Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

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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George Santos (R, NY-3)

January 24, 2023

The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

Republican Congressman George Santos (AKA Anthony Zabrovsky, Anthony Devolder, George Devolder and Kitara Ravache) of New York’s 3th District is now a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (because he lied about developing carbon capture technology), and the House Committee on Small Business (because he lied about his business experience). At least he’s not on the Ethics Committee.

If you’re keeping score at home, George Santos lied about his: high school, college, ever going to college, volleyball prowess, grad school, religion, race, family history, work history, finances, owning 13 real estate properties, knee replacements, his yacht brokerage, appearing on Hanna Montana, developing carbon capture technology, film acting, losing employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting, getting mugged, being a drag queen, having a brain tumor, running a pet rescue charity, past marital status, getting COVID, and his own mother’s death. More is sure to come.

But as Jon Stewart observes: “The thing we have to be careful of, and I always caution myself on this and I ran into this trouble with Trump, is we cannot mistake absurdity for lack of danger, because it takes people with no shame to do shameful things.”

How did he get elected in the first place? By telling Democratic and Republican voters in his district what each wanted to hear. As Bill Maher puts it: “He is the first one to realize that since we are all in our hermetically sealed media bubbles, now you can pretend to be everything to voters in both parties.”

The Republican majority is so slim that GOP members are reluctant to pressure Mr. Santos into resigning from the House. His district could easily elect a Democrat to replace him, so he’ll stay until the federal, state, Nassau County, Queens, and/or Brazilian courts catch up with him.

More:

“Rep. George Santos Appears to Have Ripped Off His Former Boss’s Resume in Crafting His Backstory,” Virginia Chamlee, People

“George Santos’ backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch,” Clare Hymes and Graham Kates, CBS News

“Another Santos Money Mystery: He Struck a Curious Business Deal With a Veteran GOP Operative,” Noah Lanard and David Corn, Mother Jones

“Campaigns Linked To Santos Left Donors Feeling Ripped Off After Questionable Credit Card Charges,” Hunter Walker and Josh Kovensky, TPM

Update:

“Scientists Welcome ‘Astronaut,’ ‘Nobel Winner’ George Santos To House Science Committee,” Chris D’Angelo, HuffPost

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Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Download a copy hereNote: Politifact hasn’t yet fact-checked George Santo’s statements. Maybe it’s too overwhelming.

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The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

January 17, 2023

The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

Outside of Hollywood, you’d think doing business with someone who is using an assumed name would raise concerns, but it didn’t. As a result, George Santos, AKA Anthony Zabrovsky, Anthony Devolder, Kitara Ravache, and George Devolder (of dubious investment firm Harbor City Capital) is now the newly-sworn-in Republican Congressman representing New York’s 3th District.

After he was elected, Rep. Devolder Zabrovsky Ravache Santos admitted to embellishing his résumé, but it’s all embellishment, no résumé. He lied about his: high school, college, ever going to college, volleyball prowess, grad school, religion, family history, work history, finances, owning 13 real estate properties, developing carbon capture technology, losing employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting, running a pet rescue charity, past marital status, and his own mother’s death. Other dirty shoes will probably drop.

George Santos makes Herschel Walker look like the very soul of probity. He should be an embarrassment to Congressional Republicans, but they are noted for lack of shame, and their majority is so slim they’re reluctant to pressure Mr. Santos into resigning from the House. His district could easily elect a Democrat to replace him, so he’ll stay until the federal, state, Nassau County, Queens, and/or Brazilian courts catch up with him.

Months before the election, some of George Santos’ falsehoods were uncovered by the local North Shore Leader newspaper, and some lies were known to Republican consultants. These red flags were ignored in the heat of the campaign.

New York Magazine calls George Santos “The Luckiest Liar in Politics.” If you want to congratulate him on his fabrication-based good fortune, send cards to: The Honorable George Santos, 1117 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC, 20515-3203 or call him at 202-225-3335.

