Trump mocks chances any other 2024 candidate becoming his running mate — during the GOP debate

Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: He will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

"It's all over television, this speech," Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

"You know, we're competing with the job candidates," Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

"They're all running for a job," he continued, as the audience began to boo.

"They want to be in the, they'll do anything," he continued. "Secretary of something."

"They even say VP, I don't know," Trump said. "Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don't think so."

Watch Trump at this link.

'You'll never believe us': GOPer melts down after reporter questions 'evidence' against Joe Biden

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter's questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is "evidence" against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

"Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this," began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. "You're talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I'm not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?"

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

"Well, I think the facts speak for themselves," Smith replied. "There's over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you're talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?"

Smith went on to say, "It doesn't matter who's in the White House," after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. "We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn't treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they're politically connected."

"Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?" Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

"What I'm talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that's what we're releasing right now," Smith replied, again not answering Nobles' question. "And I'll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it's okay, with what's in it, then we live on two different planets."

"Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?" Nobles continued..

"I'm not an expert on the timeline," Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, "I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it's really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –"

"But he's not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where's the wrongdoing? He wasn't even a candidate for president," Nobles pointed out.

"He was a candidate – " Smith claimed.

"On August 6 –" Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

"So apparently apparent – what source are you with?" Chairman Smith asked Noble.

"I'm with NBC," the reporter replied.

"So apparently, you'll never believe us," Smith charged.

"I'm asking you a very direct question," Nobles explained. "You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn't a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand," Nobles explained. "I'm completely open minded about this. I'm asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he's not an elected official?"

"I'm definitely not going to pinpoint one item," Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

"You presented it!" Nobles acclaimed. "It was the first thing that you brought up."

"So apparently, you don't agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I'll take the next question. Yes?" Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles' questions.

Watch below or at this link.

'Jaw dropping': Tommy Tuberville slammed for 'white supremacy'

A top Democratic Senator is blasting freshman Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville for his "jaw dropping" and open talk about white supremacy, after the Alabama Republican denigrated President Joe Biden's nominee to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Senator Tuberville, the Alabama Republican who single-handedly has blocked well over 300 U.S. Military promotions, said the U.S. military is “not an equal opportunity employer,” appearing to imply Biden's nomination of an accomplished officer was based on the color of his skin, not his impressive achievements and experience.

Air Force General Charles “CQ” Brown Jr., who is Black, will be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after a strong bipartisan 83-11 vote by the U.S. Senate confirming him last week. Sen. Tuberville voted against him, saying Tuesday he had "heard some things that he talked about about race and things that he wanted to mix into the military."

General Brown is the first African American to head a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. He was one of TIME's "100 Most Influential People of 2020."

"He is a respected warfighter who will serve America well," wrote former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson that year, lauding General Brown in his TIME profile. "As the former commander of Pacific Air Forces, he’s highly qualified to deter China and reassure allies in the Indo-Pacific. The suppression of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria was largely accomplished by local forces on the ground, enabled by air power CQ helped orchestrate."

READ MORE: ‘Fire Sale Prices’: Biographer Predicts Trump ‘May Soon Be Personally Bankrupt’ and Could See His Assets ‘Liquidated’

“Let me tell you something: Our military is not an equal-opportunity employer,” said Tuberville, appearing to imply it should not be.

“We’re not looking for different groups, social justice groups,” the Alabama Senator continued, in his Bloomberg News interview (video below), explaining why he voted against Brown's nomination. “We don’t want to single-handedly destroy our military from within. We all need to be one.”

"I think he'll do a good job," Tuberville also said, "but I heard him say a few things that that really didn't fit with me in terms of making our military better and better. We have things that that we need to do to make sure that that that we can uphold – and we can't do that without a great, hard strong military."

"Let me tell you something, our military is not an equal opportunity employer. We're looking for the best [of] the best, to do whatever. We're not looking for different groups, social justice groups. We don't want to single handedly destroy our military from within."

Asked for specific concerns, Tuberville said General Brown, "came out and said we need we need certain groups, more pilots, certain groups to have an opportunity to be pilots. Listen. I want it to be on merit. I want our military to be the best. I want the best people I don't care who they are. Men. Women, if that makes any difference, Catholics, Protestants, I want everybody to believe in the one goal that we have in this country for our military is to protect the taxpayers, protect United States of America. Don't give me this stuff about equal opportunity, because that's not what this military is."

READ MORE: Tuberville ‘Aiding and Abetting Communist Regimes’ US Military Chief Charges, Leading to Experts Slamming GOP Senator

“Our military is becoming so political that we’re going to go south when it comes to readiness,” he also warned, despite having been warned repeatedly that his military holds are negatively impacting military readiness, and are expected to do so for years to come.

But as CNBC reported, America's military "is an equal-opportunity employer, and the Pentagon has an 'Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.'"

Senator Tuberville has a history of making extremist remarks, so much so that in a rare move, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in July delivered a speech on the Senate floor denouncing Tuberville by name, along with his "one-man mission to defend white nationalism."

Earlier this year, Tuberville insisted that white nationalists are simply “Americans,” and said, “I look at a white nationalist as a, as a Trump Republican. That’s what we’re called all the time.”

As NCRM reported in May, those remarks came immediately after an NBC News reporter told Tuberville, “A white nationalist propagates Nazism, a white nationalist could be someone who doesn’t believe that Black and Brown people are equals…”

READ MORE: ‘This You?’: White House Destroys Tuberville After He Claims His 300 Military Holds ‘Are Not Affecting National Security’

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, criticized Tuberville late Tuesday night, responding to the Alabama Republican's interview with Bloomberg.

"The way Sen. Tuberville talks so openly about about white supremacy is just jaw dropping," Sen. Murphy said. "I refuse to allow this to feel normal."

Watch Tuberville's remarks below or at this link.

Karl Rove: No Labels could decide 'who loses' 2024 election

The Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP strategist who is rooting for President Joe Biden in the 2024 election, has been slamming the No Labels movement as a recipe for disaster. A No Labels candidate, Wilson warns, could take enough votes away from Biden to put Donald Trump back in the White House in 2025.

Wilson isn't the only conservative who views No Labels as a possible spoiler. Veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove, during a Fox News appearance, argued that a third-party candidate could, in fact, have that effect in 2024.

Rove told a "Fox News Sunday" panel, "Third parties typically don't have any impact in winning an election, but they have an impact on deciding who loses the election. Think about it: We had a big personality in Ross Perot. He got 19 percent of the vote, nothing in the Electoral College."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Rove added, "The last two (third-party) candidates to get votes in the Electoral College were 1968 George Wallace and Strom Thurmond in 1948, both of them explicit racists running to oppose desegregation."

READ MORE:Former Trump megadonor joins No Labels leadership

Watch the full video below or at this link.

'The House is paralyzed' after 'embarrassing defeat' for Kevin McCarthy

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was hoping to avoid a federal government shutdown when, on Thursday, September 21, a vote on a defense bill was held — and a GOP vote he was hoping for defected.

CNN's John Berman, following the vote, didn't mince words about the "embarrassing defeat" McCarthy had suffered.

Berman declared, "He just lost a major vote on the House floor."And Berman's CNN colleague Melania Zanona stressed that McCarthy "did not see this coming."

POLL:Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Zanona told Berman, "This is an embarrassing defeat for Kevin McCarthy and the leadership team. It is the second time that a procedural vote on a defense bill has failed on the House floor for this week. Usually, you don't see those things fail at all. They typically have party-line votes for these procedural votes. Typically, they do not put stuff on the floor if leadership thinks it's going to fail."

READ MORE:Republicans in disarray as government shutdown fight looms: report

Watch the video below or at this link.

'Republicans don’t care about balancing the budget': Morning Joe lifts the veil on GOP grandstanding

The frustration of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is evident as he continues to negotiate with members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus in the hope of avoiding a federal government shutdown. But Freedom Caucus members are being stubborn, and a shutdown appears likely.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lambasted those far-right Republicans during the September 21 broadcast of "Morning Joe." The former GOP congressman and Never Trump conservative accused far-right House Republicans of empty grandstanding that they hope will fire up their fundraising.

Scarborough told "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski, "This is not about balancing the budget. Republicans don't care about balancing the budget, and they haven't for the last 20 years.....But now, it's about making money so they can raise hell..... It's all gesture."

POLL:Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

The Never Trumper stressed that voters will blame Republicans — not Democrats — if a shutdown occurs and predicted that House Republicans in swing districts will be the ones who suffer politically.

Scarborough argued, "(Moderate Republicans) are the ones who are going to lose in 2024......This is what happens, Democrats will say, when you put Republicans in charge."

READ MORE:Republicans in disarray as government shutdown fight looms: report

Watch the video below or at this link.


'Trump without the guardrails': Journalist warns that Trump 2.0 would be a 'much more radical prospect'

The events of 2023 are unprecedented in U.S. history. Despite facing four criminal indictments, Donald Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Trump and his allies have designed a scheme called Project 2025, which they envision as a radical makeover of the federal government. Trump's critics view it as a blueprint for authoritarianism.

During a Wednesday morning, September 20 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," journalist Susan Glasser laid out some reasons why a second Trump term would be more dangerous than his January 2017-January 2021 term.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

When Trump was president, some members of his administration infuriated him by pushing back against his extremism — from former White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But under his Project 2025 plan, Glasser told a "Morning Joe" panel, a second Trump Administration would include only unquestioning MAGA loyalists.

Glasser, who co-wrote the new book "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021" with New York Times reporter Peter Baker, warned, "Imagine Donald Trump without the guardrails..... It's a much more radical prospect than the first term."

