C-SPAN’s cameras have been enjoying free rein and the American people are better off for it

This past week Americans experienced something that has not happened for 100 years: The House of Representatives took more than a couple of days—and no fewer than 14 votes—to agree upon a speaker. It has been something of a fiasco for the Republican Party because there is no ideological division here. It is simply a power play by the most outspoken oligarchs in the party to force its establishment dinosaurs to concede an extraordinary amount of control to a very small group of fascists.

Something else historic has also happened this week: Americans have had a chance to watch and see so much more of the in-chamber processes that go on when voting gets messy in the modern American legislative branch. The old Saturday Night Live joke in the 1980s was that whenever you had to watch something political on C-SPAN the coverage came through the single camera the network owned. Not this week. This week, C-SPAN has been freed up to give new angles throughout the proceedings of the House voting process.

This has made the entire process so much more interesting to watch and follow than it might normally be.

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Of course, the only reason this has been happening is that there is no official majority party making rules for Congress this session. Usually, the party in control creates specific views of what C-SPAN cameras can cover and broadcast and what they cannot. C-SPAN is operating under the rules established by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the opening day of the 118th Congress in 2022. Of course, back then, Speaker Pelosi was able to get the confidence vote of her political party without days of theatrics. It has been a game changer in loosening up some of the stodginess of the political process.

Showing the entire chamber and the many interactions that go on or do not go on is an evolution of what the media gets to see. As CNN reports, when cameras were first allowed onto legislative branch floors, in the 1980s and 1990s, folks like Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia used the limited visibility they offered to pretend to be big men when, in fact, they were simply pretenders.

When cameras were first allowed, they became a potent political weapon. In the 1980s and early 1990s, congressmen such as Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia – later the House speaker – would give speeches criticizing Democrats meant only for the TV cameras. There would be few people in the chamber, and since lawmakers could speak on any subject, it seemed as if there were no answers from the other side.

There have been all kinds of moments showing the various group-ups different sets of representatives had during the many failed votes. Many of those meet-ups included political theater major Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

There was this moment between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Paul Gosar where AOC showed her patience with a man very few people can stand to be around for more than a minute or two. Reportedly the two discussed the possibilities of a deal where Democratic representatives might throw enough votes McCarthy’s way to give him the Speaker position.

Now we get to see things like Florida man Matt Gaetz having half of his political party walk out on him while he was speaking. 

Then there was the tragically comedic moment where the incompetent and lying Republican from New York, George Santos, wasn’t even able to do the single job he had.

All good things must come to an end and at some point, I’m sure the Republican Party will make sure that the cameras in the House stick tightly to a very narrow view. It isn’t that the conservatives in the party do not want Americans to see how they actually act on the floor of the House; it is that they don’t want the American people to become at all interested in what they actually do on the floor of the House.

Things are going great! Republicans walk out en masse on Florida man Gaetz during speech

The House of Representatives still does not have a speaker. The 20 or so Freedom Caucus members holding up the proceedings realize that they, like the Republican Party itself, don’t believe in majority rule. The fact that the Republican establishment has kowtowed to them for the past decade or more has only emboldened their position.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the craven establishment leaders don’t want to remain in power—or at least seem to remain in power. On Friday, Florida man Rep. Matt Gaetz stood up to nominate—wait for it … wait for it—well, before he named his nominee for the speakership, Gaetz made a long speech attacking Kevin McCarthy, calling him the “LeBron James of special interest fundraising in this town.” 

It’s Jim Jordan! Sorry, I couldn’t wait. He named the guy who stayed silent while young man after young man allegedly told him they were being sexual assaulted and abused by a wrestling team doctor. That Jim Jordan. However, at least half of the people on Gaetz’s side of the aisle were not simply unhappy about the nomination but clearly could not stand to sit through the more-than-five-minute cringeworthy speech Gaetz subjected everyone to—and they left!

RELATED STORY: Matt Gaetz hits a new low—even for him—and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shuts him down

Hello darkness my old friend...

After saying Jordan’s name, Gaetz decided to attack reports that his crew of freedomers were too obstinate to make any deal with the 200 or so McCarthy backers. “Let's start with purity. Many of you have seen the reports that there are negotiations to determine whether or not on this side of the aisle there can be a deal, a meeting of the minds, a grand bargain that would allow us to proceed with the speakership. And I want all of my colleagues to know, regardless of your perspective on me, how impure some of those negotiations have gone.”

“Impure!” Matt Gaetz! Somewhere just shy of the four-minute mark where Gaetz began airing out his point of view on the dirty laundry exchanges behind closed doors, Republican members of the House began standing up, looking at their phones and walking out of the chambers.

Best part? Jordan continues to vote for McCarthy.

RELATED STORY: Twitter has a field day with Jim Jordan's craven behavior at impeachment hearing

What a way to start the new year! On the first episode of season two of The Downballot, we're talking with Sara Garcia, the strategy and outreach manager at Crooked Media—home of Pod Save America—about everything her organization does to mobilize progressives and kick GOP ass. Sara tells us how Crooked arose to fill a void in the media landscape, how it not only informs listeners but also gives them tools to take action, and some of her favorite shows that she loves to recommend to folks.

Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also discuss the Republican shitshow currently unfolding in Congress—and starkly different outcomes in two state legislatures that just elected new House speakers via bipartisan coalitions; the landslide win for the good guys in a special election primary in Virginia; why George Santos faces serious legal trouble that will very likely end with his resignation; and the massive pushback from progressive groups and labor unions against Kathy Hochul's conservative pick to be New York's top judge.

Such an abuse’: Bill Barr delivers obvious facts to Fox News about Mar-a-Lago stash of documents

By now, you’ve probably heard that the disgraced former president, Donald Trump, seems to be something of a criminal. No, I’m not talking about his racist landlord violations from the 1970s. No, not his dubious interactions with contractors throughout the 1980s and 1990s. No, not his shady personal bankruptcies of the 1990s and 2000s. No, not even his two impeachments and the fact that there are numerous campaign violations that many believe need more criminal investigations. Trump seems to have broken a slew of laws surrounding the handling, hoarding, and possible treason of taking classified documents to keep at his private golf club and residence at Mar-a-Lago.

The Republican Party, sans a few neocons, is struggling to regain primacy in the toilet bowl that is the Republican Party circling the sewer of fascism. On Friday, former Trump attorney general Bill Barr went on Fox News and took a ginormous rain on the right wing’s parade by making the case—not once, but twice in a two-minute span—that Donald Trump had earned and deserved the search and seizure of government documents from Mar-a-Lago.

Yes, the guy who just a few months ago said he would still vote for Donald Trump were he to run in 2024, the guy who allowed Donald Trump to skate past clear recommendations from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he should be investigated more thoroughly for breaking federal laws. That Bill Barr. And yes, that Fox News.

RELATED STORY: All you need to read from the memo Barr claimed cleared Trump on obstruction is a single footnote

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Let me premise this by saying that I personally believe Fox News is hedging its bets here. Murdoch and the brain trust at Fox News have already lost favor with Trump after being the news outlet to call Arizona for Biden in 2020. They have had to walk back their full-on dismissal of Trump, as the current GOP leadership didn’t have the backbone to stand up to Trump and offer their base a worthwhile alternative.* Letting Bill Barr come on and slam Trump while vapid hosts made faces and threw softball defenses up is a way for Fox News to have clips if and when Donald Trump ends up in an orange jumpsuit.

On Friday, Barr spoke to two vacuous Fox News mouthpieces and began by pointing out that the idea that Trump could or would make a blanket declassification was ridiculous, and that even if he did, it wouldn’t be much of a defense against any real legal challenges. Barr said he was “skeptical” of that claim in the first place, “because frankly, I think it’s highly improbable; and second, if in fact he sort of stood over scores of boxes, not really knowing what was in them, and said ‘I hereby declassify everything in here,’ that would be such an abuse, show such recklessness, that it is almost worse than taking the documents.”

One Fox deplorable decided the best tactic here was to ask Barr about how the FBI went to Donald Trump’s private residence to get said folders and files. You know, the old GOP chestnut: How could a rich, conservative white guy possibly break the law? Barr did a good job of pointing out that it seemed pretty clear the FBI had a very good idea that there were a lot of very serious documents in a very not-secure location, and Trump wasn’t willingly giving them back.

He then gave a very simple answer that maybe some of the people watching from their MyPillow recliners could maybe understand:

"People say the search was unprecedented. Well, it’s also unprecedented for a president to take classified information and put them in a county club. How long is the government going to try to get that back, you know? They jawbone for a year. They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that—they feel. And the records are starting to show that they were being jerked around."

"People say this was unprecedented. Well, it's also unprecedented for a POTUS to take all this classified information & put 'em in a country club, ok? And how long is the govt going to try to get that back?" -- Bill Barr bodies Trump on Fox News even as anchors try to defend him pic.twitter.com/7HqOvf9xvp

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 2, 2022

*In the GOP leadership’s defense, they have no meaningful alternative to Trump. Trump is worth 1,000 Ted Cruzes or Josh Hawleys because Trump will unashamedly lie about giving conservative voters everything they want (lower health insurance costs, more and better jobs, all the oil they can guzzle). Most Republicans have spent the last few decades attempting to pretend they had policies that might do that in the face of failure after failure.

RELATED STORY: The classified documents in that DOJ photo were all found in Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago office

Republican Tom Rice gives long interview, calls Trump some pretty bad names

Republican Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina was one of the architects of the enormous tax breaks for the rich that the Republican Party passed during the Trump administration. While it was wildly unpopular and led almost entirely to further extremes in wealth inequality in our country, it may be considered the only piece of Republican legislation to actually be passed during all of the years the GOP enjoyed majority control under Trump. This, of course, is not good enough for the more fascist wing of the Republican Party, and after Donald Trump’s attempts to orchestrate a coup d’etat fell through, Rep. Rice found himself among the 10 Republican representatives who voted for his impeachment.

To be crystal-clear here: Rep. Rice is the only one of the 10 Republicans to vote for impeachment that also voted against certifying the results of 2020 election. He subsequently told reporters, months later, that while he still has reservations about the results of the presidential election, he regrets his anti-certification vote, and felt it was clear that “President Trump was responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.” This means that in 2022, Rice is persona non grata among wannabe fascist henchmen like craven Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy and others.

