Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

2024 Presidential Campaign Shapes Up

December 1, 2022

2024 Presidential Campaign Shapes Up

Last week, at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump, former president, had dinner with Ye, former Kanye West, and Ye’s companion, Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Ye announced he would run for president in 2024, and asked Mr. Trump to be his running mate. As this meal occured a week after Mr. Trump had announced his own candidacy, hilarity ensued.

Perhaps the former Kanye West felt the former president would be open to his deal after Mr. Trump cost the GOP the Senate in the midterms and nearly lost them the House. On the other hand, Ye, as Kanye, was briefly a 2020 presidential candidate, and that evaporated faster than his Adidas deal.

More:

“A ‘nightmare’: Trump team does damage control after he dines with Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes,” Marc Caputo, NBC News

“Report: Trump Doesn’t Want to Condemn His Holocaust-Denying Dinner Date Because It Might Alienate His Jew-Hating Supporters,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

“Trump Says He Did Not Know Identity of Dinner Guest, Owing to White Hood,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Related:

“Trump Brought Nazis Into the GOP. DeSantis Won’t Expel Them.” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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DeSantis Refugee Trafficking: Contracting Fraud?

October 4, 2022

DeSantis Refugee Trafficking: Contracting Fraud?
As you may recall, Florida MAGA/GOP governor Ron DeSantis used newly-arrived Venezuelan refugees (including women and children) in a political stunt, flying them to the rural island of Martha’s Vineyard. He couldn’t find enough unauthorized migrants in Florida, so he flew 48 of them from Texas in two state-funded charter jets at a cost of $1200 per passenger. DeSantis paid for the migrant flights with CARES Act federal COVID stimulus money (actually with the interest accrued from the $8 billion in federal COVID-relief funding he banked instead of using it to help Floridians, so there’s that).

Besides possible federal COVID fund fraud charges and fraud suits by the refugees themselves, the airlift excerise raises other legal red flags:

  • The flights and two future missons (cost: over $1.5 millon) were paid out of $12 million budgeted with the Florida Department of Transportation for “a program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.” But the migrants were in Texas, not Florida. There’s a lawsuit about that.

More:

“Doubts rise over whether DeSantis had budget authority to fly migrants,” Gary Fineout, Politico

“DeSantis violated law with Martha’s Vineyard flights, Florida Democrats say,” Anna Ceballos, Tampa Bay Times

“Florida migrant-moving company gave GOP cash, has ties to DeSantis’ immigration ‘czar’ and Rep. Matt Gaetz,” Marc Caputo, NBC News

“DeSantis Chartered Planes From GOP-Allied Donor To Fly Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard,” Ken Klippenstein, The Intercept

Funding for furture flights might dry up faster than post-Ian Florida, as the governor is likely to use the pot of federal CARES Act money to augment other hurricane relief funds. That shouldn’t let him off the hook for his Vineyard stunt.

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Trump Embraces QAnon Conspiracy Theories

September 21, 2022

Trump Embraces QAnon Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump is, finally, openly embracing the wacko QAnon conspiracy theory. Tuesday, on his Truth Social platform, he reposted an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming.” For QAnon looons, the “storm” refers to a Trump final victory, when he will regain power and his opponents will be tried (and probably executed) on live television.

At a JD Vance campaign rally on Saturday, Donald Trump spoke over QAnon-themed background music while his supporters raised their right index fingers to the sky in a creepy salute. Sure, it might mean “We’re Number 1” or “America First,” or signal the “One Way” of Christian Nationalism, but The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, author of a forthcoming book on QAnon, tweeted that it could symbolize the QAnon rallying cry ‘Where we go one, we go all.’”

That rally music?  It was either the QAnon anthem “Wwg1wga” or a copyright-free clone of it. Trump had used it in a video on his Truth Social last month.