Glasser told "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, "I there (there are) two key words. One of them is 'terminate," as in terminate the Constitution. The other thing is retribution and revenge."

Glasser noted, however, that Trump has some hurdles to overcome before he can make that a reality — including four criminal indictments and winning the election.

READ MORE:Revealed: Trump's Project 2025 agenda aims for 'total control' of the federal government

Watch the video below or at this link.


'An absolute joke': Joe Scarborough urges Kevin McCarthy to stand up to Freedom Caucus 'clowns'

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has been trying to avoid a federal government shutdown without alienating members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, some of whom have been threatening to oust him as House speaker.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough urged McCarthy stand up to the Freedom Caucus "clowns" during a Wednesday morning, September 20 rant.

The Never Trump conservative and former GOP congressman told guest George Conway and "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski, "It's an absolute joke. Kevin McCarthy doesn't need these clowns."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Scarborough slammed the Freedom Caucus agitators as insincere, arguing that they're willing to shut down the federal government in order to fire up their fundraising.

"This is all about gesturing for money," Scarborough fumed.

Scarborough noted that the same Freedom Caucus Republicans who had no problem with the federal deficit when Donald Trump was president have magically rediscovered fiscal conservatism now that a Democrat, Joe Biden, is president.

"They can't be conservative only when a Democrat is in the White House," Scarborough said. "But a Democrat is in the White House, so suddenly, they've remembered that they like balanced budgets."

READ MORE:'Clown show': House Republican slams McCarthy and GOP 'lunatics' as clock ticks toward shutdown

Watch the video below or at this link.

09 20 2023 06 06

Former Capitol Police chief blames intelligence failures — not Trump — for J6 attack

The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security failed to share intelligence with the U.S. Capitol Police ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, leaving the Capitol Police under-prepared for that day’s violence, the former chief of the Capitol Police told a U.S. House panel chaired by Georgia Republican Barry Loudermilk on Tuesday.

But Democrats at the House Administration hearing said the testimony by former USCP Chief Steven Sund didn’t change that former President Donald Trump bore responsibility for boosting baseless allegations that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen.

Trump then summoned supporters to the Capitol, urged them to disrupt then-Vice President Mike Pence’s ceremonial role in certifying the election and then stood by as his supporters attacked the Capitol, Democrats said.

Sund told the panel: “Significant intelligence existed that individuals were plotting to storm the Capitol building, target lawmakers and discussing shooting my officers. And yet, no intel agencies or units sounded the alarm. We were blindsided. Intelligence failed operations. The January 6 attack at the Capitol was preventable.”

Sund told the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight that besides intelligence failures, the U.S. National Guard had also been instructed not to assist Capitol Police out of concern for political “optics.”

Republicans on the panel, led by Loudermilk, used the hearing Tuesday to rebut the findings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump bore responsibility for the insurrection.

Loudermilk has a personal history with the Jan. 6 committee, and noted Tuesday he had been “a target” of the panel.

The committee asked Loudermilk last year to answer questions about a Capitol tour he gave the day before the attack. Some Democratic House members had said they suspected rioters used tours in the days leading up to the attack to gain a better understanding of the Capitol’s layout.

Democrats said Tuesday that Trump, who faces criminal indictments in connection with Jan. 6, is the main responsible party.

“The person responsible for directing the violence to the Capitol that day in order to undermine — to undermine — a peaceful transfer of power is the favorite to secure the Republican nomination for president,” subcommittee ranking Democrat Norma Torres of California said, referring to Trump’s 2024 bid to reclaim the presidency.

Intelligence breakdown and National Guard slowdown

Sund, who resigned from the Capitol Police two days after the Capitol attack, said that intelligence made public since the attack could have prevented that day’s violence if it was shared ahead of time.

“If the intelligence had been accurately reported and the FBI and DHS had followed their policies and established practices, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” he told the panel.

“This could have been preventable if we had gotten the intelligence they had,” he later told Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith.

Sund’s department’s own intelligence operations also failed to note the potential danger in the days leading up to the attack, he said.

The USCP Intelligence Division issued a Jan. 3 intelligence assessment, but didn’t highlight an imminent concern, Sund said. The division had intelligence available, but failed to include it, Sund testified.

Sund also told the panel that he was stymied in efforts to have National Guard troops assist U.S. Capitol police.

He’d asked the sergeant at arms of each chamber of Congress on Jan. 3 for permission to call in the National Guard, but was denied in deference to the “optics” of having National Guard troops at the Capitol, he said.

On Jan. 6, he asked House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving to call the National Guard, but didn’t receive approval for more than an hour, he said. The Guard’s arrival at the Capitol was delayed hours more by Defense Department officials, who also cited “the optics of the National Guard on Capitol Hill,” he said.

Memos on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 from the Defense Department and Department of Army restricted the D.C. National Guard from being involved in responding to Jan. 6 pro-Trump protests, Sund confirmed in response to House Administration ranking Democratic Joseph Morelle of New York.

Sund was unaware of those restrictions until after the attack, he said.

Jan. 6 committee questioned

Loudermilk and other Republicans on the panel used Sund’s testimony to blame the attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — not Trump, as the U.S. House committee that investigated the attack, found.

The Jan. 6 committee didn’t ask Sund to appear, the former chief said Tuesday, in response to a question from Loudermilk.

Republicans highlighted Sund’s testimony that Irving delayed National Guard backup and noted that, as the House’s top law enforcement officer, Irving reported to Pelosi.

“None of us in this room are saying what happened on Jan. 6 was correct,” U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, a North Carolina Republican, said. “But I absolutely believe the conditions for that to occur rest at the former speaker’s lap and the two sergeant at arms, and complicit with other individuals. You know, it’s one thing for something to occur, but it’s another thing to create the conditions for that to occur.”

Let us know what you think...

Trump has also called Pelosi responsible for the attack, a claim Pelosi rejected on “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart” on MSNBC.

“He knows he’s responsible for that, so he projects it onto others,” Pelosi said of Trump. “The assault on the Capitol building, the assault on the Constitution, the assault on our democracy. Shame on him.”

Morelle at the hearing disagreed with the Republicans’ effort to shift blame to Pelosi.

“I’m disturbed by that you don’t blame the rioters or the president,” Morelle said. “It’s like blaming a homeowner when he or she is robbed instead of blaming the intruder.”

Morelle added that Irving had been appointed and reappointed to his post by Republican former Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan.

Further, Sund’s account of the National Guard’s delay on Jan. 6 could not solely be attributed to Irving, Morelle noted. The Pentagon, which then was controlled by Trump appointees, also contributed to the delay in sending National Guard troops, he said.

South Dakota Searchlight is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. South Dakota Searchlight maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Seth Tupper for questions: Follow South Dakota Searchlight on Facebook and Twitter.

Moms for Liberty: ‘Joyful warriors’ or anti-government conspiracists?

Motherhood language and symbolism have been part of every U.S. social movement, from the American Revolution to Prohibition and the fight against drunk drivers. Half of Americans are women, most become mothers, and many are conservative.

The U.S. is also a nation of organizing, so conservative moms – like all moms – often band together.

Lately, the mothers group dominating media attention is Moms for Liberty, self-described “joyful warriors … stok[ing] the fires of liberty” with the slogan “We Don’t Co-Parent with the Government.”

Others see them as well-organized, publicity-savvy anti-government conspiracists.

The rambunctious two-year-old group was founded in Brevard County, Florida, to resist COVID-19 mask mandates. It quickly expanded into the Southeast, now claiming 120,000 members in 285 chapters nationwide. Their mission is to “figh[t] for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”

By “parental rights” they mean limiting certain content in schools and having local councils and boards run only by “liberty-minded individuals” – which sounds like rhetoric from the American Revolution.

There’s historical precedent in this. Change the clothes and hairdos and these ladies could look like the conservative white women who opposed busing in 1970s Boston, supported McCarty anti-communism or blocked integration in Southern schools. Those women also formed mom-based groups to protest what they saw as government overreach into their families’ way of life.

But as a scholar of American politics with a focus on gender and race, I also see differences.

21st century conservatism

Moms for Liberty skillfully leverages social media, drawing on a population activated by the 2009-2010 rise of the Tea Party followed by the Trumpian MAGA movement. Mask mandates were the trigger for the group’s formation, but opposition to gender fluidity and queerness has become its bread and butter – more 21st century than 20th.

How racial equality is talked about animates its work also, in a distinctly new way. The conservative position on race and government’s role in the past century has pivoted from enforcement of segregation and hierarchy to a kind of social “laissez-faire” – hands off – position to match the Reaganite view that government is bad.

The extreme, hyper-male form of this anti-government, pro-traditional gender-roles ideology took shape as the Proud Boys, a number of whose leaders are now under indictment and sentence for their part in the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks. Moms for Liberty, while not going this far, shares similar beliefs and apparently has ties to the Proud Boys organization and leaders. They don’t march with guns, but their actions undermine and impede local government.

‘One minute you’re making peanut butter and jelly, and the next minute the FBI is calling you,’ said Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice, testifying in the U.S. House of Representatives about government investigation of her group.

New kids in town making themselves heard

The group’s roots stretch back to a heated 2020 school board election in Brevard County. Incumbent school board member Tina Descovich, a local conservative activist mom, was challenged by progressive newcomer Jenifer Jenkins. When Jenkins won, the conservative board majority ended.

