Posts Tagged ‘MAGA’

Trump: Senior Golf Cheat

January 30, 2023

Trump: Senior Golf Cheat

Celebrity golf cheat and former US President Donald Trump held a Senior Golf Tournament at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach last week. The winner? Surprise! It was Donald Trump, and he wasn’t even there for half of it:

“Trump told tournament organizers he played a strong round on the course Thursday, two days before the tournament started, and decided that would count as his Saturday score for the club championship. That score was five points better than any competitor posted during Saturday’s first round.” — Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post

Mr. Trump plays 18 to 26 rounds of golf each week, so the cherrypicking adds nuance to the jawdropping phantom round.

More:

“Trump pilloried as ‘4-year-old cheat’ over golf tournament claims: ‘Guy can’t even con right anymore,’” Namita Singh, The Independent, via Yahoo Sports

“Trump declares himself the winner of his own club championship – in the Trumpiest way ever,” Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post

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House Speaker Votes Continue

January 6, 2023

House Speaker Votes Continue

Several trolls in the so-called House Freedom Caucus have paralyzed the U.S. House of Representatives all week, blocking election of a presiding Speaker. The umpteenth round of voting will occur tonight, January 6th at 10 PM EST.

Update:

After 14 ballots, the House again failed to elect a Speaker. On this date two years ago, terrorists failed to disrupt Congress. Today, the terrorists inside the House did just that.

The House began voting for the 15th time at 11:50 PM.

New:

Early on Saturday, Kevin McCarthy was elected to the Office of Speaker of the House, or what’s left of it.

More:

“The ‘spoiler caucus’ is creating chaos,” David Winston, Roll Call

“The Chaos Caucus Is Now In Charge,” Michelle Cottle, New York Times

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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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Alaskans Reject Sarah Palin — Again

November 28, 2022

Alaskans Reject Sarah Palin -- Again
Fresh on the heels of August’s loss in Alaska’s special congressional election, MAGA proto-Trump Sarah Palin — former Miss Wasillaex-sportscaster, once part-time Temp-Governor of Alaska, losing GOP Vice Presidential candidate, cancelled reality TV starArizona homeownerMasked Singer, and failed Fox News commentator — also lost November’s election to pro-fish Democrat Mary Peltola. Previously, Ms. Peltola was an Orutsararmuit Native Council Tribal Court Judge and 5-term Alaska state legislator before serving the remainder of deceased US Congressman Don Young’s term, then winning re-election to a full two-year term.  A Yup’ik woman from the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, she is the first Native Alaskan to serve in the U.S. Congress. Ms. Palin, on the other hand, had been endorsed by Donald Trump.

These days, Sarah Palin seems a quaint relic of the Republican party she helped destroy.

More:

“Next act for Palin unclear after Alaska House losses,” Becky Bohrer, Associated Press

“Sarah Palin Loses as the Party She Helped Transform Moves Past Her,” Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

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Bannon Behind Bars?

October 19, 2022

Bannon Behind Bars?

Update: Steve Bannon has been setenced to 4 months in prison. He will appeal.

The Department of Justice indicted Trump creature and fascist-fancier Steve Bannon for Contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena compelling his testimony before the January 6th Select Committee. He was convicted back in July. The DOJ has recommended that he receive a six-month prison sentence and a $200,000 fine.

Mr. Bannon dodged the slammer after his previous indictment — for money laundering and conspiracy in defrauding donors to a charity — when he was pardoned by then-president Trump as he was exiting the White House. Unindicted co-conspirator Trump himself was recently subpoenaed by that same Congressional Committee.

More:

“Steve Bannon: justice department urges six-month prison term in contempt case,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“DOJ seeks 6-month prison sentence for Steve Bannon,” Erin Doherty, Axios

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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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DeSantis Refugee Trafficking Fallout

September 22, 2022

DeSantis Refugee Trafficking Fallout

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the future of the MAGA GOP, is basking in the afterglow of flying 48 Venezuelan refugees from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard to “own the Libs,”spending $615,000 in public funds on two charter jets. That’s a cost of $12,300 for each refugee DeSantis trafficked for his own political purposes.

DeSantis still has almost $11.5 million more in purloined federal COVID relief funds left, so he’s doubling down. There’s been a further payment of $950,000, possibly for flights to Delaware (Joe Biden’s home state) or New Jersey. The charter jet contractor, Vertol Systems, owned by Republican donor James Montgomerie, purchased helicopters from Russian government-controlled companies, and received a PPP loan of $255,583 in 2020, during the Trump Administration. Vertol has been associated with James Odom, who went to prison for laundering campaign funds for Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign. It’s not clear if Vertol got a sole-source contract; they’re certainly not the only charter jet outfit in Florida, so state procurement officials should take a look at that, if they’re not afraid of poltical retribution.

DeSantis and his cronies may be liable for other crimes. They fraudulently lured unsuspecting refugee men, women, and children from Texas to a small, isolated town in Massachusetts, promising non-existant jobs and housing. The refugees are suing for fraud, and a Texas sheriff is looking into the matter.

Is it interstate human trafficking? It may be a gray area but, in any case, it’s certainly cruel. Of course, that’s the point.