More:

“Trump openly embraces, amplifies QAnon conspiracy theories,” David Klepper and Ali Swenson, Associated Press

“Trump asks QAnon to stand back and stand by,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Trump’s Gone Full QAnon. There’s No Point in Denying It Anymore.” Jared Holt, Daily Beast

“What’s with the creepy one-fingered salute by Trump supporters?” Imogen Champagne, Crikey.com.au

“Is Trump fans’ ‘weird’ one-finger salute at rally a QAnon tribute?” Gustaf Kilander, The Independent via Yahoo News

“Trump’s Latest Rally Was Even Weirder Than Usual,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Trump’s New Recruits: He’s embracing the QAnon conspiracy theorists,” Tom Nichols, The Atlantic

Update:

“Trump Endorsed QAnon Because He’s Stuck,” Juliette Kayyem, The Atlantic

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The White Evangelicals Rethinking Their Politics

September 7, 2022

In the 2020 election, 84 percent of White Evangelicals voted for habitual liar, golf cheat, and serial adulterer Donald Trump because he was the GOP candidate. Astoundingly, according to a survey, many Trump supporters began identifying as evangelical during his presidency — he brought them to Jesus. At least superficially.

But some devout evangelicals, raised in conservative GOP households, say that their political views became more liberal as they immersed themselves deeper into their faith. A FiveThirtyEight video by Tony Chow.

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Trump’s Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

August 25, 2022

Trump's Ex-Employee Hershel Walker Stumbles Downfield

Georgia’ GOP candidate for the US Senate is Hershel Walker, a former University of Georgia Heisman winner, All-American, and  NFL veteran. He was endorsed by Donald Trump, who was his pre-NFL employer as the owner of the failed New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. In just a few short years, as Mr. Walker raced down the field, Mr. Trump managed to tank the entire USFL.

Hershel Walker and Donald Trump have something else in common: they are both phenomenal liars. Mr. Trump told over 30,000 lies while he was in the White House, and continues to lie about losing the 2020 election. Mr. Walker lied about graduating from college, then lied about lying that he graduated from college. He lied about being a policeman and an FBI agent. He lied about his business ventures, including his “mini-Tyson’s chicken empire“. And while Dr. Oz can’t remember all the houses he owns, Walker can’t recall all the children he’s sired.

Despite his sports celebrity and Trump endorsement, the drip of revelations has raised been understandable questions about Herschel Walker’s electability. All that lying doesn’t help when you’re running against an incumbent who’s a Baptist minister. Weird statements blaming China for US air pollution, evolution denial, claims the US has 52 states, and accusations of spousal abuse should raise even more concern that the ex-Georgia Bulldog is a dog of a candidate.

Herschel Walker was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice TV show in 2009. Donald Trump fired him. He might want to fire him as a Trump-branded political endorsee, too.

More:

“Herschel Walker declines invitation to debate Senator Warnock in Macon,” Justin Baxley, WMAZ-TV

“Herschel Walker’s ex-wife recalls him threatening to ‘blow my brains out’ in campaign ad released by opponents in Georgia Senate race,” Dave Goldiner, NY Daily News

Related:

“Republicans rue price of fame as celebrity Senate candidates struggle,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

“Donald Trump’s Less-Than-Artful Failure in Pro Football,” Joe Nocera, New York Times

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Carpetbagger Dr. Oz Seeks Pennsylvania Senate Seat

August 22, 2022

Carpetbagger Dr. Oz Seeks Pennsylvania Senate Seat

Noted celebrity quack, TV’s Mehmet C. Öz, is a longtime resident of New Jersey, but he recently registered to vote at his inlaws’ house in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania so he could run for that state’s U.S. Senate seat, soon to be vacated by Pat Toomey (R-PA). It seems Doc Mehmet is running in Pennsylvania while living in New Jersey, but he’s also a dual citizen of the US and Turkey, so what the hell. And the “OZ for PA” operation is strong. The campaign treasurer is the guy who helped Stephen Colbert make a Super PAC for a TV stunt.