Rice is facing a backlash and a Donald Trump rally-machine that has continued to call him a Benedict Arnold to the MAGA-Nazi movement. Trump has endorsed GOP primary candidates against Rice and has traded public jabs with him, with Trump calling Rice a “disaster” while Rice called Trump a “would-be tyrant.”

As a result of the orange-grey-haired elephant in the room, Rice has tried to remind his blood-red congressional district that he is the same misinformation-peddling anti-masker who has called COVID-19 the “Wuhan flu,” like every other racist shitheel in his Party. He has tried to remind everyone that he basically voted with Donald Trump all of the time and has done his part to vote with his fellow Republicans against popular legislation and emergency aid for front line workers. He even voted in support of Marjorie Taylor Greene to keep her committee assignments, in a showing of non-accountability for promoting blatantly white supremacist ideologies and conspiracy theories.

Listen and subscribe to Daily Kos Elections’ The Downballot podcast with David Nir and David Beard

Depending on whose polling you go by, the primary race for Rice’s 7th Congressional District is going great for him … or his opponent. So Rice, like Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, has decided to lean into bashing Trump while attempting to remind the GOP’s base that Donald Trump is just the bluntest version of what Rice and the rest of the Republican Party have always been.

On Sunday, Rep. Rice did an interview with ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl to help promote himself, as well as further explain why Donald Trump is sort of a terrible person. The interview was a pretty softball one (you can watch below) where Karl attempts to paint Rice as some kind of maverick. It’s a bit embarrassing, honestly. That being said, Rice does a solid job of pointing out that Donald Trump did to try and orchestrate the overthrow of the government, and that when the Capitol building was being invaded by his followers and conspirators, Trump didn’t do a single thing to protect the legislative branch of the U.S. government. In fact, he didn’t even do anything to protect his own vice president.

“When he watched the Capitol, the ‘People's House,’ being sacked, when he watched the Capitol Police officers being beaten for three or four hours and lifted not one thing or to stop it -- I was livid then and I’m livid today about it,” Rice recalled. “And it was very clear to me I took an oath to protect the Constitution.”

Rice also points out that while Donald Trump has publicly called him a “disaster” who lacks the respect of his fellow GOP operatives, he was a good little foot soldier to the Donald, until he wasn’t: “If I am a ‘disaster,’ and a ‘total fool’ and I voted with him 169 times out of 184, what does that make him? I was following his lead.”

Here is where we see the limitations of the modern Republican Party, and more specifically, the neocon wing of the Party that is hoping to retain control while waiting for Trump to pass. Rice told ABC News that he hopes Trump does not run for office again. But his hope has nothing to do with what’s good for the country. It’s not simply because Trump is, in Rice’s words “ a narcissist, and he’s driven by attention, and he’s driven by revenge.” It isn’t because Trump should be in jail or on trial for treason, but because “We’ll [the GOP] get painted more in the corner of extremism, they'll try to label us as extremist. And he’ll feed that.”

Asked about whether or not he would support a Kevin McCarthy speakership if the GOP took majority control of the House in November, Rice was equally mushy-mouthed, saying, “We’ll see what happens.”  


Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day: Tom Rice- 2021 Update

Republican who doesn't wear mask on floor of the House announces he and his family caught COVID-19

A lonely Republican: Tom Rice says he regrets voting against Biden certification

One of Trump’s closest White House advisers admits that ‘it’s hard to describe how little he knows’

The disgraced former president’s top national security adviser has been doing a slew of interviews the past few weeks. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, John Bolton, like most former national security advisers, has found himself being asked for his opinion on rapidly changing events. John Bolton’s bona fides as a truly terrifying warmonger span decades, and he has been critical of Trump—for a price. Bolton says what most of us already know: Trump’s extortion attempts, in the form of holding back military aid from Ukraine in order to dig up dirt on then-candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter, is a big part of the reason Vladimir Putin did not invade Ukraine until now.

“He obviously saw that Trump had contempt for the Ukrainians. I think that had an impact,” Bolton told VICE earlier this month. Bolton goes on to detail a phone conversation Trump had with Vladimir Putin, shortly after Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected, during which Trump asked Putin how he felt about him. According to Bolton, Trump’s lack of knowledge and backbone in that conversation likely reinforced Putin’s belief that Trump didn’t have strong feelings in support of Ukraine’s leadership.

Trump’s choice to bring Bolton on to replace H.R. McMaster was considered ominous at the time, since Bolton’s No. 1 foreign policy idea has always seemed to be “invade everybody.” But Bolton was in the rooms where Donald Trump conducted foreign policy discussions and played little brother to Putin. “Trump had no idea what the stakes were in Ukraine,” Bolton said.

