year-old expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top White House medical adviser. Fauci discussed this new South African variant, which is called B.1.1.529, during a Friday, November 26 appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told “New Day” host Brianna Keilar that the variant “has some mutations that are raising some concern, particularly with regard to possible transmissibility increase and possible evasion of immune response.”

Fauci added, “We don’t know that for sure right now. This is really something that’s in motion…. It is something that has emerged in South Africa and seems to be spreading in a reasonably rapid rate.”

Keilar asked Fauci if it is “possible” that the South African variant is “already in the U.S.,” and he responded, “You know, of course, anything is possible. We don’t know that. There’s no indication that is right now.”

READ: Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

Fauci added that there have been cases of people who were infected with the South African variant in South Africa and traveled to Botswana or Hong Kong.

The immunologist also noted that medical experts in the U.S. are presently discussing B.1.1.529 with medical experts in South Africa.

“We are in very active communication with our South African colleague scientists,” Fauci told Keilar.

Keilar asked Fauci to address concerns that the B.1.1.529 mutation of COVID-19 could “evade immunity” with “the vaccines that we have.”

READ: Aaron Rodgers denies having COVID toe after claiming to have had it

Fauci responded, “That’s what we’re going to be looking out. When you look at a mutation, it can give you a hint or a prediction that it might evade the immune response…. Right now, we’re getting the material together with our South African colleagues.”

'Entirely avoidable': Rich countries blamed as new COVID variant sparks global alarm

The detection of a new, heavily mutated, and potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant in Botswana and other nations is sending shockwaves worldwide as public health officials rush to understand the strain and its possible impact on the global pandemic response.

For vaccine equity campaigners and epidemiologists, the emergence of another highly contagious coronavirus mutation is far from surprising given the massive inoculation gap between rich and poor countries, which has left billions of people across the globe without access to lifesaving shots—and kept the door open to variants.

Botswana, where the new strain was first identified earlier this month, has fully vaccinated just 20% of its population.

Tim Bierley of the U.K.-based advocacy group Global Justice Now said in a statement that the B.1.1.529 mutation is an "entirely avoidable" consequence of deliberate policy decisions by rich countries, which have hoarded vaccine doses and refused to force pharmaceutical giants to share technology with developing nations.

"The U.K. has actively prevented low and middle-income countries from having equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. We have created the conditions for this variant to emerge," Bierley said, referring to the British government's opposition to a proposed patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines.

"For more than a year, South Africa, Botswana, and most countries have been calling for world leaders to waive intellectual property on coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments so they can produce their own jabs," Bierley noted. "It's a vital measure that will be discussed at next week’s World Trade Organization conference. But, so far, the U.K. and E.U. have recklessly blocked it from making progress."

“There have been countless warnings that super-variants could emerge if we do not remove artificial barriers to global vaccination," he continued. "If and when this new variant starts to tear through the world, remember that the British government has led opposition to the plan that could have stopped it.”

Srinivas Murthy, an infectious disease expert, echoed that sentiment.

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world," he argued.

In marked contrast to their slow-walking of the proposed patent waiver, European countries sprang into action in response to the new variant, moving to impose fresh travel restrictions on visitors from southern Africa as global markets tumbled.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said Friday that the body will "propose, in close coordination with member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region due to the variant of concern B.1.1.529."

"Rich nations are very quick to ban travel but very slow to share vaccines and know-how," said Madhu Pai, Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Health at McGill University.

Dr. Ayoade Alakija, co-chair of the Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance, tweeted that the renewed push to cut off travel "was our greatest fear, and [we] were almost prophetic in predicting that the world would eventually shut Africa out having denied us access to vaccines."

At a press conference on Thursday, South African Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla said the B.1.1.529 variant—which has thus far been detected in Botswana, South Africa, and Hong Kong—may have been behind recent coronavirus outbreaks in the small South African province of Gauteng. (Update: The first case of the B.1.1.529 variant in Europe was identified in Belgium on Friday.)

"Rest assured that as people move in the next coming weeks, this [variant] will be all over," he warned.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, a renowned bioinformatician, told the media that in the B.1.1.529 variant, "what we see is this very unusual constellation of mutations."

"This is concerning," he said, "for predicted immune evasion and transmissibility."

As Nature reported, "The variant stood out because it contains more than 30 changes to the spike protein—the SARS-CoV-2 protein that recognizes host cells and is the main target of the body's immune responses."

"Many of the changes have been found in variants such as Delta and Alpha and are linked to heightened infectivity and the ability to evade infection-blocking antibodies," the outlet noted.

Kyle Rittenhouse says he wants to avoid politics — but has no problem talking to Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson

Following his acquittal on homicide and attempted homicide charges, teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse insisted he has no desire to become more involved in politics. But in an article published by Vanity Fair on November 24, journalist Eric Lutz stresses that for someone who wants to keep his political involvement to a bare minimum, the 18-year-old Rittenhouse certainly isn’t shy about talking to prominent MAGA Republicans — including former President Donald Trump and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Rittenhouse has received nonstop praise from the MAGA far right for his actions in August 2020, when the Illinois resident traveled to a racial justice protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin armed with an AR-15-style weapon. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot three pro-Black Lives Matter protesters (two of them fatally). During his trial, Rittenhouse maintained that he acted in self-defense — and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict on all charges.

Interviewed by television journalist Ashleigh Banfield for NewsNation on November 24, Rittenhouse insisted that he does not “want to get involved in politics at all” and that his trial was about self-defense and “not where you fall, left or right.”

Rittenhouse told Banfield, “I’m not a cause person. I’m just a person who was attacked and defended myself.”

READ: Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado are among the far-right MAGA Republicans who have offered Rittenhouse internships. So far, he hasn’t accepted any of them.