Having lost electorally, Descovich – and the corps of like-minded moms she now represents – began to shift the conversation from the outside. They joined with moms in many red states angered by what seemed fast-moving changes involving race, gender and sexuality, like the increasing numbers of people identifying as trans, queer or nonbinary, even at young ages, the vast changes in marital laws and family structure, and changing ideas about whiteness, inclusion and equity.

Moms for Liberty soon found success with disruptive tactics a VICE News investigation called a “pattern of harassment” of opponents that include online and in-person targeting of school board members, parents or even students who disagree with the group.

Members in many chapters generate ill will by turning up to school board and other meetings – sometimes to the homes of public officials or teachers – yelling insults like “pedophile” and “groomer” at opponents.

For a newcomer, Moms for Liberty has had real victories. It has disrupted countless meetings, forcing local governance bodies to focus on topics important to the group such as lifting mask mandates and, more recently, removing curricular content that they deem controversial, such as texts on gender identity and racial oppression.

The group’s success in getting talked about is perhaps its greatest strength so far, moving it from outside disruptor to political player, at least locally. It has successfully supported many local candidates and book bans.

Specific examples of banned books include “Push,” which inspired the award-winning movie “Precious,” and “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl,” also made into a movie.

Disciplining members

Despite its many chapters, Moms for Liberty is untried nationally, its total membership is still relatively small, and Federal Election Commission filings show it raising and spending little money. The group lacks control over members, who have publicly embarrassed it. In one case, the Hamilton County, Indiana, chapter quoted Hitler in a newsletter – later apologizing.

At another point, an Arkansas member avoided criminal charges for saying, in a discussion about a librarian, “I’m telling you, if I had any mental issues, they would all be plowed down by a freaking gun right now.”

These incidents mark the group not only as green, but also as part of the new right wing. Republican-leaning groups used to take a top-down approach to setting agendas and managing people, while Democratic organizations historically cited democracy and equality as both tools and goals, even if it meant disorganization and failure.

In the traditional top-down Republican party of yesteryear, Moms for Liberty would likely be marginal. In today’s disorganized, divided, hyperpolarized GOP, it may do quite well – which is not good news for democracy.

Out of step, but useful

A poster encouraging people to run for school board.

A poster helping those who want to run for a school board position is seen in the hallway during the inaugural Moms For Liberty Summit on July 15, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

Pro-mom language is sometimes, in the old idiom, the velvet glove hiding the iron fist.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks organized hate activity, labeled Moms for Liberty “extremist.” Its empirical evaluation concluded that the group’s chapters “reflect views and actions that are antigovernment and conspiracy propagandist.”

Moms for Liberty is ideologically out of step with the country and more anti-government than most Republicans. The majority of Americans are not in support of lifting mask mandates in the middle of a pandemic or banning books.

Among Republicans, there is disagreement over the teaching of controversial topics like racial justice, but book bans find low support. Despite the current bitter political climate, most in the U.S. appreciate government and want it to work.

Yet, some media refer to Moms for Liberty as a “power player” – and no wonder, when Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis show up to court the group. Moms for Liberty may be fringe, but its members could be of use to presidential hopefuls.

Why? The answer lies in some distinctly post-2010 electoral math. These days, only a quarter to a third of voters align with each major party, and less than a third of registered partisans turn out for primaries.

So a sixth of each party – a small fraction of the overall population – now selects the nominees. And that sixth is not representative – it is far more opinionated and angry. Moms for Liberty, having organized small, ideological voting armies in swing states, is in the envious position of representing a concentrated and potentially decisive voting bloc.

The mom rhetoric may be real, but as a political scientist, I can say confidently that the framers of the Constitution would not endorse this brand of liberty. Book bans are weapons of autocrats, and democracy ends where political figures call each other “pedophiles” in public.The Conversation

Shauna Shames, Associate Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

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

'Grow a spine': Kevin McCarthy urged to stand up to 'extremists in the House'

Earlier this year, the United States avoided defaulting on its debt obligations when President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy worked out a bipartisan debt ceiling agreement. But the U.S. is now in danger of a government shutdown, and McCarthy is facing intense pressure from members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus.

Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro didn't mince words when discussing the budget battle during a Tuesday, September 19 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." And he urged McCarthy to stand up to the far-right members of his caucus.

Shapiro told hosts Joe Scarborough (a former GOP congressman and Never Trump conservative) and Mika Brzezinski, "I'm hoping Kevin McCarthy will maybe grow a spine at some point and be able to lead that House forward..... The extremists in the House need to moderate."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

The Pennsylvania governor warned that no good will come of a shutdown.

"If they fail to meet their obligation to the states," Shapiro told Scarbrough and Brzezinski, "it will be really devastating for us. It'll mean folks who rely on the federal government for all kinds of services —f rom mental health to, you know, children who need extra support to public safety. Those things won't be funded. It's going to put an incredible burden on the states."

READ MORE:Republicans in disarray as government shutdown fight looms: report

Watch the video below or at this link.

Registering to vote in Pennsylvania just got

Scarborough rips 'Christian nationalist' Boebert for disruptive spectacle during Beetlejuice

During a Sunday, September 10 presentation of "Beetlejuice" at Denver's Buell Theater, far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) was, the Denver Post reported, thrown out for disruptive behavior.

A pregnant woman sitting behind Boebert, according to the Post, asked her to quit vaping. But she refused.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough slammed Boebert as a hypocrite during a September 18 broadcast of "Morning Joe." Scarborough stressed that Boebert's behavior was hardly consistent with the "Christian nationalist" views that Boebert preaches. And Scarborough noted that Boebert reportedly gave Buell Theater the middle finger as she was being thrown out.

POLL:Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Scarborough, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP congressman, argued that Boebert is vulnerable in her district in the 2024 election. And her behavior in Denver, the host said, doesn't help her reelection prospects.

" Her seat is not safe," Scarborough told his colleagues, "and this comes at a moment where she's one of the rabble-rousers in the House with (Reps.) Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz and others trying to push to impeach President Biden and shut down the government,” added Joe Scarborough. “So she has more time perhaps to attend family-friendly shows in Denver with a male companion which she’s overly friendly with.”

Scarborough and his MSNBC colleague Jonathan Lemire noted that Boebert and her companion at the Buell were reportedly groping one another.

Scarborough remarked, "I think Lauren Boebert is not one known for reaching across the aisle in Congress, but there was some of that here with her male companion — a lot of, let's say, they were handsy in their behavior.”

READ MORE:Boebert's 'Beetlejuice' boot came after she refused to quit vaping near a pregnant woman: report

Watch the video below or at this link:

MSNBC 09 18 2023 07 05

'Even Henry Ford understood' that underpaid workers 'don’t have money' to buy things: ex-labor secretary

Former United States Secretary of Labor and Carmel P. Friesen Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley Robert Reich told MSNBC host Ali Velshi on Sunday that "even Henry Ford understood" that businesses cannot be profitable if employees are so underpaid that they have no disposable income.

Reich's remarks come on the third day of the United Auto Workers Union strike. Big Three employees are demanding higher wages and better workplace conditions as manufacturers rake in massive profits.

"It's shocking when you look at 1969 — 1969, the average weekly non-supervisory wage — that's the wage for people who are not managers and not supervisors, was higher adjusted for inflation than it is today," Reich said. "And so you have an economy that over the last forty to forty-five years, fifty years, has done wonderfully well overall, has exploded. It's about two and a half times what it was then. But the typical worker, the non-supervisory worker, the worker on the frontline is actually worse off, in terms of real purchasing power, in terms of, you know, non-inflationary, adjusted for inflation."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Reich continued, "Well, this is ridiculous. We used to have an economy that worked for everybody. Now we have an economy that works for people at the top — the big investors and the CEOs and the top executives. That's not only unfair — it doesn't even sustain itself because where are all of the consumers going to come from if people don't have money in their pockets? Even Henry Ford understood this, you know, at the start of the last century. That's why he gave everybody in Ford a raise. Because he understood that, 'Where are the people gonna come from to buy the new Model T Fords if they don't have money in their pockets?'"

Reich added, "I think that we have gone totally off course. We now have a two-tiered structure of the economy. And this is not only unfair, it's bad for the economy overall."

Watch below or at this link.

MSNBC 09 17 2023 11 47

READ MORE: Auto worker strike 'likely' due to 'insulting' offers from Big Three car companies: ex-labor secretary

Pelosi: Republicans 'treating impeachment' with 'frivolity' after Trump 'committed acts of high treason'

United States Representative and House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-California) implied MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart on Sunday's edition of The Saturday/Sunday Show that congressional Republicans under the leadership of incumbent Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) are abusing the Constitution by impeaching President Joe Biden, against whom the GOP has presented no evidence of wrongdoing.

To make her point, Pelosi recalled why, after she was elected as the first woman to hold the gavel, she refused to grant Democrats' demands for the impeachment of then-President George W. Bush over his ill-conceived invasion of Iraq.

"What is the frivolity of how they're treating impeachment? You know, when I first became speaker in '07, January, I was so deluged with requests to impeach the president, Bush, for the War in Iraq," Pelosi stated. "I've strenuously opposed the war in Iraq. I said at the time as the top Democrat on intelligence, 'The intelligence does not support the threat. It was a misrepresentation to the American people.'"

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Pelosi explained that while Bush's incursion was a catastrophe, it "was a policy matter, and I was not going to impeach the president, even though there was, as Senator Graham, who was the top Democrat in the Senate, and actually the chairman of the [Judiciary] Committee — Bob Graham, Bob Graham of Texas — called for the president to be impeached. But I wasn't going to do that because I just think that it was, you know, a terrible, this War in Iraq was the worst mistake a country ever made and the consequences continue. But nonetheless, just because people were calling for it didn't mean I was going to do it."