Constituent well-wishers may prefer to contact his District Office in Queens: 242-09 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston, NY 11363 (phone 718-631-0400).

Rep. Santos doesn’t have a public email address, but his Chief of Staff does.

Want George Santos to attend your new waste disposal service’s ribbon-cutting or your nephew’s bar mitzvah? Use this handy contact form.

Update:

George Santos has been appointed to two House committees. He will sit on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (because he lied about developing carbon capture technology), and the House Committee on Small Business (because he lied about his business experience).

More:

“Keeping track of all of NY Rep.-elect George Santos’ lies, from his education to charity falsehoods,” Bruce Golding, New York Post

“Rep. George Santos Appears to Have Ripped Off His Former Boss’s Resume in Crafting His Backstory,” Virginia Chamlee, People

“George Santos’ backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch,” Clare Hymes and Graham Kates, CBS News

“Another Santos Money Mystery: He Struck a Curious Business Deal With a Veteran GOP Operative,” Noah Lanard and David Corn, Mother Jones

“Campaigns Linked To Santos Left Donors Feeling Ripped Off After Questionable Credit Card Charges,” Hunter Walker and Josh Kovensky, TPM

 

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Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Download a copy hereNote: Politifact hasn’t yet fact-checked George Santo’s statements. Maybe it’s too overwhelming.

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Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

January 12, 2023

Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

The careening clown car of the House Republican majority has finally put Kevin McCarthy behind the wheel as Speaker, so the comedy ends, and the tragedy begins. Politico’s Jesús Rodríguez likens Rep. McCarthy’s positon to various Shakespearian princes, but it’s really really closer to Marlowe or Goethe; not Hamlet or Macbeth but Faustus. Mr. McCarthy has clearly made a secret pact with the Devil.

The 55-page House Rules Package is evil enough, but it turns out there’s a secret 3-page addendum that the GOP majority passed, sight unseen. Was it written it blood? Probably. It lists McCarthy’s specific concessions to the MAGA Freedom Caucus terrorists who spent a week blocking his speakership.

What’s in the secret addendum? No GOP rep will even concede that it exists; that’s the first rule of far-right fight club.

If Kevin McCarthy won’t live up to its unspecified terms, the Feedom Caucus cabal won’t steal his soul, but they’ll call a snap vote and remove him as Speaker. For Mr. McCarthy, that will be Hell enough.

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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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Image (based on paraphrase of UT football coach Darrell Royal) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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DeSantis Sues to Promote Florida COVID Deaths

December 15, 2022

DeSantis Sues to Promote Florida COVID Deaths

GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is weaponizing Florida’s court system to attack the vaccines that would have saved the lives of the Floridians he sacrified to COVID. Mr. DeSantis wants a grand jury to investigate the rare cases of heart inflamation attributed to vaccinations, when such conditions are seven times more frequent among those suffering from COVID. Since anti-vaccine rhetoric is killing more Republicans than Democrats, you’d think self-serving MAGA hacks like Ron DeSantis would avoid bad-mouthing vaccines.

The governor is backed up by quack-medicine-loving Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, a “well-educated COVID crank.” As a physician, Dr. Ladapo never treated COVID patients, and his public health research record is in doubt. Florida pays Dr. Ladapo $362,000 a year, 52% more than his more-qualified predecessor, a salary bumped by an additional no-show job as a University of Florida professor.

The Ron DeSantis “investigation” into the extensively-reviewed vaccines seems designed to keep the governor’s name in the headlines and capture the Qanon faction from Trump ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign.

More:

“DeSantis seeks grand jury investigation of COVID-19 vaccines,” Freida Frisaro, Associated Press

“Gov. DeSantis, Surgeon General Ladapo go after COVID vaccines; request statewide grand jury,” Isaac Morgan, Florida Phoenix

Related:

“After vaccines became available, a partisan gap in deaths emerged,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

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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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