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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: anti vaxxers

Alex Jones Dumps Trump For DeSantis: ‘We Have Someone Way Better’

Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has rescinded his support for former President Donald Trump’s expected 2024 bid for the White House and thrown his support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Jones, a once-passionate advocate of “Stop the Steal”, admitted on his podcast this week that he had “pigheadedly” supported Trump for fear of Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden becoming president — a decision he said had earned him persecution.

The far-right host told his audience that he had grievances with Operation Warp Speed — the Trump administration mid-pandemic initiative geared toward expediting the production of Covid-19 vaccines — but supported him anyway.

“I've been persecuted like nothing in my life for supporting [Trump], and that made me kind of pigheadedly support him a few years ago even though I disagreed with his Warp Speed,” Jones said.

An outspoken anti-vaxxer, Jones declared his support for “way better” DeSantis, who recently appointed a state surgeon general who has publicly questioned the effectiveness of the Covid vaccines.

Last year, Jones called Trump a “dumbass” for advocating Covid vaccination, said he wished he never met the ex-president, and threatened to “dish the dirt” on him for publicly supporting vaccination against Covid,” per The Daily Beast.

"This is what Trump should be like. And I've been hammering this point, and he's doing it now. And we have someone who is better than Trump. Way better than Trump," Jones said, suggesting that the ex-president emulate DeSantis.

“But that said, I am supporting DeSantis. DeSantis is just gone from being awesome to being unbelievably good ... He's getting red-pilled more and more each day ... I'm a DeSantis guy,” Jones announced.

He also insisted that he had seen “real sincerity” in DeSantis’ eyes when he reviewed footage of the governor.

“I don't just watch a man's actions, as Christ said. Judge a tree by its fruits. I can also look in his eyes on HD video and I see the real sincerity,” Jones told his audience.

Neither Trump nor DeSantis has announced their intention to run for president in 2024, despite outdoing each other on recent hypothetical conservative polling for Republican presidential candidates in 2024.

Jones’s once fervent support for Trump saw the conservative podcast host peddle the Big Lie — that widespread election fraud had cost Trump the election — and make an appearance at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The Justice Department has reportedly probed Jones’s role in the January 6 insurrection, and the House Select Committee, the bipartisan congressional panel investigating the January 6 attack, subpoenaed Jones last November. The select committee received his text messages, which were leaked accidentally during the latest Sandy Hook trial.

Jones has wavered in his support for Trump before. Last month, he called firebrand Trump-supporting Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “smarter” than Trump and DeSantis and asked the congresswoman to run for president.

Early this month, Jones was ordered to pay $49.3 million to the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre after a Texas jury found him liable for defamation in a default judgment issued by District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble for calling the tragedy a “hoax” and smearing the victims’ families.

Right-Wing ‘Pastor’ Wants To Hang Obama Over Covid-19

Shane Vaughn, a right-wing pastor and conspiracy theorist who still believes that ex-President Donald Trump will be reinstated, has blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on former President Barack Obama.

Vaughn, the founder of First Harvest Ministries in Waveland, Mississippi, has a history of making baseless assertions about the coronavirus. Last December, he proclaimed that wearing a mask was promoting the "spirit of the antichrist" and that the pathogen was sent by God as punishment for Americans' supposed belief in the supernatural. He urged his followers to "get a shot of faith" instead of the vaccine and said that God told him that "miracles are attracted by faith, not mask."

His latest tantrum was on par.

In a live stream entitled Obama's Bloody Footprints that was posted to Twitter on March 28th, Vaughn falsely accused Obama and Dr. Anthony Fauci of "financing communist China's gain-of-function research" – a debunked conspiracy theory that SARS-COV-2 was engineered in a research lab in Wuhan and then deliberately released into the human population.

He then declared that Fauci, then-National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their colleagues committed "treason" and should be "hung from the gallows" for their alleged crimes against the American people.

"The lengths that Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci went to to convince people that COVID-19 originated naturally; and that these blanket lockdowns were necessary; and to silence dissenting voices from prominent scientists prove that they were more interested in hiding their role in financing communist China's gain-of-function research than they were in helping their nation," Vaughn growled.

"They are treasonous," he continued. "They should be hanged on the first gallows. They turned on their nation to hide their crime. They are guilty of treason."

Watch the excerpt below via Right Wing Watch:

Twitter users accused Vaughn of racist hate speech for calling for the murder of the first Black president.