Pelosi then fast-forwarded to ex-President Donald Trump, who was impeached and acquitted twice during his single four-year term.

"So when it came time for the former occupant of the White House, I don't use his name," Pelosi quipped, "it was unavoidable because the facts were so overwhelming that he committed acts of high treason."

Watch below or at this link.

MSNBC 09 17 2023 09 16

READ MORE: 'Blood and carnage': Columnist torches the 'inescapable sameness' of Republican 'Trump alternatives'

'The truth will set us free': Watch Ron DeSantis lash out at the left

In his nearly 30-minute campaign speech before the anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion, evangelical Christian group Concerned Women for America, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at the left as he defined his war on "woke."

Focusing on what he calls "parents' rights," DeSantis presented a long list of actions he has taken as Florida's governor against LGBTQ people, including children, while furthering a Christian nationalistic agenda.

"In Florida we have made sure that the rights of parents are reflected in the laws of the state of Florida. You as a parent have a fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of your children. Schools are important. Other parts of our society are important but that does not supersede the role of parents."

Claiming that the government ensuring parents don't deny a transgender child's right to self-identify "is an assault on parents' rights," DeSantis called it "an attack on the American family," promising that "in the state of Florida those policies are dead on arrival."

"Now part of parents' rights is you know, you should have the right to send your kid to the school of your choice regardless of your income. And in Florida, we've enacted universal school choice. You want to send your child to a Christian school you have every right to do that with scholarships that we have," DeSantis bragged.

READ MORE: DeSantis’ School Voucher Program Gives Parents Taxpayer Dollars for PlayStations and Paddleboards

In Florida taxpayers now pay for parents to send their children to religious schools.

"You also have a right as a parent to know what is being taught in your child's school and in Florida. we've ensured parents have those tools, he said.

"They're trying to jam adult material and pornography. There's books like this 'Gender Queer,' which is totally unacceptable to have. Now the media so we've given parents the right to go in and say, you know, no, that's not consistent with Florida standards. That should not be in my fourth grader's library. And so it gets removed."

"I can tell you in Florida you can buy whatever book you want as an adult. You know if you want to be doing this type of adult material, you know, don't jam it in an elementary school classroom. Do it on your own time. Go watch Hunter Biden's laptop for all I care, I don't know what you do. Just keep it away from our kids please."

"Also with parents' rights is that the purpose of schools is to educate kids not to indoctrinate kids," DeSantis said. "We've eliminated critical race theory in our K through 12 schools."

"We've also eliminated gender ideology from our K through 12 schools. It is wrong to tell a second grader that they were born in the wrong body or that their gender is a choice. It's unacceptable and it's not happening. First of all, it's false. And it's also unacceptable that they're trying to do that."

DeSantis said that Florida is "one of the first states in the country to sign legislation protecting women's sports in our state. We've also enacted protections for women so that they can use bathrooms and locker rooms without having boys and men in their locker room."

READ MORE: ‘Sick and Disturbing’: Critics Slam ‘Family Values’ GOP Governor Over Alleged Affair With Former Top Trump Aide

"And we've been the first state in the country to prohibit teachers in school from forcing students to choose pronouns. We're not doing the pronoun Olympics in the state of Florida, not going down that road. And why is some of this even necessary."

DeSantis then shared his thoughts on "woke."

"I think it's all rooted in the left's ideology. I think it's rooted in the woke agenda. This is a mind virus that is taking over institutions. And some people say that we should leave woke alone. Don't worry about it. You know, they say who cares? I don't know what it is all this stuff. Let me tell you, there is value in standing up for what is true. And what woke agenda is, is it represents a war on the truth itself."

"Don't tell me a man can become a woman because it's not true. Don't tell me a man can get pregnant because it's not true. And we're not going to root our society and things that are false. The truth will set you free."

Watch a short clip of DeSantis' remarks below or at this link.

Trump says he's ‘wired differently’ and doesn’t worry about going to jail: report

Donald Trump says despite facing 91 felony charges in four cases across three jurisdictions he doesn't worry about going to jail, according to NBC News' new "Meet the Press" moderator Kristen Welker, who previewed a clip on Friday's "Today" show.

"I want to ask you about the case related to Mar-a-Lago, a new charge suggests you asked a staffer to delete security camera footage so it wouldn't get into the hands of investigators," Welker told Trump in the interview. She was referring to federal criminal charges under the Espionage Act surrounding the ex-president's alleged withholding and corrupt concealment of classified documents.

"That's false," Trump quickly replied.

Trump told Welker he will testify to that, although he left out "under oath" when asked. The ex-president also changed the framing of the charge, insisting the tapes were not deleted. The allegation is he asked for the tapes to be deleted.

"It's a fake charge by this deranged lunatic prosecutor who lost in the Supreme Court nine to nothing and he tried to destroy lots of lives," Trump says in the clip (below.)

READ MORE: ‘I’m Not Going to Answer That’: Trump Loses It When Asked Questions About Classified Documents in Heated Interview

"He's a lunatic," Trump continues, referring to Special Counsel Jack Smith. "So it's a fake charge. But more importantly, the tapes weren't deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn't even have to give them the tapes. I don't think, I think I would have won in court. When they asked for the tapes. I said, sure. They're my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn't even have to give them just so you understand that. We didn't delete anything, nothing was deleted. So that's false."

After the clip ran Welker observed, "What is so notable is that he says, 'Yes, I will testify under oath.' Now the question is, will he really do that?"

"Notably though," she continued, "I asked a big picture: 'Look, you are facing these four indictments. 91 felony charges. Do you worry about going to jail?' He says he really doesn't. He says he's wired differently. So a lot of revealing moments of conversation."

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Years to Recover’: Tuberville’s 300+ Military Holds to Have Long Impact Says Top Biden Navy Pick

How conspiracy culture benefits the ruling elite

We spend the hour with acclaimed journalist and author Naomi Klein, whose new book Doppelganger out this week explores what she calls “the mirror world,” a growing right-wing alternate universe of misinformation and conspiracies that, while identifying real problems, opportunistically exploits them to advance a hateful and divisive agenda. Klein explains her initial motivation for the book was her own alter-ego, the author Naomi Wolf, for whom she has often been mistaken. Both Naomis entered public consciousness in the 1990s with books critiquing corporate influence, but in recent years Wolf has become one of the most prominent vaccine deniers and purveyors of COVID-19 misinformation — making the ongoing confusion about their identities a source of frustration. “It’s very destabilizing,” says Klein, who still urges people to seriously engage with the dangerous ideas propagated in mirror worlds, rather than simply look away. “It’s so hard to look at the reality that we are in right now, with the overlay of endless wars and climate disasters and massive inequality. And so whether we’re making up fantastical conspiracy theories or getting lost in our own reflections, it’s all about not looking at that reality that is only bearable if we get outside our own heads and collectively organize.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Today we make a trip into the Mirror World. The acclaimed writer Naomi Klein has a new book out this week that delves deeply into the culture of conspiracy theories and a growing alliance between the far right and people who once identified as progressive.

The book comes as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. campaigns against Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for president. Kennedy, who was once a prominent environmental lawyer, is now a leading figure in the anti-vaccine movement. In July, Kennedy made headlines after claiming, “Covid-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people.” He went on to say Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese are most immune to Covid. One notable defender of Kennedy’s claims was the writer Naomi Wolf, who is best known for her 1991 book The Beauty Myth. In a Substack post, Wolf defended Kennedy, writing, ”RFK Jr. is cursed and blessed with a passion for actual truth.”

Kennedy and Wolf have both been embraced by the far right. Republican megadonors are helping to bankroll Kennedy’s longshot presidential campaign, while Wolf is now a regular guest on Steve Bannon’s podcast The War Room, where she spreads conspiracy theories about Covid vaccines and other issues. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also praised Naomi Wolf, saying she is “one of the bravest, clearest-thinking people I know.”

AMY GOODMAN: Naomi Wolf plays a central role in Naomi Klein’s new book titled Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. Klein examines how and why more and more people started confusing her with Wolf, as Naomi Wolf fell deeper into what Naomi Klein called the Mirror World, where facts no longer matter. Naomi Klein writes in the book, “The trouble with the Mirror World: there is always some truth mixed in with the lies; always some devastating collective failure it has identified and is opportunistically exploiting.” In a moment, Naomi Klein will join us live, but first, we play a short video produced along with the book.

NAOMI KLEIN: Hi. I’m Naomi Klein, and as some of you know, I have a doppelganger, a person who does many extreme things that cause strangers to chastise me, or thank me, or express their pity for me. I used to be horrified by this. But then something happened that I didn’t expect: I got interested. Interested in what it means to have a doppelganger. So, I decided to follow my doppelganger to a place I’ve come to think of as the Mirror World. It’s a strange mirror image of the world where I live. It is a place where many ideas that I care about are being twisted and warped into dangerous doppelganger versions of themselves.
When I look at the Mirror World, I don’t see disagreements over shared reality; I see disagreements about what is real and what is a simulation. And with AI generating more and more of what we see and hear, it’s only getting harder to distinguish the authentic from the synthetic. After all, artificial intelligence is a mirroring and mimicry machine. We feed in the cumulative words, ideas and images that our species has managed to create, and these programs mirror back to us something that feels uncannily lifelike. But it’s not life; it’s a forgery of life.
I shadowed my double further into the Mirror World, a place where soft-focused wellness influencers make common cause with fire-breathing far right propagandists, all in the name of saving and protecting the children. Not everyone is dogged by their doppelganger, but our culture is crowded with all kinds of doubling. All of us who maintain a persona or avatar online are kind of creating our own doppelgangers, forging a separate public identity that is both us and not us. A doppelganger. We perform for one another as the price of admission in a rapacious attention economy. And all the while, tech companies create digital profiles of us without our full knowledge, data doubles or golems that follow us everywhere we go online, carrying their own agenda, their own logics and their own threats.
What is all of this doubling and doppelganging doing to us? How is it steering what we pay attention to, and more critically, what we neglect and ignore? Doppelgangers are often understood as a warning or an omen, a message that something needs our attention. Reality is doubling, multiplying, glitching, telling us to pay attention. Because it’s not just individuals who can flip into a sinister version of themselves; the Earth can transform into a menacing, uncanny twin of what we once knew. Whole societies can flip. That’s the reason many doppelganger works of art are ultimately about the latent potential for fascism within our societies, even within ourselves.
What I have learned by shadowing my double is that the forces that have destabilized my personal world are part of a much larger web of forces that are destabilizing our shared world. And understanding these forces may be our best hope of getting to firmer ground.