While he’s known as a wealthy surgeon and TV green-coffeebean-extract pusher, Dr. Oz in not without Senate experience. He appeared before members of that body’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee in 2014, when Senator Claire McCaskill tore him a new one for promoting quack weight-loss nostrums. More recently, Mehmet Oz has promoted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, and apparently convinced the former president, if not medical science. Lately, though, after proving he can’t relate to real people, even fellow TV celebrity Trump has realized the Doctor is a loser.

More:

“Fetterman Ridicules ‘Out of Touch’ Dr. Oz Claim About Happiness and the Super Rich,” Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“First Snooki, now Little Steven: Fetterman trolls Oz with N.J. celebrities,” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

“A Guide to the Many Houses Mehmet Oz Forgot He Owns,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Liz & The Party of Lincoln

August 18, 2022

Rep. Elizabeth Cheney (R, WY) lost her primary election to the Big Lie, as the Party of Lincoln has clearly become the Party of Trump. Unlike the last president, she didn’t claim the election was stolen just because she lost, and conceded to her election-denying opponent. Ms. Cheney’s concession speech (18 min) is worth hearing in full.

More:

“Cheney strikes defiant tone in concession speech: ‘Now the real work begins,’” Caroline Vakil, The Hill

“Liz Cheney: Trump critic blasts Republican ‘personality cult’ after defeat,” Gareth Evans, BBC News

“Liz Cheney lost her election battle. She’s still in a war on Trumpism,” Ben Jacobs, Vox

“Liz Cheney and the Demise of Anti-Trump Republicanism,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Liz Cheney was purged by the cult of Trumpism. Who is next?” Richard Wolffe, The Guardian

“With Cheney’s Loss, Just 2 House Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump Are On The Ballot In November,” Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight

“Cheney defeated in Wyoming primary, looks forward,” Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

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FBI Seeks Trump’s Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

August 10, 2022

FBI Seeks Trump's Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

Early this past Monday, FBI agents toured Donald Trump’s beautiful Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, executing a search warrant for classified documents he stole while vacating the White House after his failed 2021 coup attempt. At the time of the FBI raid, Mr. Trump was in New Jersey, recuperating after playing golf on his ex-wife’s grave with Saudi officials. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is a Trump appointee, and the judge who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, was appointed in 2018, during the Trump administration. Before that, the judge was an attorney, and represented several employees of Donald Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein.

The former president fled Washington with 15 cartons of purloined pages, and some are still missing. Withholding or destroying the documents is a violation of the Presidential Records Act and provisions of the Federal Records Act, felonies punishable by up to three years in prison. Conviction might make him ineligible to hold public office in the future.

The FBI agents brought a safecracker to Mar-a-Lago to help search for the remaining stolen documents, which reportedly include a “love letter” from Kim Jong Un. Maybe the feds brought a forensic plumber, given Donald Trump’s habit of flushing documents down the toilet.

More:

“Trump says FBI searched estate in major escalation of probe,” Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

“FBI searches Trump’s Florida home as part of presidential records probe,” Brian Ellsworth and Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters

“Here’s what we know about the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago,” Brett Samuels, Rebecca Beitsch, and Emily Brooks, The Hill

“The consequences Trump could face for mishandling White House records,” Melissa Quinn, CBS News

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22)

“Lara Trump incorrectly claims that Donald Trump had ‘every authority’ to take documents from White House,”
Stephen Proctor, Yahoo Entertainment

“Fox News Is Having a Nuclear Meltdown Over the Feds Raiding Mar-a-Lago,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Republicans dust off familiar playbook to weaponise Mar-a-Lago FBI search,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Pelosi responds to GOP criticism of search at Trump’s estate: ‘No person is above the law,’” Anna Kaplan, NBC Today

“Feds Seizing Documents at Mar-a-Lago Unable to Find Trump’s Health-Care Plan,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Rosalind S. Helderman, Jacqueline Alemany and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post

“‘Defund the FBI!’ Trump allies are not happy with Mar-a-Lago raid.” Peter Weber, The Week