Some people want the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into Vaughn's comments, as they may constitute a crime.

Vaughn was reminded that Trump, not Obama, was the commander in chief when COVID-19 first broke out. He too lied about the severity of the crisis, peddled fake cures and treatments, and accused China of failing to protect the United States. Under his watch, 700,000 Americans perished.

The Twitterverse also pointed out that Vaughn himself is a convicted felon, having served three years in prison for insurance and bank fraud.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Anti-Vaxxers And ‘Wellness’ Influencers Line Up Behind Putin’s Genocidal War

Support for Russian President Vladimir Putin is by no means universal on the America right. Many conservatives, from Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah to media Never Trumpers like The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and the Washington Post’s Max Boot, have been blistering critics of Putin — especially during the brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Yet in the MAGA cult, Putin has had his share of apologists — from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to “War Room” host Steve Bannon to former President Donald Trump. And Mother Jones’ Kiera Butler, in an article published on March 24, focuses on a bizarre trend: far-right anti-vaxxers and online “wellness influencers” who have become cheerleaders for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Butler previously reported on pro-Putin anti-vaxxers in a March 2 article, and since then, the Mother Jones journalist stresses, the “overlap” between pro-Putin propagandists and anti-vaxxers “has only grown.”

“(On March 19), the Toronto Star reported a startling correlation between vaccination status and beliefs about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Butler explains. “More than 80 percent of vaccinated Canadians said they believed their country should help defend Ukraine, compared to less than a quarter of unvaccinated people. This dynamic is especially pronounced in extremist spaces. Some of the anti-mandate trucker convoy chats on Telegram now seem dominated by Putin cheerleading.”

Some online “wellness influencers,” according to Butler, have been claiming that President Joe Biden is “trying to pull a fast one on them by painting Russia as the aggressor” in Ukraine.

“Should social media platforms flag influencers’ content as disinformation,” Butler observes, “it only serves to reinforce their belief that they are being punished for their righteous truth-telling. Some influencers have monetized their self-proclaimed martyrdom by sharing disinformation about Ukraine and hawking their own wellness items.”

Instagram, according to Butler, is one of the social media platforms where pro-Putin anti-vaxxers and “wellness influencers” have been plentiful.

“Beyond the oils and the tinctures, influencers are selling something much more valuable: a sense of fierce and uncompromising maternal identity,” Butler observes. “The account bios frequently mention natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting — and their posts and stories tie events in Ukraine back to defending their families from what they see as government overreach.”

Anti-vaxxers who are sympathetic to Putin, Butler writes, are also more likely to be influenced by the far-right pro-Trump conspiracy group QAnon.

“Factions of anti-vaccine groups increasingly embraced COVID denialism and dabbled in QAnon,” Butler notes. “The Russians’ initial plan of dividing Americans had worked better than they could have possibly expected — so that by the time Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, anti-vaccine activists were primed to believe that Putin was the good guy.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

‘Peoples Convoy’ D.C. Demo Permit Is Rejected By National Park Service

Truckers! Freedom! The open road! Something something vaccines and mandates and masks mean that truckers need to protest the indignity of public health measures that have been proven to mitigate the dangerous impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. What was an astro-turfed Canadian protest has now turned into a manufactured domestic one. Think Fox News’ immigrant caravans, but with mostly white people and actually dangerous.

On Wednesday news came out that the “People’s Convoy” had hit a hurdle in its movement as the National Park Service partially denied the overblown group’s request for a permit to turn the D.C. National Mall into a trucker encampment. Why they “partially denied” the request may have been due to some of the convoy’s lead organizer Brian Brase answers to their questions. The Daily Beast reports that when the Park Service asked Brase, “Do you have any reason to believe or any information indicating that any individual, group, or organization might seek to disrupt the activity for which this application is submitted?” Brase’s response of “Antifa” was not sufficient.

Oh, wait. There’s a lot more from these freedom fighters.

Brase also may have shot himself in the foot by overselling the convoy’s size, telling the Park Service he expects somewhere between “10,000 to 100,000” supporters to show up. Considering how small the trucker convoys have been thus far, even with media vampires like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas trying to get attention for the make-it-up-while-we-go freedom statement thing, it’s hard to believe they would be able to muster half of the low end of that range. However, as NBC News’ Terry Bouton reported a few days ago, the success of the convoy is in the right-wing optics. Maybe Brase is thinking “10,000 to 100,000” hours of right-wing news coverage?