AMY GOODMAN: That video featured Naomi Klein, author of the new book Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World. Naomi Klein is an award-winning author and journalist. She is Professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia and the Founding Co-Director of the UBC Centre for Climate Justice. Her previous books include On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Naomi is also a columnist for The Guardian. She is joining us now from Washington, D.C. as she begins her book tour around the country. Naomi, welcome to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us.

NAOMI KLEIN: Thank you so much, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Congratulations on the publication of this book. I like what the great artist and author Molly Crabapple said about your book—”a dazzling, hallucinatory tour de force that takes the reader through shadow selves and global fascism, leaving them gasping by the end.” Naomi, if you can explain more this journey you took through the pandemic into this Mirror world, who your doppelganger is and then go back to 2011 and that moment in the loo where you talk about hearing women talk about—you, or was it Naomi Wolf? Take it from there.

NAOMI KLEIN: First of all, Amy and Nermeen, thank you so much for having me back on the show. It is such a pleasure to be with you. And thank you for airing that video. I just want to credit the director Colby Richardson, who is an amazing video artist. So those of you who were listening just to the audio, I really encourage you to watch the video version because it gets really trippy.

Amy, you listed some of my previous books in that lovely introduction. My books back to No Logo, my first book, which I wrote on the cusp of the new millennium almost a quarter of a century ago, have been attempts to map our political moment. They have been attempts to make sense of moments of big shifts in our political world, our cultural world, and in the case of This Changes Everything our physical world. I would say that Doppelganger is an attempt to make a usable map of our moment.

The thing is, our moment is a lot weirder and wilder than any I’ve ever lived through. There are all kinds of strange happenings at work, all kinds of uncanny events. So I thought in many ways that I needed to write in a different way, a way that sort of mirrored the wildness of now. And so I let myself have more fun with the writing. I wanted to re-find a voice that felt more like me, that felt more like the person who talks to their friends, that was more conversational.

But also, Amy, this project began during the pandemic. I have written about large-scale collective shocks. That is what The Shock Doctrine was about. But I realized that in the past, if I was covering Hurricane Katrina, or the U.S. and U.K. invasion and occupation of Iraq, or the Asian tsunami, these huge cataclysmic events, I was, I think as you are, the journalist who comes in with a notepad, maybe a camera, and I am interviewing other people about their shock, but really I’ve had a reportorial distance. COVID was different. Nobody was outside of that shock. It upended my world as it upended all of our worlds. And in many ways, the world became uncanny and unfamiliar. Freud described the uncanny as that species of frightening in which that which was familiar becomes strange. I mean, think about Times Square during the pandemic. That is an uncanny apparition. It is something familiar that looks completely different. It’s empty, one of the busiest places on Earth.

But I think there are many kinds of uncanny experiences that we have in the world today. I now live in British Columbia. We had an extreme weather event a couple of years ago called a heat dome. Hundreds of people died. Millions of marine creatures died. But what was most uncanny about the heat dome is it was not our weather. It was like somebody else’s weather coming to a temperate rainforest. And so, I thought by using the uncanniness of having a doppelganger—you asked about my doppelganger—I am perennially confused and conflated with another writer named Naomi, Naomi Wolf, and having that identity confusion is an extreme form of uncanniness, because what becomes unfamiliar is you. You see people and hear people talking about you, but it is not you. It’s very destabilizing. So I thought, well, this is an interesting technique. And she really is less the subject of the book than a literary technique to get into these other kinds of uncanny forces. Should I tell the bathroom story?


NAOMI KLEIN: You really want me to do it? Yeah, so the first chapter begins telling the story where actually I was in New York City to be part of Occupy Wall Street. I was at a march through the Financial District at the height of Occupy Wall Street. Like other people at that march, I needed to use a public restroom. I was in one of these skyscrapers. I don’t remember exactly which building. But while in the restroom, I overheard a couple of people talking about me, being quite unkind, I must say, Amy. They were sort of drawling like, “Did you read that article by Naomi Klein? Oh my God, she really doesn’t understand our movement. She doesn’t understand our demands.” And I was sort of frozen in fear. It brought back all of my terrible high school memories, these mean girls who were talking about me. But as I listened I realized, “Oh, they’re not talking about me. They’re talking about somebody else.” So I came out of the stall and I met one of their eyes, and I said words that I have had to say unfortunately too many times—”I think you’re talking about Naomi Wolf.” In the end, that became quite fitting to me, because I think when we overhear people speaking about us on social media, we essentially are just reading the graffiti on the bathroom wall, which is not healthy and we probably should stop doing that. So I think it’s fitting that the first time I became aware of the identity confusion in the real world it was actually literally in a bathroom.

AMY GOODMAN: And let’s just say that this weekend is the 12th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

NAOMI KLEIN: So it has been going for some time!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Naomi, I would like to just join Amy in congratulating you on this book. I know I’m not alone in thinking this, that when I read it, I realized that it’s actually the book that needed to be written. It is amazing the way you are simultaneously disclosive, funny, subtle, and so insightful about our present historical moment. So I want to ask about the reasons that you—the doppelganger effect that you identify is of course not just with Naomi Wolf. Naomi Wolf is almost like incidental to what you come to identify, which is that you recognize in seeing your doppelganger that you were also seeing, quote, in your words, “a magnification of many undesirable aspects of our shared culture.” Could you just enumerate or list what those undesirable aspects are, of which—I mean, you can select some because they are so numerous.

NAOMI KLEIN: Yeah, absolutely. It definitely wouldn’t have been worth doing this if it wasn’t kind of a narrow aperture, to use a film image, that would allow us to see much larger forces at work.
And I think we all know people who have changed dramatically in the past few years, who don’t really seem like themselves. I think it’s less interesting that Naomi Wolf is seemingly a doppelganger for me to a lot of people’s eyes than that she seems to be a doppelganger of her former self. That she was a prominent feminist, she was involved in progressive movements, and now here she is on Steve Bannon’s podcast, in some cases every single day. Like there have been weeks where she has been a guest every single day that he has been broadcasting. I think probably Democracy Now! listeners would be surprised to learn that they published a book together, they put out t-shirts together. So her role in Steve Bannon’s media sphere is almost like a cohost more than a guest. She is a really important figure in this world.

But part of the reason we don’t know this has to do with this what I call the Mirror World and the fact that while they see us, we have chosen for the most part not to see them. And I think that that’s very dangerous because these are really important political movements. Steve Bannon is a very able political strategist. He got Donald Trump elected once and he fully intends to do it again. And part of Steve Bannon’s strategy is that he is very good at looking at issues and people who have been abandoned by the Democratic Party or even by the left, people who have been mistreated, ejected, and saying, “Come on over to this side. Come on over to this side of the glass. We’ll take a little bit of truth”—you used that quote, that there’s always a little bit of truth mixed in—”and we’ll mix it up with all of these dangerous lies.”

But to me, as a lifelong leftist, what concerns me about that is that many of the issues that they are co-opting and twisting are issues that I think the left should be more vocal about. I had one of my most—I’d say like a moment in the research where I was listening to hundreds of hours of Bannon’s podcast where I would say I felt most destabilized was when I would hear Bannon cut together a montage, an audio montage and a video montage, of intros and outros of major cable news shows on CNN and MSNBC—”brought to you by Pfizer,” “brought to you by Moderna.” His point was to say, “You can’t trust these corporate media outlets because they are bought and paid for by the drug companies that are trying to get you vaccinated.”

But for me what was chilling about that was that that was a doppelganger of the kind of media education that I grew up in. We all read Manufacturing Consent. We had these charts where we—and I mean, Amy, they sounded a little like you. They sounded like me. They sounded like Noam Chomsky. Except through a warped mirror. And what worried me about that is it really reminded me that I don’t think we’re doing that kind of systems-based media education anymore where we really are looking at these ownership structures. And if that doesn’t happen, then it is going to be co-opted in the Mirror World.

So, Nermeen, thank you for your kind words about the book. I’m so glad that it resonated with you. It was a sort of risk but I think maybe by being specific, we’re all thinking about the people in our lives and this phenomenon that has affected us all. I think when I look at people who have made a similar political migration from liberalism or leftism over to the Bannonesque right, I think we often see some economic forces at work. Naomi Wolf has quadrupled her following because of this decision, this political decision of hers. She is not the only one. I’m sure people are thinking of other people. It’s actually a really smart business move. And this is happening within an economic system that has monetized attention. People are trying to build their personal brands because they’ve been told that they’re not going to get a job, that this is the only way they can survive in these roiling capitalist seas. And there’s a lot of clicks over there. So I think that’s some of it.

