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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Well aware of the financial pain that the coronavirus pandemic is indicting on a variety of businesses and their employees, a prominent GOP conservative — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — has proposed a payment of $1,000 to help Americans cope with the economic hardship.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee asserted, “Every American adult should immediately receive $1000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy.”

This is the same Mitt Romney who, in 2012, was widely criticized after being heard telling millionaires donors that 47 percent of Americans would vote to reelect President Barack Obama because they rely on handouts from the government. And eight years later, Romney’s $1,000 proposal comes as a surprise to those familiar with his history.

Dan Hirschhorn tweeted, “We are all Andrew Yang” — a reference to the former Democratic presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur’s call for a guaranteed minimum income. And @EEstaris posted, “So basically instead of just Socialism for the 1 percent and farmers, give the money to the vast majority of consumers, who can help keep the economy going by consuming. Yeah, probably not a bad idea right now.”

Twitter user Alicia Goulson, @Asgoulson wrote, “This will calm the market.” And @KerouacRimbaud tweeted, “From what I know about Yang, he’s just happy to see a senator take it seriously.”

But Josh Barro, business columnist for New York Magazine, tweeted that some people were misinterpreting Romney’s proposal: he was calling for a one-time payment of $1000, not a recurring payment of $1000 per month.

Journalist Jim Geraghty, @Jimgeraghty, tweeted, “From the Yang Gang to the Romney Coterie.” However, fellow Twitter user Aaron King, @AAKing27, drew a distinction between Romney and Yang’s proposals and wrote, “But yet, it’s not the Yang Gang. People conflating UBI with temporary income to avoid a global depression.” And @BatDaddyOfThree explained, “I keep seeing this comparison being made, but Yang’s proposal was in perpetuity. This is Bush 43’s economic stimulus handout redux.”

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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