The far-right was well represented at the convoy. Members of white supremacist and anti-government groups that were at the center of the Capitol insurrection have been heavily involved in its planning. Erik Rohde, a national leader of Three Percenters, was a “consultant” to the "People’s Convoy." (In return the "People’s Convoy" official Telegram account urged supporters to donate to a protest march on the Washington state capitol that Rohde was organizing). Three Percenter and Proud Boy Telegram channels have organized support and raised money for the "People’s Convoy." In Wisconsin, convoy organizers called on the Oath Keepers to provide security.

Maybe it’s something else that they’re working on? The Daily Beast reports that while being denied a permit didn’t figure into a Tuesday night meeting, talking about the vagaries of what the hell they’re trying to accomplish did come up. In fact, here’s how The Daily Beast explained it: “organizer Mike Landis said that while the prospect of ‘tear[ing] the fence down at the White House and hang[ing] politicians’ was ‘extremely enticing,’ he added that isn’t ‘why we are here.’” Why are they there again?

No word on that yet.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Carlson’s Favorite Colonel Is A Coup-Curious Conspiracy Monger

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s go-to voice on foreign policy, is a skeptic of U.S. overseas interventions – albeit one very much in Carlson’s own right-wing nationalist mode.

Macgregor has called for the deployment of the U.S. military to the U.S.-Mexico border in order to prevent an invasion of immigrants that he claims Democrats are encouraging for political gain, claimed that the military’s diversity agenda and vaccine mandates are intended to purge the services of white Christians, and warned that Biden’s globalist agenda may necessitate a coup by “patriotic” service members and first responders or a civil war, Media Matters found in a review of his dozens of Fox appearances and columns for conservative publications in recent years.

Macgregor drew media attention last week after a February 27 Fox appearance in which he argued that the United States should “absolutely” allow Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin to annex as much of Ukraine as he wishes. Jennifer Griffin, the network’s national security correspondent, criticized his “distortions” and “appeasement talk” in an interview on the same program minutes later.

But when Carlson introduced Macgregor for discussion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine two nights later, the host stressed his guest’s trustworthiness. Carlson warned that while other unnamed TV news guests were bent on “manipulating you, the consumer of news,” Macgregor would tell the unvarnished truth.

“Unlike so many of the TV generals you see all day long, Macgregor is not angling for a board seat at Raytheon,” Carlson explained. “Unlike so many of the so-called reporters you see on television, he is not acting secretly as a flack for [Defense Secretary] Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. No, Doug Macgregor is an honest man.”

Buttressed by that lofty introduction, Macgregor told Carlson’s audience that Vladimir Putin’s goal was preventing “further attempts to influence or change Ukraine into effectively a platform for the projection of U.S. and Western power into Russia,” blamed the invasion on U.S. President Joe Biden, and argued that the United States should accept Russian annexation of eastern Ukraine and a “neutral” Ukrainian government controlling the remainder of the country. “Doug Macgregor, a man you can believe. It is a commodity in short supply right now,” Carlson concluded the segment.

Macgregor’s interview once again demonstrates Carlson’s status as the most powerful figure at Fox. Carlson apparently responded to Griffin’s criticism of Macgregor by endorsing him, letting him make similar points to his much larger audience, and offering a barely-veiled criticism of Griffin as a “so-called reporter” working on behalf of Biden’s defense secretary. The move was reminiscent of Carlson’s on-air feud with longtime “news side” anchor Shepard Smith, which ultimately contributed to Smith’s abrupt resignation from the network.

But the interview also underscores the increased profile Carlson has provided to Macgregor. The Gulf War combat veteran and military strategist has made at least 60 Fox weekday appearances since August 1, 2017, 48 of which came on Carlson’s show. The Fox star regularly lavishes praise on Macgregor during those interviews, describing him as “our first choice for foreign policy analysis” and “one of the people we trust to give us real information.” Carlson has a history of pro-Kremlin rhetoric, and in recent days he has hosted Macgregor in service of his argument that Biden has gone too far in defending Ukraine, even as his Fox colleagues criticize the president for not going far enough.