What are the other forces that get magnified? Well, this is a little tricky to say, because I do write—I don’t think this gives people a pass, but Wolf is one of these people who has experienced a lot of shaming and kind of pile-ons on left Twitter, or liberal Twitter, or X or whatever it is called. She has really been, I would say, internet-bullied. People can say, “Okay, well, for good reason. She has spread conspiracies. She has made major factual errors in her book.” But I don’t think that’s necessarily a justification for cruelty. So I think that’s something else that gets magnified. Because I think when people have an experience that is very, very negative in left or liberal circles, where they really get treated almost like they are not human—and that is partly because they’re performing themselves as a brand, which is saying, “Hey, I am out here, I’m a commodity, I’m a thing,” and then people start thinking, “Well, if you’re a thing, I can throw things at you, and you won’t bleed,”—I think that that’s part of what is magnified here, and that becomes a justification for I think an unjustifiable political alliance with extremely dangerous figures who are building a network of far right political parties who take issues like rightful suspicion of Big Pharma, rightful anger at Big Tech, rightful anger at the elites, and flip it to transphobia, xenophobia, racism. Here I’m thinking about figures like Giorgia Meloni, who is a protégé of Steve Bannon’s.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Naomi, if you could elaborate on that point, one of the failures that you identify is for instance the Democratic Party or progressives generally not focusing on making, for instance, different social media platforms more equitable, more democratic, but rather when people are deplatformed, including Naomi Wolf, kind of celebrating their removal.


NERMEEN SHAIKH: And you say that believing that once they’re deplatformed they’ve effectively disappeared is the equivalent of saying that children—or children who think that once they close their eyes the world has disappeared. If you could elaborate on that?

NAOMI KLEIN: Yeah. When I would confess to people I knew that I was working on this book, sometimes I would get this strange reaction like, “Why would you give her attention?” There was this sense that because she was no longer visible in the pages of The New York Times or on MSNBC or wherever, and because she had been deplatformed on social media—or on the social media that we’re on—that she just didn’t exist. And there was this assumption that “we,” whoever we are, are in control of the attention, and so if this bigot gets turned off then there’s no more attention.

But because I was following this, what I was seeing was that she had a much, much larger platform than probably she had had since her star rose in the 1990s and she was advising Al Gore on his presidential run in 2000. What Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon can offer her is more than what a lot of liberal media outlets can offer. She has been on Jordan Peterson’s podcast. She is also in these—I call it the Mirror World because there’s kind of a one-to-one replica of many of the social media platforms, the crowdfunding platforms. So, she was kicked off Twitter; she immediately got an account on Getter. And Getter, they call themselves the Twitter Killer. So I think it is really, really reckless to ignore this world. Because it is not like it’s a hobby, what they’re doing there. As Steve Bannon says, the goal is to take power for the next 100 years. So not paying attention to this and not looking at what issues are getting traction there I think is really reckless.

In 2016, Steve Bannon successfully peeled away a portion of the Democratic Party base who had voted for Democrat after Democrat who promised them they were going to renegotiate or cancel free trade deals that had gutted their communities and offshored jobs. And they didn’t do it. Many of them signed more free trade deals. And Steve Bannon saw an opportunity. I don’t think it is about whether or not he personally believes this is an important issue or whether Trump did anything really meaningful in this regard. The issue is they picked up an issue that their opponents had abandoned and used it to political effect. And that is now happening with opposition to Big Tech, opposition to big Pharma, even standing up for free speech, right?

And so I think that there need to be—and it’s wildly hypocritical because they’re the same people who are banning books. But to me, we can’t control them. We can control ourselves and whether or not we are doing a good enough job embodying our own principles. And I think one of the things that happened during the pandemic is that the more misinformation was being spread by the likes of Wolf and Bannon, the more people who see themselves as progressive started just getting into a reactive position where we’re just defending the CDC, we’re just defending what the government is saying, when in fact the role of the left is to push for much more. Sure, yes, get vaccinated, wear a mask, but what about fighting for the right to indoor air quality for everybody? What about demanding that schools have smaller classrooms, more outdoor education, more teachers, giving essential workers the raises instead of just the applause? The right to—or lifting the patents on the vaccines. I know you covered this on Democracy Now! consistently, but I think if we’re honest, it was the right that organized during the pandemic.

I live in Canada now, I’m back in Canada, and we had the trucker convoy that shut down Ottawa for three weeks. I’m not going to get into much about the trucker convoy except to say that one of the things that occurred to me is, what would’ve happened if there was a robust left that had shut down the cities and demanded that before we got our fourth booster, everybody on this planet got their first Covid vaccine? Or made any of these other collective demands about truly funding public healthcare. Universal public healthcare would have been a good response to the pandemic. So I think we have to be a lot more ambitious and a lot less reactive to just what “they’re” doing, the quote-unquote “they.”

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Very quickly, before we break, we just have a minute, if you could explain, you mentioned the truck convoy. You mentioned two truck convoys. What do you think principally, why was that so important? What was misrepresented?

NAOMI KLEIN: Oh, that’s maybe a little bit tricky to explain quickly, but seven months before the famous trucker convoy, the one that made it on all the U.S. talk shows, and that was mainly an antivax event, there was a convoy that was in British Columbia that was in response to the unmarked graves whose presences were confirmed first at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and then more unmarked graves confirmed on the grounds of other former so-called residential schools. I say “confirmed” because the communities always knew that there were burial grounds on the grounds of these genocidal schools, but their presence was confirmed using ground-penetrating radar.

There was such an outpouring of solidarity in the aftermath of that that there was a convoy organized by truckers in British Columbia, hundreds of trucks that went and drove in front of the closed former residential school in Kamloops. It was called the “We Stand in Solidarity Convoy.” It came from a place, as I say and as they said, of solidarity, of wanting to say that this atrocity, this genocide, is not only an issue for First Nations to fight for justice, it should be everybody’s business.

It was striking that there was this kind of doppelganger trucker convoy seven months later. But what I say in the book is that some truckers went to both. And so what’s interesting to me is the way doppelgangers stand in for the fact that human beings are complicated. I think my own doppelganger is complicated. I think she has done some very good things in her life and she has done some really damaging things. That is true for most people. So what interests me as a political theorist is, what are the systems that encourage the best parts of ourselves, that support that impulse toward solidarity and compassion, as opposed to light up the most individualistic parts of ourselves.

AMY GOODMAN: Naomi Klein, her new book is out just this week. It’s called Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World. We are back with her in a minute.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, the War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh, and we’re spending the hour with Naomi Klein. Her new book is just out. It’s called Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World. Naomi, I wanted to talk to you about Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In July, the Democratic presidential candidate spoke at a press event in New York City and claimed the COVID-19 vaccine is a genetically engineered bioweapon that may have been ethnically targeted to spare people who are Jewish—Ashkenazi Jews—and Chinese.

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.: COVID-19, there is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately. COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.

AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Robert Kennedy. Naomi, you wrote an article before these comments in The Guardian headlined Beware, we ignore Robert F Kennedy, Jr’s candidacy at our peril. Now, you write extensively in this piece about his background. It was not just COVID-19 vaccines he was concerned about. He goes way back in his antivax attitudes and activism. Talk about the significance of this and what you continually say throughout the book in that we ignore these views at our own peril.

NAOMI KLEIN: I think in a way he is a doppelganger of his father and uncle. I see it as kind of a counterfeit politics. I’m sorry for RFK Jr. supporters who are listening, don’t know how many there are. I think that what he is doing is tapping into a lot of real fears, angers. There are times when I listen to him when I can’t help nodding along when he is talking about regulatory capture of government agencies by the corporations they’re supposed to be regulating. That is something I have covered for a long time. Or when he’s talking about the military industrial complex.

I think it’s really important—the reason why I call it a counterfeit politics is that although he is calling this out, if you look at what he’s running on, this is not Bernie. He is not actually running on a platform of significant regulations that would address the crises that he is talking about. It is kind of a libertarian platform. He isn’t even running on universal public healthcare. If you are worried about Big Pharma and profiteering, how about running on pharmacare, that we shouldn’t be leaving life-saving drugs to the market? But you will never hear him say something like that.

I think for leftists who are frustrated with the centrism of the Democrats it can seem like this is really an alternative, and I would really, really caution against it and look at what he is actually running on. Is he running on raising the minimum wage? No, he is not. He is tapping into these real critiques, these real issues like an inflated military budget, but then his position on Israel, for instance, is just more militarism. Same thing with Steve Bannon, by the way. He talks a great game about the military-industrial complex. He is absolutely obsessed with China and positioning the U.S. for a Third World War with China. If you are serious critic of the military industrial complex, you wouldn’t be as focused as Steve Bannon is on China-bashing.

RFK, obviously that clip that you played is extraordinarily disturbing, dangerous. A lot of conspiracy culture starts ending up in this kind of anti-Semitic territory. It’s the oldest conspiracy theory in the world. I make the argument in the book that part of what we are dealing with, with the rise of conspiracy culture—and I call it conspiracy culture, not conspiracy theories, because the theories so wildly contradict each other. It’s just a posture of mistrust and just throwing wild theories at the wall. So one minute COVID is a bioweapon perhaps and the next minute it’s just a cold so don’t even wear a mask. You really would need to choose, if you had a theory, between whether or not it was a bioweapon or whether or not it was a cold. If it were a bioweapon, presumably, you would want to do pretty much anything you can not be infected.