Related: John Bolton is a warmongering jackass who just happens to have information vital to the nation

Related: Trump is replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with warmonger John Bolton

Related: Lou Dobbs offers up conspiracy theory that John Bolton is working for the 'deep state'

Bolton also pointed out that Trump’s general dislike of NATO, and his work to undermine NATO, worked in favor of Putin’s position. Trump’s interest in Ukraine, according to Bolton’s book, only perked up in “the summer of 2019 when [Trump] realized that he could have the possibility of holding up the obligation and delivery of substantial security assistance [to Ukraine] in an effort to get access to the Hillary Clinton computer server that he felt was in Ukraine, finding out about Hunter Biden’s income in Ukraine, and all of these things in this spaghetti bowl of conspiracy theories. That was the first time he really focused.”

In fact, Bolton explained to VICE, Trump’s lack of curiosity for anything is profound. “It's hard for me to describe how little he knows,” Bolton tried to explain. This true mediocrity is why Trump’s reasoning for things is so whimsical and useless. He has no context or knowledge for much of anything. “He once asked [then-White House Chief of Staff] John Kelly if Finland was part of Russia. What he cared about was the DNC server, and Hunter Biden, and the 2016 election, and the 2020 election. That's what it was all about. And I think he had next to no idea what the larger issues were.”

As a result, Vladimir Putin didn’t have to be aggressive about much of anything regarding U.S. policy in the region. “I think one of the reasons that Putin did not move during Trump’s term in office was he saw the president’s hostility of NATO. Putin saw Trump doing a lot of his work for him, and thought, maybe in a second term, Trump would make good on his desire to get out of NATO, and then it would just ease Putin’s path just that much more.” In another interview, Bolton said of Trump’s threats to pull out of NATO, “I think Putin was waiting for that.”

Bolton’s beef with Trump has also led him to rail against the right-wing narrative that Trump was tough on Putin, with the U.S. under Trump applying sanctions to Russia. “In almost every case, the sanctions were imposed with Trump complaining about it, saying we were being too hard,” told Newsmax when that ultra-right-wing outlet tried to get him to go along with the narrative that Biden was at fault for everything in the history of ever.

Bolton, in an interview with the Washington Post earlier in March, Bolton said that he believed Vladimir Putin’s lack of open invasion of Ukraine during the Trump administration was possibly predicated on the Russian dictator’s belief that Trump would pull the United States out of NATO during a second term in office.

Arguably the saddest exchange between Bolton and VICE’s interviewer is the one when Bolton says he is unsure what Trump would have done if Russia had invaded Ukraine when Trump was in office. He joked, “He never got that server! Those Ukrainians wouldn’t give him the server!” The interviewer remarked that Ukraine probably wished that this mythical server with Hillary’s secret plans existed so they could have ingratiated themselves to Trump. Bolton’s reply, also clearly joking (or half-joking, at least) sounds like something Trump and the MAGA world would have held up as proof, not the absurdist joke it would have been:

“They should have given him a server and said, ‘Hey, we found that—may have been erased, but here's the server.’”

The Qronicles: Biolabs, and JFK conspiracy is back. This time he’s moonlighting as Donald Trump!

The Qronicles is a series that will collect some of the news, videos, and general mis/disinformation roiling around the conspiracy world of QAnon. You can cringe, you can laugh, but these folks are organizing and showing up at the polls!

WelQom back! (YAYYYYY!!!!!) It’s time for some Qronicles! The QAnon world is always busy because conspiracy theories need water, webs, roots, and a boatload of manure to grow. You need to trim those offshoots that didn’t work out and move the goalposts all the time. If you didn’t constantly tend to it, your massively outrageous conspiracy theory would die on the vine. Just ask QAnon toe-dipper Robert “RJ” Regan of Michigan, who blamed the media after he made a strangely triple-offensive remark concerning his daughters, the Big Lie, and sexual assault. There are benefits to keeping QAnon folks frothy with mystery and the dopamine-inducing empty epiphany. 

Related: JFK’s return didn’t materialize. Now QAnoners drink from a communal bleach punch bowl—literally

Related: JFQ Jr. announces Senate run

Related: QAnon Chronicles: Somehow, the JFK Jr. conspiracy crew got even weirder

First up is Ukraine. We discussed in the last Qronicles that QAnon’s conspiracy theories of Donald Trump and his secret war against all that is evil in the world had folded the invasion of Ukraine by Russia into the grand design. The narrative is that there are secret biolabs—wait, stop. These biolabs aren’t secret, they are well known and have published information that pretty much anyone can see. Shut up! There are biolabs, and they are secretly making bioweapons! Ukraine is making bioweapons? No, dummy! Dr. Anthony Fauci is making bioweapons with the help of Hillary Clinton and George Soros! It’s New World Order shit, daddy-o! They are going to begin controlling the new world from Ukraine!

That’s why Vladimir Putin is invading Ukraine? Exactly. Remember how all of those Ukrainians and Americans in Ukraine testified and released evidence that Donald Trump attempted to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden? Totally! He was impeached for that. But isn’t this the New World Order that can control the government, make it seem like Joe Biden is the actual president while the real president is playing golf in Florida, and hold the occasional rally? Didn’t they let Hunter Biden’s laptop get into the hands of Fox News and those folks?

Yup. They’re depraved!

It’s weird how QAnon folks seem to be arrested for things like child abuse and child pornography, and the conservative party they’re tied to seems to be filled with those kinds of cretins. Forget about all of that logic! I said biolabs!