Macgregor’s Carlson interviews put him on the radar of then-President Donald Trump, a Fox superfan who often hired staff based on their turns on the network. After Macgregor urged Trump to replace senior national security officials whom he claimed were “part of this bipartisan globalist elite” during a May 2019 Tucker Carlson Tonight appearance, Trump repeatedly considered him for jobs in his administration. Macgregor interviewed for the White House national security adviser post vacated by a former Fox contributor and lost out on a Defense undersecretary role to another frequent Fox guest. Trump then nominated him to succeed a former Fox contributor as German ambassador, though that nomination stalled after CNN’s KFile reported on Macgregor’s past disparagements of immigrants. But following a wave of Pentagon firings in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, Macgregor was finally installed as a senior adviser to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller – and instructed by the White House to “get us out” of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Germany, and Africa.

If Trump runs and wins the presidency again in 2024, it’s not far-fetched to imagine Macgregor getting tapped for another high-ranking post, perhaps even defense secretary. And he’ll owe the post in no small part to Carlson.

An anti-immigrant conspiracy theorist who wants martial law on the Mexican border

Macgregor is a consistent voice against the use of military force abroad, even questioning the necessity of U.S. involvement in World War II. An anti-immigrant conspiracy theorist, he instead wants the armed forces deployed to the U.S. border with Mexico to stop undocumented immigration. “Any American citizen in or out of military uniform who is still fixated on events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Northeast Asia, Africa, or Europe is deluded. The life or death of the American republic is being decided along the Rio Grande, not in the Eastern Hemisphere,” he explained in an October 2021 essay for the Trumpist publication American Greatness.

Macgregor “often demonized immigrants and refugees” and “repeatedly advocated to institute martial law at the US-Mexico border and ‘shoot people’ if necessary,” CNN’s KFile reported in August 2020 after reviewing Macgregor radio and television interviews and blog posts.

“The U.S. Army belongs on the border right now and it's perfectly obvious to everyone on the border,” Macgregor argued during one such interview, an April 2019 appearance on Carlson’s Fox show. “We need martial law on the border. I just spoke this afternoon to people on the border with New Mexico, Arizona and Texas and they all said the same thing, ‘Please send troops. Send the United States Army.’"

Macgregor went on to say that Democrats oppose such measures because “they see voters moving across the border” which will allow them to create “a human foundation for a permanent dictatorship of the left,” an allusion to the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory that Carlson regularly invokes.

Macgregor related that conspiracy theory in more detail during another Tucker Carlson Tonight interview in June 2019.

"The Latinos, the Mexicans, are the base of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has decided they are the future for the left in the United States,” he said. “The more of these people that can be brought in illegally, as well as legally, the better it is for the Democratic Party. Because their goal is to transform the United States into a facsimile of California. So that any election is impossible from the standpoint of the right, from the standpoint of the Republican Party, to win anything. “The real interest is to create demographic change that will make them the permanent power inside the borders of the United States,” he added.Macgregor also pushed the false conspiracy theory that progressive businessman and philanthropist (and Media Matters donor) George Soros financially supported migrant caravans traveling to the United States.

“Mr. Soros in particular has funded or helped fund these massive migrations out of Central America,” Macgregor said during a December 2019 appearance on Fox Business. He added that Soros bears some “responsibility for the massive criminality pouring into the United States from Mexico and the war in Mexico that no one wants to talk about.”

Macgregor: Biden is using CRT, vaccines to purge white Christian men from military

Macgregor is also in sync with Carlson’s fixation on the proliferation of diversity initiatives and so-called “critical race theory” in the U.S. military. Macgregor warns that the military’s purportedly politicized leadership is using these activities, along with pretextual COVID-19 vaccine mandates, to purge white Christian men from the armed forces.

Macgregor authored a May 2021 piece headlined “Transforming the Military to Transform the Country,” for The American Conservative, a paleoconservative magazine. In it, he wrote the appointment of a senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense for diversity and inclusion who “advoca[tes] for Critical Race Theory” may signal “the implementation of a new system inside the U.S. Armed Forces tasked with the responsibility to identify alleged extremists for removal.”

Macgregor compared this to how, “in the aftermath of the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, Communist Party officials called commissars were installed throughout the military to ensure the loyalty and obedience of the officer corps to the orders and directives of Lenin and the new Bolshevik state.” He went on to warn of the initiation of a “woke witch hunt” which he suggests will target “white men and women.”

Macgregor has repeatedly claimed that the Biden administration is trying to purge the military in his Fox appearances, in part through the installation of COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

“I think the Biden administration has decided that anyone who refuses to take the vaccine and is in uniform is presenting resistance to the Biden administration's new order inside the military,” he said on the December 27, 2021, edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight.