Update:

“DeSantis risks voter backlash in Florida with migrant flights,” Max Greenwood and Ann Parnes, The Hill

More:

“Massachusetts seeks human trafficking probe targeting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over migrants,” John Bacon and Rachael Devaney, USA Today

“The smoking gun in Martha’s Vineyard,” Judd Legum, Popular Information 

“Senator Ted Cruz says that transporting migrants is illegal, but commends GOP governors for it anyway,” Alia Shoaib, Insider

“DeSantis actions on migrants is ‘mini-ethnic cleansing’, expert warns,” Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

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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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DeSantis: Cheap Trafficking In Human Misery

September 19, 2022

Florida MAGA/GOP governor Ron DeSantis is using newly-arrived refugees — many of them women and children — as hostages, political pawns in a cheap stunt, flying them to the rural island of Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, he couldn’t find enough unauthorized migrants in his own state of Florida, so he imported 48 of them — by two state-funded charter jets — from Texas. DeSantis paid for the migrant flights with federal COVID stimulus money he didn’t spend on the needs of Florida citizens.

Bear in mind that the migrants, refugees from failed petro-socialist Venuzuela, are registered with DHS as Asylum Seekers; they are not the criminals DeSantis implies they are. Martha’s Vineyard has no immigration court or ICE center, so the migrants can’t check-in or recieve adjudication, which could jeopardize their status if they don’t get to a major city soon.

In this cruel Republican game, DeSantis is playing catch-up. MAGA governors Greg Abbot (Texas) and Doug Ducey (Arizona) have been sending migrants to New York, Chicago, and DC by chartered bus, often mis-representing where they are going and falsely promising migrants jobs when they arrive. A similar federal strategy was suggested in 2019 by Trump creature Stephen Miller. He threated to cut ICE funding if the federal agency didn’t send migrants to Democratic jurisdictions (it didn’t happen).

And where did lizard-person Stephen Miller get the idea? From short-lived stunts by the racist White Citizens’ Councils of the 1960s, so-called “Reverse Freedom Rides,” which bused Black Americans from the South to Northern cities. Like today’s people-traffickers DeSantis, Ducey, and Abbot, the racist Councils promised that jobs awaited the travelers at their destinations. One bus went to Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1962, where the Kennedy family had a summer home. This past July 26th, Fox News host Tucker Carlson publicly floated the idea of sending refugees to Martha’s Vineyard, pointing out that the Obama’s own a vacation home there.

In 1962, editors of the New York Times called the racist “Reverse Freedom Rides” a “cheap trafficking in human misery.” That’s certainly true for the stunts of MAGA migrant traffickers DeSantis, Abbot, and Ducey.

More:

“Planeloads of Venezuelan Migrants Arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport,” Brooke Kushwaha, Vineyard Gazette

“Migrants stranded in Martha’s Vineyard say they were lied to,”Bianca Padró Ocasio, Tampa Bay Times

“Martha’s Vineyard Migrants Leave Island as Outrage at DeSantis Grows,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“DeSantis gave GOP donors a glimpse of plans for migrant flights,” Josh Dawsey, Michael Scherer, and Isaac Arnsdorf, Washington Post

“DeSantis Flying Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard May Have Violated Federal Law, Experts Say,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

“Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas,” Rodrique Ngowi, Gisela Salomon, and Claudia Torrens, Associated Press

Related:

“Ron DeSantis Flew Immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Echoing a Racist Stunt From Exactly 60 Years Ago,” Kate Storey, Esquire

“JFK Library compares DeSantis migrants move to historic ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,’” Graeme Massie, The Independent, via Yahoo News

“This Isn’t the First Time White Racists Have Sent Migrants North on Buses (Though Using Planes Is New),” Kali Holloway, Daily Beast

“The Cruel Story Behind The ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,'” Gabrielle Emanuel, NPR Code Switch

“Biden officials to discuss ‘litigation options’ over migrant buses,” Stef W. Kight, Axios 

“Why Belarus is using migrants as a political weapon,” Ellen Ioanes, Vox

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Right-Wing Apparel Maker’s Fake ‘Made In USA’ Claims

August 15, 2022

Right Wing Apparel Maker's Fake 'Made In USA' Claims

The Utah-based Lions Not Sheep clothing company sells T-shirts and baseball caps with provocative slogans printed on them, sure to appeal to the gun-toting, camo-wearing, flag-waving, Trump-loving, by-God self-proclaimed MAGA patriots on your gift list. The Federal Trade Commission just fined the firm for ripping the “Made In China” labels from their imported duds and putting “Made In USA” tags on them. The fraudsters came to FTC attention after bragging about the label-switch on social media.

The Made in USA Labeling Rule, effective as of August 2021, prohibits claims that a product was made in the United States unless final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the U.S., all significant processing that goes into the product occurs domestically, and all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S.

More:

“Pro-Trump brand is fined by FTC for incorrect ‘Made in the USA’ labels,” María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post

Pro-Trump apparel company fined for falsely labeling products “Made in USA,” Julia Shapero, Axios

“Utah-based Lions Not Sheep apparel company fined for swapping ‘Made in China’ tags for ‘Made in USA.’” Kyle Dunphey, Deseret News

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