“The FBI’s Search of Mar-a-Lago Is a Reminder That Trump Has Always Been a National Security Threat,” David Rothkopf, Daily Beast

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LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey

July 29, 2022

LIV Golf: Trump Welcomes His Saudi Masters to New Jersey
While Joe Biden was criticized for his recent fist bump with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump has given a big, wet, sloppy kiss to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Toursportswashing” campaign. The third tournament of the new pro golf league‘s tour is being held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Mr. Trump may have embraced the insurgent tour because he’s peeved at the U.S.-based PGA for pulling its 2022 championship tourney from Bedminster, but he has backed upstart sports leagues before, and this is not the first time Donald Trump has taken Saudi money. Far from it. Saudi cash saved Trump from bankrupcy, and, despite anti-Saudi rhetoric during his 2016 campaign, he and son-in-law Jared Kushner have kept their shoddy businesses afloat on an Arabian Gulf of Saudi money.

There have been strong objections to Trump’s embrace of Saudi golf money by the PGA, of course, but also by survivors of the victims of 9/11, and National Press Club members who remember the “grisly-bonesaw” murder of their collegue Jamal Khashoggi.

More:

“Trump Seeks Money and Revenge in Hosting the New Saudi Golf League,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Hosting Saudi Golf Tourney, Trump Has Forgotten He Used to Blame Kingdom for 9/11,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

Updates:

“9/11 families rip Saudi-financed golf tour ahead of finale at Trump resort,” Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill

“Trump: LIV Golf tournament a ‘great thing’ for Saudi Arabia,” Jared Gans, The Hill

“LIV Golf’s latest stop brings together Trump, Saudi Arabia and plenty of criticism,” Bryan Armen Graham, The Guardian

“The marriage of LIV Golf and Donald Trump is the stuff schemes are made of,” Eamon Lynch, Golfweek

“Bill Maher mocks Trump over golf course comments, suggests US trade him for Griner’s release,” Chloe Folmar, The Hill

“LIV Golf Tournament at Trump Club Sees Thin Crowds, $1 Tickets: Reports,” Jason Lemon, Newsweek

“LIV Golf spectator yells, ‘Do it for the Saudi royal family’ at Phil Mickelson,” Riley Hamel, Golfweek

“Golf takes back seat at Saudi-backed, Trump-hosted event,” Bryan Armen Graham, USA Today

Updated Updates:

“LIV Golf sellouts bailed on the PGA Tour. Now they want back in?” Sally Jenkins, Wasghington Post

“Judge rules LIV golfers can’t play in PGA Tour postseason,” TuAnh Dam, Axios

Related:

“Donald Trump’s Sketchy Playbook for Blowing Up a Pro Sports League,” Ian Ward, Politico

“Remembering The Tour De Trump, Donald Trump’s Failed Bike Race,” Patrick Redford, Deadspin

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” NotionsCapital

“Tiger Woods turned down offer in ‘neighborhood’ of $700M to $800M to play in Saudi-backed tournament, Greg Norman says,” Sarakshi Rai, The Hill

“Ivana Trump was buried near the first hole of Trump National Golf Club. Her gravesite could offer tax breaks for the business.” Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert and Isabella Zavarise, Business Insider

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Running Gag

July 25, 2022

Running Gag

James Dator of sports website SB Nation calculated that Sedition Caucus Senator Josh Hawley ran a 7.2 second 40-yard dash on January 6, 2021 while fleeing for his life from the MAGA mob he saluted earlier.

More:

“Run Hawley Run’: Video of Josh Hawley fleeing Jan. 6 rioters sparks memes,” Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post

“Republican Josh Hawley fled January 6 rioters – and Twitter ran with it,” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“Josh Hawley Fleeing Capitol Rioters Gets a Britney Spears, Kate Bush & Monty Python Soundtrack,” Joe Lynch, Billboard

Update:

“Hawley Concerned That Being a Coward Is Overshadowing His Work as a Fascist,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

 

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