“If you don't take the vaccine, well, then you're also opposed to CRT, equity, social justice, these other things that they seem to be ready to ram down everybody's throat,” he added. Macgregor went on to suggest that the vaccine mandate is unnecessary because “we've only had 82 fatalities, since this pandemic began inside the Armed Forces,” adding, “it may be of interest to your viewers to know that in the last month, we lost two people in uniform, reservists, and both of them were fully vaccinated.”

Macgregor returned to this theme on Fox two nights later, arguing that the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate was “an ideological attack, designed to eliminate anyone who might raise objections to anything this administration wants to do inside the military."

“The vaccine and resistance to it is simply a metaphor for everything else in the minds of President Biden and his administration that they want to achieve with CRT, social justice, equity and so forth. All of these Marxist programs that have been implemented are at the forefront of their greatest concern,” he explained. “So, this is a good opportunity in their minds, to get rid of people. It has nothing to do with COVID.”

“So, Colonel, you are agreeing, this is a political purge,” guest host Sean Duffy responded. “They want to take out who they think are conservatives that might be vaccine hesitant or Christians who have a religious exemption to taking the vaccine?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Macgregor replied. “I don't know what the demographic breakdown is, what the racial makeup of the people they're throwing out is. But I suspect that the majority of them are probably white Americans. And a white American who is a Christian is probably the least desirable person from the vantage point of this administration to have in uniform, even though that's exactly what has populated the Armies, Air Forces, Navys and Marines of this country for hundreds of years.”

Macgregor suggests a military coup or civil war may be necessary in the US

Macgregor warns that the Biden administration is implementing a globalist agenda that is putting the United States on a collision course with a radical and justifiable right-wing response – one which may include a military coup or a civil war.

When 20 retired French generals signed a letter floating a military coup to halt the nation’s “disintegration,” in the spring of 2021, Macgregor endorsed them in a May 2021 piece for American Greatness. Macgregor claimed that they were justified because France’s elected leaders are “globalists” who want a “Marxist dystopia” have welcomed a “tsunami of Muslim migrants.”

“As the crisis spirals out of control, the French army – the last, true repository of national identity and French values – appears to be drawing a red line,” he wrote. “The French, and the Western nations watching from the sidelines, face a truly gut-wrenching choice: Either act with force to restore French sovereignty or watch their nation perish.”

He added: “The crisis also raises important questions for Americans. What happens when a government treats its national boundaries with disinterest, even neglect? What does it mean when governments fail to enforce the rule of law? What happens when democratic governments release hardened criminals into society, imprison citizens who criticize it, and ignore the destabilizing human and economic impact of a hostile foreign invasion under the guise of immigration?”

Macgregor concluded by suggesting that the U.S. will likely “face the same predicament” and that a military coup may be necessary here as well.

“It’s painfully obvious that many, if not most, of the senior military leaders like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley are committed to globalism and multiculturalism, but one wonders what the majority of patriotic American soldiers, sailors, airman, and Marines, along with the courageous police officers and firefighters across the country, really think,” he wrote. “What will these guardians of national order and security do when they confront more chaos and disorder on the scale of last summer’s criminal violence against American symbols, citizens and property in the months and years ahead?”

Likewise, Macgregor wrote in an October 2021 American Greatness piece that America may be facing a “John Brown moment” that could lead to a Civil War. He explained that Brown’s execution following the 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry had “compelled Americans on all sides to confront the questions: Who are we? What do we stand for?” and that those questions were answered by the Civil War.

“Today, these questions are being raised anew,” he continued, because “the borders of the United States are in chaos” which could trigger the “death of the American republic”; “Inside America’s cities, the rule of law is increasingly nonexistent”; and Biden’s “highly partisan $3.5 trillion climate and entitlement bill” could lead to “a financial meltdown and economic implosion worse than anything since the Great Depression.”

“What should Americans do?” he added. “Well, we might begin by reaffirming the basic truths that are contained in the Pledge of Allegiance, and in the Ten Commandments, which most good men and women follow, whether they are churchgoers or not. Americans should also demand that the president and Congress care for the well-being of the American people, and not act in ways that harm the security and standard of living of Americans. But these things may not be enough.”