Russia’s early struggles to push disinformation and propaganda about Ukraine have picked up momentum in recent days, thanks to a variety of debunked conspiracy theories about biological research labs in Ukraine. Much of the false information is flourishing in Russian social media, far-right online spaces and U.S. conservative media, including Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.

This hogwash was recently parroted by former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard on Sunday, March 13. It has also received the now-common (and always profitable) libertarian wing of journalism’s seal of “We’re just asking questions.” Represented by folks like Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey, these are usually once somewhat respected anti-establishment journos who have found a lucrative financial niche in maintaining their anti-establishment bonafides while pretending not to notice that the right-wing-o-sphere makes up an extraordinarily large part of the media landscape. This allows them the chance to make a lot of money speaking to (mostly) men who, while they’re not against gay marriage and may even know some Black folks they call friends, do feel like capitalism has let them down. But they aren’t willing—or are too narcissistic—to put the blame on the systemic inequalities in our society and the need to make changes to deal with them. This makes them feel like they’re getting left further behind, and they’ve cornered themselves in a shame circle shaped like a penis.

Here’s an offshoot of this Ukraine conspiracy theory, care of VICE: Some QAnonites believe that Dear Leader Trump has long been telegraphing the secret mission now being undertaken by both himself and Putin! Specifically, his strange pronunciation of “China.” Even more specifically, some QAnoners believe the code-cracking is that Shpyl'chyna is the “Chy-na” Trump has been saying all these years—while also talking about the global superpower China at the same time. (12-dimensional chess and all that.)

The Ukrainian “chy-na” is in fact just part of the name of what appears to be a village on the outskirts of Lviv. In Ukrainian, it is called “Шпильчина,” but on Google Maps, it’s referred to as “Shpyl’chyna.” Unfortunately, this is a bad transliteration: The ‘y’ is meant to represent a very soft ‘i’ sound that’s hard to transliterate, because it’s rarely used in English.

English, shminglish! Let’s get back to John F. Kennedy!

After JFK, his son, and his wife failed to materialize—in fact, even Trump didn’t show up and technically he is alive—Michael Protzman, the originator of this JFK-based conspiracy theory, just dug in deeper. The people that stayed are very easily described as a cult. In fact, this Q-offshoot group has worried many of its adherents’ friends and family members

Michael Protzman aka -48 told his online followers after the rally that it wasn’t Trump on stage, It was JFK because of his height. He brings people on stage so you can see it’s not him. pic.twitter.com/Pt9VWyrz9L

— 2022 Karma 🌻🌻 (@2022_Karma) March 13, 2022

So Trump was wearing a John F. Kennedy suit? Wow. That had not occurred to me. Does this mean Donald Trump has always been dead and JFK has always been Donald Trump? Maybe it has something to do with an island. QAnon folks love a secret rich guy island where nefarious things happen. (Unless it’s Donald Trump hanging with well-known sexual predator and human sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.)

Speaking of John F. Kennedy Jr.: That guy—Vinnie Fusca, the one that some QAnon folks believe is actually JFK Jr. openly hiding at events—has decided to try and cash in on his cult celebrity. He’s looking to run for Senate in his home state of Pennsylvania. I mean, I thought he lived in Manhattan, or at least on the secret Joe Biden island with Michael Jackson and Princess Diana. It’s hard to keep up.

If you haven’t heard, gas prices are rising. Some people believe it’s inflation. Some people believe it’s fossil fuel interests using the invasion of Ukraine and “supply chain” issues as cover for gouging prices for higher profits, and some people think it’s President Joe Biden’s fault. However, some people in the land of Q believe that Biden is at fault for the higher gas prices but that he isn’t really president, and that Donald Trump is still in control of everything. But the gas issue, that’s Biden’s problem. Not Trump. Something about waking people up. Try to keep up.

Trump is still president but definitely don’t blame him for high gas prices. We got the news from this genius. pic.twitter.com/LuftMs2Hmd

— Davram (@davramdavram) March 3, 2022

Then there is the fear of being “digitiled.” What, you say, is that? It’s not technically a word, but as we can see in the clip, it’s a word now!

Asked a member of the trucker convoy what issues were important to her. Her answer was… interesting. pic.twitter.com/q7UDZHNxSE

— The Good Liars (@TheGoodLiars) March 7, 2022

It kind of seems to sound like what it is. How that might happen to this lady, be it by wearing a mask or by getting an injection, is unclear. I mean, I suspect her car has Bluetooth and she has a phone that sends occasional signals to and from satellites by way of cellular towers. Hopefully she never needs a pacemaker or any other such medical monitoring device as that would surely count as being “digitiled.”

And finally, there’s this.

This woman at the Trucker Convoy explained to us what covid19 REALLY means. pic.twitter.com/6XGRK1qcFr

— The Good Liars (@TheGoodLiars) March 14, 2022

The Gematria thing: It’s a numerology tool of sorts. Hebrew Gematria is much more involved and has the mysticism of being of “ancient” lineage. Unfortunately, Hebrew Gematria doesn’t get anything resembling the number of the beast. However, Simple Gematria does count “corona” as 66. It also counts my name as 154. According to numerology nation, this is a good sign for me! I’m in! COVID-19 is the Antichrist! Wait ... Oh, right, the surrender sheep thing. In Hebrew, “ovid” means “worker.” Ovid was a very famous Roman poet who lived from around 43 BCE to 17 CE. Maybe she meant “ovis?” “Ovis” is the Latin word for “sheep.” But this person with the very patriotic get-up must have missed the debunking of this “theory” done almost two years ago. The “19” code for “surrender” is not a thing.