But they never attempt to resolve these glaring contradictions because the point of it is to throw up this kind of a distraction so that we aren’t focused on what I would describe as kind of the conspiracies in plain view. The fact that the pharmaceutical companies turned COVID into this profit center, that despite the fact that the vaccine development was funded with public dollars all of the initial orders were from the government. That there are these outrageous patents on these vaccines and they should never have been patented in the first place. And I think we need to be really wary of being overly credulous.

We know that there are real conspiracies in the world. You’ve been covering the 50th anniversary of the overthrow of Salvador Allende, and new documents come out every week that show us these behind-the-scenes meetings. But if we look at that conspiracy, it’s a good example. What you see in the documents about the U.S. destabilization campaign of Salvador Allende, it wasn’t that there was some nefarious goal about depopulating the Earth or draining kids of adrenochrome or whatever the conspiracy culture is claiming. It was to protect U.S. copper interests. U.S. telecom interests. It was just capitalism doing its thing. And sometimes it takes a plot to do it, is the way I put it in the book.

But coming back to what I said earlier about an absence of basic political education, if people don’t understand how capitalism works, if we don’t understand that this is a system that is really built to consolidate wealth and it will always have a massive underclass, and instead people have been told that capitalism is just Big Macs and freedom and rainbows and everybody getting what they deserve, then when that system fails them they’re going to be very vulnerable to somebody going “Oh, it is all a plot by the Jews” or whatever the conspiracy of the day is. That’s why doing that basic political education and economic education is so critical, because it’s really our armor against this conspiracy culture.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Naomi, as I think you say in the book at some point, the use of the term “conspiracy culture” is also because one can’t call it a conspiracy theory because it is a conspiracy with no theory. RFK and your own doppelganger are emblematic, really, of the number—especially during the pandemic—the number of conspiracies that proliferated and of course spread so exponentially, so quickly both because of course everybody on the planet practically who was able to do it was online. If you could speak specifically? Conspiracies have always existed, but talk about the power of conspiracies now just because of their sheer reach, combined with, as you say, this lack of education on a structure within which to understand what is being said.

NAOMI KLEIN: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right, Nermeen, that especially during times that are chaotic, during times of disaster, there are often these wild conspiracy theories that emerge because they claim to make some sense of an event that seems senseless, especially when there’s just a huge amount of loss, so our minds reach for those kinds of easy explanations. I’ve seen that. I saw it after Hurricane Katrina, I saw it after the tsunamis, I saw it in Iraq. I’ve seen it again and again as a reporter.

This is different, and what’s different is the attention economy. Because when all of this is playing out on platforms, private platforms owned by billionaires, that have created incentive structures that mean that whoever puts out the most clickable content is going to get the most followers, is going to be able to turn those into subscriptions, be able to monetize them, it creates such an incentive structure to be that person first out of the gate making the wildest claim that you possibly can.

So I would put conspiracy culture within the framework of the disaster capitalism complex that we have talked about before. We have seen in the aftermath of disasters that these players move in and just attempt to profit from disasters. Conspiracy hucksters and influencers are part of the disaster capitalism complex, but it gets very confusing because often what they’re talking about is other people profiting off of disaster. So, it’s a Mirror World. It’s trippy. And so you’ve got to get a little bit trippy to try to map it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to ask you, first of all, before we end, what the main conclusions of the book are. But I would also like to read in your own conclusion one of the things that you say. Ultimately it’s almost as if you express gratitude towards Naomi Wolf because of the reflection, the interest in her and what it revealed not just about our present moment but also yourself within this social media world. At the end you quote John Berger who you say taught you a long time ago that calm itself is a form of resistance. First of all, what should people take away, the main takeaway from the book? And that point itself—calm is a form of resistance—how is one to attain that calm?

NAOMI KLEIN: I think maps help, right, and this is a first draft of a map of the post-COVID world. It’s just through one person’s eyes. And mapping is collective work, so it has been really great to be out here talking to people, reading articles that people have written, adding to it and adding layers. So I think we’re sense-making. We’re making sense of the way we have changed, the way our world has changed.

But I think the big takeaway from the book is, all of this is about not seeing. Whether we are creating doppelgangers of ourselves online and performing perfected versions, that’s a way of distracting ourselves from the weight of our political moment. Listening to your headlines, Amy and Nermeen, to quote António Guterres, it’s an atlas of human suffering. It’s so hard to look at the reality that we are in right now, with the overlay of endless wars and climate disasters and massive inequality. And so whether we’re making up fantastical conspiracy theories or getting lost in our own reflections, it’s all about not looking at that reality that is only bearable if we get outside of our own heads and collectively organize, rebuild our social movements, so that they can offer people material improvements to their lives. That’s the only way we fight these surging conspiracies. It’s not going to be fact checkers or content moderators; it’s going to be a a robust left. And i feel I can say that on Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: We just have a minute, but let’s end where we started, with that term “doppelganger” and what more you want to say about it. And if Naomi Wolf has responded.

NAOMI KLEIN: It’s interesting, she posted something this morning actually, or maybe it was yesterday, casting this as some sort of a—like my work is some sort of—being part of a plot to attack her. Which isn’t surprising. And she’s using it to—well, okay—I think that this must be very hard for her, is what I would say. I have really tried to reiterate that she is a case study, an interesting one, but this is not about her. I personally think she has been treated quite cruelly. I am not interested in adding to that. I do think that we need to hold one another accountable, but that doesn’t mean that we have a right to be cruel. I hope that if she were to actually read the book, she would see that it isn’t perhaps the way it has been portrayed, as being like a book-length attack on her. It certainly isn’t. Doppelganger stories are always ways of—

AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there, Naomi. Naomi Klein, author of Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World. I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh.


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Sanders praises auto workers striking against 'disgusting' corporate 'greed and arrogance'

United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) told MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Thursday's edition of All In that working-class Americans are "sick and tired" of the extreme wealth disparity between themselves and corporate titans as auto workers are poised to strike against the Big Three car manufacturers.

Hayes and Sanders also commended United Auto Workers Union President Shawn Fain for standing in solidarity with industry employees who are demanding higher pay as their companies rake in massive profits and their bosses earn gigantic salaries.

"Do you have a kind of rooting interest here of the outcome you want to see?" Hayes asked Sanders.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

"Yeah, the outcome I want to see is that the UAW workers get the kind of contract they deserve," Sanders responded. "You know, the corporate media hasn't covered this very well, but the reality is over the last twenty years, real wages for automobile workers has gone down by thirty percent when you account for inflation. So what the workers are saying is at a time when the CEOs of Ford — he makes $21 million, the guy who's head of Stellantis, he makes $25 million a year, the woman who's head of General Motors, $29 million — their salaries have gone up by forty percent over the last four years. They have billions of dollars for dividends and stock buybacks. And what the workers are saying is, 'Hey, we made you those profits. We gave you those salaries. Pay attention to our needs.' We don't want to see a situation where workers at the low end make it all of $17 an hour. And I'll tell you something, Chris. You mentioned that all over this country we're seeing strikes, and you're right. And I think what's happening is working people all across this country are sick and tired of the corporate greed they are seeing every day. They see it when they go to the grocery store. Food prices, incredibly high. Gas prices, incredibly high. Companies making money hands over fist. And I really applaud the courage of Shawn Fain and the workers at the UAW for standing up and saying, 'You know what? Enough is enough. We need an economy that works for everybody, not just the people on top.'"

Hayes continued, "I want to just show some of the demands: UAW, thirty-six percent wage increase over four years. One of the things I want to do — this is actually a key one and there's a little in the weeds, but it's important for people to recognize. There are sort of these tiers that have emerged in successive rounds of organizing where newer workers aren't working at the same tier as others. It's a way of kind of breaking up the solidarity of the union. It's something that Shawn Fain has been opposed to and the folks that elected him. So we'll see how that goes. I want to ask you this question on that context. We have seen all of this union activity at Starbucks and Amazon, the Teamsters, you know, and UPS, this, this. What — you said workers are waking up. But it strikes me that part of the issue here is that you've got tight labor markets and employees have more choice now than they did during that long period after the Great Recession where you had a lot of slack in the labor market, six, seven, eight percent unemployment. People were worried they were replaceable. This, it seems to me this environment has given workers more say and more power in their negotiations with ownership."

Sanders opined, "I think there is truth to that, Chris, but I think it really goes deeper. I think COVID, the pandemic, was a real emotional wake-up for the American people. You know, the rich people, the CEOs could stay at home and work in their fancy offices or in their homes behind their computers. Working people, people at the UAW, bus drivers, people working in warehouses, nurses, doctors, they had to go out to work. And tens and tens of thousands of them died. And meanwhile, during that whole pandemic, we saw an explosion of wealth increases for the people on top. So yeah, the tight labor market is a factor, Chris. But I really think that people are becoming sick and tired of the massive levels of income and wealth inequality that they're seeing today. No one thinks that three people on top should own more wealth than the bottom half of American society, that CEOs are making four hundred times more than their workers. That's not what this country is supposed to be about. That's what the UAW is telling the American people, and I think there's massive support for what they're trying to do."

Hayes added, "I wanna play this clip that got a lot of play. It sort of went viral. It's a sort of random clip because it's just an Australian property developer. But what he's articulating at this conference with other property developers is a view that I think some — a lot of people in management or ownership at least have about exactly this awakening that's happened post-COVID, right? That people have this sort of idea that like, they want to be treated with dignity. They want fairness. This is him saying we need unemployment to rise to knock the arrogance out of these workers. Take a listen."