Lutz, however, writes, “But while he may not be accepting any of those internship offers from Matt Gaetz and other right-wing lawmakers trying to out-crazy one another, Rittenhouse hasn’t actually divorced himself from the politics of his case. Before he spoke with Banfield, he sat down for a fawning interview with Tucker Carlson, who had a film crew embedded with Rittenhouse and his defense during the trial for an upcoming documentary on Fox Nation. And, after talking to Carlson, he and his mother went down to Mar-a-Lago to visit Donald Trump, who posed for one of his traditional thumbs-up photos with the smiling teen.”

After Rittenhouse’s visit to Mar-a-Lago in South Florida, Trump described Rittenhouse as a “fan” and said, “Just left Mar-a-Lago a little while ago…. He never should have been put through that. That was prosecutorial misconduct, and it’s happening all over the United States right now with the Democrats.”

Lutz wraps up his article by expressing skepticism about Rittenhouse’s desire to limit his involvement with politics.

READ: How Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general fought back against Trump’s bogus election lawsuits — and won at least 40 times: report

“He has seemingly tried to have it both ways — to accept the donations that have poured in as the right rallies around him and to accept Carlson’s offer to ‘memorialize’ his story, while at the same time insisting that there’s really nothing political about this, and if there is, it’s because of all those other people,” the Vanity Fair journalist writes. “This is, of course, a luxury — to decide what is and isn’t politics. It’s one that Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber — the men Rittenhouse killed — don’t have.”

How Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general fought back against Trump’s bogus election lawsuits — and won at least 40 times: report

In Pennsylvania, supporters of former President Donald Trump filed one bogus lawsuit after another following the 2020 election. None of them were successful, however, and Josh Shapiro — the Democrat who serves as Pennsylvania attorney general under Gov. Tom Wolf — aggressively fought back against Trump's election lies. Shapiro, according to the Daily Beast, prevailed in at least 40 Republican lawsuits. And Shapiro discussed his success with journalist Molly Jong-Fast during an appearance on the Beast's "The New Abnormal" podcast.

Shapiro told Jong-Fast, "When the former president began talking about how vote by mail was not OK and that the Democrats were going to try and steal the election — all of his greatest hits — I immediately put together a team in my office made up of lawyers from both our criminal division and our civil division."

The Pennsylvania attorney general told Jong-Fast that he expected the worst from Trump and his allies and asked himself, "How could we deal with the inevitable legal challenges that would come after the election, trying to deny people's votes from being counted? I predicted that would happen; unfortunately, I was right. We faced 19 lawsuits before a single vote was cast in Pennsylvania; we won every single one of them. Then, we had a free and fair, safe and secure election on Election Day. And then, we faced over 20 more lawsuits to try and make it harder for people's votes to be counted — and we won every single one of those."

Shapiro added, "But Understand, Molly, they didn't stop there. And that's why our democracy is still a central issue here in Pennsylvania and across the country. They continued with the Big Lie."

Pennsylvania is among the five battleground states that went to Trump in 2016's presidential election but was flipped by Biden four years later in 2020; the others were Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia.

Two of the important elections that will be taking place in the Keystone State in 2022 are its gubernatorial race and a U.S. Senate race. Wolf, a two-term governor, is term-limited — and it remains to be seen who the Democratic and Republican nominees will be.

Primary battles are also taking place in Pennsylvania's 2022 U.S. Senate race. Sen. Pat Toomey, a hard-right Republican, is not seeking reelection, and the MAGA crowd hates Toomey for voting "guilty" in Trump's second impeachment trial.

On "The New Abnormal," Shapiro stressed the importance of Pennsylvania's 2022 gubernatorial election — telling Jong-Fast, "Democracy is on the ballot right now here in Pennsylvania and indeed across the country. And that is something that is motivating me. It is motivating the people I see when I'm traveling across the commonwealth. And I think it will be a central theme in this campaign."

Why plaintiffs may have a hard time collecting $26 million in damages from racist Unite the Right organizers: report

On Tuesday, November 23, a jury in Virginia found that a group of White nationalists and White supremacists who organized the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 were guilty of a conspiracy — and the plaintiffs were awarded $26 million in damages. But reporting from the Associated Press stresses that collecting the money may be challenging, as some of the Unite the Right organizers are broke.

According to AP, "Whether they will be able to collect a significant chunk of that money remains to be seen. Many of the defendants are in prison, in hiding or have dropped out of the White nationalist movement. At least three of the far-right extremist groups named as defendants have dissolved. And most of the defendants claim they will never have the money needed to pay off the judgments against them."

One of those defendants is Matthew Heimbach, who co-founded a neo-Nazi group called the Traditionalist Worker Party with Matthew Parrott, another defendant in the case. AP reports that Heimbach "said he is a single father to two young sons, works at a factory and lives paycheck to paycheck." And White nationalist Richard Spencer, before the trial in the case, told a judge that the lawsuit has been "financially crippling" for him.

AP notes, "Even with the many obstacles to collecting the full $26 million judgment, there are ways to secure at least some of it. Typically, plaintiffs' lawyers will seek court orders to seize assets, garnish wages and place liens on property owned by defendants."

Attorney James Kolenich, who has represented three of the defendants in the lawsuit, told AP, "I don't think any of them could afford to pay out of pocket these damages. We are going to do what we can to cut this down to size."

But Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernadino, believes that plaintiffs may be able to collect at least some of the money because there are so many defendants in the lawsuit. In other words, payments here and there could add up.

Levin told AP, "The thing that's different about this case is you have a wide array of defendants. Some of them are currently locked up or destitute, but they might have assets, (insurance) policies or real estate that could be recoverable."

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