So let’s fix it and call COVID-19 COVIS-surrender-in-202? I put the question mark there since we want to leave open the ongoing end of times date. Maybe it should be 20 just in case we end up in the next decade before the Clintons and Obamas finally take over the world and drink everybody’s baby blood.

Before we laugh too hard, remember: QAnon isn’t fringe. The most far flung aspects of the ideas may be fringe but they’re just the logic conclusions being reached by people who are having their ideas reflected back at them by pretend legitimate media outlets like Fox News. In turn it is the fountain from which all the right-wing news takes its propaganda cues these days. As the two views photocopy each other in an endless cycle, reality fades further and further away until the conspiracy has to be real otherwise what else will they have?

I’ll tell you one thing: People like Laura Ingraham will be richer—that’s for sure.

QAnon has a lot of funny wacky beliefs but I think important to remember the core of it is a day of the rope-style mass murder fantasy https://t.co/DdnKnykTfK

— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) March 10, 2022

Republican Attorney General who killed a man with his car has to answer for new evidence

Back in September 2020, 55-year-old Joseph Boever was struck and killed by a car being driven by South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Boever was walking on the side of Highway 14 around 10:30 PM when Ravnsborg’s car drifted into the shoulder of the highway and hit Boever. Ravnsborg had been driving home from a Republican fundraiser and reportedly called 911 at the time, claiming to the dispatcher that he might have hit a deer. A sheriff’s deputy came out to quickly survey the attorney general’s car before giving him a ride home.

It wasn’t until the following morning, when Ravnsborg returned to the site, that he discovered Boever’s body. From there a long and drawn out investigation ended this past year with Ravnsborg pleading guilty to three misdemeanor charges, serving no time in jail, and paying out $5,000 in fines and court costs. At the time, Boever’s family said the results were “not the ending we hoped for.” This was in part because the investigation was opened up to the public by Ravnsborg’s Republican colleague, Gov. Kristi Noem. Noem has long been calling for Ravnsborg’s resignation, and the attorney general has been facing an impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday, new evidence was leaked out by way of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price, A Noem appointee. Price sent a letter to South Dakota’s Republican Speaker Spencer Gosch that relitigated quite a bit of the evidence that was already known—and also added some information that was not public knowledge.

Related: What’s the cost of a deadly hit-and-run? For one South Dakota official, it’s $5,000 and no jail time

Related: South Dakota attorney general pleads to misdemeanor, avoids jail time for killing man with his car 

Price tweeted out the letter he sent to make sure the public at large got an eyeful of Ravnsborg’s guilt and felt no doubt over his level of responsibility in Boever’s death. The letter, among other things, claimed that Ravnsborg “had been pulled over for traffic offenses eight times between taking office in 2019 and the fatal crash, including five in which he either identified himself as the attorney general or displayed a badge.” He was never ticketed during any of those stops. But before he had that position, he had received more than a half dozen tickets for speeding.

Also damning, according to Price’s letter, is a claim that Ravnsborg, his Division of Criminal Investigation director, and his chief of staff shared “disparaging and offensive statements regarding other law enforcement officers, judges, a supreme court justice, a legislator, prosecutors, staff members, a former Attorney General, and A United States Senator” by way of text messages. Also, maybe as a teaser, Price wrote about “Text messages that the investigation uncovered between the Attorney General and what appears to be a political consultant wherein the consultant indicated, referring to the deceased, “Well, at least the guy was a Democrat.” The message seems to have been sent just two days after Boever was killed.

In the interest of continued transparency on this important issue, I sent this letter to the Honorable Speaker Gosch today. I can’t speak for the committee, but I’m confident they are interested in the truth and facts as well. pic.twitter.com/0nywsqFp5y

— Craig Price (@PriceDPS1) March 10, 2022

Boever was a registered Democrat but his cousin, former state legislator Nick Nemec, told The Daily Beast he wasn’t an active political operative: “He was just a voter.” Nemec pointed out that the letter was further proof of the battle going on in the GOP with “far-right Republicans, regular Republicans and Democrats. And there’s just turmoil in Pierre right now.”

There has been ample evidence that Ravnsborg’s story has changed and and been shaky from the start:

  1. His insistence that he had no idea what he had hit was called into question as Boever’s glasses were discovered on Ravnsborg’s passenger seat, meaning his face had slammed so hard into the window that his glasses went flying into the car.
  2. Ravnsborg insisted he had not been looking at his phone any time near when he hit Boever, until investigators presented him with evidence that he was reading some kind of “sonspiracy” article about President Joe Biden and China right around the time he hit Boever with his car.
  3. Ravnsborg’s insistence that he never exceeds the speed limits by more than 4 MPH are clearly untrue.
  4. According to Craig, Ravnsborg contacted digital evidence expert Brent Gromer to pick his brain about what investigators may be able to find on his phone. The interaction leads Gromer to write up a report on the meeting, and Ravnsborg has to admit he has made contact with Gromer later on to investigators after having denied any such contact.