He concluded:

Many Americans are now on the lookout for their own John Brown moment.
We don’t know when, or which specific issue from the laundry list of crises and disputes, will be the decisive moment. It’s impossible to anticipate precisely. But when it happens Americans will begin to answer the same basic questions: Who are we? What do we stand for? The outcome will be historic.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Wasting Gas: How Right-Wing ‘Convoy’ Fell Apart In Beltway Traffic

Day one of the great Washington, D.C., trucker convoy went great … for everyone but the truckers (some of whom are actually SUV or minivan drivers). For them, it was kind of embarrassing. After a day of confusion on Saturday, the plan for Sunday was to circle the Beltway twice at 40 miles per hour, making a show of strength that would be a “huge pain” for regular traffic. At most, they managed to be a minor irritation, slowing traffic in some places in a region accustomed to traffic jams.

The convoy was unable to stay together basically as soon as it encountered normal Beltway traffic. Normal Sunday Beltway traffic. Some bailed after a single lap. And the whole group got so stretched out and broken up that, “We’re not even sure we can call it a convoy anymore because it’s so dispersed among routine traffic at this point,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

The convoy plans to return Monday for even more laps—an interesting ambition considering that some of them couldn’t hack it for two laps in light traffic, and Monday they’ll be encountering higher weekday traffic.

That said, nobody really knows what to expect from this unpredictable, nonsensical pack of assholes. They say they’re protesting until their demands are met, but they don't really have coherent demands. They say they’ve come to the nation’s capital, in some cases from across the country, to protest public health restrictions that were dropping well before they set out. Some of them are talking about high gas prices, while spending hundreds of dollars in gas to try to disrupt other people’s lives. Some flew Confederate battle flags, because of course they damn well did. There’s really no point here beyond the far right asserting its media-given right to attention.

Bear in mind if and when you see descriptions of the people involved in this as somehow representing the working class that these are people who can take weeks and spend thousands of dollars on something that doesn’t even have a real set of demands.

So far, convoy organizers are saying they won’t go into Washington, D.C., itself, staying on the Beltway that loops around it while being based in Hagerstown, Maryland. But other groups of truckers and associated vehicles are expected to join the group that’s already there, which could create significant hassle for residents of the region—people the convoy members are all too happy to create problems for, since they’re largely Democrats. A National Guard presence in the District of Columbia has been extended through Wednesday as things develop.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Watch Tough Guy Ron DeSantis Bully Students For Wearing Masks(VIDEO)

In his all-out quest to replicate former defeated President Trump's perpetual dickishness and despicable disdain for science, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis decided to berate some high school kids whose job it was to stand behind him while he droned on about "workforce education." Now you might ask why an adult and governor would take it upon himself to chide a bunch of teens. Like what exactly were they doing to warrant such an old-man lashing? Well, it seems they were making a personal health choice to wear masks and DeSantis just couldn't have any of that personal responsibility since his party is completely without it.

"You do not have to wear those masks, I mean please take them off," the governor told the students. "Honestly it's not doing anything. We need to stop with this COVID theater. If you want to wear it fine, but this is, this is ridiculous."

Firstly, you have to feel bad for these poor kids who would rather be playing Fortnite or reading banned books than have to be forced to take part in some far-right, power-hungry governor's presser. Secondly, study after study after study shows that while n95 masks work the best at reducing transmission of COVID, any type of coverage works best, especially for those who might be immunocompromised. But Republicans seem to believe that it's some sort of deep-state plot to make them feel uncomfortable whilst shopping in the Home Depot. Moreover, they prefer everyone just ignore all these well-researched studies and agree to pretend that masks are part of the CDC's sinister plot to control us all.

DeSantis went to the far-right wing safe space known as Tucker Carlson's show immediately after he was called out for basically bullying kids for simply wearing masks.

He said he yelled at the students because he did not want them to think that he had requested they wear masks.

Not surprisingly, Carlson claimed that the reason the media was pissed was that DeSantis telling the kids to take their masks off "refuted the lies that they have told for years" about masking. Indeed, totally failing to realize the many, many studies showing that masking helps reduce transmission, but he's got tons of uneducated and angry old white people to scare. You know, the very vulnerable people that are dying from Covid due to the GOP lies.

"So just to be clear," Carlson said, "Telling kids they don't actually have to wear masks because masks don't work is bullying, but threatening to throw them out of school and destroy their lives if they don't wear a mask is science."

What Putin's errand boy doesn't realize is that actual scientists agree that masks reduce the risk of transmission.