READ MORE: Auto worker strike 'likely' due to 'insulting' offers from Big Three car companies: ex-labor secretary

Hayes rolled footage of Gurner Group Chief Executive Officer Tim Gurner stating that "we need to see unemployment rise. Unemployment has to jump forty, fifty percent in my view. We need to see pain in the economy. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around."

Repeating Gurner's remarks, Hayes queried, "We need to remind people they work for the employer, not the other way around. What do you think of that?"

Sanders was characteristically blunt.

"I think it's disgusting," Sanders replied. "And it's, you know, hard to believe that you have that kind of mentality among the ruling class in the year 2023. You know, this is the richest country in the history of the world and yet we still have sixty percent — sixty percent of our people living paycheck to paycheck. People can't afford housing. People can't afford health care. They can't afford child care, can't afford to send their kids to college. And what these guys are saying, 'Hey, this is all great working classes and disarray. Let's have more unemployment. We can get richer and richer. Make them more and more desperate.' That is the kind of greed and arrogance that the UAW and unions all over this country are standing up to. I applaud them and I would hope that all of us as Americans stand with the UAW in their struggle."

Watch the full segment below or at this link.

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READ MORE: UAW president: Union is ready to strike selected plants at all Detroit automakers

'I’m not going to answer that': Trump loses it when Fox News asked about classified documents

Donald Trump refused to answer questions on Thursday about a highly classified document he reportedly had been waving around at his Bedminster golf club, an event that was included in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of the ex-president under Espionage Act charges.

“Why would you be holding up a newspaper saying this is still secret?” former Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked Trump on her SiriusXM show. “I could have declassified it if I were president.”

“I would have to look at it,” Trump defensively replied.

“But that’s what you told Bret Baier. You told Bret Baier that that was a newspaper,” Kelly interjected.

“I could have declassified it. No, I also told Bret Baier as I remember, I don’t know it was a long time interview,” Trump continued.

READ MORE: ‘Years to Recover’: Tuberville’s 300+ Military Holds to Have Long Impact Says Top Biden Navy Pick

“Well tell me, what were you waving around?” Kelly asked, waving her hand as if she had a piece of paper in it.

“I also told Bret Baier that it wasn’t a classified document,” Trump said.

“What were you waving around in that meeting because it certainly sounds like –” Kelly pressed.

“I’m not going to talk to you about that because that’s already been I think very substantiated, and there’s no problem with it,” Trump claimed.

“It hasn’t been substantiated. Jack Smith says –” Kelly added before getting cut off.

“Megyn just let me tell you. Let me just, let me tell you, here we go again,” Trump said. “I’m covered by the Presidential Records Act. I’m allowed to do what I want to do. I’m allowed to have documents.”

Experts say Trump’s claims regarding the Presidential Records Act are false.

Also in the interview Kelly asked Trump, “Do you believe that every CIA document that came to you as president was automatically yours to keep no matter what?”

“I’m not going to answer that question,” Trump claimed before bringing up the Presidential Records Act again.

READ MORE: ‘Hogwash’: Pelosi Smacks Down McCarthy for Blaming Biden Impeachment Inquiry on Her

“The Presidential Records Act was a very complex thing, it took a long time to do, having to do more with Richard Nixon because he kept everything,” Trump claimed. “And they said, we don’t want to have this anymore.”

“These thugs, and deranged people, they didn’t even mention that. They never mentioned that. They never talked about that. They never said, ‘Gee, the Presidential Records Act.’ Do you know they don’t even mention it? And every body knows that I’m covered by that.”

In March, CNN reported: “The Presidential Records Act says that, the moment a president leaves office, NARA gets custody and control of all presidential records from his administration. Nothing in the act says there should be prolonged t’alk’ or a negotiated ‘agreement’ between a former president and NARA over a former president’s return of presidential documents – much less that there should have been a months-long battle after NARA first contacted Trump’s team in 2021 to try to get some of the records that had not been handed over at the end of his presidency.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘I’m Not Quite Sure What They Want’: McCarthy Dares Republicans to Oust Him as His Frustration With Members Grows

'They don’t have the facts or the law': Expert shatters Trump co-defendant’s demand to grill grand jurors

A legal expert told MSNBC anchor Katy Tur on Thursday that Georgia criminal defendant Kenneth Chesebro's attorneys were out of line when they demanded that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee allow them to question the grand jurors who voted to indict Chesebro, former President Donald Trump, and seventeen of their associates for allegedly attempting to steal the 2020 election.

District Attorney Fani Willis charged the individuals under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act for their efforts to nullify President Joe Biden's landslide Electoral College victory over Trump.

"What is he talking about?" Tur asked about Chesebro's counselor.

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"He's really talking about the DA's team raising prior conduct by Mr. Chesebro's lawyer, Manny Arora, saying that he asked the court for permission to talk with the grand jurors," legal analyst Lisa Rubin said. "Why? Because in a prior case, he was admonished by a judge in a different county for having done exactly that without asking court permission first. And that's when Scott Grubman, who is Ken Chesebro's other lawyer, got up and accused the DA's lawyer, Daysha Young, of lying, and things got very heated until Scott McAfee, who's the judge here, basically said, 'It's over. I'm not hearing that.''

She continued, "What I think you can see here, though, Katy, coming down the road, if we just want to take a broader lens here, is, you know, litigators say, 'If you have the facts, you emphasize the facts and avoid the law. And if you don't have the facts on your side, you really emphasize the law. But here they don't have the facts or the law. And so what are they going to do? They are threatening to derail this by charging the DA's team with prosecutorial misconduct."

Tur noted that "we hear that a lot."

Tur's guest concurred that "we do, but they want to explore here what happened during the grand jury proceedings and have insinuated that people who are with the DA's team were inappropriately inside the grand jury proceedings."

READ MORE: 'I’ve said it’s over': Judge cautions Chesebro lawyer over rant about 'PowerPoint' and 'personal attacks'

Tur observed, "So that's why they want to talk to the grand jurors."

Rubin added, "And they want to talk to the grand juror and the state really doesn't want that to happen. Number one, they have a concern about the grand jurors' privacy and security. We already know that Fulton County has been making provisions for the privacy and security of their grand jurors, all of whom were listed by name on that indictment. But they also say grand jury deliberations are off-limits. What could they possibly want to talk to these people about? That's within the scope of what's legal, and the judge is going to allow them to talk about, talk to these grand jurors, but he wants to put some guardrails around it. He wants to know, 'What are the questions you want to ask? What are the topics you want to explore?' And most importantly, 'Give me a brief and show me the relevance of those topics and questions to the defense you want to advance for your client.'"

Watch below or at this link.

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READ MORE: Trump-supporting sheriff likens himself to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: report

'Uniquely American problem': Uvalde mom blasts lawmakers for 'making our schools look like prisons'

A parent and grandparent of slain Robb Elementary School students told MSNBC host Joy Reid on Wednesday's edition of The ReidOut that the pervasive epidemic of gun violence throughout the United States has profound effects on how survivors and family members of people killed in mass shootings live their lives.

Reid's guests also lamented that in the eighteen months since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, lawmakers have done little to protect the public.

"What is the action that you expected to happen after Uvalde? What did you think would happen?" Reid asked.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

"I thought for sure there was going to be a change," said Berlinda Arreola, who lost her granddaughter Amerie Jo Garza in the attack. "We all thought that our loved ones were going to be important enough to make that change. After Sandy Hook and Santa Fe and Southern Springs and so many prior, we just thought that we would be that one, and we immediately took charge and began coming to Washington. Within a month's time, we started fighting for the children, and unfortunately, we haven't gotten anywhere yet."

Reid continued, "Yeah, I mean the one change that has happened in the state of Texas where you both live is that now there's a requirement that every school has to have an armed, armed security guard, but to me, that seems, you know, there were 317 police that responded to Uvalde and they did nothing. So, do you feel safer? Do you think that kids are safer with one armed security guard in every school?"

Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter Alexandria was among the nineteen children killed, replied, "Absolutely not. Guns have no place in a school. The obvious solution is a complete ban on assault weapons. And instead, we decide, 'Hey, it's this. Let's try this. And it's this.' We're just making our schools look like prisons. For what reason?"

Reid observed that "the thing is, is that the public overwhelmingly supports the idea of gun reform, of common sense gun reform, not anything crazy, not confiscation or anything like that, but just the idea of background checks, the idea of not having assault weapons being legal and on the streets. And it's just hard for me to put my, wrap my mind around the idea that people think people need assault weapons to just walk around. You were saying to me, Berlinda, before we started that, you know, you walk around now as a different human being, you know, having lost a family member, it's happened to you and it changes the way you live your life. You're afraid to go places that you would normally go."

READ MORE: New Uvalde body cam video shows cops vomiting and sobbing after looking inside the classroom

Arreola confirmed, "That's correct. It's anywhere you go. Anywhere a new foundation or wherever it goes to, you look for your exits and you know, you go to a parade and you're looking on the rooftops and seeing if there's anybody there. You know, you, you walk into a grocery store and you're looking around just making sure that somebody doesn't look suspicious or doesn't have, you know, a big long coat and what's underneath there. You know, it's just, it changes your whole way of thinking and it makes you more aware of your surroundings."

Reid recalled, "I mean and Kimberly, I was telling you, you know, I was just overseas. Never thought about it. Away for ten days in two different countries, one in Europe, one on the African continent. It never crossed my mind that I was not safe and that there would be guns somewhere and that I would be shot. And yet, children can't feel that way when they go to school and this is back to school."

Mata-Rubio added that gun violence is "a uniquely American problem."

Watch below or at this link.

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READ MORE: Biden calls for a 'new Congress' if this one refuses to stop gun violence

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