One thing Boever’s family could not have foreseen was that right-wing MAGA monster Noem’s ambitions to control her political party would potentially help them receive some justice in the form of political retribution against Ravnsborg.

Fox News ‘legal analyst’ forgets the United States jailed Martin Luther King Jr.—dozens of times

Fox News continues its attempts to generate chaos in the United States by reporting on the U.S.-anti-vaxxer-funded trucker protests in Canada. If that sentence sounds convoluted that’s because the concept it is trying to synthesize is hogwash. What has been a relatively small protest by right-wing extremists against public health mandates has been blown so far out of proportion by the Fox News propaganda machine that one wonders if Fox News has more than a little “investment” in it.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would be invoking the powers granted to him under the country’s Emergencies Act to try and bring an end to the protests, saying, "The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety. We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue." 

On Tuesday, during one of the hate orgies of make-believe Fox News calls a show, “legal analyst” Jonathan Turley was brought on to speak about Trudeau’s announcement. It was … something to hear.

Turley began by saying the move to use emergency powers was “quite excessive.” Then, without a smirk, without even a smidgen of self-conscious reflection on what a true sociopath he sounds like, Jonathan Turley said this: "By this rationale, they could have cracked down on the civil rights movement. They could have arrested Martin Luther King."

Fox News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, on Canada PM Justin Trudeau invoking emergency powers to deal with the "Freedom Convoy" blockade: "By this rationale, they could have cracked down on the Civil Rights movement. They could have arrested Martin Luther King." pic.twitter.com/s9dwkcvihQ

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 15, 2022

That’s an amazing statement coming from the media outlet that truly hates Black civil disobedience (see: Black Lives Matter protests). It’s also deeply offensive, since it is complete make-believe. 

For one, one of the most famous essays written in American history was written in a Birmingham, Alabama, jail on April 16, 1963—by Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, Martin Luther King Jr. was in jail for “demonstrating without a permit.” He had been in jail for four days before he wrote his essay. Unlike the Canadian trucker convoy, King’s law-breaking had to do with a racist judge, in a racist state, saying that Black people couldn’t hold a protest.

If Jonathan Turley wants to speak to the history of “excessive” use and abuse of state powers, Turley need only look to the at least 28 other times Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and jailed. Blackhistory.com has some of America’s lowlights:

January 26, 1956 -- He was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama as part of a “Get Tough” campaign to intimidate the bus boycotters. Four days later, on January 30, his home was bombed.

March 22, 1956 -- King, Rosa Parks and more than 100 others were arrested on charges of organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott in protest of Parks' treatment.

September 3, 1958 -- While attempting to attend the arraignment of a man accused of assaulting Abernathy, King is arrested outside Montgomery’s Recorder’s Court and charged with loitering. He is released a short time later on $100 bond.


October 19, 1960 -- He was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, he was released.


July 27, 1962 -- He was arrested again and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany, Georgia.


February 2, 1965 -- He was arrested in Selma, Alabama during a voting rights demonstration, but the demonstrations continued leading to demonstrators being beaten at the Pettus Bridge by state highway patrolmen and sheriff’s deputies.

Those ellipses above skip over other frivolous arrests of a man fighting for the right to be treated like a person, not a bunch of dunderheads who want the right to be shitheads because they’re afraid of medicine.

Here’s a fun response.

Fox News analysts already reaping the benefits of banning books, I see https://t.co/zFRBULnb0r

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2022

Sex trafficking investigation seems to be hurting Rep. Matt Gaetz’s pocketbook

If you haven’t heard, Florida Man Rep. Matt Gaetz continues to be the focus of speculation that he has done some real dirtbag criminal stuff. Since one of his best buds, Joel Greenberg, has cut a plea deal with investigators, there have been numerous reports of witnesses who seem to say Mr. Gaetz has involved himself in human trafficking, sex with a minor, illegal drug use, and possible misuse of campaign funds. This is on top of completely unrelated reports that Rep. Gaetz has received dubious campaign donations from sketchy sources. 

In the meanwhile, Gaetz has alternately hidden from the public, and then burst back into the public on what can only be called political theater events. Along with Marjorie Taylor Greene, and other MAGA diehards who may be feeling the need to find a dictator who can pardon them in the future, Gaetz continues to promote the Trumpian Big Lie that our elections were stolen and that anyone investigating what happened on Jan. 6 is probably a part of the “deep state.”

These moves have seemed desperate attempts to both provide cover for what investigators may very well discover concerning a possible conspiracy to overturn the election results in 2020, and a way to fundraise for elected officials who have voted against every single piece of popular legislation that lands on their desks.

According to ABC News, Mr. Gaetz’s most recent campaign financial disclosures show that the suspected sex trafficker seems to be having a hard time keeping up the big fundraising numbers. In the final quarter of 2021, born-rich Gaetz reportedly pulled in just over $500,000 in donations—less than a third of what the Gaetz campaign was able to fundraise in the final quarter of 2020.