Michael Hayne is a comedian, writer, voice artist, podcaster, and impressionist. Follow his work on Facebook and TikTok

Covid Nearly Killed Cavuto --Who Still Won’t ‘Debate’ Fox Anti-Vax Propaganda

Veteran Fox News host Neil Cavuto returned to the network this week after an unexplained, month-long absence to tell viewers he not only got Covid for the second time, but he nearly died. “It really was touch and go,” he said, while describing his lengthy stay in intensive care. “Doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here,” he added.

The miraculously safe and effective Covid vaccine saved Cavuto’s life, but that won’t change Fox News’ programming as it remains committed to pandemic nihilism and aggressively spreading lies about America’s public health crisis. Even if the immunocompromised Cavuto had died, Rupert Murdoch’s network wouldn’t have spent ten minutes reflecting on its role in the carnage that surrounds the pandemic of the unvaccinated in 2022, where nearly 2,000 people are still dying everyday simply because they refuse to get the jab.

Incredibly, Cavuto continues to be part of Murdoch’s morbid machine, even after the virus nearly took his life. Rather than deciding enough is enough, and that he can no longer be a willing accomplice to Fox News’ relentless vaccine lies, Cavuto rather meekly addressed the issue on his show. “I’m not here to debate vaccinations for you,” he announced, stressing that, “my opinions don’t matter.”

Cavuto’s weak-kneed response might have been because last year when he more forcefully urged viewers to “stop the politics” and “get vaccinated,” the host became the target of an aggressive right-wing smear campaign. “I know we live in this hyper-politicised age. I get that, I appreciate that, but I’d like to urge people of all sorts, please get vaccinated,” Cavuto announced last October. “In the end, if you can get vaccinated and think of someone else and think of what that could mean to them and their survivability from something like this, we’ll all be better off.”

In speaking honestly and passionately about the vaccine, Cavuto had crossed the line. “I want you gone. Dead. Caput. Fini. Get it?” one angry viewer wrote the host. “Now, take your two-bit advice and deep-six it, and you!”

After his second, nearly-deadly bout of Covid, as he recovered in the hospital and realized that Trump voters in Trump counties who refused to get vaccinated were dying in record numbers, Cavuto could have followed the lead of Chris Wallace, Shep Smith, and other longtime Fox News staffers who have decided to walk away from their cable TV home. Instead, after checking out of intensive care, Cavuto rejoined the network, while it eradicates more of its viewers.

Fox News is never going to stop killing its audience in the blind pursuit of ratings and its love of trolling liberals. We’re watching a slow-motion, political mass suicide as millions refuse the vaccine and hundreds of thousands have died since the arrival of the inoculation one year ago. Clinging to political identity over personal health and safety, the Fox audience pledges its allegiance, making it more difficult for everyone else to get past the pandemic.

“A new study by four Harvard epidemiologists estimates that 135,000 unvaccinated Americans died unnecessarily in the last six months of last year,” the New York Times reports. Meanwhile, unvaccinated people are 20 times more likely to die of the virus, according to an ABC News analysis.

No other country in the world faces as powerful, deep-pocketed, and well-organized anti-vaccine propaganda campaign as the one now crippling portions of the United States.

Murdoch owns right-wing media properties and enjoys immense political leverage in other countries, such as Britain and Australia. But there’s been a conscious decision to unleash on America a special kind of anti-science, anti-vaccine campaign. Fox News is not only encouraging millions of viewers not to get vaccinated, but claims the inoculation might kill them, the government cannot be trusted, and that the vaccine poses a grave danger to pregnant women.

Pretending that American school children for nearly 70 years haven’t been forced to get vaccinated for lots of serious viruses, Fox has embraced a wholesale anti-vax conspiracy approach, portraying Covid jabs in the arms as signs of encroaching totalitarianism, condemning the shots in the most hysterical terms.

Today, the network remains perfectly aligned with the GOP, which is clearly pro-Covid. Republican politicians and commentators, who are fully vaccinated themselves, want the virus to spread in order to extend the deadly pandemic so it inflicts political damage on Democrats. There’s a reason every single Republican member of the House and Senate voted against the historic, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill —they didn’t want newly-elected President Joe Biden to secure a legislative win.

We know for a fact Fox doesn’t care its viewers are dying. Last month when a Washington state trooper died of Covid, the network made no mention of the fact even though the trooper had appeared on Fox several times last October to brag about his decision to quit his job rather than getting vaccinated. The network touted him as a hero, until Covid claimed his life.

That’s why nothing at Fox will change, even if its hosts fall victim to the virus.

Reprinted with permission from Press Run