According to ABC, this diminishing return for the Gaetz campaign has been a pattern since Donald Trump lost the election, and certain GOP representatives decided to hitch their train to outright support of transplanting a fascist into power. This follows with how poorly Gaetz and fellow mad king cosplayer Marjorie Taylor Greene’s attempt at fundraising together has gone. Over the summer, the Daily Beast reported that the Gaetz/Greene “joint fundraising committee” were posting “a combined loss of $342,000.” Not to get wonky here, but that’s the opposite of fundraising.

The Daily Beast is now reporting that Gaetz’s legal costs, the costs he put toward paying PR firms to spin the ongoing sex and drug crimes investigations have left his Friends of Matt Gaetz campaign committee at an almost $100,000 net loss on the year. Gaetz told the Beast that he is the only Republican that doesn’t take “lobbyist or PAC money.”

This may be true [once again, see the strange money contributions story about Matt Gaetz]. It may also be true that the money Matt Gaetz has taken for his campaign was used both illegally and for illegal things. But kissing the ring of a wannabe dictator is also costly, according to the Daily Beast.

As is customary for MAGA fixtures like Gaetz, the campaign paid its tributes to Donald Trump, tithing more than $2,200 to Trump properties in 2021. More than half of it came during the final months—$729 on Nov. 2 for lodging at Mar-a-Lago, and $445 for a late-October meal at Trump International Hotel in D.C.

Recently Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend reportedly reached an immunity deal with investigators in exchange for her cooperation in the investigation of the Florida official. Gaetz has steadfastly said that all reports of illegal activities on his part are lies, and that the investigation is a witch hunt of sorts. Does this sound familiar?

Rep. Adam Kinzinger brings a bazooka to Josh Hawley’s knife fight

After being one of only 10 House Republicans to vote for Donald Trump’s impeachment, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois announced that he would be retiring from the House in 2022. After cultivating Tea Party support back in 2010, Rep. Kinzinger has fallen out of favor with the fascist base the Tea Party movement has morphed into. Along with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Kinzinger has become the main public target for the MAGA-wing of the Republican Party in the battle for power being waged between the old guard and the monster love child they have created.

Rep. Kinzinger has the conservative qualities we have come to expect from GOP officials: he is willing to say some heavy shit to attack the people he perceives as his enemies. He is also one of the main Republicans on the House select committee to investigate what happened leading up to and around Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. This means the GOP’s loudest, most obnoxious, and likely criminal sector of the Party, have named Kinzinger as their enemy.

On Wednesday, news reports came out that Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri—best known for being a truly abhorrent coward of a man—was “urging the Biden administration to drop any U.S. support for Ukrainian membership in NATO.” To many, this statement shows a very mysterious and frightening bit of similarity with the openly corrupt moves and policies of former President Trump and the associates he was forced to pardon. Rep. Kinzinger made a statement on Twitter that, while lacking nuance, is pretty goddamn amazing.

With a link to an article about Hawley’s position, Kinzinger wrote, “I hate to be so personal, but Hawley is one of the worst human beings, and a self egrandizing [sic] con artist. When Trump goes down I certainly hope this evil will be layed [sic] in the open for all to see, and be ashamed of.” Those are the kinds of phone typos one makes when one is fuming angry.

To be clear, Sen. Hawley’s position on Ukraine isn’t some peacenik, let us deescalate tensions with Russia foreign policy idea. Hawley would like those military members back in our country, protecting a selection of whites from Americans he doesn’t want voting. Up until [checks watch] Donald Trump and Paul Manafort, it was his political party’s position that Ukraine should be a part of NATO.

A reminder, Rep. Kinzinger is still a large part of the problem, but he is fighting to wrestle it away from politicians who are somehow even more detestable than him and Liz Cheney. The fact that former dark lord of the underworld, Dick Cheney’s daughter isn’t evil enough for the current crop of GOP operatives is terrifying.

History will remember that when democracy was at stake Adam Kinzinger voted against voting rights, by proxy. pic.twitter.com/vgvSOrIvvn

— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) January 13, 2022

Sen. Hawley has already said all of the quiet things out loud. He has called Republican Jesus, Ronald Reagan, “ancient history,” and saluted the prospective insurrectionists with what seemed to be a white power sign, the morning of January 6, 2021. And he has always been this way. Since he was 15-years-old, he has defended the indefensible, people like disgraced racist Los Angeles cop Mark Fuhrman, and the Oklahoma City bombers. The state he represents has recently proposed a law that would in essence make murder legal, and more specifically the kind of murder our history books more correctly term “lynching.” 

Rep. Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney are fighting for their political lives at this point in time. They represent the previous GOP establishment that had a little more generational wealth attached to their version of white supremacy. Rep. Kinzinger made the mistake of believing that Trump would leave and that the rest of the GOP would rally around moving forward with their big donor list and the billionaires that support them. Unfortunately, we are living in desperate times and the only way that Cheney and Kinzinger can survive is to do the right thing and bring criminal charges to light about the complicity and the possible conspiracy by Republicans like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and others, to overturn our democratically elected 46th President.